Communication and Language
The development of children’s spoken language will impact on their achievement across all areas. To ensure that our children can thrive, we provide a language rich environment. We support children at the very early stages of English language and those at the early stages of communication by providing highly skilled staff who can scaffold and model back and forth interactions. All staff use Makaton signing to provide a means of communication for all children irrespective of their starting points. All children take part in a screening with familiar staff and can then participate in skilfully planned sessions to close any identified gaps. Staff use ambitious vocabulary and introduce new words through at the start of every story session. These are shared with you the parent, through MarvellousMe, so that you can use them at home too.
Areas of the environment have been designed to promote social communication-the snack area is always a hive of conversation! Children take part in daily story and singing sessions designed to give them a secure understanding of repeated refrains, sentence structures and a broader vocabulary.
Personal, Social and Emotional Development (PSED)
We have an ambition to ensure that our children will leave us being aware of how to lead healthy and happy lives. Our key person system provides strong, warm relationships between children and adults. This gives children the confidence to attempt unfamiliar tasks and build resilience. Staff support children with understanding their emotions through regular discussions on how they feel, through stories with a focus on emotions and through carefully modelling of desired behaviour during child initiated sessions. Adult-led sessions are planned to teach children strategies to support their self-regulation and to give them the language to resolve conflict independently. These strategies will provide the foundation from which children can thrive in the next phase of their education.
Being physically active is essential to children’s development and their well-being. At Heath Lane we provide a range of resources and experiences to facilitate strong progress in both fine and gross motor skills. Our large grounds give children fantastic opportunity to be physically active; adult-led games sessions, opportunities to explore the outside area (including digging in the mud patch!) and challenging themselves on the climbing apparatus all contribute to children developing spatial awareness, core strength, agility, co-ordination and a love of being active!
Fine motor control is developed through a range of activities that encourage children to use smaller equipment. Investment in a variety of equipment designed to support a range of small movements, ensures our children have daily opportunities to develop these muscles. Every session starts with ‘Busy Fingers’ where children are challenged to develop skills such as threading, twisting, cutting and squeezing. The development of these skills, and in turn the strengthening of the fine motor muscles, will lead to future success with self-help skills and literacy as they will need to become fluent writers at a later point in their education.