We start by learning about your child when they join our preschool and we achieve this by talking to the parents. We find out what they do at home, their position in the family and things they have already experienced in their lives. We believe in developing strong partnerships with parents and carers to ensure we can provide the best experiences for all of our children.
We spend time observing your child and consider how they will learn and develop in a way that they will love and spark their curiosity. Our aim is to provide learning experiences tailored for each individual child so that they know they are valued and understood. Through child-led learning we are following the children's lead and allowing them to direct their play and learning and our highly skilled teachers will create further opportunities for learning to take place. We live in the moment at Wild Kingfishers and every day is different. One day we might be having a Kingfisher wedding and the next we are going on a mini-beast hunt! This is all carefully documented and children's development is tracked carefully to ensure they are meeting the norms for their age and stage of development. We hold regular meetings with parents and review their child's development and learning with them.
Through child-led play opportunities we want to help the children develop skills for life. These skills include speech and communication, independence, resilience, respect for themselves and for each other, problem solving and risk taking. We also want our children to be curious and confident. We encourage wonder and excitement through open ended opportunities and promote sustained shared thinking through open ended questions and allowing the children to form their own ideas and opinions. We limit the amount of plastic one use resources that we have and we provide real-life tools for the children to use. We promote can-do attitude in all our children offering plenty of opportunities to problem solving and form new ways of thinking. For example, the children can play in the mud kitchen outside, using tools and utensils to make their dishes and cook their food. Well-trained staff are on hand to add further dimensions to the play. They might wonder 'what ingredients are needed for the pie?' or 'will all those ingredients fit in the bowl?' To enhance our nursery practice we have forest school session, wood work sessions, weekly cook club and daily speech and language input for all of our children.
We explore natural and real-life resources. We explore our wild gardens all around us and this is done all year round so that we can look at the changing seasons, the changing weather and how the environment itself changes. We explore our local community with walks to the shops, market library and parks. We also have a yearly visit to the local fire station. We explore our own ideas and test them out, we promote trial and error and solve our problems together, every child has a voice and these are respected and valued by everyone.
We use Early Years Foundation Stage as a tool to monitor children's progress, but we mainly consider the Characteristics of Effective Learning to understand the many different ways in which children learn and develop. These focus on the 'how' of learning rather than 'what' they are learning, ie process over outcome. We believe this is an important part of the early years of children's lives and helps prepare them better for the future.
Children who receive the right sort of support and encouragement during the early years will be creative and adventurous learners throughout their lives.