At Barnkids we believe in supporting and developing children’s imagination, creativity and connection with the great outdoors. We work hard to provide education and teaching based on childrens’ natural desire to explore, discover and create. The combination of qualified and inspired practitioners, open ended resources and unique environments create a magical experience that will form everlasting memories.
The Nest (6 months+)
The Nest opened in March 2015 and is home to a small team of practitioner’s who care closely for our youngest group of children. The practitioners work in partnership with each family and embrace their children’s individual daily routine to develop that important continuity from home to nursery. At this young age, practitioners focus on supporting children to build the foundations of learning through communication and language, physical, personal, social and emotional development and this is achieved through a range of stimulating, age-appropriate activities.
The Nest is a multi-functional room with designated areas for; feeding, nappy changing, sleeping and playing. As well as using their outdoor free flow area daily, the children are often seen heading out across the fields in the off-road buggies to explore the natural environment. Back at the Nest, some of our favourite activities include sensory play, listening to simple stories, music and movement, treasure baskets and of course, messy play!
The Chicken Run (Toddlers)
Children are welcomed to the Chicken Run from twenty-four months onwards. Once they turn three years old, they will begin the gradual transition process up to the Barn, before they attend their permanently from the beginning of the term after their third birthday. The Chicken Run provides many opportunities for children to self-select from a range of age appropriate resources including role play, small world, art and craft, block play and books. In addition, children may choose to participate in carefully planned adult led activities that are based around current interests and aim to inspire and ignite their imagination.
The Chicken Run children explore the outdoors daily and benefit from free flow access to the playground and water zone as well as going for walks across the fields and farmland. The fun and friendly team of practitioners are dedicated to getting to know your child individually and will work closely in partnership with each other, and with each family, to ensure that the environment is meeting children’s needs and interests in the best way possible.
The Barn (Pre-School)
This oak framed, timber building has been converted into a unique environment for our eldest children to play, discover and learn. The Barn hosts many child-initiated and adult-led projects in the areas of science, mathematics, literacy, role play and art and craft that can often continue over a number of days. The large double barn doors allow children free flow access to the outdoor playground and all of its inspiring features that we utilize daily.
The Barn practitioners are dedicated to supporting and encouraging the development of children’s social skills, independence, self-esteem and confidence ready for their transition to school. Children follow a daily routine that begins with circle time, promoting group discussions about emotions, community and the wider world around us. Each morning, half of the group wave goodbye as they embark on their adventure to Forest School, before re-joining the rest of the group to share their experiences, and create new ones, with their peers.
At Barnkids, we understand that starting nursery can be a big step for everyone concerned and therefore regard settling in as crucial process at the beginning of your child’s journey.
Settling in sessions are offered free of charge and can be adapted to your child’s individual needs. Sessions are designed to support both child and parents in the transition from home to nursery. Prior to your child’s start date, parents are asked to complete a ‘getting to know me’ form which will assist practitioners in planning for your child and developing those important initial relationships.
During your child’s first few weeks at nursery, all practitioners will work closely with you and your family to ensure the settling in period is a smooth as possible. Your child will be assigned a Key Person, who will make that extra effort to get to know your child. They will complete a ‘getting started’ form to share with you, highlighting details of how they have settled into the room and routine.
Children are born ready, able and eager to learn; however, at Barnkids we recognise that each child will develop at their own rate and in their own ways. By working together with parents, we aim to support your child’s individual level of learning and development as they make the journey through their early years. A Key Person ensures that your child’s experience is shaped to meet their unique needs.
Having observed your child’s interests and stage of development, we will plan adult led activities and provide opportunities for child-initiated learning to support them in their next steps. All nursery activities are designed to encourage exploration, support the forming of relationships and develop positive self-esteem.
The three prime areas of learning and development begin to evolve quickly within the nursery environment in response to new experiences and relationships. The prime areas are the fundamental building blocks that support learning in all other areas of the Early Years Foundation Stage and are continually encouraged from an early age. These are:
- Personal, Social and Emotional Development
- Communication and Language
- Physical Development
As children’s confidence and abilities grow within the prime areas, their potential to learn within the specific areas is maximised. The specific areas of learning and development include essential skills and knowledge for children to successfully participate in society. These are:
- Understanding the World
- Expressive Arts and Design
Music and Movement at Barnkids
It is a universal belief that music has the ability to stimulate brain growth in all areas of development; social, emotional, cognitive and physical. We appreciate the importance of music and movement in the Early Years and it is firmly embedded into our daily routine at Barnkids. This is enhanced further through weekly input from Ali, our music specialist and Kindermusik maestro.
By using an integrated and multi-sensory approach, Ali introduces the children to a wide range of musical instruments and other props to enhance her sessions and transform the experience into a fun learning opportunity. Ali provides firm foundations, often linked to current themes, for practitioners to implement further music and movement sessions with their respective age groups.
Ali plays a special role in our Christmas productions and is an encouraging presence for the children as they perform in an outdoor event for their families. The enjoyment children experience from Kindermusik is reflected in these quotes:
“I like bouncing with butterflies and the parachute” – Sophia
“I like bouncing the snail shakers’ – Taonga
“I like singing my favourite song’ – Tilly
You can read more about Ali’s fantastic work here: www.kindermusikwithali.co.uk
Meals & Healthy Snack
At Barnkids, we believe that mealtimes should be relaxed and enjoyable occasions. Mealtimes provide an opportunity for social interaction, independence and the exploration of new tastes and textures through the wide variety of food we offer. All children are encouraged to sit at the table amongst their peers, use cutlery and feed themselves with practitioner supervision and support if necessary. When they reach an appropriate age, children will learn to serve themselves and pour their own drinks, developing their independence ready for school.
A choice of breakfast cereal is available from 8-8:30am for children attending between these times. Mid-morning and afternoon snack is provided daily and consists of fresh fruit and vegetables and a small savoury item with a choice of whole milk or water to drink. We ask parents to provide a daily packed lunch for their child and fresh drinking water is available to all children throughout the day. Around 4pm, day care children sit down to enjoy a healthy and wholesome hot meal prepared and delivered by Care Catering: www.carecatering.co.uk
Please note – we have a strict no nut policy.