Learning with Laughter
Laughter is a sound that permeates Bertie's;
it is the heart beat of the nursery. What better place then for young children as a spoonful of laughter undoubtedly helps health, wellbeing and learning.
… the research evidence is everywhere.For example Rana Esseily (2015) conducted her research on babies as young as 18 months old. She found laughter enhances ‘attention, motivation, perception,memory and learning’.
At Bertie’s we strive to create a community that surrounds the young children with care, kindness and support. We do all we can to develop a partnership with families that together provides young children with consistency, confidence and comfort. We disregard negativity and instead unstintingly promote self-esteem and self-belief.
The staff at Bertie’s are very carefully selected. They must exude pleasure, even joy at looking after young children. They must laugh and enjoy their work. Within the idyllic setting their primary aim is however, to ensure all the children are happy, very happy. Inevitably this means keeping families well informed. Inevitably this means listening and acting upon regular feedback from families.
It is wonderful to hear children laughing; it is infectious, compelling, enchanting. Laughter fills our corridors … and our children learn and feel better as a result.
'Tell the truth, sing with passion,work with laughter, love with heart - cause that's all that matters in the end.' Kris Kristofferson
Babies (From 6 months to about 12 months)
At Bertie’s we call our babies Mini Movers and we take a maximum of nine babies.
Each of the three Care Workers looks after a maximum of three babies. Most importantly they fully appreciate the extraordinary trust families place in them to look after their treasured children and they delight in sharing special moments with each baby and laughing together in joyous fun. These moments are essentially recorded and shared with parents through our parent portal.
Each baby is nurtured with regard to an individual Care Plan agreed and regularly reviewed with parents. The warm,comfortable room is home from home. Beautifully, sensitively equipped and displayed it entices babies to relax but simultaneously to be curious and inquisitive. Sensory activities abound, giggles reverberate whilst some gently sleep in ignorance in the lovely cot room. Fresh air vital to their growth, the young children are taken on regular walks in the parkland and they often spend time in the play area.
Under Twos (From 12 months to about 24 months)
Our Mini Movers have now become Under Twos or Twinkle Toes.
Each Key Carer continues to support 3 key children in Twinkle Toes and they play an integral part in guiding and supporting each young child’s development in the Early Years Curriculum.
Verbal communication is increasingly encouraged, physical challenges are extended. Curiosity is constantly stimulated and praise is used in abundance. Activities are planned around each child's interests ensuring they experience the full range of developmental skills and attitudes.
Importantly the foundation interpersonal attitudes of care, kindness and respect are also gently laid.
Drawing, building, dressing up, waterplay, …..but story time is the great favourite, the Key Carers taking turns to read and act out stories, each child being encouraged to partake. The extensive outdoor leaning area is used every day and the young children are introduced to amongst other things the neighbouring farm, country walks and cooking.
Over Twos (From 24 months to rising 3s)
Our Twinkle Toes have now become Over Twos or Tweenies.
Each Key Carer supports the close development of 4 children in our Tweenies Room.
At this stage of development a delicate balance between adult led and child initiated learning is carefully established.The young children are encouraged to be creative in their play but simultaneously they are introduced to new activities, new experiences that extend their interest and curiosity.
Confidence continues to be built through reassurance and positive reinforcement. Good manners are expected. Every child’s success is celebrated, indeed each child in Tweenie's celebrates their third birthday with friends and Key Carers; songs, dancing and birthday cake, made especially for them by our lovely chef, are in abundance. A real sense of camaraderie and community is built through sharing and thoughtful consideration of others.
The double doors of Tweenie's open straight out to the stunning, extensive playground area, part of which is undercover and sheltered from the elements. This beautiful area is surrounded by lovely woodland and fields, indeed there can be few nurseries from which deer, fox and hare are regularly sighted. More rarely the elephants, giraffes and rhinos of Noah’s Ark Farm Zoo can also be seen. Forest School, cooking and farm walks are all a regular part of the week.
Pre-School (For the rising 4s)
Our Pre-School children are known as Jumping Beans and to ensure their energy and curiosity are suitably directed qualified teachers look after the children in this room. In preparation for moving to the more formal environment of school and the Reception Classes, they complete the Early Years Profile which started in the Mini Movers Room. The aim is to make sure each child is equipped to learn as they enter school.
At this stage each child's communication skills are being honed, for example they are encouraged to carefully listen and to share in turn thoughts and views. Phonics sessions using in part the smart board are gently introduced. Games, songs and activities are inadvertently used to reinforce sounds in a fun, interactive manner. Care, kindness and respect remain essential qualities of the children, good manners are consolidated to become the unaffected norm. Perseverance is praised, resilience is commended and disappointment approved. Essentially laughter remains the stable diet of each day.
We use some of the many facilities at The Downs Preparatory School (DPS) to prepare the young children for their transition to school. Amongst others the magical Tree house, Pets Corner and the larger Forest School are used to extend each child's experiences. The shrieks of joy and laughter quickly confirm their joy of searching the woods, drinking hot chocolate, collecting the fresh eggs, walking across the rope bridge to the Tree House – the home of the school’s wizard! The children also visit the Reception Classes for songs and story time.
Mrs Kirsty Chapple
Tweenies Room Leader
I have always enjoyed working with children and I have a wide experience of working in early years. After finishing my A-levels at school, I went and completed my degree in Early Childhood Studies at Plymouth University.I have always lived locally and when I finished my degree moved back to North Somerset to start working as a Deputy Room Leader at a nursery in Portishead. I have also spent time working at a church in Bristol as a Children’s Family and Youth worker.
My love for education in the early years continues to grow and I strive to promote a positive start in every child’s life and foster a ‘can do’ attitude in children in my care.
I am married and in my spare time I enjoy baking, cooking, countryside walks and going out for coffee with friends and family.
Ms Cathy Barnes
Mini Mover Key Carer
With over 23 years’ experience as an NNEB nursery nurse and a background in nursing, over the years I have worked on maternity wards and neonatal intensive care units. I have always returned to a nursery-based environment to build and nurture relationships with the babies in my care. I am passionate about working in partnership with their parents.