Introduction

There are 7 Nursery Schools in the Bradford authority and Hirst Wood has been operating since 1931.  The original Nursery was ‘open-air’ and known locally as the Sunshine School, the spirit of which is kept alive today as children have access to the wonderful outdoor area for most of the day.   There are 3 classrooms, each with a qualified teacher and Nursery Nurse/Early Years Practitioner and the statutory staffing ratio of staff to children in Nursery is 1 adult per 13 children. 

In response to parents’ changing needs and working patterns we have established a well-respected before and after school provision, known as The Sunshine Club.   This allows us to provide high quality nursery school education and extended provision between the hours of 7.30 am and 6.00pm and a range of services for children, families and the community.

 

 

Re: new ways to share our teaching and learning  - Electronic assessment system 

The set of circumstances that we found ourselves in from March 2020 onwards made us consider how we can continue to share with you the wonderful experiences that your children enjoy at Hirst Wood Nursery School.  In order to continue to work in partnership with you we have invested in an electronic system that we can upload photographs and observations to, and that you can look at on your phone or computer.  We hope that you will feel that this will be beneficial and reassuring to know that your child is busy and enjoying their time at School.  

While there is a statutory need to record and monitor progress, we also need to ensure that this process doesn’t get in the way of us interacting and engaging with the children – assessment is about noticing what children can do and what they know – it is not about lots of data and evidence and taking staff away from children for extended periods of time. 

We want to work in genuine partnership with you and your children and evidence the impact that it is having on their development.    If you want to see how your child’s speech has developed, how much better would it be to be able to listen to a series of recordings over a period?  And wouldn’t it be so much better if you, as parents, could contribute your own photos, observations and thoughts to the learning journey record, rather than it coming exclusively from the nursery?   We used an electronic system called EYLog (for early years Log) which allows staff to capture a photo, video clip or voice recording as well as written notes using a tablet computer and assign this to one or more children. These observations from staff members are then uploaded to a secure web-based learning journey to which you as a parent would also have access too! Welcome to the world of online learning journeys!   We believe that using online learning journeys will allow both a rich body of evidence to support our partnership with parents, to help us plan for individual children’s development and of course a wonderful keepsake for you to share with your child. 

Parents will rightly have questions about the security of such an online system.  No data is stored either on the tablets or on the nursery computer. Secure servers hold the data within the UK and as such follow all GDPR guidelines. Staff work within the school's Acceptable Use Policy which clearly defines how computers and tablets must be used in order to keep children safe.   A copy is available – please email  office@hirstwoodnscc.co.uk if  you would like to receive further information.  As soon as an observation has been recorded and uploaded to the EYLog server, it is automatically deleted from the tablet.  All data is held in encrypted form and is accessed subject to a secure login and password. The only people who can access a child’s learning journey are the relevant nursery staff and you, the child’s parents.   In our opinion, the application not only permits a richer learning journey than its paper equivalent, but also offers a more secure way to record and share these learning journeys.