Within the learning and development section of the EYFS there are seven areas of learning and development that shape our educational programme.All areas of learning and development are important and interconnected.
Prime areas for learning and development:
- 1. Communication language
- 2. Physical development
- 3. Personal, social and emotional development.
These three prime areas for learning and development are crucial for igniting children's curiosity and enthusiasm for learning and for building the capacity to learn, form relationships and thrive. We strongly focus on these for our youngest children, these are the basis for successful learning in the other four following areas.
Specific areas for learning and development:
- 1. Literacy
- 2. Mathematics
- 3. Understanding the world
- 4. Expressive arts and design
We implement these areas of specific learning through our broad and well planned activities creating purposeful play ,through a mix of adult- led and child-initiated experiences. The three prime areas of learning are strengthened and applied through literacy,mathematics, understanding the world and expressive arts and design.
Mathematics is imbedded in everything that we do and experience in our day-to-day lives. Our aim throughout our play is to help your child understand the purpose and importance of mathematics, from matching socks, sitting in a circle to cutting our toast in half to looking at numbers and shapes in roadsigns. These are all early,every day ,mathematical practices . These early opportunities allow our children to explore and investigate and promote confidence in your child to encourage them to enjoy and succeed in maths throughout their education. Mathematics is all about understanding and using shape, space and measures and numbers to sole everyday problems. Helping children to enjoy mathematics is probably one of the most important things that adults can do so that children realise that mathematics is a way of finding things out and solving problems. Mathematics will be developed through fun, practical activities, for example, setting up the role play area as a ‘Shoe Shop’ so that the children can match shoes, sort boxes, measure their feet, use money and a till. Activities such as these allow the development of mathematical language such as big, small, large/larger, how much? How many? Number songs, rhymes, stories, counting games and activities will all be used and the children will have access to a mathematical workstation where they can choose from a range of activities of a mathematical nature. We will use craft and model making, puzzles, feely bags as well as movement to develop understanding of shape. Children will be encouraged to use their own methods to problem solve – these skills are important and give them strong foundations for their future. When something has real meaning for a child they will learn about it.
At stone well cottage day nursery we are committed to serving healthy, balanced and nutritious foods that give your child all of the energy they need for a busy day of playing, learning and development. Our menus are carefully planned and prepared daily by our cook. They enjoy a wide variety of meals from Moussaka and Shepherds Pie to Pasta Bolognese, Risottos and Cajun chicken . Fresh fruit and vegetables are served daily and our weekly menu is displayed at nursery. We believe in educating our children about food to encourage them to make healthy choices for themselves through our healthy snacks and cooking activities . Children spend a large amount of time in day nurseries, so parents and guardians need to be assured that their children are having healthy, nutritious food as part of a balanced diet. Today’s pre-schoolers have more dietary requirements and may need a different menu due to food allergy, intolerance, religious requirements or vegetarianism. We promote meal times as an opportunity for learning as well as a time for calm social interaction, and encourage good eating habits that will hopefully set the pattern for a child’s future relationship with food. We very much include food and nutrition as part of the children’s learning. We value their participation, experimentation and decision making. Therefore, cooking and tasting, where the children get to experiment with new textures, colours and smells as they mix, pour and measure ingredients, form part of our routine.
The development of literacy skills in the Early Years involves encouragement of children’s communication skills. Children can express themselves and communicate through a variety of ways including verbal communication and non-verbal communication.
Communication is a fundamental aspect of development for children as it enables a way to express thoughts and feelings, as well as giving the opportunity to foster and build relationships with others which is key for their social development. Practitioners can encourage speaking and communication skills through interacting with children and having conversations which enable children to practice speaking newly learnt words and linking sentences together. It is important for practitioners to remember that children in Early Years settings can be currently in the process of learning to talk, or have only just mastered the skill, meaning they need time to practice this new way of communicating. Practitioners should encourage children to learn new words and repeat them, experiencing for themselves how these words feel on their lips and the different shapes they need to make with their mouths and hearing the different sounds each word offers. Learning to speak is a new and exciting concept for children and they should be given the time to get their thoughts into words with patience and encouragement from practitioners.
It is our aim to make a difference to the lives of our children, families and employees and to provide the highest quality care and education for each child in our nursery, every day. We are incredibly passionate about creating an educational programme for your child that will involve activities and experiences to provide them with the skills for the next stages in their lives. Our staff team are experienced, well qualified and receive ongoing training to ensure they reach their full potential to create an environment that fosters professionalism, growth and diversity , enabling us to create a happy and homely environment in which all can thrive.