“Excellence in the Early Years” Network
Each participant in this network conducted a piece of action research and collaborative ethnography which focused on analysing their children’s needs, evaluating the impact of their existing practice and developing their own theories on how they can improve the effectiveness of their practice.
Here are edited highlights of the research’s impacts:
What impact does high quality adult interaction have on the attainment of EAL children in a nursery setting?
Autumn data showed that 39.6% of children were working at or above nursery entry expectations in Communication and Language on arrival. By the Summer Term, 81.1% of the children were working at or above age related expectation. The intervention not only had a massive impact on the EAL children but had a significant and positive impact on all of the children within the nursery. (Jessica Sharkey.)
Would a “Gender Balanced” workforce within an early years setting increase the attainment of boys, closing the gender gap in attainment?
Boys attainment was 16% higher than the Borough average. Boys attainment was 8% higher than girls in Personal Social Emotional development (96% inline to secure a Good Level of Development) Boys attainment was 3% higher than girls in Communication and Language (94% GLD) Boys attainment was 17% higher than girls in Physical Development (98% GLD) ( Dan Lea)
Would it be possible to turn the world of Maths into an exciting place to be in and find ways into Mathematics for all children and develop a learning environment that supports mathematical thinking?
We reduced the % of children below expectation, in Number, by 19.9% and increased % of children at or exceeding expectation by 33.4%. In Space, shape and measures, we reduced the % of children below expectation by 13.3% and increased % of children at or exceeding expectation by 26.7%. (Monika Polakovicova)
Promoting self-regulation in Nursery to increase children’s attainment in Physical Development? There has been a marked improvement in the progress children have made in the areas of PD, CL and PSED. Children are displaying more effective teamwork to share resources and complete tasks. Behaviour has improved as children are able to control their emotions. Children are independent in their activities and are attempting to do things by themselves. PROGRESS: PD – 89% have made the expected progress or more since the beginning of year to end of spring. PROGRESS: CL – 73% have made the expected progress or more since the beginning of year to end of spring. PROGRESS: PSED – 81% have made the expected progress or more since the beginning of the year to end of spring. (Miriam Razzaq)
Does the application of self-regulation in Reception support children to reach age expected levels in PSED?
80% of children were below age expected, 20% of children were at age expected and 0% were above age expected in Managing Feelings and Behaviour for Reception. Now (Spring 2): 26% of children below age expected, 47% of children at age expected and 27% above age expected in Managing Feelings and Behaviour for Reception. 86% of children were below age expected, 14% of children were at age expected and 0% were above age expected in Self-confidence and Self-awareness for Reception. Now (Spring 2): 22% of children below age expected, 40% of children at age expected and 38% above age expected in Managing Feelings and Behaviour for Reception. (Hayley Powell)
Will an increase in adult interaction avoid a “plateauing” of autumn born children’s progress and attainment in reception? This project contributed towards the children being in line to achieve the following data: PSE 97% good level of development or higher. C&L 96% good level of development or higher. PD 97% good level of development or higher. (Fameeda Patel)
Does the implementation of the Key person role in Nursery support the development of children’s PSED skills?
Data has shown: Improvement in all areas of the children’s Personal, Social and Emotional Development. An increased amount of child lead interactions, with adults. Children are confident to speak to their Key Person. Children are more confident to talk in their Key groups. Children are more confident to talk to their peers. Key Persons know their key children well- they are starting to adapt planning and activities for the children who are in their key groups. (Mandy Kitchener)
Will a focus on leadership result in consistent high quality provision and raise pupil achievement in Nursery?
The results represent a very high rate of progress and the level of attainment is also higher than last year. PSE: percentages moved from 70% children below expectations to 58% at and 37% above expectations. CL: percentages moved from 70% children below expectations to 83% at and 14% above expectations. PD: percentages moved from 52% children below expectations to 80% at and 18% above expectations. Nursery staff take a more proactive role in nursery life. High quality adult-child interactions are consistently seen. The nursery is a positive learning environment where risks are encouraged and mistakes are opportunities for further learning. (Fatma Suleiman)
Each piece of research can be viewed in full at: