TISA Nursery offers a programme and a learning environment that is structured to meet the needs of two and three year olds. We recognise that children of this age group are constantly developing and experiencing new ideas, emotions and impressions. We also acknowledge that TISA Nursery represents the first step many children make independently, without the constant and reassuring presence of their parents. We aim to support both children and parents, and to make this as successful as possible we foster open communication with parents. We strongly believe in the importance of parents as partners in the children’s journey of learning.
The Nursery programme has been developed to support the children in their social, emotional and cognitive development, and to enable a smooth and gentle transition to primary school. We do this by creating a daily routine with transitions and repetitions similar to those within the Early Learning Centre (ELC) at TISA. Our progamme of learning consists of units with topics that focus on developing knowledge, skills and understanding of the self, the immediate and the extended environment. For example in our first Unit “Who We Are”, we will be learning about “Our Family”, “My Body and My Senses”, and “My Home”. During this time, our activities and crafts, songs and nursery rhymes will all be related to the topic we are currently learning.
The Nursery has a strong and consistent routine during the day. This is set up in such a way that the developmental areas of the child are addressed and stimulated. The consistent daily routine and our clear behaviour expectations provide children the reassurance of a familiar schedule. We encourage the children’s sense of independence by allowing them to choose their activities after our circle time, to tidy up after indoor freeplay, and to dress themselves for outdoor play.
During circle time we look at a given topic and encourage the children to actively participate in our ‘discussion’. Children are given the opportunity to describe their own related experiences, express their thoughts, and listen to what others have to say. Through this we develop their confidence in expressing themselves in front of others, their sense of independence, as well as an awareness of the importance of listening to someone when they are speaking. We explore language within the classroom, cultural similarities and differences, in an effort to develop appreciation and understanding of other cultures. Through songs, stories and ‘discussions’ of our topics, we also pay attention to mathematical words and phrases, such as “bigger”, “smaller”, “shorter”, “taller”, “less”, “more”, etc. to help extend their vocabulary.
Inside and Outside play
During inside free play children take part in activities set up in the different corners (see below). A simple description or explanation of the activities for the day is given during circle time; after which, children choose where they want to go or what they want to do. The teacher assistants are there to support, guide and help the children engage in their activity of choice. We believe that children develop important skills through play, as they discover friendships, learn to share with and care for others, take turns, communicate and solve problems.
Likewise, outside play offer other possibilities. The children develop spatial awareness and the concept of different materials (such as water and sand) through activities. Moreover, as we encourage children to run, climb, jump, and ride on pedal bikes, we help develop their strength, coordination and balance. Outdoor play also provide the opportunity to explore and learn from real-life objects and the nature around us.
Puzzle Corner. The puzzle corner provides simple games, puzzles and shape sorters to encourage children to sort, recognise and continue patterns. Various shape sorters, puzzles, threading beads, lacing cards and other similar toys in the puzzle corner also stimulates the development of the child’s fine motor skills.
Library Corner. The aim of the Library corner is to expose children to a variety of stories, along with the opportunity to predict, recall and retell events, and to recognise the different characters in the story.
Gym Corner. Our gym corner is equipped with balance beams, hoops, bean bags, slide and climbing frame to help develop the children’s gross motor skills. We also explore movement and dance in our gym corner as we perform our favourite action songs and rhymes. Crafts Corner. In the crafts corner, the children are provided with a wide range of art materials which they can explore independently, including paint, glue and paper of various types and colours, play dough, crayons and coloured pencils. Art and craft activities are usually planned to reinforce the unit topic and themes we are currently learning. Pretend Play Corner. The pretend play corner provides an essential part of the development and processing of newly learned topics and concepts. Here, there are various props and costumes for dressing up, role play and performance through which children can re-enact real life experiences and situations. We play along with the situation the children create during pretend play while encouraging them to sequence their way through activities in an orderly manner.
In a Nutshell… At this stage in the children’s development, we believe that mastering the alphabet and the numbers is not as important as being able to cooperate with their teachers and peers, follow simple instructions, and know our routines. Our aim and priority is to support the children in their social, emotional and physical development in a caring and nurturing atmosphere, so that during their time in the Nursery, they feel safe and happy.