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Settling in and Initial Planning and Assessment

Settling In and Initial Planning and Assessment

1. In the first half term we prioritise planning for and assessing the Prime Areas of the Curriculum. Key people spend quality time getting to know their key children and their families but all the staff are involved with all the children, talking about, observing and planning to settle them into Nursery and grow in confidence in their new environment.

2. Our assessment begins with an initial phone call, a home visit and a session at Nursery with a parent/carer and their key person spending time altogether. During September all parents will receive a ‘My First Week’ montage of their child at Nursery and a phone call with their key person to discuss the initial settling in period. Information will be recorded on the montage to aid future planning.

3. Every child is offered a home visit or a call if a home visit is not possible and this is followed by a Nursery session together. Parents share information about their child’s interests, communication, confidence and physical health with their key person. This information will be recorded and used for initial starting points and to build the child’s interests into the planning of the provision.

4. Practitioners meet or call parents during the month of September to discuss how the child has settled in and what they have observed. This is a snapshot of a child’s starting points and is a joint assessment with the parents of the child. The practitioners will refer to Birth to 5 Matters to check development in the Prime Areas and we will use our Communication and Language Tracker to record all children on entry to identify children who may not be showing age-appropriate skills to plan extra support if necessary. We will assess every child’s well-being using The Leuven Scale for Involvement (Ferre Laevers) to measure children engagement.

5. Next Steps from children’s starting points are usually linked to how well the children have settled into Nursery or anything of significance eg. toilet training. If children settle quickly and engage in a wide range of play there will no need to set out ‘next steps.’

6. Once the children have settled and can access the Nursery environment, we can begin thinking in more detail about how they will access the curriculum and we support learning around their interests (page 14). For the children who are ready we can move into using the specific areas of the curriculum quickly.

7. If we notice that a child may be having difficulties in their development, we will act quickly. It is important that we understand these more vulnerable children and the areas where they need support. We will continue to develop a strong relationship with the parents, supporting them to also give their child the extra help they need. The curriculum for all children will remain ambitious and inclusive. It is important that we focus on support, scaffolding and helping children overcome barriers to their learning.


Our objectives for initial planning and assessment

  • Dialogue with parents so that we can work in a respectful partnership to support children’s learning at home and in Nursery.
  • Dialogue with children focused on how they learn to promote thinking.
  • Early identification of children who need extra help and children who may have SEND.
  • Checking that children are making progress and taking prompt action if this is not the case.
  • Reporting formally to parents to work in partnership to give each child the very best possible start.