The Ducks Room and Outdoor Space
In the Ducks room cloakroom area there is a self registration board; our children located their picture of themselves on the board and chose a peg for their coat and bag to hung on for that session, at the end of the session they obtain their belongings and replace their picture on the self registration board in readiness for next time. The nursery is divided by panels and furniture strategically placed to allow children to participate safely and in all types of play. There is a messy area for painting, malleable play and sand and water, carpeted areas, and low level different shaped tables. Also a book corner, construction area, role play/home corner, music area, ICT area, mark making and small world areas. Also there is access to the outdoor space; we have a garden on two levels and a sensory garden. The influence of the indoor classroom is mirrored outside, with areas sectioned out, in line with the EYFS. There is also our ‘growing’ area which has raised beds for the children to do their own planting; the small amount of produce we grow is used in the nursery kitchen. There is a large decked area with a playhouse, where children can allow their imaginations to run wild. We have an area of the garden which is sheltered by a sun canopy and has large waterproof cushions underneath, which provides a comfy den for the children.
The outdoor area is enclosed and secure for young children to play safely. There are also gates across the main play area, which can be left open for large scale play, such as running games and bicycle riding. Or the gates can be closed, to section off areas for more focused play and to create a safe haven for the babies.
There is a covered area around the entire back of the building allowing children to access the outdoor classroom at all times. There is a very small area which is covered in artificial grass and the hard surface is rubber crumbed. The higher lever of the garden is accessed via a slope and is a large grassed area.
The book and home corner.
Our book corner is a ‘cosy nook’, complete with displays and storage and it supports quality book time. In the entrance we have displays and a parent notice board to make our welcome area inviting. Our home corner is a shop today and a puppet theatre tomorrow, it is versatile in its many options.
Lego, stickle bricks, mobile, duplo, cogs and gears are only a few resources we have to choose from along with large and small wooden modular bricks.
As well as building our modular bricks can be used for mathematical ideas such as length and fractions, volumes and weights. They also support the children’s knowledge and understanding of the world as they create miniature environments and experiment with concepts like design, symmetry and balance. The blocks can also support literacy, which starts representational learning. The blocks can assist story-telling and role play, as children act out their ideas.
Children’s physical movements are strengthened as they use their muscles to transport and build and as they gain a sense of balance that comes with manipulating hallow blocks. They absorb maths and physical concepts in the process. As the children interact they learn to communicate and solve problems, share resources and respect each other’s ideas. Which are all principles of the Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum, entwined. Within the setting we encourage literacy by including writing tools like clipboards, paper, markers and measuring tapes with construction toys to allow for imagination and creativity.
Building with blocks is open ended; there are no wrong methods or outcomes. Therefore our children can develop confidence and freedom to explore, create and lead their own learning.
Creative and Malleable Area
Freedom of choice and access to a wide range of materials is crucial to the quality of children’s creative and imaginative experiences. Young children need opportunities for creative and imaginative play. Opportunities for discussion, of meeting of minds and sharing ideas, integrated into children’s experiences are fundamental to the production of high quality learning. The creative area at Brock House day nursery is designed in such a way to encourage the use of different types of media, which encourages children to form their own ideas and to learn the value of self expression.
Role play is crucial to all areas of learning, fostering physical, social and emotional development, expressive language and a sense of the purposes of literacy. Role play also informs knowledge and understanding of the world and motivates the development of the children’s imagination and creativity. At deeper levels it helps children learn through exploring meanings and to linking new ideas to what the children already know.