Learning and Growing
To reach their full potential, children’s instinctive curiosity and need for knowledge needs to be nurtured in a safe learning environment, be it indoors or outdoors, where they are valued and treated as individuals. Attentive experienced staff recognise what is needed to achieve this and do so using many diverse and flexible approaches, recognising that all areas of development; physical, emotional, social and cognitive are of equal worth. From the first day a child joins us at Little Me they will begin their journey of learning and growing, which is an exciting voyage of discovery for all involved.
We feel that it is important to the development of the whole child that their learning environment is peaceful, calm and familiar, enabling them to flourish in a predictable and unhurried atmosphere.
By observing your child throughout each day, their changing needs are identified. As babies and toddlers they will progress through more physical and sensory experiences and with increasing confidence and with us providing the enabling environment, will develop into confident and curious learners. Activities undertaken by each individual child reflect their personal likes, dislikes and preferences and the carefully considered environment is designed to foster independence and encourage all aspects of learning at the child’s own pace and time.
Following the same ethos that is put into practice by Steiner Waldorf settings, we also believe that by enabling the children to play and learn in mixed aged family groups (3 mths - 5 yrs), the children are encouraged to work in partnership, take turns and share and develop conscientious respect and empathy for one another.
The Key Person System
Each child upon joining the Nursery is allocated to a member of Nursery staff, known as their 'Key person'. The Key person system has been put in place to encourage a close relationship of complete trust between a child and his or her Key person, aiming to provide a 'home from home' and to be a role model worthy of imitation by the child. This member of staff is also responsible for informing the child's parent, parents or carer of their child's daily activities and wellbeing, as well as all types of record keeping, such as; completing observations, assessments and gathering information to complete their ‘Learning Journey’.
Children attending the Nursery interact to some extent with all members of staff in the room in which they play, however when a child moves from the Pippins to the family groups or Pixies and Bramleys his or her Keyperson will stay the same wherever possible.
What is the Early Years Foundation Stage? (EYFS)
In September 2008, the EYFS, which is a single quality framework to support children’s learning and development, became mandatory for all schools and early years providers who care for children from birth to the end of Reception year. The framework is based on 4 Themes and Principles and 16 Commitments. It recognises children as individuals and competent learners. The EYFS is delivered through a well planned and play based approach to learning and development.
"The over arching aim of the EYFS is to help young children to achieve the 5 ‘Every Child Matters’ outcomes of staying safe, being healthy, enjoying and achieving, making a positive contribution and achieving economic wellbeing by:
- Setting the standards for the learning, development and care young children should experience when they are attending a setting outside their family home, ensuring that every child makes progress and that no child gets left behind;
- Providing for equality of opportunity and anti-discriminatory practice and ensure that every child is included and not disadvantaged because of ethnicity, culture or religion, home language, family background, learning difficulties or disabilities , gender or ability;
- Creating the framework for partnership working between parents and professionals, and between all the settings the child attends;
- Improving quality and consistency in the early years sector through a universal set of standards which apply to all settings, ending the distinction between care and learning in the existing frameworks and providing the basis for the inspection and regulation regime;
- Laying a secure foundation for future learning through learning and development that is planned around the individual needs and interest of the child and informed by the use of ongoing observational assessment."
So what does this mean for your child?
For all children learning begins at birth. The EYFS helps practitioners to provide appropriate play experiences to enable your child to develop in all of the six EYFS areas;
Personal, Social and Emotional Development.
Communication, Language, and Literacy.
- Problem Solving, Reasoning and Numeracy.
- Knowledge and Understanding of the World.
- Physical Development.
- Creative Development.
It enables practitioners to recognise your child’s strengths and areas in which they need more support to develop new skills. For young children it is important that they are made to feel safe and secure in their surroundings and this is aided by having a Key person within the setting who gets to know you and your child well and builds a positive relationship with you both.
Young children learn best through play and our early years practitioners provide your child with appropriate play and learning experiences for their stage of development and help them to learn new skills. The activities that are provided for young children will underpin the skills they need to flourish at school.