A place for everyone. Together, we are inspired to grow, learn and achieve.
In Nursery we support learning and development based on the needs and stages of our children. The majority of our 'teaching' happens organically through the child's play and interests, with adults scaffolding children's learning in the here and now. We offer learning opportunities to target all areas of learning and below offers some information on ways this can be done at home too.
The Prime Areas (Communication and Language, Physical, Personal, Social and Emotional Development) within the EYFS (2021) are recognised as the most important and will underpin the development of the specific areas (Literacy, Maths, Understanding of the world, Expressive Arts and Design).
Communication and Language
A language rich environment is a crucial element in supporting children's speech, language and communication. Varied opportunities for language and interactions support the development of children's overall communication and language skills. Modelling good language, being an active listener and communicator, offering opportunities for expressing themselves, singing, story telling and conversation supports children's development.
If you are concerned about your child's speech, language and communication you can refer to the berkshire healthcare trust website for advise and support.
Gross motor development; the development and refinement of the larger movements we make underpins the fine motor development (smaller hand movements and skill) It is important that the gross movements are refined to further support and enable children to control the smaller movements, required for writing, eating, fastening clothes etc. Providing children with ample opportunities to be active and be outdoors not only supports physical development but also a healthy mind and lifestyle.
The NHS website recommends "Pre-schoolers should spend at least 180 minutes (3 hours) a day doing a variety of physical activities spread throughout the day, including active and outdoor play. The more the better."
Personal, Social and Emotional Development
Personal, social and emotional development is a key element in children having happy and healthy lives. It is important for us to support children to begin to develop the ability to understand and manage their emotions appropriately, develop strong and valuable relationships and healthy attachments with others and for them to become secure and happy with themselves. It is known that if children feel happy, safe and secure, with their basic needs met they are more likely to learn, develop and achieve.
Fine motor development is a key part of early mark making, developing and refining the skills and strength to hold mark making tools, pens and pencils effectively. I have uploaded some fine motor ideas for you in the files section to promote this at home. Also Pinterest have some great, simple and effective activities to target fine motor skills and I will add these to the daily activities you can do.
Mark making can be done anywhere and everywhere and doesn't have to involve a pen and paper at the table! Be creative with your child when mark making, some children love a pen and paper some need more encouragement and therefore using water and paintbrushes on the wall outside, making marks in flour, chalking on the floor are all forms of making their own marks. Children's mark making is their expression, their own interpretations and their ideas- be excited by their works of art, encourage them to draw things that they like, use colour for a purpose and notice pattern and detail in what they do, celebrate and talk about their achievements with them and then share their marvellous mark making with us on Tapestry too!
Reading is vital to story comprehension, imagination and language development. Reading with your child is extremely important and sharing a love for books and storytelling is an underpinning element of developing literacy knowldege (as well as quality time with your child!) Please share at least one book with your child every day, talk to them about it, use different voices, encourage them to join in with repitition and make up sound effects! Telling a story incorporates so many areas of learning and is invaluable to children. Please see the Story comprehension document which gives you some ideas of the questions you can ask your child about the story as it is being read and then at the end- this helps to develop their comprehension and demonstrate their understanding of the text.
As well as books, websites can be used for reading:
Children need to learn many skills before they are phonics ready! We use letters and sounds phase 1 as a guideline to support us in planning activities for the children to develop these skills and become phonics ready! I have uploaded the letters and sounds document where there are weekly plans and aspects to target- these aspects outline activities to complete with the children- make them as creative and engaging as you can for them but more importantly a lot of these things can be done when you''re doing things throughout the day and they're probably being done without even knowing it! These may also need to be repeated numerous times before the children are able to refine that skill.
See the Pre Reading and Writing Skills document for some ideas of how to support your child.
Maths is everywhere! Use those household opportunities to explore maths and problem solve. Count at every opportunity with your child, down the steps, counting out the cutlery, count the seconds it takes to do something etc.. Use songs with your child to count, play with their toys and sort into colour, size, shape; make comparisons and use positional language. Go on a shape hunt in the house, do a puzzle or make some shapes with cocktail sticks, maybe measure your family and see who is the tallest/shortest person. You can find Maths all around your house, scaffold your child and expose them to the language and concepts.
Use the Maths in and around the Home sheet in the download section to give you some ideas.
https://nrich.maths.org/13371 - Maths activities
https://www.topmarks.co.uk/ - we often use this website for maths games
Songs and Rhymes
Singing and expressing ourselves through music is another important part of our day. The children develop confidence and language as well as rhythm and rhyme through songs and nursery rhymes and singing time is a part of the day they all look forward to- although quite often we will have performances and musical requests throughout the morning! Our singing times vary from traditional nursery rhymes to using props, action songs on youtube, CD songs and sometimes even their Disney favourites or ballet lessons, all quite often with instruments thrown in too! Please continue to enjoy music and movement at home it plays an important role in supporting many areas of your child's development.