Nursery - Scotland (Anchors Away)
Our Nursery is the first stop for our youngest children. Children can start with us the term after their third birthday and stay with us until they are ready for Reception. Our Nursery offers a highly engaging and supportive introduction to education. We take a holistic approach using the Early Years Foundation Stage Framework to support children's development across seven areas of learning - Personal, Social and Emotional Development, Physical Development, Communication and Language, Understanding the World, Literacy, Maths, Understanding the World and Expressive Arts and Design.
Children have access to our large open plan classroom and big outdoor area which all our children enjoy exploring and which they have access to throughout their session. The provision, both inside and outside is carefully planned to ensure that children can learn when they are working with their peers or on their own and not just with adults. In Nursery, children are introduced to a broad range of learning in a safe, caring and creative manner, which gives them the basic knowledge and skills they need to continue the next stage of their journey.
Personal, Social and Emotional Development
At the beginning of the year the children will be adapting to a new routine and separating from their parents so we will be embedding our new class rules: - being ready to learn, being kind and staying safe in the classroom, whilst making friends and having lots of fun. As the year progresses we learn more about each other and our emotions, listening to stories about separation from parents such as 'Owl Babies' by Martin Waddell. We explore our emotions and what makes us feel happy and sad in our ‘All About Me’ focus in the first term, then as the year progresses embed learning from ‘The Color Monster’ by Anna Llenas to help us make sense of and talk about our emotions as we move on to learn ‘All About My Community’ in Spring term and ‘All About My World’ in the Summer term.
The children have free access to the outside playground for most of the day, which includes lots of opportunities for developing their running, hopping, skipping, jumping and balancing skills with monkey ropes and climbing frames and we constantly change the provision so they will also have access to scooters, bikes, balls and hula hoops at different times. We also develop their fine motor skills over the year as a foundation for early writing.
Communication and Language
We have story sessions every day and lots of singing too so the children develop their listening skills and can enjoy joining in with refrains and familiar phrases in stories. The children have access to a role play area and lots of ‘small world’ activities to encourage their imaginative play and language skills. We focus on one core book every few weeks so that over the year the children become very familiar with a number of quality books that are then read at repeated intervals to deepen their understanding and appreciation of them.
The focus on one core book every few weeks means that we can give the children lots of opportunities to become familiar with the story so that they can develop the confidence to retell the story in their own words or act it out/ bring the story into their play. We use puppets and props to help encourage them to do this and they also have access to a stage where they can perform their own stories or act out some of the familiar stories we share with them. We provide lots of opportunities for mark making throughout Nursery:- from chalk on pavement or blackboard tables, to making marks with sticks in mud or fingers in sand, as well as pens and pencils. The children are introduced to early phonics teaching throughout their time in the nursery. We introduce the children to early phonics teaching which is the foundation for early reading, through the teaching of songs, stories and games in small groups.
There are lots of counting activities for the children to play with and we interact with the children in their play repeatedly over the year to help the children develop confident one to one counting. Numbers are always part of the environment and we have big gel numbers, Numicon and other numbers for the children to play with. As we interact with them in their play they develop their number recognition. We also look at shape, learning the shape names and looking at patterns.
Understanding the World
We encourage the children to talk about themselves and their families as we get to know them better. We also spend a lot of time outdoors and playing with natural objects like leaves, acorns and conkers which will help develop the children’s understanding of the world around them and the changing seasons. This understanding is enhanced by weekly sessions in our Forest School area which take place throughout the year. In the Spring and Summer we learn about growing and grow our own food to taste as well as composting our food waste to deepen the children’s understanding of where food comes from and the cycle of growth and decay. The children also have the opportunity to watch caterpillars turn into butterflies in the Summer term.
Expressive Art and Design
In the nursery we have a wet creative area for activities like sponge painting and a dry creative area for activities like junk modelling or experimenting with playdoh. The children are encouraged to use their imaginations to explore and create whatever they want to. We are also developing a new music area outside with musical instruments for the children to experiment with rhythm and sound and the children will be developing a repertoire of songs and dances to enjoy together.