Curriculum and Learning

At Buttercup Nurseries we believe that every child is unique and deserves the best possible start in life with strong support to fulfil their potential.  Our practitioners use the Early Years Foundation Stage Framework, which became mandatory in early years settings in September 2008, to plan for children's learning and development and to ensure the safety and welfare of every child.

At Buttercup Nurseries we plan for purposeful play with a balance of child-led and adult-led activities.  We continually observe and listen to children to assess their individual needs, their stage of development and their learning styles.  We do this in partnership with parents, carers and, if necessary, with other agencies.  Our planning covers the seven areas of learning and development according to the Early Years Foundation Curriculum.  These areas are Personal, Social and Emotional, communication and language, physical, literacy, mathematics, understanding the world, expressive arts and design.  All of these areas are equally important and depend upon each other to support a rounded approach to child development.

Children first need to feel safe, happy and secure in their relationships and in their environment.  Our practitioners ensure that children are welcomed warmly every day and they have excellent relationships with the children and their parents.  Activities are planned indoors and outdoors.  We plan lots of opportunities for mark-making and encourage writing for a purpose with our 3-5 year olds.  Our children at Seaham Nursery have had their poetry published in a book of verse and they are very proud of their acheivement.

Children explore number in games, action songs, rhymes and in many real-life practical activities indoors and outdoors.  They discover shape, space and measure whilst playing in the water and the sand, cooking, building models and planting seeds. 

Throughout the year children explore, investigate, look for patterns similarities and differences and enjoy the changing seasons.  They learn how things work, they design and make, and they begin to learn about ICT by using digital cameras, camcorders, walkie-talkies and programmable toys.  Practitioners take children for walks around their local environment and they are keen to allow children the opportunity to explore further afield with trips to the park, the library, to museums and special events.  Visits from local fire-brigade, the police and members of the health services are always very popular with the children.

We believe that children have a natural need for physical play as well as quiet play.  Consequently our rooms are planned to cater for both.  The children love to dance, sing and act out rhymes and stories .  Through such activities as painting, constructing, mark-making and model-making the children develop their fine motor skills.  Whilst outdoors, children can run, jump, cycle, hop, climb and slide.  The importance of exercise, healthy eating and good hygiene are taught daily.  Throughout all areas of the curriculum we endeavour to promote the children's personal, social and emotional development.  This area of the curriculum is, we believe, vitally important for the future well-being of the young children in all our nurseries.

We constantly assess and evaluate our practice and planning and adapt both to suit the children's needs.  We monitor the children's progress carefully and provide parents with both formative and summative assessments.  Parents receive daily and weekly feedback on their children's well-being and progress in a daily diary or weekly jotter and a "Learning Journal", completed by the child's key worker.  More formal assessments are also completed, in accordance with the local authority's Flying from the Start assessment programme.  Children's progress is also discussed during our parent's evenings which take place every six months. 

Buttercup Nursery's Artist of the Month

Click the image to the right to view a larger version of November's picture of the month.

Joint Effort from Seaham