Play and Learning – Part B
In this assignment an attempt will be made to examine a local authority nursery in which I will consider the criteria that is needed to ensure that quality play and learning experiences are being provided. I will also look into the role of the staff and external assessors in assuring quality is provided.
Quality is a very complex word to define. It depends on the person who is describing its point of view. In the nursery setting parents, government, childcare workers, children and the local authority all have an influence on the quality that is provided within their establishment. The Child at the Centre (2000) describes a set of score values that are ...view middle of the document...
‘The outdoors can provide a scale and freedom for a type of play that is difficult to replicate indoors’. (Scottish Executive, 1999, P.36). ‘The organization of the physical environment both indoors and outdoors will play an important part in helping children to acquire skills and competencies associated with nursery provision’. (A. Curtis, 2000, P112).
When planning the curriculum it is important to have long-term and short-term plans. The long-term plans are the aims that you have for the children. It will look at what children will be offered to learn about and the resources that will be needed, it makes sure a balance of areas of learning is maintained over time in accordance with official requirements. The long-term plan also gives a general direction towards the curriculum. These plans should not be set tablets of stone as the planning may have to be modified to adapt to children’s needs. The short-term plan is usually to plan particular learning intentions for certain children. This is usually done after observations have been carried out which show the areas that the nursery has to concentrate on to help children’s development. ‘A key point about the planning of lessons is that the outline of the lesson must always be flexible’. (C. Kyriacou, 1997, P.90).
An effective way of ensuring that quality is present within the nursery is by assessment. The Child at the Centre believes that to ensure quality staff should consistently and effectively assess all aspects of each child’s development. They ask for and use information from parents and, where appropriate, support agencies and there should be an effective way of recording this information. (Scottish Executive, 2000, P.27). Assessment allows the nursery staff to see how effective the learning experiences are that they are providing. ‘It provides the means of deciding what children should receive in their future learning programmes, and also gives some indication of their future progress’. (M. Dowling, 1992, P.165).
Interactive learning is a key feature of nursery education. This gives the children the opportunity to apply and test their knowledge and skills, develop a range of personal skills and qualities, relate their knowledge to the outside world and learn from their own experiences. (J. Stephenson & S. Weil, 1992, P.14). By the staff providing interaction with the children they can stimulate their thinking and also plan in accordance to the child’s needs. The performance indicators of the Child at the Centre states that ‘staff interaction increases the complexity of play and build confidence within the child’. (Scottish Executive, 2000, P.25).
The nursery class believes in the importance of the involvement of parents to provide the best care possible for the child. It is very important that the staff within the nursery are welcoming to the parents as this makes the children feel safe if they see that the parents are at ease with the staff in the...