“Effective practitioners are able to identify how individuals and groups of children in their setting develop and learn and use environment, resources and themselves to appropriately support the child”
(Gateshead Council 2005).
Our programmes are a mixture of child led and adult led play. Advanced and spontaneous planning through formal and informal consultation, enables us to offer a range of play activities that encourage children to ‘have a go’, build resilience, problem solve and make play challenging and fun. Children contribute exceptionally well to all our planning and fully engage in their chosen activities, although there is plenty of time to just sit and chill!
Our holiday programmes are designed using children’s interests and their age/ability, so they are tailored to all our age groups. Themed so we can work on long-term and special projects, means we have longer days to play!
Young children up to 5 years
The national framework of the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) sets the standards that we must meet to make sure children learn and develop well are kept safe and healthy. This applies to both out of school and holiday provision where activities are structured to boost children’s personal, social and emotional development, physical development and communication and language all while having fun. Planning is evaluated to create a dynamic environment that is matched to children’s interest and levels of development.
For those children that also attend nursery provision, the EYFS ensures that there is continuity of care across all of the settings to better support the learning and development of the child(ren). Activities are organised that respond to individual children’s needs and are used to extend the child(rens) learning and development. Working in partnership with parents and carers and sharing information enables us to plan and tailor play opportunities during holiday times using child(rens) interests so no child ‘falls behind’ during periods away from school.
Staff at all of our clubs are aware that older children need different types of activities to younger children. Programmes of activities will ensure that collectively and individually the needs of older children are catered for with all of our clubs giving children a balance of adult and child led activities that encourage exploration, active learning, using their own ideas and critical thinking that are pitched at a level that entertain and are fun. This includes outings during holiday times where older children are offered choices that best suit their interests and ages.
Differently abled children
We are experienced at supporting children and young people who have additional needs into our provisions. The specific needs of each individual child will be discussed in detail at the enquiry and registration stages to ensure that we are able to meet their needs fully. This will be further supported by the named SEN/INC co-ordinator (at each of our clubs), who is responsible for ensuring that all children are able to fully participate in the activities offered and learn and develop at their own pace. We work close with parents and carers to plan activities that extend and develop childrens learning and collaborate with school and other professionals involved in the child(ren) care.
Many of our staff members have attended training particularly relevant to differently abled children, including Autism, Disability Discrimination Awareness, Inclusion and Play, Resources for the disabled child, ADHD, EppiPen, Diabetes Awareness (please see your club manager for further information).
Whenever possible outdoor play is encouraged and all of our clubs have access to outdoor play facilities. At some of the schools where we have breakfast and after school provision, this includes access to green areas and multi use sports facilities as well as large areas for running etc.
Other outdoor activities include the use of bikes, sports (cricket, hockey, rounders and football), team activities, parachute games, nature walks and bouncy castles to name but a few.