Grayrigg CE School - Start Small Think Big

What do we offer?

We are passionate about learning coming from the children, and seizing opportunities. Children will not spend their time sitting at tables working, the environment will be developed to learn through play. Every child is a unique person capable of extraordinary things, to this there are no exceptions and it is what we celebrate here at Grayrigg. One of the things that our parents appreciate most is that we celebrate every individual in an inclusive way. The children won’t be confined to the nursery - they will work alongside reception children and sometimes older children, as the Oaks class have already asked if they can help with the nursery at lunch times and play times. So not only will the children get individualised learning in an engaging environment. They will also get a whole new set of big brothers and sisters. The older children are a wonderful set of role models and always love to help.

The Environment

Outside: If you know our school, I’m sure you will have heard about our stunning new outdoor development. We discovered the company COOL CANVAS, through leading EYFS expert Alistair Bryce-Clegg. The development is still new but is proving to be everything we dreamed of. A limitless play environment, with texture kitchen, workshop, climb in sand pit, log pile (climbing structure), water wall play and pulley. Everything is open ended so children never get bored. The best way to share this with you is through pictures so do have a look at our image gallery, facebook and twitter pages to see some of the things we get up to.

In addition to the outdoor play environment, the school also benefits from spacious grounds with a playground and field which are used regularly for learning. In fact, most of the children in the school have learnt to ride their bikes on the large flat school playground. The sloped field area offers great opportunities including old favourites such as sledging and rolling down the hill.

Inside, our environment is set up for learning through play with continuous access to the outdoor classroom. The carpets have gone and we now have new non slip, wood effect floors to ensure no learning is limited by the environment - there will be no cries of “don’t spill that on the floor”. Instead of a carpet area there are various textures of rugs which can be moved to different areas of the room, depending on what is happening. An archway leads to a world of imagination where anything is possible in the de-constructed role play area. The creative area has open access to cutting, sticking, and painting. Indoor water will work on different levels along with sand. Children will have access to resources which they can access indepdently. The core aim of the environment will be to create “limitless” play opportunities, within all the areas of play and learning you would expect to see in an early years setting.

Funky Fingers and dough gym: Through daily dough gym and funky fingers work, children develop not only independence, but also develop the muscles in their arms, hands, and fingers that later feed into making writing easier and more comfortable. I’m sure you can all relate to that moment when your hand or wrist aches from writing. Children in our nursery start the day with dough gym:

“Dough Gym is a daily physical intervention that combines the use of large pieces of dough with a series of hand and finger exercises. These strengthen and develop children’s fine and gross motor dexterity, hand/eye coordination, proprioception, balance, low load control, grip and self esteem!” Alistair Bryce-Clegg

Basically it’s about developing their writing muscles- in particular the gross motor skills. Once they are ready (some children may be ready when they start nursery), they move onto funky finger which focuses more on their hands, fingers and grip. This important step before handwriting ensure they have a comfortable and relaxed grip and sets them up for writing. When ready they move onto pencil work during these short early morning sessions.

We have the right team, the right environment - all we need now are the children to share it with. To arrange a visit or join us for a stay and play session, contact the school office.Stay and play sessions are available every Tuesday from 14th June 2016.