Over the last week, I have been writing end of year reports for the nurture children I support. This is an opportunity to recognise and celebrate the development in the children we work with. Each September I am never really sure what progress we will make, there are so many possibilities that can affect the child and the work. Each year my hope is that the new little person I am starting work with will reach a place where they feel secure, safe and wanted. Our work is not about achieving academic targets, but it is about the child feeling that they are safe, that they can express themselves in positive and safe ways and for them to know they are wanted and loved.
The joy of writing end of year reports is that we start by remembering how the child was at the beginning of the year, in many ways this can be quite an emotional time, looking back and remembering how hard it was for the child and their staff. By this time of year, you can so easily forget and take for granted the progress made. I have children now who can sit for 10 minutes and join in, children who can tell their staff how they feel, children who now have friends and invite other children to play with them, children who when a stranger walks into the classroom no longer stand out as the child with big issues.
These children will not necessarily reach their early learning goals; they will all still need support and help in year 1. But these children have all grown and developed and flourished, and that is wonderful and worth celebrating.
My role at the end of the year with the staff is to remind them of the amazing work that they have done with the children. To remind them to celebrate the steps that have been made.
At the end of May, I planted a sunflower seed for each of the children I was working with. This week they have started to flower, a beautiful reminder of the joy and wonder and celebration of the children I work with.