What We Do at Nutfield Day Nursery
We go outside in the fresh air as often as possible – we not only play but eat and sleep outside too. Most children enjoy a supervised sleep, or just a quick nap, in one of the hammocks! We take our lead from how the children learn – they are all schematic, have their own individual ways of negotiating our world, they have fascinations, curiosities and serious interests which we use as a guide to shaping our time. We try to do something special every morning and afternoon but no amount of adult planning will take away from the arrival of a seriously muddy puddle which the day must be shaped around as the carers respond to the children natural tendencies! Adult led activities will be planned as we respond to needs that emerge and as each child’s development grows. We let imaginations take over, with caring adults as close by as needed. Activities that involve the whole of the nursery such as meeting for tea parties in the field; whole group dance times; paired activities to assist the use of words (when we work alongside chatter boxes!). One to one times when a focus is needed such as using tools and equipment for specific activities such as gardening. Phonic fun, show and tell, meet the dentist, or could it be that the mini beast living under a piece of bark has dominated the whole week? Let the fun begin. And we can’t forget the fair bit of hand washing and toileting training which can’t be rushed!!
The more experiences we can offer, the more stimulation that is generated and the more the brain connects – children relate to each other and their experiences. Clever staff know when to step in, step back, ask questions, not say anything, role model and provoke learning – and they capture these educational experiences to relay to the parents. Sometimes we are using the giant iPad, sometimes we are up a tree, sometimes we get a scratch from a stick, sometimes we cosy up and concentrate on long stories and another time we might be making a tiny village out of blades of grass. Who knows where the day will take us. Much work is done with families and outside agencies to allow us to focus on a prime area of learning to ensure each child has the correct support to progress. Strategies will be needed to meet the children’s potential and deliver the best possible outcomes for the children who attend nursery.
Children need time, they need to repeat actions, learn of consequences, determine the boundaries with us. We tidy up when needed, we keep our site safe, we all take responsibility as we are one big team and we work and learn together. Gosh, a lot to do as children begin to accept the views of others, how we all learn differently, and how to share! Life-long problem solving, resilience, moderating our behaviours - and yes this is staff and children alike. Bonds establish, we become more self-confident as small but achievable tasks are undertaken in our safe environment. And it is even more exciting if the adults learn with the children, make discoveries and are just as intrigued by the outcomes.
Mostly all the children are busy working every day (or is it playing)? Children are often not ready to go home (their choice), and parents are frequently saying they wish they had spent the day with us as opposed to going to work. No, we are not a timetabled nursery, but instead let the children lead and initiate where possible but under careful guidance. It doesn’t mean we just run free, but in order to extend language and become young mathematicians we must be exploring or encountering something very real and purposeful rather than something set up for us. The atmosphere at Nutfield will hit you when you visit, and it is the children, staff and parents who all contribute to that.
We reflect at the end of the day as it is important for us to plan the next possible line of development and think about how we have taught and what has been learnt. This is done collectively with the children.
The Statutory framework for early years foundation stage April 2017 is mandatory. The learning and development, safeguarding and welfare requirements are given legal force under the Childcare Act 2006.