Strawberry How Nursery School

Strawberry How Road, Cockermouth, CA13 9XR  Tel: 01900 823322

Learning Through Play

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The Early Years

It is no huge revelation to say that play helps young children to learn and develop their physical, social, emotional and intellectual skills through doing and talking. Here research has shown this is the means by which young children learn to think. Moreover, it is also how they learn to socialise as children engage in learning experiences with other children and adults.

Accordingly, The Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum is a play based framework which our nursery uses as a tool to ensure that all our children from birth to five years are developing and learning to their full potential.  The skill is in the delivery. Running alongside "in the moment" activities we plan and provide a range of play activities, which help our children to make progress in each of the areas of learning and development. 

Prime Areas

  • Personal, social and emotional development involves helping children to develop a positive sense of themselves, and others; to form positive relationships and develop respect for others. This also involves developing social skills and learning how to manage their feelings.
  • Physical development involves providing opportunities for young children to be active and interactive; and to develop their co-ordination, control, and movement.
  • Communication and language development involves giving children the opportunity to experience a rich language environment; to develop their confidence and skills in expressing themselves; and to speak and listen in a range of situations.

Specific Areas

  • Literacy involves encouraging children to link sounds and letters and to begin to read and write. Children need access to a range of reading materials to ignite their interest.
  • Mathematics involves providing children with opportunities to develop and improve their skills in counting, understanding and using numbers, calculating simple addition and subtraction problems; and to describe shapes, space and measures.
  • Understanding the world involves guiding children to make sense of their physical world and their community through opportunities to explore, observe and find out about people, places, technology and the environment.
  • Expressive arts and design involves enabling children to explore and play with a wide range of media and materials, as well as providing opportunities and encouragement for sharing their thoughts, ideas and feelings through a variety of activities in art, music, movement, dance, role-play, and design and technology.

Our staff will observe the children to assess how they are learning and developing. They will use this information, along with evidence from photographs, videos and work samples, to document their progress and where this might be leading them. Apart from our regular updates on Tapestry our staff will update parents regularly through informal discussions when they collect their child.

The following reviews of children's progress will also be shared with parents, enabling staff and parents to work together to decide how to help their child move onto the next stage pf progress:

  • Progress check at age two - when your child is approaching their second birthday their key person will work with you to prepare a summary of their development in the prime areas.
  • Early Years Foundation Stage Profile - as your child plays and learns at nursery their key person will compile an individual progress file which records your child's progress online using Tapestry. This continuous record provides a review of your child's development.
  • Parents' Meeting - parents will also have an opportunity to talk with their child's key person in a formal meeting to discuss their child's play and learning, and to plan the next stage of their child's development.











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