The Curriculum 21

Welcome to our curriculum, supporting the needs of our community,

Providing children with lifelong skills which represent our ethos at sunflowers, and working toward the early leaning goals as part of the Early Years Foundation Stage.

Introduction

Sunflowers Day Nursery is a well-established nursery in the small town of Radstock in Bath and North East Somerset, the nursery has been in operation since 1997. The nursery offers day care from 8-5.30 for 50 weeks of the year. We provide care for children from 3 months to 5yrs in a purpose built building set in large plot with gardens and outdoor play spaces. We offer a range of sessions to meet childcare needs for many families who work in the nearby city of Bath.
 
The nursery is fully inclusive and we welcome all children and families to the nursery, as an experienced team we are motivated to meet the individual needs of children. We view children with additional needs or disabilities ambitiously with a focus towards promoting development and narrowing the gap between them and their contemporaries while understanding that every child has its own mountain to climb.
 
We are committed to the continual development of the nursery and the team through self-evaluation and reflection, high quality training and implementing the best childcare practices to create the best possible outcomes for all.

Our Community

Radstock is considered an area of deprivation, a good number of our children are from low income families, Unemployment is considered high in the area and this can lead to other environmental issues which places additional pressures on the families in our setting, we support many families where they are already accessing additional services from health care professionals, children centre support and from social care.
 
Over the recent years the nursery has become more diverse, allowing us to represent a growing culturally rich community, we are supporting children with English as an additional language and have enjoyed embracing new cultures and language.
We also see children from very affluent homes where perhaps one or both parents are working professionally in the nearby city of Bath. This does mean that sometimes our children can have very different home lives and experiences when they join us and throughout their time at the nursery. Some of our children are accessing a high level of extracurricular activities and also have opportunities to visit local attractions, broadening their knowledge of the world. While others have limited opportunities due to a range of social and economic factors.
As an overview in our community we understand that children have varying experiences of their early years we aim to offer a board curriculum, to ensure all children get to have a range of stimulating experiences with wonderful opportunities to see and understand the world around them. To close together the culture gap, and to be ambitious for all children while at the nursery and for future learning and wellbeing into adulthood.

To address our community needs we will focus on-
 

Developing close meaningful relationships
 
High quality Play
 
All children developing a love of books
 
All children having rich first hand experiences to broaden horizons
 
All children experiencing a language rich environment
 
Healthy lifestyles and well being


Promoting confidence, kindness and curiosity for lifelong learning

At sunflowers day nursery we are passionate about our children-
 
Being independent and confident in their abilities, persisting when challenges occur and celebrating effort as well as achievement.
Being highly effective communicators, being able to make meaningful relationships that is based on kindness, sharing, and an understanding of difference and similarities; being able to celebrate both these in equal measure.
 
Being able to express and understand theirs and other people’s emotions, promoting resilience and prioritising mental health and giving the tools to achieve this, creating lifelong skills to be happy and content.
 
Being powerful learners with a curiosity for all the world has to offer, knowing that they are valuable in the pursuit of knowledge and every step in their own learning journey is valuable and meaningful.
 
Knowing they are important, special, and a part of ours and the greater community, moving on from Sunflowers with skills to be content to be them, knowing they have their own mountain to climb, and taking each step with joy for what is coming next.

Being Independent-Efficient Communicators-Being Resilient-Curious Learners-Feeling Valued

The Early Years Foundation Stage

Our entire curriculum is designed to make solid progression towards the Early Learning Goals, as stated in the Early Years Foundation Stage, these areas are made up of Prime areas which are particularly important for building a foundation for igniting children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, forming relationships and thriving, and Specific areas through which prime areas are strengthened and applied.

 The areas of learning are-

Communication and Language
ELG’s

Listening, attention and Understanding

Children at the expected level of development will:
-Listen attentively and respond to what they hear with relevant questions, comments and actions when being read to and during whole class discussions and small group interaction;
-Make comments about what they have heard and ask questions to clarify their understanding;
-Hold conversation when engaged in back-and-forth exchanges with their teacher and peers.

Speaking

Children at the expected level of development will:
-Participate in small group, class and one-to-one discussions, offering their own ideas, using recently introduced vocabulary;
-Offer explanations for why things happen, make use of recently introduced vocabulary from stories, non-fiction, rhymes and poems when appropriate;
-Express their ideas and feeling about their experiences using full sentences, including use of past, present and future tenses and making use of conjunctions, with modelling and support from teacher.


Personal, Social and Emotional Development
ELG’s

Self-Regulation

Children at the expected level of development will:
-show an understanding or their own feelings and those of others, and begin to regulate their behaviour accordingly;
-Set and work towards simple goals, being able to wait for what they want and control their immediate impulses when appropriate;
-Give focused attention to what the teacher say, responding appropriately even when engaged in activity, and show an ability to follow instructions involving several ideas or actions.

Managing Self

Children at the expected level of development will:
-Be confident to try new activities and show independence, resilience and perseverance in the face of challenge;
-Explain the reasons for rules, know right from wrong and try to behave accordingly;
-Manage their own basic hygiene and personal needs, including dressing, going to the toilet and understanding the importance of health food choices.

Building Relationships

Children at the expected level of development will:
-work and play cooperatively and take turns with others;
-Form positive attachments to adults and friendships with peers;
-Show sensitivity to their own and to other’s needs.

Physical Development
ELG’s

Gross Motor skills

Children at the expected level of development will:

-Negotiate space and obstacles safely, with consideration for themselves and others;
-Demonstrate strength, balance and coordination when playing;
Move energetically, such as running, jumping, dancing, hopping, skipping and climbing.

Fine Motor skills

Children at the expected level of development will:
-Hold a pencil effectively in preparation for fluent writing-using the tripod grip in almost all cases;
-Use a range of small tools, including scissors, paint brushes and cutlery;
-Begin to show accuracy and care when drawing.


Literacy
ELG’s

Comprehension

Children at the expected level of development will:
-demonstrate understanding of what has been read to them by retelling stories and narratives using their own words and recently introduced vocabulary;
-Anticipate-where appropriate –key events in stories;
-Use and understand recently introduced vocabulary during discussions about stories, nonfiction, rhymes and poems and during role play

Word Reading

Children at the expected level of development will:
-say a sound for each letter in the alphabet and at least 10 digraphs;
-Read words consistent with their phonic knowledge by sound blending;
-Read aloud simple sentences and books that are consistent with their phonic knowledge, including some common exception words

Writing

Children at the expected level of development will:

- Write recognisable letters, most of which are correctly formed;

-Spell words by identifying sounds in them and representing the sounds with a letter or letters;
-Write simple phrases and sentences that can be read by others.

Mathematics
ELG’s

Number

Children at the expected level of development will:
-have a deep understanding of number to 10, including the composition of each number;
-Subitise (recognise numbers without counting) up to 5;
-Automatically recall (without referring to rhymes, counting or other aids)
Number bonds up to 5 (including subtraction facts) and some number bonds to 10, including double facts.

Number Patterns

Children at the expected level of development will:
-Verbally count beyond 20, recognise the pattern of the counting system;
-Compare quantities up to 10 in different contexts, recognise when one quality is greater then, less then or the same as the other quantity;
-Explore and represent patterns within numbers up to 10, including evens and odds, double facts and how quantities can be distributed equally.

Understanding the world
ELG’s

Past and Present
Children at the expected level of development will:
-Talk about the lives of the people around them and their roles in society;
-Know some similarities and differences between things in the past and now, drawing on their experiences and what has been read in class;
-Understand the past through settings, characters and events encountered in books read in class and storytelling.

Culture and Communities

Children at the expected level of development will:
-Describe their immediate environment using knowledge from observation, discussion, stories, non-fiction texts and maps;
-Know some similarities and differences between different religious and cultural communities in this country, drawing on their own experiences and what has been read in class;
-Explain some similarities and differences between life in this country and life in other countries, drawing on knowledge from stories, non-fiction texts and – when appropriate maps.

The Natural World

Children at the expected level of development will: Explore the natural world around them, making observations and drawing pictures of animals and plants; Know some similarities and differences between the natural world arounds them and contrasting environments, drawing on their experiences and what has been read in class; Understanding some important processes and changes in the natural world around them, including the seasons and changing states of matter.

Expressive arts and Design
ELG’s

Creating with Materials

Children at the expected level of development will:
Safely use and explore a variety of materials, tools and techniques, experimenting with colour, design, texture, form and function;
Share their creations, explaining the process they have used;
Make use of props and materials when role playing characters in narratives and stories.

Being Imaginative and Expressive

Children at the expected level of development will: Invent, adapt and recount narratives and stories with peers and their teacher;
Sing a range of well-known nursery rhymes and songs;
Perform songs, rhymes, poems and stories with others, and –when appropriate-try to move in time with music.
 
 
Early learning goals are expected at the end of the reception year we look to support children in the important steps towards these goals while remembering children work at different levels and in different patterns of development.

The Big Picture

Community Needs

 

Develop close meaningful relationships

High Quality Play
 
All children develop a love of books
 
All children having rich first hand experiences to broaden horizons 
 
All children experiencing a language rich environment
 
Healthy lifestyles and well being

Reggio Emilio Projects


Nursery Aims for our children

 

Being independent
 
Efficient Communicators
 
Being Resilient
 
Curious Learners
 
Feeling Valued 




Core Experiences


The EYFS - Areas of Learning

Communication and Language
 
Personal, Social & Emotional development
 
Physical development
 
Literacy
 
Mathematics
 
Understanding the world
 
Expressive Arts and Design

Termly Timetables experiences 


Organising learning and planning

Our learning at Sunflowers is organised into three main areas, Reggio Emilio Projects, Core Experiences and Termly timetabled experiences, through these three formats we create a broad Educational program that works towards all needs, aims and early learning goals.
Through these organised learning opportunities children can enjoy child initiated projects, adult guided play and adult led experiences.

What are Reggio Emilio Projects?
The Reggio approach is based on the principle that children must have some control over the direction of their learning. Children must be able to learn through experiences of touching, moving, listening, seeing and hearing. Children have relationships with other children and with material items in the world that children must be allowed to explore.
 
The central reason that a child must have control over his or her day to day activity is that learning must make sense from the child’s point of view. This part of our educational program is based on projects that are based on real life problem solving among peers with numerous opportunities for creative thinking and exploration. The topic investigation may derive from observations of the children’s play or on the basis of interest or social concern.
Projects begin with staff observing and questioning the children about a topic of interest. Based on the children’s responses, teachers introduce materials, questions and opportunities that provoke children to further explore the topic. We do not create long term plans for our project, but we consider and review each step, look at what we aim to teach, how we are going to do that teaching and its impact. (Intent, Implement, Impact) We also talk about if any children need support to jump on board with project and how we will support them moving forward.

What are Core Experiences?
Core experiences are planned opportunities and areas which children receive every day, with a few being offered less frequently, the core experience influence the environment; the rooms are laid out to ensure the core experiences are available and accessible to all children. This helps children to have repetitive play and embeds learning that can be extended or adapted to meet their individual needs. The core experiences are sequenced across the building to ensure learning and challenges increase and evolve as they develop, while allowing children to really understand the learning before moving on. With supportive key persons exploring and playing along children daily; we can support sustained progress for all, overcoming children individual difficulties as they arise.

What are the Termly Timetabled Experiences?
Termly time table experiences, look at experiences we want for our children that may not occur naturally and may not be available to all our children in our community. We offer experiences such as Yoga, Music sessions from external visitors, Zoo visits, Egg Hatching, baby Massage etc. we also look at celebrating festivals and community fund raising these help to make children feel valued as part of ours and the wider community. Termly timetables maybe be adapted and changed depending on the needs of the group at any one time.

Core Experiences

Block Play

Children need opportunities to become competent in block play, through repetitive play children will be able to develop building skills developing greater control. Block play for our youngest children begin with holding, sucking, and banging. With age appropriate blocks we can support the children to be confident to hold, manipulate and explore with growing skill.
Through exploration the child begin to understand the properties of each block, being able to group and know there similarities and differences.
 
By knowing the blocks children then will naturally extend their play, including mathematical ideas of area, shape and space. Children develop building techniques and become symbolic in their creations growing in detail and intricacy, block play also encourages collaborations with peers using cooperation to create larger structures. 

Communication and Language
Children share ideas, communicating plans and instruction, hear and begin to use language to describe shape, and size and position. 
Personal, Social and Emotional Development
Children are able to make independent choices, beginning to extend periods of interest and collaborating with others, share and turn take with resources. 
Physical development
Children develop both gross motor and fine motor skills as they explore balancing and lifting larger hollow blocks. Children will also need to become confident to manipulate smaller blocks with precision.
Literacy
Children can use books to look at and develop building ideas and see structures in different contexts. Children can plan and record designs and their creations through mark making and drawing.

Mathematics
Children can use blocks to count for a purpose, refer to size and quantity and use language such as more, fewer, longer shorter etc. children can describe shapes and how to fit them together while making block selections based on the properties they hold.

 


 
Understanding the world 
Younger children explore shape and texture, and develop an understanding of how to build structures, also noticing buildings and structure in their community and making representations of them in their block play.
Expressive Arts and Design 
As an open ended resource children can use their imagination to design and create structures, children can combine these structures and enclosures with other resources such as cars, animals and other small world toys to develop play themes and stories.
Children may think about their creations,  reflect and make adaptions or modify the structures with support of peers adding extended play ideas.

Paint, texture and colour mixing

Painting offers a multisensory experience, children explore using all five senses, initially children with feel, taste, smell the paint using toes, fingers and their whole body. Children can explore using finger painting, food painting and body painting as well as paintbrushes and an endless range of tools both traditional and non-conventional. We also offer natural paints creating colours marks with blackberries, blueberries, yoghurt and mud.
 
As children become more confident they will name colours and learn how to mix different colours through exploration. They will begin to select colours and textures of paint with a specific purpose in mind and notice the shades of colours using them appropriately.
 
Painting stations will offer a range of experiences including creating textures in paint such as sand and glue and glitter, this will enhance their learning through understanding the properties of these paints. 

Communication and Language
Children will vocalise, make sounds and talk while painting initially alongside the sensations that body painting creates and then to communicate their painting ideas and plans to explain the marks they make and what they stand for, sometimes children will use language to collaborate on a creation and to describe what is happening when exploring colour mixing. Children will listen to follow instruction and develop attention necessary to complete projects.
Personal, Social and Emotional Development
Work towards simple goals, giving focused attention on their creations, follow instructions when colour mixing, while exploring their ideas. Opportunity for curiosity and self-confidence, and Self-awareness when creating self-portraits understanding attributes that make them special and develop a sense of belonging. Manage their work space and see to own needs to washing, hands and equipment.
Work independently and collaboratively to create large pieces of art, developing relationships turn taking and listening to others.
Physical development
Developing fine motor skills through meaningful mark making, using a range of traditional and non-traditional tools, with increasing accuracy and coordination. Fine and large motor skills develop through the sequenced development of muscle control supporting the development of in most cases a tripod grip. When creating large projects children will be able to negotiate the space leaving space for others to contribute 
Literacy
Use paint to retell stories by making simple representations of the words and character in stories they enjoy, name paintings and sound out their names using growing phonic knowledge, begin to paint using emergent writing and sometimes painting recognisable letters.

Mathematics
Using numbers in painting, count the marks they make and create certain numbers of items to create planned pictures, create shapes and and patterns with paint begin to see pattern created by accident and use number language. Become more familiar with quantity when exploring mixing paint, using words such as more or less when mixing their mixed paint. Thinking about how to cover paper and make enclosures within paintings.
 


 
Understanding the world 
Use paint to represent themselves, their family and meaningful events, recreate people and places in the community using paint and other media. Understand the similarities and difference between them and others. Discover paintings by artists from the present, past and from other cultures and use language to express what they see. Make observations from nature and use paint to make representations of the natural world, use natural resources as tools when creating and mixing.
Expressive Arts and Design 
Use a wide variety of tools and techniques to enjoy paint and colour mixing, explore colour, texture, form through experimental processes which children are free to explore. Display art work in the nursery environment often returning to those picture to talk about what they have created. Being imaginative in their creations, telling stories through paint or creating meaningful images that relate to their everyday lives.

Outdoor play and gardening

Outdoor play allows children to experience changes in natural light and textures, to explore weather and to experience nature first hand. Children place a great deal of importance on that outdoor experience being,  in nature can provide a haven from the busy nursery classroom. Outdoor environments allow children create and imagine in large scale, opening up their worlds. At Sunflowers we provide free flow play to extend all our learning areas and our front garden strongly promotes gross motors skills in bike play, climbing and balancing. helping Children develop balance, co-ordination and stamina. For our youngest children we provide a secure space for crawling and exploring and all children have access to age appropriate resources to promote development and to offer challenge as children grow in independence.
 
All weather clothing is a must as we explore rain, splashing and puddles, when snow arrives we enjoy snow man building and icy structures.
 
Children begin enjoying gardening by playing with plastic tools, digging and moving and shifting soil. Discovering worms and mini-beasts is always a joy, and children love to share their discoveries. The children can explore wet and dry soil, play with stones and begin to notice and explore plants and tree in our environment. Plants and foliage are an important part of our nursery environment and we try to bring the outdoors in as much as possible. As children grow older they we learn about seasons, and how weather helps plants to grow. Children will begin to plant and grow flowers and vegetables, taking care of their plants and use digital cameras and tape measures to monitor growth. 

Communication and Language
Children develop language skills as they talk about what they are doing and begin to communicate with others to share collaborative play. Children will need to listen to follow instructions from adults and listen to each other to respond to others ideas. New vocabulary will develop especially in gardening
Personal, Social and Emotional Development
Children become confident to explore the environment with interest. They begin to see boundaries and rules for outside play. Undertake challenge and enjoy risky play with growing confidence and skill. Children will work collaboratively and will need to share and turn take with equipment.
Physical development
Developing gross motor skills while exploring the outside environment gaining skills to run, jump, climb and balance. Children will learn how to stay safe while taking on challenges. Children can explore speed and direction and move safely around the space. 
Children’s fine motor skills are promoted when managing clothes, mark marking in the sand and writing labels for plants etc. children will use tools first with close supervision but then developing skills to plant and garden independently.
Literacy
Children can mark make in the natural environment developing their emergent writing. Children can further their knowledge of the outdoors and gardening through story books and reference books, seeking out knowledge and following instruction 

Mathematics
Children learn about capacity and measure in sand play and exploring the mud kitchen, beginning to use language alongside this play. Children learn about growth and measure when planting and learn about the many shapes and texture in our outdoor spaces. Children can use their bodies to travel in and out under and on top and begin to use this positional language in their play. 
 


 
Understanding the world 
Children learn and become familiar with the outdoor environment, noticing the attributes of living things becoming aware of change and growth. Children begin to understand the seasons and enjoy the new natural changes each brings. Children can use digital media to record what they see and discover including bugs and plant growth. 
Expressive Arts and Design 
Children explore the rich environment exploring textures, sounds and smells. Children create art from natural materials and also represent nature in art, children use the outdoors to display their creations children role play can be extended to large groups all playing under one narrative, children also enjoy  dance and music in the outdoor environment.

Treasure baskets and Heuristic play

Treasure baskets provides babies and young children an opportunity to explore and play with items from the real world that are not toys. Objects in the treasure basket have a range of textures, shape and smells. Babies are free to explore these resources by touching, tasting, dropping, smelling etc. As baby explores they can find objects that fascinate them returning to a favourite item to explore more if they wish, as this time is often shared with others it creates a lovely time for social awareness, children may begin to pass objects , mimic play and respond to the sounds others make. The adult role is to create a secure space and time for this play being careful not to interfere with the children’s natural choices but being on hand to add genital interaction to enhance play. As babies begin to grow they will enjoy added boxes and containers to promote the need to move and transfer objects.
 
Heuristic play provides a wide range of different objects and materials to play and explore with, unlike open ended resources they are not freely available and are presented to the children as a moment of fascination, again real life items not toys. children can explore them freely while an adult will provide supervision and gentle involvement usually when requested. These items are chosen carefully, and are refreshed regularly to continue the desire to to explore and discover.

Communication and Language
Our youngest children begin to makes sounds as they explore, making eye contact, facial expressions and beginning to gesture.
Heuristic play sees peers talking about what they see and hear, what they notice about the resource.
Personal, Social and Emotional Development
Young children begin to play, making choices and with well-chosen resources all senses will be used to explore, children will be involved in discovering more about the interesting new items presented.
Physical development
Children can explore both fine and gross motor skills, during exploration children may lift, pour and manipulate resources. Developing hand eye coordination and control to use tools.
Literacy
Children will make links in their exploration, use books to find more information that is self-sought. Children interact independently in resources and mark make as part of this exploration.

Mathematics
Children will explore, space, size and capacity while manipulating objects. They may begin to notice patterns and order objects as they wish. Children may use number or space language in their own narration of their discoveries.
 


 

Understanding the world 
Children will explore items from past and present, discover the attributes of resources and explore how things work and move. Discover cause and effect and children can discover how these items could be used and make links to the world around them.
Expressive Arts and Design 
Children use their senses to connect to natural materials and enjoy making sounds and moving creatively with the resources.

Role play

Role play is initially based on children’s experiences in their own homes and environments, children explore equipment that resembles real life items and use them in a typical manner such as cups and saucers, pretend telephones and cameras etc. Our youngest children will mimic sipping from a cup and stirring with a spoon and answering the phone just like Mummy and Daddy. Older children develop a greater ability to transfer the use of items, using simple items to represent almost anything, such a tube becoming a telescope or a stick becoming a magic wand.
In our youngest rooms you will see our home corners are mainly resources with familiar items while in caterpillars you will see more open ended items to allow for the adaptions children will want to explore. These areas can be expanded by adding additional items and toys to expand play, such as water, flour, soil or cereal etc this promotes multi-sensory play.
 
We provide dressing up items, some traditional items such as familiar uniforms, doctors kits etc, also multi-cultural dress. Alongside providing dressing up clothes that are open ended such as hats, bags, glasses and materials to allow for children to be imaginative and represent people in their own lives. For our oldest children we include local school uniforms as part of our transition work. As in small play, role play helps to promote inclusion and diversity in the setting, as well as opportunities to challenge stereotypes.

Communication and Language
Children enjoy role playing, responding to what others say and becoming part of a narrative in play, develop those play ideas by adding their own thoughts and having confidence to share them with their peers. Engage in back and forth conversation with peers and teachers about their play. Use recently introduced language in play and represent stories, activities and experiences in their independent role play at free play times. 
Personal, Social and Emotional Development
Play well with others, play alongside and begin to interact fully with others, developing relationships and friendships. Children use their own ideas to develop play and allow others to take part, sharing resources, turn taking and listening to others ideas. Represent in their play right from wrong, and show a growing understanding of social rules and how to regulate their own behaviours.
Physical development
Demonstrate a range of movement, and control in role play. Move energetically when part of the play and showing balance and coordination. When role playing outdoors run, jump, climb etc. showing a good awareness of the space around them. Use fine motor skills when role playing including writing, using tools and equipment.
Literacy
Show understanding of the stories they hear when they recreate them in role play, begin to use the newly accursed vocabulary in that play and in the right context, use different forms of text to support role play including their own emergent writing, such as writing menus or shopping lists.

Mathematics
Use mathematical language in play, including number and space, talk about positional language and measure as they occur coincidentally through children ideas.
 

Understanding the world 
Role playing people they see in the community such as doctors and police officers, play represents the children’s own interactions but also what they have learnt from accrued knowledge. Role play also mimics the children home lives and children become aware of similarities and difference between their lives and others lives in the community and from around the world. Children role play includes their understanding of nature and includes natural resources such as the mud kitchen and creating objects that stand for other things from nature such as swords, wands etc.
Expressive Arts and Design 
Develop imaginative play first alone and then with their peers, Use their own creations to support play, make props such as masks and crowns. Role play characters in narratives and stories. Invent, adapt and recount narratives with peers and teachers. 

Malleable Materials

All children need experiences of different types of materials, these experiences allow children to use all 5 sense to explore, and malleable materials can be changed and transformed. By creating different shapes and sizes, changing the properties of these malleable materials by adding sand, water or flowers and scents allow children to explore and enjoy a multi-sensory experience.
 
Children can begin to create models with dough for example and are symbolic in their modelling using creative thinking, older children will have an opportunity to explore malleable resources that provide examples of transformation such as, ice to water and back again, flour and water, gloop made with cornflower. Cooking will provide an additional way to see how materials can be changed during the cooking process.

Communication and Language
Children will vocalise, make sounds and begin to talk about what they feel and what they are doing as they explore the resources using all of their senses.
 
Children will work together to make plans about what they should try next and what they are going to create.
 
Children will use their growing vocabulary to express their thoughts.
Personal, Social and Emotional Development
Child will have opportunities to manipulate the resource and develop confidence to try new things. 

Children will be involved for periods of growing length without needing the support of adults. Children’s self-confidence will be promoted as they feel a sense of accomplishment from achieving their aims independently.
Physical development
Children use a range of tools to make marks both on large and small scales and gain control and coordination.
Literacy
Children will use malleable materials to mark make with and explore creating letters, especially personally meaningful letters of their name.
 
Children may record plans and begin to make designs.

Mathematics
Children will explore quantity and how to share out resources so all can play. Children may use number to count creations and to talk about what they have done. 

Children can explore shape names when using cutters and become familiar with 3D shapes. 
Understanding the world 
Children explore the resources with their senses and find out about how their actions effects the materials used. Children will explore how texture is charged by adding water for example.
Expressive Arts and Design 
Children will experiment with media, mixing medias and changing the texture of the malleable resource. Children can add scent and colour, also using natural materials. Children can be imaginative in what they create.

Small world play

Small world play provides many learning opportunities for children, make believe play involving small equipment such as animals, figures and dolls etc that allow children to recreate experiences and events that are meaningful to themselves. Children use this equipment in various ways exploring space and position, moving and enclosing and begin to use language alongside this play.
 
Children become more confident in creating narratives around this equipment, with others joining along in play ideas offered by other children. Children can use this equipment to become expressive about the relationships they experience and how they perceive their own sense of self. Small world play helps to promote inclusion and diversity in the setting, as well as opportunities to challenge stereotypes and understanding right from wrong in safe positive play.

Communication and Language
Children make sounds and talk to other children about what they are doing, offering play cues for their peers to join. Children will develop narratives with others, and negotiate and listen to other ideas.
Personal, Social and Emotional Development
Opportunities to explore favourite resources and new ones independently or with friends often for extended periods help to develop relationships and confidence. Children can play together and return to these play themes across the sessions they attend. Children can explore emotions and role play their own experience.
Physical development
Support hand eye coordination, develops gross and motor skills during play.
Literacy
Children’s small world play can reflect directly on their book experience, with story themes often being the basis of small world play. Children use small world to sequence actions and events and reflect on experiences and feelings.

Mathematics
Small play supports children to group objects, create enclosures and to make and notice patterns, children use language such as more and a lot and experience things that are smaller or larger. Children can sort resources by their attributes such as zoo and farm animals. And being to count those resources using number language.
Understanding the world 
Children can use small word play to make sense of the world around them, to replay their own experiences. Children can use all of their senses to find out about cause and effect, such moving the train along the tracks.
Expressive Arts and Design 
Children enjoy and respond to familiar playthings, making noises and movement to start to pretend and role play, and over time develop their own storylines and narratives, sometime based on their own experiences.

Sand and Water

Children love to explore the natural resources of Sand and water, children use all five sense to experience sand and water play, sand and water play both indoors and out are enhanced by a varied selection of additional resources, bowls, jugs, tubes, sticks etc alongside traditional toys such as buckets and spades and boats.
 
Children will enjoy pouring, emptying, transporting and funnelling. Mark making and making patterns in the sand can be enjoyed by all, Older children will begin to transport and mix the resources and begin to create structures to  enhance their imaginative play.
 
Children will enjoy the sensation of water moving across their hands and through their toes, Water play is provided but also enjoyed through experiencing rain and puddles both on foot and on bikes. Children will begin to understand the movement of water and explore mathematically when thinking about volume such as full and empty. Also developing an understanding of the need for water for animals and plants, it’s health benefits and how it is used in daily life such as washing.

Communication and Language
Child will make sounds and talk about what they are doing and share play with others. Children can use sand and water for pretend play such as making cakes etc, children develop narratives and share their ideas so others can join.
Personal, Social and Emotional Development
Children play alongside others and with others in play developing relationships. Water and sand are calming resources and can support self-regulation.
Children can explore these resources for extended periods without adult support being needed this helps to develop their confidence and skills. 
Physical development
Sand and water provides a wealth of opportunities to develop fine and gross motor skills. Using spoons, lifting buckets, pouring from one container or another and using tools all support the development of physical skills.
Literacy
Children can make marks in the sand using their fingers, tools and other natural resources, this supports children emergent writing.

Mathematics
Children explore capacity as they fill and empty containers, children move the resource in to small amounts or create larger amounts by pouring together understanding cause and effect as containers overflow. Children can use models for counting and begin to use mathematical language in play.
Understanding the world 
Children can explore sand and water, and how they can be changed. Children can add water to sand and explore texture.
Expressive Arts and Design 
Children explore these valuable natural resources using all their senses, they can create models and make meaningful marks in the sand. Children can use these resource to enhance role play such as pouring cups of tea etc.

Mark marking and emergent writing

Children are provided with ways to mark make from the earliest stages, making marks in food play, paint, foam and natural resources such as sand and soil.
 
Mark making and emergent writing is encouraged across all areas, in designing and planning models and creating shopping list and menus. Children’s writing is considered symbolic and children are encouraged to tell you what they have written about. Children use a large range of writing resources, such as pens, pencils, chalks, pastels etc, along with different types of paper and card, using clip boards and travelling while making important marks about what they see.
 
Children begin to understand that one thing can stand for another, they experiment with marks explore letters in their play and begin to recognise their name and in some cases writing their name before school. A tripod grip is encouraged in most cases.

Communication and Language
Children begin to talk about the marks they make, communicating meaning and sharing with others. Children begin to explore letter sounds.
Personal, Social and Emotional Development
Children use their drawing and mark making to communicate meaning and to represent their home life and community.
Children develop confidence and a sense of self as they begin to name their own creations.
Physical development
Children develop gross and fine motor skills through mark making and emergent writing.
 
As they move through the physical stages of learning to write. Pencil control develops and in most cases a tripod grip will be used. 
Literacy
Children begin to use marks, circle and lines, moving onto to letter type shape and finally recognisable letters. Children begin to use text for a purpose such as making a shopping list.
 
They begin to understand that information can be recorded in print.
 
They begin to recognise initial letter sounds and can recognise some letters of the alphabet, especially letters in their name.


Mathematics
Children can make marks to represent quantity and numbers, and over time will be able to write number successfully.
Understanding the world 
Children will represent their thought and ideas from their home lives, creating their own family images and using emergent writing to label family members or pets.
 
Children use ICT for early writing and creating images.
Expressive Arts and Design 
Children explore making mark is a range of ways, using fingers, tools and natural resources.

Food, food prep and cooking

Our youngest children enjoy opportunities to explore food, taste texture and smell through food play sessions, children are encouraged to be independent at meal times using age appropriate cutlery and open cups, children are encouraged to cut their own food, and can self-select foods at snacks time and tea time, pouring their own drinks and using tongs to serve themselves. Children begin to understand the healthy practices around eating, such as hand washing and washing hands and face after meals.
 
Older children can prepare their own snacks, using knives, understanding the need to be careful. Children enjoy the role of preparing food for others and enjoy taking on other tasks around meal times such as clearing their own plates, giving out puddings and spoons for their peers.
As children become more aware of food they become more familiar with naming food stuffs, and will enjoy mixing foodstuffs such as adding water to flour to make a mixture. Children will take part in cooking, with growing independence, learning about weighing and measuring
And how the ingredients change and be able to talk about the transformation of the ingredients. Children will explore food from other cultures and begin to recognise healthy and unhealthy food choices.
Communication and Language
Children explore foods and textures, begin to make noises and speak about what they are doing and how it feels. Children will follow instruction when preparing food and when cooking, giving extended attention as they work together to cook.

Communication and Language
Children explore foods and textures, begin to make noises and speak about what they are doing and how it feels. Children will follow instruction when preparing food and when cooking, giving extended attention as they work together to cook.
Personal, Social and Emotional Development
Children explore foods and texture alongside others, making eye contact and beginning to interact as they play.
Children develop independence in meeting their own needs, preparing snacks and pouring drinks promote confidence.  Children work with others to prepare eating areas and to tidy away. Children enjoy being a part of the nursery routine.
Physical development
Children use tools for a purpose, and learn how to use them safely. Children will develop fine motor skills when using tools such as knives and scissors with care.
 
Within cookery children can use movement to understand cause and effect on ingredients with movement such as whisking eggs. Children become aware of healthy and unhealthy food choices.
Literacy
Children will follow instruction, follow recipes and learn how to select and retrieve information from text and books.

Mathematics
Children develop numeracy skills in food preparation using number to ensure they prepare enough for their friends.
 
They learn about quantity, weight, measure and time. And use language such as more or less.

Understanding the world 
Children learn about foods from around the world and use their senses to explore these. Children understand that they and others use foods as part of their cultural home lives enjoying foods in festivals.
 
Children learn about where foodstuffs come from and grow. They begin to understand the attributes of the foods and how they can be changed. Children use scales and cooking devices in cookery supporting children understanding of how equipment can be used.
Expressive Arts and Design 
Children enjoy exploring food and its textures, our youngest children explore using all their senses. Children develop their own ideas on what they would like to create when cooking.

Books

Beginning with songs and rhymes we introduce children to small amounts of texts, this in turn supports speaking and listening and their understanding of alliteration and rhyme. Simple stories are offered alongside supportive props. Through stories children can develop their imagination.
 
Children begin to understand how to hold and turn the pages of the book, from simple board books, fiction books help children to learn about characters and sequenced events understanding the beginning, middle and the end of a story. We provide core books for each stage of the nursery that are carefully chosen to provide rich language, memorable texts which feature repetition. Children can make predictions and apply their phonic knowledge.
we select books with strong story shapes and structures and that represent the children’s interests and backgrounds, while opening up the world to others lives, beautiful illustrations help foster the love of sharing books. Children will have a strong knowledge of these core books fully understanding and relating to the story in every way through repetition and familiarity.
 
Children with be encourage to seek out information from reference books and begin to place meaning to the text they see in the environment and in the larger community.
 
Parents are provided access to core book lists and loaning books to support the love of reading in the children homes.

Communication and Language
Babies begin to vocalise as they see pictures, children begin to talk about what they see in story books and join in with repeated refrains. 
Books support children’s development of language and their vocabulary. 
Children begin to think about what they have heard and try to make sense of storylines and characters, Including how characters may feel.
Shared story time and rhymes help children to develop their listening and attention skills.
Personal, Social and Emotional Development
Story time offers a time for children to snuggle in and seek warmth from familiar adults. 
Children begin to develop favourite books and enjoy sharing story time with others and in small groups with their friends. 
Well organised book areas allow children to make choices and the stories they want to select to share with an adult or on their own.
Books help children develop a sense of self as they explore their identity through seeing family lives and social practices. 
Physical development
Children learn how to handle books, turning pages carefully helps to develop children physical skills.
Literacy
Children become active listeners tuning in and delighting in the stories they hear. 
Children begin to hear the different sounds like rhymes and letter sounds. Books leaflets and posters give children additional meaning and adding books into other areas can extend play such as books about building in the block area.
Mathematics
Children can begin to notice numbers in stories and illustrations. Story books which include number patterns offer children an opportunity to join in with counting and give meaning the objects they count.
Understanding the world 
Books help children develop a sense of self as they explore their identity through seeing family lives and social practices.
Expressive Arts and Design 
Stories and rhymes enrich pretend play, children use favourite books to inspire their play with others, and children can use their shared experience of the story to play collaboratively on the same narrative. Children enjoy performing books and saying or singing rhymes or familiar refrains from books.

Music, dance and singing including movement development

We begin our musical journey by children becoming familiar with song and rhymes, carefully selecting core songs and rhymes for each stage allows children to actively participate and become confident in the actions to accompany these songs, children will enjoy props to their favourite songs and repetition supports children’s growing confidence to be a part of group singing and the enjoyment of music.
 
Children as they grow will develop a sense of rhythm and rhyme, listening to a range of music from around the world and having opportunity to create sound both loudly and quietly with musical instruments. Children will listen to sounds and use less conventional items to make sound to music, such as pots pans etc. We will provide adult led musical opportunities where children can develop their musical awareness finding beats and copying simple rhythms.
 
Children are encouraged to move freely, developing physical skills, crawling, rolling, jumping, and going through and under, taking risks when ready exploring the space and the environment through confident movement and enjoyment of their own physicality.

Children will develop movement skills and control of their body as they participate in adult led movement sessions, and also when moving freely to music and exploring dance. Children will move to beats, using their body to express the sounds they hear.

Communication and Language
 Children vocalise, make sounds and talk about what they are doing and sing together, developing communication and language skills. Children understand instruction when taking part in action songs.
 
Children will sometimes create their own songs using their own knowledge and vocabulary.

Personal, Social and Emotional Development
Children enjoy moving within the environment sometimes alone but often with others, children develop confidence through movement and their growing physical abilities.
Children enjoy sharing dance and music sessions together, often mimicking each other’s movements, children can find music and movement therapeutic and enjoy quieter music sessions and yoga this helps child to self-regulate their emotions, music is also used to support transition from one part of the routine to another.
Physical development
Children are given opportunities to develop gross and fine motor skills, moving in lots of ways and exploring movement. Children develop growing control over these movements and begin to be able to hold positions. Children learn to negotiate space and objects and move safely in the setting.
Literacy
Children begin to become aware of action words and instruction and respond appropriately. 
Mathematics
Children explore space as they move. Enjoy number rhymes and counting.
Understanding the world 
Children explore materials and other resources as the move to music. Begin to listen to music from around the world and explore music and movement traditions in theirs and other cultures.
Expressive Arts and Design 
Children enjoy moving with their bodies expressively, children may become characters in the music and dance and use familiar stories to support this. Children will enjoy exploring instruments and sounds.

Modelling structures and wood work

Loose parts such as tubes, boxes, plastic bottles offer a wealth of learning opportunities is their own right, filling, emptying, transporting, and as props for play narratives. When we add resources to allow these items to become a medium for joining and building they take on a special meaning to the child, where they can create, be imaginative and assemble their own structures and narrative props. While creating children use glue, sellotape and scissors practising cutting skills and beginning to understand what can and can’t be glued together, experiencing success and failure in their designing allowing children to problem solve adapt plans and to persist when challenges occur.
 
As children become more independent children can begin to use tools such as wooden hammers, first tapping or pushing large plastic nails into soft object, such as fruit or play-dough. As skills develop children can begin to use real tools using metal hammer to hammer nails into wood and joining pieces of wood together. Children can with support develop the skills of sawing and use these skills to plan and create small wood working structures.

Communication and Language
Children will makes sounds and communicate with others about their plans and ideas.
Children will listen carefully to instructions 
when using tools to ensure they work safely, 
children will develop focused attention 
while completing projects.
Personal, Social and Emotional Development
Opportunities to make choices and develop 
curiosity will develop new skills and confidence. 
Children will focus on their plans and work to 
complete their own tasks. Children will decide when they need to seek support from adults but will develop satisfaction from trying to achieve goals independently.
Physical development
Children will develop hand eye coordination and begin to understand how to use tools safety
Literacy
Children will begin to make plans and designs using mark making and emergent writing. 
Children can use books to seek inspiration and use a range of literacy resources to enhance their design including making labels and naming their creations.
Mathematics
Children will explore size and shape as they select resources, choosing items that are fit for purpose, children may position items in various way and exploring fitting items together changing their 
minds when they meet challenges.
Understanding the world 
Children can explore cause-effect, discover how to use equipment and the function of tools.
Expressive Arts and Design 
Children use imagination to create objects and structures, sometimes making plans and showing the end product. Children explore different materials, shapes and colours. They can create structure to act as props for their imaginative play

Sessional Timetable

Festivals Seasonal External Activities 
Winter term
(Sept-December)
Diwali
Harvest
Fireworks night
Christmas
Eid-ul-fitr 
Autumn Music sessions (Lads)
Movement session
Spring Term
(January-March)
Chinese new year
Easter 
Spring planting Music Sessions (Cats)
Hatching and lifecycles 
Summer term
(April-July)
Carnival
Father day
Mother’s day 
Summer planting Zoological visit
Drumming 
Additional festivals can be added to represent the childrens cultures in the setting

Supporting children’s learning

The Adults Role

• Children are powerful learners. Every child can make progress in their learning, with the right help. 
 
• Effective pedagogy is a mix of different approaches. Children learn through play, by adults modelling, by observing each other, and through guided learning and direct teaching. 
 
• Practitioners carefully organise enabling environments for high-quality play. Sometimes, they make time and space available for children to invent their own play. Sometimes, they join in to sensitively support and extend children’s learning. 
 
• Children in the early years also learn through group work, when practitioners guide their learning. 
 
 • Older children need more of this guided learning. 
 
• A well-planned learning environment, indoors and outside, is an important aspect of pedagogy. 

Adults can help children to learn in many encouraging, thoughtful and gently challenging ways. This help needs to take place across the whole range of contexts and areas of learning. These include: 
 
• creating a rich and stimulating environment, indoors and outside, so that children can choose their own play and activities
 
• joining in with children’s play when appropriate, and sensitively introducing challenges and new ideas
 
• setting challenges for children in a sensitive way and allowing them to find their own solutions to problems
 
• showing children how to do things (modelling) and explaining how to do things  • encouraging children to collaborate and learn from each other
 
• guiding children’s learning in a playful way
 
• discussing ideas with children, using skilful questioning and challenging their thinking to help them clarify their understanding of ideas
 
• commenting on what children are doing 
 
• directly teaching children a new skill, concept or an important piece of information
 
• using ICT to support children’s learning, using the approaches set out above. 
 
Pedagogy is the technical term for all the different ways that practitioners help children to learn, and how they teach them. Practitioners need a wide range of different pedagogical strategies to draw on. It’s a bit like being an actor who can play many different parts.
 
Effective settings provide a balance between play activities, which children choose to take part, and practitioner-led group activities. Settings will use their professional judgement to work out the balance that works best for them. They will need to take account of the particular strengths and needs of the children they are working with. An important aspect of pedagogy is checking what children know and can do.
 
Beyond what a child can easily do. Children may need plenty of encouragement to keep trying.
Children of all ages need time to choose their play and other activities freely. High-quality resources which are carefully selected and arranged will ensure that their play is rich in potential learning.
 
There are also times when children need practitioners to start things off for them. They need lots of playful, practitioner-guided activities. There is a role for adults to take the initiative at every stage in the early years. Key people in the baby room will start up games of ‘Peepo’. Practitioners in Reception classes will work with groups of children on a systematic phonics programme. Older children in the EYFS need more of this adult-guided group learning. 
In Expressive Arts and Design, children need opportunities to make their own choices. They benefit from practitioner-guidance and direct teaching, together with plenty of time and opportunities to explore materials and equipment.

Scaffolding shared/sustained thinking

Scaffolding is one of the most powerful ways to help children’s learning is ‘scaffolding’. The idea behind scaffolding is that each child has two levels of development: 
 
• What they can do on their own
• What they can do with the help of another person. 
 
For example, a child may not be able to complete a jigsaw on their own. But they might be able to do the puzzle if a practitioner provides sensitive challenge, support and guidance. The practitioner could perhaps draw the child’s attention to how turning a piece might be needed for it to fit, or highlight the colours of different pieces. Teaching should always be aimed at the child’s emerging skills, not at the existing ones. 
 
When young children are learning to tackle new problems, scaffolding is an effective approach. It means giving children just enough help to do something which they could not do alone. Over time, the help is gradually reduced until children can solve the problem themselves. For example, at first a baby can reach for socks and grab them, but cannot pull them onto her feet. The practitioner can guide the baby’s hand and encourage the baby to help in pulling the sock on, too.  Throughout the early years, practitioners can use this approach. For example, you could encourage children to be active in nappy-changing routines (e.g. taking off their shoes themselves). Over time, babies and toddlers can co-operate more and more with nappy-changing. In the long term, this will help them to become independent in dressing and undressing. It will also help them when they are learning to use the toilet independently.
 
You can use scaffolding as well to help a child learn how to put their coat on and do it up. For example, you might encourage children to pull up the zip after you have started them off. Over time, through modelling and encouragement, children will learn to engage and pull up the zip themselves.  Practitioners need to think carefully about these interactions. If too much help is provided, the child won’t learn, and may start to become dependent on adults. If you do up the zip of a toddler’s coat every day, they’ll never learn to do it themselves. But if a child doesn’t know how to pull their zip up and you just tell them to ‘try again’, they are most likely to become frustrated. Over time, some children who are thrown back on their resources like that might lose confidence in themselves. 
 
Extension and elaboration are especially helpful for babies, toddlers and young children. For example, if a small child says car, the practitioner can say the car’s driving along. If a child says they are sad, the practitioner can engage the child in some conversation. Why are they sad? What could they do, to make themselves feel calmer or happier? When children are confidently using a tool like scissors, practitioners can extend the children’s skills.
They can show children how another tool, like a hole-puncher, is used. Then they can encourage the children to use it independently. Skilful early year’s practitioners are constantly judging when to step in and scaffold further. Sometimes it’s best to step back and scaffold by doing nothing more than making encouraging noises to show interest.    
 
Sustained shared thinking a practice which is related to scaffolding is Sustained Shared Thinking. This is ‘an episode in which two or more individuals “work together” in an intellectual way to solve a problem, clarify a concept, evaluate activities, and extend a narrative. This generally happens in one-to-one adult/child interactions. Research into Sustained Shared Thinking is found in the highest-quality early years settings.          
 
An example… 
A few 4-year-olds were sitting together.
Three of the children were wearing trainers that would light up when they stepped down on them. Teacher: Wow! Look at your shoes! That is so cool. They light up when you step down.  
Child 1: Yes, they do this. [Jumps up and down several times]
Teacher: How does that happen? How does it light up?
Child 1: Because they are new.
Teacher: Um. Mine are new too but they don’t light up.
Child 2: No, because they light up when you step down on them. [Steps down hard several times]
Teacher: [Steps down hard several times] that’s funny. Mine don’t light up when I step down. 
Child 3: No, no, no, you have to have these holes [points to the holes]
Teacher: [Pointing to the holes in her own shoe] But I have holes and mine still don’t light up, and Josh has holes in his trainers too and his do not light up either.I wonder why? 
Child 4: I think you need batteries. Kids, you need batteries.
Child 1: Yeah, you need batteries to make them work. [Thinks for a while]. But I did not see batteries when I put my toes in.
Child 4: I think they are under the toes.
Child 2: I can’t feel the batteries under my toes.
Teacher: I wonder how we can find out about this?

 
It is important for practitioners to focus on the processes children follow in their learning, and the effort they show. This helps to build children’s character and confidence. It encourages them to try new and challenging things.  To develop their ability to keep going when learning is hard, and to bounce back after failures, children need to be sensitively challenged. The 2-year-old struggling to climb up an A-frame will experience a deep satisfaction when they finally get to the top.
 
It will be the same for the 4-year-old who finally manages to ride a bike without stabilisers. Or the 5-year-old who manages to read a whole sentence for the first time, unaided. 
 
“Every child with their own mountain to climb”

Listening to children

Tuning in. Listening carefully to what is being said is very important,
 
Observing body language and what the child is doing
 
Showing genuine interest: giving our whole attention, maintaining eye contact, affirming, smiling, nodding
 
Respecting children’s own decisions and choices inviting children to elaborate.  I really want to know more about this.
 
Re-capping: So, you think that...
 
Offering our own experience: I like to listen to music when I cook supper at home.
 
Clarifying ideas: Right, Darren, so you think that this stone will melt if I boil it in water?
Suggesting: You might like to try doing it this way.
 
Reminding: Don’t forget that you said that this stone will melt if I boil it.
 
Using encouragement to further thinking: You have really thought hard about where to put this door in the palace but where on earth will you put the windows? Offering an alternative viewpoint: Maybe Goldilocks wasn’t naughty when she ate the porridge?
 
Speculating: Do you think the three bears would have liked Goldilocks to come to live with them as their friend?
 
Reciprocating: Thank goodness that you were wearing wellington boots when you jumped in those puddles, Kwame! Look at my feet; they are soaking wet.
 
Asking open questions: How did you? Why does this…? What happens next? What do you think?
 
Modelling thinking: I have to think hard about what I do this evening. I need to take my dog to the vet’s because he has a sore foot, take my library books back to the library and buy some food for dinner tonight. But I just won’t have time to do all of these things.

Assessment

• Assessment is about noticing what children can do and what they know. It is not about lots of data and evidence. 
 
• Effective assessment requires practitioners to understand child development. Practitioners also need to be clear about what they want children to know and be able to do. 
 
• Accurate assessment can highlight whether a child has a special educational need and needs extra help.  
 
• Before assessing children, it’s a good idea to think about whether the assessments will be useful. 
 
• Assessment should not take practitioners away from the children for long periods of time
 
At Sunflowers we initially assess children’s starting points when joining the nursery, this allows us to work with families, looking at what the child is able to do, enjoys or may struggle with when starting nursery.
 
We record ongoing development using an online tool called “The Learning Journal”, this tool enables us to:
 
- Share golden moments with Parents and carers, demonstrating progress, documenting the first time children move to the next stage of their development.
 
- Allow parents and carers to contribute to the children records to share those golden moments from home and document meaningful experiences the children share with their families.
 
-Note any area of concern in relation to development that could be an indicator of an additional need or more support required.
 
-Ensure children are learning what we want them to know “The Big Picture”.
 
We complete the statutory check at two and a transition assessment when moving to a new setting or school.
 
When completing paperwork we use our professional judgement and are mindful to not take important time away from the children by over assessing the children’s daily activities. Assessment can also support the children’s individual planning and the creation of the children’s next steps.

The characteristics of effective teaching and learning

Three characteristics of effective teaching and learning are:
 
• Playing and exploring - children investigate and experience things, and ‘have a go’
 
• Active learning - children concentrate and keep on trying if they encounter difficulties, and enjoy achievements
 
• Creating and thinking critically - children have and develop their own ideas, make links between ideas, and develop strategies for doing things.
 
In planning and guiding what children learn, we will reflect on the different rates at which children are developing and adjust our practice appropriately. Learning styles with impact of the adult led experiences we provide.

Partnership with parents and carers

• It is important for parents/carers and early years settings to have a strong and respectful partnership. This sets the scene for children to thrive in the early years.
 
• This includes listening regularly to parents, and giving parents clear information about their children’s progress.
 
• The help that parents give their children at home has a very significant impact on their learning.
 
• Some children get much less support for their learning at home than others. By knowing and understanding all the children and their families, settings can offer extra help to those who need it most.
• It’s important to encourage all parents and carers to chat, play and read with their children..
 
At Sunflowers will build relationships through a well-established keyperson system, which makes positive links and focus on meaningful communication. We actively encourage parents and carers to share their children’s successes and developmental milestones both in person and through the Learning Journals.
 
We encourage parents to engage in home learning, making we sure we share what is happening in the setting.  We offer learning opportunities at home through active participation in project tasks and by loaning equipment and books.
 
We provide hints and tips for healthy daily living, modelling play opportunities and help with resources at home where necessary.
 
We support parents and carers with how to promote language at home, set goals and make shared next steps. We loan equipment and books and provide information about the benefits for children when parents take interest and share their child’s experiences.
 
We welcome parents into setting and encourage an open dialogue when concerns for worries occur.

Self-evaluation and feedback

As a setting we are always seeking to improve what we offer our families, children and staff, we welcome and encourage feedback on our services and the provision as a whole.
 
We regularly seek feedback from parents/carers, children and other professionals about how we are doing and if there is anything they would like to suggest to make improvements.

Part of the setting self-evaluation is conducting a regular meeting with staff to look to identify new actions and goals we would like to achieve, we take part in QUEST and work towards a continuous framework for improvement.


Appendix-
Core books
Core songs
Characteristic of effective learning
 
Credit to Julian Grenier –working with the revised Early years foundation stage: principles into practice
Kate Garroway nursery school and children’s centre- core experiences for early years

Core Books
0-18 months

Dream big Little Leader
Little world-Jungle Journey
Dear Zoo
Brush Brush Brush
Ten little Fingers Ten little Toes
Dinosaur Roar
Beautiful Opps
Peppa Pig goas Swimming
Where’s Spot


Core Books
18months-36 months

The Little Red Hen
The Very Hungry Caterpillar
Oliver’s Vegetables
Sam Sheep can’t Sleep
Don’t put you finger in the jJelly Nelly
The Selfish Crocodile
3 Little Pigs
Fox’s Socks
Each Peach Pear Plum
I want my Potty
Peppa goes to London
A Squash and a Squeeze


Core Books
3-5yrs

Room on the Broom
The Train ride
Pass the Jam Jim
Going on a Bear Hunt
Goldilocks and the three Bears
Monkey Puzzle
Handas Surprise
Would you rather
Not now Bernard
The Odd Egg
Whatever next
Invisible
Our house
Rain before Rainbow
Only one you
For more information about what ot expect for your child in the Foundation stage, please follow this link.