I’m currently working at a pre-school which is a nursery based in a primary school. My current position is a Room Leader/Forest School Assistant/ Nursery Nurse Practitioner. I have over 10 years’ experience working as a nursery nurse practitioner, but been with this pre-school for 4 years. But through the years I have gained a lot of knowledge and experience being nursery nurse assistant, a SEN teaching assistant, group leader and now a room leader.
1. My setting
The pre-school is based in a primary school located west London. In the pre-school we have 10 members of staff that is first aid trained and a key person. The pre-school provides two sessions; mornings and afternoons register a count of 30 children in both sessions between ages 2 to 5 years old. We do provide full day care service for working parents. My setting runs on school calendar and open 8am-12pm and 12.30pm-5.30pm Monday to Friday, during term times only. We closed on bank holidays and some inset days. My setting is recognised by Ofsted, Sure start and Pre-school learning alliance. We also do a service called ‘wipe around’ where we pick up or drop off children to the school we are based in and also to the local school. We have a number of children from different ethnic origins having English as their second language. (Harris 1997) stated that ‘language use is also constantly changing as children come into contact with other language speakers and cultures.’
My role within the setting is a nursery nurse practitioner. I am a room leader in two groups called bumblebee and ladybirds. I’m currently located in ladybird group with 2 other practitioners that work alongside me as Early Years practitioners. We work well together to meet the needs of the children. (Block 1 p20) stated “It is important that practitioners work together to develop practice so that it goes beyond the requirement imposed by regulatory systems. Read and Rees (2000 p43-53) states the important of teamwork highlighting that “theoretical and practical insights for early years practitioner into ways of working together communication in forging and maintaining professional relationship and consider how to develop and manage strategies for dealing with conflict within teams.” As a room leader I have demonstrated leadership skills and ability to delegate some responsibilities to my team. Pierce and Newstrom (2006:9 p11) agree that “everyone in the early years has to sometimes act as leader.” We have weekly or monthly meetings to discuss any concerns in the setting or about a child, any question, share experiences and chance to support each other. Within my job role I have many responsibilities that contribute to the well-being and safeguarding of the children. In collaboration with other qualified practitioners we support children’s learning and development across the curriculum.
1. My role and responsibilities
As a room leader I have to manage the day to day running of the room with children of appropriate ages of 2 -5 years old. I am to provide high quality childcare for children within the setting and manage staff appropriately and professionally.
1. To regularly review, develop and monitor the curriculum and activities available to children to ensure that high standards of children are maintained.
2. To provide for the safety and well-being of children taking account of their social, recreational and individual development needs and to keep appropriate records of evidence of this.
3. To model good practice to staff and provide individual/group supervision of play staff and any trainees.
4. To attend course and disseminate information from these to other staff.
5. To identify staff training needs in consultation with the senior management team
6. To work as part of a team to ensure appropriates delivery of the nurturing/ recreational activities for the children attending.
7. To be responsible for the line management of other staff in the room
8. To ensure that effective health and safety procedures are carried out in the room.
9. Assessing, recording, reporting on the development, progress and attainment of children and providing support to other staff through this process.
1. To promote positive relationships and interaction between all adults and children involved in the setting.
2. To ensure parent / carers are well informed of their children’s progress and are always welcome in the setting
3. To attend and participate in parent/ staff meetings and other meetings as may be relevant in all day groups these may sometime be in the evening.
4. Monitor children for the identification of possible special needs and discuss any concerns with setting nominated SENCO.
5. To combat sex, race, class and religious discrimination and to demonstrate positive attitudes through practical application.
6. To comply with all Ofsted requirements.
7. To act appropriately in an emergency situation in ensuring that the safety and well-being of children is paramount at all times.
8. To share the overall responsibility for the work of the setting and for its smooth running
9. To provide a warm, caring environment for the children having regard for their individual needs
10. To encourage the active participation of all children
11. The staff members to provide children with nutritious and satisfying meals
12. To carry out any other occasional duties as requested by the line manager.
1. The curriculum
The curriculum we follow is Early Years Foundation stages (EYFS), Forest school and Every Child a Talker (ECAT).
Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) of the national curriculum. The EYFS is made up of six aspects of learning and development. All areas of learning and development are connected to one another and are equally important. All areas of learning and development are underpinned by the principles of EYFS (new edition) 2012. The principle in practice guidelines issued is what we follow daily and use during weekly planning sessions. This ensures that we match activities to the age range of children, allowing each child to participate at his or her own level of development and ensure the children are meeting their Early Learning Goals.
This practice helps us to avoid situations where a group of children could be seen as ‘bright’ or ‘more able’, reducing the risk of stereotyping, which could lead to discrimination. We also need to be prepared to change as suggested in ‘Thinking about change’ (Book 1 Block1 p17 and E100 website) stated that continuous rapid policy changes in UK provides a shifting framework for how we work in the setting and also how to prepare for the future. Guidelines are forever evolving and as they do practitioners must change their practice to reflect this. Within our room we encourage free play where children can self-chose their activity, which gives them the children freedom of choice but also been closely monitored and supervised and therefore requires practitioners to be able to ‘think on their feet’ and be ready to change their practice at a moment’s notice.
Every Child a Talker (ECAT) is part of the curriculum in my setting. The aims to be:
1. raise children’s achievement in early language
2. improve practitioners skills and knowledge
3. Increase parental understanding and involvement in children’s language development.
Forest school is also part of my setting curriculum. Forest school is a way of learning outside the classroom and it is an essential part of Early Years education, Forest School experience offers young children the chance at learning outdoors and how this fits into the Early Years curriculum. Forest School approach teaches and shows you how to create the learning opportunities in the setting and how to incorporate good practice into all outdoor play activities.
1. Reflection on aspects of my developing practice
The video sequence ‘consultation’ (DVD 1 Block 1), showed the regular discussion with both practitioners about been a part of everyday practice to ensure the setting is run smoothly, and have the best provision of quality and general happy staff. In my setting the practitioners are encouraged to raise any concerns to a senior member of staff and expect to receive a satisfactory response. The managers are willing to deliver any additional training to staff, relating to new observation, planning, first Aid and risk assessment issues.
In the video sequence ‘Lark children centre’ (DVD 1 Block1) showed the varied service on offer for the families and carers. This is an important consideration in our daily practice and directly affects the quality of the care we offer in our setting. I have a better understanding of this and feel more confident in working with outside agencies and parents. I have learnt that it is important to recognise early on if a child is struggling to meet their developmental norms be it through their level of educational attainment or any other are of concern such as a speech and language difficulty. This awareness has meant that with the permission of the parent and working in conjunction with them, I have worked with many outside agencies such as speech and language therapist, health visitors, SENCO and physic therapist, they provide the best support to a child and to help them achieve their full potential.
My setting and role is largely dependent on how revised the curriculum and policies changes within the childcare industry and as a result it’s important that I keep up to date with current news, practises and ideas. This would in turn reflect in my responsibilities on how I work as part of a team with my colleagues, developing partnership with parents/carers and also being professional working with outside agencies. It’s also been revealing about how much has changed about how my role in the years I have been a nursery nurse practitioner from duties like record- keeping, planning and reviewing policies, safeguarding and promoting children well-being.
Reflect on your own learning
I feel that I haven’t used the activities as well as I should have. I really feel that I should have used more evidence by using my notes from the activities in E100. The tutorial class that I have attended on 20th 0ctober 2012 was very useful. It gives me a clear picture of what to put into my assessment. I should have done better to ask questions and hearing from other practitioners on how they implement ideas in their setting, however on reflection, I feel I should have made better use of the student forum rooms to discuss the activities and other things also sharing of information.
(2009) ‘Every Child a Talker: guidance for consultants and early Language Lead Practitioners,’ The National Strategies Early Years
(2009) ‘Forest School and Outdoor Learning in the Early Years,’ Sara Knight
(2010) ‘Curriculum for Excellence’ Scotland