Prime areas of learning are fostered through personal, social, emotional, physical, communication and language development.
By making relationships through a key person who is sensitive to individual needs and engages in playful interactions, children are able to explore from a secure base. Children learn to play co-operatively and show sensitivity to others’ needs and feelings. Practitioners aid children’s self-confidence and self-awareness by finding out children’s likes and dislikes. They manage feelings and behaviour by establishing shared understandings between home and setting and keep routines flexible so that young children can pursue their interests.
Practitioners provide a variety of experiences both indoors and outdoors, encouraging children’s independence as they explore movement. Children develop an understanding of the importance of physical exercise, and a healthy diet, and learn about ways to keep healthy and safe. They develop competency in managing their own basic hygiene and personal needs such as independently dressing and going to the toilet.
Children are encouraged to explore and imitate sound and practitioners are aware of the needs of children with English as an additional language through partnership with parents. Where appropriate support is available for children to communicate in a variety of different ways. Children have opportunities to engage and interact through play. Practitioners continually model speech building upon young children’s understanding to promote their ability to express.
Building upon the prime areas, practitioners foster specific areas of learning and development in literacy, mathematics, understanding the world and expressive arts and design by continuing to act as a resource and partner in children’s learning. Importance is placed on prompting children’s thinking and discussion through their involvement in play and supporting children’s growing independence as they do things for themselves and develop health awareness.
In an environment that is rich in print, children have access to an inviting book area together with puppets, props, rhymes and story sacks which enable children to develop phonic knowledge. Adults model writing for a purpose, scribe what children say and make writing opportunities available in all areas of the setting in the recognition that fine motor control required to be a competent writer develops from the core outwards placing an important emphasis on the development of gross motor skills first.
Practitioners use numerals in all areas of learning and development and display numerals in purposeful contexts. Children have access to a large range of number resources and learning is enhanced through number songs, rhymes and games. The continuous provision assists children in developing the use of everyday language to talk about size, weight, capacity, position, distance, time and money to compare quantities and objects and to solve problems.
Children have opportunities to talk about events in their own lives and in the lives of family members. They learn about similarities and differences between themselves and others, and among families, communities, traditions by being positive about differences between people. Children can Incorporate technology resources that they recognise into their play and have access to a range of materials and objects to play with that work in different ways for different purposes, with a range of programmable toys, as well as equipment involving ICT.
Children safely use and explore a variety of materials, tools and techniques and represent their own ideas, thoughts and feelings through design and technology, art, music, dance, role play and stories.
Crawley Ridge Nursery is registered with Ofsted and follows the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) framework in line with the statutory and welfare requirements which specify that every child deserves the best possible start in life and support to fulfil their potential and a child’s early years experience has a major impact on their future life chances. A secure, safe and happy environment provides the foundation for children to develop.
We use the ‘Early Years Foundation Stage Statutory Framework’ and ‘Development Matters’ to guide the work of our practitioners and understand that effective practice is built on the four guiding themes:
Qualified staff have an understanding of children’s development and through observation are able to assess and plan for next steps. Partnership working with parents helps us to gather information prior to children starting to ensure that we have background information so that we are able to assess and help children develop a positive sense of themselves and also to identify any need for additional support. We build bonds very early on to ensure that information flows both ways and to help us ascertain what type of contact suits each family.
Children’s learning is recorded in their ‘Learning Journey’ profile and discussions take place regularly with parents and children. The keyperson is aware of the requirements relating to the early learning goals, educational programmes and the assessment arrangements. This process is consistent and clear and allows each individual child’s progress to be monitored as they make their way through the learning journey with on-going formative assessments. Our processes ensure that we can be inclusive for children with special educational needs and/or disabilities and those learning English as an additional language.
The first few weeks of a child’s time at the nursery is used to ensure that they feel secure and comfortable through encouragement and praise and understanding that this takes some children longer than others. The induction sessions conducted prior to a child starting are extremely valuable and the information gathered at this time is used to ensure that the play based activities available are of interest and appropriate. Staff are friendly and approachable and use this time to build bonds with key children. We value and use the information given to us by parents about the way their children behave and learn at home. Child generated displays and visual clues through welcome signs in different languages helps us to foster a sense of belonging. Children are encouraged through the stimulating layout of the environment to be independent with support if necessary. Children have access to resources through self-selection therefore providing them with an opportunity to extend on current resources through imagination and preference. We use pictures and words to help children with visual clues allowing them some independence and the opportunity to take responsibility. .
By building relationships with the children and their families, the keyperson is able to establish individual needs and interests that are relevant to their culture and community. Through observation, the keyperson can determine which type of play based activity a child is likely to benefit from and build this into the continuous provision weekly planning for that individual child. Parents are invited to be part of the cultural programme that forms our long-term seasonal plan by helping us deliver festivals and celebrations allowing us to benefit from their expertise. Play is key to children’s learning and is accessed indoors and outdoors. Weekly planning is monitored to provide a continuous provision which ensures a balance of adult-led and child-initiated activities which is further enhanced by the keyperson plans for individual children. Open ended activities are made available daily in all areas of the nursery.
Well qualified staff understand that children learn and develop in different ways. Teaching takes place by ensuring that children have access to play opportunities which are based on the prime areas of learning (personal, social and emotional development, communication and language, physical development) and the specific areas (literacy, mathematics, understanding the world, expressive arts and design). We understand that all areas of learning and development are equally important and inter-connected. We understand in order to assess the children’s learning we need to be able to see characteristics of effective learning; playing and exploring, active learning, creating and thinking critically.