2 Year olds
Two year olds in our school nursery
Two year olds joining our school nursery join our mixed age Early Years class known as Owl Class. Our numbers are typically small and in any session there are usually no more than 10 pupils with the Early Years Teacher and the Teaching Assistant. We usually find that having the small numbers and some slightly older children in the class really helps children settle quickly!
We encourage all 2 year olds to have at least one taster session and then to build up to a full morning session as and when they are ready. Every child is different!
We find morning sessions to be the most beneficial for 2 year olds as they often will still sleep in the afternoons. We are happy to work with parents if a child is ready to look at staying full days, but the child and their readiness is our focus.
It can be a big change for a 2 year old, especially if we are the first setting they have attended, and our focus is on them, getting them happily settled into our nursery, our daily routines and to be ready to leave the adult who brings them into the nursery. We really hope that all our children find our nursery a positive experience and a great start to their life in our school!
Our partnership with you - parents!
We want you to feel involved and informed about your child and how they are settling, mixing and learning. We want you to always feel welcome and able to speak with us and to share information. If you are unable to speak with us for any reason, such as work commitments, then you can either contact us via email, phone or even via Tapestry, whatever you feel comfortable with. When you drop your child off or pick them up there is always the time for a chat, so please do speak to us, and we will speak to you about how your child has been that session.
We love you to add your own entries to Tapestry and share your child’s experiences outside of nursery, and that really helps us build up a picture of the whole child. The more involved you are the better it is for your child!
With our 2 year olds and any children before their final year in nursery (some may turn 3 early in the year), we focus on the three prime areas of learning
Communication and language
Personal Social and Emotional Development
We will look a little more closely at these three areas shortly and also share the typical Observational Checkpoints from Development matters as a rough guide, but please remember they are a guide and every child is unique and learns at their own rate.
Our main priority is to try and develop the three characteristics of effective teaching and learning, these are:
playing and exploring – children investigate and experience things, and ‘have a go’
active learning – children concentrate and keep on trying if they encounter difficulties, and enjoy achievements
creating and thinking critically – children have and develop their own ideas, make links between ideas, and develop strategies for doing things
(Statutory Framework for the EYFS)
All our Early Years children have an online learning journal through Tapestry. When your child starts with us, we will set you up with a login, so that you can see how your child is and what they are doing whilst in nursery. You can like an activity, but we really love you to comment if you feel able to. As mentioned above, our partnership with you is so important and we want to keep you informed every step of the way.
We assess all our children in nursery against the Development Matters statements which is non statutory guidance for the Early Years Curriculum. There are general observational checkpoints which help us assess whether your child is ‘on track’, so where we would expect them to be for their age. Our observations on Tapestry will be tagged with a flag showing the area of learning and information about what we observe your child doing.
You will also be invited to speak to the Early Years teacher each term for a general catch up about your child and how they are learning, and that can be with or without your child, in person or virtually.
The Prime areas of the Early Years Foundation Stage for 2 to 3 year olds
Communication and language
In the area of communication and language our focus will be on developing a child's speech and their understanding of language. We share books and complete a wide variety of activities and encourage all our children to join in, to take turns and to talk about the activity.
The year between 2 and 3 years of age is a time for real language development. We encourage children to listen to one another and to begin to follow the conventions of conversation. They may be reluctant to begin with, but we find our small family grouping really encourages all children to join in!
Personal, Social and Emotional Development
The area of Personal, Social and Emotional Development is about children finding their sense of self, of who they are, how they interact with others, and how to manage their feelings or emotions.
It also includes the area of how they learn to look after their bodies, including healthy eating and being able to manage their personal needs independently.
Attachments to you as parents and to the school team are important in this area and this is why when settling children into nursery, their needs are our focus. We want them to feel safe and secure and feel supported. This develops a secure platform from which children can achieve in nursery, school and then into later life.
We will encourage children to leave you as they come into nursery. They may need a special something from home to help make that transition, a special item or toy maybe. They may need to be cuddled in by one of our team to feel safe and secure, they may need to be busy straight away in a favourite activity. As they become more used to being with us, we hope they will come into nursery happily and feel confident that they know they will see you later on.
We will encourage children to try and talk about their feelings by using words such as happy, sad or angry. We will maintain daily routines and consistent expectations to help your child settle with us.
We will support your child in learning how to take turns, to share and to develop friendships. They may choose to watch initially until they are ready to join in and we will encourage them to talk about what they can see.
We will work with and support you through the potty training journey so that your child has consistency and begins to develop independence. We have potties as well as steps and toilet seats available in nursery to encourage that independence. Speak to us and keep us informed of any developments at home and we will let you know how your child manages in nursery.
The area of physical development includes both gross and fine motor skills. Gross motor skills help to develop healthy bodies through movement, exploration and play and fine motor skills help with hand eye coordination and later lead into the areas linked to literacy and writing.
Gross motor skills may include activities inside or outside, they may involve ‘PE type’ activities or more physical play developing coordination and movement. We encourage all children to be active, both indoors and out, and we are really lucky to have an amazing school field that we make full use of! We wrap up and make the most of it in all kinds of weather - ‘there's no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing!’
Through games and providing opportunities for play both indoors and outdoors, we support children to develop their core strength, stability, balance, spatial awareness, coordination and agility. Repeated and varied opportunities to explore and play with small world activities, puzzles, arts and crafts; to practise using small tools, with feedback and support from adults, allow children to develop control, confidence and proficiency.