EYQS Gold Award
AYCLIFFE PRE-SCHOOL GOING FOR GOLD
EYQS GOLD PROJECT
After achieving our Bronze & Silver award we were motivated to go for Gold. Some concerns were that we had a new staff team which were still settling in and one staff member was currently working towards her Level 2. These doubts vanished very quickly as all our staff were ready for the challenge!
What should we do as our project?
How we decided on the subject of our project was to look back at our Ecers report, Audit reports, Ofsted reports & look at how we run as a setting. What we thought would benefit to improve the development of our children & staff.
Realising the importance of working with our parents in the development and progress of our children seemed to run throughout everything we strive for and is part of our ethos. It made perfect sense for our project to be improving how we work with our parents & carer’s & in conjunction to try & close the gap for children not quite reaching their potential.
The decision was made by management and we held a staff meeting to discuss what we wanted to achieve and obtain feedback from our staff. All staff agreed it was the right choice of project and immediately started inputting ideas of areas we could improve on. With such a positive response, we were immediately discussing timetables and how we would implement these ideas into the daily routine. Throughout our staff meetings, staff were given responsibility for different improvements or if it was their idea, they took on the responsibility themselves with support from our pre-school leader.
An action plan was set up as a working document and divided into Autumn term, Spring term & Summer term schedules. This document was updated as new improvements were put into action.
As time moved on, we reviewed our new systems and reflected with staff if we felt the systems were working or making small changes if it appeared that changes were necessary to achieve our goals. Feedback from our parents/carer’s was vital for our success.
With this project we have tried to look at many areas to improve our working relationships with parents, give better communication to them regarding their children’s development & for them to have a better understanding of what we are trying to achieve for their children. It was also important to let parents/carer’s know the importance of their role to support their children’s learning at home & this is why we introduced Bookstart & our Book Exchange, activity worksheets, more information about the subjects & activities we were focusing on each day, so parents could extend on this at home.
Staff training on Wellcomm, Closing the Gap, Characteristics of effecting learning were undertaken to help early intervention to support the needs of our children & close the gap of children who needed extra support. The new procedure for Settling-In definitely had a big impact on early intervention and helped children & staff.
Overall, the project has been a great success for all. Children, parents/carer’s, staff & management. It has helped us reflect and staff have enjoy seeing the results of their team effort to improve & achieve positive outcomes. It has helped our new team to work together. For management it has been a pleasure to see such enthusiasm & passion to make a difference by our staff & we are very proud of them. This excites us for the future ahead.
One last word about the project, is that although our objective was to improve working together to support children’s learning, we felt that our children’s well-being, bonds with their family, positive emotional outcomes through sharing quality time with their parents/carer’s, parents feeling supported by us & included by us, was the most important overall achievement.
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Celebration time! We have been awarded our Early Years Quality Scheme Gold Award after our final audit from the Early Years consultant for Herts for Learning. It was now time to present our project at Hertfordshire’s Development Centre in Stevenage and attend their awards ceremony. The management of pre-school decided because all our staff had worked hard on the project wish should all go together on 9th July 2019.
Our project presentation was received positively, even with a member from Herts for Learning saying that they could see how much work had been completed and was pleased that we had already seen the positive results and evidence that we had achieved to set out to do by closing the gap for our vulnerable children.
We had a super day at Hertfordshire Development Centre showcasing our project and extremely proud of our small team when we were presented on stage with our Gold Award certificate and Teddy Bear. Our project will not end here, we will continue with all the new initiatives we implemented for the award and further build in our knowledge & self reflect for the future.