Practitioners plan ‘In the moment’ rather than forward planning. Staff follow the children’s interests and use teachable moments to challenge and extend learning as well as set ‘next steps’ from the seven areas of learning.  Floor books are used to give children ownership of their own work and confidence to talk about what they are learning.

Wake up, Shake up

The children take part in regular exercise routines that are fun and interesting, they learn rhythm and rhyme and dance to a selection of specialist CD's for younger chldren.  We usually start these mid morning, mid afternoon and at the end of the day using a variety to keep the children's interests.  Through this method we have noticed that children have become more focused and co-ordinated and have identified many skills.  This is a fun and interesting way to exercise not just for the children but for the practitioner's too which keeps everyone in the setting healthy.


The babies, toddlers and young children have access to paint and messy play activites each day. Paint is available in a variety of colours with opportunities for the children to mix the paint with paintbrushes or their fingers. We have liquid paint, pearlised paint, powder paint and finger paint for the children to explore.


We have PVA glue, pritt sticks and coloured glue. The mark making trolley allows children to self-select the glue sticks to use when creating collages.

Mark Making

Toddlers and young children have free access to coloured pencils, wax crayons, pastels and fibre tip pens. The paper tray is in easy reach for little hands to help themselves.

Messy Play

We provide play dough, shaving foam, coloured soap, shavings, spaghetti, shredded paper, angel delight, flour, cornflakes, coffee and much more for the little ones to explore with their senses.  We have explored lots of different foods for our little ones to use their senses and is a great way of engaging parent's in your child's learning. We are always happy for you to come in and join us for a play session and you are more than welcome to send in ingrediants you do not want. 


Sand and water is available each day indoor/outdoor, children learn early writing skills from playing in the sand and making marks. The children use their senses playing in these areas and spend lots of time developing their gross motor skills. Practitioner's are encouraged to develop children's speaking and listening skills and introduce new words as children play. We make our activities more exciting when using sand and water by adding things to them such as bathbombs, colouring, glitter, bubbles or pasta and coloured sand etc, the children are very good at making their own decisions about what they want to put in. 

Books and Stories

We believe that reading stories is the most important time for a baby, toddler and young child. Children learn to communicate and develop a growing vocabulary through sharing books and stories with an adult. Children learn the skills needed to handle books carefully and develop a growing imagination. We have a small Library in our corridor where children can sign books in and out, we also have a selection of books about starting School which you are very welcome to borrow when your child is getting ready for BIG SCHOOL.

Circle Time

Circle time is organised into groups, the older children have a daily discussion of available activities and discuss what area of interest they are going to learn about that week. This is an  ideal time for encouraging speaking and listening.  We have introduced the 'Marvellous Me' box for the three and four year old children. This activity allows parent's to become more involved in their child's learning and also encourage communication as well as extend vocabulary. The box goes home with a child one day a week and is filled with special toys for the child to talk about at 'circle time' when they next attend the setting. The remainder of the children have to use their listening skills as the child explains what they have put in the box. The children end the discussion by singing a selection of songs and rhymes. 

The younger children have their own group time where they sit together for a few minutes to sing nursery rhymes before going off to play. 

We also have two very special dolls in our nursery that the children can take home to engage in home learning experiences with their parents. We have one called 'Rosie' and one called 'Jim', the children share such lovely experiences and send in photographs for our home learning display. 

Outdoor Play

Everyday the children have access to the outdoor area, they have lots of opportunities to use gross motor skills as they run about and climb. We have a large selection of vehicles to ride on and milk crates to challenge the children's curiosity and imagination. The children are encouraged to join together for games such as 'What time is it Mr Wolf?' or 'Old MacDonald had a Farm'. We have a selection of big sticks that the children use to make 'camp fires' 'boats' 'use as microphones' etc.  Dens are a big hit with our children too, they love to use old duvet covers over boxes or tables and hide inside or use them as cosy spaces. 

We also play in our Church garden at the other side of the building, we use the area for planting as well as having picnics, play on physical play and have small group time, we have a separate risk assessment for this area which is carried out and we use it.


The children take part in regular baking activities where they have opportunities to use their own ideas. The baking is usually sent home with the children or eaten after lunch on the same day. At the moment our children have been making lots of jam/lemon curd tarts, they have enjoyed weighing the ingredients and rolling out the pastry.


We use samsung tablets to observe the children and therir learning. There are apps which are educational for the children, we have these out everyday and the children also use them to draw pictures, or follow an educational programme about numbers, shapes, colours and letters and culture. The older children use them to find out facts from what they are learning each week. This month (February 2017) we are learning all about 'Diversity and the country of Africa', the story of Handa's surpirse is also incoprorated learning all about new fruits. 

Role Play

The children use their imagination as they play in the home corner and wear many dressing up clothing. Transporting schemas are noted in this area as the children fill hand bags and transport the toys around the room.

WOW Board

The children and parents are encouraged to bring in something from home that their baby, toddler or young child has achieved or made. For example it could be a drawing or a note from parents about a milestone that has been achieved or an act of kindness. It can be anything positive that can be shared on the Pre-School and Nursery 'WOW' board and then celebrated at 'circle time'. 

We like our parents to join our parentzone webiste which allows you to add to your child's learning story with what you have been doing at home or on days out. It also allows parents to see what their chidren have being up to at nursery with lots of pictures and observations from their key person. We also have lots of parents e-mail in each week with photographs so we can transfer these to a word document and print them out for the children's learning story.

Jolly Phonics

The children take part in 'Jolly Phonics' for five minutes during the morning session and is repeated again for the afternoon session. We also use flash cards and letters used in play activities and print round the room to support the children in understanding that print carries meaning.  Some of our children are at the stage of sounding out words which we encourage and use the jolly phonics programmes on 'Youtube' to support this.

We have a wide range of activities and resources to stimulate and educate children in a homely environment. We acknowledge that babies, toddlers and young children learn best through PLAY with the support of highly qualified experienced practitioners.  



Tel: 01924 375060        Email:
New Life Pre-School and Nursery, 42 George Street, Wakefield, West Yorkshire, WF1 1DL
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