To evaluate and understand the social and emotional climate of your setting

Aim

To evaluate and understand the social and emotional climate of your setting.

Evidence and reflection

It is likely that a combination of tools will be required. We recommend a combination of practitioner observations and child-led activities.

In your observations be sure to note how both children and adults are getting on, whether all of the children are engaged, whether the activities offer challenge but that all children feel able to participate and succeed. Try not to dismiss or excuse any child or behaviour; the important aspect here is the overall climate and how children are being supported within that environment. To gain the children’s perspective you may feel that for babies your observations are sufficient. However, take some time to think about their capabilities and plan accordingly. Asking young children to draw a picture for you about what is important to them in the setting and their likes and dislikes.

As with the previously suggested activity, it may take time for the children to get used to discussing their thoughts and opinions if they are not used to being asked.

Extension

Once you have gathered the perspectives of practitioners and children you may wish to include families. Use this information to consider the positive aspects of the climate and to identify any areas you may wish to develop. Work with a peer to consider how this may be achieved. Do not be disheartened if it takes time. Many things worth doing take time!