At Stottesdon Gateway Nursery we follow the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) which sets the standards for Learning, Development and Care for children from birth to five.
We believe that children learn best when they are healthy, safe and secure, when their individual needs are met and when they have positive relationships with the adults caring for them.
Working within the EYFS helps Stottesdon Gateway Nursery to create an environment that is welcoming, safe and stimulating, where children are able to enjoy themselves and where they can grow in confidence and fulfil their potential.
EYFS is a government initiative which sets out the legal requirements that cover safeguarding and ensuring children’s welfare, staff, premises, environment and equipment, organisation, documentation and reporting. There are four themes within the EYFS and they are as follows:-
- A Unique Child: Every child is a competent learner from birth who can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured.
- Positive Relationships: Children learn to be strong and independent from a base of loving and secure relationships with parents and/or a key person.
- Enabling Environments: The environment plays a key role in supporting and extending children’s development and learning.
- Learning and Development: Children develop and learn in different ways and at different rates and all areas of Learning and Development are equally important and are inter-connected.
Learning and Development
The EYFS is made up of seven areas of Learning and Development and they are as follows:-
Personal, Social and Emotional Development
- Making relationships
- Self-confidence and self-awareness
- Managing feelings and behaviour
- Moving and handling
- Health and self-care
Communication and Language
- Listening and Attention
- Shape, space and measure
Understanding the World
- People and communities
- The world
Expressive Arts and Design
- Exploring and using media and materials
- Being imaginative
Learning at Stottesdon Gateway Nursery
Stottesdon Gateway Nursery focuses on different themes every half term, on which different activities are based. However, if when working within one particular theme an individual child’s interests are noted, a different theme deviating from the original plan may be generated to suit the needs of the child.
Stottesdon Gateway Nursery operates a key worker system, where staff will work with nominated children during adult led activities. A list of who is in each key worker group is displayed on the wall, each key person has a colour these are used to indicate each key group on the planning (please speak to a member of staff if you would like more information regarding the planning and key worker system).
Adult Led Activities
There are two adult led activities each day at nursery. There will be a detailed plan for each one, which can be found displayed on the planning wall each day and afterwards in the planning folder. Each activity will be evaluated on completion and can be used to assist a child’s individual observation record.
All children are encouraged to take part in the adult led activity during each session, we believe that if the activities are well planned then the children will enjoy the activity. We also have one-to-one OR two-to-one activities which take place within the nursery and there are activities where the whole group will participate, this is dependent on the needs of the children within the group.
Letters and Sounds
Letters and Sounds is a Primary National Strategy, which is a structured teaching programme designed to teach children how to read and write. It is broken up into six phases of increasing difficulty. Stottesdon Gateway Nursery primarily focuses on teaching children phase one of Letters and Sounds but adapts activities according to ability.
Phase one recognises the central importance of developing speaking and listening skills as a priority in their own right, and for paving the way to making a good start on reading and writing. The more words children know and understand before they start on a systematic programme of phonic work, the better equipped they are to succeed.
Phase one therefore relies on providing a broad and rich language experience for children which is the hallmark of good early years practice. Learning activities should encourage them to talk a lot, to increase their stock of words and to improve their command of dialogue.
Stottesdon Gateway Nursery teaches Letters and Sounds in the form of a group activity, on a daily basis. This enables the older children to act as good role models for their younger friends, encouraging them to learn good sitting, sharing and listening skills and to take turns. The nursery also has occasional joint lessons with the Reception Class, facilitating the transition process into school.
Staff are more than happy to provide more information about the Letters and Sounds programme if you require it.
Daily Routine/Activity Plan
The daily routine for playgroup and the weekly activity plan is displayed in the kitchen. Activities and themes are discussed in staff meetings so all staff can contribute to planning activities. Staff also observe each child within their key group and then share their observations with the manager who completes the planning in line with the needs of the child.
Children’s individual observations and files
Each child has an on line Learning Journal - Tapestry account, where we collaborate observations, assessments and reports, these are printed out and stored in their folder along with a selection of art work.
Other assessment sheets also kept are an individual 'Tracker sheet' and Shropshire Language chart, which are both updated on a termly basis. These help to monitor and track progress of individual children.
Each child also has their own individual file at nursery where examples of their work, staff observations and their individual progress forms are kept. These are updated every half term.
Each child will have their own individual ‘Tracker sheet’ on their file which shows their progression every term. There are different tracker forms for different ages (8-20 months; 16-26 months; 22-36 months; 30-50 months; 40-60+ months and Early Learning Goals (year one at school), highlighting all seven areas within the EYFS Learning and Development theme.