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We provide an enabling environment with stimulating resources, where each child has a wealth of opportunities to learn and develop. We follow the Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum through play and playful teaching, supporting children to take risks and explore. We promote an inclusive, welcoming atmosphere, emphasising praise, comfort and reassurance. We work with parents and carers to provide a smooth transition for children who have been used to being at home, which is supported by a strong key person approach.

 

In 2016 we were inspired by the Reggio Emilia approach from Northern Italy. This is child-centred, with an emphasis on self-directed learning in a loving environment centred on strong relationships. As a result we put an emphasis on natural light and natural or reclaimed resources, intending that everything has a purpose for enhancing learning, and that children can take the lead and explore using their imagination and creativity.

 

For example, children in preschool might sit at an oak tree table as they explore small plants, rounded pieces of bark, leaves, pine cones and shells. They use these items for many purposes such as learning about weight, size and shape, or to create unique artwork, identify different textures and play imaginatively.

 

In addition the children use loose parts in open-ended play. Loose parts can include things such as tyres, wooden pallets, planks and ladders, padlocks and keys, corks and naturally coloured stones, etc. These types of resources allow children to interpret many uses for a single item and develop creativity.

 

We believe children should have the opportunity to take emotional and physical risks and engage in ‘risky play’, with the support and encouragement of our caring practitioners to keep them safe. For example, one child may have a fascination with bugs and without hesitation pick up a bug when they visit our ‘bug hotel’; another may be nervous but find the confidence to take a risk by standing next to their friend who is holding the bug in their hand, curious and perhaps getting ready to consider touching the bug next time.

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