Process over Product!

Recently i have been thinking about the times when we make pictures or cards for children to send home to their parents, or when i notice display boards full of pictures that all look similar and think to myself, there is no way children can do that without a lot of adult support. In fact, what do children actually learn from these products when the adult is taking over and leading?

At Little Achievers nurseries we provide child led learning. This doesn’t mean that the practitioners leave children to it and just watch over them. It means we let the child lead where their learning will be taken. It means we follow the children and support their learning in their chosen direction. Yes practitioners can intervene at times and provide new provocations for the child, but these are based on the child’s initial interest in a subject. The child can then learn from the provocation provided and new experiences and skills will be learned.

Thinking on from this, would a child choose to do a piece of artwork led by a practitioner and controlled by a practitioner…….probably not, even thought we do have some children who would love to, and that is fine because they have chosen it, but it doesn’t mean they are necessarily learning from it.

We need to look at it from a child’s view and remember that children are more interested in the doing, rather than the end result. The process, and not the product. And this doesn’t just apply to art work, but the process of learning in general through all areas and activities.

We allow children to choose what they want to create, we provide materials for children to use freely and if a child wants to make a card, they can, and instead of practitioner lead it is the child’s own creative piece of work lovingly made by them.

We let the children create what they want and choose, let them have freedom of expression!

Below is an example of the freedom we give children to learn and explore at Little Achievers.
The before picture is a beautiful set up created by our team for children to explore.
The after is what is left when children have finished. The in between is the most important because the children have used their imagination and developed mathematical skills, problem solving, social skills, sharing and language, as well as bringing in their own resources from different areas to enhance.

Child Mental Health Week

This week is Child Mental Health Week and now more than ever we need to be aware of our children’s mental health, and what good mental health looks like in our children, as well as how we can support it.

All our nurseries will be celebrating Child Mental Health Week with activities to allow children to express themselves. If children can express themselves in any way, this helps to promote good mental health.

Children need to find creative ways to express themselves and this can be done in so many ways, through dance, art, dress, music and just doing activities they love. By doing this they are able to feel good about themselves and who they are. So let your children express themselves and have good mental health.
It doesn’t have to cost alot, or any money.

Child Mental Health week website have lots of great ideas:
-Follow the link to explore some virtual sessions online – Children’s Mental Health Virtual Sessions
-A video activity to Draw your Feelings
Squiggle Game
-Have a go at some Yoga for children on Cosmic Kids Yoga

and dont forget to just get outside and play! Fresh air is amazing and just going for a walk,run or bike ride each day helps to promote both children’s and adults good mental health.

Keep an eye out on our Rosy Apple Childcare Facebook Page for more ideas and to see what we are up to at nursery!

By understanding your child and mental health, we can build their resilience which allows them to deal with changes in their life. Covid has been the biggest change to everyones lives so now is the time to act and support your child by listening, being their and being aware of their feelings.

Welcome to 2021 at Little Achievers Nurseries

Hello and Welcome to 2021!

This year has started off with Lockdown pt 3 but we continue as normal. We have practices in place to keep our environments, families and staff as safe as possible.

In early years we are constantly developing, reviewing and auditing to ensure we provide the best!
Covid will not stop us and at the end of last year we managed to develop our Bluebells room and Sunbeams room at Little Achievers Forest School Nursery.

Looking back at last year, it was definitely a challenging one for all!
We are proud to say we continued to provide childcare throughout the pandemic!

Being unable to do all the activities we love so much with our children makes things difficult. We want to keep things as normal as we can for children and continue to help them develop their learning. Personal, Social, Emotional skills are so important at this time to help children to understand their feelings.
We can support these by:
-Reading stories to children promoting discussions
-Getting outside each day for walks, bike rides etc
-Role playing with children
-Creative play where children can draw,paint,act,sing how they are feeling.

Remember – we will come out of this, and we will be stronger

Summer Term at Little Achievers

As we come to the end of our academic year at nursery its time to celebrate what we have achieved in the nurseries over the Summer Term.
When Covid-19 hit us we closed our nurseries for a short while. On re-opening, we were confident we could continue to provide the amazing quality childcare we always do. Yes things would be different but it wasn’t going to stop us.

Since being back we have a huge amount of health and safety procedures in place to ensure the safety of our children, families and staff. Whilst adhering to these the amazing teams have still managed to keep the children curious, fascinated and engaged in quality learning and for that we say Thank you!

Across our nurseries we have been busy this term with baking, creating, cleaning, painting, playing, cleaning, exploring, achieving and not to forget…. more cleaning.

Here are some photos of what we have been up to across our settings…..

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Little Achievers Post Pandemic

As we look to send our children back to nurseries this week there are a lot of questions, worries and thoughts about their welfare and their safety.
What will it be like when children return?
What about their development?
What will they be thinking?
How will they adapt?

After a long time away from the setting, its understandable to be nervous about sending children back in. All the hard work that was built before, relationships made, settling in, learning and development. What happens with that?
Do your children remember?
Are you as parents anxious?

Its important to understand what is going to happen and how these will be recovered over time, and that is definitely what it will take……..time.

No one could of planned for Covid 19 to affect us all the way it has, never would we have had a plan in place for it, so as we begin to plan to return to a normal state, how long will that be and what will normal be from now on.

Nurseries are aimed to be ‘an extension of the home’. A place children can feel safe and secure, with an environment they can learn and play in with their friends.
As human beings we are naturally social creatures, its how our brain develops through the interactions we have.

Photos going round social media of pictures of children in circles and not able to interact, is that what we want? Young children cannot naturally distance themselves. Part of their development is learning to interact with theirs friends, carers and family. This is such an important step in development, learning appropriate social skills, but without this for weeks, how will this have affected them?

So what are we going to do at Little Achievers
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Learning through Play!

A little reminder to all the parents who are at home with their children of the importance of letting your children play!
This is a difficult time for everyone, and just like us adults, children will be struggling to adapt to the changes in their life. They are used to the routine of going to nursery, seeing friends and practitioners who take care and nurture their development.
So instead of worrying about what you are going to teach them everyday, instead, let them play!
Let them choose what they want to do, join in and be imaginative, get physical outdoors in the garden or even in the house, get messy and worry about cleaning up later, and most importantly enjoy this time with your children so they can enjoy it. We are all adapting to this, children included.

Communication and Language at Little Achievers Nurseries

In a world where technology is taking over our lives, talking to our children has never been so important.

Communication and Language is a Prime Area within the Early Years Foundation Stage. It starts from when a child is born with the first aspects looking at babies responding to sounds, their own name and by making noises such as crying or babbling. From the moment they are born the way in which we give children our attention helps their skills to develop.
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Merry Christmas!

A note to say:

A huge thanks to all our wonderful parents who entrust us with your most prized possessions on a daily basis. It is such a joy to watch your special little people grow, and to be the people who help them to develop.

Have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Learning Journeys @ Little Achievers Nurseries

‘A learning journey is a collection of pieces of information that, when connected together, creates a picture of a particular child’

We have begun displaying learning journeys at all our nurseries to document the learning taking place. These have been completed with groups of children, or individually dependant on the child’s interests.
They can be displayed as creatively as possible!

The above picture is from our Sunbeams at Little Achievers Nursery in the Park. They kept their display in a natural theme in keeping with our Reggio inspired nurseries. Included is lots of photos of the children with links to the characteristics of effective learning.

Below you can see the starting point of our learning journey from Little Achievers Day Nursery. Speech bubbles display the children’s voices and arrows show the way the activity expanded linked to areas of learning.

Above is an example of an individual learning journey display from Little Achievers Forest School Nursery. This shows the individuality of the child with learning and development that is personal to them.

Below shows another idea of individual learning journeys from Little Achievers Urban Forest School. Each child has there own box with their work displayed and their own photos. As an added extra their learning is documented in personalised books that have been made by their key person.

Some fabulous ideas from our teams to document some amazing learning opportunities that we offer.
They promote pride in the children, as well as giving excellent opportunities for children to discuss themselves and what they have done promoting links to their own learning.

Keep your eyes peeled in our settings for your child’s learning journey!

Why Celebrate?

At Little Achievers Nurseries we celebrate a variety of festivals and celebrations.

But why?

Its a time of year that is busy for festivals including Halloween, Bonfire Night, Divali and not to forget Christmas!
All these are celebrated in our nurseries with lots more throughout the year.
Attending Little Achievers are families from a variety of beliefs and cultures. Its important to embrace these and teach children about them. Learning that everyone is different is an important aspect of life and this begins from early on. The understanding that not only do people look different, but they believe in different things, and celebrate different celebrations. By experiencing these in our nurseries, we develop understanding and accepting children of each other and the community they are in. They become children who are valued and supported, leading to confident learners.

A celebration is described as ‘ a special social event, such as a party, when you celebrate something’
‘Special’ to me, describes how children should feel when they come to Little Achievers Nurseries. Because what they believe, and what their families believe, is special to them. They are confident to share their beliefs because we accept everyone.
Most recently we have been celebrating Halloween. Although the background of Halloween can lead us to stories about witches or the dead, we encourage children to look at it as a fun event, that everyone is allowed to take part in if they choose to. Children can think of the things they may do at home, for example trick or treating or party’s, and for those who don’t celebrate it is an opportunity to learn about it and understand what it is? This creates an environment of mutual respect and understanding.

Remember – Every Child is Special and Unique