YOU can’t fail to notice the excitement on their faces as they prepare to take part in some of their favourite daily activities.

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Whether they are using building blocks, painting, or playing with some of their favourite toys, there is almost no end to the resources available to youngsters at the Old Felixstowe Nursery.

But there is more to the fun and games than meets the eye.

For all of the activities that the children are taking part in are designed to improve their learning and development as they prepare for the next stage of education.

The nursery, based in the grounds of Kingsfleet Primary School, works under the Early Years Foundation Stage initiative, which aims to get the youngsters ready for primary school.

The prime areas that staff look at with the children are their personal, social and emotional development, physical development and communication and language development.

“It is all done through the play and exploring,” said Julie Reid, supervisor at the Old Felixstowe Nursery.

“We observe them and if we think there is something we want to see from them, we will prepare an activity for them.

“It looks like we are playing but everything has been put out for a reason. All the activities and all the children playing is for a specific reason.”

Staff work with individual children so they can chart their progress.

If staff believe that a child needs to improve in a certain area then they will ensure that activities are put in place to help them.

Mrs Reid added: “Every child has a key person and that person is responsible for building relationships with the child and the family and they will then fill in a key learning guide which is like a school report for the stage that they are at.

“A lot of it is around building relationships with the child and the key person.

“If we don’t see something, we will look at what we can do to build that up.”

The Early Years Foundation Stage has been working well at the nursey and Mrs Reid said that staff members all know what they need to do to help the children.

Whether it is a specific activity or a series of programmes, they will do what is necessary to help.

Their success with young children was highlighted in their last Ofsted report which took place in June 2010.

The outcomes for the children who are part of the programmes was rated as 2 (good) and how the nursery is helping to meet the needs of the children and how the stage is managed and led – was also rated as good.

The report said: “The children are well behaved and polite because the adults have very high expectations of them.

“They encourage them to develop new skills by asking them questions and they speak positively to them so that they learn to make the right choices.

“Children listen to one another, share their toys, take turns and persevere with activities. They are confident and keen to talk to visitors about their learning.”

Staff at the nursery were pleased with their last report and believe the Early Years Foundation Stage is a big help to the children

“It centres around the child and individuals,” added Mrs Reid.

“We don’t look at them as a group, it’s all around the individual child and we work in partnership with the parent so each child can learn and develop in their own unique way.

“It’s good because each child is different and every child has a unique way of learning.”

■ For more information about the Old Felixstowe Nursery, please call 01394 275466.

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