We provide breakfast, a morning fresh fruit snack, a two-course hot lunch, afternoon tea and an early evening snack for the children, which is prepared on site daily. Milk and/or water is available at all times. Staff will liaise with you and our cook to ensure appropriate food is provided for every stage of development and individual requirements are catered for.
At meal times a member of staff sits at a table with a small group of children to help encourage them to eat and try new foods they may have otherwise declined. Meal times for our youngest children follow their home routine with regards to timing and the foods they have been introduced to. We encourage the children to feed themselves with support and provide double handled cups with a lid to enable independent drinking.
Our Strider room children are sat at a table in small peer groups with an adult, to help provide a family atmosphere. They are served their food and assisted in cutting it up, before being encouraged to feed themselves. The children are introduced to drinking from an open top cup.
Children in preschool are encouraged to self-serve their own food. At lunchtime, our cook prepares the children’s food and dishes it up into numerous serving bowls with child-friendly serving spoons as required. The staff encourage them to take one spoon of each food choice to start with, and to help and share nicely with their friends on their table, we find the children enjoy the responsibility and independence and in turn are more willing to try new things they might otherwise have declined. At Teatime we have a self-service buffet arrangement where the children get called up by table to take a plate or bowl (food depending) and help themselves to what’s on offer.
Preschoolers are also chosen during mealtimes, affectionately called "Team Leaders", to help with little jobs from setting a good example on how to sit, to helping to set the table with cutlery or tablecloths. We encourage the use of both a knife and fork at meal times, to drink out of open-top cups and to wait for everyone to be served before starting, we manage this by singing the following little ditty about manners, once everyone has their food, so they know everyone is ready to begin and enjoy "Please and thank you are words I like to say, when I use them I feel good inside, so I use them every day, enjoy!"
Each room within the nursery follows the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum (EYFS) this outlines seven areas of learning and development. There are three "Prime" areas of learning which are particularly important for your child's development and future learning:
Communication & Language,
Personal Social & Emotional Development,
There are four "Specific" areas of learning, through which the "Prime" areas are strengthened and applied:
Understanding the World,
Expressive Arts & Design,
The EYFS framework identifies the essential role of play in your child’s development therefore, our planning includes adult directed and child initiated activities daily, based on the children's individual interests, developmental stage and characteristics of effective learning, this will help your child to develop confidence and relationships with others and through play we aim to help your child extend their vocabulary and develop their communication skills. The characteristics of effective teaching and learning (CoETL) are:
Playing and Exploring,
Creating and Thinking Critically.
We use "Tapestry" an online learning journal to encourage both the partnership with parents and to record observations of the children, which helps us as educators as well as parents to record, track and celebrate children's progress in early years education.
New EYFS Reform - September 2021
The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) is being reformed and there is a new EYFS framework that all schools and settings will have to follow from September 2021. These national changes have been made to better support all young children’s learning and development. It is also the aim that the new framework will better prepare children for the transition into key stage 1.
There are some elements of the EYFS that have not significantly changed and some that have. Below are some of the key points from the new EYFS reforms that include relevant changes which parents, carers and children may notice or experience.
Staff will be spending less time on large amounts of written observations and assessments for evidence collection. This means they can spend more time supporting and engaging with the children and their learning and development needs.
Children will no longer be assessed against statements from an age band category. Instead, staff will use their experience and knowledge to monitor if a child’s learning and development is on track for their age.
There is an emphasis on improving children’s language and vocabulary through increasing opportunities for conversations, reading of a wide range of books and holding discussions around activities in other areas of learning.
Literacy and numeracy skills focused on in the EYFS have been adapted to better match up with the national curriculum that starts in year 1.
Safeguarding and welfare of children is still a priority, with the added mention of teaching children about the importance of good oral health and how to keep teeth clean and healthy.
Local Walks & Outings
All children have the opportunity to investigate our local area, including visiting the local garden centre and village park. We also arrange outings to our local library and woods.
We have an extensive outdoor area which is accessed daily by all rooms, allowing plenty of scope for a range of physical activities, exploration and imaginative play. The garden is an extension of our indoor space, the children have easy access to this area and have the opportunity come rain, shine or even snow to explore and enjoy their outdoor environment.
We have areas laid with grass, bark and slabs for a range of different purposes. We have digging areas with mud kitchens, a purpose built sandpit, water walls, free construction balancing area and den building, climbing and sliding equipment to name but a few. The slabbed area is predominantly used for cars, bikes and scooters and is an ideal flat surface for toddling.
The vegetable patch and flower beds encourage the children to develop their understanding of how seeds/plants need to be looked after and cared for to help them grow and/or produce food for us to eat.