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Bringing the EYFS curriculum to life for children via continuous staff training

Work for a nursery group that supports and rewards its staff

By Shanti Flynn, Head of Education, Fennies Day Nurseries

Fennies introduces enhanced delivery of the EYFS curriculum, with additional specialist programmes tailored by its educational team of experts

We launched our dynamic and thorough curriculum this month and clarified our ethos by further outlining the importance of the relationship between ourselves, the children, parents, and staff. Our years of experience have shown us that strengthening this relationship is key to ensuring each child flourishes academically, culturally, and socially.

The enhancement still incorporates the fundamentals of education such as literacy, communication, and physical development. Overall activities are child-led, infused with effective interaction techniques, and tailored for each child’s specific stage of development, aiding transition preparation as each child grows and ultimately joins school.

Educational Success

We have incorporated specialist programmes and bespoke modules tailored by our in-house educational team to prepare every child for educational success.

The core concepts of STEM are implemented into every activity: for example, children transferring their understanding of mathematical language, and scientific concepts through weighing and counting the ingredients when making recipes in our cooking club.  Our practitioners are continuously trained to deliver these subjects in the most effective way to develop children’s analytical skills, encourage critical thinking, and promote problem solving.

Our high standard of resources and technologies, such as interactive SMART boards, light tables, and programmable toys support the principles of STEM and allows our practitioners to create exciting learning opportunities.

Fennies Oxted Nursery Manager, Kerri Savage says: “Our new delivery of the curriculum allows practitioners to elevate activities and take learning to the next level using the very best technologies. This ensures we are providing the highest quality of education by instilling crucial problem-solving skills for later life and encouraging forward-thinking at an early age.”

Recognising the importance of nurturing a child’s imagination, gives them the freedom to learn about themselves and push their creative boundaries. We have introduced focused art lessons, which allow children to explore their natural creativity and self-expression. Lessons are inspired by world-famous artists and give our practitioners the opportunity to organise lessons in fun, creative ways.  

Internal experts

To ensure learning is optimal and to provide a uniquely outstanding educational offering, we pull together a collective of specialists from multiple fields including human resources, communications, construction and teaching. Our in-house experts include a sports coach and French and Spanish teachers, who work alongside our highly skilled practitioners to provide informative lessons that have been tailored to each stage of development.

Our sports coach delivers weekly PE lessons which offer bespoke modules designed to build on developing children’s self-confidence, teamwork, communication, and fine and gross motor skills. Our educators then have the opportunity to build upon learning based on these lessons. For example, if they have played football during a PE lesson, their teamwork skills can then be developed throughout other core subjects.

Strong mental and physical well-being in both children and staff has always been at the heart of our nurseries. A positive mental outlook is a huge priority to our practitioners, and specialised training has been delivered to all staff to be aware of mental health changes in children, relaxation techniques to help children’s self-regulation and yoga training to support their well-being.

Kirstie Davis, Head of Talent Acquisition, says, “it is important that our practitioners are offered quality continuous training. Our staff regularly receive internal training in a variety of areas including delivering STEM lessons, observation, assessment, and planning, first aid, and introduction into teaching phonics, letters and sounds. This gives our practitioners access to a wealth of knowledge, allowing continuous career progression opportunities. Most recently, Room Leaders took part in yoga teaching and mindfulness which is incorporated into their daily activities.”

Visionary environments

The spaces in which learning takes place are just as important as the lessons being taught. For children, the world is a place to be explored and our nursery rooms are designed specifically for each development stage. Our nurseries undergo regular improvements, inspired by the most up-to-date early years research to ensure they cater to every development stage, ensuring practitioners can implement the very best activities.

At Fennies, many of our settings are custom-built by our internal acquisitions and construction team and are meticulously thought out to support every child by including innovative resources for sensory development, free-flow access to the garden and bespoke outdoor play areas.

This allows practitioners to create pivotal learning opportunities and support each developmental stage in the best way possible. From baby rooms that feature sensory resources and soft furnishings to inspire movement and communication, all the way through to pre-school rooms which allow us to prepare children for their school transition in the best way possible.

We take great pride in offering a unique learning experience. Fennies will continue to take strides as industry leaders in preparing children for educational success. Through our substantial parent partnerships, visionary learning environments, and continuous staff training, we allow children to flourish academically, socially and culturally.

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