Head of Elstree Pre-Prep Alice Holifield had been looking for a more efficient and inclusive way of profiling early years’ development. When Arc Pathway was recommended by a Nursery Head friend last year, Alice approached Arc Pathway founders Helen Garnett and Jackie Harland to formulate the best solution for Elstree.
The Arc Pathway story began six years ago when teacher and early years author Helen and specialist speech and language therapist Jackie, discovered they shared a mutual interest in early intervention.
Together with a trusted team of experienced educational experts, they tirelessly created an interactive digital platform that gives parents and teachers a deeper understanding of a child’s development and provides an effective learning pathway.
Alice Holifield, who contributed to the development of the Arc Pathway software for Elstree explains: “I had been looking into how staff could spend less time collecting evidence, how our provisions could be tailored more to the needs of each individual and how our data could be used
more accurately for planning.”
Elstree Pre-Prep in Berkshire started using the Arc Pathway software in September 2020. Profiles for each child were set up for teachers to update, and parent/s to securely access.
The software prompts staff to answer can-do statements relating to the seven learning areas of the early years’ statutory framework, and the results appear in seven colourful arcs.
Alice Holifield explains: “A child’s profile shows us their areas of strengths and confidence in relation to their age, and also highlights areas of learning that each child has not yet developed. It helps us with our child-centred planning, as the software automatically generates priority next steps for each child.”
Since the new platform has been introduced to Elstree Pre-Prep, staff have found less time is spent on admin and more time invested in teaching.
Arc Pathway’s Managing Director Jackie Harland was pleased to hear how well the platform has been received by staff: “Alice told me the teachers love using Arc Pathway, which for us is so vital.
Genuine enthusiasm for profiling, observing and next steps is one of the keys to a healthy early years’ practice. We are delighted this is the case with Elstree.”
Alice Holifield strongly believes the software has helped bridge the gap between home and school: “Parents can see their children’s progress and we love seeing observations that parents have made at
home. This is particularly rewarding when parents are doing activities with their children to support them to achieve one of their next steps.”
One Elstree parent said: “The new Arc Pathway software is fantastic. It is easy to understand and gives you a great insight into how your child is progressing and developing in a wide range of different areas. It really helps you feel engaged with their learning journey and is a great way of understanding what they are doing at school every day – I love it!”
Another great advantage of adopting the Arc Pathway software is that even throughout lockdown three, teachers can continue to set children personalised learning pathways to work on from home.
Once back at ‘physical’ school, teachers can then easily identify the progress children have made during remote learning and next steps can instantly be put in place.