How we support children
The national curriculum sets out what should be taught at Year 1 upwards. Before this, (Nursery and Reception) it is called the ‘Foundation Stage’ as it is about laying the foundations for future learning.
Our inside and outside nursery environments are carefully planned to allow the children to engage in a wide range of learning opportunities where we promote learning through play as the best way for children to develop important skills, such as social skills, independence, curiosity, and problem solving.
There are seven areas of the EYFS curriculum and in the Nursery, our main area of focus is on the prime areas, as these are the areas that really set the children up ready for reception.
The prime areas are:
Jumping, climbing, balancing, fine motor skills, developing hand and finger strength and coordination. We set up obstacle courses outside and have use of the school hall to have weekly pe sessions. We also use playdough, enjoy craft activities, constructions, messy play, and puzzles.
Personal, social and emotional
We help the children learn how to make relationships, become more confident, and learn to manage their feelings and behaviour. We use role play as a great way to practise these skills!
Communication and language
Language development is hugely important and is one of our main focusses in the nursery. Learning to listen, pay attention, understand instructions and questions, developing confidence and the ability to speak and communicate with others. We share lots of stories and encourage children to use props to act out the stories!
Developing independence and healthy practises is also important – we encourage our children to put on their own shoes, use the toilet and washing their hands themselves.
We also support children in the four specific areas:
Literacy – (learning to read and write)
We give the children lots of opportunities for mark making – paint brushes, pens, crayons, chalk etc and also use singing to develop children’s awareness of rhyme – which helps when they learn to read. Studies how shown in the Early Years the child’s awareness of rhyme is a good predictor of how easily they will learn to read!
Maths is about counting, calculating and developing an awareness of shapes and measures. Accurate number counting and number recognition is achieved through repetition, so we try to incorporate it in as many activities as possible throughout the day.
Understanding the world
This is to do with finding out about people, places, technology and the environment – this is an area that can really excite and motivate the children! As a school nursery, we are lucky that we can be involved in lots of whole school opportunities, like visits from a variety of interesting people!
Expressive arts and design
Exploring different mediums and materials and developing imagination and creativity. We support children by providing activities such as storytelling, dancing, music, role play and arts and crafts!
How will you know how your child is getting on?
Each child is assigned a key person which will be one of the nursery team. Having a key person means that each child has a special adult in the setting and over time, the adult can really get to know the child and tune into their needs, moods and interests. The adults can then use their knowledge to provide individualised support for the children. Although the children will have one key person, all the team will work with them to support them on their learning journey.
We use ‘Tapestry’ online learning journals to document children’s learning. ‘Tapestry’ is an exciting way of building a strong link between home and school. Families can login to view their child’s observations and also add their own observations from home.
One parent said,“It’s great being able to see what Albert has been up to throughout the day. We look through his pictures together in the evening and he tells me all about the photos/activities that he has been doing. It helps me to praise him at home for his great work. He doesn’t give too much away, when I ask how his day has been, but prompting him with photos that have been posted, reminds him and gets him chatting away!”
We have found that sharing learning with families in this way has helped to develop their understanding and appreciation of the potential of child led learning opportunities. Many parents look at the observations with their children at home and this can lead to further learning opportunities where the children talk about their learning, consolidating and reflecting on their activities.