The Caterpillar Room is led by our extremely talented and experienced Deputy Nursery Manager who is supported by a small team of well qualified, experienced and caring staff. In the Caterpillar Room we have an adult:child ratio of 1:3 or 1:4 depending on the age of the children. Our aim is to support families and their children in the best way possible as they continue their learning journey with us, or for some start it in this room. If children join us in our Caterpillar Room they will have an online call (currently in place of our home visit). We then offer a complimentary 2 hour visit and staff are always available during the induction phase to discuss concerns or worries, achievements or just have a chat.
The room contains areas of continuous provision which are open ended, promote imaginative play and independence. The purpose of an effective continuous provision is to offer children a constant environment that is safe for them to explore whilst challenging their learning. It also allows children the freedom to explore and become independent in making choices. An important part of the EYFS is to support children in becoming active learners; continuous provision allows children to demonstrate this aspect and practitioners can closely observe this during their play.
It also supports children’s learning and development across all seven areas and, just as importantly, the characteristics of effective learning (how children learn). We aim to provide natural resources that are real to the children and are meaningful to them. For example, we often have real food in our home corner and open ended dressing up such as scarves, hats, bags and fabric.
Children in the Caterpillar Room have access to the outdoor area throughout their session and have their own zoned area which has age appropriate resources such as water play, large loose parts and physical challenges.
We believe the journey to school begins from birth and that each phase of their early years is critical in setting them up to become confident, independent learners. We therefore promote independence within our Caterpillar Room, where children are trusted to use real resources such as china cups and plates in the role play area and they also use real cutlery and china plates at meal times.
Many children show a readiness for toileting whilst in the Caterpillar Room and the staff are there to provide support and guidance, where necessary, and continue the routines families have established at home. We are fortunate to have purpose built toilets and sensor taps which are ideal for children beginning their toilet training journey and promote independence and confidence with our youngest children. Our carefully chosen changing unit also promotes independence as children climb the steps themselves to access it.
We use the Famly app to share information with parents throughout the day, including meals and snacks eaten, sleep times, nappy changes or toileting information.
The Caterpillar Room staff pride themselves on the excellent relationships they build with our families as well as our children. They offer regular discussions with parents to discuss children’s progress and development when they are a Focus Child and also a statutory 2 year check completed by the nursery.