As technology increases, children seem to be spending less and less time outdoors and more time spent inside on tablets and games consoles.
This has been recognised and so the Forest School Approach has become more and more popular.
Rosy Apple Childcare has two Forest School Nurseries:
Little Achievers Urban Forest School, Preston, PR1 3QU
Little Achievers Forest School Nursery, Blackburn, BB1 9DQ
All children whilst in the Owls room at Little Achievers are able to access Forest School sessions. We transport children from our nurseries to our Forest School settings and sessions are led by our qualified Forest School Leaders.
What is a Forest School?
The Early Years Foundation Stage states that:
‘Providers must provide access to an outdoor play area or, if that is not possible, ensure that outdoor activities are planned and taken on a daily basis (unless circumstances make this inappropriate, for example unsafe weather conditions).’
At all our Little Achievers Nurseries we ensure that children have continuous provision both indoors and outdoors – this means that they have access to both environments and are able to choose where they play. It is important to remember not all children learn in the same way and in the same environment.
There are huge benefits to the outdoors and that’s why a bit of rain doesn’t stop us from letting children access it. Possibilities are endless with no restraints on the space children can be creative and the noise they make. It enables them to be ‘free’. Physical development is enhanced along with sensory experiences. Children can create, problem solve, communicate and imagine.
We have been super busy recently!
Part of being a Reggio inspired setting is constantly adapting and changing your environment and this is what all of our Nurseries do regularly in line with our children and their interests and development.
As well as that we are still implementing the Reggio Emilia Approach throughout our settings and each one is different and unique!
Little Achievers Day Nursery
We have been busy throughout the last few months implementing changes to the Owls and Bluebells room. Making these curious and exciting for the children. We have also developed the outdoor unit into a Laboratory for the Owls children to explore and create.
Little Achievers Urban Forest School
We have lots of exciting things planned as we begin to develop the Bluebells room and an outdoor shed into something a little extra special! Keep your eyes peeled for more updates on this.
Little Achievers Forest School Nursery
The outdoor area has had a re-vamp and looks so inviting and challenging. We have also added a sand shed for the children to investigate.
Little Achievers Nursery in the Park
The environment is constantly changing and developing here and a new fairy garden has been developed outside.
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One of the key roles of the Reggio Emilia approach is the third teacher. This is not an actual teacher, as in a person but instead the environment in the setting.
Children thrive in an environment that is well suited to their interests and stages of development. It should be welcoming, pleasing to the eye, represent the communities cultures and beliefs, embrace nature and be filled with purposeful resources.
It is important that the environment is not over stimulating to children’s senses.
This week all our nurseries are celebrating National Story Telling Week.
Each nursery have their own activities taking place to support this.
In every nursery we are surrounded by books in all areas, and also provide cosy, quiet spaces and time to read to our children. In the home, bed time stories are just as important, as well as general reading at a quiet time of the day.
But storytelling is not just getting a book and reading the words! It involves adapting to the characters and making the story ‘come to life’, or making up a story using props for prompts.
We would like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from everyone at Rosy Apple Childcare!
As Christmas is fast approaching its important to note that it is not the one and only celebration we take part in at Little Achievers Nurseries.
We celebrate a wide range of cultural celebrations and events throughout the year – but some people may wonder why?
In all our nurseries we have children from a variety of cultures where English may not be their first language and so we not only celebrate events, but also provide an environment for children to learn day to day life of their friends and peers. It is through these activities that children begin to embrace and value each others differences.
Ways we promote diversity and inclusion:-
-Setting up a role play area to include children’s photos and their families, dressing up resources to include a variety of fabrics and fancy dress.
-Food tasting a variety of different foods
-Inviting families in for stay and play sessions.
-Taking part in celebrations from a wide range of cultures and religions
-Learning words from different languages to help support children with English as an additional language.
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This week all our Nurseries have celebrated World Nursery Rhyme Week!
Nursery rhymes play such an important role in children’s early years. They are a fun way to learn!
Every year we celebrate World Nursery Rhyme week to promote the importance of rhymes in early years.
The nursery rhymes are different every year and this years rhymes include I’m a little teapot, Humpty Dumpty, A sailor went to sea, five currant buns and round and round the garden.
When we sing nursery rhymes to children they develop:-
Language and Communication – by singing to children we gain their attention as singing is fun! Children can learn new words through repetitive verses and develop their listening and concentration skills
Maths – songs such as five currant buns promote counting both forwards and backwards.
Social Skills – songs tend to be sung in small groups, children join together to sing with their friends, which can include turn taking.
Imagination and Physical – fantasy rhymes that we can do actions to and act out encourage children’s imagination as well at physical skills.
The most important thing is that nursery rhymes are fun! As we remember from my previous blog, learning needs to be fun for children to develop and want to play.
Experts in literacy and child development have discovered that if a child knows eight nursery rhymes by heart by the time they are four years old, they are usually among the best readers and spellers in their class by the time they are in Year 3 – Wales Online
Learning through play is one of the main ways children learn and develop.
Other ways that young children learn include being with other people, being active, exploring and new experiences, talking to themselves, communication with others, meeting physical and mental challenges, being shown how to do new things, practicing and repeating skills. A huge part of this learning process is that the children are having fun!
Little Achievers Nurseries provide an ideal environment for children to experience all these methods of learning and most importantly in a safe, secure and fun environment.
Play should be spontaneous and self chosen by the child. It is through this that they can become fully engaged in an activity of their interest and that they enjoy!
Play is natural to children!
Environments within our Nurseries are purposely set up appropriately to the child’s age and development level within that room.
Every child is unique!
We understand this at Little Achievers and all children develop at their own pace! Knowing each individual child allows us to plan, and develop their learning, through play, to their own level.
“Play is the highest form of research” Albert Einstein
This half term I am focusing on the general environment in our Little Achievers Nurseries.
Why? Because the environment is an important tool in the learning of our children! As well as the staff playing an important role, so too does the environment.
Following the Reggio Emilia approach in our settings means that the environment is classed as the third teacher. It isn’t just the staff, children and parents that can learn from each other, the environment should provide the curiosity and wonder, to encourage the children to explore and learn from it. It should give opportunities for children to research and try and test their ideas.
Throughout the nursery year children are moving to rooms as they get older, so new children are constantly coming into new environments. In September, your previous Pre-School children have left for school, and a new group of children move into Pre-School, full of curiosity and ready to learn. However, an environment that challenged children previously, may not have as strong an impact now. This is why we must evaluate and review! All of the Key Person’s at Little Achievers Nurseries know their children and families and it is through this knowledge, we can plan to make changes and adaptations that will then benefit the children we care for. Space and resources are organised in a way that children can learn from and begin to express themselves.
“The environment should act as an aquarium which reflects the ideas, ethics, attitudes and culture of the people who live in it. This is what we are working towards” Loris Malaguzzi, Founder of Reggio Emilia’s Educational Philosophy
Some of this weeks changes can be seen in our gallery. These are from our Little Achievers Urban Forest School setting.