Mums and dads are the first influence on their child’s development and future outcomes. What happens in the home is more important than material circumstances or anything that will happen to them at their playgroup or at school.
At Sandbrook we think that it is really important that staff and parents work together to support children’s learning and development. A true partnership needs to exist where there is mutual respect, a recognition of the importance of the role of each partner and where both understand that it is only by working together that children’s learning and development opportunities are maximised
The Early Years Foundation Stage says that key workers should build relationships with parents, keep them up-to-date with their child’s progress, respond to observations that they share, involve them in assessments and support them to guide their child’s development at home. We do all of these things but we also ask that you share information with us. We want to know as much as possible about your child, what they like doing, how they learn, what comforts them, who they spend time with and all those other things that we can use to make them feel secure and happy at our playgroup.
We really value the knowledge that you have of your child. You know them best and you can help us make sure that we meet their individual needs. You can talk to staff when you drop off and pick up your child and we will ask you to come in for regular reviews. If you want a chat at any time please don’t hesitate to make an appointment with your child’s key worker.
Each child has their special book which contains observations, photographs and examples of their work. This is available to parents at any time and you are welcome to bring in things that they have done at home, or write about something you think is important, to add to it. This helps us to plan ways of supporting their learning and to make sure that they are making good progress.
Let us know what your child has achieved at home so we can celebrate with you and look for ways of building on their current interests together. For example, if both you and the key worker have noticed that your child often gathers objects in bags and transports them around at home and at playgroup, we could agree to provide a collection of bags and everyday objects at home and similar resources at Sandbrook. We could also arrange to provide buckets, stones and shells in the outdoor area while you could take a bucket on walks to the park so that your child can collect and transport conkers, twigs and leaves. This is how we can work together to respond to your child’s interests and help them to learn.
Let us know if you have been somewhere special with your child. Send us some photographs of the occasion so that we can add them to their special book or display them for other children to see. They could bring in a souvenir to show at circle time or we could think about how we could introduce the experience at the playgroup. For example, if a child is going on holiday we might turn the home corner into a travel agents so that we can introduce the concept of going on an airplane or staying in a hotel.
We hold regular sessions to tell you more about aspects of the EYFS so do come along if you want to know more about how we support the children in things like developing their personal, social and emotional skills, numeracy and literacy.
Keep an eye out for regular emails where we tell you what is happening at the playgroup and, of course, when you pick your child up we use the white board in the window to tell you what they have been doing that day. We encourage parents to come in to take part in activities whenever they like and also to share their interests perhaps by reading to the children, helping at cooking sessions or playing an instrument. We also have regular trips and events that parents are invited to.
We have a book and story sack library at Sandbrook where you can borrow resources to use at home with your child. When it gets time for your child to leave us to start school we have a number of children’s books about this which you might find helpful in preparing them for the transition.
Every year we have a hardback book printed with photographs of the children which show what life is like at our playgroup. You will have seen a copy during your home visit which we hope helped you to understand the routine at Sandbrook. We will be publishing an up-dated version after Christmas featuring your child which you can borrow to share with them at home. It really helps with their self confidence as they are able to show you all the things they can do and point out the friends and staff members who are important to them.
We want you to feel part of your child’s learning and development and we want you to feel part of our playgroup. Please speak to any member of staff if you want to know more.