“Putting children first”
Children start to learn about the world around them from the moment they are born. The care and education offered by Dolphins helps children to continue to do this by providing all of the children with interesting activities that are right for their age and stage of development.
The key areas in which progress is expected to be made are:
Personal, Social and Emotional Development
Within a nurturing environment, children are individually supported in developing confidence, autonomy and self- respect. They are encouraged to work and concentrate independently and also to take part in the life of the group, sharing and co-operating with other children and adults. Through activities, conversation and practical example, they learn acceptable ways to express their own feelings and to have respect for the feelings of others. All children are given the opportunity, as appropriate, to take responsibility for themselves and also for the group, its members and its property.
Communication, Language and Literacy
In both small and large groups, children are encouraged to extend their vocabulary and fluency by talking and listening and by hearing and responding to stories, songs and rhymes. Children are helped to understand that written symbols carry meaning, to be aware of the purpose of writing and, when they are ready, to use drawn and written symbols for themselves. A well stocked book corner gives the child the opportunity and encouragement to become familiar with books, able to handle them and be aware of their uses, both for reference and as a source of stories and pictures.
By means of adult supported practical experience, children become familiar with the sorting, matching, ordering, sequencing and counting activities, which form the basis for early mathematics. As they use their developing mathematical understanding to solve practical problems, children are assisted to learn and use the vocabulary of mathematics, identifying objects by shape, position, size volume and number. Songs, games and picture books help children to become aware of number sequences and when they are ready, to use simple mathematical operations, such as adding.
Knowledge and Understanding of the World
A safe and stimulating environment allows children to explore and experiment with a range of natural and manufactured materials. They learn to observe the features of objects and substances, recognize differences, patterns and similarities and to share and record their findings. Children are assisted in exploring and understanding their environment, both within the group and also in the wider community. A range of safe and well maintained equipment enables children to extend their technological understanding, using simple tools and techniques as appropriate to achieve their intentions and solve problems.
A range of equipment and opportunities, both indoors and out of doors, allows the children to develop confidence and enjoyment in the use and development of their own bodily skills. A very high level of adult supervision enables children to safely create and meet physical challenges, developing increasing skill and control in moving, climbing and balancing. At the same time, children are supported in development of the fine motor skills required to use tools, including pens, and pencils and to handle small objects with increasing control and precision.
Children are encouraged to use a wide range of resources in order to express their own ideas and feelings to construct their individual response to experience in two and three dimensions. Art equipment, including paint, glue, crayons and pencils, as well as natural and discarded resources, provides for open-ended exploration of colour, shape and texture and the development of skills in painting, drawing and collage. Children join in with, and respond, to music and stories and there are many opportunities for imaginative role play, both individually and as part of a group.