Approach to Learning

Approach to Learning

The Early Years Foundation Stage ethos
is firmly based in the belief that open-ended creative play is a key way in which children learn. Play is complex and needs time, space and skilled support in order to evolve and grow. Here at Rainow Pre-School sessions are built around such thinking.
We recognise that children have a huge stake in their own development and we do our utmost to provide an enabling environment for children to initiate and carry out investigations with the support of quality staff interaction.


The Staff’s Role in Supporting and Extending Children’s Play and Thinking

It is not enough to just provide a stimulating environment and let the children get on with it. Staff at Rainow Pre-School actively teach the children through modelling appropriate language and behaviour, sharing and supporting intelligent conversations, and developing and extending play through motivation and encouragement. Our enthusiastic and attentive staff team sensitively support children’s explorations through:

  • Using a variety of methods to observe and listen to all children to gain an understanding of what interests them and how they might be thinking

  • Valuing all children’s reactions and questions to support their ideas* Helping children make links to previous experiences

  • Posing problems and raising questions for children to take their thinking a step further

  • Planning additional enhanced provision to develop further possibilities and opportunities

  • Helping children see how their current explorations link to their lives outside the setting

Changing Attitudes

The EYFS pushes adults to review and question traditional assumptions with regard to Early Years Learning. Instead of continually ‘getting children ready for school’ the EYFS asks us to look at where each child is now and what we as adults can do to support through sensitivity and stimulation.By offering a more holistic and outdoor based approach children are intrinsically learning numeracy and literacy, along with all the other areas of learning, without rote and so are gaining a much firmer understanding within a wide range of contexts.

Open-ended /free flow play

Open ended / free flow play offers hands on imaginative and creative opportunities for learning. Play is intrinsic to children’s well being and must be acknowledged and respected.Rainow Pre School offers the space, time and support for children to explore in an imaginative, spontaneous and free flow approach where children can determine what to do, how to do it and what to use whilst having clear and consistent expecta-tions with regard to behaviour, boundaries and safety. By not having a fixed outcome the children have no fear of doing wrong as there is no ‘correct’ outcome.

Continuous and Enhanced Provision

Children do not need complex resources. They use whatever is to hand and their own imaginations. This quite often goes against adult and commercial preconceptions. A plastic orange in a play kitchen can only be a plastic orange but give a child open ended resources it can become anything that the child wishes. Materials such as water, soil, sand, sticks, clay, junk and fabrics can become anything that a child envisages. The simpler the resources, the more versatile it is, which in turn supports sensory play over a sustained period of time. Here at Rainow Pre-School we offer high quality open ended resources that support opportunities for each child to investigate and create in their own way at their own pace. A core collection of resources is offered for continuous daily provision with enhanced resources being added to extend children’s interests.

And finally...

Staff at Rainow Pre School honour the way that children learn and we fully support the passage Rachel Carson wrote in her book ‘The Sense of Wonder’. Amazingly this book was written in 1956 but we feel that in this age of commercialism it is more applicable than ever…‘A child’s world is fresh and new and beautiful, full of wonder and excitement. It is our mis-fortune that for many of us that clear-eyed vision, that true instinct for what is beautiful and awe-inspiring, is dimmed and even lost be-fore we reach adulthood. If I had influence over the good fairy who is supposed to preside over the christening of all children, I should ask that her gift to each child in the world be a sense of wonder so indestructible that it would last a lifetime.

"We signed our eldest daughter up to join Rainow Pre-School after seeing the rural setting, the outstanding teaching and learning, the independence encouraged and the happy faces from both children and parents! We can't wait for our other daughter to start."
- Tom & Laura

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Photo Credit

Hannah Green