Young children are naturally curious and love to play. Our Nursery environment allows children opportunities to explore freely, both inside and outside, in order to develop their skills, knowledge and understanding in a way that is meaningful to them.
The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) framework sets out the statutory requirements for the development, learning and care of children from birth to the age of 5. It sets the standards that all Early Years providers must meet to ensure that children learn and develop well and are kept healthy and safe. Your child will learn skills, acquire new knowledge and show their understanding through 7 different areas of learning and development. These are divided into two sections, the 3 prime areas and 4 specific areas. Initially children will mostly develop within the prime areas, as these are the areas, which are most essential for children’s healthy development and provide the firm foundations of future learning.
These seven areas are used to plan your child’s learning and experiences at Nursery. The teacher and your child’s key person plan these opportunities in order that their interests and fascinations are followed and their unique needs are met. Our teaching and learning is all play based and involves a balance of self-chosen play activities, whole group times and focused small group activities. The children spend most of their time at Nursery choosing their own activities from our wide range of exciting and stimulating resources within our playroom and in our outside environment. During their play our skilled staff team spend time observing and intervening in their play in order to move learning forward. They will also identify children’s interests and from this, ‘themes’ and focused activities are planned to further develop the children’s skills and knowledge, ensuring that the full coverage of the EYFS is delivered.
Characteristics of effective learning
Everything we do at Nursery is built around the characteristics of effective learning. In order to learn the children need to be engaged and motivated in order to think and learn.
Playing and exploring – engagement
Active learning – motivation
Creating and thinking critically – thinking
What does this look like in our Nursery?
The children spend much of their time at Nursery choosing what they play with and directing their own time. This is because they are truly engaged and motivated in their play when they are in control of the choices that they make. Our staff use this time to observe the children and join groups and individuals to support, enhance and develop the activity. This could be by providing extra equipment, introducing new vocabulary, sharing an idea or posing a question, or modelling a skill. We call these ‘teachable moments’. It is through these opportunities that we are able to respond to every child’s unique needs immediately, supporting their learning and development in the best way for them.
In addition to these ‘teachable moments’ we provide lots of new and varied experiences for our children which are either facilitated by our staff or from visitors to Nursery and trips out. The Nursery children are very fortunate to be able to access ‘Adventure days’ with the Reception children in the Federation. This takes place in the wooded area on the main school field where the children take part in a wide range of activities led by one of our Reception teachers. During these times the children will be able to climb trees, use tools and enjoy cooking in our fire pit.