It is our ethos to allow children to learn at their own pace through play, whilst adhering to the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) curriculum for 0-5 year olds. Play is an essential part of early childhood, and learning comes through experimenting and exploring the world around us. Most children play spontaneously, and it is through play that they develop intellectually, creatively, physically, socially and emotionally. At this age, children are developing their social skills, learning how to interact with others and are developing friendships. We aim to guide and nurture each individual child’s unique development and foster a sense of curiosity and independence.
Our environment is carefully thought out and set up to give children access to a wide range of resources that allow them to follow their interests and to ignite their imaginations and curiosity. Staff observe and support children sensitively, and follow children's cues in the moment to meet learning needs. Key Person Each child is allocated a member of staff as their 'Key Person' who, in conjunction with other staff, supports that child in their play, introduces vocabulary, demonstrates skills and plans suitable learning opportunities based on the child’s interests. The Key Person is the main contact and builds strong, trusting relationships with the child and their family. For this reason we try to ensure that a Key Person will be available to support any siblings that may also attend the Pre-School.
Special Activities From time to time, we will have special days or events to learn about or celebrate. During past activities children have dressed up, make decorations, cooked and tried different foods and explored maps. We also join in with activities to support other charities such as Barnado's Big Toddle, Children in Need, Comic Relief and MacMillan, and hold an annual Harvest Collection with donations going to local causes, such as local food banks or homeless projects. We also arrange for outside organisations to come in and provide extra-curricular activities to enhance children's learning. Previous sessions have including Boogie Babes (singing and movement to music), Rugby Tots, Story Yoga, Creative Dance, language lessons (fun games and songs to learn french and spanish), to name but a few!
Outings We organise outdoor excursions, for example, to the duck pond, the woods, the local library, Harlow Carr Gardens, the farm, etc. All outings are fully risk-assessed, and children are supported with high adult:child ratios, with some including parents and/or grandparent volunteer helpers.
The EYFS curriculum This is currently split into 7 areas of learning: Communication and language; Physical development; Personal, social and emotional development; Literacy; Mathematics; Understanding of the world; Expressive arts and design. Click here to download the Parents' Guide to the EYFS.
We appreciate the importance of the following themes under the EYFS:
Every child is a unique child who is constantly learning and is capable, confident, and self-assured.
Children learn to be strong and independent through positive relationships with their adults and peers.
Children learn and develop well in safe environments, in which their experiences respond to their individual needs.
The EYFS framework covers the education and care for all children within the early years’ provision including special needs and disabilities.
Children learn and develop in different ways and at different rates and all areas of learning are equally important and interconnected.