Young children learn through play, through 'doing' and through practical activities that have interest and relevance to them. The Nursery, both inside and out, is set up to encourage the children to make choices within a carefully structured environment.

Child initiated play provides opportunities to develop children's curiosity and interests at a pace relevant to the individual. It develops self-esteem and motivation making them more effective learners. It also encourages children to build up an understanding of appropriate and responsible use of time. During Free play each Nursery Nurse will be working within a play area helping children with their games and supporting them in the choices they make.

Children start to learn about the world around them from the moment they are born.
The care and education offered by The Blue Door Nursery helps children to continue this learning by providing all of the children with interesting activities that are right for their age and stage of development.

For children between the ages of 3 and 5 years, we provide a curriculum for the foundation stage of education. This curriculum is set out in a document published by the Department for Education and Skills called ‘Curriculum Guidance for the Foundation stage’. The Blue Door Nursery follows this guidance. Group time activities revolve around a half-termly topic. They focus on the six key areas of learning. During Group time staff plan towards the children achieving specific learning intentions within the following areas:

> Personal, Social, Emotional
> Creative
> Mathematics
> Knowledge and Understanding of the world
> Communication, Language and Literacy
> Physical

For the under 3’s the planning is still topic based and follows the National Birth to three matters programme. Activities are planned carefully to reflect the ages and capabilities of the children involved.

Within Group time the following activities might be suitable:

> Painting
> Sticking and Cutting
> Junk modelling
> Soft play
> Nature trails in the garden
> Parachute games in the garden
> Music and movement

> Singing and playing instruments
> Listening to stories
> Making books
> Puzzles and games
> Creating road maps for playing with cars
> Building camps and structures to test materials
> Sand and water play

...the list is endless!

As a nursery we believe in learning through play. In Group time the children will appear to be (and will think they are) playing! Our key workers will be making observations and recording information that will show the development of each individual. If a child does not want to participate in Group time sessions Free play activities will always be available - although the intended activities are carefully planned to appeal to all the children.