In Blackbirds we take children aged from 2 years old. We use sensory materials and intelligent equipment to create an inviting, stimulating and challenging environment. Children are supported by their key person to explore the environment freely following their own interests and enquiries. There are opportunities to explore the textures and properties of natural and everyday objects in their play. Resources are stored at children’s height to allow them to independently make choices about their play and follow up their own thoughts, ideas and investigations.
We recognise that children under 3 years need a variety of experiences to develop and challenge their thinking skills and understanding of the world around them. We plan for children’s individual learning by observing their interests and we recognise that by repeating actions in their play, they are learning about concepts such as movement, shape and space. In our everyday conversations with children we extend and develop their thinking and problem solving abilities. We use children’s interests to plan activities and add equipment into their play that will stimulate and challenge their learning.
As Blackbirds Nest is open from 8-5.30, the daily routine has been developed to allow children time to play and explore freely both inside and outside. We have a shared outdoor space with Seagulls where children can socialise and play with siblings and friends of mixed ages. Time to relax is also available, enabling children to rest or to enjoy quiet time with a familiar adult in a cosy and comfortable space.
Our healthy eating policy ensures that balanced meals are available at breakfast, lunch and tea times. Children also have access to milk, water and fruit at snack time. We create a relaxed and social atmosphere during meal times. A key person is always sat with the children engaging in conversation and modelling good eating habits.
In small groups we regularly take walks in the local community, visiting places such as the church, dockside, Asda, Cabot Tower and the motorbike shop. Outings are planned from children’s current interests and aim to provide rich real life experiences. We regularly visit Leigh Woods and during this summer we will be developing our visits to the Beach at Clevedon and boat trips around the harbour. We have strong links with Windmill Hill City Farm and often visit our allotment, supported by Julie who works at the Farm we can care, touch and feed some of the animals. As parents and family we welcome you to join us on trips.
All children have their own learning diary where they can access written and photographic observations made at home and in nursery. These observations are documented as a record of a child’s experiences, development, learning and achievements. We invite parents to look at and contribute to their child’s learning diary. Throughout the year we invite parents to meet with their children key person to share children’s achievements and to take an active part in the nursery.
Donna Robinson from Rosemary Early Years Centre and Helen Payne, former Daycare Manager at Redcliffe Children’s Centre have been working with the Pen Green Research Centre on the ‘Being Two’ project. The project is funded by the Department for Education and the aim is to improve the quality of experiences for two year olds and their families in settings and, particularly, to support the whole staff team. Donna and Helen have been working in partnership with the Early Years Team in Bristol to support private and voluntary settings and childminders in the locality to develop the project in their own settings.
Please click on the link below to find out more about the project.