- Science & Botany
- Culture & Geography
- Ben & Betty
- Extra Clubs
At Bright Little Stars Nursery, we believe that the development of children is achieved by making learning fun. Children are stimulated by planned and child initiated activities, which not only include play but educational elements as well. Learning is guided by our exceptional and passionate staff who skilfully support children’s learning and development with effective teaching. Through stimulating activities and learning opportunities we strive to make a difference and create the most solid foundation for your child’s future learning and development preparing them for school.
We follow a broad-based curriculum to ensure each individual child is supported and has a variety of opportunities to learn and develop in all areas of the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS). Accordingly, the EYFS Statutory Framework sets the foundation of our curriculum and our unique Bright Little Stars Learning Programme provides challenges for each child individually whist preparing them for school, it nurtures a love of learning with measured amounts of formal teaching – the aim ‘to bring play and teaching together.’ This is achieved by incorporating:
- Science and Botany
- Culture and Geography
- The multi-sensory ‘Ben & Betty’ programme
- Extra-Curricular Clubs
Each child’s learning and development is recorded and celebrated through Bright Little Stars individual child’s Learning Journey, using the Footsteps software.
We aim to support every child with a learning experience that is planned from the very beginning with activities that are challenging yet achievable so that children can continue to enjoy learning. Your child’s Key Person will be sensitive to the individual development needs of each child to ensure that the activities they undertake are suitable for the stage that they have reached.
Practitioners will complete on-going observational assessment in each child’s Learning Journey every month to inform planning for each child’s continuing development. The records are shared with parents regularly and include parental involvement at every stage.
At Bright Little Stars Nursery we also hold two formal parent’s evenings each year.
A Room Leader is allocated to each of the age groups that occupy different rooms, ensuring continuity of care and a sense of security for the children.
We adopt a Key Person approach from the very beginning to allow each child to build a strong relationship with an adult in the nursery to support their wellbeing. It is very important that parents and carers share information about their child with their Key Person to facilitate this approach and to enable the Key Person to coordinate your child’s care and education. Having a Key Person also ensures that each child’s achievements are shared with parents on a regular basis.
The EYFS, revised in March 2017, is a Government Framework covering the stage of children’s development from birth to 5 years old, when they are at the end of their first year in school (Reception). The EYFS Framework describes how early year’s practitioners should work with children and their families and what your child will be learning to give them a firm foundation for a successful start at school.
The EYFS is defined in section 39 of the British Government’s Childcare Act 2006 and comprises a set of welfare and learning and development requirements. This is a statutory framework for all children below the age of 5 years old.
EYFS identifies seven areas of learning and development. We use these when observing, assessing and planning to meet the needs of children as individuals.
The areas of learning and development ensure that we continuously challenge children and help them to develop and succeed.
There are seven areas of learning and these are split into two parts:
The three prime areas are for all children aged between 0-5 years old and are our main focus when planning activities for babies and children under 3 years old:
- Communication and Language;
- Physical Development; and
- Personal, Social and Emotional Development.
As children grow, the prime areas will help them to develop skills in the four specific areas. These are mostly used for children over the age of 3 years old but can also be relevant for younger children:
- Understanding the World; and
- Art and Design.
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Mathematics is one of the specific areas of learning within the Early Years Foundation Stage Framework, and features prominently within children’s daily learning.
Children learn about maths through their play and daily life. While ‘experiencing’ maths children learn about numbers, shape, space and measure, whilst becoming confident using mathematical language in everyday conversations. A variety of teaching styles are used to create a wide range of mathematical learning opportunities across the learning programme by using the touch screen computers and the multi-sensory Ben and Betty programme.
Children explore the characteristics of familiar objects and shapes whilst learning to use every day mathematical language to describe them and talk about quantity, size, weight, capacity, distance, time and positioning.
Through implementing the Ben and Betty programme children engage in a range of activities involving creating patterns during the ‘special letter p week’, traffic surveys during the ‘special letter t week’, reciting rhymes with mathematical content, comparing measurements and finding the best fit, talking about temperatures for cooking and time.
Healthy Risk Taking and Challenging Play together form a unique part of our Maths programme. Within these sessions children work in small groups with close adult supervision to experiment with the cause and effect of real life tools. Children build an awareness of personal safety, strong hand eye coordination and the importance of boundaries and following rules.
Language represents the foundation of learning to read and write and is the starting point of the Bright Little Stars Literacy Programme.
Children’s oral language skills and opportunities to express themselves through babbles, and later speech, is nurtured and highly valued. This is because, young children use words and speech as a way to understand important concepts. We understand that language drives children’s cognitive development and thought processes about the wider world and therefore the way that children process information to inform learning. Language is used to ignite children’s interest and passion for literacy by allowing freedom of expression.
Younger children are exposed to a deep love of story times whilst sharing books with passionate storytellers. Through the introduction of books, songs, rhymes and poems during role play and interactive story sessions children become growing readers and natural narrators themselves.
Children build a desire and true appreciation for reading and recognising that symbols have meaning through story sacks, author visits, singing nursery rhymes, listening to audio books and on-the-move acting and role play. The environment is rich with text for reading opportunities and mark making media for early writing skills.
The learning is extended as children grow and children are challenged with early computer literacy, identifying weekly ‘special sounds’, appropriate use of phonics and phonetical reading, using descriptive language and holding intellectual conversations with peers.
During their time at Bright Little Stars each child will begin to build an understanding and knowledge of Science and Botany. As science is a key part of a child’s entire educational journey, we believe in getting children off to a flying start.
Science is introduced indirectly and holistically, incorporated in activities within the typical nursery day both in- and outdoors whilst also linking to the weekly ‘special sound’. The activities that we provide promote a greater understanding of the world through a ‘hands on’ approach. We do this with investigations into the behaviour of objects, conducting experiments, exploring and discovering and lastly presenting findings.
We use the study of botany to teach children about the importance of life, living, nurturing and caring. Children are actively involved in growing, caring for and observing plants in the learning rooms as well as caring for nursery pets.
Some examples of the skills children learn are prediction, observation, problem-solving, making decisions, discussion and critical thinking.
By utilising children’s natural interest of living things practitioners are able to tailor the learning to the children’s interests with ease through activities involving: colours, light and shadows, sound, forces and magnets, fossils, floating and sinking, electricity, weather, liquids and solids. We use activities such as ‘my body’ during the ‘special letter of b week’, ‘a plant’s life’ during the ‘special letter of p week’ and learning about where the food we eat comes from to support children’s understanding of themselves, their friends, plants and animals.
It is our goal that children understand at an early age to nurture and care for something living and to be proud of doing so.
Shared culture is communicated through daily life events, such as familiar music, foods and the ways we dress. We believe that young children of every culture need to develop a secure and positive sense of their own identity and a positive sense of pride in their family origins as well as respecting and celebrating their differences.
At Bright Little Stars the teaching of Culture and Geography go hand in hand and fit within our holistic learning approach. Each area ties into another and culture is determined as:
- What we know: Where we come from, where a frog lives or how to use a computer
- What we do not yet know: Where our friends come from, a frogs life cycle or how to catch a fish
- What we want to be: A Teacher, a Lawyer, an Astronaut or a Ballerina
There are many ways that cultural differences are taught to young children. By working with hands on materials, stories and through carefully planned activities and a purposeful environment, children develop sensitivity towards:
- Other people
- The environment.
We believe that young children of every culture need to develop a secure and positive sense of their own identity and a positive sense of pride in their family origins as well as respecting and celebrating their differences. By promoting a varied knowledge and understanding of the world through geography we encourage children to investigate the physical and human features of their immediate surroundings and the wider world.
Some examples of the skills children learn are a sense of self, a knowledge of others, observation, questioning, problem-solving, making decisions, predictions, discussion and critical thinking.
Activities involve making and reading simple maps and identifying land and water, looking at similarities and differences of homes, countries and climates, noticing and recording the weather and taking part in local outings to learn about their surroundings.
Children learn on a daily basis to understand themselves, their friends and their environment.
ICT is inclusive of modern interactive LCD computer screens.
The use of ICT in our nurseries makes the Bright Little Stars Learning Programme current and progressive; children are surrounded by ever evolving technology and naturally this becomes a fascination very early on.
In order to focus this interest and promote child centred learning, ICT is embedded in the children’s daily routines and experiences. Our computer based learning programme appeals to the natural direct learning style of young children while building children’s confidence when using touch screen technology.
Children’s basic need for information and the development of communication skills are key to their success in life. We provide opportunities for playing, socialising and learning through the use of ICT; these activities are not solitary or restricted activities therefore children are learning many skills other than just the operation of equipment. Children’s learning around the ‘special sound of the week’ is extended by viewing real life demonstrations, images and footage using the touch screen computers and taking images of real life objects to investigate and share with peers.
Some examples of skills children learn are co-operation and turn taking, investigation and explanation, problem-solving and elaboration and how to role play and imagine.
The development of the child’s whole self is nurtured and these learnt skills are transferable across the curriculum; problem solving is a Mathematical skill, co-operation and explanation support children’s communication, social and Literacy skills and investigation provides a combination of skills needed for early science, communication, understanding and self-confidence.
Resources and activities include; interactive LCD computer screens used for the Ben and Betty Programme, digital recorders and cameras, activity centres, musical keyboards, robots and remote controlled devices, cash registers and interactive books. The essence of ICT is that it is a combination of communication, information and technology.
The Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage sets the standards for learning development and care from birth to five. Within the “Understanding the World” area of learning and development there is a specific technology learning goal:
“Children recognise that a range of technology is used in places such as homes and schools. They select and use technology for particular purposes.”
Why we encourage ICT?
- Children are often motivated by using ICT
- ICT creates and extends both play and learning opportunities
- ICT can be the medium for child-initiated, peer guided and adult-led activities
Children will be familiar with using technology when they start school and this aids their transition
The Ben & Betty interactive, multi-sensory learning programme developed by Jenny Briggs, our Ben and Betty Learning Coordinator, for parents and children, is an exciting, innovative approach to encourage young children from the age of 2 years old to learn basic educational skills through games and fun activities. This modern, lively approach makes the Ben & Betty programme a positive and successful experience for children and adults alike.
Children learn and develop a variety of skills, including:
- Basic computer skills using an interactive touch screen computer
- Hand-eye control.
The Ben and Betty programme works as one element of the Bright Little Stars Learning Programme, promoting similar skills for learning through the form of a touch screen ICT program and by the use of a weekly phonics ‘Special Sound’. The ‘Special Sound’ is used as a tool to create a different holistic learning environment each week. The special sound is used alongside the interests of the children and to challenge children’s learning using a fun style of teaching.
Some examples of how this is varied weekly are themed role play areas; Cafés during the special letter week of C, Dentists during the special letter week of D and small group activities such as; butterfly life cycles during the special letter week of B’. The special sound links smoothly into all areas of the learning programme with Science and Botany themed activities such as mixology for the special letter of ‘M’ and learning about friendships during the special letter ‘F’ within the Geography and Culture programme.
One key element of the Ben and Betty Programme is the high-quality delivery of Phonics which goes hand in hand with the Bright Little Stars Literacy programme ensuring that children are confident and confident communicators.
It was awarded Gold and Overall Winner in its category when entered for the 2012 National Pre-School Awards.
For further information please visit Ben and Betty’s website: http://benandbetty.co.uk/
At Bright Little Stars Nursery we offer an exciting range of club activities that play an important part in helping children to develop learning and practical life skills. We employ external agencies, teachers or qualified professionals who add quality towards the development of all our children. In addition, we regularly visit local facilities such as shops, museums, libraries, fire stations, dentists, parks and farms when possible.
We believe all our children should have the same learning opportunities so we are pleased to incorporate club activities as part of our curriculum. They are included in our fees so there is no extra charge to you.
We have a number of different activities, listed below, that we offer as well as special classes for babies. These classes are subject to change at our discretion and may vary at each nursery setting. Some are weather-permitting and/or available during the term-time only. Sometimes, we may rotate the clubs throughout the year to give the children variety and a well-rounded approach.
Baby Sensory and Heuristic Play Programme
The Bright Little Stars Baby Sensory and Heuristic play program features a four-weeks rotation of themed activities to excite and stimulate the children based within our Milky Way Rooms. Each session involves singing, baby sign language and actions, sensory light and bubble shows, floating fabrics, bouncing balloons, role play and exploration of natural interest bags, bottles and boxes to delight our littlest ones.
Challenge Sports & Education
Challenge Sport and Education bridges the widening gap between learning and athletic prowess in an innovative, challenging but age appropriate and fun way!
Computer Based Learning
Our computer based learning programme appeals to the natural direct learning style of young children while building children’s confidence when using touch screen technology. Children learn higher-order skills and work independently and collaboratively with peers to solve problems. Children learn to recognise techniques, processes and key concepts through the repetition of our daily interactive programs.
A class for enjoying music and dancing which equally promotes physical fitness. The children begin the session with a warm-up and end with a cool down. The sessions are themed and each week takes the children on a different adventure which is explored through progressive dance and physical exploration. Themes include: ‘Amazing Animals’ and ‘At the Circus’.
Jabberjacks classes introduce the key elements of Learning and Development through a special combination of puppetry, movement and music. The unique delivery format ensures that over the weeks the children will be introduced to wonderful puppets including Jo Jo the Marionette and Morris the Monkey and a wide range of original and stimulating equipment and ideas that they will grow to recognise and enjoy.
Our Spanish lessons for children aged 2 to 5 years introduces our little ones to the everyday realities of a different country and their culture. The lessons are structured according to age and differing levels of ability. Each weekly lesson combines fun with exciting games, songs and activities. Certificates are awarded on completion of each programme. Tutors are fully vetted and DBS checked.
A football inspired training programme for both boys and girls aged 2 years and above. Soccerbears aim to develop children’s ball skills as well as their co-ordination, concentration, fitness levels and encouraging sharing and sportsmanship.
Stretch-n-grow teaches children the fundamentals of a healthy lifestyle by creating positive habits at a young age. The wobblers programme caters for children from 18 months to 2.5 years. The main Stretch-n-Grow programme begins at 2.5 years old. As well as taking part in a weekly exercise class, the children are taught about their bodies and the importance of healthy eating.
Mini Mites for children from 6 months to 2 years old is specially designed for the very young. Classes focus on using puppets, percussion instruments and babies and toddlers love to shake rattle and roll to the rhythms in these gentle, fun and stimulating classes. Mega Mites for children over three years old are action packed classes covering dance, exercise, imaginary play, numeracy, literacy, team-work, action songs and rhymes along with fun with percussion and musical games.
Tinytalk Baby Signing
Baby signing is a form of pre-verbal communication which helps babies to communicate before they can talk. From as early as 6 months old, babies are beginning to tell us what they are thinking , feeling and want. We have chosen to sign to our babies as it is said to reduce frustration, boost self-esteem and self-confidence which in turn makes happy babies and happy parents.
Wild Fangs is all about an exotic animal encounters specialising in delivering interactive, educational and entertaining talks on the natural world, using live animals. Their key philosophy is ‘education through engagement’ and they believe that children learn better through first hand experiences. They activate prior knowledge, promote excitement through discovery and expose to new information.
Yoga classes for children aged 18 months to 5 years old bring stories to life through specially developed moves inspired by yoga. Combining fun with exercise, children go on wild adventures where they may roar like a lion, fly like a bird or blast into outer space. Balancing postures help children to focus their mind and concentration techniques keep the mind in one place instead of letting it wander.