The curriculum is divided into three Prime areas of development for younger children and an additional 4 areas of development for children aged from 3 years.
Personal, Social and Emotional Development
Children are encouraged to build friendships with other children and adults. Through this they practice and develop skills of taking turns, caring, helping, working together and problem solving. Each week we give children responsibility for feeding the fish, watering the plants, helping at lunch time and other 'tasks' designed to support the development of their self confidence and self esteem.
Skills of balance, movement, running, jumping and climbing are developed both indoors and out. Children are closely supervised at all times to ensure safety whilst being encouraged to test their own abilities with challenging activities that are also fun. Fine Motor skills are developed through a wide range of activities and equipment designed to master control of small muscles which is an essential step in learning to write.
Communication and Language
At Chestnuts we give children opportunities to experience a rich language environment, to develop their confidence and skills in expressing themselves; and to speak and listen in a range of situations.
“Staff make positive use of songs and rhymes to teach children early counting and new words. Story time is also a favourite and the children enjoy comfortable areas to cuddle with staff to read their favourite books...”
Expressive Arts and Design
Activities for creative play are always available. These include paint, pens, pencils, collage, junk modelling, dough, sand, water and clay. A range of multi-
We use naturally occurring opportunities in the environment every day to support mathematical development. Matching, sorting, sequencing, counting and ordering everyday objects form the basis of an understanding of mathematics. With this knowledge children will be able to solve problems and use the language of mathematics to identify objects by shape, size and number.
Understanding of the World
Our garden area offers children the chance to explore and experiment with natural materials, loose parts and nature itself. Growing and caring for plants encourages them to appreciate and take responsibility for their environment.
Children are introduced to the various customs and cultures of our world by experiencing and discussing examples of food, music, festivals, clothing and other relevant material.
We aim for our children to be intrinsically motivated and do not use behaviour management strategies that involve either rewards or sanctions. Instead, children are encouraged to self regulate and to take responsibility for their own actions. We explain the 'rules' associated with activities, such as taking turns or waiting patiently so that children understand the behaviour expected of them. If a situation arises that a child is finding difficult, then we provide appropriate language and coping strategies.
We support children to look after their environment and the resources in it so children are encouraged to return toys to their rightful place and leave activities ready for the next person using them. For example, the child who chooses to dress up hangs the outfit back up when they have finished and the child who looks at a book returns it to the bookshelf.
We support children to develop empathy for others and consider how their actions might make their friends feel. We do this by modelling the kind of behaviours we expect of children: politeness, listening, kindness, nurturing and helpfulness. In addition we use books and circle time activities to explore topics such as ‘emotions’ and ‘making friends’.
“Children behave well because staff encourage children to help each other and share toys...”