Our Learning Environment
Our learning environment is carefully organised to invite children to explore all the different activity zones.
We teach children the importance of being independent and doing things on their own. Within the classroom and outdoor setting there is a range of equipment and materials that are available every day continuously for the children to independently access. They learn how to use it, know where to get it from and they know how to put it back independently.
Every week the continuous provision is enhanced to support the topic and to follow the children’s interests and their capabilities. The enhanced provision is planned and adapted to meet the needs of each individual child or group of children. It is this provision that supports the children to move on to the next stage in their development.
The environment is designed to support the children's current interests and fascinations and gives the children opportunities to take risks and explore. Children develop their imagination and make learning connections through role-play and small world equipment. We also provide construction equipment, malleable and sensory materials, musical instruments, art and design materials, opportunity for scientific investigation, sand and water play, and mathematical learning experiences.
Examples of different areas in the learning environment
Reading and Mark Making
A whole environment is text rich and we boast a wide range of appropriate books. These cover many of our topics, reflect our community (and beyond) and contain old favourites and traditional tales. We encourage exploration of texts and books. Mark making is the foundation of early writing. Providing a range of resources in an exciting environment will enable children to become confident writers. A well resourced mark making area supports children to develop their fine motor skills and encourages children to mark make in a developmentally appropriate way.
Role play contributes to children’ healthy emotional development by enabling them to explore feeling and emotions through the context of pretend play. Children have a strong impulse to act out familiar activities that help them to make sense of themselves and their world.
We regularly change our role-play provision to match with our topics.
Children have access to a variety of mathematical resources to support their early mathematical thinking. Through play, children understand mathematical concepts and adopt positive attitudes to problem-solving.
Throughout the year the children develop their scientific skills by investigating the world around them. Investigation activities encourage children to safely encounter and explore objects and natural materials using these skills. Children have a natural curiosity to explore, using both their physical abilities and their senses.
Small World and Construction
Children’s imaginative and language development are supported by small world play scenarios and by constructing using a variety of materials. This stimulates children’s independent play and curiosity.
Children start to express their thoughts and feelings through their creations. Free expression with an emphasis on process and exploration supports children’s problem-solving skills and imagination through the tactile engagement of materials.
Malleable and sensory materials
Malleable and sensory play promote children’s natural curiosity. It allows children to use their senses to help them explore and develop their language. Malleable play fosters imagination and allows children to experiment in an open-ended way.
Through malleable and sensory play, children develop their fine and gross motor skills by exploring and using pinching, pouring, balance and body awareness.
Outdoor play and experiences are a very important part of the early years curriculum, giving children the opportunity to enjoy activities in a large space, develop their physical skills, language and imagination.
Our outdoor provision provides an extra area for planned learning activities and has a place for children to ride, climb, balance and explore a range of physical activities.
The children also have access to water and sand tray, mud kitchen and a wooden playhouse providing exciting places to learn and to encourage imaginative and creative play.