This was originally published back in 2020.
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By Kirsty Hails, Director, The Yellow Cottage Preschool

The TYC have had to think about doing things differently during these strange new times. We have set up remote learning plans for our children and also worked at developing individual learning plans for every child that attends The Yellow Cottage. These plans can be used both at TYC and through remote learning. We have all been very grateful for the digital platform Storypark, this has allowed us to remain in contact with our families and children easily.

All the staff have used their creativity to think about how learning might look in the home setting. We have worked together as a team and taken on different parts of our program and brainstormed ideas that could be done at home. It has been amazing to see the activities that staff have devised as part of our remote learning. Each staff member has been allocated a group of target children and it has been their responsibility to keep in contact and most importantly continue to maintain connections with these children. Staff and families have shared photos and enjoyed conversations with their target children. This has been such an essential part of making sure all families still felt included and connected.

Our staff have learned what it is like to be a PlaySchool presenter as we have been filming them reading the story during our group time, so our friends at home can also hear the book. We have been able to use this time with less children face to face as great professional development time. Our staff have used their love of learning and curiosity to take part in webinars and other forms of on line training. We have also used lots of reflection skills as we make changes and then modify things to work in these new times. Staff have been incredibly flexible and spontaneous in response to the ever changing environment.

As a whole we have connected with children and families on many different levels and the small groups of children currently attending preschool are allowing us the gift of more individual time for each child. We are so grateful to all our amazing families for their support and understanding and most of all for embracing the idea of play based learning at home.