Developing children’s social and emotional skills through community links

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child and woman

Children at Banana Moon Day Nursery regularly visit a local residential care home which benefits both parties. The children are able to develop their social and emotional skills and residents eagerly interact with them.

Age range: 12 weeks to 5 years
Date of Estyn inspection: December 2017

Information about the setting

Banana Moon Day Nursery is an English medium setting.  It operates from a purpose designed building in Brackla in Bridgend local authority.  The setting is open from Monday to Friday between 7.30am and 6.30pm for 51 weeks of the year.  It is registered to care for up to 59 children from 12 weeks to five years of age.  None of the children learn English as an additional language or come from Welsh-speaking homes.  The setting currently has a very few children that it identifies as having additional learning needs.

It employs two practitioners to provide education for funded children and a non-teaching manager oversees the setting. 

Context and background to sector-leading practice

The setting has a highly beneficial range of partnerships that support children’s all round development very well.  A particular strength identified during the inspection is the setting’s innovative work with the local residential care home.  This supports the setting’s vision to be an integral part of the community, and to develop children’s sense of wellbeing and their personal and social skills effectively.

Description of nature of strategy or activity identified as sector-leading practice

The setting has set up regular visits to a nearby residential care home in collaboration with the care home’s manager.  The overall aim is to promote the wellbeing of the children and the elderly residents, as well as the setting’s practitioners and care home workers.  Initially, practitioners took a small group of six children to the residential care home to see how they would react.  These first visits were a great success.  There was a focus on music, reading books and playing catch.  Their favourite activity involved the parachute, with residents all working together so that the children could run underneath.

Following the success of the initial trial, the setting established weekly visits to the residential care home.  There is now a regular slot on a Wednesday morning, with different nursery practitioners and children taking part over time.  The format of the visits has developed with experience, and setting practitioners and the care workers now work together if there is a special event.  For example, for ‘Nursery Rhyme Week’, care workers and residents practised the five songs and rhymes that the children were learning and made a booklet including these ready for the weekly visit.  Hearing residents singing along with them gave the children confidence, helped them to remember the words and added to their enjoyment.

What impact has this work had on provision and learners’ standards?

The visits to the residential care home develop the children’s social and emotional skills well and give them confidence.  For example, a few children who tend to be quiet in the nursery become talkative in the care home.  The residents enjoy their conversations with the children and they have plenty of time to listen to their stories.  This helps to develop the children’s speaking and listening skills well.  Residents are eager to interact with the children, for example to show them how to use toys that they remember from childhood.  This provides valuable and meaningful opportunities for children to practise their social skills as well as developing their understanding of the world around them.

How have you shared your good practice?

The setting shares this good practice on its social media page and in local foundation phase network meetings.