Key Factors to a Supportive Environment

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Key factors that support speech, language and communication environment:

1. Your room/setting layout - what does your physical environment look like?

The noise level - are there quieter and noisier areas, planned times or activities.

Evidence: There are two main rooms that are in use during morning and afternoon sessions, the classroom and larger hall area. The classroom has a book corner with a child's size couch and soft cushions on the floor. This area is ideally for quiet time and reading. The rest of the classroom and large hall allows for noisy and more social activities. Throughout the day there are planned adult lead activities, circle times, outdoor play, snack bar and lunch club. Which work on a rota based system.

Quality of light - are play areas well lit for children to see & communicate well with each other, see mouth movements, resources & staff.

Evidence: The classroom and main hall both allow for a substantial amount of natural light through large windows and also have more then one artificial light in either room.

Space to move, expressively, with whole bodies, with and without speed

Evidence: The main hall area is a large open space with a substantial amount of room for children to move freely and expressively. This room is used for more active activities and also for when outdoor play is restricted due to poor weather conditions. The children will use this area to build train tracks, stack blocks, act out role plays and imaginary games, as well as group games such as duck duck goose and ring a ring a roses.

The outdoor area is also set up in a way that allows for all types of movement. There is an large space for bikes and smalls cars, which is also used for obstacle courses and tents. This is divided from the rest of the playground by log stumps that the children can also walk across.

Resources and toys - is there a varied selection available for both indoor & outdoor play.

Evidence: Within the classroom and hall there is a large variety of resources and toys to cater for all the children. For example; a home corner, roll play area, mark making area, play dough and sand/water trays, block building, music corner, small world toys, ICT area book corner. The outside area has a large storage cupboard which allows us to alternate what goes outside to create interest and excitement. There is an outside book corner with bean bags and blankets, large wooden blocks for building, play house with kitchen and work bench, prams, bikes and large cars, balls, rackets, a table and chairs to encourage mark making, blackboard with chalk and a variety of playing apparatus's.

2. Staff -

Involvement/roles - how does everyone interact with children to promote communication.

Evidence: Most children attending the pre-school will have an all about me book, which their key person and any other staff member are allowed assess. It contains information and pictures on the child's life including family, pets, friends, likes and dislikes. The children also receive a settling in performer after two weeks of them attending the setting. Which goes over how they are doing and is sent home to their parents to read and comment on, then sent back in. This is kept in the child's learning journey. The children are also given a chance to have their say on what they would like to do at pre-school, with the children's planing board. Where any ideas that are given from the children are written on and then added to the planing in future sessions. We have a classroom rules board, illustrating the main rules of the setting. Which is positioned down low at the children's eye level. There is also a 'how are you feeling today' poster with photos and illustrations of different facial expressions, again at the children's eye level. We also try to operate with a positive language approach when reminding children of rules, for example saying 'walking feet and kind hands' instead of 'no...
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