Areas of Learning

Personal Social and Emotional Development

Children are provided with experiences and support which help them to develop a positive sense of themselves and of others; social skills; and a positive disposition to learn. Provision is organized to ensure support for children’s emotional well-being and to help them to know themselves and what they can do.

Large and small mirrors are provided to encourage the children to develop a sense of identity; practitioners use persona dolls in activities that develop self-esteem; table top games and sand timers help children understand sharing and turn taking; children are encouraged to look at books about cultural similarities and differences, feelings, abilities and disabilities. Outdoors, pretend play and the use of open ended resources help children to develop relationships and an understanding of themselves and each other.

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Communication and Language

Support is given to children’s learning and competence in communicating, speaking and listening. They are supported in developing the confidence and disposition to use their skills in a range of situations and for a range of purposes. Puppets and other props are used to encourage listening and responding when singing a familiar song or reading a story. Children are encouraged to talk about puzzles and books at an appropriate level; makaton signs are used to support children. Table top word games and books encourage children to make up rhymes and listen to the sounds which words make.

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Children’s physical development is encouraged through the provision of opportunities for them to be active and interactive and improve their skills of coordination, control, manipulation and movement. They are supported in using all their senses to learn about the world around them and to make connections between new information and what they already know. They are supported in developing their understanding of the importance of physical activity and making healthy choices in relation to food.

Children gain control and strength in smaller movements through using the woodwork bench, playing with balls and beanbags, using bead frames, puzzles, scissors, paint brushes, pencils and playing with construction toys. Larger body movements are developed though using the climbing frame; building blocks and open end resources; using ride on toys; throwing, kicking and catching large balls. Daily PE activities offer the opportunity for children to notice the changes in their bodies as they exercise and at healthy snack times, adults address issues such as cleanliness and different types of food.

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Many opportunities exist for the children to write; they can make marks with chalks outside on the ground or chalk board, clipboards are a good way of getting children to make early mark making skills, the graphics area is rich in, felt tips, crayons and pencils and children are encouraged to talk about the marks they make. The environment is rich in letters and words, with labels being used. Fiction and non-fiction books are available for the children to look at in the setting and to borrow.

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Children are supported in developing their understanding of mathematics in a broad range of contexts in which they can explore, enjoy, learn, practice and talk about their developing understanding. They are provided with opportunities to practice these skills and to gain confidence and competence in their use.

Meaningful counting opportunities are experienced in the children’s daily routine such as cutting up fruit at snack time, counting out cups and putting away resources. Children are encouraged to count and sort objects into baskets, notice the shapes in the environment as well as in the shape sorters and play matching games. Adults support problem solving in the role play area and pretend shops etc., is encouraged. Outdoors further discussions take place about how full buckets are, how many logs are needed to create a walk way and display on the fence encourage children to think about measurement and shape.

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Understanding The World

Children are supported in developing the knowledge, skills and understanding that help them to make sense of the world. Their learning is supported through offering opportunities for them to use a range of tools safely; encounter creatures, people, plants and objects in their natural environments and in real life situations; undertake practical ‘experiments’; and work with a range of materials.


Children have the opportunity to operate computer programs on a daily basis and learn how to use programmable toys which offer a chance to problem solve and work out sequences. Adults support children when using mirrors to talk about similarities and differences and use of books and activities to explore a number of cultures. Especially those relevant to the children in the setting. Cogs, gears and magnets are used to investigate cause and effect. Magnifying glasses and bug boxes encourage children to examine the natural world and regular walks to the farm and surrounding area give children the opportunity to explore the local environment. Messy activities, sand and water give early science experiences related to texture and change.

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Expressive Arts and Design

Children are encouraged to be curious and to explore in the rich environment offered. They are offered opportunities to explore and share their thoughts, ideas and feelings through a variety of art, music, movement, dance, imaginative and role-play activities, mathematics and design technology.

Role play and dressing up are available throughout the long free flow play session. Children are encouraged to explore textures and patterns relating to cultures other than their own. Imagination can be developed using small world farms, zoo, cars, trains and dolls; using their own experiences as a start of their learning. Paint is used with brushes, sponges, marbles, twigs, string, almost anything that encourages creativity. Musical instruments are used at group times with individual children, exploring their sound and how they can be changed. Drama is used with the children to explore feelings and extend experiences.


“Thank you for all of your support and helping her settle in so well.”


Stonham Aspal Pre-School

The Street, Stonham Aspal,  Stowmarket, Suffolk, IP14 6AF


01449 711593

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