In the news….Language Attainment Gap
A‘Ready for School’ fund has been launched by Central Government in an attempt to close the communication and language gap for disadvantaged children. The project has been launched in the North of England in response to research which shows the early years attainment gap is almost twice as large in the North of the country than elsewhere.
The fund will test approaches that focus on developing children’s communication and maths skills. At Atelier we recognise that these skills develop best when they are embraced through the child's interests and play. For example the use of meter sticks and design sheets in the Piazza are used alongside our big blocks for children to estimate, measure, compare and contrast.
We have developed a range of parent guides for communication and language and early maths and would be happy to share these with you if you would like to support your child's learning further at home.
We also have our own family library, which you are welcome to access if you would like to share a bedtime story or a new literacy adventure with your child.
Happy Birthday Atelier!
It is hard to believe that we first welcomed families to Atelier five years ago!
Time has simply flown by and we have loved every minute of it! We recognise that what makes Atelier so special are those who are involved within it. The children, their families and our fantastic staff team. Thank you to you all for making our first five years such a positive, happy and successful time.
We will be celebrating our birthday by hosting an exhibition sharing in our approach and some of the things that we believe make Atelier a rather special place to be.
We would like to offer a warm welcome to those families joining us at the start of this term. We have enjoyed getting to know you all over the Summer and look forward to working with you and getting to know you better over the coming months.
We hope that all our families have had a wonderful summer, whether it was spending leisurely weeks together or simply grabbing a long weekend in the sunshine. We would love to hear about it and would appreciate you uploading any images and tales of your childs adventures to Tapestry.
The Autumn term is always a busy one. The dynamics of the children settling and developing new relationships, as well as testing out new learning, makes the environment a busy and exciting place to be. In Bath we recognise that the dynamic of the nursery shifts vastly as a high number of babies join the nursery. You may have noticed that we have anticipated the changes and have adjusted the nursery environment to meet the varying needs of our children. Please come and explore the sensory studio and cabin to understand how we will be supporting your child over the coming term.
As a team we will be spending the next month or so getting to know you and your child. We will take time to observe them at play and seek to determine their interests and preferences ready to inform our planning process.
If your child was with us before the summer your key person will have designed a new personalised learning plan for your child, called a PLOD, ready to start the new term.
We would be grateful if you could add your thoughts, comments and any photos or wow moments to both the PLOD and your child's learning journal. We are going to focus on these being completed in partnership this year.
Focus For Discussion…SEND or Children with Special Rights
Clare recently attending a conference at Pen Green which looked at taking a celebratory approach to children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities.
This conference has affirmed our understanding of supporting children as having special rights rather than special needs and included many elements that we will be seeking to include in our work during the next academic year.
Both Clare and Beth have spent time in Reggio Emilia where the concept of Children with Special Rights was first introduced. Ivana Socini, the psychologist responsible for the inclusion of students with special rights in Reggio-Emilia schools, insists that all children—all human beings, in fact—were purpose-built to ask questions. As educators, we must listen for those questions in order to create the right environment and recast provocations to meet children (with special rights and others) at their proximal zone of development. We must take time to first observe, and only then try to interpret.
It is through our attention and our degree of interest that we can show respect for students’ learning differences. We then have to give ourselves time to help them amplify their learning through questions and challenges, pushing their thinking to become more complex, multiplying it by figuring out ways to connect it to other concepts and ideas, then launching it to increase the level of challenge, complexity, or depth by introducing new variables to move the learning forward.
This cycle of observation, documentation, and interpretation leading to relaunch involves the same series of steps that work well to stimulate the growth of all students. Embracing this process enables those with special rights to participate in whatever ways they can to access and demonstrate interest in learning.
One of the core tenets of the Reggio approach is that including, accepting, and valuing students with special rights within the learning community improves the practice of teachers. Improved teacher practice, in turn, benefits all students. Additionally, students within the community have an opportunity to learn empathy and to accept difference in a way that would not be possible without the participation of these children who face unique challenges.
Ivana Socini underscored the fact that the Reggio approach is not just about creating beautiful schools. It is about fostering a deep culture of respect that values difference. These educators observe the children then dream based on those realities to tell the story of the possible, and there is so much that is possible.
On the final day of the workshop, Annalisa Rabitti led a powerful session discussing her experience of having a child with special rights and significant needs. She wrote a beautiful book about her son called Martino has Wheels (2016) in which she explains that even though he is nonverbal, if you listen very carefully with your heart, you can hear his voice. What Annalisa stressed as a parent, which echoes all of the voices we heard over course of our stay in Reggio, is this: it is not just about inclusion, not just about having students with special rights in the schools.
The magic is in the way that adults accompany the children into that context, carrying a deep belief in the importance of including all because this gesture enriches the community. The level of respect for the individual learning journey as it connects to the learning community is profound. This is why inclusion works in Reggio. It is an integral part of how these educators understand children and how they accompany all children on their journey.
What does this mean for us?
At almost every session, a workshop participant invariably asked the educators at Reggio what they did with students that were too challenging due to their behaviour or skill level. And invariably, the Reggio educators were utterly confused by such questions. Their answer: “We never ask kids to leave.” The children who are at their school are those they serve. No need is too great or too challenging. I was equally struck by the degree of difference that was accepted and the level of choice afforded to students. We know that disruptive and defiant behaviour is often a manifestation of frustration in response to tasks that are too difficult or less desirable, and can be symptomatic of an effort to exert some level of control in response to a perceived lack of choice. Might this offer us some insight when rethinking our typical responses to our most challenging students?
How can we multiply the entry points for all students, and how might that affect the ability of our most vulnerable students to succeed?
All of these questions will influence my practice and thinking as our school continues its own learning journey influenced by Reggio and with growing consideration for how to meet the needs of students with special rights within our school context?
Edwards, C., Gandini, L., and Forman, G., eds. (2012). The Hundred Languages of Children: The Reggio Emilia Experience in Transformation, 3rd Edition. Santa Barbara, California: Praeger.
Rabitti, A. (2016). Martino ha le ruote – Martino has Wheels. Italy: Corsiero Editore.
The toolkit from the Pen Green conference is available here:
Possibility thinking and the Big ideas that children have…
It's all about possibility thinking from September and the Big ideas that children have....
Most people accept that early years education should aim to develop children's creativity but this raises a number of questions; namely what is creativity? How does it relate to imagination, self expression and intelligence? What ways can creativity be taught and assessed and why is it valuable?
Fostering children's creativity involves more than the creative corner in the classroom it involves recognising their creative engagement manifested by young learners. According to Wilson (20.10.05) 'It is important that we foster creativity at an early stage so that children are more prepared to lead an active role in their own learning, develop better self-esteem and are more willing to take chances.'
'Possibility thinking' is at the heart of all creativity in young children. (Craft 2002).
Possibilities are generated by children in all areas of learning e.g. play, music and scientific enquiry. It allows children to explore imaginative ways to produce a variety of outcomes e.g. is a banana a fruit or is it a telephone? The possibilities to develop children's creative thinking are endless. 'Possibility thinking' has been acknowledged in some educational literature on creativity but it has not been fully accepted by some educationalists (Craft 2001). Jeffrey (2005) believes it is at the core to creative learning and represents the 'being imaginative' part of the current policy framework for creativity in England. Craft and Jeffrey (2004) believe that possibility thinking involves enabling children to find and refine problems as well as solve them.
The aim of this research is to investigate whether possibility thinking is at the heart of creativity in young children. I hypothesise that:
Possibility thinking is at the heart of creativity in young children
Creativity and imagination allows young children to learn and develop
Possibility thinking will only take place if adults give children time and space
The resources, environment and available tasks affect the possibilities for creative thinking.
From 2002 the establishment of creative partnerships has promoted creative learning. The most recent curriculum polices of creativity within the early years are the Early Years Foundation Stage (DFES 2007, DCSF 2008) which continues to emphasize the significance of creativity. It encourages student engagement and offers teachers a means of personalised learning (Hargreaves 2008). The message seems to be creativity is for everyone everywhere!
However there are problems as to how creativity is documented, assessed and how progression is supported (Rose 2008). 'Learning through the arts has the potential to stimulate open ended activity that encourages discovery, exploration, experimentation and invention contributing to a child's development' (Bernadette Duffy 2006). Music, dance, and drama enable children to express their feelings. Creativity and imagination in the light of Every Child matters, Sure Start and the Foundation Stage curriculum enables young children to learn and develop whilst expressing their feelings, thoughts and responses.
Anna Craft (2000) introduced and developed the notion of possibility thinking as core to little c creativity. Possibility thinking is means by which intelligence, self-creation, self-expression and know-how are bought together and expressed, It finds a way around a problem by posing questions and finding a problem through identifying a question or topic to be investigated. Fostering young children's possibility thinking involves moving their thinking on from 'what does this do?' to 'what can I do with this? It involves a move from the convergent to more divergent thinking.
We will be exploring possibility thinking over the next year, starting with a parental event that seeks to explore the concept of possibility thinking with families in late September. We are really excited by this next stage in our thinking and work and hope you will join us in developing your own learning throughout the process.
Focus for Discussion- Mindfulness
Over the last few months many of the staff at Atelier have attended training with the theme of emotional wellbeing. In April this investment in staff training was continued and we had the absolute pleasure of participating in the NIPS mental health and children seminar. The day was filled with inspirational, profound and moving seminars that if I’m honest left me feeling both exhausted and determined.
Exhausted, yes because the day was intense and the subject matter emotive but mainly because the speakers brought such powerful messages that my mind was left whirling for the rest of the day and evening as I challenged myself as to how can we change the stigma attached to an issue that now sees 1 in 10 children suffer with anxiety or mental health issues but only 1 in 4 of these children receiving the appropriate support.
Determined, because without fail we will be challenging how our children are being cared for and educated, not just at Atelier but within the wider educational system. We will be putting into place a range of measures to support not only children, but families and staff to manage their own and the children’s emotional health. At Atelier, we intend to buck the trend!
As a setting we are highly aware that the mental health of our children is key to their holistic development. We have always invested time and energy in to forming secure attachments through our key family approach. We take time to truly get to know our children and their families.
We offer time to listen, empathise with the individual challenges being faced by children and families alike. We explore the possibilities and challenge the negativity and support children and their parents to plan how they can overcome or accept the difficulties they may be facing.
This process of Stop, Listen, Empathise, Explore and Plan is a process that we want to explore further as a team and with you as our families.
When children are emotionally challenged, very often all they need is to be heard. There very rarely will be a straight forward solution to the feelings they are having, but simply listening, offering empathy and the opportunity to revisit the emotions they are feeling together will be enough.
Children that suffer with mental health issues often think in an ‘unhelpful way’. They are unable to rationalise and regulate what they are feeling and how in turn they behave.
These negative thoughts often escalate to a ‘I won’t be able to’ which in turn leads to unhappiness and children opting not to participate in opportunities available to them and the cycle of reduced confidence, lower self-worth and anxiety begins.
We affirmed our understanding, in that as parents and carers, we need to challenge this thinking, supporting the child not to follow the negative thought as it enters their mind. Instead we need to scaffold our children enabling them to process their thinking and to learn acceptance of themselves.
By giving children time to work through their ideas, their perceptions and their fears we are able to help them to recognise and reaffirm the strengths and skills that they do hold.
At Atelier we have started the process of introducing mindfulness to both staff and children, we practice this daily via a range of strategies and activities that promote both mental and physical health and we look forward to sharing these with you as we embed them so that you can continue these at home.
We have also been accepted to join the calm schools programme and look forward to sharing its expertise in our daily practices and interactions with each other.
To start the process at home why not try a mindful jar….further details of which will be released on our Facebook page and the website on Friday just ready for the weekend, let us know how you get on!
Communication Cafe- inclusion
Thank you to all of the families who joined us for the Inclusion Communication Café, it was great to work collaboratively with you and consider our approach to how the nursery ensures it offers a fully inclusive environment. We look forward to implementing the plans that came from the meeting including the audio books which will be read in many languages and freely available for children to share in.
We are really pleased to have also been able to share in so many of your family photos, I’m sure you will agree the connections children are making between their homes and families amongst their friends has sparked lots of new conversation and understandings. Please do not worry if your child’s image is not displayed on the wall, there are special family books in each of the rooms as well as individual frames to ensure that all children are feeling valued. We will then rotate these to promote further awareness.
If you have any other ideas of how we can develop our approach to inclusion we would love to hear from you.
SNOW UPDATE FRIDAY 2nd MARCH
Due to the snowfall over night we have many staff unable to travel safely to work today as such we have needed to make the following decisions:
Chippenham Nursery will be closed all day, we apologise for any inconvenience caused.
Bath Nursery will remain open. Please note there is NO vehicular access to the nursery and all families are asked NOT to drive on Snow Hill or Bennett's Lane.
Should the weather deteriorate further or our staff be unable to make their own journeys safely we will need to re-evaluate the situation and may consider early closure.
We would really appreciate you letting us know if you plan to enjoy a snow day at home.
further updates will be posted throughout the day- Happy Snow Angels!
SNOW UPDATE 11.00 am at Atelier Nursery....
The snow in Bath has become lighter although nearby roads remain icy so please take care if you are entering or leaving the site.
Chippenham snow has also become lighter with access remaining good.
We are aware that both train lines in and out off both Bath and Chippenham are reporting delays of currently up to one hour. We would therefore ask that families using the rail service to ensure they leave suitable time to travel so that we can ensure staff are able to be released and make their own way home safely and on time.
We will continue to monitor the situation this afternoon especially with more snow forecast and keep you updated.
Many thanks Clare
SNOW UPDATE 7.40am
Bath site is open, with light snow falling. Please take care on the corner of Bennetts Lane and Snow Hill. Bennetts Lane to Camden Road is icy and we would suggest is avoided. Where possible please walk to nursery today.
Chippenham site is open with light snow falling. Please take care travelling.
The milk is warming and we look forward to sharing in a wonderful World Book Day!
Further updates will be posted throughout the day.
5 Star Menu!
We are proud to share that we hold a Food-Hygiene-Rating of 5 stars at both of our nursery sites. Our amazing chef Veronica has designed a scrumptious Autumn and Winter menu, that see’s warming, wholesome foods back on the agenda at Atelier, anyone for dumplings?!
The meals provided to your child are always prepared from scratch on site using fresh ingredients, and wherever possible with the full involvement of the children. Research highlights that children involved in the preparation and cooking of meals will make healthier lifestyles choices.
Cafe: Is available throughout both the morning and afternoon sessions. Children have access to healthy foods at café including, fruit, vegetables, crackers, toasts, milk and water.
Lunch: Lunch at Atelier is a full cooked meal including dessert. All lunchtime food is freshly prepared in the morning ready to be served after key family time. Home cooked roast, pasta, curries, chilli, etc are all made from scratch and like all the other meals on offer we use fresh ingredients as far as possible.
Tea: Tea at Atelier is at 4.15pm and is planned to ensure children have enough energy for the remainder of their session, we would expect children to have a further meal or snack once back at home. Tea for us is sandwiches, soup or pasta bake, all of which are again made on site often with the children.
We feel that the food and meal time experiences offered at Atelier are so strong, that we have started the Soil Association Award to gain accreditation for the efforts we place on them at both sites.
We are of course hoping to learn more and develop our practice further. So if you feel able to help us grow and develop in this area either practically, we would love some vegetable beds, or theoretically we‘re not so great on knowing our Kale from our Chinese leaf, then we would love to hear from you.
We have always been very lucky at Atelier in that our families and community are always on board in helping us to make the children's experiences the best they can be. We have previously had visits from architects, builders, film makers, artists, vets and December was no different with Michael visiting us from the Bath Priory Hotel to share his skills of making chocolate cake for Christmas.
It was of course truly scrumptiousbut Michael offered far more. By sharing in his time and skills he enabled our children to question, challenge, try new things, test their skills and make links to their prior learning. This led to them embedding a whole range of learning from weighing the flour, to counting the eggs, estimating the icing required and turn taking to name just a few of the skills developed in this fun way.
We believe this is the best way for children to learn and so need your help, could you be our next expert visitor?? Please speak to Clare or any member of the leadership team if you feel able to help.
We have just invested in some snuggly sleepsuits for our babies to use in the outdoor sleep area. Whilst we love outdoor sleeping it is important that our babies and young children are suitably dressed as the weather changes. Therefore we would appreciate you sending in pyjamas, outdoor sleepsuits or a sleeping bag for your child so that they can continue to enjoy the benefits of outdoor sleeping.
Atelier Nursery in Chippenham Open Days
Join us at our Open Day on Saturday 18th March between 10am & 2pm to share in our work and explore our beautiful new nursery.
No Booking Required
Chippenham Site Development
We are pleased to share that the Chippenham site is making good progress. The builders have moved in and have started to remove the walls within between the two back rooms, which will form our construction room, a space for children to design, build and recreate. The decorators have also started work are making such a difference to the feel of the building bring light and reflection across all of the learning spaces.
The children’s safety is naturally a priority for us, which is giving the electrician plenty of work as he re-wires the building and prepares to install our finger print access system and top of the range fire prevention and alarm systems.
We are really excited to see the garden finally cleared, its huge and we know will be a wonderful space for children to dig, climb, explore, create and grow within.
We look forward to sharing our spaces in our open days to be announced later this month- please watch this space to keep up to date with developments of the Chippenham site.
To register a place for your child at Atelier Chippenham please call 01225 447992. Places are already filling so please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
Atelier Nursery to Open in Chippenham Spring 2017
Nursery of the Year!
Atelier Nursery has won Nursery of the Year at the National Nursery World Awards in London this week.
Atelier Nursery staff and families are proud to announce that they have been named as Nursery of the Year after being selected from hundreds of nurseries across the UK to win the title.
The key family groupings and mixed age care approach was recognised as exceptional practice with Judges sharing that; ‘the staff teams’ vision and commitment to their enlightened approach, is grounded in warm and respectful relationships that provide supportive continuity for children.’
The enabling and rich learning environments were also celebrated, with the recently refurbished outdoor learning space and the appointment of the settings resident artists being recognised. With Judges stating these developments ‘make a powerful contribution to the richly resourced environment in which children are supported to develop their interests and skills though a strong, shared educational philosophy.’
We are simply over the moon to share in our news and look forward to developing Atelier even more over the coming year!
Resident Artists join the Atelier team!
At Atelier we like to do things a bit differently and are exceptionally proud of the approach we take. We are therefore very excited to announce the permanent appointment of two resident artists at Atelier; Mari and Claire.
Mari and Claire will be working across the nursery and are employed out of ratio, so will add to the quality of work, depth of learning and the richness of opportunity that the children are able to access.
Mari is a qualified early years teacher, specialising in art and design. She has already made her mark with many of the children as they have lino printed their angels in the studio, before collaboratively stitching these together to form a calico canvas of Bath Abbey.
Claire specialises in ceramics, and as well as working with us will continue to run her own studio. Claire's first project will be working with the youngest of children introducing clay to their play on a large scale. Claire will also take a lead role in the setting up of our outdoor creative space.
Forest School Learning
Many families have been enquiring about Forest School. Forest School, just like our pedagogy at Atelier, focuses on the process of learning rather than the content. It focuses more on the 'how' children learn rather than the 'what' they learn.
This means that genuine Forest School practice steps boldly out of the shadow and limitation of 'planned activities' and ventures collaboratively into the realms of the unplanned, unexpected and ultimately unlimited learning.
At Atelier we have begun our own Forest School. Children in their pre-school year will participate in regular sessions, rather than one-off or infrequent visits. The cycle of planning, observation, adaptation and review links children's learning between each session in the woods and nursery itself.
Forest School aims to promote the holistic development of all those involved fostering resilient, confident, independent and creative learners.
We know that there are many families with children not yet in their pre-school year who want their children to also participate in Forest School. We will be reviewing the possibility of extending the weekly sessions to younger children at the end of February and so promise to keep you posted.
Online Learning Journals
We shared at our last parents evening our hope to engage parents within the observation, assessment and documentation of children learning. We have introduced the 'what to expect when' booklets for every child and are grateful for the parental contributions made so far.
To make the process of sharing in children's learning easier and most importantly more accessible to you as parents, learning journals will now be available to you on-line.
We will be using the specialist data package, Tapestry. Tapestry will enable both staff and families to upload observations, images and media clips which will then be linked to the areas of learning and development and other assessment tools such as levels of well-being and involvement.
Individual parental access will be given via a password ensuring that children's data remains secure whilst giving you the freedom to access your child's learning experiences from home. Passwords will be issued from February, and we will continue to hold the observations already collected in paper form, together with any significant pieces of art work. All documents will then be given to children as they leave nursery.
Having trialled several packages, we feel Tapestry will hold significant benefits for all including being very user friendly. However, if you are in any doubt or would like to explore the system with your key person please don't hesitate to mention this when you are next in so that a suitable time can be arranged.
BREAKING NEWS!!! New Learning Space Opening Soon…..
As you will be aware we are very keen to establish and develop the outdoor learning opportunities presented to the children at Atelier.
We are excited to share that we will shortly be having a wooden cabin installed into the lower garden that will accommodate the next phase of the children’s outdoor learning and exploration. We anticipate it being a space that enables discovery and reflection with lots of new experiences including a stove to warm our apple juice.
The cabin will be open all day, every day and will complement the learning taking place indoors, in the garden and whilst at Forest school. This will enable the children to extend their learning inside and out.
In order to install the cabin, there will be some minor building works taking place from this Thursday, 19th November. The lower garden will be closed to children for approximately two weeks, whilst the builders clear and level the required space before erecting the structure ready for us to move in early-mid December.
As with all things Atelier we are already thinking about what the space will look like and how we can best use it. If you have any ideas or thoughts we would love to hear them and, of course, please feel free to pin any ideas to our Pinterest Page; Atelier Nursery.
We thank you in advance for your patience and support.
Five to Thrive
The Baby Nest team will be running a new parents group from January, focusing on the five things children need to thrive. This series of parental workshops will be open to all families. We will be sharing more information regarding this exciting opportunity at our parents information evening on September 17th. We will also keep you posted via email and facebook, so watch this space.
Baby group, will recommence from Monday 7th September from 9.30am. If you have a new baby, or have friends who do, please let them know about our free and informal group. All families are welcome.
Families with a 3 or 4-year-old child at Atelier may be eligible for the early years pupil premium, which can provide up to £300 in additional funding to improve the quality of their child’s early education.
The money is paid directly to Atelier by Bath & North East Somerset Council and can be used for a variety of purposes such as providing additional resources, enabling home visits or supporting the staff working directly with your child to attend specialist training to support them in their role as your key person.
Families may be eligible if they are receiving any of the following:
• Income Support
• Income-based Jobseekers Allowance
• Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
• Support from NASS (National Asylum Support Service) under part 6 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
• The Guarantee Element of State Pension Credit
• Child Tax Credit (with no Working Tax Credit) with an annual income of no more than £16,190
• Working Tax Credit run-on
• Universal Credit
Families can check their eligibility by calling 01225 394317. We would strongly urge you to check your eligibility as it could make a real difference to your child's learning and development.
Bathmums have been talking about us…..
Bathmums have been talking about us...
We are incredibly proud of the amazing feedback we have recieved from the Bathmums community. A huge thank you to all of the families who took the time to respond to the post we love to hear what you think about us and the services that we are offering.
Special Educational Needs Reform
A new duty in the Special Education Needs (SEN) Code of Practice is being placed on Local Authorities from September 2014 and this is being referred to as the ‘Local Offer’. This means that Local authorities must publish, in one place, information about provision they expect to be available in their area for children and young people from 0 to 25 who have SEN.
The local offer must include both local provision and provision outside the area that the local authority expects is likely to be used by children and young people with SEN for whom they are responsible.
The local offer has two key purposes:
To provide clear, comprehensive and accessible information about the support and opportunities that are available; and
To make provision more responsive to local needs and aspirations by directly involving children and young people with SEN, parents and carers, and service providers in its development and review.
The local offer can be described as what we can expect to be available to children and young people with SEN (0-25). The aim is that the local offer will be;
Accessible – easy to understand using jargon free, factual information
Engaging – developed jointly with the involvement of children, young people and parents
Transparent – communicating what is available and how decisions are made
To further promote the local offer, the Children’s’ and Families Bill (clause 65) also compels schools and nurseries to include on their own websites or through hard copies, information on how as as setting they promote the aims of local offer. If you would like to share in how as a setting we ensure Atelier is accessible, engaging and transparent in its work with children who have SEN please feel free to meet with Clare and Beth who hold responsibility for SEN.
To download a copy of our Local Offer please click the link below
Atelier Nursery has been short listed for Nursery of the Year Award
We are really excited to share in the news that Atelier Nursery has been short listed as one of only five nursery for the prestigious Nursery of the Year Award. The awards ceremony is to be held on September 27th so please keep your fingers crossed for us! Thank you to all of the families who took time to meet with, share your thoughts and even write to the judges with their feedback and support.
The judges spent the day with us and were very impressed with all that they saw.
Learning through the Summer
The learning within the nursery over the last month has been incredibly rich and inspiring both to work alongside and observe. The 'provocations', the adult led and planned activities have offered just the right balance of new learning, exciting visit opportunities and the embedding of skills, knowledge and understanding.
Within the studio the children have been focusing on 'A view from my window' extending the landscapes provocation and building on the festival Provocation led by the Discovery Room team. Staff have refined the children's focus to exploring the view form their windows,observing and examining the similarities and differences within their communities. This also involved transferring their thoughts and ideas to both close observational studies and abstract art.
The children have welcomed the opportunities to visit other windows, including their friends, their key persons, or windows across the city that offer a framed perspective.
These works continue to be developed onto collaborative canvases. Please take the time to call into the creative room to share in the children's work, it really is amazing.
Within the Piazza the focus upon vehicles has continued with children's learning being extended through yet more inspiring visits. Sarah and Kerry arranged a trip to the fire station, where the children were able to explore the full process of fire safety, the mechanics of the fire engine and the layout and purpose of the fire station. Continuing with the focus upon working vehicles the children spent time exploring designing, creating and playing with tractors and other farm machines.
In addition to the designing of vehicles and the making and testing of them, the children have also continued with their exploration of vehicle maintenance by visiting Kwikfit. Here the children were able to observe, question and experience a range of tasks completed by the mechanics before returning to nursery and re-enacting their new learning.
The discovery room team have continued their explorations of festivals and celebrations, taking influence from WOMAD and Shambala, they have been incorporating a range of activities that embrace world wide celebrations.
In addition to the sharing of world foods, music dance and costume they have also been focusing on the principles behind our own Atelier Festival, such as developing confidence and independence and taking risk. In support of these the children have been using real tools, pushing their personal boundaries in the way they move for example through climbing and balancing, as well as extending their creative thought through the clay and bark faces and use of loose parts materials.
The baby nest and the snug have had a complete revamp with some beautiful new resources purchased to support the ongoing provocation titles; an inquiry of process'. The rationale and theory behind the provocation is that our youngest of children learn through their senses and actions. Therefore movement, cause and effect and opportunities to immerse themselves into malleable play are exceptionally important in embedding and extending children's thinking and the development of skills and understanding.
What a wonderful weekend!
Thank you to all the families who joined us for the weekend, we had a wonderful time sharing the outdoors and the wonderful opportunities that it offers.
Atelier Family Festival
We are really pleased to announce the first Atelier Family Festival will be held this summer. We have planned a weekend of family focused activities ranging from tree climbing and den building to fire juggling and campfire storytelling. For further information about how you can join in the festival fun, please speak to your key person.
It’s official Atelier Nursery is OUTSTANDING!
We are pleased to share that Atelier Nursery has been awarded the highest grade of ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted for its quality and standards of early year’s provision.
As you will be aware the nursery was inspected by Ofsted in March under the revised inspection framework, which has seen the inspection process tighten and become even more challenging for providers. Despite this within the first six months of operating, practice at the nursery was judged to be ‘Outstanding’ across all of the three areas of nursery practice.
The report concluded:
‘The key family system works remarkably well. This means that children feel safe, settled and secure with the warmth and empathy staff offer through this very supportive arrangement’.
‘Communications with staff and children are exemplary. Children receive every opportunity to express themselves; there is a real sense of voices being heard and valued’.
‘Learning opportunities throughout the different rooms are provided in abundance and children are supported with genuine interest. This enables all children to thrive in this outstanding learning environment’.
‘Children’s individual needs are met to a high standard, their care and learning is enhanced by dedicated and skilful staff, excellent partnerships with parents and good links with the other settings children also attend’.
‘Managers and staff demonstrate a commitment and drive to secure continuous and sustainable improvement. The quality of the teaching is high and leadership is inspirational’.
‘Practitioners have very high expectations of children and themselves. They use this positive attitude to provide rich, varied, challenging and imaginative experiences for all children’.
‘Partnerships with parents are exceptional and strategies to engage parents in the learning at the setting and at home are limitless’.
‘Resources offer children the chance to learn in every area of the Early Years Foundation Stage; the planning system is comprehensive and staff work collaboratively to ensure activities are successfully linked to fully promote all aspects of children’s learning’.
We believe our ‘Outstanding’ result is wonderful news for the staff, parents and children at Atelier. We are feeling incredibly proud of this amazing achievement and the recognition that it brings to our dedicated and professional team. We will now continue to develop the nursery and the provision we offer to ensure we remain one of the best nurseries in Bath.
We would like to invite all families to join us at Alice Park on 26th April from 11am for a celebratory picnic; we hope to see you there.
A full copy of the report will be available to you shortly via both the nursery and Ofsted websites. A hard copy is available for parents to read in the Parents’ Room.
Recruiting Staff Now!
We are recruiting a number of full time, level 3 Early Years Practitioners to join our committed and highly motivated team.
Successful candidates will hold the role of key person and will support the development of high quality practice within our freeflow, mixed age nursery.
If you are looking to work in an environment that is dedicated to high quality childcare and education and wish to be part of a progressive, exciting new venture then we would love to hear from you.
You will need to be/have:
- Qualified to level 3 or above
- Experience of working in a nursery setting
- A strong understanding of the EYFS
- A skillful communicator
- A strong team player
For further information and to request an application pack please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Category One Provider
As part of the nursery quality assurance, we participte in a Local Authority led 'quality conversation'. We are pleased to share that following the quality conversation and the sharing of various peices of evidence the nursery has been recognised as a category one provider, which we are sure you will agree is great news!
We will now use the judegement made to support our reflections and the self evaluation process we undertake to improve our practice and the service we offer even more.
Father Christmas visits Atelier Nursery!
The Children have had a wonderful week in the run up to Christmas, which included a special visit from Father Christmas himself. All of the children enjoyed the opportunitiy to meet and chat with Father Christmas who kindly gave a special early present to each child which simply added to the awe and wonder of the celebration.
A scrumptious party tea followed his visit with parents and siblings joining in the fun and festivities.
Lighting up the streets of Bath
Last night the families and staff of Atelier joined in the magic of the Holborne Lantern Procession. Following on from a fabulous workshop earlier in the week the children proudly paraded with their lanterns through the city streets last night.
The children were in awe of some of the larger lanterns and it has certainly inspired us to make our very own Atelier logo lantern for next year! The children will continue designing and making lanterns this coming week as they explore and investigate light and dark and shadows.
Thank you to all families who were able to join us, it was great to spend some time with you all.
We are arranging a family trip to the Theatre Royal Bath to see Peter Pan on Saturday 11th January at 2pm. We are hoping to secure discounted tickets which will be dependent on the number of families attending. If you are interesting in joining us for some Panto fun, please let Clare or Liz know as soon as possible so we can make the necessary arrangements.
Baby Group is back!
Atelier Nursery are holding a weekly baby group for all new and expectant parents of the community. The group runs from 9.30am on every Monday during term time and is relaxed and informal in its approach. Offering you the opportunity to meet with other parents, share in parenting styles and tips, together with lots of chat, coffee and cake, the group makes for a great start to the week.