Our Ethos & Practice
Children’s Activities and Development
We aspire to provide the very best in early years care and education so that children at Gwendolen House can flourish and develop to the best of their individual ability. We plan exciting learning opportunities for children, encouraging them to explore and learn through play, supported in their development by trained early years practitioners in a welcoming, homely and safe environment.
Every child is unique. We, therefore, tailor activities to allow children to develop skills and learning at their individual pace. We achieve this through observations made by the early years practitioners, who observe the children at play and during planned activities so as to monitor each child’s development and provide learning opportunities that will extend and stimulate them according to their abilities and needs. Children are encouraged to gain independence and to build on the skills in which they are confident whilst being supported in those areas of learning where they still need to develop further.
This approach has a great impact on the way the early years practitioners work, as a team, and ensures that children are always in the centre of what we do. The early years practitioners use their observations on each child as the basis for planning follow up activities for them so they can develop their skills at their own pace. We follow the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum for indoor and outdoor activities covering the following areas of learning:
- Physical Development;
- Personal, Social and Emotional Development;
- Communication and Language;
- Understanding of the World; and
- Expressive Arts and Design
Working with Parents
We recognise the importance of good communication with parents so as to ensure a consistent approach for each child between home life and their experiences whilst in our care. We, therefore, ensure good exchange of information relating to children and their family's requirements and encourage ongoing co-operation with parents, who are invited to take an active part in the life of Gwendolen House.
Parents are kept well informed about their children’s activities and progress through daily discussions with staff, information on the children’s planned activities, monthly newsletters, parents’ evenings and semi-annual written reports. This provides parents with an accurate picture of their child’s progress and their routines whilst at the nursery.
Early years education is a wonderful opportunity for providing children with a valuable understanding of the importance of looking after their well-being and staying healthy. The early years practitioners provide children with information and activities which build good foundations for their knowledge and life skills in staying healthy and keeping safe.
The children are encouraged to get into the habit of enjoying healthy snacks during the day and to have regular access to drinking water in their rooms. Through the use of our outdoor growing areas and cooking activities, children are informed about the importance of a healthy diet and good nutrition. Throughout the year they build a portfolio of information on seasonal fruit and vegetables and other ingredients that are used for the food that they eat at the nursery.
The meals and snacks that are given to the children are prepared daily by our nursery chef, Dwayne Dupree, using fresh fruit and vegetables and meat from local suppliers.
Breakfast, morning snack, a cooked lunch, a light afternoon meal and afternoon snack are provided for the children (depending on the session which they attend). All meals are wholesome, nutritious and planned to be part of a balanced diet.