Nursery Rationale at Fern Hill
Love of Learning
In Daisy Class at Fern Hill, our children’s natural curiosity and need to explore and experiment is nurtured from nursery and developed throughout their time in our Early Years setting. Through child led learning and our values of inspiration, collaboration, empathy and excellence we seek to foster in our youngest children a fascination about the world in which they live and the people around them.
As our children grow and progress through Daisy Class we strive to feed their love of learning enabling them to stretch their knowledge, understanding and problem-solving skills with opportunities to grow in confidence, be resilient and rise to challenges. Our nursery children continuously access high quality learning opportunities both indoors and outdoors supported by a teacher and teaching assistants who observe them during play and provide rich opportunities to progress their learning. We aim to build resilience and encourage a positive growth mind-set amongst our nursery children, as we believe that it is through mistakes that we learn the most.
Our nursery children enjoy enriched curriculum experiences through visits to the theatre, local landmarks and visitors to nursery like a farm.
In Daisy class at Fern Hill, we provide an inclusive curriculum with flexibility to enable children to succeed, taking into account the individual needs of all of our children and their different starting points. We believe that our curriculum extends opportunity, raises aspiration, opens children’s eyes to the world beyond their immediate environment, enables our children to live happy, healthy and productive lives and inspires children to develop a love of learning through a creative and engaging curriculum.
Children develop and learn in a variety of ways and the Early Years framework covers the education and care of all children in our Nursery provision, including children with special educational needs and disabilities. Practitioners teach children by ensuring challenging, playful opportunities across the prime and specific areas of learning and development and foster the characteristics of effective early learning.
Carefully planned progressive knowledge, concepts and vocabulary across nursery and reception is currently being mapped out to ensure our children have opportunities to revisit, link and deepen their understanding across all the areas of learning.
In Daisy class at Fern Hill we focus on developing children’s skills in the Early Years physically, verbally, cognitively and emotionally whilst embedding a positive attitude to school and learning. We provide opportunities for all children to achieve their full potential and to be valued as a unique individual. We foster independence and confidence from a young age, encouraging our nursery children to dress themselves, go to the toilet, help themselves to snack and make their own choices in their learning.
Our nursery children enjoy a rich balance of practical and playful learning opportunities. All adults in the nursery support and challenge the children through whole class sessions, small group sessions and working with individuals. There is a combination of adult-led, child – led and stimulating continuous provision opportunities. We strive to provide a range of resources that promote the characteristics of effective learning through a child centred approach to problem-solving, teamwork and language skills.
At Fern Hill our nursery environment offers stimulating resources, relevant to all the children’s cultures and communities, rich learning opportunities through play and inspiring imaginative teaching which supports the children to take appropriate risks and encourage natural curiosity and exploration.
Our learning environments, both inside and outside are adapted regularly to meet the different and developing needs of the children in our care. We aim to ensure that these areas are always stimulating and exciting and most importantly, are accessible to all children, regardless of where they are on their learning journey. The environments are designed to promote independence and allow children access the curriculum confidently with the necessary level of support and challenge.
Our nursery curriculum is tailored to match the evolving diversity of children in Daisy class, and it is through ‘Understanding of the world’ that they deepen their understanding of the world and the people around them. In their future years at Fern Hill explicit links will be made to build on their understanding of the world in subjects such as history, geography, science and RE.
Our emphasis in nursery on ‘Personal and social development’ ensures our children develop positive relationships whilst building a positive sense of ‘self’ thus promoting well-being and supporting them to manage their feelings effectively. In Daisy Class we develop a strong partnership between practitioners and parents and carers based on trust and respect.
Our nursery children achieve well in nursery and at the end of their EYFS journey in reception. Their Age related expectations at the end of nursery are above national and local authority averages. More importantly Fern Hill nursery children are motivated and inspired to continue their learning and build on the solid foundations to deepen their understanding and continue to progress. The introduction of tapestry as an online learning journey has enabled parents and carers to engage in their children's learning in a meaningful and powerful way. They are empowered to have a direct impact on learning by sharing learning opportunities from home thus bridging the gap between home and school and mutually valuing learning experiences building collaboration, trust and respect.
In Daisy class, learning is developed through thematic units which are designed and planned by our teachers from the children's own interests and passions. Children's imagination and curiosity is ignited through engaging hooks and starters to lessons which immerse them in their learning and encourage them to deepen their understanding by continuing to learn through play.
Outdoor learning provides rich experiences to learn for our nursery children and at Fern Hill our children enjoy not only their own play space but also outdoor learning activities in our unique ‘Forest Fun’ area that includes a mud kitchen, fire area, living pond, gardening plots and discovery cabin.
Observations are made in our nursery using Tapestry. The children are observed at all times of the day by different practitioners in a variety of settings. All observations made of the children are based on quality interactions between children or children and practitioners. Tapestry is an on-line system which allows us to create an individual Learning journey for every child. Teachers and staff add comments, notes, photographs and videos of the children and link these to the Early Years Curriculum. As a parent or carer, you are your child’s first and most important mentor. At Fern Hill we recognise that children have important learning moments when they are not at school, and we are very keen to value these as part of their learning. The Tapestry app makes it easy for families to contribute photos, video and notes on their child’s experiences and achievements outside of school, enabling us to build a full vibrant picture of each child’s progress.