Curious Goose offers children a safe, stable, fun environment where children are encouraged to become enthusiastic learners and motivated to learn new skills.
Listed below are the aspects taken from the Early Years Foundation Stage document and strategies we use to allow children to develop within each area:
Children from a young age are encouraged to become independent within the nursery and helped to gain confidence in leaving the parent or carer. Children will be given plenty of opportunity to practise life skills such as personal hygiene, self-help skills, and how to work and cooperate with others.
Children are shown, by example, ways we expect them to behave around other children and adults, including good manners and respecting boundaries.
Activities encourage concentration and perseverance and children are shown how to ask for help when it is required.
Curious Goose recognises the importance of language and communication. Children are given plenty of opportunities to extend language and understanding through play and also planned times every day when children develop their listening and attention skills as well as increasing their vocabulary. We use the Department for Education Letters & Sounds principles to develop children's language through listening, talking, sharing, and singing and through sustained thinking with others.
We also use the ICAN programme for children who need a little extra help with their language development and we may send home ideas of activities for you to do at home to help to boost your child's language.
In the maths area, and across the nursery, we provide various resources for children to extend their mathematical development and problem solving skills; for example, they learn about capacity when pouring water into different sized containers in the mud kitchen and mass when they are weighing ingredients to make playdough. Counting is part of the daily routine. Towards the end of their time with us children will learn about 'one more' and 'one less' and be confident when discussing shapes and number recognition as well as understanding the use of mathematical words.
Children become confident in running, jumping, climbing, balancing and spatial awareness as they play in our extensive outdoor areas. They have opportunities to move freely and expressively and to understand the limitations of their own bodies. 'Leap into life' is a programme devised to give the opportunity to practise structured physical activity on a daily basis. This session allows children to use their motor skills; for example, in dance or other imaginative movement.
Gross motor skills are practised everyday with larger equipment. Children use their fine motor skills through everyday learning both inside and out; for example when planting seeds, threading beads, delicate sticking, construction and small world play. All of these activities prepare them for holding a pencil and writing when they are ready to do so.
Children have access to creative resources and opportunities to express themselves in creative media such as drawing, painting, sticking, clay, music, drama and dance. There are heuristic play sessions within the routine which allow children to think feel and work through their own ideas. Most children love role play, and we change the role play area regularly to give children opportunities to play-out different experiences; for example, shop, hospital, as well as domestic role play.
Children have access to a wide range of resources and materials which give them opportunities to use all their senses to explore and ask questions about what they see. Everyday concepts are explored with them such as time and understanding how they fit into the wider world. Our extensive outdoor areas, and rural location, give fantastic opportunities for children to find out about their local environment; for example, by local walks to the duckpond which include kicking through autumn leaves and splashing in puddles, to finding a myriad of bugs in the nursery garden and finding out about them. Children also enjoy looking after the nursery pets and enjoy having animal visitors.
To help them learn about growth and change we watch frogspawn hatch into tadpoles and develop into frogs, and incubate eggs to watch the chicks hatch. We have a greenhouse and other growing areas in the nursery garden where we grow flowers and vegetables which are then eaten for snack. A lettuce sandwich is much more exciting when you have picked and washed the lettuce yourself!
Children enjoy a wide range of books, and visit the library to choose books to supplement those in the nursery. Reference books are displayed alongside activites to encourage children to use books; for example, to look something up, or as part of their play, such as reading to a doll. We often use props and dressing up clothes to act out familiar stories with the children.
Writing materials are always available indoors and out, and children are encouraged to use writing in meaningful ways; for example in their role play or by making a birthday card for nanny.