Completing the Quality Mark
Quality Mark activity can stand alone or complement and integrate with other local and/or national initiatives to improve young children’s achievements. You control the timescale for the external assessment of the award; the length of time taken to achieve accreditation will vary according to your setting’s starting point and your ability to demonstrate progress and sustained good practice. All practitioners, and others involved with the setting should be involved in the journey. Involvement in the process contributes to the development of leadership and management skills such as communication, action planning, monitoring and evaluating, in a practical context and with a tangible outcome.
Proprietors, management committees and governing bodies (or their equivalent) will find that work undertaken offers a meaningful context in which to monitor and evaluate the quality of provision, practice and outcomes. It will also demonstrate how they are actively carrying out their role to drive continuous improvement.
The 10 Quality Mark elements for early years settings
Your early years setting will achieve the award when you demonstrate that the criteria for all 10 elements are met and can provide evidence that participation in the award has had a positive impact on your provision and practice. If your setting is in an inspection category of improvement, you will follow the Improvement Pathway, led by your school improvement specialist, prior to gaining the award.
1. A whole setting strategy to improve children’s abilities and achievements
2. An analysis of the assessment of young children’s abilities and achievements
3. Setting appropriately high expectations for young children’s development
4. Planning ‘next steps’ in learning for young children’s development
5. Regular review of progress made by all children
6. A commitment to improving the skills of all practitioners
7. A balanced use of child-initiated and adult-guided play-based activities
8. The use of appropriate environments and resources
9. Partnership working between families, carers, practitioners and professionals in supporting young children’s learning and development
10. An effective procedure for monitoring planning and assessing improvement in practice and provision