We recognise that having a predictable, reliable structure or rhythm to each session helps children to relax and feel secure, knowing what will happen next.
Children learn through repetition, so the same story and songs are used for 6-8 weeks, allowing children (and parents) to become familiar with them.
We also observe the cycle of the seasons and celebrate festivals, and this is reflected in our choice of songs, craft activity, story and objects on the nature table, as well as our experience of the woodland and garden.
We recognise that authentic, free play – without adult direction or interference – is essential for a child’s healthy development at every level. We offer simple, natural objects and toys. Parents are invited to participate in a seasonal craft activity at the table, where parents can get to know one another and quietly observe their children at play.
Prior to age three, much of young children’s play is imitative. We ask adults to behave in a manner that is worthy of imitation. You can support your child’s learning (as well as the smooth running of the group) by, for instance, helping clear up after the meal, or putting away toys at tidy time – we find that children join in without being instructed or cajoled. Similarly, when adults are quiet and listen attentively at story time, children see what is expected and are inclined to follow suit.