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Learn and develop through play

Staff work well together to ensure that activities and resources are planned using the children’s interests and schemas as a starting point.

nursery children sitting and singing

Information about the setting

Camrose and Roch Playgroup is an English-medium playgroup in the village of Pelcomb. It welcomes children aged from two to four years of age, five mornings a week, term time only. The setting currently has children with additional languages and this has enhanced language learning opportunities for all.

Context & background to the effective or innovative practice

At Camrose and Roch Playgroup, the aim is to provide a caring, warm and safe environment where children can grow, learn and develop through play. The setting values the children’s ideas and fascinations and listens to what they say. Staff work well together to ensure that activities and resources are planned using the children’s interests and schemas as a starting point. The setting provides highly valuable experiences for the children both indoors and in the outdoor areas. The children are fortunate to have their own woodland, which is used a great deal. Children have plenty of opportunities to revisit skills in the learning environment. Staff make good progress in supporting the children with their Welsh language development. 

Description of nature of strategy or activity

The setting is constantly aiming to improve the children’s language and communication skills through daily songs, rhymes and story time. The setting used ‘World Nursery Rhyme’ week as a focus, and flexible plans were put in place to share a variety of traditional nursery rhymes. Both staff and children focused on their favourite nursery rhymes, both in the Welsh language and also some new rhymes for the children to learn. ‘Provocations’ were set up in the environment for children to explore and they were able to return to these experiences freely. Curiosity, awe and wonder were added and the language opportunities flowed when the children had to search for the little mouse from ‘Adeiladu Ty Bach’ who had disappeared from his house. Rich mathematical conversations developed naturally as the children chatted with staff about how many cakes of different sizes they had made. They used weighing scales with the purpose of seeing who had more dough linking to the rhyme ‘Pat-a-cake Pat-a-cake’. ‘Hickory Dickory Dock’ encouraged counting and number recognition skills as children made their own clock using natural resources such as pebbles and driftwood. ‘Incy Wincy Spider’ provided opportunities for prediction and problem solving as the children explored how to move the spiders along the waterspout. The block area enabled the children to create their own house for a little mouse. Children had opportunities to role play with props from ‘Sing a song of sixpence’ imitating the King counting his money or the maid pegging out the clothes. The enabling adults challenged the varying needs of the children and added to their experiences.

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

In the setting, children choose activities independently, at their own pace. By providing learning opportunities linked to familiar nursery rhymes, children are highly motivated and engaged because the learning is meaningful to them, building their confidence and self-esteem. The focus rhymes are reinforced during daily song time. As a result, children develop a love for nursery rhymes and singing.  

Staff observe how children use resources and activities and follow their lead when deciding when to move on to something new or notice how learning could be further developed. Staff know the children well and as a result, can provide appropriate challenges for their next steps in learning. Children re-visit activities independently, leading to deeper levels of engagement and allowing time to develop their play and learning.

How have you shared your good practice?

Practitioners plan to share their good practice with the setting’s network of Foundation learning settings at their next meeting. They will also share their plans and have the opportunity to discuss their case study with other leaders. The setting shares the children’s daily experiences with parents and carers through an online app.