SWISS COTTAGE COMMUNITY CENTRE

19 Winchester Road, London, NW3 3NG - Email: info@yourswiss.org - Tel.: 020 7586 5272 - Company Number: 1915571 - Registered Charity Number: 292616

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   Curriculum

It is recognised that a child’s intellectual capabilities develop more rapidly from birth to five years than at any other period in their lives. This is the age at which the young child can absorb all information without inhibitions. Children learn spontaneously and with joy, making it a great period of learning and development.

 

The provision for children’s development and learning is guided by the Early Years Foundation Stage (DfE 2012).

 

Our nursery reflects the four overarching principles of the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage and combines the Montessori method of education to ensure the nursery resources are interesting and stimulating for the child.

 

A Unique Child – Every child is a unique child who is constantly learning and can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured.

 

Positive Relationships – Children learn to be strong and independent through positive relationships.

 

Enabling Environments – Children learn and develop well in enabling environments, in which their experiences respond to their individual needs and there is a strong partnership between staff, parents and carers.

 

Learning and Development – Children learn and develop in different ways and at different rates. The framework covers the education and care of all children in early years provision including children with special educational needs and disabilities.

 

Characteristics of effective learning – We understand that all children engage with other people and their environment through the characteristics of effective learning that are described in ‘Development Matters’ the Early Years Foundation Stage guidance as:

 

Playing and exploring – engagement

 

Active learning – motivation

 

Creating and thinking critically – thinking

 

We aim to provide for the characteristics of effective learning by observing how a child is learning and being clear about what we can do and provide in order to support each child to remain an effective and motivated learner.

 

We teach and encourage each child’s development through the EYFS, with an element of Montessori, so children have both the EYFS and Montessori Curriculum.

 

There are three prime areas of learning, leading to the four specific areas:

 

Communication and Language: Early language is gained through talking, listening, books, poems and songs. We encourage the children to share their news confidently, and encourage the other children to listen to them and help them gain more confidence and self-esteem in expressing themselves. We act out the stories in books, play games and encourage actions and the use props and puppets to further give meaning to stories, poems, songs and rhymes.

 

Physical Development: We encourage physical play indoors or outdoors, we take the children to the local park right by the centre each morning, (weather permitting) and when we open for afternoon sessions, we go into the nursery garden, where they can run, jump and explore. The nursery encourages Practical life activities which promote independence, such as dressing frames, pouring, sorting, sweeping which also develop co-ordination and fine/gross motor skills. These activities also develop the child’s concentration and dexterity, these are everyday activities with which the child may be familiar with at home. We provide opportunities for children to be active and interactive, developing their co-ordination, control and movement and teach them the importance of healthy food choices in relation to food.

 

Personal, social and emotional development: We encourage children’s self-esteem and to have a positive sense of themselves and learn to play, co-operate take turns, share and make friends in a group setting outside their home. Learning respect for others and themselves, forming positive relationships and gaining confidence in their own abilities. We want the child to feel positively about coming to our nursery, as a place where they belong, have friends and positive relationships with the other children and staff. Each child has their own key worker who will help with the settling in process and give your child the individual time he or she needs throughout their time at nursery.

 

The four areas listed below are the specific areas, “through which the prime areas are strengthened and applied” (EYFS 2012)

 

Literacy: We hope to engage children in books, stories, poems and develop and encourage their love of reading and writing. We teach children their letters phonetically using a variety of materials and games, the aim is to learn the sound of each letter, e.g. ‘a’ as in ‘ant’ rather than ‘a’ as in aeroplane. We then teach the child to link the sound with the corresponding letters, in preparation for word building, ‘c-a-t’ the child will start to create simple phonetic words using loose letters. Children learn to trace the letters in flour, sand, on sandpaper letter forms in preparation for writing. There is always, mark making, writing and drawing materials in our art corner. We have an attractive and comfortable reading corner with a wide selection of books and poems for the children to enjoy.

 

Mathematics: We have a wide range of activities and materials which help children understand quantities, sizes, shapes, to count and to recognise their numbers. We help the children develop their mathematical skills through these materials and every day activities, such as counting the plates for snack, days of the week, children are often hearing the words for numbers in their day to day conversations, we encourage children to understand numbers represent quantities, children go from learning quantities and numbers to simple addition, subtraction and fractions using interesting and stimulating counting materials.

 

Understanding the World: These activities focus on children developing an understanding of their environment, people in their community and technology. We give the children lots of opportunities to explore, taking them out daily to our local park and encouraging them to talk about their observations and what they see around them. We do many projects about nature, science, animals, the world, technology and our community. We celebrate each child’s traditions, culture and festivals, giving the children a better understanding of the world and the people that live in it. Parents are welcome to come in and join us for these celebrations or explain the traditions of their country to the children.

 

Expressive Art and Design: Through art, music, dance, stories, role play, technology and design, children’s imaginations and creativity will be enabled, explored and encouraged. Children may choose to paint, read, role play, play, construct, or explore and learn through these activities throughout the day. We have an art/crafts area with many open ended materials, for children to make their own creations, or enjoy role play or act out the story of a book, dance or listen to music, the nursery is a place where children can enjoy and explore their own child led activities, as well as joining in with the adult led activities. Each child is being observed by their key worker for any particular interests, this is then expanded upon, by the help of props and any additional materials the child might need to accomplish their aims and enjoy the full experience of their play and creativity.

 

The progress check at age two

 

We supply parents and carers with a written summary of their child’s development in the three prime areas of learning and development: personal, social and emotional, physical development and communication and language, when a child is aged between 24 – 36 months. The key person is responsible for completing the check using information from ongoing observational assessments carried out as everyday practice, taking account of the views and contributions of parents and other professionals.

 

Records of achievement

 

The nursery keeps an ongoing record of progress and achievement for each child at every stage, in preparation for school. Your child’s record of achievement helps us to celebrate together her/his achievements and to provide what your child needs for his/her well-being and to make progress. Your child’s key person will work in partnership with you to keep this record. To do this you and she/he will collect information about your child’s needs, activities, interests and achievements. This information will enable the key person to identify your child’s stage of progress. Key workers and parents will meet for arranged parents evenings twice a year, but they are always happy to arrange a convenient time to discuss and share information with you about your child throughout the year.

 

How Parents take part in the Nursery

 

Our nursery recognises parents as the first and most important educators of their children. All of the staff see themselves as partners with parents in providing care and education for their children. There are many ways in which parents take part in making the setting a welcoming and stimulating place for children and parents such as:

  • Exchanging knowledge about their children’s needs, activities, interests and progress with the staff

  • Taking children to the local park

  • Contributing to the progress check at two years of age

  • Sharing their own special interests with the children

  • Building friendships with other parents in the setting