- To provide a strong sense of security based on contentment and trust
- To encourage self confidence, achievement and self esteem
- To promote positive attitudes to learning
- To give the child opportunities to interact with their peers and adults
- To develop an awareness of the needs of others
- To encourage independence and a sense of responsibility
- To enable the children to gain a sense of awareness and knowledge relating to their world
- To stimulate a sense of appreciation
- To encourage communication skills through all forms of artistic expression
- To stimulate independence and creative thinking
- To encourage reasoning
- To concentrate on promoting language development across the curriculum
The age of the children in this section is 3 to 5 years old.
They have a large conservatory area where they spend quite a lot of their time with table top work, group time, 'messy' play etc. There is also a home corner which changes its theme every term e.g. home, shop, garage. A second room which is carpeted is used for story time, music and movement, computer and television (with limited viewing).
In this section we provide every possibility for self help skills and independence. For example, for painting they learn to know that they need to have an apron, paper, paint pots and brushes to carry out their work. They help to clear up after they have finished. Group time is planned so as to incorporate the Early Years Curriculum. The children start to have name recognition and letter recognition. They learn pencil control and how to sit together for story time, which is interactive.
By using a range of maths and pre-language equipment in a play capacity, the children build their confidence ready for when they use this equipment for 'real'. Sorting by colours, size and shape help towards mathematical skills.
The children are encouraged to use paint, play dough, sand, water and take part in any special art and craft work that is going on. They begin to tell us what they are making and inform us of their progress i.e this is the window of my house, this is the door etc.
Eventually they reach the stage of being able to adapt their thoughts to paper and identify what they are actually painting. We talk to them about their work using the correct language e.g. "Tell me about your picture". Open questions also encourage their language development and strengthen the purpose of the activity.
Through observing our children we realise when they are ready to move on to further stages of learning. Regular observation ensures that we recognise achievement, assess our own work and identify individual needs.
While the importance of preparing the children for school and introducing the Early Years Curriculum is important, we do not forget that the children learn more from play at this age. The staff encourage this and make sure that the children feel safe, happy and secure in their environment, which makes for good all round development.