Typical daily experiences/activities are a mixture of the following:
* painting/drawing/collaging * Forest School
* holistic play, with pasta/gloop/rice/sensory baskets
* role play/dressing up * a visit to the shops or play park
* woodland walks * music sessions
* singing/reading * building with Duplo/Lego/bricks
* creating * water/sand
* counting/shapes * physical/gross motor play
* alphabet/colours * small world toys
* cooking on the fire pit * puzzles/shape sorters
* gardening * Mud kitchen
* loose parts (exploring and investigating)
* playdough * baking in the kitchen
In our roles as Early Years educators, we follow the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) curriculum. Children naturally develop in line with the specific areas of learning.
We follow these guidelines as they enable us to listen to, observe, evaluate and assess each child in our care.
Every child will be given a Key Person when they start at Forest Footsteps Childcare. By doing this, the Key Person can then provide for your child’s next steps in their development and also in their current interests. All information regarding your child’s progress is recorded in their own Record of Development, using an online software tool called Tapestry,, which is a virtual learning journal. Any observations we collect will be cross-referenced to the seven main 'Areas of Learning' and also the 'Characteristics of Effective Learning'. From this, we can plan experiences, activities and resources, required to support your child’s ongoing growth and development.
The Tapestry software is housed on a secure website or app, requiring log in details and a password. We use this software to provide a photo diary of the children’s day, a record of their development containing observations, their next steps and their progress reports. We also use this platform to provide you with newsletters and information.
Tapestry is also used in our settings by practitioners and managers to track the progress and attainment of the children in the current and also the previous cohorts. Parents and other family members/childcare providers, who have been given permission to access the child’s account, can contribute to observations by adding replies or posting their own observations.
As stated in the EYFS, a child's Key Person must know and understand their Key Children’s level of development and their interests so they can provide 'Next Steps' to enhance their learning. Therefore, observations will be made on your child and recorded using the Tapestry Learning Journal. All observations will be used to contribute towards the child’s record of development and will be kept confidential.
Outdoor Learning Policy
Physical development is a vital part of children’s growth. They must improve their large, gross motor skills movements before progressing onto their fine motor skills. For example, children will need to develop their arm muscles enough to control their whole arm whilst painting; even though the paint brush is held with a fine motor grip. Outdoor learning environments give opportunities for children to engage in active lifestyles, appreciate nature (and the natural environment), develop social skills, encourage independence and understand risk. All of these factors support the health, mental and emotional wellbeing of the children.
In relation to the Department of Health’s guidelines, children are recommended to be physically active for three hours throughout the day. As an Early Years Provider, the children at Forest Footsteps Childcare are encouraged to have a healthy lifestyle both with regards to their diet and completing some exercise. We offer 'free-flow' access to our outdoor learning environment and provide outings within our local community or woodland walks to explore Ramalley Copse.
In our outdoor areas, we have an extensive range of garden toys. This includes: a mud kitchen, a creative area, a messy area, a water area, a construction area and loose parts. Whilst this provides plenty of opportunities for developing new physical skills, the children need to learn about the danger and risk-taking whilst exploring these toys. We encourage them to take an active role in risk-assessing their chosen activities and experiences; allowing the children to explore in an environment that allows this, with the support of qualified practitioners. In order to make our outdoor area a safe environment and to reduce the risks of accidents, we have put the following procedures in place:
· All children must be supervised at all times.
· Children will be taught the dangers of the equipment in a way that is suitable for their age and stage of development and understanding.
· Children will be encouraged to take turns and share equipment.
· The garden will regularly checked for animal faeces.
· The equipment will be regularly checked for signs of wear and tear or damage and be withdrawn from use, if faulty.
· Children will be encouraged to initiate activities, seek challenge, show a 'can do' attitude and take risks - engaging in new experiences - and learning by 'trial and error', as stated in the Characteristics of Effective Learning in the EYFS.