Grasshopper Classroom – 3–5 Year-Olds
Our Grasshopper Classroom has been designed to meet the needs of children from 3 years old up until they are ready to start primary school. The room is set out with specific spaces for the children to enjoy, which support Literacy, Maths, Imaginary Play, and Arts & Crafts. We plan activities that are added to these spaces throughout the day to not only fit in with our current topics, but also follow the children’s own interests. This ensures that the children are engaged in their learning whilst boosting their confidence and self-esteem. In the centre of the room we have our ‘Interest Table’. This is a table for the children to enjoy and usually this matches the current season or topic, for example Autumn, where we would display things like leaves, conkers, pumpkins etc. It creates many opportunities for discussion and learning and the children really enjoy exploring it.
Grasshopper children are given the opportunity of free flow play. This allows the children to move independently between environments, choosing to play in the classroom or in the playground. It also enables our practitioners to fully embrace the use of our whole environment.
The benefits of free flow are:
• Greater independence – As children can access the different environments freely it helps them develop greater independence. Older children especially thrive on being given extra responsibilities and this will help them later in life.
• Progress at own pace – Children shouldn’t be rushed in their learning; it should be about giving children time to fully embrace the skills they are learning. Free flow gives children the opportunity to make their own choices and develop at their own pace.
• Decision making – As children can choose where they would like to play and with what, this is developing their decision-making skills. As they get older, they will begin to learn that their choices may have consequences.
• Physical wellbeing – Offering children the choice of being outdoors gives them the opportunity to run around and build on their physical skills.
• Learning about the different environments – As children explore the different environment it opens up many learning opportunities as they discover the difference between inside and outside.
Throughout the day the children are encouraged to utilise the carpeted area for quiet time where they can listen to music, read a book, or listen to an audio book and rest. The staff also gather the children together on the carpet to have circle time, where they might have a story together or participate in some group learning such as phonics.
Although our Grasshoppers are based in a separate room to the babies and toddlers, all children come together as a whole nursery when accessing the outside space and at lunchtime. This is mutually beneficial to all children. The younger children benefit from this as they learn from their older friends, and the older children are encouraged to take pride in their maturity.
Throughout your child’s day practitioners will use our Famly App to log all their snacks and meals. Photographs will be posted so that you can feel connected to their experience. You are also able to contact your child’s Key Person directly via the Family App should you have any questions.
Our aim in the Grasshopper room is to provide a nurturing home-from-home environment, so that each child is ready when it is time for them to transition to primary school both emotionally and academically.