A specially tailored curriculum working to the Department for children, schools and families document ‘The Early Years Foundation Stage’ is based on half-termly themes appropriate to the children’s age group and their interests. Copies of the themes are available to look at, as are all the Nursery Policy documents.
The Nursery curriculum needs to be very broad and cover all aspects of social, emotional, physical and intellectual development. The foundations for learning are laid down during these initial early years. To help us with the teaching of the curriculum we are very fortunate that in addition to the above facilities we have on site access to ‘hands on’ experiences in a variety of topics. The oak woods provide a haven for wild birds and animals such as pheasants, rabbits, foxes, owl and deer. The changing seasons are clearly visible in such a location with horse chestnut, beech, hazel and willow trees. The farm provides experiences such as lambing, shearing, incubation and hatching of chicks and ducklings and egg collecting, promising a real life treasure hunt at Easter time.
Parents are always to be informed of any proposed adventures outside of the Nursery location and are very welcome to join us.
Within the group, all children are supported in developing their potential at their own pace. Our keyworker system enables us to ensure a planned curriculum tailored to the needs of each individual child. By means of developmentally appropriate play activities and a high level of individual adult input, we offer a curriculum which leads along the nationally approved “Early Years Foundation Stage” and prepares children to continue to progress with confidence during their first Reception year at School. This first year in Reception concludes this stage before the children move on to the National Curriculum in Year one.
Communication, Language and Literacy
In both small and large groups, children are encouraged to extend their vocabulary and fluency by talking and listening and by hearing and responding to stories, songs and rhymes. Children are helped to understand that written symbols carry meaning, to be aware of the purposes of writing and, when they are ready, to use drawn and written symbols for themselves. A well-stocked book corner gives every child the opportunity and encouragement to become familiar with books, able to handle them and aware of their uses, both for reference and as a source of stories and pictures.
Personal, Social & Emotional Development
Within a nurturing environment, children are individually supported in developing confidence, autonomy and self-respect. They are encouraged to work and concentrate independently and also to take part in the life of the group, sharing and co-operating with other children and adults. Through activities, conversation and practical example, they learn acceptable ways to express their own feeling and to have respect for the feelings of others (developing self-control). All children are given the opportunity, as appropriate, to take responsibility for themselves and also for the group, its members and its property.
Problem solving, Reasoning & Numeracy
By means of adult-supported practical experience, children become familiar with the sorting, matching, ordering, sequencing and counting activities, which form the basis for early mathematics. As they use their developing mathematical understanding to solve practical problems, children are assisted to learn and use the vocabulary of mathematics, identifying objects by shape, position, size, volume and number. Songs, games and picture books help children become aware of number sequences and, when they are ready, to use simple mathematical operations such as adding.
Knowledge and Understanding of the World
A safe and stimulating environment allows children to explore and experiment with a range of natural and manufactured materials. They learn to observe the features of objects and substances, recognising differences, patterns and similarities, and to share and record their findings. Children are assisted to explore and understand their environment, both within the group and also in the wider community. A range of safe and well-maintained equipment enables children to extend their technological understanding, using simple tools and techniques as appropriate to achieve their intentions and to solve problems.
A range of equipment and opportunities, both indoors and out of doors, allows children to develop confidence and enjoyment in the use and development of their own bodily skills. A very high level of adult supervision enables children safely to create and meet physical challenges, developing increasing skill and control in moving, climbing and balancing. At the same time, children are supported in the development of the fine motor skills required to use tools, including pens and pencils, and to handle small objects with increasing control and precision.
Children are encouraged to use a wide range of resources in order to express their own ideas and feelings and to construct their individual response to experience in two and three dimensions. Art equipment, including paint, glue, crayons and pencils as well as natural and discarded resources, provides for open-ended exploration of colour, shape and texture and the development of skills in painting, drawing and collage. Children join in with and respond to music and stories, and there are many opportunities for imaginative role-play, both individually and as part of a group.
To help the 4+ children, who will be leaving us in the following terms, visits to the local school may be arranged for them from the Nursery, if it is not feasible for parents to take them.
We are able to offer an excellent record keeping system in which observations of the children in the group are used as a basis for drawing up a curriculum for each child. The standard Transfer documents from E.R.Y.C. are sent on after discussion, with your permission, at the start of your child’s first school term.