So safe, fun, interesting, varied, inspiring and great relationships between children and adults . . . my children don’t give me a backward glance. Parent comment, parent questionnaire, 2015
We are very proud of our school nursery as we believe that we offer children very good provision and a positive, happy start to their learning journey. We now offer 39 morning places and 39 afternoon places. All children enjoy three hours of provision each day. In the nursery we aim to provide the children with a wide, rich range of play based activities and experiences. It is largely through structured play that young children learn about themselves, others and the world in which they live. Play offers important opportunities for young children to develop their communication skills. In addition, they learn to explore, investigate, try things out and learn alongside others. Embedded, carefully thought out routines are in place and there is a familiar pattern to children’s daily experience. As a result they feel secure and settle quickly, gaining the maximum from their first experience of school.
In our planning we provide a broad curriculum, which includes all the subject areas of the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum. There are seven broad areas of learning and these are divided into two sections. Prime areas of learning are fundamental, work together, and move through to support development in all other areas.
A) Prime Areas
1) Personal, Social and Emotional Development
This is about making relationships, developing self-confidence and self-awareness, plus learning to manage feelings and behaviour.
2) Physical Development
Children extend their ability to move around and to handle objects and equipment. They extend existing knowledge about how to to be healthy and their understanding about how to care for themselves develops.
3) Communication and Language
Children learn to listen, to understand what the teacher and their peers are communicating and how to express their needs, thoughts and ideas through speech.
B) Specific areas
Specific areas include essential skills and knowledge for children to participate successfully in society.
Taking the first steps in learning to read and write.
Finding out about numbers and shapes; learning about physical space and measurements.
6) Understanding the World
Children find out about people and communities, the world they live in and how technology is used in our world.
7) Expressive Arts and Design
They explore and use different media and materials . . . and they develop their imagination.
In September 2013 we opened our forest school environment. This natural area creates an enhanced opportunity for pupils to spend more time learning in the outdoors. There will be morning and afternoons when they will spend all three hours learning together outside in this specially designed environment.
Our planning covers different topics each half term. Weekly activities are carefully planned for both adult led and independent learning. Identified learning is delivered through individual, group and whole class teaching where the learning objectives have been clearly identified.
Being in the nursery is fun! The children have the opportunity to become involved in a wide range of first hand, practical experiences, leading to the acquisition of knowledge, skills and understanding. Sometimes children will choose what they want to do. At other times they will be asked to work with an adult and take part in an activity that helps them to concentrate and develop a particular skill. For example, cutting or tracing. How do we judge how well children are doing? In the first place we assess their well being. Are they relaxed and at ease, spontaneous and happy? Secondly, we look closely at their involvement in the activities on offer. How engaged in activities are they? How much interest in, and enthusiasm for, play based learning do they show?
If the children are to learn effectively we need to ensure that the atmosphere in the nursery is right. Our nursery is a welcoming, caring, safe yet stimulating place where the children feel eager to return each day, and where they feel they can express themselves and in turn receive a positive, respectful responses from staff. Equally, we believe it is important to build good relationships with parents so that we are all working towards the same common goals.
For more information about the school nursery please download our Early Years Foundation Stage handbook (this takes a few moments).