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What might you expect to see in a planned environment….?
Our outdoor area is fully resourced to ensure that whatever learning is taking place indoors, is planned to happen outdoors too. It includes a walk-in sandpit and a physical development area.
In addition, all nursery children have access to the facilities in the main school including the gym in the hall and the outdoor classroom / woodland areas.
Playdough or clay (or other): This resource provides opportunities to develop fine motor skills and hand grip. The space often becomes a social space for exchange and communication. Some children will begin at the playdough table responding to the sensory element of the malleable material and ‘chatting’. Children may develop ideas using malleable materials, they may begin to ‘role play’ or develop a thread of learning they then want to explore in other spaces and with other children.
In the Nursery, we use range of resources to make marks with, from sticks in sand to drawing pens. Children select their own resources, making decisions and expressing intent. They may exchange ideas with others, create drawings for others, use mark making to create or add to other ideas, to draw maps and to record thinking. They will develop effective grips using different tools or mark making equipment.
Block Play and Construction:
This is a place for critical thought; how and why do things fit together? This space and it’s resources provide opportunities to explore construction for purpose, it is a place where children need to negotiate space and share resourcing, where they can observe other children’s ideas and exchange thoughts about what is built and what shapes or blocks are needed. In this space children explore shape, space and measure, they communicate and represent and they may role-play. They will develop spacial awareness of others and plan and decide upon space they may need, they may decide they need to record their work for comparison or to return to it another day, collecting and using i-pads for photography. They may take these ‘recordings’ to reflection times as the blocks cannot move or stay as they intended for long. They will also have opportunities to develop flexible thinking, compromise and resilience as blocks fall or are knocked down around them. Children will tidy this area, sorting and arranging the correct blocks back into the correct spaces and enjoy translating 3D shapes from 2D pictures
Children can use and explore these resources in multiple ways, some will use the sensory aspect of tipping and pouring to spend time processing and adjusting emotionally. Other will investigate how sand and water move through objects, will refine fine motor, with scoops to fill and consider capacity as tubs and containers overflow. Holes in resources present problems as to how to stop the flow or to observe movement of sand and water. This social resource will also present opportunities for collaboration, negotiation and exchange of ideas.
Children can use paint, a range of colours and brushes, paper and easel, glue, scissors, hole punches, treasury tags, masking tape etc to create beautiful works of art. Creativity is essential for expression and is accessible at all developmental levels. Mixed media materials allow children to make decisions, enabling them to explore and express their thoughts creatively; they may tell stories and exchange ideas too. They may observe other children’s work and mirror the work of another. They may show each other ‘how to’ when they are fixing and joining. They may have to negotiate for colours or wait for turns if easels are is use.
Children love to initiate imaginative role play, often using resources representationally. Our environment includes a ‘home corner’ space.
Story Telling / Meeting Place (The Nest):
In the Nest, children listen to a wide range of stories and start to discuss characters and feelings. They learn to tell stories through repetition and role-play and enjoy the rhyme and rhythm of poetry and songs. Letters and sounds are introduced when they are ready in preparation for moving on to Reception.