Making marks, making meaning: the importance of mark-making in early learning

Children need to be able to experiment with making marks from an early age using a range of resources as well as their sense and their bodies. There is a wide set of skills that children need to master in order to be able to use mark-making tools effectively, such as dexterity and coordination, and purely cognitive skills like dealing with symbols. Parents, carers and teachers all need to get on board and become more fascinated by children’s mark-making journeys and provide a wealth of opportunities to celebrate achievements and development of these skills.

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End of Year Celebration!

Another amazing year has gone by here at Alphablocks Nursery School, a year in which we have built on our Outstanding Ofsted results by pushing the boundaries of our early learning provision with innovative projects, for example, through our:

  • Focused Learning Weeks, which included a High Scope Approach week
  • Our “inter-generational project” where we visit a local care home and run joint activities with its residents
  • Dedicated maths workshops, phonics classes, as well as our regular curriculum classes (drama, music & movement, Spanish with Bilingual Beats, etc.)

Our cohort this year, moving on to Primary school, is composed of 12 children who have made exceptional progress in all areas of learning.

To celebrate all their hard work and achievements, we put together a performance entitled “We’re Going on a School Hunt“, directed by Rebekah, our Drama Teacher.

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High Scope Approach – the importance of reflection

“What did I do today? Let me think”
Eloise, age 4

Focused Weeks

During our “focused weeks” this Summer Term we explored in detail a specific educational approach every time. As part of this process, we made a lot of progress in implementing more elements of the High Scope approach. This is one of the four core early years educational methodologies that we follow as part of our overall hybrid philosophy.

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Rated Outstanding by Ofsted

Alphablocks Nursery School & Pre-Prep in Hadley Wood provides outstanding early education to children aged two to five years old. We empower children to become confident learners in a safe and stimulating environment, which adapts according to the skills that we want our children to develop.

This school year is coming to a close with an outstanding Ofsted rating, which validates the efforts of our children, parents or carers, and brilliant teachers.

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Observing Children: the crucial role of purposeful observation in our nursery

About purposeful observation

Observation of children’s activities, interests, and interactions by our early years teachers is an integral part of our daily routine. It is a crucial responsibility of every practitioner to ensure that accurate, purposeful observations are recorded on all children, not just their key children. Observations are as important as every other part of the practitioners’ role. Time is made to discuss and evaluate observations as a team so as to inform children’s individual profiles accordingly and to set targets for learning, which in turn inform all future planning.

Why is it important?

Observation for us is the key to effective planning and assessment. Here are some of the reasons why we observe children, and why it’s important to do so consistently and with due care:

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