Physical Environment Policy
In the Early Years at Westward we are committed to providing a welcoming and caring environment that provides for the children’s safety and wellbeing and supports them in their development and learning.
We believe that the organisation and layout of the environment should enable children to be active, and involved in social and individual play activities and experiences.
IMPLEMENTATION OF THE POLICY IN THE EARLY YEARS AT WESTWARD
It is the responsibility of Proprietor, Headteacher and the Senior management team:
- to take positive steps to establish a welcoming and friendly environment for children and parents.
- to provide a safe, secure and supportive environment for the children’s care, health and wellbeing, as well as their development and learning.
- to provide both indoor and outdoor play activities and experiences.
- to ensure that all parents and children, including those with disabilities, have easy access to the premises.
- to ensure that all aspects of planning, design and building observe local control requirements.
- to implement specific local control requirements with regard to health and safety, planning and building requirements, provision of equipment and the use of staff.
SPACE WITHIN THE EARLY YEARS AT WESTWARD
- We provide appropriate space for children, including those with learning difficulties and/or disabilities, to move freely and safely around the setting.
- We organise the space to allow a wide range of play experiences, including whole-group activities.
- We have our own Early Years kitchen where children prepare snack and do cooking activities with adult supervision.
- We provide appropriate and sufficient toilets and washing facilities for the number of children in the setting, as well as separate toilet facilities for adults. We ensure that facilities are clean and hygienic at all times.
- We provide appropriate space and facilities to encourage children to be independent.
- We provide a well balanced lunch for children in the Early Years in the School hall.
- We ensure that kitchen facilities comply with environmental health and food safety regulations.
- We have achieved a food hygiene rating of 5 on our last three inspections.
- We identify specific procedures for the safety of the children relating to the kitchen facilities, including risk assessment and supervision.
- We provide defined rest areas appropriate for the children’s needs, as well as separate rest/break facilities for the staff.
- We ensure that all areas of the building are clean, and well maintained.
- We ensure that there is a working telephone on the premises to contact outside assistance, as well as to receive incoming calls.
- We have efficient systems for contacting parents, support services and other agencies.
- We ensure that all the children have easy access to drinking water, toilet facilities and eating facilities.
- We provide an environment that reflects the children’s development and learning and has relevance for local cultures and communities.
- We ensure that the premises are well lit and have some natural light.
- We ensure that the premises are kept at a comfortable temperature throughout the year.
- We ensure that the premises are for the sole use of the setting when the children are there.
- We provide safe storage facilities for all types of equipment: care and hygiene facilities, and play and learning equipment.
- We provide an area of privacy where parents, staff and other agencies can speak confidentially.
- We create defined areas for different play activities, thus supporting the children in all seven areas of learning in the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS).
- We use the available space creatively and flexibly to provide opportunities for the children’s imaginative play, movement and large-scale play activities.
- We provide opportunities for both floor play and table activities.
- We create opportunities for children to access equipment and materials independently, and choose for themselves, by using low-level open-storage shelves and boxes.
- We encourage the children to care for their environment by making some cleaning equipment (brushes, dustpans, cloths) available for them to access and use independently to clean and tidy up play areas.
- We have daily opportunities for children to play outside, providing open space where they can run, as well as using fixed or other play equipment.
- We ensure that there are areas of shade and shelter.
- We use the outdoor environment to offer a wide range of learning opportunities for investigation and exploration, thus developing all seven areas of learning in the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS).
- We create a rich and stimulating environment by using visual and interactive displays.
- We provide display areas for children’s own work, including pictures, drawings, writing and models.
- We ensure that displays are informative, and relevant to all families within the local community.
Policy Last Updated: August 2017