Early Years Foundation Stage

Anne Cooper, Early Learning Leader delivered an introduction to the EYFS at the artists’ professional training day and the Early Learning Team have continued to be observers and carry out Leuven’s scale assessments.

“This was an exciting opportunity to work alongside and train a new group of professionals. On the day of the training the artists were quick to become involved, openly interested and thought-provoking with their questions but above all were inspirational with the creativity of their ideas of how they could facilitate the learning of these very young children.”

“On every occasion that I observed the Artist at work in the setting I was delighted by the way the children were involved and enthused by the activities. The varied and inspirational use of techniques including playing with light, felt making, painting and junk modelling were used highly effectively and on the journey they took together produced some sensational art work and photographs" Anne Cooper, Early Learning Leader

Creative open-ended exploration offers young children experiences which support learning and development. Below is a brief evaluation of how the children accessed the six areas of the EYFS guidelines through the creative project.

Communication Language and Literacy
Children’s vocabulary was extended with new experiences and through opportunities for children to make marks and develop handwriting skills.

Personal Social and Emotional Development
Children were provided opportunities for developing creativity without pressure of making an end product. This increases children’s well-being and self-esteem.

Creative Development
The artist provided opportunities for the children to explore media and materials

Problem Solving Numeracy and Reasoning
Many activities provided opportunities for the children to explore space shape and measure. And to explore patterns.

Knowledge and Understanding of the World
Many opportunities were provided for exploring and investigation such as showing curiosity in the materials that the artist provided.

Physical Development
Creative activities encouraged children to become aware of movement and space. Activities encouraged both gross and fine motor skills as well hand-eye co-ordination.

Ruth Cooper Early Learning Leader, Foxwood Family Point

Well-being and Involvement observations

The early learning team continued to be involved in the artists’ residencies as observers and carried out Leuven’s scale assessments on the children.

What are the Leuven Scale Assessments?

The new quality improvement team have been looking at ways to measure the difference that they make for children through their work. Earlier this year we had training about using the Leuven scales for well-being and involvement. These are very simple ways of looking at children’s activity through short observations. This approach was developed in Belgium and is used by many local authorities in the UK, and throughout the world. The system can be used in many ways, but at the moment we’re aiming to get a baseline of observations so that we can see how things change over time. The observations give useful information which will be shared with you and will help us to support you more effectively. To give you an idea of what we are looking at:

Well-Being is: When children:

  • Feel at ease
  • Act spontaneously
  • Are open to the world and accessible
  • Express inner rest and relaxation
  • Show vitality and self-confidence
  • Are in touch with their feelings and emotions
  • Enjoy life

Involvement is: When children are:

  • Concentrated and focused
  • Interested, motivated, fascinated
  • Mentally active
  • Fully experiencing sensations and meanings
  • Enjoying the satisfaction of their exploratory drive
  • Operating at the very limits of their capabilities