“Children’s learning is so complex, so rich, so fascinating, so varied, so surprising and so full of enthusiasm that to see it taking place every day before one’s very eyes is one of the greatest privileges of any early childhood practitioner.” Cathy Nutbrown
Welcome to Foundation 1 (Nursery)
Mrs Alison Reddiex
Starting Nursery is a big first step on each child’s learning journey. It is so important that we take time and care to get the transition process right for each child and their family. We began our learning journey together with a home visit in July. Breaking the ice with children and parents in their own home is a wonderful, relaxed way to get to know each child on a one-to-one basis. It helps us to tune into each child’s interests, needs and family life and hopefully supports parents to feel at ease to approach us with any issues, large or small that will enable us to support their child.
Children often remember these visits fondly as a special occasion and refer to them later, with “I remember when you came to my house.”
Many thanks to every parent who took up their home visit this year. It has really helped us to listen to your first-hand knowledge of your child so that we can follow up what you have told us and make adjustments and plans. It means that we have already begun making warm attachments with your child and has helped us to have more genuine, meaningful conversations with them.
During the first weeks at Nursery we follow up our home visit with our settling induction of shorter visits. We are there to spot the signs of anyone who is feeling unsure and to be close at hand, making sense of the new environment together. There is so much to remember when you are 3: Where must your shoes and pumps go? How do you answer the question of the day? Where are the aprons kept if you paint? This gradual approach enables the children to feel secure and to find their feet at their own pace.
In Nursery our play is our work! The children learn to access many learning experiences independently as they choose activities in each of the provision areas. These areas provide a menu of opportunities and for pudding, we add enhancements. These enhancements include adult led activities and teachers responding to children by adding extra resources that reflect their interests.
Please watch out for Our Photo Gallery in the Areas of Learning information below. I will continue to add to this as we travel along on our Learning Journey together. Here you will see snapshots of the thinking, interacting, wondering, talking, collaborating, enjoying and creating that is our early learning.
In RE we will learn about God’s World. We have listened to the story of creation. Our World is amazing and full of beauty. We are planning to go out and about together, to explore some of its’ wonders!
The 7 Areas of Learning in the Early Years Foundation Stage are:
- Personal, Social and Emotional Development
- Physical Development
- Communication and Language
- Expressive Arts and Design
- Understanding the World
Personal, Social and Emotional Development, Physical Development and Communication and Language are the 3 Prime Areas in the EYFS Curriculum.
The Prime Areas underpin all of the active learning in our Early Years Curriculum. They are the bedrock to all of our learning experiences.
A Focus on Personal, Social and Emotional Development.
Personal, Social and Emotional Development is divided into 3 aspects.
Self-Confidence and Self-Awareness
Managing feelings and behaviour
Self confidence and self awareness – children are confident to try new activities, and say why they like some activities more than others. They are confident to speak in a familiar group, will talk about their ideas, and will choose the resources they need for their chosen activities. They say when they do or don’t need help.
Managing feelings and behaviour – children talk about how they and others show feelings, talk about their own and others behaviour, and its consequences, and know that some behaviour is unacceptable. They work as part of a group or class, and understand and follow the rules. They adjust their behaviour to different situations, and take changes of routine in their stride.
Making relationships – children play cooperatively, taking turns with others. They take account of one another’s ideas about how to organise their activity. They show sensitivity to others’ needs and feelings, and form positive relationships with adults and other children.
(a learning story in photos to follow soon)
A Focus on Physical Development.
Physical Development is divided into 2 Aspects:
Moving & Handling
Health and Self-Care.
Moving and handling – skills enabling children to show good control and coordination in large and small movements. Children are able to handle equipment and tools effectively, including pencils for writing.
Health and self care – children knowing the importance of good health which includes physical exercise and a healthy diet. Children are able to manage their own basic hygiene and personal needs successfully, including dressing and going to the toilet independently.
In Moving and Handling, each day children can free-flow between outdoor and indoor areas to increase their activity.
There are many areas in the provision which provide activities that support fine motor development such as threading beads, pouring and filling jugs and containers, painting and exploring colour, mark-making of all kinds, building with blocks, pinching, rolling and cutting play dough or sand play. Take a look at our week 4 fine motor control activities.
P.E with Mr Cooper.
In P.E. Mr Cooper has a great range of activities that develop skills and help children develop their stamina, control, agility and co-ordination – stop and start games such as statues; games such as imitating animal movements, being rabbits or snakes so that children balance their weight on different parts of the body. Children are also given opportunities to develop object-control skills including catching, rolling and throwing skills with bean balls and hoops. Our PE sessions are great fun, exciting, lively, busy and challenging.
We love Wednesday and Friday P.E mornings and “Is it P.E today?” is a frequently asked question every day!
Health & Self-Care
Our snack time routines, involve hand washing routines such as modelling the hand-wash sequence.
We sit and chat about our favourite foods and have started to look at pictures of the range of foods to be eaten and to identify how different foods help growth and development.
We have been sure to encourage children to feel proud of achievements in looking after their bodies and growing independence in health and self-care.
A Focus on Communication and Language.
Communication and Language is divided into 3 Aspects:
Listening and Attention
Listening and attention – these skills support language learning and include the ability to discriminate sounds and maintain and monitor attention in a shared context.
Understanding – young children gradually develop the ability to understand words in context, beginning with single words and building on this with phrases and more and more complex sentences.
Speaking – this allows children to express their feelings, needs and wants, their thoughts and ideas and be able to talk about what has happened and about creative or imaginative events.
( A learning story in photos to follow.)
Mathematics is divided into 2 Aspects
Shape, Space and Measure
Numbers – children learn to count and the value of numbers, higher and lower. These skills support them to solve problems, use money and calculate more or less.
Shape, Space and Measure – these skills support children to understand size, weight, capacity, position, distance, time and money and compare quantities, objects and solve problems.
Literacy is divided into 2 Aspects:
Reading- In Nursery, children share stories on their own, in small and large groups. They develop a repertoire of rhymes and songs, They join in with repeat refrains and make comments and predictions about familiar stories. They turn pages, look closely at illustrations to pick up story cues to tell the story and learn about characters, context and style.
By the end of FS2 children read and understand simple sentences. They use phonic knowledge to decode regular words and read them aloud accurately. They also read some common irregular words. They demonstrate understanding when talking with others about what they have read.
Writing – In Nursery, children make marks to represent their ideas. They begin to learn about the letters and sounds in their name and this is a starting point to understand the connections between sounds and letters in their own and other’s names and some simple words. By the end of FS2, they use their phonic knowledge to write words in ways which match their spoken sounds. They also write some irregular common words. They write simple sentences which can be read by themselves and others. Some words are spelt correctly and others are phonetically plausible.
Moving and handling – In Nursery children’s hand control and physical strength is still developing. They journey through stages of pencil grip, as this matures, towards increased control.
By end of FS2, children show good control and coordination in large and small movements. They handle equipment and tools effectively, including pencils for writing.
Understanding the World
People and Communities
People and Communities
Children get to know about other people and they develop an interest in their own family story as well – this is the beginning of developing an understanding of the past and helps them to learn about how other people are different from them, yet share some of the same characteristics and ideas.
Knowledge develops as children sponge up through their observations, everything around them including places and all the things within them such as trees in the natural environment and roads and traffic in the built environment. Children notice things on journeys to and from home – such as the sequence of the traffic lights or names on street signs.
Technology is everywhere. In the Ipad Tapestry system, which we use for observations, in the CD player, phones in the Home Corner, BeeBots and other technological toys and the IWB too. Recognising the role of technology at home or in Nursery is important because this helps children to identify the different types of technology and what they are useful for.
Expressive Arts and Design
Expressive Arts and Design is divided into 2 Aspects:
Exploring Media and Materials
Exploring and using media and materials – children sing songs, make music and dance, and experiment with ways of changing them. They safely use and explore a variety of materials, tools and techniques, experimenting with colour, design, texture, form and function.
Being imaginative – children use what they have learnt about media and materials in original ways, thinking about uses and purposes. They represent their own ideas, thoughts and feelings through modelling, imaginary and role play, movement and dance.
Guess How Much I Love You: it has been an extra-special, bouncy week in Nursery.
It is now Week 4 in our learning journey together. As the children have settled so well, we have started to add in some extra challenges, such as adult directed activities, small group Letters and Sounds work and extra enhancements in the provision areas.
In our RE we have been getting to know the lovely story Guess How Much I Love You by Sam Bratney.
Little Hare and his Daddy are deciding how much they love each other. Little Hare loves his Daddy as far as his arms can stretch but Daddy has longer arms.
The children can relate really well to this idea and it led us to talk about who is the biggest and smallest in our own families. We then talked about things that are HUGE; creatures, buildings, people etc. WE made a class book of our imaginative ideas: trees, elephants, a long snake and the whole wide world!
Physical Development (including fine motor control activities)
This led us to some story based enhancements linked to the idea of BIG love!
The children have enjoyed using a mark making tray with sand glitter hearts, glass beads, playing cards (hearts family) and tweezers for them to manipulate.
We also made Hare ears and once each child put these on the bouncing began!
It was lovely to watch the high levels of concentration as the children practice the tricky skill of learning scissor control with Mrs Gray.
Great determination and a ‘can do’ attitude as the snipping commenced.
Communication and Language, Expressive Are and Design and Understanding The World
It’s Raining,It’s Pouring!…… It’s Still Raining, It’s still pouring !!
One of the best things about Early Years learning is that it is responsive and spontaneous.
One of the great fascinations this week has been the weather! In response to this predictable interest we quickly planned some learning experiences around this.
We have asked questions such as “Where does it come from?” we went puddle watching, we sang rainy day songs loudly outside, we painted rainy day scenes and listened to fast/ slow downpours on our improvised foil rain catcher.
Whatever the weather we like to be out on the decking.
We made a foil rain catcher and listened to the sounds of the gentle rain and the bashing down of the heavy downpour too.
We painted some rainy day pictures in shades of blue and silver, which we thought reflected the watery colours of the day.
The rain isn’t so bad after all, when you are spending it with your new friends!