At my nursery we believe that reflecting on our day-to-day practice enables us to analyse why and how we do things, and to consider whether different approaches might benefit the nursery, children, parents/carers or staff. We use reflective practice as a model for developing our skills and making sense of the work we do for the children and the nursery.
During reflective room or staff meetings we:
• listen openly to the ideas of others
• reflect on our own work and on the work of those around you
• consider and implement ways to develop practice as a team.
When a member of staff or myself has a suggestion for a change e.g. has a different way the daily routine can work better, all staff at the nursery should:
Keep an open mind - Avoid assuming that a different way of working will not work and be ready to have a go at changing the way you work – we have regular staff meetings to talk about the positives and negatives of any changes
Seek alternatives - Explore and research different ways of working – when staff have been on new training we like that member of staff to explain key points to all staff and reflect if we need to put anything in place which can improve the nursery.
Question the way that you do things - Are some things done in a certain way simply because that is how they have always been done? – regular training and feed back to management and other staff keeps everyone in the know on changes that have to be made etc.
Identify and resolve problems - Be proactive in making things work and taking a problem-solving approach to any difficulties – some things can be changed straight away for example changing or adapting an activity to suit a range of different children who are in your room at one time.
Synthesise ideas - Be ready to look at ideas and then adapt them to work in your setting – for example after our behaviour training we looked at how it would work with all ages, adapting and tweaking it to suit the different rooms, but keeping it simple for staff and children to follow continuous throughout Zebedee’s.
Ask ‘what if?’ - Be confident enough to try out new ideas and to think about things in different ways – at nursery we also like to reflect with in our rooms, this way all staff know the children more and already know what isn’t working so come up with ideas as a team to help support each other with the children.
Test ideas - Try out new practices or visit settings that work in contrasting ways – at nursrery s we are lucky to be 1 of 3 nurseries, all staff have a chance to swap or visit the other settings as we are all in different locations and set out differently, allowing staff to share and reflect with other settlings.
Think about consequences - Think about how changing practice might affect other aspects of your work (e.g changing routines may affect parents, children and colleagues)
View things from different perspectives - Consider different people’s points of view, including those of children, parents and other staff – at nursery we send out parent questionnaires about changes or the nursery in general. Parents can express any concerns or questions daily to their child’s head of room. We also hold parent committee meetings once a term, where the parents work alongside staff having their say with policies and procedures, come up with fundraising ideas etc.
Weekly reflections which each room do and all staff have involvement in, is the continuous provision plan. Each activity – adult led, child led small or large groups are wrote up in different areas on the chart. At the end of the week staff reflect on the activities the children show a lot or little interest, which areas may not have been covered this week, and how we can extend the children’s interest and which areas may need more adult support. Adult led activities are reflected on how staff can improve them for example - making it harder, how we could adapted the