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How do you create a quality learning environment? Gill Farnworth, head teacher of Westfield Nursery School, Stoke-on-Trent, explains the approach of her staff team.

Resources to engage young readers, by Helen Bromley

The Early Years Foundation Stage was intended to represent continuity in early years practice, sharing, as it does, the same principles as its predecessors, the Foundation Stage and Birth to Three Matters framework.

Make-believe is integral to a child's development, and the more open-ended the resources, the greater the scope for imaginative play, says Helen Bromley.

Everyday events or great big adventures can all be played out in miniature, if children have the right sets of resources to hand, says Nicole Weinstein.

All-round learning in this part of the nursery requires equipment large and small, says Diana Lawton.

Well-organised sand and water play leaves children absorbed and free to wallow in sensory experiences. Diana Lawton explains how.

Equipment that's user-friendly for little fingers is vital for the right start in this age of technology. Mary Evans recommends digital cameras and recorders with easy buttons.

Assess how your outside space is used before rushing out to spend your equipment budget, says Julian Grenier.