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Building a rich learning environment

Cylch Meithrin Cynwyd Sant is a strong and supportive learning environment and the children’s well-being is always its highest priority.

Nursery teacher helping a student cut an egg box in their crafts lesson

Information about the setting

Cylch Meithrin Cynwyd Sant is a Welsh medium non-maintained setting based in the local Welsh primary school in Maesteg. It provides full day care for children aged two to five years, who will eventually transition into Ysgol Cynwyd Sant. The setting operates five days a week between 9am and 3pm. The majority of children come from English speaking homes and, at the moment, rarely hear Welsh spoken outside the setting within the local community.

The setting is a strong and supportive learning environment and the children’s well-being is always its highest priority. Leaders have established a positive ethos throughout the setting, ensuring a welcoming, safe and rich learning environment that stimulates children’s play and learning highly successfully. Both members of staff have a very strong vision based on creating a homely and stimulating environment with rich opportunities to develop the children’s curiosity and independence. They share the same vision and have high expectations for themselves and all the children.

Context and background to the effective or innovative practice

Practitioners have high expectations for all children and identify their learning needs exceptionally well. They encourage perseverance when the children face obstacles in their play and take excellent advantage of every opportunity to develop this. Individual interests and needs are considered by observing children playing and intervening skilfully at appropriate times to extend children’s knowledge, understanding and skills. When practitioners want children to develop specific skills, they begin the activity themselves and wait for children to show interest and join in with the activity. Staff provide frequent opportunities for children to make choices and solve problems and only intervene when they feel that there is a good opportunity to expand children’s understanding. Leaders use very effective strategies while interacting with children and always encouraging them to do their best.

Description of nature of strategy or activity

Practitioners always take account of children’s individual interests and needs. They take time to observe children playing to understand their individual needs and then provide learning experiences of a high standard. They ensure an effective balance between activities that develop children’s knowledge and understanding and rich opportunities for children to experiment and pursue their own paths in learning, through uninterrupted play. Staff are excellent role models. They provide stimulating learning areas both indoors and outdoors to spark children’s curiosity, enabling them to be completely independent in their play. They understand the importance of playing alongside the children, stepping in only when necessary to encourage and support them.

What impact has this work had on provision and learners’ standards?

Practitioners provide a rich stimulating learning environment both indoors and outdoors, which engages children’s interests exceptionally well. The environment and resources ignite children’s imagination successfully and enable them to take risks, explore, discover, and solve problems. Leaders have planned all areas to give purposeful opportunities for all children to develop a wide range of skills whilst giving staff perfect opportunities when needed to enhance their learning. Practitioners ensure that all resources and equipment both indoors and outdoors are at child level, enabling them to access everything they need to play independently.