Our nurseries operate from four rooms; a baby room, an infant room, a toddler room and a pre-school room. This therefore means the needs of each individual child is being addressed and catered for. It is important that each age band of children has their own space to learn and develop as children of all ages will be learning different things.
Each room consists of pathways, allowing children to browse their environment at their own leisure. We have carefully designed each room, to ensure that when a child is browsing their environment, they are still learning within every area of the room. The layout, resources and atmosphere of the nursery is natural and pale with colour, to ensure that the children are not over stimulated, enabling the ability to use the resources, their imagination and equipment to create stimulation for their development. Children need a routine driven calming environment to learn and develop at a safe rate.
The baby room features a black and white area to stimulate their developing brain and eyesight. Babies require nurturing and love at a very young age for their brains to create pathways, connections and grow. It is important that this is enhanced at the earliest possible stage as connections can be lost past the age of five, therefore hindering the brain to develop.
The baby room also features low furniture and large spaces for the babies to access their environment at their own leisure. The tables and chairs are height appropriate and feeding chairs are low rather than highchairs. Research shows that children feel more secure while eating if their feet are touching the floor. All other rooms would allow children to have their feet on the floor whilst eating, therefore we feel it is equally as important for the babies to do so.
The furniture and resources are natural and open ended to encourage and spark the children’s imagination. Babies learn through their senses at this age, therefore shiny materials, heuristic baskets and objects that have different textures are an important learning resource.
The resources and layout are slightly different to that of the baby room. This enables the children to access their environment freely and independently. There are more defining areas such as early role play and early reading with a designated reading corner. The table and chairs are slightly higher, however there is still a sensory element within the room in order to simulate the brain and provide a heuristic, sensory experience. The infant room does also consist of a climbing frame to further support their early physical development of walking and being confident on their feet.
Normally and typically at the age of infants, children can develop schemas (this can also be developed at all ages). Schemas are a repeated pattern of behaviour and indicates a preferred learning style for that child. Each key person will use this information to provide tailored planning for the child. The room layout takes careful consideration of schematic behaviours and invites each child to express themselves in a calm, yet exciting space.
Every age is unique and important, however the 2-year-old age is quite special. It is important that 2-year olds have their own space, as they will be learning and trying to comprehend confusing emotions of the ability to share and reason with others, as well as understanding how to empathise with another child and realising that not everything is theirs. We join in mindfulness sessions and yoga, to further promote self-regulation, allowing children to manage their emotions, behaviour and body movements when faced with difficult situations.
Following our Reggio Emilia approach, most of the resources are open ended to provide children with the opportunity to express and develop their imagination. Children are curious individuals with the power and potential to develop and learn from their environment and the relationships they build with others.
Within the pre-school room a lot of focus is placed on school readiness to ensure children are confident and ready to start school. Activities and teaching around school readiness consists of encouraging children to be independent, toileting themselves, serving their own meals, being able to socialise with others, expressing their own imagination and needs, separating from parents and carers and being able to actively learn and think critically.
Children’s happiness and their ability to learn through play is paramount and all children within the pre-school room will have the opportunity to learn through play and develop their own style of learning.