The Curriculum Areas
In line with the revised EYFS we have divided our curriculum into the 3 prime areas:
- Personal, Social and Emotional Development
- Physical Development
- Communication and Language
And the four core areas:
- Expressive Arts and Design
- Understanding the World
Our emphasis is upon preparing children for their reception year and we work closely with Langley Hall which is one of the nursery’s main feeder schools to organise consistent practice especially for behaviour and social emotional development. Across the two establishments we share staff, training and resources.
We encourage children to be independent and select and develop activities for themselves. We encourage and develop learning by providing planned purposeful play and by giving careful consideration to the balance between adult led and child initiated activities.
It is important to us that play resources and activities arouse a child’s curiosity to learn and therefore the way in which Wellingtons for Langley Hall practitioners organise resources is considered carefully.
For under 3’s the learning environment creates opportunities for children to develop basic and complex skills and to practice them through a variety of activities. The play environment is very much child led and children are encouraged to select toys and activities freely.
All children are encouraged to respect the learning environment and to keep it safe, clean and tidy. Children help to put toys away after play sessions and before lunch and are encouraged to feel a part of the decision making process regarding their play.
The play rooms do not naturally lead to the outside environment and therefore free flow is not possible. Therefore we have set up an area by the outdoor environment where children can draw and create with indoor and outdoor resources freely. So for example children may bring in some leaves and sticks and use them to make a collage. The outdoor environment is being re modelled in October 2012 to create a village of houses and roadways for role play,drama and exploration. There will also be a large outdoor sandpit and water feature.
The prime and core areas of learning are used to shape activities and provide the basis for helping children to achieve the early learning goals. Assessment for learning is simple and on going and all staff use observations and focused tasks to inform them of a child’s next steps.
All staff have access to the development matters document and the Sally Featherstone activity ideas to ensure that they can plan and guide activities appropriate to the age group of the child and their abilities. Using the enabling environments section of development matters staff will be guided in what is appropriate for children to experience and achieve.
Wellingtons for Langley Hall are mindful of the four overarching principles which are ;
- Every child is unique
- Children learn to be strong and independent through positive relationships
- Children learn and develop well in enabling environments
- Children learn and develop in different ways and at different rates
All staff are aware of the early learning goals for each area of the curriculum and are mindful of these when planning activities.
Assessing children’s next steps is a vital role that practitioners play. The childs key carer should take overall responsibility for this but will often draw upon the observations and advice if their colleagues when making judgements on a children level of development. Staff will take careful note of children’s skills during play activities and record what they see. This is often carried out informally but on a regular basis staff will formally note a child’s progress on their development matters checklist and in their learning journals. Formal and informal observations will tell the practitioner how the child is developing and what new skills they have acquired. Staff will be required to show that they have a good understanding of child development and can accurately assess a child’s current level of development. Staff will then use this knowledge to plan more activities that will challenge children to develop their skills further.