The short the answer is no, and I will explain!
It may look like there is a lot to take on board, and there is, but it is very simple and easy to do so. If you invest, spark is sure to become your 360° companion that strives to minimise your challenges; whatever role you take in your kindergarten.
From carrying out consultancy and training work in China and using the award-winning UK software (developed over more than 20 years) we developed sparkCHINA. However, sparkCHINA aspires to meet China’s specific needs and is not a direct clone.
So, our first aim is to ensure you have the functions you need to be a strong business and to ‘get it right’ for all the people in the organisation. They then can in turn, uphold and promote the ethos ‘to get it right’ for every child and family. spark helps minimise the challenges and works ‘smartly’.
Let’s face it – if we highlight some parts of the EYFS … we have
- Development Matters Statements
- Characteristics of Effective Learning
- Areas of Learning
- The aspects of these seven learning areas
- Planning the environment
- perhaps planning a topic
- using the children’s interests
- meeting individual children’s needs
- Engaging parents
- Writing reports and presenting ‘learning journey’ documentations
- Recognise each child as unique
- learning different things
- at various rates
- in assorted ways
Also, we must not forget that all of this work is delivered by a team of adults, who are all at different competency levels with varying dispositions.
All this, (and more) all dove-tail together; each part reflecting on another and determines quality. The subject matter IS complicated. spark handles this complicated information for you. It collects data and transforms that into useful and instant information at the touch of a few buttons. This information is all accurate (data never lies!), is relevant to the early years and easy to understand. As a consequence, you have useful information to move your kindergarten’s practice/standards on; to formulate strategies to improve.
The software simplifies how educators work with the children; there’s no more work to take home, no observations or planning to do away from key-children. It is also very user-friendly and each child is at the centre of practice. The educators can continue their interaction with the children and be present in their play. At the same time, sparkCHINA supports them to facilitate meaningful learning, helping the child’s all-round development.
Alongside this, spark gives direct guidance to educators from within. The software directs them and breaks down tasks into small, quickly achievable parts, sometimes giving timescales for completion. It also takes consideration of literacy skills and possible lack of experience by offering templates which are automatically personalised for each child and laying out ideas for consideration. These help the team develop. Management has less detail to check before families and external professionals receive the information. All members of the team are encouraged, through spark, to use the evaluation features. These adults can review not only children’s achievements but their own methods of pedagogy in relation to their strategies concerning each child, for example, with The Characteristics of Effective Learning.
So, there are lots of features. These begin to work as the educator plans and records achievement. Initial support calls with our early years consultants, alongside sparkTUTOR guides your team on where to start and then how to encompass the features you choose to use.
sparkTUTOR is accessible to all sparkUSERs via the software. It lays out MP4’s in pathways for you and your team to follow or draw on. Each MP4 is short and explains how to use the feature. Within sparkTUTOR, you also have other resources which shore up and improve on best practice. Furthermore, resources to give to and help parents. New for 2020, sparkTUTOR’s resources will expand and reflect sparkUSERs requests and needs.