Petals opened in June 2014, it is a purpose built unit, and designed especially to be used by two year olds. It is a large room which is flooded with natural day light and a large outdoor area. It is situated just behind Branches at the bottom end of the school grounds.
The team in Petals consists of Mrs Ralph manager level 6 qualified Early Years Professional, Mrs Burbank Level 3 qualified nursery practitioner, Mrs McDonagh Level 3 qualified nursery practitioner, and Miss Waugh Level 3 qualified nursery practitioner. As early years professionals we recognise that children develop and learn in different ways and at different rates and through positive relationships with key adults children learn to be strong and independent, consequently children are assigned a key person who will observe them as they explore, note their interests and plan for their next steps, ensuring children learn through planned, purposeful, activities that are individual to their needs and not forgetting that children learn best when they are having fun.
Our aim is to help the children in our care to develop good foundations for learning, we recognise to achieve our goal we will need to work together with parents and share ideas on how best to support and extend children’s learning at home, we do this is through a base line assessment, two year old progress check and regular assessments, which are shared and completed with parents.
The Early Years Foundation Stage sets out the learning and development requirements. There are seven areas of learning and development that shape educational programmes in early years settings. With three prime areas that are particularly crucial for igniting children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, and for building their capacity to learn, form relationships and thrive.
The Prime areas are:
- Communication and language;
- Physical development;
- Personal, social and emotional development.
Children must also be supported in four specific areas, through which the three prime areas are strengthened and applied.
The Specific areas are:
- Understanding the world;
- Expressive arts and design.
The EYFS defines the seven areas as set out below.
- Communication and language development involves giving children opportunities 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.
- Physical development involves providing opportunities for young children to be active and interactive; and to develop their co-ordination, control, and movement. Children must also be helped to understand the importance of physical activity, and to make healthy choices in relation to food.
- 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; to develop social skills and learn how to manage their feelings; to understand appropriate behaviour in groups; and to have confidence in their own abilities.
- Literacy development involves encouraging children to link sounds and letters and to begin to read and write. Children must be given access to a wide range of reading materials (books, poems, and other written 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, spaces, 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.