Children are far more engaged with their learning if they are involved in something that they have chosen rather than being taken away from their play. Children are observed throughout each session and next steps are generally taught then and there. Each child has photos posted of them on their individual online newsfeed on our Family app and, in partnership with parents, their learning and development is unpicked and next steps are established to ensure they are achieving their full potential.
During each session children in the Butterfly Room have free flow, where they are able to access the outdoor area whenever they choose. They have regular opportunities to join our story and song blanket sessions where practitioners focus on language, listening and communication skills and can participate in exciting and challenging activities such as real woodwork, helicopter stories, loose parts play, digging in our mud kitchen and growing their own vegetables for snack in our vegetable patch.
Snack is organised as a snack café, which is open for a significant part of the session and children have the choice about when they have their snack. This ensures that they have long periods of uninterrupted play and are in charge of their learning. It also prepares them for school, as many Reception classes run in a very similar way. A lot of work is put into effective transitions, both for children moving into the Butterfly Room from the Caterpillar Room and for children starting school. Our Butterfly Room practitioners are all familiar faces as they will often play with the Caterpillar children in the garden and know them all by name. This, along with settling sessions in the term before they move into their new room, mean that they are well supported as they grow their wings to become butterflies!
We have good links with all our feeder schools, many of which we welcome into the nursery during the term before children start there and our staff also sometimes, at the request of schools, attend visits with the children. We ensure that our communication with teachers, and the information we pass on, provides them with a clear picture of each child which can be used to support their transition and starting points for learning and development. We use the Family app to communicate with parents throughout the day including what they children have eaten for snack and meals and any other significant information about toileting, nappy changes or sleep times. The Butterfly Room staff pride themselves on the excellent relationships they build with our families as well as our children. They continue the wonderful work that is started in the Ladybird and Caterpillar Rooms and take their role as educators and care givers very seriously, wanting every child to leave them prepared as well as they can be for their new school adventure.