The Den is a friendly and stimulating environment for children aged approximately 2 to 3 years. Every child is unique and individual and we recognise this fully. This is why we are flexible on our age groupings within rooms. Some children may begin in the Den before they turn 2 and some slightly after. Transitions between rooms or decisions on where new entrants to the nursery begin, are based around the child’s ability and needs.
In The Den, we provide free flow access between indoors and outdoors in all weather, and pride ourselves on the excellent high quality provision continually available to our children. We have a range of continuous provision available at all times including role play, small world, construction, sand, water, messy play, mark making, physical climbing structures and many more! We are very careful to ensure the areas provide different opportunities and challenges on a different scale in the outside to the inside. All of our planning is driven from the interests and fascinations of the children and we ensure our environment reflects the current needs of the children. As well as excellent opportunities for child led learning, we also plan adult led activities which will excite, engage and enthuse our children.
Our key person approach allows children to form very secure attachments with staff whilst at the same time promoting independence and empowering children to be settled and confident in their environment. This promotes children’s emotional well-being and provides a very strong base for their learning. In the Den, we operate a ‘co-key person’ system so your child is given two designated Key People who will be at hand to welcome your child, get to know them as a person and as a learner, welcome you, answer any questions you may have and act a first port of call to the Nursery School.
Your child's key person will have regular informal and occasional formal discussions with you to ensure our partnership with you is maintained and strengthened. It is important for your child's welfare and learning that we maintain close links with you and that you feel able to talk to us and seek advice. It is important to note that while we operate a key person system, we pride ourselves on the fact that all practitioners will get to know children really well. There may be times when children are welcomed by, or handovers given from a member of staff who is not their key person.
Your child's key person will be keeping records and observations of your child's progress using Tapestry, our online learning journal. You will be asked to sign up for Tapestry when your child starts Nursery and are encouraged to include your own observations in their journal so that we can see how they are learning at home and celebrate milestones achieved.
As well as all our exciting learning opportunities, in the Den, we promote children's independence and healthy eating by allowing them to make their own snack as part of our ‘mini meals’ initiative. Firm favourites include such things as; scrambled egg, tortilla chips, or making yogurt and chive dip using the chives we gave grown in our allotment! Children absolutely love the opportunity to make their own food and we find they are more willing to try new things if they have been involved in the process. We are always happy to share recipes so you can have a go at home too. Please see our meal room below!
Rhythm of the day
At Haven, we base ‘routines’ and ‘structures’ around children’s rhythms which will include an enormous amount of free flowing play, where they can be themselves. Times to refuel, eat or sleep and times where they can be challenged even further through fun games, are supported by adults. For example; self-regulation games. This rhythm will be the foundations upon which children and adults can learn life skills and have fun together.
Please see attached ‘Rhythm of the Day’ document for the routine of the day for our Den children. We do, however, recognise that all children are individual and we are flexible with this depending on the needs of each child. We are very happy to be guided by parents.