Your child’s next steps, learning at pre-school and collection time

As part of our continuing work to link your child’s home and playgroup lives, many of you whose children attend more than Forest School will already have had your child’s ‘next steps’. If not, they are on their way!

What are next steps?

The next steps are taken from the Early Years Foundation Stage Document and help to guide our work in partnership with your child. We send them to you so that you are aware of your child’s specific focus areas, but also for you to tell us, ‘my child did this today’. Through your examples, we know that they are well on the way to moving to a new lot of next steps. They are not a prescriptive framework for learning, simply a prompt for us to be aware of. You may say that your child does everything mentioned in the next steps at home, and that’s great! If you are able to offer examples then we can say to your child, ‘Mummy/Daddy mentioned you do such and such at home so I wonder if you could show me?’ By joining forces together, it’s a solid foundation to support your child in their learning.

What do I have to do?

You do not need to ‘do’ anything with the next steps if you choose not to, and may even dismiss them. That’s entirely up to you, and fine too! We simply believe that the more information we share between each other the better it is for your child’s ongoing development.

What is a learning style?

Children learn in a variety of ways. We recently sent you some information about next steps and schemas (learning styles) by email (see ‘Schemas – how your child learns’). If you’re interested in learning more, do have a read. I wonder which ‘schema’ (learning style) you think your child is influenced by? This area is something the staff team is exploring further in order to find new ways of helping your child on their educational journey.

Facilitating happy learning at GEP

We’re always reviewing how we can help your children learn. The way children learn influences all aspects of playgroup life – from the moment they approach the door (flowers outside for example), through drop off (parents helping to hang belongings up) and time spent in the setting, to collection at the end of the day. Obviously, we cannot meet the needs of each child all the time, but rest assured we do try too and review what we offer on a daily basis.

Why have collection time arrangements changed?

Our thinking about schemas is one of the reasons we have been reviewing collection time arrangements: some children find unfamiliar faces coming into their pre-school room to be deeply disturbing because their schema is an enveloper or positioner. It’s how/where they are most comfortable. When they are less comfortable they can behave in ways that are perhaps unwelcome and chaos can ensue! This we were seeing repeatedly at collection time – and many parents reported how hard it was for them to get their child out of the door. Hence the need to review.

Your views please!

But what do you think of the new pick-up arrangements? You might like a return to the way collection used to take place. Whatever the adult consensus is, we are more than happy to go with it – so do say! We really do listen.

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