We believe that children flourish best:
- In a secure, nurturing foundation of care and attention that meets their individual needs.
- Where they develop as social beings who can build and maintain friendships, learn to wait, share, take turns and show respect.
- Where enjoyment and happiness are recognised as holding intrinsic value.
- Where they can engage their hands, heart and head in a variety of stimulating and inspiring play-based activities.
- Where they are supported by a diverse staff team with different talents and skills, who can provide high quality interactions to help unlock every child’s potential.
F – Fun, friendly place to be
I – Inclusive, inviting play
V – Valuing every child and parent carer
E – Exiting environment for everyone
W – Warm and Welcoming
A – Attentive and approachable staff team
Y – Your views always matter
S – Safe, supporting and stimulating
Our Early Years children are between 2 and 4 years old.
We have two playrooms in our Early Years setting which are divided according to the age and the needs of the children.
Generally, most of the children in the Tulip group will be going to school in September this academic year and most of the children in the Buttercup group will not being going to school until September the following academic year.
Every child has a ‘key person’. The key person helps the child to settle, to feel safe and secure. They provide a ‘secure base’ for the child and a point of contact for their family.
Learning Through Play
At Fiveways the children spend most of their time exploring and engaging in play-based learning. Sometimes chosen entirely by the child and sometimes guided by practitioners. The children learn through playing, questioning, imitating, testing and practising.
Our aim is that our Curriculum is broad, balanced and inclusive.
We deliver our Curriculum through a blend of child led, adult supported and adult led, ‘open ended activities’. The activities and experiences we provide every day, give opportunities for development in the seven areas of Learning and Development and help to build and strengthen the ‘characteristics of effective learning’. This includes allowing and enabling children to explore, follow their interests, think for themselves, build motivation and develop creative and critical thinking skills. The skills, knowledge and experience the children will have gained when they leave us are built around the specific needs and interests of the individual children in our setting.
Our Curriculum Goals
To further support the children’s play-based learning and exploring, we have designed 8 Curriculum Goals.
- To settle in and become a confident learner.
- To move our bodies with balance and control.
- To look after our coats and shoes and know how to put them on.
- To recognise some letters of our name.
- To follow a simple recipe to make a biscuit.
- To make a model, knowing how to keep the pieces in place, using recycling modelling materials.
- To create our own story.
- To be kind to others, ourselves and the environment.
The goals are broken down into different components and are designed to be accessible to all children. Some children may achieve the goals and others may need more time and more support, but regardless of where they are working, they are all accessing the same curriculum.
We use open-ended activities to provide opportunities for children to explore, use their imagination, and develop their own ideas. They provide opportunities for ‘teachable moments’, when adults can help develop children’s learning and challenge their thinking, by making suggestions, through modelling, prompting, introducing new vocabulary and questioning.
We respond to the children’s needs and interests in the moment and consider how we can support their learning further.
As well as time to explore and play freely, the children also need adult guided learning and teaching, to develop key skills.
The children come together for ‘Group Time’ at the beginning and end of each session. This gives the opportunity to learn specific skills, develop language, communication and social skills. We also plan adult led activities within the sessions, to support the specific needs and interests of an individual or small group of children.
Some of our children require more support at Fiveways, and we have several children who have an additional adult to support their play and learning. We liaise closely with the child’s family, and other professional, speech and language therapists; Brighton and Hove Inclusion Services for example, to develop plans to support the individual child’s needs.
We are proud to be an inclusive setting and have been an important part of our local community for very many years. We value the input of our families, we have an open-door policy and are always accessible.