At Kenilworth Nursery School our aim is to provide a safe, secure environment that is rich and stimulating and encourages children to develop autonomy and feel challenged. Our teachers place emphasis on fun, enjoyment and follow our ethos in which we recognise and celebrate each child’s uniqueness.
We believe that children are confident and capable learners who have interests and ideas and that our work beside the children to extend and further those ideas is crucial and forms the basis of our curriculum offer. We have worked as a School team to consider how we will support children to have a rich and meaningful early educational experience and the skills they will develop during their time at Nursery School and the ways in which we may support and open each child’s eyes to learning.
The Nursery spaces are set up as open plan workshop environments, enabling children to freely access the resources they require. This encourages children to move around independently making their own choices and decisions about their play and learning experiences. We believe that children learn best by following their interests and fascinations, having first-hand, hands-on experiences and the time to revisit and repeat aspects of their play, with the support of responsive adults. We also know that the adult role is hugely important in supporting children and inviting them to new experiences with ‘provocations’ and we carefully balance our offer alongside their decision making and choices.
At Kenilworth Nursery School we follow the OPAL approach based upon Observing Play and Learning so that understand each child’s intentions and interests and can then decide on the strategies we will use in School and the way in which the child’s curriculum will develop.
This information then forms the basis of our planning and helps us to ensure that we are providing a range of appropriate and responsive play and learning opportunities.
All staff use the programmes of study in the 2021 EYFS (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/early-years-foundation-stage-framework–2) that details characteristics of effective learning, prime areas of learning and development and specific areas of learning and development alongside other frameworks and assessment tools to plan appropriate learning and development experiences based on children’s individual interests. We think carefully about how children engage with other people and their environment to support each and every child to be an effective and motivated learner. Staff will observe how children use the resources and the spaces to plan further learning and development opportunities for children in the setting.
When observing the children and planning for these experiences we use a range of frameworks and assessment tools to assist us. These are:
- Early Years Foundation Stage (DfE 2021)
- Well-being Scales (Laevers 1997, 2005)
- Involvement Scales (Laevers 1997, 2005)
We have also developed a summary of our Curriculum goals for children, based upon the new EYFS frameworks and guidance, to allow us to focus upon what we want for children, We then consider how to achieve that for each child and what sort of activities and resources will ensure that happens so we develop and enhance a bespoke curriculum each year.