Reflective practice is used to monitor, evaluate and continuously revise all areas of the setting. Problems can be resolved, practice improved and developmental needs identified. Activities, routines and policies may need to be altered when new children and their families join the setting because of their different interests, beliefs, needs and expectations. By critically questioning practices, weak and strong areas are identified. In areas where weaknesses are spotted, ways to improve can be sought, with possibly more training in that area. Where it is felt that an area is strong, the skills and knowledge helping to achieve it can be thought about and the area become even more effective. Reflective practice is a regular part of any good practitioners working routine as it shows a commitment to improve or change strategies and techniques that may not be working as well as they should be. Time needs to be taken to carefully think over a situation, record the findings, learn from them and use the new knowledge in similar situations. This encourages awareness of thoughts and feelings that relate to different areas of practice. In my childminding setting I regularly reflect on different areas of practice including; activities, working with parents, age appropriate toys, policies and procedures, and managing children’s’ behaviour. I jot down notes during the day but use time when not working to really think practices over and learn how to develop which makes for a more effective setting. I have a simple way to do this:
•Description of what I am to reflect on
•My feelings surrounding it
•Evaluate what was strong / weak
•Analyse it by breaking into segments
•Conclude by thinking what could be done differently
•Put it into action, for example, by buying resources, changing policy, alter routine or access training Used in risk assessments reflective practice is on-going and is crucial to providing a safe environment for children with risks being identified...