1. Understand the values, principals and statutory frameworks that underpin service provisions in children’s care, learning and development. 1. 1 ‘National Occupational Standards (NOS) describe best practice by bringing together skills, knowledge and values. National Occupational Standards are valuable tools to be used as benchmarks for qualifications as well as for defining roles at work, staff recruitment, supervision and appraisal. ’ (www. skillsforcare. org. uk 18/04/15).
The standards are for people who work with children aged 0-16 years and their families within settings where the main service is children’s care learning and development. NOS as stated above set a ‘benchmark’ for good practice and are key for training and gaining qualifications. They underpin the whole set of standards and impact on families when they are used within everyday routines. For example a nursery assistant who is carrying out training will undergo regular visits from their assessor who will evaluate their ability to work within the context of the set principles and values in order to sign off written work and observations, which will enable them to achieve their qualification and become a qualified nursery nurse.
Other values and principles in the NOS are reflected within the nurseries policies and procedures and mission statement for example: ’The welfare of the child is paramount’. All staff and students are made aware of these within their induction and training and must sign that they have read and understand them before their employment can commence. ‘the paramountcy principle’ stems from the Family Law Act 1975, detailed in the Children Act 1989, in which it is stated that the best interest of the child must be regarded as the paramount consideration when making specified decisions regarding the child’s health and welfare.
Children’s work and photographs are displayed around the nursery in order for them to look at them and talk about them, this encourages the children’s self- esteem, resilience and a positive self image which is essential to every child’s development. Children are also given the freedom of choice as they learn through play as per the guidelines set out by the foundation phase. Regular room and staff meetings are held which provides the staff with opportunities to share professional knowledge, skills and values and ensures that all staff are able to gain all up to date information.
“Children and young people should be seen as young citizens, with rights and opinions to be taken into account now. ” (Rights to action) (www. childrenrights. org. uk 18/04/15) ‘In 2002 the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child welcomed the fact that the Welsh government had used the Convention as the frame work in it’s strategy for children and young people. ’ (www. childrenrights. org. uk 18/04/15) This was then followed in 2004 when the Welsh Assembly Government (WAG) adopted the convention as the basis of all of its policy making for children and young people.
The WAG issued ‘Rights to Action’ a policy document that adopts ‘Seven Core Aims for Children’ as a direct translation of the UNCRC’s articles. Every Child and Young Person in Wales (0-25 years) has a basic entitlement to: 1. Have a flying start in life. 1. Have a comprehensive range of education and learning opportunities. 1. Enjoy the best possible health and are free from abuse, victimisation and exploitation. 1. Have access to play, leisure, sporting and cultural activities. 1. Are listened to, treated with respect, and have their race and cultural identity recognised. 1. Have a safe home and a community which supports physical and emotional wellbeing.
1. Are not disadvantaged by poverty. Sunnybank aims to meet all of these seven core aims by providing all children with a variety of learning opportunities that are both fun and able to enhance the children’s learning and development. The preschool room of which I am room leader follows the foundation phase which allows children the opportunity to gain first-hand experiences through play and active involvement. Children are given free choice and are able to develop communication, literacy and listening, personal and social wellbeing, welsh and cultural diversity, Welsh language, knowledge and understanding, physical development and creative skills as they embark on experiential learning both indoors and outdoors.
All staff within the nursery are DBS checked which ensures that all children are cared for in a secure and relaxed environment. The nurseries equal opportunities policy states that ‘This nursery aims to demonstrate through it’s work that it positively values and respects children of all ethnic origins/racial groups religions, cultures, linguistic backgrounds and abilities. Children of both sexes are positively encouraged by staff to participate in all activities.
This helps to ensure that all staff are aware that it is of paramount importance to ensure that all children are treated fairly and are respected and valued. As with all childcare settings Sunnybank must ensure that it meets and is able to comply with all standards set in the National Minimum Standards in order to achieve a satisfactory inspection report. Sunnybank is inspected annually by the CSSIW. A copy of the inspection report is then available for viewing online. 2. Be able to implement values, principles and statutory frameworks that underpin service provision in children’s care, learning and development. 2.
1 Sunnybank’s policies procedures, core aims and mission statement provide information relating to safeguarding, equal opportunities, health and safety etc. all of this information is of paramount importance when working within the nursery and aid in supporting staff to provide a high level of care to all children. All new staff, students and volunteers must sign to say that they have read and understand these documents before the commencement of their employment. Staff are provided with the opportunity to enhance their knowledge and gain up to date information by attending training courses and completing courses online.
Monmouthshire county council are my nursery settings local safeguarding board. The nursery works in partnership with our local safeguarding board in order to ensure that the nursery is aware of who to talk to and what procedure they need to follow in order to deal with suspicions should they arise. The nursery safeguarding policy states who the Senior Designated Person (SDP) is (our manager) and who the deputy SDP is (myself). The SDP is responsible for the safeguarding children policy and child protection procedures. The policy informs staff of what procedure to follow should they have any concerns.
The local authority host safeguarding training courses for childcare workers and all staff are level one trained in safe guarding within my setting. Myself and the manager are level two trained in safe guarding as we are the settings SDP’s . working with other professionals ensures that my setting can provide the best possible care and outcomes for the children. Staff meetings provide opportunity for all staff to be informed of changes to legislation and how it may affect the nursery policies etc. and individual appraisals help to inform the manager of any further training or supervision that may be required for certain staff.
This additional training can sometimes be provided in house by the managers or room leaders e. g. help with understanding and undertaking planning where as some may involve out of house training such as first aid training. All staff have a job role and list of their responsibilities which they must implement into everyday practice as they help the nursery to comply with standards in order to maintain high standards of care and achieve an annual ‘no recommendations’ inspection report. Staff are asked to regularly re-read and sign the nursery policies on a regular basis to ensure that their knowledge of them is up to date.
3. Be able to implement policies and procedures for sharing information. 3. 1 Sunnybank’s policies and procedures are developed from legislation such as NMS and CSSIW regulations. They are put into practice to maintain ratios, registration and care and education. Additional agencies such as WPPA and NDNA are also considered to help provide quality assurance. The basic policies and procedures are created at managers meetings with the owner of all three Sunnybank nurseries. The managers will then develop their own additions to the policies for the setting based on individual reports, feedback and experiences.
Some individual policies may also be unique and include information about their local authorities/ agencies whom the nurseries share information with on a need to know basis or as required when relating to child protection. The policies and procedures are adapted to suit each learning environment and can be adapted to ensure that they are being adhered to at all times. Some examples of policies that relate to information sharing are: Safeguarding children policy and child protection procedures, policy on complaints, procedure for staff training and improvements of standards and outcomes policy.
3. 2/3. 3 Policies and procedures provide a means of informing all staff of current expected practices within the nursery. Staff that have been working in the nursery for a long time may easily forget certain areas of the policies. I would recommend that staff are set time out of the room to re-read and refresh their knowledge of the policies and procedures on an annual basis. I would also recommend that managers are on hand to help explain policies and the importance of them on a one to one basis as some new staff may not understand certain policies especially in their initial induction.
The nursery has quite recently had a lot of changes made to the safeguarding policy due to new legislation. I feel that when changes are made to policies and procedures all staff would benefit from explanations and demonstrations as to why these changes have occurred and the new procedures that are now in place being discussed during a staff meetings.
One to one appraisals would also provide a good opportunity to discuss any changes as it will provide staff the opportunity to ask any questions that they may be too shy to ask in front of the other staff if they do not understand and will provide the opportunity to share information that needs to be discussed on a need to know basis. New staff and students may not be fully aware of current legislation which underpins how the nursery is run and the activities we provide, for this reason there may be a conflict of ideas. To help to avoid this it is important that staff are given opportunities to communicate and share ideas.
Room meetings would be a good way of ensuring that all staff within the room fully understand the process and routine of each room and the importance of certain activities and what they provide for the children. It will also allow staff to have their say and put forward ideas they may have but feel too reluctant to discuss with the manager, the room leader would then be able to inform the managers on their behalf. This will also help to ensure that the participation policy which states that ‘all our children, parents and staff will be given the opportunity to express their views and for their views to be listened to and taken into account’ is being adhered to. I feel that better communication between all staff is key to promoting a more positive team relationship ultimately ensuring that all policies and procedures are adhered to and a high level of care is maintained.
A personal development plan would be a good addition to the appraisal system. A personal development plan should be devised for each member of staff to ensure that they are receiving training opportunities and support to help them to understand and implement policies. 4. Be able to engage others in reflective practice. Unit 9: Promote professional development-4. Be able to improve performance through reflective practice. 4. 1/ 4. 2 Reflective practice is the capacity to reflect on action that allows us to engage in a process of continuous learning.
Reflective practice can be an important tool in practice-based professional learning settings where people learn from their own professional experiences, rather than from formal learning. It may be the most important source of personal professional development and improvement. It is also an important way to bring together theory and practice; through reflection a person is able to see and label forms of thought and theory within the context of their work. A person who reflects throughout their practice is not just looking back on past actions and events, but is taking a conscious look at emotions, experiences, actions, and responses, and using that information to add to their existing knowledge base and reach a higher level of understanding.
It is important to reflect on your own professional practice to see where you may need to make adjustments and improvements but also to see what you are doing well. It is not always easy to be critical of yourself but it is better in the long run to realise and correct errors before anything serious happens. Being able to evaluate your own practice can help others to do the same and can support your further learning. Staff appraisals are a good tool in terms of monitoring our progress, goals and achievements.
They challenge you to reflect on your work over the last few months and allow you to set realistic goals for the next few months. As these appraisals are carried out by the manager, there is also opportunity for feedback from other colleagues as to how you are performing in the workplace. As a nursery nurse I will reflect in activities without realising it, as I have to consider the children’s safety as I plan and provide enjoyable activities for them. ‘Reflection in practice’ is when the activity is being carried out and the practitioner makes changes during the process to enhance the situation/activities outcomes e. g. when doing a cutting and sticking activity with preschool I may need to incorporate an extra measure on the spot to help some children hold the scissors properly in order to guarantee the safety of the activity, this may include putting a star sticker on the child’s thumb and encouraging them to point the star at the ceiling.
This may not have been an original planned feature of the activity but it may have been a vital intervention in order to aid the children’s fine motor skills. ‘Reflection on practice’ this is when the activity is over and the practitioner reflects back on the situation to consider what worked and what didn’t. as a nursery nurse I will perform this process on a regular basis throughout my practice, it may be recorded when evaluating planning as this will help me to map out aspects that were successful in achieving all of the necessary key skills and developmental outcomes as well as deciding if the activity was interesting enough for the intended age group.
Not every activity/situation will however allow time to make a record of reflection, in this instance it may be necessary to make a mental note of anything significant that you may want to reflect on during an appraisal. I have looked a few models of reflective practise that are relevant within my setting. ?Gibbs reflective cycle (1988)- the model includes six stages of reflective practice: 1. Description 1. Feelings 1. Evaluate 1. Analyse 1. Conclude 1. Action plan This reflective cycle looks at different stages during the reflective process from describing the process and considering your feelings at the time to evaluating, analysing and making a conclusion and action plan should the same situation occur again. Taking action is the key to this model of reflection.
Gibbs proposed that ‘To reflect is not enough, you then have to put into practice the learning and new understanding you have gained therefore allowing the reflective process to inform your practice. Taking action is the key’ (www. afpp. org. uk 19/04/15) Pos -You can use it to help team members think about how they deal with situations, so that they can understand what they did well, and so that they know where they need to improve. – The cycle can be used by a person on themselves or to help another team member. – It provides an opportunity to allow others to see things from a different perspective.
– Allows team members the opportunity to express their feelings and opinions. Cons -It might be difficult for some people to talk honestly about their feelings. -The outcome may be affected by the relationship between the team member and the manager that carries out the cycle. -The cycle is very long and there may not always be enough time to allow for the a thorough review. ?John’s Model of reflection (1994)-Johns model is based on five cue questions which enable you to break down your experience and reflect on the process and outcomes. 1. Description 1. Reflection 1. Influencing factors.
1. Alternative strategies 1. Learning Cues are offered to help practitioners to make sense of and learn through practice. The five cues allow the practitioner to describe the situation, reflect on it and consider any influencing factors then find alternative strategies and learn from the experience while considering how the experience has changed their knowing. Pros -Can be used as a self evaluation or by a manager to help coach another team member. -Allows team members to reflect on influential factors that affected their practice at the time that they may not have previously considered.
-May pin point strengths and weaknesses. -Allows practitioners to consider and develop more effective future strategies. Cons -The practitioner may be biased of their actions. -A long process that time may not always allow for them to complete. -A future reflection will need to be completed for a similar situation in order to review progress in practice. ?Borton’s Developmental Framework (1970) This is a simple model that is suitable for novice practitioners, at its simplest it’s three steps can be summarised as: ?WHAT? ?SO WHAT? ?NOW WHAT? i. e. the What questions such as: What happened?
What was I doing? Serve to identify the experience and describe it in detail. The So what? Questions include questions like: So what do I need to know in order to understand this situation? So what does this tell me about me? About my relationship with the subject? With the other members of the team? i. e. the practitioner breaks down the situation and tries to make sense of it by analysing and evaluating in order to draw conclusions. The Now what? Questions e. g. Now what do I need to do to make things better? Now what might be the consequences of this action?
At this stage the practitioner plans intervention and action according to personal theory devised. Pros -A quick evaluation process that can be easily completed and used as a reflection in practice as well as a reflection on practice. -Can be a great way of evaluating planned activities. -A good self evaluation process. Cons -The practitioner may find it difficult to see ways in which they could improve future situations. -A future plan will need to be devised in order to track advancements. ?Atkins and Murphy’s Model of reflection (1994) There are five sections of this model: 1. Description 1.
Analyse feelings and knowledge relevant to the situation. 1. Evaluate the relevance of knowledge. 1. Identify any learning which has occurred. 1. Action/new experiences. The five sections allow practitioners to describe the situation and their feelings, challenge assumptions and explore alternatives, identify new learning and make a plan of action or consider new experiences. Pros -The model can be used by the individual or to help another team member. -It allows practitioners to question and challenge elements of practice and provides a deep analysis. -Allows practitioners the opportunity to express and discuss their feelings.
Cons -A long process of reflection that adequate time may not always be available for. -It might be difficult for some people to talk honestly about their feelings -Outcomes may be affected by relationships as the practitioner may not feel comfortable discussing their feelings. 4. 3/ 4. 4 As room leader of preschool, I am responsible for planning stimulating activities that will aid the children’s development in line with the foundation phase. I evaluate every focused activity that I plan on a weekly basis to ensure that I am continuing to provide fun, educational and relevant activities which meet all the given aims.
When planning for all areas of development I must remember to ensure the following when I reflect on my practice during my planning evaluations. ?Do I have a consistent approach? ?Do I ensure progression, through what I plan, between each ‘Stage of Development (not year group)? ?Do I observe children and their needs and interests, then cater for them? (younger more applicable) ?Do I talk to children about their needs and interests, then cater for them? (older more applicable)
The reflective evaluations help me to plan future activities by setting out clear aims and objectives and then allow me to reflect on the activity to determine whether the aims were achieved and what could be changed or done differently should I decide to repeat the activity again. I always differentiate the planning in order to cater for the wide range of age and abilities within the room and each child’s key worker will then be able to add the differentiation should they feel it’s necessary. From completing these reflective evaluations in the past I have recognised the need to explain certain aspects of the activity in more detail with the staff and students in my room I have started to include sketches, diagrams and step by step instructions alongside the initial planning sheets to ensure that the task is fully understood and all staff are working towards the same outcomes.
I have also found the need to repeat these focused activities in order for it to be more beneficial for the children as they may not always be in the mood for adult lead activities. As with all team members, I have a one to one appraisal with my manager. During this appraisal my manager will give me feedback on my performance in the last few weeks. I will also have time to reflect on my own practice and work with the manager to consider options to improve my own performance.
The appraisal also allows me to look at any achievements I have accomplished and gives my manager the chance to see how these may have contributed to the business. In my recent appraisal and from reflecting on my own personal practice, I have become aware that I need to gain more confidence in my ability to carry out nursery visits as I have not had very much experience in doing these. Myself and my manager discussed different options that may build my confidence in order to complete more visits such as accompanying my manager on her visits and taking notes and doing a visit with my manager to allow her to fill in any information that I may miss.
Together we discussed that I need to have a tougher approach when enforcing policies and ensuring that all staff adhere to them. She also commented that I have become more confident since starting my level 5 course as I am gaining better knowledge of legislation etc. to aid me in my job role. Reflecting on my successful practice enables me to feel confidents and able in my own abilities. It has encouraged me to take on more challenging tasks and has enabled be to be a better role model to other team member. I have felt more confident when speaking about issues that may occur and I feel I am more able to offer advice and guidance to other staff as a result.
Reflecting on mistakes and failures can sometimes be hard to do as it means I need to admit to being wrong and try to change my perspective. But doing this gives me time to look at where the situation went wrong and learn from those errors. I can look back at an activity and turn a mistake into a positive by learning how it can be corrected and taking advice and guidance from others.
I can improve my future performance In similar circumstances as a result of this and aid others by using my negative experience as guidance to prevent them from making similar mistakes. 5. Be able to evaluate own professional practice in children’s care, learning and development. 5. 1 From Obtaining my level 3 qualification in Childcare during in house training, I have been able to gain knowledge and experience of childcare through practical learning and have been able to experience situations that may not always be taught in a classroom. I am able to reflect on my own training and qualifications as well as my personal performance through the use of appraisals and development plans.
I have attended foundation phase training courses which have greatly influenced and aided my performance as a nursery nurse and as preschool room leader as it has enabled me to gain a better understanding of the curriculum thus enabling me to provide the children in my care with the best learning experiences. First aid courses have enabled me to feel confident to deal with any circumstance should they arise and has given me knowledge of possible signs and symptoms of illnesses. The safeguarding courses I have
attended have given me the knowledge and confidence to spot any concerns or signs of abuse and what to do in order to act on and report the concerns, as well as the confidence to inform other staff of how to spot or deal with any concerns. From my experience working as a nursery nurse I feel confident in my ability to provide children with a high standard of care by developing a respectful and understanding relationship which allows children to feel safe and relaxed. As room leader of preschool I plan activities in accordance to the foundation phase that are suitable for each child’s needs and abilities I ensure that each child’s abilities are catered for by doing weekly evaluations and reflections of the activities based on individual observations.
I also ensure that other staff are confident in completing and leading set tasks and activities. It is my role to complete individual observations, baseline assessments and child skill booklets that will help to inform me of any areas in which the children may need extra help and encouragement. I also work in partnership with the parents to ensure that the child is receiving a consistent routine of care that is suitable to them. I am able to share any concerns I may have or achievements that the child has made during parent meetings and in informal daily chats.
As deputy manager and from carrying out my level 5 , I have gained a greater knowledge and understanding of how daily practice is influenced by policies and procedures, legislation and benchmarks such as the CSSIW regulations and NMS in providing high quality care for children. I have gained the ability to enforce policies within the nursery and support staff to provide high levels of care. Bibliography ?www. afpp. org. uk ?www. childrenrights. org. uk ?www. skillsforcare. org. uk ?Sunnybank day nursery- policies and procedures.
Courtney from Study Moose
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