Welcome to Dormice Class Page
In Dormice class we base our planning and activities each week on what the children are interested in and have been doing in nursery at that time. This means that our themes are likely to regularly change in line with the children's ever changing ideas and interests! Please check your child's Tapestry and keep an eye out for additions to the displays and things around the classroom that the children have been doing during their time with us.
Our aim is to ensure that the children are offered the best possible opportunities and are exposed to a fun, exciting and varied environment full of playful learning and knowledgeable adults to support their growing minds.
In our setting
Nursery Lead-Mrs Scarvaci
Teaching and Learning Assistant- Mrs Bowden.
The session runs from 08:40-11:45: Monday- Friday term time only. The children can start at our nursery with two year old funding or paid sessions at 2 years 9 months old or the term following their 3rd birthday, when they are entitled to 15 hours of Early Education Funding.
The children in our setting are encouraged to make their own choices and develop key skills within our enabling environment that allows them to learn and progress. We aim to make all the children feel valued as part of our nursery and foundation stage and ensure that the learning environment reflects the creativity, interests, thoughts and needs of all of our children.
Within our setting we promote free flow play between nursery, reception class and our outside area. The children have free choice of varied activities throughout the morning that reflect the interests of the children and the majority of our planning is implemented 'in the moment' to capture the children when they are most interested in a topic. Within our carefully planned environment we make an effort to carry out a selection of cooking and craft activities throughout the term with the children. This all being based on the needs of our children, enabling them to learn through both child initiated and adult focussed activities. These are all planned recognising their stages of development to encourage meaningful learning opportunities-This means that each week (and day) will be different!
Our Nursery lunch club runs from 11:45-13:00 every day. The cost of lunch includes a freshly prepared hot dinner with 2x options per day- the hot dinner choices follow the same menu for the whole school. The costing also includes the 1 hour and 15 minutes care of the children. During this time the children will have their lunch in the nursery classroom and then access the outdoor area with reception children and be supervised by the nursery staff.
All children are allowed to stay for lunch and we require parents to notify an adult on the morning by registering their names. Currently our lunch is open for 12 children per day and this is on a first come, first served basis. Payments for lunch must be paid on sQuid and there must be sufficient funds in the catering purse before a booking can be accepted.
If your child has just started Nursery we would like them to be settled in prior to starting staying for lunch. Please speak to the nursery staff to discuss this further if necessary.
During the week the children participate in small group activities. This time is used to promote peer to peer learning as well as an opportunity for the adults to develop and extend the children’s knowledge. These activities are planned to encourage a variety of skills and learning opportunities, linking to the relevant development matters statements outlined in the Early Years Foundation Stage and also the Letters and Sounds programme.
Outdoor Learning Day
On a Thursday morning we take advantage of our fantastic woodland area for some outdoor learning for the morning. The children use the great outdoors to explore the world around them, take risks and work together. The woods encourages imagination, team building and physical activity. We use this area all year round so appropriate clothing is necessary!
Observations and Next Steps in Learning
In our Foundation Stage we complete observations using the Tapestry Online Learning Journal software on ipads, children will have incidental observations taken by a member of the team throughout the week which are uploaded onto their own individual profiles. Parents are given access to these through a password protected login that is specific for your child and you can download the Tapestry app on your phones. On this you will be able to view some of the exciting learning opportunities and activities your child has been engaging in whilst they are at Nursery.
We operate an open door policy in our Nursery and actively encourage you to share your thoughts and questions with us at any time during your child's time in our setting. Your child is our priority and we endeavour to put their needs and learning at the centre of our practice.
Please encourage everyday learning opportunities at home with your child, the ‘How I can help my child at home' and 'pre reading and writing skills’ sheets are shared in the files section on our webpage for simple ways to incorporate learning opportunities at home. Please also continue to promote fine motor and mark making activities at home. Children learn best during meaningful daily opportunities and challenges, not just at home but also within their local environment where they are able to make links, test their ideas and build upon their previous learning, this will enable them to grow and develop as a whole child.
We are always grateful for ideas, anything you have that links to our learning or anything that your child would like to complete in nursery. Please send any items in (labelled with your child’s name) so that they can share them with their peers or share them on Tapestry so that we can celebrate your child's home experiences too.
Please see our Foundation Stage information document for the list of uniform we ask the children to wear in Nursery.
The children have access to the nature area as well as outdoors during all weather conditions. Please bring in wellies for your child so that they are able to go outdoors during these times and use all learning environments.
***Please ensure that all of your child's school uniform is clearly labelled and that their outerwear is suitable for the weather as the children will have access to the outside area for a majority of the session. ***
They must also have a named water bottle for use throughout the morning.
If you have any questions, ideas or worries we are always keen to hear from you and will try to help in any way that we can.
Mrs Scarvaci and Mrs Bowden
Nursery Indoor Classroom
Woodland Area- Outdoor Learning
Early Years Foundation Stage
Additional Nursery Information and Documents
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.
Speech and Language Advice NHS Berkshire Healthcare website for advice, guidance and referrals
Downloadable documents for supporting learning
- Ideas for supporting learning at home
- Pre- Reading and Writing Skills- Help your child at home
- Number Rhyme Cards 0-9
- Read Write Inc Letter Formations
- Supporting story comprehension- Questionning
- Letters and Sounds Document
- How to support maths in and around the home
- Stages of writing development
Activities to try at home
- Make a Jam Sandwich
- Indoor Scavenger Hunt.docx
- Making Potions.docx
- design a vehicle.pdf
- Cookie recipe.pdf
- The Imagination TreeA range of creative and fun activities for children
- Letters and Sounds early Literacy games
- Numberblocks episodes
- CBeebies website
- Top Marks- A range of online games to support learning in EY
- Maths activity ideas