All children at Monkey Puzzle Day Nurseries are encouraged to learn through play. Our Curriculum covers all the key areas of the Early Years Foundation Stage and is designed to meet the needs of each individual child.
We follow the Government’s Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) framework which sets the standards for learning, development, and care for children from birth up to 5 years of age.
The principles which guide the work of our Early Years Professionals are grouped into four themes:
A unique child – every child is a competent leaner from birth who can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured
Positive Relationships – children learn to be strong and independent from a base of loving and secure relationships with parents and/or key person
Enabling Environments – the environment plays a key role in supporting and extending children’s development and learning
Learning and Development – children develop and learn in different ways and at different times; all areas of learning and development are equally important and inter-connected.
There are three prime areas of learning in which our Early Years Professionals support children to learn and develop. These are:
- Personal, social and emotional development
- Communication and language
- Physical development
Plus, four specific areas of learning. These are:
- Knowledge and understanding of the world
- Expressive arts and design
Each child has their own key person to enable them to feel reassured, safe and cared for within our setting.
At Monkey Puzzle Ware we plan in the moment, this simply means that children’s interests and next steps in learning are planned in the moment that they are happening. For example a child could be interested in putting their welly boot on, if we take a week to plan for an adult-led activity that interest will be gone and an opportunity missed to help that child learn how to effectively put that welly boot on independently and to build their self-confidence.
The ‘planning cycle’ looks like this…
- Observe the play
- Assess what is seen, can anything be added to the play?
- Plan how to respond
- Teach the next step immediately
This is completed during one interaction!
There are many reasons why we have chosen this style in planning, the most important is the children’s well-being. Our vision states that we aim to ‘create strong minded, independent thinkers who leave our setting ready and eager to continue their educational journey’, the best way to create independent thinkers is to promote independence through child-led learning.
Play underpins the EYFS and children learn many valuable skills this way such as problem solving and working with others.
Did you know that it takes a child 14 times of doing something new to master it if they choose to do it themselves, whereas if a child is told to do something it takes 100 times!
Our environment is tailored to ensure that the children can show deep levels of involvement during their play, it is full of open-ended resources to pique curiosity and exploration. This environment never changes, we don’t want to move things around so frequently that the children can’t find what they need.
Our routine also ensures that children aren’t stopped from their child-led learning to break for unnecessary reasons. Our snack is rolling and the access to the garden is free-flow, we do not have set circle times and all activities are child-led.
The children are encouraged to follow a few rules to ensure the day runs smoothly;
- Tidying away the area before we move on
- Not taking indoor resources outside and vice versa
- Indoor feet and voices
Parents are encouraged to follow the same rules at home to ensure consistency.
We use the focus child approach, we focus on a percentage of the key group per week and record the interactions during this week, before your child’s focus week we will ask you send in some photos and try and obtain some information from you regarding your child’s current interests.
Practitioners will then record approximately 10 interactions that they have had with the focus child, these will look like this…
What is the child doing?
The interaction with the ‘teacher’
Eg 1. CHILD babbled and then stopped, I modelled speech and waited for the child to respond. CHILD babbles again.
Eg 2. CHILD was attempting to cut the Sellotape using scissors, I modelled how to hold the scissors and facilitated in holding the tape straight for the child. CHILD successfully cut the tape.
At the end of your child’s focus week you will be invited to have a chat with your child’s key person to discuss their learning, the practitioner will also identify some areas for future focus at home.
We also document ‘WOW moments’, these are observation of something the child has done for the first time independently such as walking or using the toilet.
Baby room is all about care and nurturing and giving a good start to those early attachments which is so important. Every baby is assigned a key worker who follows a routine which forms a balance between home and nursery environment. The baby room is fully equipped with toys and equipment that are designed to promote those early learning skills such as hand eye coordination and balance. We have a range of stimulating toys and interactive displays that are used to create a home away from home feeling and this draws on their inquisitive nature helping them to develop their senses. Parents are encouraged to make and share treasure baskets which aid towards a heuristic play in the baby room providing them opportunities to fill and empty, slotting together, building and balancing, selecting and discarding and finally recognising differences and similarities.
Whilst our baby babies are busy getting themselves equipped with all the basic skills they need our older babies are getting ready to move into a new zone – Toddler room – We call our older babies tweenies and they have activities specifically tailored around their growing interests towards speech and language, walking and growing independence. All these tailored activities with help of their keyworker help them to transit into our toddler room.
Our Toddler Room which focuses on child’s interests, strengths, needs and developmental ages and stages. We use the Early Years Learning Framework in a play based environment to meet learning outcomes. Our experiences are designed to meet the needs of the whole group, small groups and individual children. We believe parent’s play an integral role in their child’s life and learning, therefore information provided to us combined with observations taken by educators makes up our program.
Research shows that the transition between preschool and school as a very important milestone for a child and we therefore have a very structured school readiness program operating in our preschool room. Our program is based on our own studies but also help from the local authority and teachers from local schools. The curriculum is geared towards:
- Building confidence
- Forming strong interpersonal skills
- Allowing Independence
- Acceptance of nursery values and rules which given them a good start in the outside world
- Ability to express themselves through drama, movement, music, and expressive art and design
- Creating concepts for early maths and literacy skills
- Becoming keen observers and make a focused analysis and expand imagination by thinking out of the box
Within the Preschool room we have two groups: ‘’Ready for school group’’ and ‘’On the road to school group’’
Ready for school group: They start school in September and have activities tailored around the needs for them. Parents have opportunity to attend ‘Ready For School Workshops’ which starts from March and as a team we work together to make the transition as specific to each child as possible.
On the road to school group: They start school following September but have activities and planned programs to support them to gradually start moving into ‘Ready for school group’.
Nursery will be working with parents at every stage to ensure that we have right strategies equipped to ensure the children are ready.
If you have any specific questions about the curriculum, please get in touch with our manager, who will be happy to answer any questions.