At Little Explorers – we incorporate all seven areas of learning into the early years curriculum, ensuring the children have a well prepared, inviting, and stimulating environment.
Staff provide a range of activities to cater for children’s individual interests and development needs, working towards the Early Years’ Outcomes – Early Learning Goals, across all areas of the curriculum whilst maintaining our ethos and values.
Providing better outcomes for children is the center of our practice and we recently did some research in our local area and asked primary school reception teachers their opinions and thoughts on what skills are most beneficial when starting school.
Independence and Self Care were a main topic point and we at nursery intend to do everything we can to promote independence ready for school. From fun ways to put on our coats, to washing hands, using the toilet, toothbrushing and self service for food and drinks.
Working closely with local schools ensures we are all working together to provide each child with equal opportunities and the best start to their primary school education. Each term we work with all our children to focus on “Myself, My Community and My world” This promotes a sense of self and understanding of themselves as an individual alongside what connects us all.
We access our outdoor provision every day at Little Explorers and we provide a range of stimulating activities and resources as part of our EYFS curriculum. On Mondays especially we provide additional enhanced, fun and messy outdoor activities involving mud, water and other natural resources- we call this day Muddy Monday! Each Monday we will be taking part in “Muddy Monday’s” – This involves being in the great outdoors at every opportunity. We are very proud to have a Forest School practitioner working within our setting!
Just some of the benefits of enjoying the great outdoors include:
- The sensory experience of listening to and feeling different weather conditions such as the wind, rain, and snow.
- Holistic development
- Learning to manage the new risks that come with different weathers – such as drinking lots of water and sun cream when it’s hot, or being careful of ice when it’s cold
- Discovering about living things in the environment when the weather changes for example snails may come out when it rains
- New EYFS learning experiences such as painting with wet mud when it’s raining or catching rain in containers and talking about quantities and numbers
- Plus many fun activities such as open fire cooking, den building , splashing in puddles, crunching leaves, mini beast hunting and much more
At Little Explorers we operate half termly topic planning and this is focused around children’s interests and next steps, this will be completed by your child’s key Person. Your child will have an individual Key Person who will observe progress and development. The Key Person approach gives every child the reassurance to feel secure and cared for, helping them to become familiar with the Nursery environment and to feel confident and safe within it.
We recognise every child’s individuality, efforts and achievements and believe that strong, secure relationships between adults and children are crucial for your child’s development. The Key Person meets the needs of each child in their care and responds sensitively to their feelings, ideas and behaviour. They offer security, reassurance and continuity and are usually the one to support and soothe their key children where needed. They are in the best position to understand children’s individual needs and to share information with parents about their child’s experiences in Nursery.
How we monitor your child’s progress
All early years providers are required to meet certain standards set out in the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS). One of the requirements is that members of staff use ongoing observations to monitor how your child is developing and then use this information to plan a challenging and enjoyable experience in all areas of their learning and development.
Our method to help with planning and keeping track of progress is by using a fabulous system called “EYLOG” – This app provides a full tracking system that is divided into each area of learning and development, setting out the child’s progress across the prime and specific areas of learning from birth to five years.
Upon joining our nursery, your child will be added to our computer system and you will be sent a secure link to download our EYLOG parents app.
On this you will be able to see, at a glance, your child having fun – is happy and safe through pictures, videos and observations. This also is transparent and allows you to see your child’s stage of development and their next steps here at nursery. The app also acts as a communication tool between yourself and your child’s key worker – you can comment on pictures and even add home observations.
The statutory framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage (DFE, 2017) focuses on how your child learns and what adults can do to encourage that learning.
Ongoing assessment plays a very important part in recognising and understanding what a child needs. It involves practitioners observing your child to understand their level of achievement, interests and learning styles. This assessment falls in to 7 areas. These areas are:
Personal, Social & Emotional Development – involves helping children to develop a positive sense of themselves, and others; to form positive relationships and develop respect for others; to develop social skills and learn how to manage their feelings; to understand appropriate behaviour in groups; and to have confidence in their own abilities.
Physical Development – involves providing opportunities for young children to be active and interactive; and to develop their coordination, control and movement. Children must also be helped to understand the importance of physical activity and to make healthy choices in relation to food.
Communication and Language – involves giving children opportunities to experience a rich language environment; to develop their confidence and skills in expressing themselves; and to speak and listen in a range of situations.
Literacy Development – involves encouraging children to link sounds and letters and to begin to read and write. Children must be given access to a wide range of reading materials (books, poems, and other written materials) to ignite their interest.
Mathematics – involves providing children with opportunities to develop and improve their skills in counting; understanding and using numbers; calculating simple addition and subtraction problems; and to describe shapes, spaces and measures.
Understanding the World – involves guiding children to make sense of their physical world and their community through opportunities to explore, observe and find out about people, places, technology and the environment.
Expressive Arts and Design – involves enabling children to explore and play with a wide range of media and materials as well as providing opportunities and encouragement for sharing their thoughts, ideas and feelings through a variety of activities in art, music, movement, dance, role-play and design and technology.