Personal, Social and Emotional Development
At the beginning of the session the children are greeted by their key carer. They have learnt that they are important to the adults in the nursery and have built up strong relationships with them. Both in the inside and outside environments the children have been developing the skills to interact with each other positively, communicating using their words, listening to each other and taking turns with resources. They have also been learning to make choices about where they want to be and what they want to do and have developed independence skills, learning to do things for themselves. Boundaries and expectations are important to us and the children have suggested some ‘rules’ for the nursery! We are all going to try and stick to them!
Communication and Language
The nursery is a very language-rich environment and throughout the session the children are learning to talk about what they can see e.g. when watching ingredients change when they are cooking gingerbread biscuits; what they are doing e.g. when they are using shapes to make a picture and re-telling events e.g. when they went shopping for cucumbers for snack time. They also learn to listen to others, attending to what is being said and responding to instructions. They learn to ask questions and respond to the questions of others, all the time extending and enriching their own vocabulary and understanding the spoken world around them.
In the garden the children have been learning to walk, run, balance, climb, jump, pedal and slide safely and confidently, negotiating space and avoiding obstacles, including each other! They have also been developing their skills at catching and batting balls as well as dressing themselves.
These ‘gross motor skills’ are really important to develop muscles that will support finer movements in the future e.g. writing.
To develop finer motor skills the children have been learning to cut, thread, hammer, hole punch, peel and complete puzzles.
The children have been loving looking at books, both independently and in small groups. They have learnt how to choose a book, how to turn the pages carefully, look at and talk about the pictures and re-tell the story in their own words. When sharing a book with an adult they have learnt new ‘book language’ e.g. front cover, title, author and to guess what might happen next.
There have been lots of opportunities for the children to make marks using a wide variety of resources including chalk, paint, felt tips, ‘paint’ computer program, crayons and water. They have been learning how to hold the resources, developing a pincer grip and establishing their dominant hand, right or left. They have talked about what they are drawing and some children have learnt how to write some of the letters in their name.
Opportunities to develop mathematical skills are all around the nursery environment and the skilled staff play alongside the children, modelling mathematical language, counting, comparing, sorting, estimating and talking about and building with shapes.
The children have been rolling out play dough sausages and comparing their lengths, making playdough balls and counting them, recognising numbers and matching with the correct amount of teddies, fitting 2-d shapes together and learning what they are called, building with 3-d shapes and making towers that are ‘taller than’ themselves.
Understanding of the World
This area of learning is all about the children’s awareness of the world around them including people, places, animals, plants, objects and the environment. They use their senses to investigate and explore and talk about what they can see.
There are daily opportunities to play with ‘small world’ resources e.g. railway, farm animals, dinosaurs and to experiment with sensory materials e.g. sand, water, cornflour and foam, discovering what these materials can do. Cooking is an excellent way to look at and talk about ingredients and to watch them change as they are combined. Gingerbread men, porridge and smoothies have been particular favourites! And we also make our own playdough, adding colours and scents!
During the ‘growing’ season the children have been excited to plant cress, bean and turnip seeds and potatoes, watching them change as they grow bigger and bigger and learning what the various plants need to help them to grow.
Expressive Arts and Design
The nursery is full of opportunities to be expressive and creative. The music corner allows the children to dance along to the music, sing songs and experiment with the wide variety of musical instruments available to them. The adults have been teaching the children how to play the instruments correctly and find out how many different sounds they can make.
Pretend play enables the children to ‘act out’ actions and events that are familiar to them and you can always find someone in the home corner ready to make you a cup of tea, or take your baby for a walk or protect you from the evil monster!
There are also numerous resources for the children to experiment with when creating pictures or models including paint, chalk, glitter, glue, sellotape, straws and pipe cleaners.