At Bright Stars we encourage loose parts play, and child led activities on a daily basis. Since opening we have been working towards having a nursery that has many different resources, many being of a natural kind and items that represent the real world. We encourage children to experience real situations ( such as supervised woodwork time, supervised brick building sessions, numerous trips out to see transportation, complete real money transactions when purchasing items in shops, and generally immersing themselves into the local community by visiting the local care home).
The environment and resources we provide are designed to empower creativity in our children. In play, loose parts are materials that can be moved, carried, combined, redesigned, lined up, and taken apart and put back together in multiple ways. They are materials with no specific set of directions that can be used alone or combined with other materials. Loose parts can be natural or synthetic. In our nursery environment we provide an array of loose parts for use in play such as stones, stumps, sand, gravel, fabric, twigs, wood, pallets, balls, buckets, baskets, crates, boxes, logs, stones, flowers, rope, tyres, balls, shells and seedpods. Having "loose parts" available in an environment allows children to use these materials as they choose.
We often find that children would rather play with materials that they can use and adapt as they please, rather than expensive pieces of play equipment. Encouraging children to use resources as they choose can provide a wider range of opportunities than one that is purely adult led. Children playing with loose parts are using more creativity and imagination and developing more skill and competence than they would playing with most modern plastic toys. It takes a very open mind on our part, but when children cross play materials and areas in creative ways, it is our responsibility to support and encourage their work and ideas.
Loose Parts should –
* Have no defined use and practitioners should support the children when they decide to change the shape or use of them. * Be accessible physically and stored where they can be reached by children without having to ask the practitioners.
* Children should know that they can use them whenever and however they wish.
* Be regularly replenished changed and added to. ‘Loose parts’ theory is about remembering that the best play comes from things that allow children to play in many different ways and on many different levels.
* Environments that include ‘loose parts’ are infinitely more stimulating and engaging that static ones.
We are a great believer in ourdoor play being integral to the childrens leanring an encourage it no metter what the weather, our outdoor area is secured and exstremely safe, it offers larges areas for the learners to play and explore with members of staff encouraging engagement with the weather, vegetables and gardening. The garden has areas for sensory play (water, sand and mud), relaxation (reading area), discovery (gardening), building an construction as well as general play.
Loose part play
When we gained the building we wanted to create an environment that allowed the children to feel safe and happy in an environment that enabled creativity. Over the course of 18 months the family worked hard to provide a nursery that is safe, friendly, has a relaxing feel to it and hope parents and children find it a place that feels homely. We want to instill the ideology of 'hygge' throughout the nursery and encourage everybody to feel like they can relax and enjoy their time spent with us. We have recently signed up to gain our Curiosity Accreditation, this allows us to enhance our environment to incorporate more natural items and less plastic.
Here at the nursery we are wanting to create a small community that allows members of staff, children and parents to gain great relationships. Regular parent meet ups will be arranged, we have termly parent evenings and regular developmental reports are sent home. Staff will always be available for chats daily, we encourage this when dropping children at the nursery or picking them up at the end of the day, 1:1 catch ups and time will be spent telling parents exactly what their children have been up to.
All children have a booklet whereby all their activities and achievements are recorded, we like the paper versions of these records as it allow parents to have a hard copy of their child's achievements that can be treasured for a lifetime. All our little stars have a learning journey too that has lots of photographs in, all activities and observations can also be seen in the journal and all are linked to the EYFS. The journal is explained during the parents evening but can also be looked at upon requested.
A private Facebook page is also dedicated to parents to ensure they are fully aware of all activities that take place daily, all our activities will be linked to the EYFS curriculum that OFSTED expect.
As highly experienced educational carers we feel parents should be fully aware of how education plays a part in their children's lives, the EYFS is regularly linked to meetings, around the building and in social media posts. We also feel that all the major transitional stages young children go through should be fully supported and encouraged. Every child is seen as an individual and every child will be given the 1:1 time they deserve, key persons are provided to ensure children create good, friendly relations, this also helps the children settle faster and feel secure in their environment due to the regular consistency.
As a family we are extremely dedicated to providing the highest of standards and the best of services, as parents and grandparents we understand the trust parents place in us and we promise to provide nothing but the highest of standards.
Within our preschool we actively encourage the children to become 'school ready'. By this we mean priority is on ensuring they are ready physically (toilet training complete prior to starting school), socially (being kind towards others and playing nicely with their friends) and emotionally ( confidently leaving their comfort zones and exploring new things around them). Within the preschool routine maths and phonics are also accessible. We use a mixture of both 'jolly phonics' and 'letters and sounds' depending upon the cohort and children's abilities, this is also dependent upon what schools our children will feed into and what programmes they use.
'Where little stars shine bright'
The type of childcare we provide.....
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Copyright 2017. Claire Heywood. All rights reserved.