Welcome to Caterpillars. I am delighted to be able to share a little about our class.
“From the moment you enter our classroom you should see, hear and feel our curriculum.”
In Caterpillars, we offer an approach which reflects our vision and our purpose. The resources we create, the environment we provide and the relationships we build all reflect our unique curriculum.
We take inspiration from many approaches and theorists and add our own knowledge, values, experiences and a bit of magic to create our Caterpillars’ approach.
We know that children learn best when there are high levels of interest, energy, enthusiasm and motivation. This comes from the child following their own interests and the adults joining them; building relationships, teaching new skills, sharing resources and having fun at each child’s own level.
We spend our mornings in Caterpillars learning through play. This is not pre-planned; it is led by each child, although staff are skilled in supporting the children achieve their Next Steps and make progress within the Early Years curriculum. This allows the children’s learning to develop in any direction which is meaningful and engaging to them. We plan topics around the children’s interests, the seasons and celebrations, always allowing these to change (we usually find the children have much more exciting ideas than us!). We use a wealth of natural resources and loose parts to encourage children to explore and engage with the world rather than bright colourful toys that allow children to become passive and entertained as the toy does all the work.
Our day involves a careful balance of playful learning, the adults plan exciting and fun sessions for the afternoon to entice the children to join others in group time and learn new skills in all areas of the curriculum. Stories, songs, rhymes, art, number fun, letters and sounds, messy play, music and dance are just some of the activities we share.
“There is no place for dull, repetitive activities. Laughter, fun, and enjoyment, sometimes being whimsical and nonsensical, are the best contexts for learning. Activities can be playful even when they are not actually play.” – Learning playing and interacting, Good practice in the Early Years Foundation stage.
Staff are experienced in a wide range of approaches and support techniques for children with SEND. Individual support plans such as physiotherapy and speech & language are skillfully incorporated into the children’s every day play. This approach ensures children are motivated and showing high levels of energy and interest when learning and practicing these skills. Communication and social skills are taught, supported and developed throughout the day using a total communication approach. Our staff to child ratio ensures we can meet the child ‘where they are’ and support them to access all areas of our curriculum and participate fully in all our routines.
Charlene Wright (Caterpillars’ Class Teacher)