Curriculum and Planning
At Manorcroft Nursery we try to provide a warm, caring environment in which a child will happily play and learn and each will reach his/her full potential. The activities we provide are changed regularly and in most areas children are encouraged to self-select. The activities offered to the children are planned to help them achieve the goals for the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS). Please read the notice board regularly or speak to a team member for details.
The children are able to handle and become familiar with sand and water. We also have other natural materials such as clay, dough, chalk or rice. We encourage the children to experiment as they play.
Painting in various ways, i.e. large or small brushes, rollers, sponges, is also always available, as are a variety of table toys. These may include puzzles, games, construction toys, threading and shape sorters. All these toys aid hand/eye coordination and there is much to be learnt about colour, shape, size and weight, which will prepare the children for reading and writing skills. Various writing materials are available at every session. A touchscreen computer and a good selection of educational games are readily available to promote learning in all areas.
Larger equipment such as dolls' houses, railway tracks, etc. are available on a carpeted area. These encourage cooperation between the children in group play. The well equipped home corner which is easily converted into an office, clinic, travel agent, etc. is always very popular and gives the children the opportunity to extend their imaginative play. At the craft table the aim is to encourage the children to experiment with scissors, paste, glue and different materials. We encourage them to discover for themselves by providing learning activities.
We have a vast range of books which we encourage the children to enjoy and take time over. We also operate a library system. Each child may take a book home and they can exchange it regularly. We hope parents will enjoy the books together with their children and encourage them to care for the books.
Morning and afternoon sessions begin with self-registration and then free play. We follow a theme over each half term and the group activity is centred around this theme, e.g. ourselves, water, light and dark. During this time the children are expected to participate, to take turns in talking and listening to others. This time may also include music, singing, movement or games. Wet weather outfits and wellies are available and the children are free to play outside when they choose.
The activities are planned with various aspects of learning in mind. If the children play with them because they want to and they are fun then they will learn as they play. We offer all children equal access to all play materials to enable them to explore adult roles through, for example, the home corner, dressing up and books.
The key person keeps records of the children's progress and helps with planning to build on the children's achievements. We aim to develop pre-reading and writing skills throughout the children's time at nursery but we use this special group time to play and really get to know the child. We try to prepare each child so that by the time they start school they have mastered the necessary skills and have the enthusiasm to learn. Each child is provided with a Surrey Early Years Foundation Stage Learning Journey. Each term key persons will write a summative assessment and complete a progress tracker sheet to share with the parents. Each half term parents will be given their child's Learning Journey to read and comment on and the opportunity to have a 15 minute appointment with their child's key person.
Children can choose to play in the garden or outside classroom. We have a large play area of tarmac, astro turf and grass so we are able to get out most days. We have a play house, a sand pit, an 'A' frame and a good supply of 'sit 'n ride' toys and balls, hoops, etc. The children are encouraged to put on their own coats and boots when necessary.
There is a snack bar in the mornings and the afternoons. Snacks such as fruit and a biscuit and milk or water (sometimes milk shake as a treat) are offered in the mornings and afternoons. This is a lovely opportunity for the children to socialise as a group.
Towards the end of a session all the activities are put away by the team members and by the children. The children are encouraged to help to tidy up to the tune of Mission Impossible - many hands make light work!
Each sessions ends with, perhaps, some singing, music and movement or a birthday celebration, followed by a quiet time listening to a story.
Parents are requested not to bring in any treats, such as sweets or cakes, to celebrate a birthday. We celebrate children's birthdays and cook or supply treats which are suitable for any child suffering from an allergy. The nursery is a nut-free zone.
Books are also given out to take home. No child is allowed to leave unless collected by a parent or known carer.