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Foundations to Caring

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Introduction This essay is about describing a positive environment in a school setting of children aged between 4-7 years. The essay will include social, physical, cultural and stimulating environment both indoor and outdoor. The environment is where the surroundings are of everyday. To enhance my work I will be using numerous resources such as: * Internet * Books * Magazines * Theories * Class handouts To aid me, throughout the essay I will be quoting from some of these sources of information. At the conclusion of my essay whichever source I use will be included in the bibliography and references to authenticate the work and confirmation that I did look into. THE LAYOUT OF THE SETTING Tassoni P et al (2002: page109) writes this about a layout of the setting: "The layout of a setting can affect the atmosphere that is created as well as having a practical impact on the way children and staff interact and behave." High quality surroundings produce a rich, varied and stimulating environment. It entails having suitable lighting and ventilation creating a tepid atmosphere. This kind of atmosphere encourages children to become active and socialise more, it will have a positive impact on the children's learning/ development. An environment with noise, bright light, mould, lack of fresh air and erratic temperatures can have a negative impact on a child's education. The physical environment is something which influences a child's behaviour and mood. Tassoni Petal (2002:page 98) writes this about a positive environment: "A positive Early Years environment is therefore one in which all aspects of a child's experience are thought about and where staff are continually looking for ways to make sure that every child is benefiting from being in the environment." For a child to benefit from the environment the room ought to be divided into different areas of activities. This will help children become involved with the ranges that are available and will also prevent children from getting injured. ...read more.


For a safe environment Supervision is vital because as stated by Tassoni Pet al (2002: page 102): "Accidents often happen very quickly..." It means that the school should have all the essential safety equipment i.e. smoke alarms, windows with catches, slow closing doors so no fingers get jammed. The setting should have adequate space to hide the wires and there should be a daily check of equipment to ensure that it is fit for its purpose. Hygiene is crucial in order to prevent children and staff from harm and becoming ill. All equipment used in the classroom must be cleaned on a regular basis. The most frequently cleaned areas used by the class are the floor and carpet, sinks furniture, toilets and cutlery. The toys get cleaned at least once a month. It is important to clean these on a regular/ daily basis as bacteria can build up on equipment as children at this age tend to forget to wash their hands after visiting the toilet. Consequently, frequent cleaning is necessary. The floors need regular sweeping and mopping due to continuous sitting down and running around. Hand washing is important after going to the toilet before and after snacks, meals and play. EYW's and adults should set a good example by demonstrating this at every opportunity and having a high standard of cleanliness/ personal hygiene. EYW's should say this as an example written by Tassoni Pet al (2002: page 134): "I'll come and join you once I have washed my hands..." Social Learning Theory suggests as quoted by G.C Davenport (1994: page 102): "...children also learn by observing and imitating... The child will model aspects of his or her behaviour on these important people..." This is since children behave the way they see other people behaving. When handling food it is important that no bacteria is passed on to it or any equipment as mentioned by Tassoni Pet al (2002: page129-30) ...read more.


Children need a balanced diet as it provides an ample intake of energy and nutrients for the maintenance of the body and for good health. Nutrients are required to provide energy and materials for growth, repair, movement and the function of essential organs. Macronutrients: carbohydrates, fats and proteins are needed to be supplied in large quantities and Micronutrients: vitamins and minerals in small quantities. There are two types of vitamins: Fat Soluble (A, D, E, and K) and Water soluble (B complex and C). It is important that malnutrition does not result from an unbalanced diet, which can lead to under nutrition causing poor growth. Vitamin A deficiency can lead to dry, rough skin inflammation of the eyes, exophthalmia and night blindness. A deficiency in Vitamin D leads to rickets. For this reason, food which is provided should be carefully considered to guarantee that children receive a well balanced diet. Staff should provide food considering individual customs, religious, cultural, medical, and vegetarian and vegan requirements and those with food allergies. Respecting diets is important. Some religions have rules in the preparation of food i.e. Muslims and Jewish meat is Halaal/ Kosher if slaughtered according to their faith. Rastafarians do not eat pork or cocoa. Hindus avoid chicken and Sikhs are forbidden beef etc. Staff should also encourage a healthy attitude towards mealtimes, being a good role model by eating healthily, sitting with the children at lunchtime and not rushing this will teach children that mealtimes are important. It is important to consider how different cultures eat at the table. Majority of children use knives, forks and spoons but some use chopsticks, fingers or spoons. It is imperative to respect the different ways of eating food as this can have an affect on the child's emotional wellbeing. Children who don't use cutlery will slowly learn how to eat with these by watching and learning from others. Different cultures use cutlery differently e.g. Muslims hold their knife in the left hand while others hold it in their right. ...read more.

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