The EYFS groups children’s learning and development into 7 areas;
- 1.Communication & Language
- 2.Physical Development
- 3.Personal, Social & Emotional Development
- 4.Understanding the World
- 7.Expressive Arts & Design
We offer the same curriculum as any indoor nursery however we just do it using Nature and the Great Outdoors! After all, children’s learning is deeper and broader when based on first hand experiences in real-life contexts, being out in nature and on the farm provides hugely stimulating and numerous opportunities to learn in this way.
A day on the farm with its changing seasons and life cycles gives the children plenty to talk about and therefore allows the children to experience a rich language environment. Our staff create a supportive and relaxed environment in which the children feel safe and valued, and at every opportunity throughout the day they encourage high-quality talk allowing the children to develop their confidence and speaking and listening skills in a range of different situations.
In short means providing opportunities for children to be active, develop their co-ordination, to understand the importance of physical activity and to make healthy choices in relation to food. This, we do in spades... the children are constantly running around the farm, climbing trees or mud hills, digging in the sandpit, or making holes for planting, harvesting fruit and veg they have grown and then cooking it.
This involves helping children to develop a positive sense of themselves and respect for others, to learn how to manage feelings and understand appropriate behaviour in groups. Natural Nurture’s children learn through organising and negotiating plans with friends, maybe to build a den or to work out whose turn it is next on the rope swing or know when it’s time to share utensils in the mud kitchen.
Just like any nursery, we sing songs, and listen to and tell stories every day, we even make up our own stories about the lives of the animals on the farm or the bugs in the woods. There’s plenty of opportunity for development of early literacy skills such as letter and word recognition. We make letters and words from natural objects on the farm or find sticks to mark make in the mud. Story Scribing is one of our favourite activities, listening to children’s play scenarios, recording them, then repeating back or encouraging the children to tell their story. We even act out our stories when we sit together.
Hands-on use of real objects is instrumental in developing mathematical understanding and as with all learning, engagement is the key. The farm is the perfect place to develop those early maths skills, whether it be through measuring the depth of muddy puddles, what is heavier an acorn or a conker? Go pick 5 strawberries, eat 2 of them, how many do you have left? Now that kind of learning is fun!
The children at Natural Nurture experience and learn about this more than any indoor nursery. Not only do they have nature’s classroom to learn about the flora and fauna, life cycles, the weather, the seasons, growth, habitats, light and dark, sound, the list is endless. They also learn about communities, people and technology. The farm has it’s own community (with farm hands, vets, sheep shearers, tree surgeons all visiting), it also has a huge amount of technology, from tractors to saws, to grass cutters to solar panels and a wind turbine, all of which give the children additional opportunities to learn and gain insights to the world around them
The farm is full of open-ended resources that stimulate children's imaginations. Rather than taking a whole array of resources and toys with us, the focus at Natural Nurture is on using what we find for imaginative, exploratory play and for creating and building.