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What are the Leuven Scales?

The Leuven scales is a tool that has been developed by a team based at the Research Centre for Experiential Education in Belgium (Leuven University). It focuses on two central indicators of quality early years provision; children's 'well being' and 'involvement'.

Well being refers to feeling at ease, being spontaneous and free of emotional tensions and is crucial to good mental health. It is linked to self confidence, a good degree of self esteem and resilience.

Involvement refers to being intensely engaged in activities and is considered to be a necessary condition for deep level learning and development.

The 5 point scale measures both well being and involvement. If there is a consistent low level of well being and/ or involvement, it is likely that a child's development can be affected. The higher the levels of well being and involvement we can achieve for the child, the more we can add to a child's development.

At Coombe Hill Infants' we find this useful in the transition phase from nursery to reception, when the children are settling in. It helps us to understand how your child is feeling in their new setting and therefore assess if they're ready to learn. For some children this process could take a week, for others it may take most of the year. By using the scale, we as practitioners can tune into your child's level of well being and involvement and respond appropriately.