Here at Rachel McMillan we believe that working collaboratively with other schools and organisations enhances and supports the quality of work that we can do to benefit our children.
We have enjoyed collaborative projects with organisations such as The Albany, Deptford as well as collaborating on a formal basis with the following organisations;
South Thames Early Education Partnership (STEEP)
STEEP is a partnership of six like-minded London Nursery Schools and Children’s Centres, across two London Boroughs, Greenwich and Lewisham, each with a long history of high quality Early Years provision.
The participating Nursery Schools are:
- Abbey Wood Nursery School
- Chelwood Nursery School and Designated Teaching School
- Clyde Nursery School.
- Pound Park Nursery School
- Rachel McMillan Nursery School and Children’s Centre
- Robert Owen Nursery School and Children’s Centre
We are all committed members of Early Education, The British Association for Early Childhood Education (BAECE) and believe every child deserves the best possible start in life and support to fulfil their potential.
A child’s experience in the early years has a major impact on their future life chances. A secure, safe and happy childhood is important in its’ own right, and provides the foundation for children to make the most of their own abilities and talents as they grow up. https://www.early-education.org.uk/ethics-principles
Core beliefs and principles
The principles and commitments of the Early Years Foundation Stage, clearly apply to a wide audience, the principles by which our settings, BAECE, and many other nursery schools across the country, have worked in our long history working with children and families.
Each of the settings within STEEP will have unique qualities and identities but we share core beliefs and principles, which will be common to other nursery school settings:
- We pride ourselves in valuing each child as a unique individual whose strengths, interests and passions should be at the heart of their own personalised curriculum.
- The curriculum that we provide is broad and balanced and responsive to each child’s development, focusing on them as a whole and meeting their physical, emotional, spiritual, intellectual, social, linguistic, cultural and cognitive needs.
- We recognise the significance of strong personal and caring relationships, in children’s development and learning. To support us in this we work closely with the children themselves through our work on children’s voice and in close partnership with our families and wider community. We see the role of the Key Person in this work as invaluable.
- We know how important the physical and emotional environment is to a child’s well-being and motivation to learn. We plan with this in mind when we develop exciting, dynamic spaces and places inside and out, considering the learning styles and needs of our children in order to make the experiences we offer irresistible.
- We are rooted in the ‘open air’ philosophy, where children are able to access the outdoors fully throughout their early years learning and development.
Initial Teacher Education - in partnership with Goldsmiths University
For several years, STEEP has worked together with Goldsmiths to form an Early Years training school partnership, which specialises in the delivery of high quality teacher training in the field of Early Years Education.
We draw on our long history of high quality Early Years provision and excellent outcomes for children in the design and delivery of our PGCE pathway. Through this partnership we seek to ensure effective succession planning in the training of the expert Early Years teachers of the future.
Quality and qualified staff
Our settings are proud of their secure and established Early Years specialism, and the high level of expertise and experience amongst our teachers, practitioners and support staff.
We share a passion for the importance of putting the needs of the children first and ensuring high quality early education for all our children. We know from experience that children thrive and achieve when the staff who work with them; are specialist early years practitioners who are well qualified in this field and have high levels of expertise, a robust understanding of the development of young children, a knowledge of how young children learn most effectively, and a tireless commitment to put the needs of the child and family, at the heart of their work. As such we welcomed and celebrate the findings of Cathy Nutbrown in her review of Early Education and Childcare Qualifications and agree with her statement that ‘there cannot be a compromise on quality and we must be relentless in our desire to improve experiences for young children.’
Open Air Philosophy
We know that the outdoor environment provides opportunities for learning that cannot be experienced inside and we are committed to giving children the opportunity to explore on a large physical scale, and with freedom of movement.
We plan for the children’s learning outside with the same rigor and with the same commitment to personalisation that we give to our inside environment.
Greenwich Community Schools Partnership (GCSP)
Rachel McMillan Nursery School works collaboratively with several other schools within the Royal Borough of Greenwich.
GCSP is a recently formed collaboration of diverse schools which include Nursery, Primary, Secondary and Special Schools. The aim and shared values of our schools is to support all of our families to enable children to thrive and be successful learners. We support each other as established schools to drive school improvement and develop innovative approaches to education.
We have agreed that we will:
- Share expertise
- Develop an exceptionally strong common workforce in our schools
- Provide model community schooling in the Royal Borough of Greenwich.
- Act as a force multiplier so we may achieve more together than apart. Our first piece of work was to compare and contrast our work with Pupil Premium money.
- Our latest project is to look at play, wellbeing and mental health across the school
Greenwich West Children’s Centres (GWCC)
We work closely with the team in our local children’s centre’s in order to support and meet the needs of all of our families. For further information about the work of GWCC please go to their website. www.quaggydevelopmenttrust.org