Education should be inspiring and motivating. We help to prepare children for the challenges of life and give them the skills to be able to think for themselves, be creative and make well balanced decisions. At Greenfields we believe that young children are competent and capable learners who thrive in a challenging environment that can stimulate their enquiring minds. Greenfields is a place for children to feel at home and to be themselves, where they can be happy, healthy and safe.
At Greenfields children learn through play using the Early Years Foundation Stage as a tool to ensure a broad and balanced child centred curriculum. The curriculum for children from birth to five is dictated by them through a ‘listening to children’ approach. It is carefully planned around children’s own interests, thoughts and ideas. Staff are highly trained and are observing and listening to the children at all times. These observations are then used to plan relevant projects or activities which will extend the children’s learning through meaningful experiences.
We follow the Statutory Framework Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) which has three prime areas for learning and four specific areas.
Personal, Social and Emotional Development
Communication and Language
Understanding the World
Expressive Arts and Design
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Starting and settling into nursery
Going to nursery for the first time is one of the most important experiences in a child’s life. Young children are at a tender age and we would like to make the experience as pleasurable as possible so that they feel happy and comfortable in their new environment and are eager to enjoy learning.
The settling in process begins with an official visit where parents/carers are shown around the centre and can see how learning takes place.
After the official visit you can then attend for six one hour sessions at an arranged time so that your child can become familiar with the nursery surroundings before they start.
To enable the children to settle into their new environment we arrange with parents to have a home visit. This establishes the beginning of a positive relationship with parents.
Two members of staff visit the home. It is an opportunity to explain the Centre aims, our provision and the importance and value we place on Early Years Education and Care and to find out about the particular needs of children.
The home visit will include an activity such as making playdough, reading a story with props or planting. We use a digital camera to record the event so that when children begin nursery they can make a connection with the experience and recognise familiar adults.
Once your child has started nursery you will be invited to attend an induction meeting with the Head of Centre. This is an opportunity for us to give you some important information about the Centre and for you to ask any questions you may have.
Your Child’s First Week at Nursery
Parents are asked to stay with their child for the first few days so that they can become familiar with their surroundings and routines. Staff work closely with parents to support this transition and they will make every effort to ensure children are emotionally and physically secure.
The nursery is a new environment with many different people to get to know and new friendships to develop with other children. This takes time and for some individual children it may take a little longer than others. Please be patient and keep communicating with your child’s keyworker in order to ensure the best possible start for your child.
The development of the Forest School approach is a new project at Greenfields and one that we are very excited about! The Head of Centre and Class Teacher are currently taking part in an accredited course for Forest School Leaders and we are exploring options as to how we can implement forest school at Greenfields. Some elements, such as; the mud kitchen and vegetable garden are already embedded in practise and we are just beginning to take small groups of children out to explore local woodland areas.
Forest School is a growing philosophy in the UK and has been adapted from the approach of Scandanavian countries, such as Sweden and Denmark. The philosophy is based on the desire to provide young children with an education that encourages an appreciation of the wide, natural world and which would encourage responsibility for nature conservation later in life.
Forest School draws on the work of a number of educational theorists, including, Fredrich Froebel, John Dewey, Margaret McMillan, Rudolph Steiner, Susan Isaac’s and Chris Athey. It fits well with the play based principles of the Early Years Foundation Stage and the emphasis on quality outdoor learning experiences.
Forest School is fun. It takes place on a regular basis in a natural (as possible) environment and builds on the children’s knowledge and familiarity of an area. It gives children opportunities to lead their own learning with all planned activites being based on children’s interests. It also helps children to understand and manage risk, develop confidence, self esteem and language skills.
If you would like to know more please visit: www.forestschoolassociation.org
Children's Projects at Greenfields
At Greenfields we share the Reggio ethos of children being ‘competent, powerful, strong and rich in potential’. This is our starting point for all of our work with children as we have high expectations of their capabilities and achievements.
We have two artists in residence based at Greenfields one day a week; Rosie Potter and Kirstie Reid. Rosie Potter is also Senior Lecturer at the University of the Arts London. Rosie and Kirstie have developed a number of inspiring creative projects with the children. Some of these have been published by the magazine Nursery World and are included below for you to enjoy.
Greenfields has been strongly influenced by the work and philosophy of Loris Malaguzzi, founder of the Reggio Emilia pre-schools in Northern Italy. A number of staff at Greenfields have visited the nurseries in Italy to learn more about their approach.
Central to the Reggio approach is the image of the child as rich in potential, strong, powerful and competent. Children and childhood are greatly valued and respected. Children are seen not as ‘citizens of the future’, but as ‘citizens now’. The different experiences, ideas and opinions that children bring to discussions are taken seriously and held in high regard by adults. Parents and families are seen as central to the learning and nursery community.
In his poem ‘No way the hundred is there.’ Malaguzzi describes the hundred languages of expression that children use to interpret their world and represent their ideas and theories. In the Reggio pre-schools these languages are recognised, respected and fostered in a creative learning environment.
Children’s learning is developed through their involvement in long and short term projects which develop out of first hand experiences and their theories about the world. Each of the pre-schools has a practising artist who is there to stimulate and nurture the curiosity and creativity of the children and to act as an enabler in the development of projects.
If you would like to know more please follow the links below.
Every child has their own interests and particular play activities that they enjoy. To capture these special moments we write listening stories which are included as part of the children’s portfolio’s and used to support assessment of children’s learning and planning for their next steps.
Below are some examples of listening stories documented at the Centre.