The nursery follows the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) to ensure that the children in our care develop a broad range of skills, knowledge and a positive attitude to learning. The seven areas of learning outlined in the EYFS are used to shape provision within the nursery and are promoted through activities and experiences. When planning and providing activities the nursery practitioners consider children’s individual needs, interests and next steps. We also work in partnership with parents/carers to promote their child’s learning and development
The learning opportunities we provide aim to challenge and engage children; activities are adapted for children who have additional needs and English as an additional language. There is a mixture of adult-led and child-initiated play with plenty of opportunities to free play both inside and outside.
Alongside the parents it is the Key Person’s responsibility to assess and support children’s development. Assessment is a vital part of ensuring that parents and practitioners recognise children’s progress and understand their needs. This is done on an ongoing basis and means that support can be identified and implemented quickly
The key person collects evidence of the child’s development on Tapestry in the form of photos, videos and written notes. They also take into consideration the parent’s comments and observations added to Tapestry and from general discussions and key person meetings. This is then used to make a judgement once a term alongside the EYFS as to what developmental stage they are at.
Each term the key person sets next steps to identify areas for development and completes a summary. The summary includes information about what the child has been working on, what they have achieved and any progress towards their next steps. It also shares anything that they have particularly enjoyed that term. Whenever possible these are completed in partnership with parents and then shared and agreed upon during a key person meeting.
When children are aged between two and three a two year progress check will be completed. This is a review of their progress, identifying their strengths and areas of support needed. The check should be shared with the parent/carer and the health visitor and supports the 2 year health review.
When planning and providing activities and experiences for the children we always aim to base these on children’s individual needs, stages of development and interests. It is important that children are able to learn and explore at their own pace both with adult input and independently, therefore our environments are carefully set up to support this. There are lots of opportunities for free choice and to explore and extend what they have learned with the adult. We have a flexible approach to learning and follow the children’s lead as much as possible. Much of the adult input is ‘in the moment’ rather than pre-planned as we feel that this enables us to extend learning further. With this approach we are able to explore all areas of the curriculum with the children and develop on what they are doing in that moment and are interested in.
We strongly feel that an integral part of learning for children is focussing on the process and not producing a finished product. This may mean that parents do not always see what their child has achieved that day whilst they were learning a new skill for example when we are teaching them to make mark and early writing skills we may do painting with water outside. We feel that it is more important to teach children skills than limit them by expecting them to produce an end product. When we do activities that involve creating something we encourage the children to come up with their own ideas and develop their creativity and we therefore celebrate their creations whatever they may be.
In our preschool rooms we begin to prepare the children for starting school. This involves ensuring children are developing the right skills and independence to enter education where they will be learning to read and write etc. At Greenfields we do not push children to read and write before they are ready and this may mean that we do not do this with them before they leave for school. What we feel is important is ensuring that they have the skills to do this when they are ready. For example we focus on their fine and gross motor skills in their arms and hands to ensure they are able to hold and pencil correctly and write when the time comes. We also encourage children to have a keen interest in books and develop an understanding that the words tell the story. We emphasis developing the independence skills the children will need such as toileting, blowing their own noses, getting dressed, feeding themselves, social interactions, effective communication and conflict resolution. All children are supported at the level that is appropriate for them, some children will be ready for more complex learning earlier than others and so this is offered to them.