There are many features of Great Expectations that set us apart from other nurseries but none perhaps as profoundly as our ethos. This is what guides everything that we do and is built upon knowledge and experience gained from a determination to learn from every child and family that we serve.
Our ethos is made up of 6 interrelating elements:
- A child-centred approach
- Process not product
- Open-ended materials
- Parent Partnership
- Lifelong learning
- Reflective Practice
This is a term that gets used a lot in the world of childcare and over time I have come to understand that it means different things to different people.
To us at Great Expectations, adopting a child-centred approach means that every aspect of our work including our policies and procedures, our environment, our staff induction and training programme and, of course our care, learning and development strategies are undertaken with children at the very heart.
This is a little snapshot of what it means in practice:
In the baby room children are cared for and stimulated at their own level, whether they are non-mobile, crawling, cruising or toddling!
In the toddler room a child who is new to nursery seeks reassurance from his key person who is on hand to offer support whenever needed
However, she is also observant of his growing independence and allows him the space to explore autonomously whilst staying close by to allow him to ‘check in’ if he wishes
In the theatre room of our over 2’s unit, Isabella has brought small world equipment into the home area and is fully immersed in imaginative play which is helping her make sense of real life experiences. This is supported by knowledgeable staff who recognise the valuable learning opportunity that is taking place and enable children to manipulate their environment in a way that is meaningful to them.