At Gill Blowers we have adopted the key concepts of the Curiosity and Natural Thinkers approaches. Using real life objects in first hand learning experiences, inside and out, children develop their interpersonal skills and creative, critical thinking.
Children are encouraged to follow their own ideas with real, natural resources and loose parts. Skilled practitioners use a blend of teaching and scaffolding to encourage children to broaden, stretch and embed their learning. Children are supported to question, explore, experiment, develop hypotheses and test ideas, and reflect their learning.
Our curriculum has evolved from National Guidance Documentation – Development Matters, Birth to Five, Universally Speaking and the EYFS Statutory Guidance. We have created detailed long term and medium term planning to faciliate a sequenced and structured curriculum to guide our children towards our ‘RICCHER’ vision.
To support the assessment of children’s learning we have used National Guidance and OPAL to underpin and create our own assessment tool based on children’s strengths and barriers.
SABA (Strength and Barrier Assessment)
SABA has six monthly child developmental milestones, which we use to monitor children’s development. The milestones are a reflection of what we think a ‘typical’ Gill Blowers child should be able to achieve. We believe it is fairer to assess children as individuals against milestones related to age rather than a ‘best fit’ judgement against a mixed aged group of children at certain points in the year. If children do not meet their age related milestones practitioners will identify barriers to learning and these then become an action for staff to support the child.
When a child starts with us we complete a baseline and use the milestones that are closest to the child’s age to determine whether they are ‘on track’ or require extra support to meet the milestones.
On the month of a child’s birthday, then again 6 months later, we carry out a ‘Spotlight’ observation and assessment and moderate as a team to assess the child against our SABA milestones. We share this information with parents and work in collaboration to ensure that children are supported to meet the milestones for their age.
A review is carried out two months later to enable practitioners to reflect on the child’s progress and what has been achieved. We review the planned learning opportunities and interventions and consider if they have had a positive impact.