We believe in a child centred approach to care.
The nursery is set up so that the children have freedom of choice and are supported and encouraged to join in with the activities while learning at their own pace. We promote a relaxed, calm and homely environment supported by a team of caring, qualified and experienced staff.
Children benefit and learn from each other so we aim to ensure that they are given the opportunity to play within a mixed age group which also ensures that siblings are able to spend time together during the day.
Parent partnership is paramount and we value their input. Our parent forum and parent’s evenings are well attended and provide an excellent opportunity to engage parents. This also enables us to receive feedback on every aspect of the nursery including our philosophies and planning for the care and education of their children.
How we deliver the curriculum at Little Steps
Children are born ready, able and eager to learn. They actively reach out to interact with other people and in the world around them. Development is not an automatic process, however. It depends on each unique child having opportunities to interact in positive relationships and enabling environments. EYFS Framework 2012
It has been widely recognised that children develop rapidly in the early period of their lives and this is why there is such emphasis on providing high quality national childcare to facilitate all children getting the best possible start in life which is what every child deserves.
The early years in a child’s life is such an important stage. Not only does this time prepare them for their journey onto school (‘school ready’ is the term used) but also lays the foundations for a successful future ahead of them. This is why the curriculum is called the Foundation Stage and continues on into the reception year at school to ensure continuity and progression of a curriculum suitable for young children which is flexible active, fun, exciting and secure to support children’s individual needs and interests. It is important that learning takes place both indoors and out. How children learn is important and as practitioners we are aware of the need to incorporate this into our planning to encourage the children to be effective and motivated learners. Children learn by Playing and Exploring, Active Learning and Creating and Thinking Critically.
We define the term ‘curriculum’ as embodying every aspect of nursery activity.
Children have access to our curriculum the moment they join Little Steps and we recognise that all children are special, different and need to develop at their own pace. A Key Person is allocated to each individual child and it is their role to develop an appropriate environment where the child is happy and secure enabling each child to develop and learn in a wide variety of ways to reach their full potential.
The nursery aims to provide a wealth of resources in which young children can develop and learn through play with a sense of purpose in a calm setting. We are aware that children have different attendance patterns and are able to ensure through our planning, that every child is able to experience the full curriculum offered.
The Government have introduced The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) Framework to combine all earlier published child documents and it is a legal requirement that it is delivered by all registered childcare providers.
We maintain the requirements and standards for learning and development for all children from birth to five years which is designed to be fully inclusive for all children’s needs, recognising the importance of responding to differences of ethnicity, culture, religion or belief, home language, family background, special educational needs, disability, gender or ability.
At Little Steps we are committed to working within the EYFS framework to support children in their earliest years from the Ladybirds (under two years), Caterpillar’s (rising two’s to rising three years) and the Butterflies (pre-school) to deliver the seven areas of learning and development in a way that reflects the needs and circumstances of each child and is compatible with the nursery’s and parents’ philosophies and beliefs.
There are four themes contained in the EYFS which express the underlying principles for the care and learning of the children. These themes are the basis for all that we do at Little Steps
These themes are;
- A Unique Child; addresses the idea that each child develops in individual ways. Every child should be valued and respected. Every child should be kept safe and a child’s health and emotional wellbeing is integral and important.
- Positive Relationships; addresses the idea that loving and secure relationships with parents and key workers are vital to support children’s learning. Parents and practitioners should work together, respect each other and communicate to ensure the best experiences for children.
- Enabling Environments; addresses the idea that a rich and varied environment plays a key role in supporting children’s development. Observing children, planning appropriate learning experiences and challenging activities and accessing achievement and next steps should be undertaken for each child.
- Learning and Development; addresses the idea that children all learn and develop in different ways and that all areas of learning are connected and equally important. Children learn best through purposeful play with their peers. Learning experiences should be active and promote critical thinking and creativity.In terms of learning and development, children should be making progress towards achieving the Early learning Goals by the end of their Reception class year in school.
Each area of learning and development is implemented through planned purposeful play and through a combination of adult-led and child initiated activity. These activities are delivered in a stimulating, fun and safe enabling environment. Planning, the environment, activities and leaning experiences are built upon what children are interested in and what they want to practise exploring and finding out about. Observations and evaluations are continually carried out so that the children’s interests, needs and learning are continually being met.
There is a clear policy for behaviour where adults and children are expected to respect each other, listen to each other and take time to respond and understand. Clear boundaries are in place to help the children (and adults) feel secure and able to say ‘no’ and to have their opinions respected.
We take seriously the need for everyone to be respected and accepted for who they are. We aim to provide activities, resources and make displays that reflect the many cultures and languages of our families, free from racial/sexual stereotypes or any other judgement.
We support children with special needs, and those learning English as an additional language and aim to promote the children’s safety and well-being, liaising with parents and other agencies as appropriate.
We value parent/carers as equal partners with the staff and actively encourage the sharing of information; vital for the identification of children’s learning needs and to ensure a quick response to any area of particular need. Parents and families are central to a child’s well-being and we do our utmost to support this relationship and aid partnership. We do this by offering Parent-Key Person Consultations, hosting social events, being available to talk at the beginning and end of the child’s day, a parent’s communication book, introduction information, parent forums, half-termly newsletters, information on the nursery website and whiteboard in the nursery foyer. As a setting, we pride our self on our strong relationship and partnership with our parents.
The nursery informs parents, visitors and representatives from local authorities about activities we are providing, and contributions and involvement are always welcomed.