The Importance of the Environment
Through the conscious use of space, colour, display, and nature the environment plays a crucial role and is referred to as the ‘Third Teacher.’ We strive to create a rich, purposeful environment, aiming to inspire awe and wonder. Children in the EYFS learn by playing and exploring, being active, and through creative and critical thinking which takes place both indoors and outside. Adults create enabling indoor and outside environments that are equipped to meet the needs, interests and stages of development of each child, following children’s interests as well as inspiring new ideas.
Enhancements and Experiences
We enhance our continuous provision on a semi-permanent basis based on children’s interests, following their lead and providing new learning opportunities across all areas of learning, in the form of wall displays, table-top or floor displays. We help to add to children’s individual and unique ‘funds of knowledge’ through rich experiences, bringing awe and wonder into our teaching to excite, engage and plant a seed of curiosity into our children’s futures.
We provide a safe space for children to go to if they are feeling disregulated which we have named 'the nest.' Adults support children through co-regulation via our 4 step process based on Emotion Coaching UK (2021).
John Gottman says co-regulators:
•Use their hearts to feel what the child is feeling
•Use their eyes to identify physical evidence of the child’s emotions
•Use their ears to hear the underlying messages behind what child is saying
•Use their imaginations to put themselves in the child’s shoes to understand how they’re feeling
•Use words to reflect back and label what they hear, see, and imagine in a soothing, non-judgmental way
We record children’s new learning and ‘wow moments’ through observations, noting the teaching that has taken place to move the children on to their individual, next steps. We invite parents to share children’s learning that has taken place at home so that we can celebrate all of the children’s achievements. We are all in this together!
The Characteristics of Effective Learning
We ensure that we support children in the Characteristics of Effective Learning, making sure that we provide opportunities for making choices, innovating, taking responsibility, facing challenge, thinking flexibly and critically and learning how to learn so that children will become life-long learners and are able to respond to their unfolding futures.
Throughout the environment and all learning opportunities, we ensure that activities support the Characteristics of Effective Learning to ensure learning takes place. These are:
Playing and Exploring – children investigate and experience things, and have a go;
Active Learning – children concentrate and keep on trying if they encounter difficulties, and enjoy achievements;
Creating and Thinking Critically – children have and develop their own ideas, make links between ideas and develop strategies for doing things.
Areas within our indoor and outdoor space are designed to encourage independence, investigations, exciting encounters and discovery.