It is stressful being an early years provider, but spark will give you the control back, so all adults involved can strive for outstanding EYFS practice in order to get everything right, ultimately for every child at this time of rapid brain development.

It is stressful being an early years provider, but spark will give you the control back, so all adults involved can strive for outstanding EYFS practice in order to get everything right, ultimately for every child at this time of rapid brain development.
0203 390 2412

A reason for everything we do” is a mantra for my settings. In fact, an A4 loose-leaf file with cloud/spider diagrams illustrates all the reasons for this or that. It was handy for our students and new members of the team.

The enabling environment was carefully considered to give children spaces to play without what I call ‘the church hall effect’; which is where children are continually distracted by what’s happening on the other side of the room. One of the nurseries was in a portacabin, and I had a + (plus) shaped set of 2m high moveable walls built.  Learning spaces were on the outside walls and in the quarters of the +. Children circulated one way or another.

Finding everything in familiar places aids children’s security. I remember being told by someone on placement about a group on the other side of town who reorganised their children’s rooms every week. I don’t know who benefited.

With the children’s interests in mind, every day we built on the continuous provision by adding items to catch their attention. Watching where children chose or did not choose to play was essential to extend or evaluate how to make an area better.

Another mantra of mine is, “Never do for a child what they can do for themselves“, in preschool provision. “Practice makes perfect” is another, but in the recent sparkDEBATE, I learnt a better one: “Practice makes progression“. As early years educators, we can give children time.

When designing the environment, it is crucial to facilitate, in a stage-appropriate way, how to help children be as independent as possible. Keeping everything accessible. That isn’t always possible.

In one setting, the room was narrow, and radiators prevented lots of low shelving. Glass-fronted kitchen cupboards the length of the wall showed displayed resources. Children could see these if they looked up, but we know children tend not to do that. So photos were taken of each cupboard for children to access.

As the oldest age group in this particular nursery, this encouraged them to ask and extend their vocabulary when something didn’t have a prominent name. Also, the team were more inclined to put things back correctly.

Doing too much for our children is a trap easy to fall into. As I discuss this with Kat Lord, practitioners who continually ‘do’ for children or forever ‘pick up and put back’ are not observing or facilitating learning.

Here is the link to the sparkDEBATE.