At the Acorn we endeavour to provide a caring, nurturing, secure environment where every child is valued and encouraged to reach his or her full potential. We place great emphasis on learning through play and providing both a stimulating and challenging environment where children are relaxed and happy to explore, discover and take risks. We firmly believe that a child’s first experience of education should be exciting and fulfilling and set them up for life-long learning. With play at the heart of all we do, we aim to provide rich opportunities for all our children to be excited, engaged and inspired in their learning and development.
Staff at the Acorn are well trained and dedicated to the children in their care. Each child is assigned a Key Person who is responsible for the pastoral care of no more than 8 children in their group. We consider one of our greatest strengths to be our motivated and enthusiastic staff whose in-depth knowledge of the children ensures they are exceptionally well cared for. This forms the foundation for the children to achieve their own personal excellence in whatever they do. Excellent adult: child ratios allow staff to be very attentive to the children and their parents. We have a dedicated Senco who observes and works with the children as and when appropriate.
“The calm learning environment and exceptional arrangements to care for children fully support their personal development and well-being. Staff are excellent examples for children.” Ofsted.
The curriculum at the Acorn is underpinned by the four themes and commitments of the Early Years Foundation Stage providing a broad and well-balanced programme of educational experiences which lay secure foundations for future learning. The seven areas of learning are promoted through a topic based curriculum which is flexible to take account of the children’s developing needs and interests. We aim to make the curriculum as diverse and as exciting as possible for the children including the involvement of parents, outside agencies and outings. Our core philosophy is learning through play and so we try and supplement learning in as many play situations as possible e.g. numbers and letters may be incorporated in an art activity, hidden in a tray of corn flour or hidden around the garden. We ensure a good balance of child initiated/play and adult led activities where resources are carefully chosen to promote the children’s natural curiosity and inquisitiveness, thereby making sure the children are actively engaged in their learning and exploring the world around them.
At the Acorn we take children from 2 ½ years old and operate two sessions per day, one in the morning (9am-noon) and one in the afternoon (1-4pm). The children are divided into two classes - the 2-3 year olds and the 3-4 year olds.