Welcome to Harrow Gate Academy Nursery!
We are called Bluebells Class.
At Harrow Gate Primary Academy know our children well and care for each of them. We feel privileged to be able to guide and nurture them, along with their parents and carers, to enable them to celebrate being lifelong learners and beautiful people. Our child centered curriculum cultivates a love of learning for children of all abilities, ages and backgrounds, inspires curious minds and constructs the foundations upon which children’s future knowledge is built.
Learning opportunities within Early Years are exceptionally well planned to ensure an effective balance between whole class, group and individual learning opportunities. The environment and organisation of teaching and learning reflects rich, varied and imaginative experiences, incorporating play and effective adult modelling and timely intervention. At this stage of their learning, your child will be mainly learning through play-based activities. They will also be learning about routine and developing early literacy and maths skills, learning about the world around them and learning social skills.
Your child will begin to learn by doing things for themselves, by exploring and investigating, watching and listening, talking and discussing, creating and communicating – in other words, playing. Play is children’s work and playing hard is very tiring! Play can also be very messy as your child will be learning both inside with sand, water and paint, and also in the outdoors with mud, leaves and so on, so you can expect some mucky clothes at the end of the day!
The emphasis upon enhanced provision across all areas of learning allows children to lead their own learning and develop independence and resilience. This provision is based upon regular and precise assessments of children’s achievements so that every child undertakes fun, yet challenging, activities.
Why are parent partnerships so important? Working together with parents and carers is very important. Parent partnerships are key to a successful early years experience for children and for them to gain the most out of their early education and reach expected levels of development. At Harrow Gate the staff will share information at the beginning and end of the day and also at various other points such as meetings to discuss development.
- Parents know their children best
- It helps the child to feel safe and secure while in the setting if they see that their parents feel comfortable there.
- To create a shared level of expectation
- To information share about new levels of development, any concerns and any new likes or dislikes
- To keep up to date with what is happening outside the setting, especially if the home situation may be causing problems for the child
- Parents can feel secure to seek advice, help and support should they need it
- To make transitions throughout the setting smooth
- Improve practice and outcomes for the children, ensuring every child has their full individual needs met.
What is the daily routine?
Children will be brought by you to the nursery entrance door at the start of the session.
Children will be taken to hang their coat on their peg and put their name card on the board. They will then be encouraged to go into the nursery classroom to play in their favourite area.
After our group time the children then have ‘free flow play’. This means they can choose what, where or who to play with. They may play indoors or outside and, at times, an adult will join in with their play to encourage them to develop their ideas and try new things.
Towards the end of the session the children will be encouraged to tidy away the things that they have been playing with and join in with their ‘story group’. This is a short group time where we can share what we have been learning today, sing songs and rhymes, read stories and learn to talk with, and listen to, others.
At the end of their session you may collect your child from the nursery entrance door and there will be a chance for you to talk to a member of the team about what they have been doing during the session.
If your child is staying for the whole day, they will have lunch with their friends and a member of staff. The children will go into the dinner hall to eat at a dining table. You may choose to provide a healthy packed lunch (no chocolate, sweets or fizzy drinks, please) or opt to purchase a school meal. Water, milk and fruit will be provided throughout the day.
After lunch, children will continue to learn and play with their friends and nursery staff. Should they need to have a little sleep or relax for a while, a quiet and comfy area will be available.
How will my child be learning?
We follow the statutory Early Years Foundation Stage Framework which echoes our belief that children learn and develop best through purposeful play. We plan a wide range of opportunities, inside and out, that will help your child to learn through a wide range of different experiences.
We also plan short, fun, practical group activities that support developing specific skills such as phonics (reading/writing), maths and physical development. These activities are planned with reference to each child’s needs and help them to progress.
http://www.foundationyears.org.uk/parents/ (Early Education Section)
The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) is a curriculum for children aged three to five years old. This is broken down into three prime aspects and four specific areas of learning. The three prime aspects of learning are:
Personal, social and emotional development
One of the main aspects of your child’s time at nursery will be a focus on their personal, social and emotional development. They will be encouraged to develop positive relationships, to play with a variety of friends and to understand the feelings of others. There will be opportunities to build confidence and self-awareness, and also to manage their feelings and behaviour.
Communication is a key area of your child’s learning in nursery. They will spend lots of time sharing rhymes, songs, stories and playing games to develop their speaking and listening skills. They will be encouraged to learn to listen carefully, to develop concentration, to respond to questions and instructions, to share ideas and experiences and to take part in conversations.
Your child will be given lots of opportunities to move in different ways, for example, running, jumping, balancing and playing with balls. Another important aspect of physical development at this stage is learning to hold and use tools, such as scissors, and also to use pencils and pens to draw lines and shapes. Your child will also begin to understand how to look after themselves and be healthy.
In addition to these three prime aspects of learning, there are four specific areas:
The ‘Communication’ section above outlines some activities to develop speaking and listening skills. In addition to sharing lots of stories, your child will probably be encouraged to handle and look at books independently and to begin to learn about how stories are structured. There will be opportunities for your child to recognise their own name. Your child will be encouraged to draw, paint and make to develop control and hand-eye co-ordination. They may begin to learn to copy the letters in their name.
At nursery, your child will be given many opportunities to explore numbers and shapes in their play. For example, they may be encouraged to count objects they are playing with and to compare two groups of objects. They will probably begin to represent numbers using their fingers, marks on paper or pictures.
Understanding the world
Your child will learn about the world around them and they will be encouraged to use simple technology and equipment.
Finally, imagination and creativity are explored and developed in the area of expressive arts. Your child will explore different media and materials and be encouraged to use their imagination in a range of different experiences.
Most of the time your child will be learning all seven areas of learning together, in a fairly jumbled way. So if they spends lots of time in the sand area there’s no need for concern! They may well be covering all kinds of important learning: working with different materials; finding out about shape, quantity and volume; creating imaginative worlds; feeling different textures; and even developing motor skills and strength for writing!
How can I help my child?
Talking and listening
It seems very obvious, but at this stage one of the best things you can do for your child’s learning is to spend time talking together. They are constantly learning new words and will be exploring ways to build sentences and put words together through trial and error. Encourage eye contact and back-and-forth conversation. Get them talking about the toys they are playing with. Ask them for their opinion about things – what is their favourite piece of equipment to play on in the park and why? Chat together about what you need to buy from the shop and encourage them to help you find items.
Why not try baking together? This is a fun way to learn to follow instructions and to chat together about what you are doing.
Read, read, read
Time spent reading together brings so many benefits to your child – and you! Through reading, your child will hear lots of words that they might not be as likely to come across in everyday conversation. They will also develop their listening skills and develop their understanding of how stories work. Rhythm and rhyme are so important for early language development and, luckily, there are masses of wonderful books available. Encourage your child to talk about the pictures, or to make predictions about what will happen next. For more advice and ideas, take a look at our blog on using storytelling to develop reading and writing skills.
There's no reason reading should be limited to stories, either – why not encourage your child to recognise and read print when you are out shopping, on the bus or at the park?
Read tips to help your child get ready to read.
Songs and rhymes
Have lots of fun singing songs and nursery rhymes together. Don’t worry about how good your singing voice is! Singing songs and saying rhymes can help your child to develop early language skills.
Have fun with numbers by singing counting songs, such as 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 … Once I caught a fish alive. Other songs such as Ten Green Bottles or Three Little Frogs [PDF] progress in reverse order, which can be especially helpful when young children start thinking about adding and taking away.
Numbers on the go
Point out the numbers you see when you are out and about and encourage your child to do the same. Look for bus numbers, prices and house numbers. When shopping, ask your child to select the number of apples or bananas you need – they’re helping you out, and learning at the same time.
Dressing up and role play are great opportunities for talking and listening and for imaginative play. On a practical level, a fun dressing up session can help your child to practise getting themselves dressed. You can fit in a sneaky bit of training with those tricky zips, armholes and buttons.
Why have we chosen our uniform?
- Harrow Gate Primary Uniform is a red jumper and grey / black bottoms. Nursery are part of the whole school community.
- Our children need to be able to be physically active all of the times. Being active is a prime area of the Early Years curriculum.
- Being independent is very important therefore footwear and clothing that can easily be taken on and off, pulled up and fastened is recommended.