A little bit about why we engage in lots of positive risk taking,
for those who are interested… Playing adventurously motivates children to develop persistence and an enjoyment rather than fear of challenge and extending and exploring boundaries. A willingness to take risks is an important characteristic of an effective learner. The Early Years Foundation Stage guidance states that an effective learner is willing ‘to have a go’ through initiating activities and seeking challenge, showing a ‘can-do’ attitude, taking a risk, engaging in new experiences, and learning by trial and error. When adults look anxious or repeatedly say to children ‘mind out’, ‘be careful’, ‘don’t do that’, ‘come down or you’ll fall’, there is a danger that they undermine this important disposition to learn by communicating their own anxiety. There is evidence that risk and challenge in a supportive environment is positively linked with emotional well-being, resilience and mental health and that small mistakes and minor accidents can offer some protection against the negative effects of future failure. Managing a small amount of fear and uncertainty, such as balancing along a wobbly plank or rolling fast down a slope and holding your nerve when feeling on the edge of control, is important to emotional well-being. Such play develops children’s resilience and help them to cope physically and emotionally with unexpected events. Vigorous almost out of control play, such as swinging, hanging, rolling or romping – where the normal body position is altered – is crucial for developing children’s sense of balance and sense of their own body in space. Research on children’s neuro-motor skills in primary schools shows that children with immature motor skills do not perform as well on educational measures at eight years old. However, despite an inbuilt sense of danger, children who lack experience can sometimes take risks that are inappropriate, which border on recklessness or which put themselves or others at risk of serious injury. As in many areas of learning, children need the support of experienced others who can help them recognize and assess risk for themselves, teach safe ways of doing things and encourage a ‘can-do’ attitude and a positive disposition to adventurous play. Teaching skills such as testing the strength of a branch before climbing or using a stick to measure the depth of water in a stream before paddling helps children to feel confident in managing risky situations. At Young Friends Nursery we fully support this and as such our children are very effective and confident learners and explorers.
‘Tapestry’ is our very easy to use interactive online method of observing our children with videos, photographs and analysis and getting them direct to our children’s families.
Each group has a tablet and at least once per month each child will be observed in detail doing an activity or in free play. When an observation is made a detailed description and either a video or photograph of the child, during the observation is added to their ‘online journal’. Parents/carers will immediately receive an email alert and can click through to the journal and see the new observation immediately. Parents are also encouraged to post replies and do their own observations at home when they have time.
Tapestry provides a multi-way interactive relationship between families and our team and mean they are always up to date with their child’s development. Our families really love this system and even better it is online so completely eco-friendly. It is so lovely to get an instant observation of your child whilst you are at work and see what they are doing right there right now.
When your child joins Young Friends you will be given a password and username by your key person and then just wait for the observations to come through. It is so much better than the old method of boring old files that you don’t have time to look at.
Your child’s journal is completely secure. However if you wish to add a grandparent or other you can talk to us and we can arrange for them to get the secure alerts too. Lovely for relations living abroad that want to know how your child is doing. You can even print off the pages at home if you want to keep them in a hard copy.