At Poplars we have the Bumblebees (under twos), Bluebirds (2 year olds) and Butterflies (3 & 4 year olds). Bumblebees have their own self-contained, open plan, homely room. The Blubirds and Butterflies have a large open plan area which is divided by a moveable partition enabling the space and layout to be flexible depending on ages/numbers of children.
We have a vast outdoor area enabling all ages to access the outdoors. Each age-group has direct access to their own decked area as well as access to a large landscaped natural environment which is mainly used by our older children, a safe and secure, flat, lawned area which is ideal for our younger children and a large enclosed safety-surface area that can be used for bikes trikes and scooters and activities such as ball skills, movement and dance etc.
The learning opportunities that this outdoor variation provides, is incredibly valuable as we place much importance on the outdoor learning environment as well as the indoor classroom.
At Poplars, we actively review and evaluate our practice to ensure that we maintain a fully inclusive environment that supports learning through play, exploration and first hand experiences. We stretch children’s learning potential by using language, sustained shared thinking and promote thought and curiosity through rich and varied experiences. We recognise the need for variety, stimulation and respectful modelling for children to become effective learners.
With this in mind, children at Poplars have the opportunity to participate in a wide variety of age appropriate activities and experiences. These include an assortment of outdoor play opportunities that from a very young age, serve to optimise physical health, well-being, confidence and emerging skills in movement and co-ordination.
We offer dance and movement sessions, led by an external specialist teacher from the Nicky Williams Dance Academy. Once a week Preston North End coaches visit our setting to carry out lessons developing ball skills gross motor development. We have Drama twice a week from Le Petit Acting Academy and also French lessons which are a firm favourite with the children. All of these sessions are provided free of charge if your child attends the relevant nursery session.
Our inclusive and diverse practice ensures that we explore various festivals and celebrations both those which are widely celebrated and those which are individual to any children.
Our nursery has built up relationships with many local schools and child minders. We value the importance of sharing information for the benefit of the child and aiding any transition between settings to make it as seamless as possible. We welcome visits from reception school teachers towards the end of each Summer term and our EYP extends contact to ensure transitions to school are a positive experience.
Daily, our curriculum and practice reflects the Department for Education “Early Years Foundation Stage” guidance and “Statutory Framework” requirements. We draw upon the strengths of our staff and utilise their skills to provide stimulating activities that are purposely planned in response to the children’s ideas and interests. We follow a child led curriculum with a proportionate ratio of adult led activities. This we feel, is the best way to maximise the children’s learning potential. Our nursery manager also has Early Years Professional Status and this ensures that staff development is continuous, reflective and is supported by upto date initiatives and strategies to maximise all children’s learning outcomes.
All children are allocated a keyperson with whom close bonds and positive relationships are fostered. A nursery key person is a named member of staff with special responsibilities for your child. The staff in your child’s room will work with all the children from time to time but they are the key person to only a small group of children. This enables the key person to better ‘tune into’ the child’s play and their conversations and to get to know the child really well. This special bond also helps staff to identify any occasions when a child may need extra support. When a child feels settled, happy and secure they are more confident to explore and engage, as a result they become more capable learners.
At Poplars, we place great value on parental input and recognize the importance of keeping communication channels open, clear and respectful. Parents meetings are arranged throughout the year as well as the daily feedback and verbal exchanges as children are dropped off and collected. In addition, all parents have access to their child’s learning journey which is produced via a digital application. This allows a current update on your child’s learning, development and interests and is also a fantastic way to see what wonderful and exciting things your child has taken part in. The two way input between us as a setting and you as a parent is invaluable and enhances the overall learning experience as we respond to your comments, suggestions and information and you use the leaning journey as a platform to extend learning within the home environment. We are also currently trialling a new digital platform that allows parents to communicate with us, has a calendar, daily diary for the younger children and continuous up to date access to invoicing and account balance.
All these and more make Poplars an Outstanding place to help your little ones as together with you, we lead the way in ‘preparing for life’.