Teaching and Learning
The Nursery School’s ethos strongly promotes that each child is unique. The provision across all areas is meticulously planned based on regularly updated, precise assessments of the children to meet the changing needs for inclusive practice. Through careful observations and planning, the children enjoy free access to a rich, varied and resource-filled environment that is stimulating, motivating, safe, secure, challenging, and age appropriate, combined with secure attachments with their Key Person and a ‘Buddy’ system (the second Key Person).
Experienced and knowledgeable practitioners use their expertise to guide, support and encourage the children to work at their own pace to achieve their full potential in all areas of learning and development.
The children are actively engaged and involved in decision-making, turn-taking, sharing and collaboration. The children in the pre-school classrooms use self-registers and choose where and what they want to engage with and explore. They choose their own resources and explore various activities throughout the day, both indoors and outdoors. The prepared environment, including provision for continuous play, provides free play, child-initiated, adult led and group activities.
Our practitioners have high expectations for the learning and development of all the children and this is underpinned by the themes and principles of the EYFS and the Montessori Method of education to achieve the learning outcomes. Teaching is of consistently high quality and responsive to the children’s needs. The prepared environment and the Key Person and ‘Buddy’ provide a secure base for the children to develop bonds, build positive relationships with adults and peers, and develop self-confidence, self-esteem and social skills, for example sharing and turn-taking through play.
The children play and learn in a rich language environment where the practitioners are role models and use their vast experience to encourage, support and focus on helping to develop in the prime areas of learning and development, enabling the children to reach their full potential.
As an Ofsted-registered early years setting, we follow the EYFS (Early Years Foundation Stage), which is enhanced through the Montessori Philosophy.
Within the EYFS, children learn through playing, exploring, and being active, and through creative and critical thinking, which takes place both indoors and outdoors. The prepared environment provides for age appropriate free play. Practitioners track the children’s interests and will encourage and support the child to explore at their own pace and level of interests, to take risks and talk about their experiences and learning. This leads to developing children’s self-esteem, selfknowledge, and confidence in their own abilities.
Your child will be learning skills, acquiring new knowledge, and demonstrating their understanding through seven areas of learning and development. Children will mostly develop the three prime areas first:
- Communication and language
- Physical development
- Personal, social and emotional development
These prime areas are the most essential for your child’s healthy development and future learning. As children grow, the prime areas will help them to develop skills in four specific areas:
- Understanding of the world
- Expressive arts and design
To read more about the EYFS, please visit www.foundationyears.org.uk
My Montessori Child
Each child is unique and all planning is based on the children’s interests, individual needs and the precise assessments of their achievements. Practitioners support and lead the children to the next development stage. Spontaneous significant observations, daily parent and parents’ evening feedback, weekly focused child and home learning observations are contributed through the ‘My Montessori Child‘ and used to effectively plan suitable highly challenging activities for each individual child’s learning plan.
The children’s home language is supported by the Nursery School’s multicultural staff and resources, for example, songs, storybooks and artefacts from cultural resource bags. This forms a strong foundation for supporting the children’s home languages wherever possible. For example, greetings are made in the child’s and practitioner’s home languages. They participate in activities like music and movement and storytelling sessions at the Nursery School that are conducted by the librarian from the local library to gain confidence in communication and language.
The children expand their learning through rhythm and rhyme with a variety of programmes including music, visits to the local library for reading sessions and trips to the theatre and to musical concerts. The children are continuously learning from the wider community through visits to the Nursery School from the fire brigade, lollipop people, dentist, and the police service.
The children show great interest and actively participate in the Nursery School’s celebrations of festivals and events learning to greet each other in different languages, and this helps to create awareness of the similarities and differences between different cultures. The practitioners are confident, and with support from the Cultural and Diversity officer provide an exceptional range of resources and activities that reflect and value the diversity of children’s experiences in line with British Values.
Home visit and Settling in
We recognise and understand the anxieties for parents and children when starting at Nursery School. Some children will settle in on their first visit and others will take a little longer in getting used to a new environment. To support you and your child when settling in, the Nursery School Manager will contact you before your child’s starting date to arrange a convenient time to visit you and your child in your home. At the home visit, the Nursery School Manager or Deputy Nursery School Manager will discuss with you your child’s needs, likes/dislikes, dietary requirements, sleep patterns, routines, etc. This information will enable us to cater to your child’s individual needs and assist in the settling in process. We will also discuss with you our documented policies and procedures and answer any questions you may have.
Following the home visit, we will organise the first settling in session two to three weeks prior to your starting date. This is when you will meet your Key Person and we will begin introducing you and your child to the setting. The number of settling in sessions will be discussed and agreed upon with you during your first visit with your Key Person.
We suggest that you, the parent, accompany your child on one or two settling in visits before they start on their own. These visits may last, typically, for around an hour. Your child will be given the opportunity to play for a time with you, the parent, and with (or alongside) other children. It is also desirable on your child’s first solo attendance that you, the parent, are on standby for a short time to involve your child in an activity and to leave only when it appears that your child will be happy for you to leave. In the case of working parents who cannot obtain time off from work, a relative or close friend could accompany the child during this period of settling in.
We realise that same children may find it difficult to part from parents on arrival at the Nursery School, but all children come to accept such partings, even though it can take a different number of attendances for each child. Most children, and parents, are more comfortable if they follow a regular routine prior to parting on arrival at the Nursery School.