"I like how attentive the teachers are with the children and the way they praise them and show understanding for what is important to the children. I think the organisation and general running of the nursery is excellent! I can’t think of anything that could be improved upon."
From the start all children are encouraged to concentrate on activities for short periods and to develop skills in all areas of learning. Over the time that they are with us, we will aim to help them to build on these skills and to have a broad range of experiences through planned activities.
Interesting activities are planned outdoors and indoors to support learning across all areas of the curriculum. We regularly have small group activities in our classroom area. The content of the educational programme takes account of “The Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage” set out by the Department for Education. We focus on the three prime areas of learning and development which are:
1. Personal, social and emotional development
2. Physical development
3. Communication and language
In addition we also ensure that activities are planned in the four specific areas of learning and development:
3. Understanding the world
4. Expressive arts and design
Within these areas of learning and development activities are planned and resources are provided to help children to work towards the early learning goals of the early years foundation stage.
Threading Daisy Chains
Areas of Learning
Below is a summary of each of these areas and some of the activities that the children will be focussing on. We hope this will give you a better idea of how the things we do at nursery are linked to the Early Years Learning Goals, set out by Government. We do hope you find this of interest. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to ask your child's key person.
Communication and Language
Involves giving children opportunities to experience a rich language environment; to develop their confidence and skills in expressing themselves; and to speak and listen in a range of situations.
Chatting and Making Friends
Communication and language has three aspects – Listening and attention, Understanding and Speaking
Listening and attention skills are continually developed as children listen to stories, play with their friends and listen to instructions from teachers. Our older year group enhances their listening skills through SALLEY (structured activities in language and literacy in early years)sessions.
Understanding is developed through many planned and child led activities such as exploring our sensory garden, finding out what plants are there and how to take care of them; Crescendo Kids; singing/band sessions; craft activities and cooking. Children follow instructions involving ideas or actions and think about 'how' and 'why' things happen.
Speaking is developed through opportunities to chat one to one with friends, their key person or teachers whilst playing and sharing ideas and thoughts. We encourage social conversation during snack and lunch times or when in larger groups for news and 'show and tell'. These activities enable children to increase their vocabulary and their understanding of different tenses.
Physical Development provides the opportunity for children to be active and interactive; and to develop their control, co-ordination and movement. Children are also helped to understand the importance of physical activity, and to make healthy choices in relation to food.
Building a Den
Physical development is divided in to two main areas; Moving and handling; and Health and self-care.
Moving and handling involves children showing good control and co-ordination in large and small movements. They learn how to move confidently in a range of ways, safely negotiating space. They also learn how to handle equipment and tools effectively, including pencils for mark making and early writing. Children have plenty of opportunity to play outside using a variety of equipment such as bicycles, scooters, the climbing frame and the caterpillar to increase leg strength and improve their confidence when negotiating space safely. Inside the children can use scissors, pegs, duplo and lacing to improve hand eye co-ordination and strength their grip.
Health and self-care teaches children the importance of good health through physical exercise and a balanced diet. It covers the ways in which we keep healthy and safe. Children understand how to manage their own basic hygiene and personal needs successfully, including dressing and going to the toilet independently. We discuss healthy food choices during snack time, giving the children the chance to select their choice of snack.
Personal, Social and Emotional Development
Personal, social and emotional development involves helping children to develop a positive sense of themselves and others; to form positive relationships, developing respect for others; to develop social skills and learn how to manage their feelings; to understand appropriate behaviour in groups; and to have confidence in their own abilities.
Building Relationships with Puppets
It is split into three areas; Self-confidence and self awareness; Managing feelings and behaviour and Making relationships. Children are encouraged to develop these skills during general play and through more focussed activities such as playing games, working together to complete tasks and sharing news.
Self-confidence and self awareness aims to promote confidence in children when trying new things, speaking in front of a familiar group, choosing toys and verbalising when they do and don’t need help.
Managing feelings and behaviour aims to develop children’s ability to talk about theirs and others feelings. It helps children to understand their and others behaviour, why there are consequences and the difference between acceptable and unacceptable behaviour.
Making relationships addresses the concepts of taking turns, playing cooperatively and listening and taking into account one another’s ideas.
Literacy involves encouraging children to link sounds and letters and to begin to read and write. Children have access to a wide range of reading materials such as books, poems and other written materials which are very important in order to ignite their interest in reading and writing.
Literacy has two aspects – Reading and Writing
Reading and a love of books is encouraged through our library area where children can choose a book to be read to them or to take home. The children can play with the alphabet feely bags, which use objects to identify the different letters of the alphabet. During SALLEY sessions children in the older year group develop their early reading skills. The letters of the alphabet are visible throughout nursery - inside on our colourful alphabet rug or letter bunting and outside on our alphabet banner.
Writing is developed through lots of “mark making” activities involving chalk, water with paintbrushes, felt tips, crayons, paints, pens and pencils both inside and outside. Children develop hand strength, needed for early writing, through focussed play using Lego, lacing, pegs, tweezers, shaving foam, mud and manipulating play dough.
Mathematics focuses on number, space, shape and measure. This area pf earning is in the world all around us and you can support your child's learning by observing numbers in shops, on cars, in books or on the television. Shapes can also be discovered and explored in food, plants and books. Space and measure can be investigated with jugs, buckets and funnels in the bath, sandpit and paddling pool.
Counting And Comparing Sizes Of Potatoes
Number involves developing skills and progressing children's learning towards the goals of counting, placing numbers in order and understanding which number is one more or one less than a given number. Children learn to solve number problems as well as using quantities and objects to add and subtract single digit numbers. To support this learning, planned activities will include number walks, using numbers in play and everyday life, number songs and rhymes, books and stories as well as counting activities with resources such as bricks, compare bears, shells, orange segments and play dough. Sometimes we hide numbers in sawdust/sand and when the children find the number, they are encouraged to find the corresponding number of items also hidden in the sand.
Shape, space and measure involves the children working towards the goals of using mathematical language in everyday situations such as talking about size, weight, capacity, position, distance, time and money. We go on shape walks around the village and the local woods observing shapes in the environment and making shapes with sticks the children have found. When playing with water and sand they develop an understanding of quantity and weight. Children have access to rulers and tape measures which they use when building and playing to compare lengths. Children learn to recognise and create patterns, through threading beads or painting patterns on sticks.
Understanding The World
Understanding the world involves guiding children to make sense of their physical world and their community through opportunities to explore, observe and find out about people, places, technology and the environment.
Making a Bug Hotel
UTW has three aspects – People and communities, World and Technology.
People and communities is developed by encouraging children to talk about their own home lives and to share their experiences, such as holidays, celebrations and special events. Through visits from members of the community, including the firefighters and the police, and by visiting the local shop and walking around the village, the children can find out about the community they live or go to nursery in.
World teaches children about the environment around them. They are constantly learning and this is enhanced at nursery by planting seeds, watching them grow and harvesting them. By our regular visits to the woods, which gives the children lots of opportunity to explore and find out more about the animals and plants that live there.
Technology is all around us and the children develop a range of skills including problem solving through the programs we have on the iPad. They also have the opportunity to use a range of technological equipment including cameras, torches and cd players and other electronic toys which encourages their technological development.
Expressive Art and Design
Expressive art and design involves supporting children to explore and play with a wide range of media and materials as well as providing the opportunity to share their thoughts, ideas and feelings through a variety of activities in art, music, movement, dance, role play and design and technology.
It has two aspects 'Exploring and using media and materials' and 'Being imaginative'.
Exploring and using media and materials allows children to express themselves and explore their creative side. They always have access to paint, pens, pencils, glue, scissors and a variety of different materials such as card, tissue paper, fabric, ribbon, etc. They feel and experience different textures such as play dough, gloop, shaving foam, mud and snow. We also have regular singing and band sessions, including Crescendo Kids, giving children the opportunity to express themselves through music and dances.We have regular singing session, including Crescendo kids once a month, which is a great way for children to express themselves.
Being imaginative encourages children to share their thoughts, ideas and feelings whilst at play. Through role play, dressing up or small world toys children can act out a story or invent their own narrative, collaborating with friends, building on ideas and themselves. Both indoor and outdoor areas are stimulating and promote curiosity, exploration and problem solving building confidence and self esteem.
Characteristics Of Effective Learning
The ways in which a child engages with other people and their environment through playing and exploring; active learning and creating and thinking critically underpins the learning and development across all areas of the curriculum and supports the child to become an effective and motivated learner. We use these characteristics to observe a child's progress, engagement and enjoyment in an activity.
Playing and Exploring - Engagement
Finding out and exploring / Playing with what they know / Being willing to 'have a go'
Active Learning - Motivation
Being involved and concentrating / Keep trying / Enjoying achieving what they set out to do
Creating and Thinking Critically - Thinking
Having their own ideas / Making links / Choosing ways to do things
The fundamental British values of:
- rule of law
- individual liberty
- mutual respect and tolerance for those with different faiths and beliefs
These values are already implicitly embedded in the 2014 Early Years Foundation Stage. This is essentially to help prepare children for life in modern Britain. We aim to promote fundamental British values in an age-appropriate way such as 'right from wrong' and to challenge negative attitudes and stereotypes. To understand the risk of radicalisation and to identify children at risk of being drawn into extremism.
Separately, the Counter Terrorism and Security Act also places a duty on early years providers "to have due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism" (the Prevent Duty).
The following helps to describe how British Values are put into practice at our setting:
Democracy: making decisions together
Making decisions is within the self-confidence and self-awareness section of the Personal, Social and Emotional Development area of learning:
Children are encouraged to see their role in the bigger picture, children understand their views count, they value each other’s views and values and talk about their feelings, for example when they do or do not need help. Democracy can be seen in action by children sharing views on what the theme of their role play area could, choosing snack, or selecting resources to build/create with. Staff support children's decisions and provide many activities that involve turn-taking, sharing and collaboration. Children are given opportunities to develop enquiring minds in an atmosphere where questions are valued.
Rule of law: understanding rules matter
Understanding rules falls within the managing feelings and behaviour section of the Personal, Social and Emotional Development area of learning:
Adults ensure that children understand their own and others’ behaviour and its consequences, learning to distinguish right from wrong. We collaborate with children to create rules and the codes of behaviour. The children enjoy helping to write the rules for nursery, which are laminated and placed around our setting.
Individual liberty: freedom for all
Freedom for all is found within the self-confidence & self-awareness and people & communities sections of the Personal Social and Emotional Development and Understanding the World areas of learning:
Children are enabled to develop a positive sense of themselves. Opportunities are provided for children to develop their self-knowledge, self-esteem and increase their confidence in their own abilities, for example through allowing children to take risks on an obstacle course, mixing colours or talking about their experiences and learning. Adults provide a range of experiences that allow children to explore the language of feelings and responsibility, reflect on their differences and understand we are free to have different opinions.
Mutual respect and tolerance: treat others as you want to be treated
Mutual respects falls within the people & communities, managing feelings & behaviour and making relationships sections in the Personal Social and Emotional Development and Understanding the World areas of learning:
We have an ethos of inclusivity and tolerance where views, faiths, cultures and races are valued and children are engaged with the wider community. Children acquire a tolerance, appreciation of and respect for their own and other cultures; know about similarities and differences between themselves, others and among families, faiths, communities, cultures and traditions. They share and discuss practices, celebrations and experiences. Adults encourage and explain the importance of tolerant behaviours such as sharing and respecting other’s opinions. We promote diverse attitudes and challenge stereotypes, by sharing stories that reflect and value the diversity of children’s experiences. Resources and activities that challenge gender, cultural and racial stereotyping are provided.
If you would like anymore information on the EYFS and how it supports your child's learning then please follow the link below.
Other useful sites to support your child's learning include 4children, www.4children.org.uk - which contains lots of useful information about child development and the EYFS areas of learning and Foundation Years / From pregnancy to children aged 5, www.foundationyears.org.uk - this website also contains a handy booklet 'What to expect when' which is a summary of child developmental stages. Copies can be purchased for £2.99 from the website. We also have a copy on the nursery notice board.
These sites can also help you learn more about your child's development: