At Comper we follow a play based approach to delivering our curriculum in all our settings. The children spend the majority of their time in free -flow child initiated learning. We call this 'Explorer Time.' However, this is supported, and guided by adults so that they gain the appropriate skills and knowledge they need as they play. Play is the best way for children to learn at this stage in their education - why?
- It is fun and children have a right to play (recognised in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of a Child (1989))
- It supports their wellbeing
- It promotes deep involvement in their learning
- Develops independence and self confidence
- Provides opportunities for developing key skills and knowledge across all areas of the curriculum
Teaching in the Early Years is a craft that involves many different skills and types of interactions with children. There are lots of ways in which adults will help children learn at Comper. They will use the following teaching methods; communicating and modelling language; showing, explaining, demonstrating, exploring ideas; encouraging, questioning, recalling; providing a narrative for what they are doing; facilitating and setting challenges. The practitioners will also be ensuring that the children are learning in an enabling environment that supports rich learning opportunities and exploration.
Planning for your child
At Comper we use a combination of 'responsive planning' and pre-planned activities and experiences.
Both of these planning methods follow the observation, assessment and planning (OAP) cycle. On-going formative assessment is at the heart of our practice. This enables practitioners to assess what children know, understand and can do, as well as taking account of their interests and dispositions to learn. Practitioners then use this information to plan children’s next steps in learning and monitor their progress.
We also plan teacher directed activities which are based on key texts that we think are rich in subject matter and language and link with the key themes that we think are important to support our children at Comper to acquire the skills and knowledge they need to thrive as they grow up.
You will see that at Comper some key themes that we feel are important for our school community are the following:
Environmental awareness and sustainability
Cycling (learning to ride a bike, being cycle aware)
Exploring Scientific themes (UW)
Equality and Diversity
Being Creative (The arts - music, drama & art)
Impact - How do we know your child is making progress?
Assessment - Observation of your child, assessing their next steps and their online Learning Journal (Tapestry)
We make both written, photographic and video observations of your child throughout their time with us. We record these on Tapestry, our online Learning Journal platform (please see the Tapestry Tab on our website for further information).
We use observations to help inform our assessment of where the children are in their development and what the next steps are in their development are. There is no fixed number of observations that your child will get each week. We carry out slightly different observations depending on what we are seeing and what we feel it is important to make note of for our assessment and your information. The three types of observation we will make are as follows:
Teaching and Learning Observation
This is an observation that will outline what the adult saw your child doing and how the adult interacted with your child to move them on in their learning through their identified next step to help them make progress in that moment. This observation will identify what the adult taught your child through communicating and modelling language; showing, explaining, demonstrating, exploring ideas; encouraging, questioning, recalling; providing a narrative for what they are doing; facilitating and setting challenges. The outcome for the child as a result of this bit of direct teaching will be identified.
This is an observation that will make an assessment of the child's wellbeing. These will focus more on the Personal, Social and Emotional elements of your child's development.
These observations will give you information of when your child has achieved something that they and you can be really proud of! It will highlight a moment in time when they have just achieved something that they have been trying to do for some time, or that we have been trying to teach them. These are real milestone moments that we can record for key assessment in terms of their development, but also, they are a real time for celebration of your child.
Tapestry is also a wonderful way to communicate with you how your child is developing and what they are experiencing during their time at Comper. We spend lots of time listening to the children chat to us and talk about their lives and their learning. We try to include some of their voice in their learning journey. You can also share home experiences with us too which helps the children feel a strong connection between home and school.
Assessing your child's 'Next Steps' in their learning
We will be constantly assessing the children's next steps in their learning through our observations of them. Everyday we will be assessing and responding to the children's next steps, supporting them to make progress through our interactions with them.
However we will also provide each child with two formal next steps each half term. These will focus on two elements of the child's development that we have identified to be particularly important to help them make good progress. One of these will always have a focus on one of the prime areas of learning (CL, PSED, or PD) and the other will focus on either literacy or maths.
Pupil Progress Meetings
Three times a year your child's key worker or teacher will meet with the Headteacher, and other members of the senior leadership team to discuss in depth how your child is developing. Before each Pupil Progress Meeting the staff will have made a summative judgement about your child's developmental stage based on their age and where they think they are in their development. We use the non-statutory guidance 'Birth to Five Matters' to support us with making these judgements. Please see the link below:
The Pupil Progress Meetings are a reflective space where we can ensure your child is making good progress in line with where they should be for their age. At this meeting we can identify and discuss any gaps in their learning so that we ensure we are planning and teaching to close those gaps.
Formal Assessments at Comper
Two Year Check
Your child will have a 2 year old developmental check. This is an assessment that their key worker will make of their development. They will share this with parent & carers.
There will be two parent's consultation evenings per year. These are a time when we can discuss your child's development and give you an idea of where they are and what their next steps are. This is a chance for the family and school to celebrate the children. It is also an opportunity for you to raise any concerns, should you have them.
If you feel you need an appointment with your child's keyworker or teacher before the parent consultation please arrange one with them personally when you collect the child or contact the office and they will forward your request to the correct member of staff.
Of course , there are lots of more informal opportunities at the end of day pick up to catch up with the adults that teach your child.
This year we have also introduce 'Stay and Play' sessions each term. These are short sessions during the school day on a a specific day at an allocated time when you can come in to school and support your child with their learning and share in their school experience. They are great fun and we encourage you to make time to come to them if you possibly can. However, we fully understand that this can be difficult for our working parents and carers.