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Curriculum & Planning

Our carefully planned curriculum is tailored to the needs of the individual child allowing them to progress successfully through the Early Years Foundation Stage and foster a love of learning. Daily observations and individual plans are made to ensure all children progress at a pace suited to their needs.

Our children learn through enormous fun whilst playing. Some children explore, others enjoy being involved or even observing.

All children are given stimulating resources and the time to learn.

Through skilful observation and assessment, activities and opportunities are planned to encourage the children to gain pre-school skills with the minimum of pressure and lots of fun.

A balance of child initiated and adult led activities encourages the children to discover a wide range of subjects through play and exploration and prepares them to progress confidently onto the next stage of their learning.

Planning, Recording and Reporting for individual children – Every child is regularly observed and assessed. From these observations and assessments the staff set individual targets to ensure each child reaches their full potential.

Various methods are used to record observations: written notes, assessments, photos and samples of work. We integrate observations from parents, other professionals and children's own comments into our records.

The nursery school recognises the importance of working with parents in all aspects of the care and education of their child. We believe that parents know their children best and ask them to contribute by sharing information about what they like to do at home and how they, as parents, are helping to support their development. We like to know of any milestones they reach at home or things they have achieved that they are particularly proud of. We try to involve parents in our activities and share with them their own and our observations and records of their child’s progress and development, to ensure positive outcomes for all our children.

All records are open and shared with parents during your child's time at the nursery.

We send out a termly newsletter along with weekly newsletters informing parents about what the children have been doing at nursery along with information about forthcoming events and ways in which parents can support their child’s learning at home. Formal parent/teacher meetings are held twice a year, and a written report is provided at the end of the Summer Term. However parents are encouraged to raise with us anything they wish to at any time during the term.

Our curriculum is based on the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS); this is the statutory curriculum for all children between birth and five years old. The EYFS provides a framework covering the 7 areas of learning. We help the children to make links between these areas using a mixture of adult led, adult supported and child initiated activities and play, both inside and outside.

Personal, Social & Emotional Development

We help children to learn how to share and take turns, to develop friendships and learn about feelings and their own and others’ needs. We encourage them to develop their confidence and independence as well as becoming motivated to find out and enjoy learning

Communication & Language

We help children to develop confidence and competence in speaking and listening.  We encourage them to talk freely and exchange ideas through their activities and experiences.

Literacy

We also encourage a love of books, stories and rhymes. We help them to recognise the sound and shapes of letters using games, matching, pictures, books, songs and rhymes. Fine motor control is developed to support pen control and letter writing.

Mathematics

We provide the foundations for numeracy, encouraging the children to use numbers throughout their play. We offer them opportunities to understand the need and use of numbers in their environment. They learn to count, recognise and write numerals using a variety of games, activities, songs, rhymes and equipment. We develop their understanding of shape and size and the use of the appropriate vocabulary. We help them to develop confidence to estimate through games.

Expressive Arts & Design

Free play is an important part of the day where the children can allow their imaginations to lead their play and develop a storyline. This is supported by a wide range of toys and equipment. They also have access to a variety of materials and resources for painting, drawing, cutting and sticking, collage and model making to encourage their creativity and free expression. Music and dance teachers come on a regular basis helping the children to develop rhythm and spatial awareness. The children take part in a Christmas and Summer Concert.

Understanding of the World

We encourage the children to develop confidence to investigate how and why things happen. We use a range of activities to help them learn and find out about time and place and to be able to talk about what they observe and experience. We provide a range of tools and materials for them to learn how to construct and join materials together. We give them opportunities to use a range of equipment to develop their use and understanding of ICT.

Physical Development

We focus on encouraging the children to develop their physical control, mobility and awareness of space and also their manipulative skills in both the indoor and the outdoor environments. The Ark Nursery garden is well equipped with a range of equipment to encourage the children to have fun as they explore and extend their physical abilities. In the Summer Term the children enjoy our annual Sports Day.

Learning through Play

Play helps young Children to learn and develop through doing and talking, which research has shown to be the most effective way by which they learn to think. The Nursery plans and provides a range of play activities which help our Children to make progress in each of the areas of learning and development, supporting them in becoming effective learners and in gaining the independence and self-confidence they need in order to succeed.

Outdoor environment

We use the outside area as an extension of the hall. The children have free flow access to it. Outdoor play is an integral part of the curriculum enhancing the child's learning and development. We feel that they can have meaningful, engaging experiences outdoors that help them to develop in several areas of learning at the same time, and in a natural way that draws on their own styles of behaviour and learning. The Ark Nursery aims to help children develop strong spatial awareness, co-ordination, balance and movement and motor skills, with opportunities for children to run, push, pull climb and jump. We endeavour to create an atmosphere where children can learn to take risks within a safe environment.

Additions to the Curriculum

At the moment we offer; Music, French, Play Ball, Yoga and Ballet.

Events

We have two concerts during the school year- one at Christmas and another at the end of the Summer Term in July. This is a wonderful opportunity for children to show off their growing confidence and share what they have been learning.

We also have a fun sports day in the summer term.

We utilise the local environment fully to support the children’s current interests, visiting local business, going for seasonal walks and regular visits to the library.