The plans incorporate all the headings of the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum and the Montessori Method of teaching, so that each activity has a cycle/sequence to learning. Although we cover each area of development and learning continually and consistently throughout the day, we observe and document one specific area daily. So therefore, it follows that each day parents receive a mini report that documents what the child has eaten, times slept and nappy changes, plus the specific documented area of learning and development covered that day, including the next steps to learning. Also on the sheet will be the child’s observed interest of that day. The parent will get a copy of the mini report, with the child’s keyworker explaining the content. The original will go into the child’s portfolio.

The portfolio is made up of the mini daily reports, photographic evidence of long narrative observations, monthly artwork with photo, photos of friends etc, tracking booklet of developmental goals with the date they were achieved, the parent booklet on commencement that you fill in to tell us all about your child, yearly reports, photo permission form (and any other relevant forms), allergy/on-going medication form and an evaluation sheet for the portfolio when a parent looks through it.

Our baby unit’s progress and development records have a different documentation system, whereby a specific area of development is recorded on a weekly basis, which consists of a small narrative observation and a photograph, including the next steps of learning. This method of observation and documentation is very efficient and effective for this age group and there stage of development. The weekly observation will be placed in the child’s portfolio.  Parents of children in our baby unit will receive a copy of a daily report sheet that will give information on; your childs interest of the day in the form of a small observation, sleep times, meals, snacks, milk etc, nappy changes and any other relevant information about the day. The original will join all the observations, photos etc in the portfolio.

The Goldstar Nursery curriculum is aiming to provide a variety of both the teaching and experience necessary to stimulate curiosity, develop understanding and consolidate learning.


Mathematics

The characteristic quality of a Montessori education is shown with great clarity in the approach to mathematics.

In our classroom the child has access to tactile geometric and mathematical equipment, providing the child with ample opportunities for counting, sorting, matching and ordering objects. The materials are designed to physically represent their quality and quantity, making it easy for the child to assimilate the ideas and skills to really learn and understand mathematical concepts.

The mathematical concept is presented firstly in a very concrete form followed by the abstract written version. Then, using a variety of beads and symbol cards, the child becomes familiar with the numbers as a decimal system by means, including, actual experiences with the operation of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. These operations not only teach the child to calculate, but they provide a deep understanding of how numbers function.


Communication, Language and Literacy

The method of teaching reading and writing is naturally incorporated into the Montessori curriculum. These lessons introduce phonetic sounds of the alphabet to lead the child towards writing and reading, developing their vocabulary and self-expression. We are constantly providing opportunities for extending vocabulary through conversation and circle time, this is essential for the development of social skills and future academic work.

The children learn the phonetic sound of the letters and are encouraged to build their own words as they learn how to put letters together to begin to read, while learning how to write and understand that written symbols carry meaning. In many different lessons the children are exposed to songs, stories and rhymes that further assist their talking and listening skills. The ever changing book corner gives them the opportunity and encouragement to become familiar with books and their uses.


Knowledge and Understanding of the World

Montessori saw that young children were full of curiosity and loved exploring new things for themselves, also noting that they wanted to explore things in increasingly complex ways. To facilitate this learning we encourage an interest in activities and resources to highlight different cultures that interlink to history, geography, biology and science; along with the celebrations of global festivals, this all goes to helping the child understand and appreciate all diversities.

We aim to give children an awareness of themselves as individuals, as well as individuals within a greater environment. We want to nurture a feeling of love, respect and responsibility of the natural world, during a time when children are highly sensitive to their environment. In this nurturing environment the children are supported in developing their confidence, independence and self-respect. They are encouraged to work independently but also as part of a group, sharing and working with other children and adults. Through activities, conversation and practical example they learn to express their own feelings and have respect for the feelings of others.


Personal, Social and Emotional

Independence is fostered in the Montessori classroom as children acquire and develop skills for everyday life. Personal, social and Emotional learning in conjunction with Practical Life activities are designed to promote independence, confidence, concentration, social-skills, self-discipline and the development of fine motor skills and co-ordination. These are the "building blocks" which form the foundation of a child's learning. Children also learn courtesy, good manners and consideration for others, which are all valuable life skills.


Creative

Montessori felt that it is very important for children to be allowed to express themselves freely, therefore, whether a child is involved in painting, singing, playing instruments or dancing children are allowed to be individuals, liberated to express their feelings and emotions, as well as free to enjoy the rich worlds of movement, sound, colour and sensation. Our environment is full of opportunities to experiment with different and exciting materials, with all our children having the opportunity to use a wide variety of artistic medium, both spontaneously to encourage self-expression and co-operatively as a part of a small group. Paint techniques, collage, cutting, sticking and cookery is included regularly within the curriculum. They are encouraged to develop social skills through role play, imaginative play, dressing up and games which are inspired by the children's imagination, knowledge and experiences.


Physical

The children are encouraged to work together and individually in movement programmes that involve listening skills, use of new vocabulary, innovative ranges of movements and the use of imagination that help to develop motor skills such as climbing, hopping, jumping, bouncing, balancing, throwing, catching and hand to eye co-ordination etc. The children develop the confidence to move freely gaining an awareness of space and safety issues.

We believe that children learn best when they are motivated and having fun. We aim to offer a broad, balanced range of activities that are carefully planned to meet the needs of all the children, under careful supervision.