The Orchard Nursery follows the statutory framework as set out in the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS). This sets guidance and requirements that all Early Years providers must meet to ensure that children learn and develop well and are kept healthy and safe. There are seven areas of learning and development that shape activities and experiences for children. Of these areas, three – known as the prime areas – are vital for igniting children’s curiosity and building their capacity to learn and form relationships. These are communication and language, physical development, and personal, social and emotional development. The three prime areas are strengthened and applied through the four specific areas: literacy, mathematics, understanding the world, and expressive arts and design.
Our approach is committed to child-led learning. We see children as confident and capable learners who are able to lead their own learning and develop their own ideas and theories, whilst practitioners watch, support, extend and record the learning alongside the child. We provide quality care and developmentally appropriate experiences so that every child may grow to his/her fullest potential as an individual.
We use “In the Moment Planning” and seize every moment when a child shows an interest and build upon their curiosity to deepen their knowledge and extend their learning. Written planning is then carried out in the form of observations where we record the interactions and highlight the “Teachable Moments” and outcomes. These are recorded on our online learning journey (eyLog).
Children are given the opportunity to choose what or where they would like to play rather than being directed by an adult. Our environment is set up to ignite and promote curiosity. Each play space is inviting and is enthused by the children’s interests and passion for learning.
Play is the building block of a child’s intellectual, social, emotional, physical and language skills and through play children develop social skills, problem-solving skills and interpersonal skills. A large portion of a child’s day at The Orchard Nursery is spent in free play.
We use natural, reclaimed and authentic resources, that promote exploration, discovery, creativity, imagination, curiosity, awe and wonder. These resources are anything from branches, pine cones, leaves, mud, flowers, shells, real items such as kettles, pots and pan, crates, tyres, cable drums and microwaves. The items are used throughout the environment indoors and out and can be used in the following ways:
- Art and craft
- Counting, weighing, sizing and shape
- Sorting and categorising
- Imaginative play
- Fine motor skills
- Letters and number written on pebbles
- Understanding the world
- Large construction and building.
- Water and sand play
- Messy and sensory play