All children from birth to five follow the Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum whether they are cared for in a day nursery, with a childminder or educational nursery. It is a statutory document, developed for professionals to support young children into learning. At Bertrum House, we get to know our children extremely well, taking time to observe them at play and finding out about their interests. We are then able to carefully plan for their next steps using their interests to build motivation and excitement.
Learning outside is embedded in the Early Years Foundation Stage and has many benefits for the development of young children. As adults, many of us remember the freedom of outside play; the space to run, jump and move; the perfect place to shout and be noisy; and small dens to hide in with friends. At Bertrum House we offer nursery aged children in Balham and Tooting children access to all areas of learning outside, without the need to leave our premises. Children thrive in the more physical environment as they enjoy learning through play and Bertrum House provides on-going training to staff to ensure that we maximise the opportunities for our children to learn outside.
The Early Years Foundation Stage
At Bertrum House Nursery we follow the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS). The seven areas of learning form the basis of our teaching upon which we plan enriched, exciting activities to encourage a thirst for learning. The three ‘Prime Areas’ which are particularly crucial for stimulating children’s curiosity, enthusiasm and potential for learning. These are Communication and Language; Physical Development; and Personal, Social and Emotional Development.
Communication and Language
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. We have quiet spaces for communication as well as our field where children can be loud and excited! At Bertrum House we actively encourage the use of Makaton and print signs to support all our children’s communication.
Young children should be learning through active and interactive activities to develop their coordination, control and movement. We believe we offer this in an unparalleled way for a nursery in Balham – we have fantastic indoor and outdoor space where children can learn the importance of physical activity and make healthy choices.
Personal, Social and Emotional Development
This area of learning involves helping children to develop a positive sense of themselves and others; to form positive relationships and develop respect for others; to develop social skills and learn how to manage their feelings; to understand appropriate behaviour in groups; and to have confidence in their own abilities. By splitting the children into classes within their year groups, the teaching staff can focus on activities that support their individual identity as well as establishing group routines. The nursery day is structured to allow for the year groups to mix and develop the children’s ability to empathise with children (and staff) outside of their immediate class.
What parents say
‘I cannot recommend Bertrum nursery highly enough – my son loved his time there. The children are taught to be considerate and kind to each other, the discipline is good and the work that they brought home was lovely. The staff are caring and have a sense of fun, which infuses into the children. My son joined as a nutty toddler and left as a thoughtful, happy and confident little boy!’
Children are encouraged to ‘tune’ into sounds when they start at Bertrum House. They are excited to join in with sound walks and listen to sounds in their environment. We take time to teach nursery rhymes and to play with rhyme and alliteration. As they progress we encourage them to link sounds with letters and to begin to read and write. Above all we aim to foster a love of books and stories.
We provide our children with opportunities to develop and improve their skills in counting, understanding and using numbers, calculating simple addition and subtraction problems and to describe shapes, spaces and measures. Real life maths is introduced into their play, for example, counting coins in the role play shop stories.
Understanding the World
This area of learning is about children making sense of the world around them. We encourage them to look at the physical environment around them as well as their community. We provide opportunities to explore, observe and find out about people, places, technology and the environment.
Expressive Arts and Design
We provide activities that enable children to explore and play with a wide range of media and materials, as well as facilitating opportunities and encouragement for sharing their thoughts, ideas and feelings through a variety of activities in art, music, movement, dance, role play and design technology.
What parents say
“A massive thank you for making our son’s first year of nursery such a positive first experience (for him and me!) He has grown so much in the last year and developed a keen interest in words and writing.”