Learning and Teaching
At La Petite Academy we believe that all our children have the capabilities to be competent learners regardless of disability, additional needs/special needs or circumstances. We value home languages and cultural backgrounds of all our children. We aim for our children to feel valued, important, capable, and able to learn and gain knowledge, skills, and understanding to make progress in the seven areas of the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum.
We practice in the moment planning, which revolves around child-initiated play, enabling staff to identify the moment that children progress, based on what the children are already deeply involved in. Planning in the moment relies on our staff using quality interactions to draw out the children’s knowledge and build on this to extend their learning. Staff use their observations to identify what the child is doing and assess the teachable moment from the child’s learning. Staff are knowledgeable to know when to intervene and scaffold the child's learning and when to capture the moment of engagement following the child's progress whether this is inside or outside play.
Involving the Children
At La Petite Academy we support children’s understanding of the nursery ethos by involving the children when we created our golden rules, which are embedded throughout the nursery. We encourage the children to follow our nursery routines with visual timetables throughout the day to provide the children with a sense of belonging and security.
We ensure that the children can access activities safely through vigorous risk assessments and that children of all abilities can engage with resources through staff knowledge of taking and evaluating risks.
We differentiate activities so that children of all competencies can access inspiring activities using exploration and critical thinking skills.
Planning in the moment means that the learning environments need to be reviewed and adapted to ensure that the children have a constant deep level of involvement in their activities. The resources in each area also need to be plentiful and engaging.
Observations made of the children must be based on quality interactions between children or children and practitioners. They must include any teaching that has taken place or progress that a child or group of children have made. All practitioners are responsible for highlighting progress in observations. Emphasis is placed on using 'I wonder…' statements i.e. 'I wonder if…', 'I wonder what…', 'I wonder how…'. This approach to questioning places less stress on the children and allows them to converse more readily.
La Petite Academy use a focus child system whereby each week we will choose six children to observe for a two-week period during each term. The observations are recorded using photographs and written descriptions and form the basis of the children’s Learning journeys.
Our Assessments of the learning journey are shared with colleagues and children, this enables us to understand what the learning moments are from the observations taken.
Involving the children in this process gives them an opportunity to reflect on their thinking and learning which in turn supports their language development. It enables staff to identify the thinking behind children’s play and is a visible form of listening to children and valuing their work.