In nursery we often talk about planning for learning. In our England nurseries the way we outline what we do is we talk about INTENT – IMPLEMENTATION AND IMPACT.
These three headings help us be precise in what it is we want to deliver and gives a focus on how we teach, what we teach and the IMPACT it has on our children. During my visit this time I have been speaking with teachers regarding this, as it not only helps them look at what we are doing but also gives some clarity to parents as to what we do in nursery. Many parents in the past have thought of nursery as simply a centre with toys and of course care and support with their daily needs. Whilst care is most definitely at the forefront of what we do, but, as professionals we also understand that learning starts from birth. In fact, I have put many articles/blogs out there about the importance of the early years and how in the first three years it is crucial we embed the right practices for children to build strong relationships.
Your child’s brain doubles in size in the first year! Children’s brains continue to grow to about 80% of adult size by age 3. At age 2 or 3, the brain has up to twice as many synapses as it will have in adulthood. After age 3, these brain connections slowly began to be reduced through a process called pruning. This is why we know getting it right for every child at this vital age with the key to future learning.
So as part of our training model for teachers and our Teachers Assistants we look very closely at INTENT – What do we want our children to achieve? IMPLEMENTATION – How will we teach and support?…. and IMPACT – what is the outcome we want the children to achieve.
Of course, each age and stage in nursery is adapted to meet the needs of children. I have put together a small booklet for each age and stage in nursery which gives a briefing to parents as to what we hope each child should achieve, which I hope moving forward will help parents understand the learning within each stage. We also continue to work with our individual development and progress trackers which help us see where children are at.
A great benefit of Chapter One is that having UK nurseries in Scotland and England is that we can use guidelines and support from developments within their early years curriculums to develop programmes in Muscat to give our children the very best start.