Early Years 360 Environment Audit – Comprehensive environment audit form
This enabling environment audit is designed to provide a framework with which to evaluate the current environment from all perspectives and focus attention on areas that require improvement. Current research has proved that the environment can have a significant impact on well-being as well as children’s learning and development. The audit reflects areas highlighted in EYFS guidelines and also aspects from innovative pedagogies such as the Reggio Emilia approach.
When completing the audit take time to observe the environment, try to imagine viewing it for the first time and from different perspectives; as a teacher, a child, a parent/carer compiling a 360° view. To aid observation also take images –and from different heights (child/ adult). Consult with children, parents and governors to also get their opinions and input. Having children take photographs can be a useful tool to support this. When you review images together they are likely to be much more communicative that if asked direct questions. Please feel free to share this document.
In order to allow children to develop their creativity we need to allow children to construct their learning, make discoveries, make connections. We need to offer them real experiences. They need to spaces in which they can communicate, stretch their thinking and spaces of quiet reflection. The environment needs to offer many varied opportunities for children to express their imagination and creativity.
The environment needs to be conducive to emotional well-being and learning – the audit looks at a wide range of aspects from aesthetics and stimulation to physical factors such as noise levels and light quality. It is crucial that we also ensure the outdoor area also supports growth and learning – research has shown that children can learn even more effectively outdoors.
When we want to implement change it can at times seem overwhelming. It is important to agree on priorities, set achievable objectives and then implement improvements on a realistic timescale.
The audit starts by looking at general aspects affecting wellbeing, then looks at the aspects that affect the indoor environment followed by the outdoor environment. It is essential to consider how children can also be consulted and contribute their ideas in this audit process.