Children enter the Clever Cubs room the term that they are 3 years old. This room caters for children aged from 3 to 5 years, looked after by committed and enthusiastic Nursery Nurses and Nursery Assistants on a 1:8 ratio basis.
Clever Cubs offers children a safe, secure and welcoming environment again based around planned purposeful play where self-choice is very much encouraged, but makes sure there is a percentage of adult initiated activities also, to assist in the children’s overall learning and development.
The Clever Cubs room contains many self-choice units, shelves and drawers, all of which are clearly labelled and at the children’s level which allows them the freedom to access all toys and resources independently, as and when they choose. They have daily access to construction and small world toys, creative resources, mark making resources, sand/water play, jigsaws and other toys to promote hand/eye co-ordination and fine motor skills and a wide selection of games are available to assist in the children’s colour, shape and number recognition and to promote turn taking, sharing and the need to be part of a team. At the end of each session a ‘tidy up’ song is played which all the children respond well to.
Music and Movement is carried out on a regular basis, both inside and out. Recently we have introduced sessions of inspirational play, based on the philosophy of Reggio Emilia approach. This helps children have control over their learning – through exploring items from their world.
Free flow works really well in the Clever Cubs room. The door is open and the children can decide if they want to play outside and for how long. All the toys and resources we have inside can be brought outside and even when the weather takes a turn for the worst we have sheltered areas such as gazebos and a covered sand pit which allows children to still play outdoors if they wish.
Usually by the time the children arrive in Clever Cubs we know them really well and the team discuss the individual needs and personality of the child and based on this knowledge we place them with the key person we feel the child would benefit their learning and development the best. The key person will carry out written daily observations on them and is responsible for keeping their profile up to date and passing findings from observations and next steps on to the parent, along with any significant event which may have occurred throughout the day. However all of the staff have an input in observing and assessing all the children as more than one perspective is crucial, and all staff will talk to all parents regardless of if they are that child’s key person. Research shows that having more than one allocated person also helps children with attachment.
We as a Nursery try to have strong partnerships with parents as it is important to work with you, their main educator, to give children the very best start in life. To aid us with this we often send home observation sheets for you to fill out if you wish, based on experiences your child may have enjoyed at the weekend or anything significant you wish to share with us. We also send home ‘Boo Bear’ and a notebook so your child can look after her for the weekend, involving her in all the exciting events that might occur that weekend, and we then share the findings with the rest of the children, to strengthen the links between the home and setting.
Generally the children spend the majority of the day in small groups then join together for meal times. The visual time table in the room helps the children to be aware of the time of day and what is going to happen next. Meal times take place in either the Clever Cubs room or sometimes in the Out of School building during term time. The children are encouraged to help themselves to their own plate, cup and cutlery and self-serve their own food and drinks. Doing this promotes independence and allows the children the choice of how much food they put on their plate, and to become aware of portion sizes.
The main aim of the Clever Cubs room is to help children enjoy, achieve, learn, develop and promote independence in a homely environment. We have good links with all of the local Primary Schools in the area. When your child is ready to start school we as a Nursery help to make their transition as smooth as possible. We regularly take the children to visit their school in groups on the mini bus and invite the teachers into the setting so they can gain a picture of your child in a familiar environment. We take pride in sharing every child’s profile and stage of development with their new teacher and we enjoy going to see the children at school once they are settled.
Overall we feel Clever Cubs offers everything you could wish for your child plus more.