Everyday is a chance to learn
Every Child Matters
Every child deserves the best possible start in life and support to fulfil their full potential. A safe, secure and happy childhood is important in its own right, and it provides the foundation for children to make the most of their talents and abilities as they grow up. We endeavour to achieve the five 'Every Child Matters' outcomes for all of our children and encourage multi-agency working to find the best ways to support the children we care for and their families.
We firmly believe that by providing your child with an environment rich in love, learning, fun, and excitement with plenty of opportunities to play, explore, learn and experiment, will in turn allow them manage risk, make choices, gain confidence and grow into the individuals you aspire them to be.
At Blue Giraffe we follow the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS). This legal document relates to all elements of young children’s learning, development and welfare outlining our obligations as a provider. The overarching principles of the EYFS is that every child is unique, we support children to form strong positive relationships, support children to learn and develop in an enabling environment and shape our practice so that children can develop and learn in different ways.
We use this document as essential advice and guidance to evaluate our practice and quality in our setting to ensure every child between birth and five make the appropriate progress. We work with you as parents to carefully document the progress of your child through their home and nursery experiences. The EYFS will also be used in your child’s reception year when they transition into school which forms a smooth transition.
The EYFS promotes effective practice through each of the 7 areas of learning to support children through various stages in relation to their development. These are reflected in your child’s learning journal and personalised planning, they include:
Communication and Language
Personal, Social and Emotional development
Understanding of the world
Expressive arts and design
Each of the 7 areas of learning are seen by our practitioners as being equally important with each area being connected with each other and underpinned by all of the principles in the EYFS.
‘Forest School’, as a part of the provision in Early Years settings, has been around now for over 10 years and has been adopted within the wider context of looking for ways of supporting children’s learning and managing risk safely in their play.
At Blue Giraffe we have our own dedicated forest garden, where our Forest School trained gardening teacher leads us in a range of activities including mud painting, mini beast hunts and making ‘natural’ necklaces.
Forest School has fitted into a wider national context where, since beginning in the mid 1990’s, hundreds of settings across the country have been doing similar things in woods, forests, parks and other outdoor environments. This work is supported by the Forest School Association and a number of other groups across the country all offering advice, support and courses for Forest School practitioners.
For more information, please free to call our manager, Lucy.
Parents as Partners
We strive to build strong relationships with parents and children and our staff will provide an effective two-way flow of communication. Whether this is on a daily basis through feedback at the beginning and the end of sessions or through our parent work shop events, special days or parent evenings. We encourage that parents and practitioners can learn together to enhance the progress that each child makes.
We also have parent forums once every term, where we invite parents in to discuss what you would like to see happen in nursery, what ideas you may have to extend your child’s learning and also what opportunities in terms of extra activities or trips you would like to see happen. We really value your feedback, and your input into future developments within the nursery and your child’s learning.
Partnering with our local community
All of our nursery children have opportunities to visit our local care home once a week. Whilst we are there the children enjoy stories, singing, physical activities, and also feeding the animals and watching the lady play the cello!
All of the children also visit our local library in Droitwich as we are lucky to have the library only a 10 minute walk away. Children visit here to borrow books to share in nursery, and at home. Babies and toddlers also enjoy attending the story and rhyming sessions. We also take regular trips to our local book shop, to purchase new stories to share in nursery.
We have a link with our local food bank in Droitwich, in which we are signed up to their voucher scheme and we are able to supply our families with vouchers for those who need to use it. We also have a small food bank set up in our nursery, which is free for all parents and visitors to use.
We take visits to our local woodland area, at the butterfly walk in the Lido Park. The children love to explore this area of the woodlands, looking for insects and just playing in the mud!
We are lucky to have two children’s play areas local to us, which we visit on a regular basis as this provides children with more opportunities to develop their gross motor and physical skills.
The children also enjoy trips out on the train; we enjoy catching the train to Kidderminster so the children can see all the trains at the Severn Valley Railway. The children also like rides on the bus, to either Webb’s garden centre or to Fernhill Heath play area!
Not only do we go out into our community, our community comes to visit us! We have visits regular from the local police, fire and rescue service and the nurse from the care home we visit. When she last came in she taught the children how to wash their hands correctly!
As well as all of those exciting opportunities, we take walks into the local town. We visit other places such as the local soup café, supermarkets and local shops like the spar for our baking ingredients and also the local bakery and pet shop.
Yoga for Children
We believe children can start to participate in yoga at any age. We encourage yoga sessions with our toddler and preschool children. Yoga is about building skills, skills to be able to stretch and balance, developing a body awareness and starting a lifelong love of some form of exercise.
We practice by making our sessions fun and interactive, where children learn the basics, some simple stretches and balancing poses. We use the time for the children to relax, it gives them opportunity and time to think about what their bodies are doing and how they feel. It also gives them the understanding as they learn what their bodies can do.
In our preschool room our yoga sessions are great for improving the children’s concentration that they’ll need for when they move onto their next transition to school. These skills are not only to help support the children prepare for school; they’re lifelong skills which have positive impact on children’s wellbeing.
Every child has opportunities to develop their art skills; this is done in many different ways. We explore art by providing fun activities such as, painting, shaving foam play, paint brushes with water, spray bottles, mud pictures, chalking and much more.
Each day in nursery we share music and rhymes with your children; this is an important part of the day. We will sit and share music and rhymes, and we will bring stories and rhymes to life by doing actions, or movement on a large scale.
Our preschool children have weekly P.E sessions; however our babies and toddlers also enjoy movement sessions linked to music. We have many resources to support movement our ribbon batons are a favourite!
Fun & Creativity
We extend and encourage language, new words and vocabulary in many ways, and share lots of stories and rhymes. We also use Makaton signs and key words in other languages to support our English as additional language (EAL) children, and also support parents with our EAL basket.
We believe our environment is set up to encourage mathematics whiles child-led play based learning is happening. Our practitioners will support and encourage mathematical language, and provide opportunities for activities to have mathematical links. This is even seen through the stories we share, and the songs we sing.
Our toddler and preschool children have access to the outdoors as part of their free flow routines. Our babies also have their designated garden area, sharing with our toddlers and visit the outdoors each day more than once.