1. Personal, Social and Emotional Development:
At The Nest we recognise that Children’s personal, social and emotional development (PSED) is crucial for children to lead healthy and happy lives, and is fundamental to their cognitive development. Underpinning their personal development are the important attachments that shape their social world. Strong, warm and supportive relationships with adults enable children to learn how to understand their own feelings and those of others. Children at The Nest are supported to manage emotions, develop a positive sense of self, set themselves simple goals, have confidence in their own abilities, to persist and wait for what they want and direct attention as necessary. Through adult modelling and guidance, children learn how to look after their bodies, including healthy eating, and managing their personal needs independently. Through supported interaction with other children they learn how to make good friendships, co-operate and resolve conflicts peaceably. These attributes will provide a secure platform from which children can achieve at school and in later life.
Self-confidence and self-awareness:
Children are confident to try new activities, and say why they like some activities more than others. They are confident to speak in a familiar group, will talk about their ideas, and will choose the resources they need for their chosen activities. They say when they do or don’t need help.
Managing feelings and behaviour:
Children talk about how they and others show feelings, talk about their own and others’ behaviour, and its consequences, and know that some behaviour is unacceptable. They work as part of a group or class, and understand and follow the rules. They adjust their behaviour to different situations, and take changes of routine in their stride.
Children play co-operatively, taking turns with others. They take account of one another’s ideas about how to organise their activity. They show sensitivity to others’ needs and feelings, and form positive relationships with adults and other children.
2. Communication and Language:
At The Nest we understand that the development of children’s spoken language underpins all seven areas of learning and development. For this reason, we prioritise the development of communication and language. Children’s back-and-forth interactions from an early age form the foundations for language and cognitive development. The number and quality of the conversations they have with adults and peers throughout the day in a language-rich environment is crucial. By commenting on what children are interested in or doing, and echoing back what they say with new vocabulary added, practitioners are able to build children’s language effectively. Reading frequently to children, and engaging them actively in stories, non-fiction, rhymes and poems, and then providing them with extensive opportunities to use and embed new words in a range of contexts, gives children the opportunity to thrive. Through conversation, story-telling and role play, where children share their ideas with support and modelling from staff, and sensitive questioning that invites them to elaborate, children become comfortable using a rich range of vocabulary and language structures.
Listening and attention:
Children listen attentively in a range of situations. They listen to stories, with increasing attention and recall, responding to what they hear with relevant comments, questions or actions.
Children follow instructions involving several ideas or actions.
They answer ‘how’ and ‘why’ questions about their experiences and in response to stories or events.
Children learn to express themselves effectively, showing awareness of listeners’ needs. They develop their vocabulary.
3. Physical Development:
At The Nest we recognise that physical activity is vital in children’s all-round development, enabling them to pursue happy, healthy and active lives. Gross and fine motor experiences develop incrementally throughout early childhood, starting with sensory explorations and the development of a child’s strength, co-ordination and positional awareness. We use Squiggle Whilst You Wiggle, and Dough Gym activities to develop gross and fine motor movements. By creating games and providing opportunities for play both indoors and outdoors, adults can support children to develop their core strength, stability, balance, spatial awareness, co-ordination and agility. Gross motor skills provide the foundation for developing healthy bodies and social and emotional well-being. Fine motor control and precision helps with hand-eye co-ordination which is later linked to early literacy. Repeated and varied opportunities to explore and play with small world activities, puzzles, arts and crafts and the practice of using small tools, with feedback and support from adults, allow our pupils to develop proficiency, control and confidence.
Moving and handling:
Children show good control and co-ordination in large and small movements. They move confidently in a range of ways, safely negotiating space. They handle equipment and tools effectively, including pencils for writing.
Health and self-care:
Children know the importance for good health of physical exercise, and a healthy diet, and talk about ways to keep healthy and safe. They manage their own basic hygiene and personal needs successfully, including dressing and going to the toilet independently.
At The Nest we believe that it is crucial for children to develop a life-long love of reading. We understand that reading consists of two dimensions: language comprehension and word reading. To develop language comprehension (necessary for both reading and writing) we regularly talk with children about the world around them and the books (stories and non-fiction) they read. We also enjoy rhymes, poems and songs together.
In Nursery children develop their phonological awareness through taking part in adult-led activities which promote listening skills and Phase 1 Letters and Sounds. Through these activities’ pupils develop their auditory discrimination, and auditory memory. Activities to progress children’s phonological awareness and interest in sounds are embedded.
Children will hear stories from the Nursery 'Core stories' list read fluently and without interruption daily. These texts will be read repeatedly throughout the year to support the development of vocabulary, language structures and foster a passion for reading.
Children will play with sounds and letters. They will develop their reading skills through rhyme and rhythm. See Phase 1 phonics.
At The Nest the children mark make every day. Children are encouraged to develop a preference for a dominant hand and develop an appropriate grip. Our younger pupils take part in unstructured writing activities, such as drawing a picture of their choice. When children are ready to write they are encouraged to rehearse out loud what they want to say, before spelling the words using the graphemes and ‘tricky’ words they have learnt. Nursery take part in ‘Squiggle Whilst You Wiggle’ activities to develop their fine and gross motor control for writing.
Children will engage in pre writing activities. They will experiment with making their own marks for a purpose.
At The Nest we understand that developing a strong grounding in number is essential so that all children develop the necessary building blocks to excel mathematically.
The children are taught to count confidently. Pre-number work is covered in Nursery through nursery rhymes and stories, social counting and using numbers in play. Children develop an understanding of how-to-count using the following principles;
- The one-one principle
- The stable-order principle
- The cardinal principle
Once children have developed their understanding of how to count, they can develop their understanding of ‘what to count’ using the following principles;
- The abstraction principle
- The order irrelevance principle
By providing frequent and varied opportunities to build and apply this understanding, such as using manipulatives, children develop a secure base of knowledge and vocabulary from which mastery of mathematics is built.
Our curriculum includes rich opportunities for children to develop their spatial reasoning skills across all areas of mathematics including shape, space and measures. We believe that is important that children develop positive attitudes and interests in mathematics, look for patterns and relationships, spot connections, ‘have a go’, talk to adults and peers about what they notice and not be afraid to make mistakes.
Children will learn all about numbers and counting.
Shape, space and measures:
Children use everyday language to talk about size, weight, capacity, position. They recognise, create and describe patterns. They explore characteristics of everyday objects and shapes and use mathematical language to describe them.
6. Understanding the world
This area of learning involves guiding children to make sense of their physical world and their community through opportunities to explore, observe and find out about people, places, technology and the environment. At The Nest children are given opportunities to solve problems, investigate, make decisions and experiment. They learn about living things, their environment, the world around them and the people who are important in their lives. Children are also given opportunities to develop computing skills and to work with and use modern technology.
Our forest school area provides a wealth of opportunities for children to discover, explore and extend their natural talents. Here children learn first-hand about the riches of the natural environment whilst developing important life skills such as team work, problem solving and resilience.
People and Communities:
Children talk about past and present events in their own lives and in the lives of family members. They know that other children don’t always enjoy the same things, and are sensitive to this. They know about similarities and differences between themselves and others.
Children know about similarities and differences in relation to places, objects, materials and living things. They talk about the features of their own immediate environment and how environments might vary from one another. They make observations of animals and plants and explain why some things occur, and talk about changes.
Children recognise that a range of technology is used in places such as homes and schools. They select and use technology for particular purposes.
7. Expressive arts and design
At The Nest we recognise that the development of children’s artistic and cultural awareness supports their imagination and creativity. It is important that children have regular opportunities to engage with the arts, enabling them to explore and play with a wide range of media and materials. The quality and variety of what children see, hear and participate in is crucial for developing their understanding, self-expression, vocabulary and ability to communicate through the arts. The frequency, repetition and depth of their experiences are fundamental to their progress in interpreting and appreciating what they hear, respond to and observe.
We provide opportunities for all children to explore and share their thoughts, ideas and feelings through a variety of art, design, technology, music, drama. movement, dance and imaginative play activities. Children are given opportunities to make paintings, drawings, collages, models and use musical instruments. Children also learn new songs and rhymes and enjoy singing them with each other.
Exploring and using media and materials:
Children sing songs, make music and dance, and experiment with ways of changing them. They safely use and explore a variety of materials, tools and techniques, experimenting with colour, design, texture, form and function.
Children use what they have learnt about media and materials in original ways, thinking about users and purposes. They represent their own ideas, thoughts and feelings through design and technology, art, music, dance, role play and stories.
CHARACTERISTICS OF EFFECTIVE LEARNING
The characteristics of effective learning describe factors which play a central role in a child’s learning and in becoming an effective learner. They are vital elements of support for the transition process from EYFS to Year 1. The characteristics of effective learning run through and underpin all seven areas of learning and development. They represent processes rather than outcomes and explain how your child demonstrates playing and exploring, active learning and creating and thinking critically.
1. Playing and exploring ( engagement)
‘Finding out and exploring’ involves open-ended hands-on experiences which result from innate curiosity. These experiences provide raw sensory material from which your child builds concepts, tests ideas and finds out. ‘Using what they know in their play’ describes how children use play to bring together their current understandings, combining, refining and exploring their ideas in imaginative ways. Representing experiences through imaginative play supports the development of narrative thought, the ability to see from other perspectives, and symbolic thinking. Children are willing to ‘have a go’ initiating activities and seeking challenge, learning by trial and error.
2. Active learning (motivation)
‘Being involved and concentrating’ describes the intensity of attention that arises from children engaged in following a line of interest in their activities. Children are able to maintain focus for a period of time, show high levels of energy and fascination, paying attention to details. ‘Enjoying achieving what they set out to do’ builds on the intrinsic motivation which supports long-term success. It refers to the reward of meeting one’s own goals, rather than relying on the approval of others.
3. Creating and thinking critically (thinking)
‘Having their own ideas’ covers the critical area of creativity – generating new ideas and approaches in all areas of achievement. Being inventive allows children to find new problems as they seek challenge, and to explore ways of solving these. ‘Using what they already know to learn new things’ refers to the way children use narrative and scientific modes of thought to develop and link concepts. ‘Choosing ways to do things and finding new ways’ involves children approaching goal-directed activity in organised ways, making choices and decisions about how to approach tasks and planning and monitoring what to do and being able to change strategies.
Last updated 03/06/2021