Before they read words, children are reading pictures – Granby Wickersley

At Granby, we have developed a library of ‘core books’ to encourage an early love of reading. The Centre for Literacy in Primary Education recommends ‘a small collection of high-quality picture books will be much better than a large number of books of variable quality’.

Our selection here at Granby includes The Three Billy Goats Gruff, Handas Surprise, we’re going on a Bear Hunt, Tad & Quiet, to name but a few. These have been chosen for their repetition, story structure and potential to trigger children’s imagination.

Children learn so much from sharing books with a special person. Not only are they learning important skills for reading and writing in later life, but sharing books also helps with talking, listening, and communication skills, as well as encouraging imagination and curiosity. Books can also help children explore and understand emotions such as loss, anger and jealousy safely.

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mikolajki saint nicholas – Granby Carlton

This week we have learnt about Mikołajki.

Ala one of Granby Carlton’s practitioner’s shared the polish tradition with staff and children.

In some countries around the world, it’s believed that Santa Claus arrives in the night on the 24th of December.

Ala told the story how in Poland (and some other countries) Saint Nicholas comes with presents for children on the 6th of December.

This holiday is known as Dzien Świętego Mikołaja or Mikołajki (Saint Nicholas’ Day). Children receive small gifts on the day, the children find them under their pillows, in their slippers or (nowadays more and more often) in a stocking carefully hang out for that purpose the evening before

Ala kindly shared some Polish biscuits and cakes for everyone to try.

At Granby we are very proud of our inclusive practice, we ensure that everyone knows that everyone “belongs” children, parents and/or carers, staff and any other people connected with the early years setting. We treat everyone as an individual and respect their religions and cultures.

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Autumn Treasures – Granby Wickersley

Autumn is such an exciting time in nursery with the opportunity of using lots of natural resources to enhance activities and learning.

Sending home bags for the children to collect leaves, sticks & conkers on Autumn walks gives opportunities for the children to share their ‘treasures’ back at nursery with friends as well as encouraging a love of outdoors which is good for children’s health & wellbeing.

Using a range of natural resources in nursery allows for the opportunity of open ended play. The resources can be used over and over again and each time children will use them for different purposes.  Using natural resources either on their own or with other resources allows children to use their imagination and demonstrate skills as well as enhancing their sensory development. The way natural resources look, feel and smell all provide children with great learning opportunities as they are eagerly explored.

Natural resources allow children to use their creativity whilst learning rather than creating an end product or result.

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Benefits of bilingual practitioners – Granby Carlton

Granby Carlton are very lucky to have a member of staff that speaks two languages. Children benefit from this in a number of ways.

Some of the main benefits of receiving a bilingual education are:

Increased cognitive development, Improved memory, Improvements in the executive function of the brain.

Alicja joined the Granby Carlton team in May 2021 and has been an enthusiastic addition to the team. Alicja came to England from Poland when she was 10 years old, with the vision of working with children, she succeeded at school and then went on to study Level 3 childcare.

Alicia shares lots of interesting aspects with the children, such as Polish music, food, and talking about the difference in environments, this enables children to understand that although we are very similar, we are also very different. This enhances the Cultural capitol of the setting, by opening discussions about the children’s own experiences, we then extend this by

Research shows that having access to a second language enables children to develop skills such as problem-solving, critical-thinking, and listening skills, in addition to improving memory, concentration, and the ability to multitask.

The children can count in English and polish and are learning some polish songs.

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Early Years Foundation Stage – September 2021

Early Years Foundation Stage – September 2021

The Early Years Foundation Stage Framework (EYFS) sets out the learning and development stages for children as they grow from birth to five years.

From September 2021, the aims of the EYFS changes are to improve outcomes for children; strengthen their language development, particularly for children from disadvantaged backgrounds; and reduce workloads so that practitioners can spend more time with the children, supporting their learning.


 How will your child be learning?

At Granby Nurseries, your child will be learning skills, acquiring new knowledge, and demonstrating their understanding through 7 areas of learning and development.

These are split into Prime and Specific areas.  The prime areas are important because they lay the foundations for children’s success in all other areas of learning.

The specific areas provide the range of experiences and opportunities for children to broaden their knowledge and skills:

The Prime Areas of learning are:

  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development
  • Communication and Language
  • Physical Development.

The Specific Areas of learning are:

  • Literacy
  • Mathematics
  • Understanding the World
  • Expressive arts & design

As practitioners, we believe children learn best by playing & exploring and we plan activities linked to topics & children’s interests to ensure we cover all areas of learning.


How do we share this with you?

On your nursery app, you will receive information regarding mealtimes, sleep times & nappy changes.

You will also receive a daily diary with lovely photographs & learning intention of what your child/ren are enjoying whilst at nursery.

You will no longer be receiving daily observations as the practitioners will be spending quality time playing and engaging with the children.



We plan topics for each half term.

From September- October 2021, we will be focusing on All about me & Harvest.

From October – December 2021, we will be focusing on Autumn & Festivals.

To build on partnership with our parents, we will share lots of photographs via our Granby Carlton Facebook page to engage you in your child’s learning & we love parents to share your times together at home via the app.


Core books, rhymes, songs & poems

At Granby, we love to share & read books with the children. To encourage an early love of reading, we have recently adopted the ‘Core Book’ approach in our curriculum. We hope that by the time the children leave nursery they have an in-depth knowledge of our core books. The core books are chosen for their use of repetition, story structure and potential to trigger children’s imaginations.


Progress assessments

Your child’s learning will have ongoing assessments including:

  • A 2-year progress check which you can view on your app. The purpose of the 2-year check is to provide parents and/or carers with a short-written summary of their child’s development in the PRIME areas of learning, to help identify strengths and any areas needed support.
  • Termly summative reports which you can view on your app. This will summarise your child’s learning from the previous term and inform you if your child is ‘on track’ or ‘not on track’ in all areas of learning.
  • If your child happens to need more help in any area of development, we will work very closely with you and introduce an individual plan to support these areas.

We look forward to these changes & allow more time for us to engage in high quality interactions with the children

Thank you for reading, if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to speak to a member of our team.

Granby Nurseries

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Granby Ethos

Seven key features of effective practice

1.                   THE BEST FOR EVERY CHILD

  • All children deserve to have an equal chance of success.
  • High-quality early education is good for all children. It is especially important for children from disadvantaged backgrounds.
  • When they start school, children from disadvantaged backgrounds are, on average, 4 months behind their peers. We need to do more to narrow gap.
  • Children who have lived through difficult experiences can begin to grow stronger when they experience high quality early education and care.
  • High-quality early education and care is inclusive. Children’s special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) are identified quickly. All children promptly receive any extra help they need, so they can progress well in their learning.

2.                   HIGH-QUALITY CARE

  • The child’s experience must always be central to the thinking of every practitioner.
  • Babies, toddlers and young children thrive when they are loved and well cared for.
  • High-quality care is consistent. Every practitioner needs to enjoy spending time with young children.
  • Effective practitioners are responsive to children and babies. They notice when a baby looks towards them and gurgles and respond with pleasure.
  • Practitioners understand that toddlers are learning to be independent, so they will sometimes get frustrated.
  • Practitioners know that starting school, and all the other transitions in the early years, are big steps for small children.


  • The curriculum is a top-level plan of everything the early years setting wants the children to learn.
  • Planning to help every child to develop their language is vital.
  • The curriculum needs to be ambitious. Careful sequencing will help children to build their learning over time.
  • Young children’s learning is often driven by their interests. Plans need to be flexible.
  • Babies and young children do not develop in a fixed way. Their development is like a spider’s web with many strands, not a straight line.
  • Depth in early learning is much more important than covering lots of things in a superficial way.


  • Children are powerful learners. Every child can make progress in their learning, with the right help.
  • Effective pedagogy is a mix of different approaches. Children learn through play, by adults modelling, by observing each other, and through guided learning and direct teaching.
  • Practitioners carefully organise enabling environments for high-quality play. Sometimes, they make time and space available for children to invent their own play. Sometimes, they join in to sensitively support and extend children’s learning.
  • Children in the early years also learn through group work, when practitioners guide their learning.
  • Older children need more of this guided learning.
  • A well-planned learning environment, indoors and outside, is an important aspect of pedagogy


  • Assessment is about noticing what children can do and what they know. It is not about lots of data and evidence.
  • Effective assessment requires practitioners to understand child development. Practitioners also need to be clear about what they want children to know and be able to do.
  • Accurate assessment can highlight whether a child has a special educational need and needs extra help.
  • Before assessing children, it’s a good idea to think about whether the assessments will be useful.
  • Assessment should not take practitioners away from the children for long periods of time.


  • Executive function includes the child’s ability to: – hold information in mind – focus their attention – think flexibly – inhibit impulsive behaviour.
  • These abilities contribute to the child’s growing ability to self-regulate: – concentrate their thinking – plan what to do next – monitor what they are doing and adapt – regulate strong feelings – be patient for what they want – bounce back when things get difficult.
  • Language development is central to self-regulation: children use language to guide their actions and plans. Pretend play gives many opportunities for children to focus their thinking, persist and plan ahead.

7.                   PARTNERSHIP WITH PARENTS

  • It is important for parents and early years settings to have a strong and respectful partnership. This sets the scene for children to thrive in the early years.
  • This includes listening regularly to parents and giving parents clear information about their children’s progress.
  • The help that parents give their children at home has a very significant impact on their learning.
  • Some children get much less support for their learning at home than others. By knowing and understanding all the children and their families, settings can offer extra help to those who need it most.
  • It is important to encourage all parents to chat, play and read with their children.
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Oral Health – All Granby’s – written by Granby Parkgate

One of the most important ways of reducing tooth decay in children is to reduce the amount of foods containing sugars – especially between meals.

Each time we eat food and drinks high in sugars, the bacteria in dental plague produces acids that attacks teeth; this will lead to tooth decay.

That’s why at nursery we only give the children milk and/or water to drink and offer ‘sweet’ things such as fruit alongside meals, followed by a drink of milk to reduce the acid build up on the teeth.

Remember to brush your children’s teeth at least twice a day – last thing at night and at least one other occasion and use a fluoride toothpaste.  As soon as your child gets their first tooth then start brushing their teeth/tooth. Check out the handy Factsheet to help you keep your child’s mouth healthy.

Factsheet (

Ensure you make regular visits to the dentist with your child – prevention is key. Once a tooth has been filled it will require care and maintenance throughout life. Let’s support our children to be aware of what good oral health means. Talk to them about it, make it a pleasant experience and ensure that they brush daily.

During the day whilst they are playing have a spare toothbrush which they can brush their babies and dolls/teddy’s teeth. Read stories about tooth brushing and sing songs

Brush, brush, brush your teeth (Tune ‘Row, row, row your boat’)

‘Brush, brush, brush your teeth Brush them every day

We put toothpaste on our brush To help stop tooth decay

Clean, clean, clean your teeth Clean them every day

Your teeth will sparkle for years to come In the most beautiful way

Brush, brush, brush your teeth Brush them every day Happy, healthy teeth you’ll have If it’s

done this way.’


Whether it’s their first tooth, or their visit to the dentist, a child’s early experiences of oral health can impact on the rest of their life.

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Exciting Changes are on the horizon – All Granby’s – written by Granby Wickersley

Exciting Changes are on the horizon


Within Granby Nurseries, we follow the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum.

From September 2021, this will be changing.


The Department for Education has identified that the new EYFS will improve outcomes, particularly in early language and literacy and reduce unnecessary paperwork/iPad recording by the staff so they can spend more time playing and interacting with the children………the thing that we love to do the most!!


We are confident that our practitioners know the children so well and will be able to use their professional judgement to support them in their development using their individual interests.


We will be sending out lots more information in what these changes will mean and how you can support us in helping your child develop and grow.


Watch this space…………


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Outdoor sleeping – Granby Carlton

The summer months allows the children at Granby Carlton to take advantage of the wonderful large tress in the outdoor area, for napping under.

One of the greatest benefits to sleeping outdoors is the increased brain activity which allows children to be happier, have better concentration, and an improved memory. This improves children’s cognitive development and allows them to be more explorative and open to learning.


Benefits of outdoor napping for all children.


  1. Better sleep

The cold air helps babies and toddlers sleep better, deeper, and longer. It also helps them fall asleep easier even once they are older.


  1. Less illness

Children who sleep outdoors spend less time in dry, recycled air which can allow the flu, virus and common colds to easily spread among the children.


  1. Improved learning

Children who sleep better are more rested and they can benefit from improved alertness and better cognitive performance.


  1. Calmer babies

By spending more time in nature, looking at the beauty and smelling the fresh air, children who sleep outdoors benefit from nature’s calming effect.


  1. Healthy habits

By spending a lot of time outdoors from a young age, children can internalise these habits early on in their lives which can help them become healthier adults.



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Learning and Development – Granby Parkgate

Every child deserves the best possible start in life and the support that enables them to fulfil their potential.  Children develop quickly in the early years and a child’s experiences between birth and age five have a major impact on their future life chances.

Each child within our setting is assigned a key person.  Their role is to help ensure that every child’s care is tailored to meet their individual needs.  They will work towards an educational programme promoting the seven areas of learning from the Early Years Foundation Stage.  This framework is mandatory for all early year’s settings and from 1 September 2021 the framework has been updated.

Over the next few months, we will be working to make the changes necessary ready for September 2021.  One of the key features is limiting the amount of data that we collect on the children: reducing the amount of written work that the staff produce on a daily basis, which in turn will give us more time with the children for quality interactions which are not interrupted by data collection. With this in mind we will be looking at the observations that we put onto the app by ensuring that we have a selection of quality and meaningful observations but not necessarily as many.  You may therefore see a reduction in the number of daily observations that you receive on the app.  Ongoing assessment is an integral part of the learning and development process.  It involves practitioners knowing the children’s level of achievement and interests, and then shaping teaching and learning experiences for each child reflecting that knowledge into their everyday interactions with the children. As the new document states ‘Assessment should not take practitioners away from the children for long periods of time’.

Granby will continue to encourage parents and/or carers to share information about children’s learning at home to ensure that we create a holistic understanding of children’s learning and development.

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