Our pedagogy is Ludocentric – this means that we believe children learn through play, the potential benefit and learning both immediate and long term comes from the play itself. The professional adult’s role is to support the play process only intervening when the play needs moving forward. Adults are facilitators – getting resources to support the children’s play when requested or by sensitively observing and knowing what may enhance the children’s play.
We hope that all children will have a happy and productive time at Belton Playgroup. We operate Free Flow which gives the children the opportunity to enjoy indoor and outdoor play whenever they wish, we provide lots of different learning opportunities both inside and out from which the children can choose.
Belton Playgroup provides activities and opportunities to support learning in the following areas:
Personal and Social Development
We encourage the children to establish social relationships with other children and adults. All children are encouraged to share and take turns when playing games and are given activities which help to promote confidence and independence. We take into account the children’s own interests when planning the activities.
To develop the children’s confidence and precision we use both large and small equipment. Equipment such as bicycles, climbing frames, balls and beanbags can all help to develop gross motor skills. We use large loose parts such as tyres, bread baskets and planks to enable the children to build their own obstacle courses. Other activities such as cutting, sticking, threading, painting and dressing up are provided to help the children with their fine motor skills.
Communication and Language
To help to develop language and literacy skills we listen and talk with the children and provide various activities such as story time, singing and rhymes and a book corner. During the sessions we are giving the children the language they need for independence and for negotiation. We teach the children how to listen effectively and promote understanding through play.
We provide various toys, which promote basic mathematical concepts; these include construction toys, water and sand, jigsaws, counting games and art activities. All of these can make children consider different concepts such as numbers, length, height, volume and basic shape recognition. We also encourage the children to be aware of numbers and shapes in the environment.
Expressive arts and design
We use a wide variety of equipment and materials to encourage the children to develop their own creativity skills. The role-play corner is set up to stimulate imaginary play using dressing up and real life kitchen equipment. Playdough is provided to encourage the children to knead, roll and cut different shapes out. Painting is a regular activity within our group as it helps the children to explore different colours and methods of painting, printing, finger painting and sponging. We also use a wide variety of different materials to create pictures and models.
Understanding the World
It is our policy to encourage the children to learn about different concepts of the world. This is done through cooking, growing things from seeds and by taking part in nature trails. We take into account other cultures and religions. We also learn about ICT using cause and effect toys and we use the tablet to access the internet for problem solving and fact finding. We have regular visitors to help with our learning. We visit the local church and school and take part in village activities.
During play the children are encouraged to write for a purpose – shopping lists, maps etc. They have small group times where they share stories and as they get older develop story telling skills of their own. Pre-school children take part in Jolly Phonics to develop their phonetical awareness. We also follow Talk Boost for children who are struggling with sitting, listening and understanding in preparation for their literacy learning.