Nursery

Policies and Procedures are available to read in Early Years, If you wish to have a personal copy please contact the  Early Years team on 0191 4137473, copies can also be emailed.

Any parents wishing to contribute or make any comments about polices please contact us. 

Clennell Education Solutions (CES) is a company that provides support for schools and education establishments for all their Behaviour and Safety needs. We will act as a 'critical friend' advising on safeguarding issues in Strategic Planning, Service Delivery and practice.

The CES service has three core professional functions:

  • Leadership support
  • Operational support
  • Trust/partnership development

To support school leaders and settings meet their statutory requirements we provide a one stop shop for all areas of support.

http://www.clennelleducationsolutions.co.uk/

 

Updated Safe Guarding Policy 2022

 This policy has regard to the following guidance and advice:

·      Keeping Children Safe in Education. (DfE 2021) (Statutory guidance)

 

·      Statutory framework for the early years foundation stage Setting the standards for learning, development and care for children from birth to five Published: 31 March 2021

 

·      Working Together to Safeguard Children: A guide to inter-agency working to safeguard and promote the welfare of children. (HM Government 2018 (updated December 2020 with factual changes in relation to information sharing, homelessness duty and references to domestic abuse)) (Statutory guidance)

 

·      Sexual violence and harassment between children in schools and colleges (DfE 2021) (Advice for schools)

 

·      Multi-agency statutory guidance on female genital mutilation (HM Government July 2020) (Statutory guidance)

 

·      Relationships Education, Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) and Health Education (DfE September 2020) (Statutory guidance)

 

·      Children missing education (DfE September 2016) (Advice for schools)

 

·      Statutory framework for the early year’s foundation stage (DfE 2021) (Statutory guidance)

 

·      Revised Prevent duty guidance: for England and Wales (HM Government April 2021) (Statutory guidance)

 

·      The Prevent duty: Departmental advice for schools and childcare providers (DfE June 2015) (Advice for schools)

 

·      Guidance for safer working practice for those working with children and young people in education settings. (Safer Recruitment Consortium May 2019) (Addendum in light of Covid published April 2020)

 

·      What to do if you’re worried a child is being abused. (HM Government March 2015)

 

·      Information sharing: Advice for practitioners providing safeguarding services to children, young people, parents and carers (HM Government July 2018)

 

·      Local Authority / Safeguarding Partnership advice and guidance

 

Policy Statement

 

At Crookhill Early Years Nursery, we work with children, parents, external agencies and the community to ensure the welfare and safety of children as every child deserves the best possible start in life and has the right to receive support to fulfil their potential.

 

We also believe that children have the right to be treated with respect, be helped to thrive and to be safe from any abuse in whatever form. Everyone shares the responsibility for safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children irrespective of roles and everyone working with children should be familiar with local procedures and protocols for safeguarding the welfare of children and young people. Safeguarding children is everybody’s responsibility.

 

At Crookhill Early Years, all staff, students. visitors and supply staff are made aware of and adhere to, the policy. We support the children within our care, protect them from maltreatment and have robust procedures in place to prevent the impairment of children’s health and development. In our setting, we strive to protect children from the risk of radicalisation and we promote acceptance and tolerance of other beliefs and cultures (please refer to our inclusion and equality policy for further information). Safeguarding is a much wider subject than the elements covered within this single policy, therefore this document should be used in conjunction with the nursery’s other policies and procedures.

 

 This policy works alongside these other specific policies to cover all aspects of child protection:

 • Online safety

• Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery

 • Prevent Duty and Radicalisation

• Domestic Violence, Honour Based Abuse (HBA) and Forced Marriages

• Looked After Children

 

Legal framework and definition of safeguarding

 

• Children Act 1989 and 2004

• Childcare Act 2006

• Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006 2

 • Children and Social Work Act 2017

• The Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) 2017

• Working together to Safeguard Children 2018

• Keeping children safe in education 2021

 • Data Protection Act 2018

• What to do if you’re worried a child is being abused 2015

• Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015.

• Inspecting Safeguarding in Early years, Education and Skills settings 2019

• Prevent Duty 2014

•What to do if you are worried a child is being abused 2015

 

Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children, in relation to this policy is defined as:

 

·       Ensuring that children are growing up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care.

·       Taking action to enable all children to have the best outcomes. (Definition taken from the HM Government document ‘Working together to safeguard children 2018).

 Crookhill Early Years aims to:

 •      Keep the child at the centre of all we do

•      Ensure staff are trained right from induction to understand the child protection and safeguarding policy and procedures, are alert to identify possible signs of abuse (including the signs known as softer signs of abuse), understand what is meant by child protection and are aware of the different ways in which children can be harmed, including by other children through bullying or discriminatory behaviour

•       Taking action to enable all children to have the best outcomes

 

Policy intention

To safeguard children and promote their welfare we will:

• Create an environment to encourage children to develop a positive self-image

• Provide positive role models and develop a safe culture where staff are confident to raise concerns about professional conduct

• Ensure all staff are able to identify signs and indicators of abuse, including the softer signs of abuse and know what action to take

• Encourage children to develop a sense of independence and autonomy in a way that is appropriate to their age and stage of development

• Provide a safe and secure environment for all children

• Promote tolerance and acceptance of different beliefs, cultures and communities

• Help children to understand how they can influence and participate in decision-making and how to promote British values through play, discussion and role modelling

• Always listen to children

• Provide an environment where practitioners are confident to identify where children and families may need intervention and seek the help they need

• Share information with other agencies as appropriate.

 

The nursery is aware that abuse does occur in our society and we are vigilant in identifying signs of abuse and reporting concerns. Our practitioners have a duty to protect and promote the welfare of children. Staff working on the frontline with children and families are often the first people to identify a concern, observe changes in a child’s behaviour or receive information relating to indicators of abuse.

 

They may well be the first people in whom children confide information that may suggest abuse or to spot changes in a child’s behaviour which may indicate abuse. Our prime responsibility is the welfare and well-being of each child in our care. As such we believe we have a duty to the children, parents and staff to act quickly and responsibly in any instance that may come to our attention. This includes sharing information with any relevant agencies such as local authority services for children’s social care, health professionals or the police. All staff will work with other agencies in the best interest of the child, including as part of a multi-agency team, where needed.

 

The nursery aims to:

• Keep the child at the centre of all we do, providing sensitive interactions that develops children’s well- being, confidence and resilience. We will support children to develop an awareness of how to keep themselves safe, healthy and develop positive relationships.

• Ensure staff are trained right from induction to understand the child protection and safeguarding policy and procedures, are alert to identify possible signs of abuse (including the signs known as softer signs of abuse), understand what is meant by child protection and are aware of the different ways in which children can be harmed, including by other children through bullying or discriminatory behaviour

• Be aware of the increased vulnerability of children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) and other vulnerable or isolated families and children

• Ensure that all staff feel confident and supported to act in the best interest of the child, share information and seek the help that the child may need

• Ensure that all staff are familiar and updated regularly with child protection training and procedures and kept informed of changes to local/national procedures, including thorough annual safeguarding newsletters and updates

 • Make any child protection referrals in a timely way, sharing relevant information as necessary in line with procedures set out by the Gateshead LA

 • Ensure that information is shared only with those people who need to know in order to protect the child and act in their best interest

• Keep the setting safe online using appropriate filters, checks and safeguards, monitoring access at all times

• Ensure that children are never placed at risk while in the charge of nursery staff

• Identify changes in staff behaviour and act on these as per the Staff Behaviour Policy

• Take any appropriate action relating to allegations of serious harm or abuse against any person working with children or living or working on the nursery premises including reporting such allegations to Ofsted and other relevant authorities

• Ensure parents are fully aware of child protection policies and procedures when they register with the nursery and are kept informed of all updates when they occur

• Regularly review and update this policy with staff and parents where appropriate and make sure it complies with any legal requirements and any guidance or procedures issued locally or nationally.

 

We will support children by offering reassurance, comfort and sensitive interactions. We will devise activities according to individual circumstances to enable children to develop confidence and self-esteem within their peer group and support them to learn how to keep themselves safe.

 

Staffing and volunteering EYFS 2021 states that each provider must have a designated safeguarding lead, who must provide advice, guidance and support to any other staff and must attend child protection training. EYFS 2021 also states that providers must take all necessary steps to keep children safe and well and must have regard to statutory guidance ‘Working Together to Safeguard Children’. Our policy is to provide a secure and safe environment for all children. We only allow an adult who is employed by the nursery to care for children and who has an enhanced clearance from the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) to be left alone with children. We will obtain enhanced criminal records checks (DBS) for all student, volunteers and do not allow any students, volunteers to be unsupervised with children.

 

All staff, students, volunteers will read the safeguarding policy during their induction to the setting and will sign to say they have read, understood and agree to follow this.  Staff understand that the policy is reviewed regularly and will be explored during supervision. All Staff must complete safeguarding training within and this will include the procedures for spotting signs and behaviours of abuse and abusers/potential abusers, recording and reporting concerns and creating a safe and secure environment for the children in the nursery. During induction staff will be given contact details for the LADO (Local Authority Designated Officer), the local authority children’s social care team and Ofsted to enable them to report any safeguarding concerns, independently, if they feel it necessary to do so.

 

The nursery DSLs liaise with the local authority children’s social care team, undertakes specific training, including a DSL Safeguarding, and receives regular updates to developments within this field. They in turn support the ongoing development and knowledge update of all staff on the team. Although, under the EYFS, we are only required to have one designated lead for safeguarding, for best practice and to ensure cover at all times, we have 2 designated leads in place. This enables safeguarding to stay high on our priorities at all times. There will always be at least one designated lead on duty at all times our provision is open. This will ensure that prompt action can be taken if concerns are raised.

 

Roles and Responsibilities within the nursery:

The provider and designated safeguarding lead is:  Kelly Murray

 In their absence Cheryl Metcalf assumes this responsibility as she is the Deputy Safeguarding lead.

 In the very rare case that neither of these persons is available then Miss McKormack should be the identified person as, she too, has received the DSL Safeguarding Training. The designated safeguarding lead and the Deputy Safeguarding Lead has attended the DSL Safeguarding Training, this training is refreshed yearly. (Clennell Education Solutions)

 As Safeguarding Leads, we provide adequate and appropriate staffing resources to meet the needs of all children. Safeguarding information is regularly reviewed and staff are constantly challenged to ensure that their understanding is clear. All key safeguarding information is displayed in the staff room and access to key facts is also contained within rooms.

  • Applicants for posts within the nursery are clearly informed that the positions are exempt from the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974. Candidates are informed of the need to carry out checks before posts can be confirmed. Where applications are rejected because of information that has been disclosed, applicants have the right to know and to challenge incorrect information

 • We give staff members, volunteers and students regular opportunities to declare changes that may affect their suitability to care for the children. This includes information about their health, medication or about changes in their home life that may impact upon their suitability to work with children.

 • This information is also stated within every member of staff’s contract

 • We request DBS checks on all staff who come into direct contact with children. We now use the DBS update service (with staff consent) to re-check staff’s criminal history and suitability to work with children

 • We abide by the requirements of the EYFS and any Ofsted guidance in respect to obtaining references and suitability checks for staff, students and volunteers, to ensure that all staff, students and volunteers working in the setting are suitable to do so

 • We ensure we receive at least two written references BEFORE a new member of staff commences employment with us

 • All students will have enhanced DBS checks conducted on them before their placement starts

 • Volunteers, including students, do not work unsupervised

 • We abide by the requirements of the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006 and the Childcare Act 2006 in respect of any person who is disqualified from providing childcare, is dismissed from our employment, or resigns in circumstances that would otherwise have led to dismissal for reasons of child protection concern

 • We have procedures for recording the details of visitors to the nursery and take security steps to ensure that we have control over who comes into the nursery so that no unauthorised person has unsupervised access to the children

 • All visitors/contractors will be supervised whilst on the premises, especially when in the areas the children use

 • As a staff team we will be fully aware of how to safeguard the whole nursery environment and be aware of potential dangers on the nursery boundaries such as drones or strangers lingering. We will ensure the children remain safe at all times

 

• The Staff Behaviour Policy sits alongside this policy to enable us to monitor changes in behaviours that may cause concern. All staff sign up to this policy too to ensure any changes are reported to management so we are able to support the individual staff member and ensure the safety and care of the children is not compromised

 

• All staff have access to and comply with the whistleblowing policy which will enable them to share any concerns that may arise about their colleagues in an appropriate manner

 

• Signs of inappropriate staff behaviour may include inappropriate sexual comments; excessive one-to-one attention beyond the requirements of their usual role and responsibilities; or inappropriate sharing of images. This is not an exhaustive list, any changes in behaviour must be reported and acted upon immediately

 

• All staff will receive regular supervision meetings where opportunities will be made available to discuss any issues relating to individual children, child protection training and any needs for further support

 

• We use peer on peer and manager observations in the setting to ensure that the care we provide for children is at the highest level and any areas for staff development are quickly highlighted. Peer observations allow us to share constructive feedback, develop practice and build trust so that staff are able to share any concerns they may have. Any concerns are raised with the designated lead and dealt with in an appropriate and timely manner

 

• The deployment of staff within the nursery allows for constant supervision and support. Where children need to spend time away from the rest of the group, the door will be left ajar or other safeguards will be put into action to ensure the safety of the child and the adult.

We have a Staff Behaviour Policy in place that supports us to monitor staff and changes in their character. Staff are aware of the need to disclose changes to circumstance and use the whistle blowing policy where required. We also operate a Phones and Other Electronic Devices and Social Media policy which states how we will keep children safe from these devices whilst at nursery. This also links to our Online Safety policy.

Early Help

 Early Help assessments are used to support the well-being of children and families by tackling emerging needs at the earliest opportunity and prevent them from getting worse. Effective Early Help may be delivered at any point in a child’s like; pre-birth onwards about any issue which is impacting or could affect their development and well-being, including education, health and safety.

 

 

Types of abuse and particular procedures followed:

Abuse and neglect are forms of maltreatment of a child. Somebody may abuse or neglect a child by harming them or by failing to act to prevent harm. Children may be abused within a family, institution or community setting by those known to them or a stranger. This could be an adult or adults, another child or children. For further information, please refer to: What to do if you’re worried a child is being abused (advice for practitioners) 2015. The signs and indicators listed below may not necessarily indicate that a child has been abused but will help us to recognise that something may be wrong, especially if a child shows a number of these symptoms or any of them to a marked degree.

  Indicators of child abuse

 • Failure to thrive and meet developmental milestones

• Fearful or withdrawn tendencies

• Unexplained injuries to a child or conflicting reports from parents or staff

• Repeated injuries

• Unaddressed illnesses or injuries • Significant changes to behaviour patterns.

 Signs of abuse as defined by National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) include:

Emotional states:

 • Fearful

• Withdrawn

• Low self-esteem. Behaviour:

• Aggressive

• Oppositional habitual body rocking. Interpersonal behaviours:

• Indiscriminate contact or affection seeking 

• Over-friendliness to strangers including  professionals

• Excessive clinginess, persistently resorting to gaining attention

• Demonstrating excessively 'good' behaviour to prevent parental or carer disapproval

• Failing to seek or accept appropriate comfort or affection from an appropriate person when significantly distressed

• Coercive controlling behaviour towards parents or carers

• Lack of ability to understand and recognise emotions

• Very young children showing excessive comforting behaviours when witnessing parental or carer distress.

 Peer on peer abuse

 We are aware that peer-on-peer abuse does take place, so we include children in our policies when we talk about potential abusers. This may take the form of bullying, physically hurting another child, emotional abuse or sexual abuse. We will report this in the same way we do for adults abusing children, and will take advice from the appropriate bodies on this area; to support for both the victim and the perpetrator, as they could also be a victim of abuse. We know that children who develop harmful sexual behaviour have often experienced abuse and neglect themselves.

Physical abuse

 A form of abuse which may involve hitting, shaking, throwing poisoning, burning or scalding, drowning, suffocating or otherwise causing physical harm to a child. Physical harm may also be caused when a parent fabricates the symptoms of, or deliberately induces illness in a child, All children can suffer injuries during their early years as they explore and develop. If an explanation of how a child received their injury doesn’t match the injury itself or if a child’s injuries are a regular occurrence or there is a pattern to their injuries then you must report your concerns.

 Fabricated illness

 Physical harm may also be caused when a parent or carer fabricates the symptoms of, or deliberately induces illness in a child. The parent or carer may seek out unnecessary medical treatment or investigation; they may exaggerate a real illness and symptoms or deliberately induce an illness through poisoning with medication or other substances or they may interfere with medical treatments. Fabricated illness is a form of physical abuse and any concerns will be reported in line with our safeguarding procedures.

 Female genital mutilation

FGM can also be known as Female Genital Cutting. FGM is a procedure where the female genital organs are injured or changed and there is no medical reason for this. It is frequently a very traumatic and violent act for the victim and can cause harm in many ways. The practice can cause severe pain and there may be immediate and/or long-term health consequences, including mental health problems, difficulties in childbirth, causing danger to the child and mother; and/or death(definition taken from the Multi-agency Statutory Guidance on Female Genital Mutilation)

 

The procedure may be carried out shortly after birth and during childhood as well as adolescence, just before marriage or during a woman’s first pregnancy and varies widely according to the community. FGM is child abuse and is illegal in the UK. It can be extremely dangerous and can cause:

• Severe pain

• Shock

• Bleeding 

• Infection such at tetanus, HIV and hepatitis B and C

• Organ damage

• Blood loss and infections

• Death in some cases

 If you have concerns about a child or family, you should contact children’s social care team in the same way as other types of physical abuse. We have a mandatory duty to report to police any case where an act of female genital mutilation appears to have been carried out on a girl under the age of 18.

 

Breast Ironing/ Flattening

Breast ironing also known as "breast flattening" is the process where young girls' breasts are ironed, massaged and/or pounded down through the use of hard or heated objects in order for the breasts to disappear, or delay the development of the breasts entirely. It is believed that by carrying out this act, young girls will be protected from harassment, rape, abduction and early forced marriage. Breast Ironing/Flattening is a form of physical abuse and can cause serious health issues such as:

• Abscesses

• Cysts

• Itching

• Tissue damage

• Infection

• Discharge of milk

• Dissymmetry of the breasts

• Severe fever.

 

Sexual abuse

 Action needs be taken if the staff member has witnessed an occasion(s) where a child indicated sexual activity through words, play, drawing, had an excessive preoccupation with sexual matters or had an inappropriate knowledge of adult sexual behaviour or language. This may include acting out sexual activity on dolls/toys or in the role play area with their peers, drawing pictures that are inappropriate for a child, talking about sexual activities or using sexual language or words. If a child is being sexually abused you may see both emotional and physical symptoms.

Emotional signs:

• Being overly affectionate or knowledgeable in a sexual way inappropriate to the child's age

• Personality changes such as becoming insecure or clingy

• Regressing to younger behaviour patterns such as thumb sucking or bringing out discarded cuddly toys

• Sudden loss of appetite or compulsive eating

• Being isolated or withdrawn

• Inability to concentrate

• Lack of trust or fear of someone they know well, such as not wanting to be alone with a carer

• Becoming worried about clothing being removed

• Suddenly drawing sexually explicit pictures or acting out actions inappropriate for their age

• Using sexually explicit language

 

Physical Signs:

 • Bruises

• Bleeding, discharge, pains or soreness in their genital or anal area

• Sexually transmitted infections

• Pregnancy

 

Child sexual exploitation (CSE)

 Keeping Children Safe in Education (2021) describes CSE as: CSE occurs where an individual or group takes advantage of an imbalance of power to coerce, manipulate or deceive a child into sexual activity (a) in exchange for something the victim needs or wants, and/or (b) for the financial advantage or increased status of the perpetrator or facilitator. The victim may have been sexually exploited even if the sexual activity appears consensual. CSE does not always involve physical contact; it can also occur through the use of technology. CSE can affect any child or young person (male or female) under the age of 18 years, including 16 and 17 year olds who can legally consent to have sex. It can include both contact (penetrative and non-penetrative acts) and non-contact sexual activity and may occur without the child or young person’s immediate knowledge (e.g. through others copying videos or images they have created and posted on social media).

 

Signs and indicators may include:

 • Physical injuries such as bruising or bleeding

• Having money or gifts they are unable to explain

• Sudden changes in their appearance

• Becoming involved in drugs or alcohol, particularly if you suspect they are being supplied by older men or women

• Becoming emotionally volatile (mood swings are common in all young people, but more severe changes could indicate that something is wrong)

• Using sexual language that you wouldn’t expect them to know

• Engaging less with their usual friends

• Appearing controlled by their phone

• Switching to a new screen when you come near the computer

• Nightmares or sleeping problems

• Running away, staying out overnight, missing school

• Changes in eating habits

• Talk of a new, older friend, boyfriend or girlfriend

• Losing contact with family and friends or becoming secretive

• Contracting sexually transmitted diseases.

 

Child Criminal Exploitation (CCE)

 CCE is where an individual or group takes advantage of an imbalance of power to coerce, control, manipulate or deceive a child into any criminal activity (a) in exchange for something the victim needs or wants, and/or (b) for the financial or other advantage of the perpetrator or facilitator and/or (c) through violence or the threat of violence. The victim may have been criminally exploited even if the activity appears consensual. CCE does not always involve physical contact; it can also occur through the use of technology. CCE can include children being forced to work in cannabis factories, being coerced into moving drugs or money across the country forced to shoplift or pickpocket, or to threaten other young people.

 

Some of the following can be indicators of CCE:

 • Children who appear with unexplained gifts or new possessions;

• Children who associate with other young people involved in exploitation;

• Children who suffer from changes in emotional well-being;

• Children who misuse drugs and alcohol;

• Children who go missing for periods of time or regularly come home late; and

• Children who regularly miss school or education or do not take part in education.

 

Emotional abuse

 Action should be taken if the staff member has reason to believe that there is a severe, adverse effect on the behaviour and emotional development of a child, caused by persistent or severe ill treatment or rejection.

 This may include extremes of discipline where a child is shouted at or put down on a consistent basis, lack of emotional attachment by a parent, or it may include parents or carers placing inappropriate age or developmental expectations upon them. Emotional abuse may also be imposed through the child witnessing domestic abuse and alcohol and drug misuse by adults caring for them.

 The child is likely to show extremes of emotion with this type of abuse. This may include shying away from an adult who is abusing them, becoming withdrawn, aggressive or clingy in order to receive their love and attention. This type of abuse is harder to identify as the child is not likely to show any physical signs.

 

Signs and indicators may include:

 • Physical, mental and emotional development lags

• Sudden speech disorders

• Overreaction to mistakes

• Extreme fear of any new situation

• Neurotic behaviour (rocking, hair twisting, self-mutilation)

• Extremes of passivity or aggression

• Appear unconfident or lack self-assurance.

 

 

County Lines

 The National Crime Agency (NCA) describe county lines as a term used to describe gangs and organised criminal networks involved in exporting illegal drugs from big cities into smaller towns, using dedicated mobile phone lines or other form of ‘deal line.’ Customers will live in a different area to where the dealers and networks are based, so drug runners are needed to transport the drugs and collect payment.

 

Offenders will often use coercion, intimidation, violence (including sexual violence) and weapons to ensure compliance of victims. Children can be targeted and recruited into county lines in a number of locations including schools, further and higher educational institutions, pupil referral units, special educational needs schools, children’s homes and care homes.

 

Signs and indicators to be aware of include:

 • Changes in the way young people sometimes unaffordable new things (e.g. clothes, jewellery, cars etc.)

• Missing from home or schools and/or significant decline in performance

• New friends or relationships with those who don't share any mutual friendships with the victim or anyone else

• May be carrying a weapon

• Receiving more texts or calls than usual

• Sudden influx of cash, clothes or mobile phones

• Unexplained injuries

• Significant changes in emotional well-being

• Young people seen in different cars/taxis driven by unknown adults

• Young people seeming unfamiliar with your community or where they are

• Truancy, exclusion, disengagement from school

• An increase in anti-social behaviour in the community

• Unexplained injuries

• Gang association or isolation from peers or social networks

 

Cuckooing

 Cuckooing is a form of county lines crime in which drug dealers take over the home of a vulnerable person in order to criminally exploit them as a base for drug dealing, often in multi-occupancy or social housing properties. Signs that this is happening in a family property may be an increase in people entering or leaving the property, an increase in cars or bikes outside the home; windows covered or curtains closed for long periods, family not being seen for extended periods; signs of drug use or an increase in anti-social behaviour at the home. If we recognise any of these signs, we will report our concerns as per our reporting process.

 

Contextual safeguarding

 As young people grow and develop they may be vulnerable to abuse or exploitation from outside their family. These extra-familial threats might arise at school and other educational establishments, from within peer groups, or more widely from within the wider community and/or online. As part of our safeguarding procedures we will work in partnership with parents/carers and other agencies to work together to safeguard children and provide the support around contextual safeguarding concerns.

 

Domestic Abuse / Honour Based Abuse

Forced Marriages We look at these areas as a child protection concern. Please refer to the separate policy for further details on this.

 

Extremism/Prevent Duty

 The Prevent Duty Under the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015 we have a duty to safeguard at risk or vulnerable children under the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015 to have “due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism and refer any concerns of extremism to the police (In Prevent priority areas the local authority will have a Prevent lead who can also provide support).

 Children can be exposed to different views and receive information from various sources. Some of these views may be considered radical or extreme.

Radicalisation is the way a person comes to support or be involved in extremism and terrorism. It’s a gradual process so young people who are affected may not realise what’s happening. Radicalisation is a form of harm.

The process may involve:

• Being groomed online or in person

• Exploitation, including sexual exploitation

• Psychological manipulation

• Exposure to violent material and other inappropriate information

• The risk of physical harm or death through extremist acts We have a Prevent Duty and Radicalisation policy in place. Please refer to this for specific details.

 

Online Safety

 We take the safety of our children very seriously and this includes their online safety. Please refer to the Online Safety policy for further details.

 

Human Trafficking and Slavery

 Please refer to our Human Trafficking and Slavery policy for detail on how we keep children safe in this area. Adult sexual exploitation As part of our safeguarding procedures we will also ensure that staff and students are safeguarded from sexual exploitation.

 

Up skirting

Up skirting involves taking a picture of someone’s genitals or buttocks under their clothing without them knowing, either for sexual gratification or in order to humiliate, or distress, the individual. This is a criminal offence and any such action would be reported following our reporting procedures.

 

Child abuse linked to faith or belief (CALFB)

Child abuse linked to faith or belief (CALFB) can happen in families when there is a concept of belief in:

• Witchcraft and spirit possession, demons or the devil acting through children or leading them astray (traditionally seen in some Christian beliefs)

• The evil eye or djinns (traditionally known in some Islamic faith contexts) and dakini (in the Hindu context)

• Ritual or multi murders where the killing of children is believed to bring supernatural benefits, or the use of their body parts is believed to produce potent magical remedies

• Use of belief in magic or witchcraft to create fear in children to make them more compliant when they are being trafficked for domestic slavery or sexual exploitation. This is not an exhaustive list and there will be other examples where children have been harmed when adults think that their actions have brought bad fortune.

 

Neglect

Action should be taken if the staff member has reason to believe that there has been any type of neglect of a child (for example, by exposure to any kind of danger, including cold, starvation or failure to seek medical treatment, when required, on behalf of the child), which results in serious impairment of the child's health or development, including failure to thrive.

 

Signs may include a child persistently arriving at nursery unwashed or unkempt, wearing clothes that are too small (especially shoes that may restrict the child’s growth or hurt them), arriving at nursery in the same nappy they went home in or a child having an illness or identified special educational need or disability that is not being addressed by the parent. A child may also be persistently hungry if a parent is withholding food or not providing enough for a child’s needs.

 

Neglect may also be shown through emotional signs, e.g. a child may not be receiving the attention they need at home and may crave love and support at nursery. They may be clingy and emotional. In addition, neglect may occur through pregnancy as a result of maternal substance abuse.

 

Reporting Procedures

 All staff have a responsibility to report safeguarding concerns and suspicions of abuse. These concerns will be discussed with the designated safeguarding lead (DSL) as soon as possible.

 • Staff will report their concerns to the DSL (in the absence of the DSL they will be reported to the Deputy DSL) If in doubt, practitioners should refer to Appendix A Flowchart. A copy of this is in each room and in the staffroom

• Any signs of marks/injuries to a child or information a child has given will be recorded and stored securely on a Cause for Concern sheet (appendix B)

• If appropriate, the incident will be discussed with the parent/carer, such discussions will be recorded and the parent will have access to these records on request

• If there are queries/concerns regarding the injury/information given then the following procedures will take place:

 

The Designated Safeguarding Lead will:

• Tell the parents about the referral if possible and appropriate

• Contact the local authority children’s social care team to report concerns and seek advice (if it is believed a child is in immediate danger we will contact the police)

• Inform Ofsted (if appropriate- use the notification guidance to determine need)

• Record the information and action taken relating to the concern raised

• The designated safeguarding lead will follow up with the Local Authority children’s social care team if they have not contacted the setting within the timeframe set out in Working Together to Safeguarding Children (2018).

 We will never assume that action has been taken. Keeping children safe is our highest priority and if, for whatever reason, staff do not feel able to report concerns to the DSL or deputy DSL they should call the Local Authority children’s social care team or the NSPCC and report their concerns anonymously. These contact numbers are displayed in the staff room and office areas.

 

 Recording Suspicions of Abuse and Disclosures

Staff should make an evidence based factual record of any observation or disclosure using a Cause for Concern sheet, supported by the nursery manager or designated safeguarding lead (DSL). This record should include:

• Child's name

• Child's address

• Age of the child and date of birth

• Date and time of the observation or the disclosure

• Exact words spoken by the child

• Exact position and type of any injuries or marks seen (the body map proforma can be used for this)

• Exact observation of any incident including any concern was reported, with date and time; and the names of any other person present at the time

• Any discussion held with the parent(s) (where deemed appropriate). These records should be signed by the person reporting this and the DSL, dated and kept in a separate confidential file.

 

Responding to a spontaneous disclosure from a child

 If a child starts to talk openly to a member of staff about abuse they may be experiencing, then staff will:

• Give full attention to the child or young person

• Keep body language open and encouraging

• Be compassionate, be understanding and reassure them their feelings are important. Phrases such as ‘you’ve shown such courage today’

• Take time and slow down: we will respect pauses and will not interrupt the child – let them go at their own pace

• Recognise and respond to their body language

• Show understanding and reflect back

• Make it clear you are interested in what the child is telling you

• Reflect back what they have said to check your understanding – and use their language to show it’s their experience

• Reassure the child that they have done the right thing in telling you. Make sure they know that abuse is never their fault

• Never talk to the alleged perpetrator about the child’s disclosure.

 

This could make things a lot worse for the child. Any disclosure will be reported to the nursery manager or DSL and will be referred to the local authority children’s social care team immediately, following our reporting procedures. The nursery expects all members of staff to co-operate with the local authority children’s social care, police, and Ofsted in any way necessary to ensure the safety of the children. Staff must not make any comments either publicly or in private about the supposed or actual behaviour of a parent or member of staff and all staff, students and volunteers read and sign the confidentiality policy as part of their induction; this is reviewed yearly

 

Recording Suspicions of Abuse and Disclosures

 Staff should make an objective record of any observation or disclosure, supported by the nursery manager or designated safeguarding lead (DSL). This record should include:

• Child's name

• Child's address

• Age of the child and date of birth

• Date and time of the observation or the disclosure, location

• Exact words spoken by the child (word for word) and non-verbal communication

• Exact position and type of any injuries or marks seen

• Exact observation of any incident including any concern was reported, with date and time; and the names of any other person present at the time

• Any discussion held with the parent(s) (where deemed appropriate).

 These records should be signed by the person reporting this and the Kelly Murray/Cheryl Metcalf  DSL, dated and kept in a separate confidential file. If a child starts to talk to an adult about potential abuse it is important not to promise the child complete confidentiality. This promise cannot be kept. It is vital that the child is allowed to talk openly and disclosure is not forced or words put into the child’s mouth. As soon as possible after the disclosure details must be logged accurately. It is not the nursery’s role to investigate, it is the role of statutory services to complete this. Staff involved in a safeguarding case may be asked to supply details of any information/concerns they have with regard to a child. The nursery expects all members of staff to co-operate with the local authority children’s social care, police, and Ofsted in any way necessary to ensure the safety of the children. Staff must not make any comments either publicly or in private about the supposed or actual behaviour of a parent, child or member of staff.

 

Informing parents

Parents are normally the first point of contact. If a suspicion of abuse is recorded, parents are informed at the same time as the report is made, except where the guidance of the local authority children’s social care team/police does not allow this to happen. This will usually be the case where the parent or family member is the likely abuser or where a child may be endangered by this disclosure. In these cases the investigating officers will inform parents.

 

Confidentiality

All suspicions, enquiries and external investigations are kept confidential and shared only with those who need to know. All records are stored confidentially and information is processed in-line with our GDPR Policy, which all parents receive on entry to the nursery and is shared in line with guidance from the local authority.

 

Support to families

The nursery takes every step in its power to build up trusting and supportive relations among families, staff, students and volunteers within the nursery. The nursery continues to welcome the child and the family whilst enquiries are being made in relation to abuse in the home situation. Parents and families will be treated with respect in a non-judgmental manner whilst any external investigations are carried out in the best interest of the child.

 

Record Keeping

Confidential records kept on a child are shared with the child's parents or those who have parental responsibility for the child, only if appropriate and in line with guidance of the local authority with the proviso that the care and safety of the child is paramount. We will do all in our power to support and work with the child's family.

The Nursery keeps appropriate records to support the early identification of children and families that would benefit from support. Factual records are maintained in a chronological order with parental discussions. Records are reviewed regularly by the DSL to look holistically at identifying children’s needs.

 

Allegations against adults working or volunteering with children

If an allegation is made against a member of staff, student or volunteer or any other person who lives or works on the nursery premises regardless of whether the allegation relates to the nursery premises or elsewhere, we will follow the procedure below.

An allegation against a member of staff/student/volunteer/supply staff or any other person may relate to a person who has:

• behaved in a way that has harmed a child, or may have harmed a child;

• possibly committed a criminal offence against or related to a child;

• behaved towards a child or children in a way that indicates he or she may pose a risk of harm to children; or behaved or may have behaved in a way that indicates they may not be suitable to work with children.

 

The allegation should be reported to the senior manager on duty. If this person is the subject of the allegation then this should be reported to Kelly Murray

The Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) Nicolas Leon 0191 43333554 nicolasleon@gateshead.gov.uk and Ofsted will then be informed immediately in order for this to be investigated by the appropriate bodies promptly:

 • The LADO will be informed immediately for advice and guidance

• If as an individual you feel this will not be taken seriously or are worried about the allegation getting back to the person in question then it is your duty to inform the LADO yourself directly

• A full investigation will be carried out by the appropriate professionals (LADO, Ofsted) to determine how this will be handled

• The nursery will follow all instructions from the LADO and Ofsted and ask all staff members to do the same and co-operate where required

• Support will be provided to all those involved in an allegation throughout the external investigation in line with LADO support and advice

• The nursery reserves the right to suspend any member of staff during an investigation

• All enquiries/external investigations/interviews will be documented and kept in a locked file for access by the relevant authorities

• Unfounded allegations will result in all rights being reinstated

• Founded allegations will be passed on to the relevant organisations including the local authority children’s social care team and where an offence is believed to have been committed, the police, and will result in the termination of employment. Ofsted will be notified immediately of this decision. The nursery will also notify the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) to ensure their records are updated

• All records will be kept until the person reaches normal retirement age or for xxxxxxx years if that is longer. This will ensure accurate information is available for references and future DBS checks and avoids any unnecessary reinvestigation

• The nursery retains the right to dismiss any member of staff in connection with founded allegations following an inquiry

• Counselling will be available for any member of the nursery who is affected by an allegation, their colleagues in the nursery and the parents.

 

Monitoring children’s attendance

As part of our requirements under the statutory framework and guidance documents we are required to monitor children’s attendance patterns to ensure they are consistent and no cause for concern. Parents should  inform the nursery prior to their children taking holidays or days off, and all sickness should be called into the nursery on the day so the nursery management are able to account for a child’s absence. If a child has not arrived at nursery within one hour of their normal start time the parents will be called to ensure the child is safe and healthy. If the parents are not contactable then the further emergency contacts will be used to ensure all parties are safe. Where a child is part of a child protection plan, or during a referral process, any absences will immediately be reported to the local authority children’s social care team to ensure the child remains safeguarded.

 

This should not stop parents taking precious time with their children, but enables children’s attendance to be logged so we know the child is safe.

 

Looked after children

As part of our safeguarding practice we will ensure our staff are aware of how to keep looked after children safe. In order to do this we ask that we are informed of:

 • The legal status of the child (e.g. whether the child is being looked after under voluntary arrangements with consent of parents or on an interim or full care order)

• Contact arrangements for the biological parents (or those with parental responsibility)

• The child’s care arrangements and the levels of authority delegated to the carer by the authority looking after him/her

• The details of the child’s social worker and any other support agencies involved

• Any child protection plan or care plan in place for the child in question. Please refer to the Looked After Children policy for further details.

 

Staffing and volunteering

 Our policy is to provide a secure and safe environment for all children. We follow safer recruitment practices including obtaining references and all staff employed to work with children will have enhanced criminal record checks from the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) before being able to carry out intimate care routines or be left unsupervised with children.

 We will obtain enhanced criminal records checks (DBS) for volunteers in the setting. Volunteers and visitors will never have unsupervised access to children.

 All staff will attend child protection training and receive initial basic child protection training during their induction period. This will include the procedures for spotting signs and behaviours of abuse and abusers/potential abusers, recording and reporting concerns and creating a safe and secure environment for the children in the nursery. During induction staff will be given contact details for the local authority children’s social care team’s, the local safeguarding children partnership and Ofsted to enable them to report any safeguarding concerns, independently, if they feel it necessary to do so.

 Ongoing suitability of staff is monitored through:

 • regular supervisions

• peer observations

• annual declaration of staff suitability (or after a significant period of absenteeism)

• safeguarding competencies

• regular review of DBS using the online update service (where applicable)

 

 Safeguarding Contact Information

 

The Referral and Assessment Team for Gateshead Authority

 

Address: Civic Centre,

Regent Street,

Gateshead.

NE8 1HH

 

Telephone: 0191 4332505/2349/2410/3417/2540/2653

 

Out of hours social care duty team telephone: 0191 4770844

 

Referral email address:  RandAduty@gateshead.gov.uk

 

Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO)

Telephone: 0191 4333554

Email – nicholasleon@gateshead.gov.uk

 

For further information regarding the Local Safeguarding Children Board email www.gateshead.gov.uk/lscb

 

Ofsted contact number is:  0300 123 1231  www.ofsted.gov.uk

 

 

Monitoring of this policy

This policy is continually being assessed for any local authority and Government changes and therefore is amended immediately as the changes take place Child Protection Officer Kelly Murray / Cheryl Metcalf are responsible for the continuous update of this policy.

 

Reviewed and Updated October 2021 by Kelly Murray  

Signed                                          Date

 

Reviewed February 2022

by Kelly Murray and  Cheryl Metcalf

 

STAFF meeting on 28th February to look and review policy 

 

 

Planning in the moment Policy 

What is planning in the moment?

Planning in the moment is all about seizing the moment for children to progress. Based on what the children are already deeply involved in, this way of planning  relies on skilled practitioners using quality interactions to draw out the children’s knowledge and build on it there and then (in the moment). This means that the practitioner needs the skills to be able to see the teachable moment from the child’s perspective and be skilled enough to know when to intervene and when to stand back and observe.

Planning in the moment is all about capturing the moment of engagement and running with it to make sure the children progress.

The Teachable Moment

National Strategies document states:

“It is in the moment of curiosity, puzzlement, effort or interest – the ‘teachable moment’ – that the skilful adult makes a difference.”

What does the child gain from the teachable moment?

The child should feel valued, important, interesting, capable, and able to learn as well as gaining knowledge, skills, attitude and understanding therefore making progress in one or several areas of the Early Years Curriculum.

What does the practitioner gain from the teachable moment?

They should feel valued, important, interesting, capable, and able to teach as well as gaining a sound understanding of the child’s knowledge, skills, attitude, understanding and progress.

Ofsted

Jane Wotherspoon HMI (quoted in an Early Years Course by Anna Ephgrave 24.01.14) states

“Teaching… is all those different things that you do as an adult that help young children learn… communicating, modelling language, working with children as they initiate their own play and activities, being ready to intervene on the moment, demonstrating how to do something, explaining why something is as it is, showing children something, exploring ideas with them, encouraging them, questioning them, checking what it is they are understanding, helping them to record something that they did so that they get the structure and sequence of events, providing a narrative for what they are doing, facilitating what they are doing, setting challenges, all those sorts of things are the sorts of things we mean when we are teaching.” (Conference 9.10.13)

Planning in the moment means that Early Years practitioners should be doing all of these things, all day, every day.

Planning

This way of working means that all planning is retrospective (there is no forward planning). Each practitioner records what they have done to help the children progress each day on the iPad application 2 Build a Profile. The 7 areas of development are still taught daily using continuous plans. When planning this way time is used at the end of each session (morning and afternoon) to give the children an opportunity to talk about what they have learnt and in most cases the teacher can use this as a whole class teaching opportunity or to consolidate knowledge. There will also be a short adult directed activity, like a story, signing etc.

The Early Years Framework:

“1.6. Practitioners must consider the individual needs, interests, and stage of development of each child in their care, and must use this information to plan a challenging and enjoyable experience for each child in all of the areas of learning and development.”

Planning in the moment fully allows this to happen and encourages the children to pursue their own interests. 

The Learning Environment

This way of planning means that the learning environment (both the indoor environment and outdoor environment) constantly needs to be reviewed and adapted to ensure that the children’s level of involvement in their activity is constantly deep (see Leuvern’s level of involvement/well-being sheet). The resources in each area also need to be plentiful and engaging. Each child is given a key person who will follow and record that child’s progress.

Observations

All 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 highly placed on using ‘I wonder…’ statements ie ‘I wonder if…’, ‘I wonder what…’, ‘I wonder how…’. We feel that this approach to questioning is a lot less pressurising and allows the children to open up more readily.

How do you ensure coverage of the EYFS curriculum?

The Teachers will have recorded on the ‘Involvement in the classroom sheets’ this covers each one of stages with in the 'birth to five matters'. At the end of each week from the iPad observations and planning sheets the teacher will tick off which areas each child has covered and therefore any gaps can be filled the following week (as a priority area in teachable moments). 

Parental Involvement

At the end of the week all observations done using the Ipad are emailed to parents. Instead of having focus activities, each week there will be key focus children. Parents will be informed that their child is a focused child that week and will be invited to send in more information about their child to discuss at carpet time on in key or friendship groups. 

 Leuven Scales

Emotional well being

Well-being focuses on the extent to which pupils feel at ease, act spontaneously, show vitality and self-confidence. It is a crucial component of emotional intelligence and good mental health. 

The Leuven Scale for Well-being

1) Extremely low
The child clearly shows signs of discomfort such as crying or screaming. They may look dejected, sad, frightened or angry. The child does not respond to the environment, avoids contact and is withdrawn. The child may behave aggressively, hurting him/herself or others.
2) Low

The posture, facial expression and actions indicate that the child does not feel at ease. However, the signals are less explicit than under level 1 or the sense of discomfort is not expressed the whole time.
3) Moderate

The child has a neutral posture. Facial expression and posture show little or no emotion. There are no signs indicating sadness or pleasure, comfort or discomfort.
4) High

The child shows obvious signs of satisfaction (as listed under level 5). However, these signals are not constantly present with the same intensity.
5) Extremely high
The child looks happy and cheerful, smiles, cries out with pleasure. They may be lively and full of energy. Actions can be spontaneous and expressive. The child may talk to him/herself, play with sounds, hum, sing. The child appears relaxed and does not show any signs of stress or tension. He /she is open and accessible to the environment. The child expresses self-confidence and self-assurance.

 

The rationale underlying the focus on these two process dimension are that high levels of well-being and involvement lead in the end to high levels of child development and a deep level of learning.

This latter concept is centred around the notion that learning should result in significant changes in a pupils capacity leading to better outcomes in the way that he or she approaches work, relationships and life in general

Level of Involvement

Involvement focuses on the extent to which pupils are operating to their full capabilities. In particular it refers to whether the child is focused, engaged and interested in various activities.

The Leuven Scale for Involvement
1) Low Activity
Activity at this level can be simple, stereotypic, repetitive and passive. The child is absent and displays no energy. There is an absence of cognitive demand. The child characteristically may stare into space. N.B. This may be a sign of inner concentration.
2) A Frequently Interrupted Activity
The child is engaged in an activity but half of the observed period includes moments of non-activity, in which the child is not concentrating and is staring into space. There may be frequent interruptions in the child’s concentration, but his/her Involvement is not enough to return to the activity.
3) Mainly Continuous Activity
The child is busy at an activity but it is at a routine level and the real signals for Involvement are missing. There is some progress but energy is lacking and concentration is at a routine level. The child can be easily distracted.
4) Continuous Activity with Intense Moments
The child’s activity has intense moments during which activities at Level 3 can come to have special meaning. Level 4 is reserved for the kind of activity seen in those intense moments, and can be deduced from the ‘Involvement signals’. This level of activity is resumed after interruptions. Stimuli, from the surrounding environment, however attractive cannot seduce the child away from the activity.
5) Sustained Intense Activity
The child shows continuous and intense activity revealing the greatest Involvement. In the observed period not all the signals for Involvement need be there, but the essential ones must be present: concentration, creativity, energy and persistence. This intensity must be present for almost all the observation period.

 

Measuring Well-Being and Involvement

 The evaluation process begins by assessing the levels of well-being and involvement using the scales outlined above. Educators must observe pupils as a group or individually for a period of approximately two minutes then give a score for wellbeing and/or involvement. It is thought that unless pupils are operating at 4 or 5, learning will be limited. However, it is natural for levels of well-being and involvement to fluctuate throughout the day and it is therefore unrealistic to expect children will be pupils to operate at levels 4 or 5 at all times.

 

The initial observation is the starting point for further analysis concentrating on pupils with lower levels of well-being and / or involvement. This analysis should inform educators about the quality and suitability of their work and it should provide some sort of framework for intervention toward individual pupils.

 

Measuring a child’s wellbeing and involvement can also empower and energy teachers and practitioners. If educators can see that their efforts are leading to a high level of wellbeing involvement in their pupils then it’s likely that this will serve as a galvanising force and result in a cycle of continual improvement.

Ten Action Points

The Research Centre for Experiential Education (RCEE) has produced list of 10 action points that should help practitioners to focus the learning environment on the well-being and involvement of pupils:

1.    Rearrange the classroom in appealing corners or areas.
2.    Check the content of the areas and make them more challenging.
3.    Introduce new and unconventional materials and activities.
4.    Identify children’s interests and offer activities that meet these.
5.    Support activities by stimulating inputs.
6.    Widen the possibilities for free initiative and support them with sound agreements.
7.    Improve the quality of the relations amongst children and between children and teacher(s).
8.    Introduce activities that help children to explore the world of behaviour, feelings and values.
9.    Identify children with emotional problems and work out sustaining interventions.
10.  Identify children with developmental needs and work out interventions that engender involvement.

 

In addition to the action points Professor Ferre Laevers (director of the RCEE) highlights the importance of the way in which adults interact with children. He believes that this is key to the achievement of well-being and involvement and recommends the use of the Adult Style Observation Schedule (ASOS), which is made up of three components: stimulation, sensitivity and giving autonomy. Writing in an article published in the Encyclopaedia of Early Childhood Development, Dr. Laevers defined the three components in the following terms:

 

“Stimulating interventions are open impulses that engender involvement, such as: suggesting activities to children, inviting children to communicate, asking thought-provoking questions and giving rich information. Sensitivity is evidenced in responses that witness empathic understanding of the child. Giving autonomy means: respecting the children’s initiative, acknowledging their interests, giving them room for experimentation, letting them decide upon the way an activity is performed and letting them participate in the setting of rules”.

 

Communication, Language and Literacy: Planning your Learning Environment

It is important that you keep in mind the language, literacy and communication goals when planning your learning environment. Always ensure that there is sufficient writing paraphernalia within reach for emergent writing to be practised.

Different types of paper should always be available as well as biros, pencils and felt pens. We have many different types of themed notepaper which can be useful to inspire children in their work/play. Boxes and containers should be labelled with the relevant word and picture. Captions to friezes are more effective at the bottom where children can read and even touch them. Display important messages such as “Please look for Harry’s train – he has lost it” on a notice board and make use of illustrated labels to give instructions e.g. “4 can play with the sand”. Popular rhymes and songs could be displayed at child height or made into books for children to read.

Make the book corner inviting by ensuring that the covers of books can be seen and that there is comfortable seating for children to enjoy books individually or with an adult. Ensure that there is a broad selection of story and factual books and that they promote positive images of culture, disability, gender, and different languages. You may find it useful to ask the advice of parents about new resources for your setting. This will help you to choose resources that are culturally appropriate and it will also help parents to feel a sense of ownership of the setting.

Avoid the use of continuous background noise / music. This can be distracting for young children and can inhibit communication. “Children who are in the early stage of language development need to learn how to tell the difference between the sounds that make up language and other sounds around them” (Every Child a Talker: Guidance for Early Language Lead Practitioners).

The outdoor area is equally as important as the indoor environment when it comes to promoting language, literacy and communication skills. Ensure that you have outdoor reading and mark making areas and try to include interesting posters and friezes.

Planning for the outdoors

Create a designated talking space / den within your learning environment, positioned away from noisy areas. Often children feel more secure in small, well-defined areas. Include posters and props that encourage children to talk amongst themselves and develop their imaginary play.  Make sure that any seating is arranged so that the children are facing each other rather than being in a straight line. This will make it easier for them to communicate. It is important to create an environment that provides opportunities which excite and stimulate children and make them want to communicate with others.

 Finally, it is important to remember that creating an effective enabling environment isn’t just about the building and the resources available. It is as much about the way in which adults interact, play, listen and communicate with the children. The government’s Every Child a Talker publication gives the following top tips for practitioners which may be useful to note in this context:

 Use gestures and visual cues to support spoken language.
–    Talk about things in the ‘here and now’, e.g. things that you can see and hear.
–    Use simple language and pronounce words clearly.
–    Repeat words and phrases often.
–    Give children time to respond.
–    Emphasise key words and information.
–    Small-group work can support language and social skills and build confidence.

 

   

 

 

 

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