Learning & Development
Within the nursery all children are supported in developing their potential at their own individual pace. A range of fun play and educational activities are planned Early Years Foundation Stage, preparing the children for school. The targeted time for completion of the Foundation Stage is at the end of the reception year (the first year at school). A key-person system enables us through observations to tailor activities to the needs of each individual child. We offer a curriculum tailored to provide nationally approved learning opportunities by means of appropriate play activities and a high level of individual adult input.
Prime Areas of Learning
Communication, Language and Literacy
In both small and large groups children are encouraged to extend their vocabulary and fluency by talking, listening and responding to stories, songs and rhymes. Children are helped to understand that written symbols carry meaning, to be aware of the purposes of writing and, when ready, to use drawn and written symbols for themselves. A well-stocked book corner gives every child the opportunity and encouragement to become familiar with books, able to handle them and aware of their uses, both for reference and as a source of stories and pictures. We use the public libraries to enhance our range of books, particularly when working on specific themes. The children aged over three years take part in our own library and reading scheme involving the family at home.
A range of equipment and opportunities, both indoor and out, allows children to develop confidence and enjoyment in the use of their own bodily skills. A very high level of adult supervision enables children safely to create and meet physical challenges, thereby developing increasing skill and control in activities such as climbing and balancing. The children are supported in the development of their fine motor skills that are required to use tools, including pens, pencils, scissors and handling small objects, with increasing control and precision.
Personal, Social and Emotional Development
Within a nurturing environment, children are individually supported in developing confidence, autonomy and self-respect. They are encouraged to work and concentrate independently and also to take part in the life of the nursery, sharing and co-operating with other children and adults. Through activities, conversation and practical example, they learn acceptable ways to express their own feelings and to respect the feelings of others. All children are given the opportunity, as appropriate, to take responsibility for themselves and the nursery property.
Specific Areas of Learning
This involves encouraging children to read and write bith through listening to others, reading and being encouraged to begin to read and write themselves. With support from their key person children will have access to a mark making area where they will begin to start writing and a book corner where they will be encouraged to choose books for themselves that they are interested in. Children can enjoy a waide range of reading material, e.g. books, poems and other written material to encourage their interest.
By means of adult-supported practical experience, children become familiar with sorting, matching, ordering, sequencing and counting activities forming the basis for early mathematics. As they use their developing mathematical understanding to solve practical problems, children are assisted to learn and use the vocabulary of mathematics, identify objects by shape, position, size, volume and number. Songs, games and picture books help children become aware of number sequences and when they are ready, to use simple mathematical operations such as adding.
Understanding of the World
A safe and stimulating environment allows children to explore and experiment with a range of natural and manufactured materials. They learn to observe the features of objects and substances, recognising the differences, patterns and similarities and to share and record their findings. Children are assisted in exploring and understanding their environment, both within the nursery and also in the wider community. Mlti-cultural festivals are observed and celebrated throughout the year. A range of safe, well-maintained equipment enables children to extend their technological understanding, using simple tools and techniques as appropriate to achieve their intentions and to solve problems.
Expressive arts and design
Children are encouraged to use a wide range of resources in order to express their own ideas and feelings. Construction materials are readily available offering creative experiences in two and three dimensions. Art equipment, including paint, glue, crayons and pencils as well as natural and discarded resources, provides for open-ended exploration. Awareness of colour, shape and texture is achieved and the development of skills in painting, drawing and collage encouraged. Children join in with and respond to music and stories using our extensive resources. There are many opportunities for imaginative role-play, both individually and as part of a group.