Nursery. A happy place to be in which our children wonder, explore, discover and ask questions about the world around them. When you walk into our nursery classrooms children are engaged in small tasks and select their own resources in different learning zones. Whether it be indoors or outdoors in our dedicated Early Years playground, skilled practitioners are working alongside each child to facilitate learning and cater for individual needs, strengths and interests. Quite simply, it is a place where your child develops their confidence whilst feeling safe and having fun.
The Early Years Foundation Stage consists of 7 areas of learning, which are interlinked throughout the environment. These are:
Communication and Language
A language rich environment where children are constantly involved in natural conversations to develop their speaking, listening and understanding is paramount. Children are exposed to quality literature and exciting story telling methods through drama and role play. Careful questioning gives children the opportunity to express themselves, sequence their ideas, and explain their thoughts. This is at the heart of learning.
Fine motor and gross motor skills go hand in hand and are just as important as each other. Adults support children to develop their core strength, stability, balance, spatial awareness, coordination and agility. Gross motor skills provide the foundation for developing healthy bodies and social and emotional well-being. Fine motor control and precision helps with hand-eye coordination which is later linked to early literacy.
Personal, social and emotional development
Safe, happy relationships help children find their place in the world and gives them the confidence to interact with others. This leads to children and how to regulate and understand their own feelings. Having boundaries and learning how to positively interact with others sets children up for success. With support, children are encouraged to manage their own personal hygiene and become increasingly independent in dressing, understanding healthy food choices and how to clean their teeth.
Developing a lifelong love of reading is crucial to development. This begins through songs, rhymes, poems, drama and listening to stories, and later progresses to blending sounds together to decode words. Comprehension is built through questioning and exploration of a text. Children are encouraged to make marks using different materials and tools. Even though a mark may not seem recognisable, to the child it could carry meaning and is celebrated. As children progress, they are exposed to letters and sounds and correct letter formation and implement what they learn through fun and purposeful challenges.
It is essential to develop a strong understanding of numbers so children can excel mathematically. Understanding the relationship between numbers occurs through counting, games, songs and fingerplays, and opportunities in play to do things like adding one more or one less. By providing frequent and varied opportunities to build and apply this understanding, children develop a secure base of mathematical knowledge and vocabulary. Rich opportunities for children to develop their spatial reasoning skills across all areas of mathematics including shape, space and measures.
Understanding the World
Children come from diverse backgrounds and cultures and beliefs. These are celebrated in various ways so children understand their place in the community and how to value and respect others around them. The natural world is also explored through hands-on activities involving natural materials and investigations that spark questioning and curiosity. This in turn builds a rich and varied vocabulary.
Expressive arts and design
The development of children’s artistic and cultural awareness supports their imagination and creativity. Children have regular opportunities to engage with the arts, enabling them to explore and play with a wide range of media and materials. Children cut, join, build, stick, mould, and experiment with both 2D and 3D creations. Music and dance is encouraged thus building self expression and confidence. Dramatic play allows children to ‘try on’ every day roles in the community or create an imaginative scene with their friends. These opportunities develop social skills, language and social understanding.
At Prospect house, children are observed in both their adult-led and child-initiated tasks, and this is documented using the online platform Tapestry.