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About Nursery

Monkshouse Nusery has 31 FTE (full time equivalent) places which offers a range of options for childcare including 30 hours. Children are admitted at the beginning of the school year in which they become 4. 

At Monkshouse Nursery we have great respect for all the children coming through our doors, provide a stimulating and engaging place to take their first steps in their life-long learning journey.  Children join our nursery from a number of different nurseries or straight from home. We hold open days in November and a meeting for parents during the term prior to their child starting at the nursery to find out more about us. Children are also invited to visit the nursery with their parents for stay and play sessions. 

The children are the centre of everything we do and we aim to provide a learning environment in which each unique child can inquire, engage and investigate through play. Through play, children take an interest and develop an understanding of the world around them, use their creativity to build their imagination and become confident in the roles they take on. Without the children even realising, they are developing their dexterity and physical skills, becoming communicators and mathematicians, fine tuning their resilience and determination as well as building the important foundations for cognitive and emotional development.

The Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum

Focuses on 4 main themes; A Unique Child, Positive elationships, Enabling Environments and Learning and Development. Through these, staff look at how each child is a competent learner, how they build friendships and relationships with key people and how the environment in which they are in contributes to their extended learning and development as well as respecting the different ways that each child learns.

There are 7 defined areas of learning:

Prime areas: which underpin everything we do in the Nursery  Specific areas
Communication and Language Mathematics 
Personal, Social and Emotional Development  Literacy 
Physical Development Understanding the World 
  Expressive Arts and Design

All staff in the Nursery apply their extensive training and knowledge of child development to provide an environment which allows each child to progress through these areas of learning. Whilst creating a stimulating and secure learning space, staff monitor each of the Characteristics of Effective Learning for each child to ensure they are reaching their full potential. We record each child’s progress and development through the online learning journey programme, Tapestry. This allows staff and parents to communicate with each other in an effective and clear way, sharing and celebrating developments. Staff seize opportunities as they occur to enable the children to make that next step in their learning journey. Our provision and activities are very child led, creating an engaging and meaningful learning environment where progress is planned and delivered in the moment.

So what will you find inside our Nursery?

We pride ourselves in offering a warm and safe environment which is rich in fun and engaging activities. The inside offers areas to build and create with various materials and media, a reading and quiet area, a home role play area and small world areas. We encourage transportation as a schema of learning. This means if a child creates a pizza in the playdoh area, we fully expect and allow them to build on that creativity and transport it to the role play area where they might engage in a ‘family meal’ either by themselves or with another child or staff member. The child that builds a bear out of cardboard boxes and tubes can take it into the Cosy Corner to share a story with it. There are stations where children can find and use resources for mathematics, resources to investigate and resources to create.  There are activity stations where children can focus on a specific skill, often linked to the specific areas of learning or fine motor skill development. We have a self-serve snack station where children come and help themselves to a snack and drink, they eat this at the dining table and are responsible for clearing away afterwards.

Our outdoor learning environment

Accessible in all weathers, with wet weather clothing provided, where the children can access the same learning possibilities outside as they can inside, just in a different style. There is a mud kitchen with jars of natural ingredients, a forest area with space and equipment to create dens.  A large sandpit, a water station, a loose parts area alongside a more traditional construction area and small world stations are many of the zoned areas we have. There is a large tarmac area with bikes, trikes and other equipment designed to develop gross motor skills as well as be an area to encourage role play, does anyone need a car wash?

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Term Three - Once Upon A Time

Happy New Year!

We have been incredibly impressed with how confidently and happily our Monkshouse Minis have returned to nursery after the Christmas holidays. It sounds like everyone had a wonderful time. The children have been busy playing with their friends, creating stories in the farm area, building fabulous towers and towns in both the indoor and outdoor construction areas and role playing lots of baking and cooking in the home corner.  It seems like lots of children did baking in the holidays at home! Mmmm, yum yum!

This term we are adding a new element to our child-led days. As well as sharing lots of wonderful stories from our bookshelves, we will have a focus book for the week with activities available for the children to explore that are inspired by the book. We started this term with Naughty Bus by Jan Oke. The children have gone wild with it, each day the Naughty Bus has been discovered in a new area of the nursery; that alone has inspired the children to recreate scenes from the story, make up their own adventures with the bus and play in areas they may not usually choose to access. A group of children chose to make a bus by gathering all the chairs they could find in the setting and lining them up. They then wrote tickets and charged their friends and the teachers to get on! 

The term has started on such a high, we are all excited to find out where our journey will go and what we shall learn on the way!


Forest Adventures

Forest Adventures is our weekly outdoor learning programme. Whatever the weather we go out into the forest area of the school grounds and complete all our discovering and learning there. The children have worked together to build dens, enjoyed finding sticks and comparing their sizes, gone on a nature hunt and made nature crowns, played in the mud and leaves, made cereal bird feeders and bird food cakes. Each week the children have observed changes in the forest linked to the seasons, they have spotted a variety of wildlife and we have talked about all the amazing things they have found. Whilst outside in the forest the children are free to explore and play. They have used sticks as wands, horses, oars and swords. They have played hide and seek, rolled in the leaves and mud! Forest Adventures brings essential childhood experiences that every child is entitled to.

Term One So Far

Half way through the term, it's flown by!! These past few weeks have been so much fun, we have really enjoyed getting to know each and every one of the new children. Friendships have been formed and children are already busy telling tales to each other over the lunch table, sharing adventure stories in the sand pit and building dens together in the forest area.

Today we have had our MacMillan coffee morning and invited parents in to share a yummy cake with their children whilst exploring the nursery together. Thank you to every parent who supported us and joined their child today. We're hoping we have managed to raise lots of money for an amazing charity. 

We are already looking forward to the next time parents will be invited in :)


Welcome to Monkshouse Minis Blog!

Welcome to Monkshouse Minis!

 All the children have settled in so well and are thoroughly enjoying exploring their new nursery.

We have spent lots of time laughing, chatting and getting to know the children. This term we will be focussing on making friendships, finding out the children’s interests and ensuring they feel happy and safe in their environment.

We are very happy to announce that we are now taking on a ‘Planning in the Moment’ approach to teaching, meaning we don’t have set topics for the children as they do in school. We play alongside the children, listening to their interests and base our learning on those making our play purposeful, exciting and engaging. The children have already shown that this way of teaching benefits their confidence and imagination greatly.

We can’t wait to see where this year takes us and we’re looking forward to taking you along with us on the journey!

Miss Majer and Mrs Kay.


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