Creating a welcoming learning environment

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 Gwenu plentyn yn eistedd wrth fwrdd gyda cwpanau a soseri chwarae

Staff at Cylch Meithrin Boddffordd work together as a team to transform a school hall into a stimulating place to learn every day.

Number of children: 18
Age range: 2-4
Date of Inspection:  March 2016

Information about the setting

Cylch Meithrin Bodffordd, Anglesey, is a Welsh-medium setting that meets in Bodffordd Community Centre within the local school.  The setting admits up to 18 children per session.  There are 21 children on roll, ranging from two and a half to four years old.  The majority of children come from homes in which Welsh is the first language.  There are five members of staff, including two joint leaders and three practitioners. 

Context and background to sector-leading practice

The setting takes out and puts away resources daily as it uses the school hall.  However, they are used and maintained in an excellent way.  Staff share the same vision of creating a stimulating learning environment that challenges children and extends them to achieve their full potential.  They work together successfully to set up the learning areas each day and enrich them very well.  This is done in an extremely effective way. 

Description of nature of strategy or activity

The learning environment is industrious and welcoming.  By working together as a team very effectively, practitioners transform the environment in a short space of time within the session without interrupting the education time of the children in their care.  The environment changes smoothly from being a variety of learning areas, to a cafe for snacks, a hall for dancing and singing and a quiet area in which to say farewell and calm down at the end of the session.

The staff have considered the types of furniture and equipment for the setting very carefully.  They have included multi-purpose furniture of a high quality, in addition to being easy for the children and staff to move.  They store all resources quickly and neatly after the session in order to enable the school and the community to use the hall later during the day. 

What impact has this work had on provision and children’s outcomes?

The use of the learning environment at Cylch Meithrin Bodffordd has had a very positive effect on child development across all areas of the Foundation Phase.  Children are given regular opportunities to access each area on a daily basis.  They cover all areas of learning in a way that is natural, manageable and interesting for the children.  The routine of fetching resources and putting them away at the setting has had a positive effect on developing the children’s skills in interacting with others effectively, in order to look after their setting. 

The children play an integral part in creating a sense of ownership of the setting.  Working as a team develops the children’s structured social skills.  This means that this provision enables children to have equal access to activities of their choice, and ones that are led by practitioners.  As a result, children develop independent skills very effectively.