Seedlings: three to 16 months
The youngest of our children have their own room designed to meet their needs, encourage play and free flow between indoors and their own secure outdoor space. They enjoy a combination of sensory and heuristic play and have a soft and comfortable space to enjoy stories and music.
Research suggests that black and white contrasting shapes and patterns register the strongest on a baby’s retina, encouraging more brain growth and faster visual development. We have a dedicated ‘black and white’ space set up for the babies to explore freely.
Cots are our first choice for babies aged three to six months and sleep pods for our babies aged six months and over. These are offered to the children from both Seedlings and Saplings after lunch, either for a sleep or for a quiet relax.
Miss Chloe Hemingway is the lead practitioner in Seedlings, she is able to use her specialist knowledge and skills to care for each baby and is in-tune with their individual needs. Chloe has a very calm approach and babies feel safe and secure in her care. She is vigilant with her procedures and ensures a well-informed handover for each parent during drop off and pick up each day.
Saplings: 16 to 26 months
The second youngest children of our setting have a large room with the opportunity of free movement and exploration of all defined spaces including an atelier for sensory and process art. This also doubles up as a community table where meal times are served.
Children in Saplings are encouraged to become independent, starting with using a spoon to feed themselves, and a cup with varying levels of lid options as they grow and develop. The children are also encouraged to socialise with each other whilst eating. All of the furniture is low and at the children’s eye level, allowing them to access it independently.
Miss Chloe Hemingway and Miss Millie Loveday work seamlessly together to ensure the children in their rooms are safe and happy. Millie is extremely competent at supporting the children’s development from setting up the environment to supporting their prime areas of learning.
A flow of musical genres is played throughout the day, and gatherings on the soft carpet space, popping bubbles, singing songs and listening to stories are also firm favourites. The first introduction of authentic, real life resources and loose parts in our setting starts in Saplings.
Tree Tops: two to three-years
Our rising three’s have a vast and dedicated environment that offers space for them to explore – sensory table tops, a mark marking and creation station, floor play for construction and small world, a role play area, and an area for technology including an interactive whiteboard and computer.
We include early maths concepts, such as sorting and categorising, and also early English skills, such as colour recognition, rhyming, and repeated phrases in familiar nursery rhymes and stories. Daily gatherings on the carpet allow for seasonal based discussions and another opportunity for our toddlers to make sense of the world around them. The children enjoy weekly swimming lessons, specialist music sessions and specialist drama sessions.
The outside paddock is the perfect environment for them to develop their self-confidence, independence and self-esteem. They also become aware of limits, boundaries and challenge in their play. Between two and three years, children will experience huge thinking, learning, social, and emotional changes that will help them to explore their new world, and make sense of it.
When our children play outdoors, they have the opportunity to develop all of these skills and more. They are also encouraged to share, take turns and use their manners, as well as following the ebb and flow of our daily rhythm. We follow each child with their toilet training and fully support them when they display signs that they are ready. Children join the older pupils in the Ingles dining room for lunch and are also offered quiet time after lunch, either for a sleep or just some time to relax.
Pre-Reception: three to four-years
Our Pre-Reception children are being prepared for school in their large classroom-style room, which they share during free-flow time with the Reception children. The defined areas in the classrooms are a progression from what is offered in Tree Tops.
We offer seasonal based invitations to play and provocations based on children’s individual needs and interests. The curriculum they follow is a hybrid approach, with many opportunities throughout the day for free exploration, mixed with adult-led Phase 1 Phonics sessions and early maths concepts sessions during morning and afternoon gatherings.
This style of education nurtures independence, self-care, relationship building and the confidence to communicate with peers, practitioners, teachers and family members. They develop as learners by exploring the continuous provision and the outdoor environment, including the beautiful verandah with dedicated sand exploration and water exploration stations, as well as a self-serve outdoor shed and natural seating area.
We have a ‘café’ which is open throughout the morning and then again throughout the afternoon, promoting independence and self-service, focussing on healthy eating and cutlery skills. Together with the Reception children, our Pre-Reception pupils enjoy a weekly baking activity as well as Forest school, swimming, French, music and drama, all taught by specialist teachers.
The children wear a uniform for the first time in their education at Belmont Grosvenor and join in with the school calendar activities, such as Harvest festival and a wonderfully festive Christmas performance.