March St, Burnley, BB12 0BU

01282 454 473

Stoneyholme Nursery School with Forest School

Laying the foundations for life-long learning - Tel: 01282 454473

Play is children's work!

Stoneyholme Nursery School is a Reggio Emilia-inspired school: key principles
Our experienced, school staff team have developed their pedagogy around how young children
learn best. There are seven key elements of the philosophy of the Reggio Emilia approach to
which a school must adhere to be a Reggio-inspired school. These guiding principles are:
1. Children are capable to construct their own learning. Children are the main initiators of
the learning process. They are inspired by their own interest to know and learn.
2. Children are collaborators and learn through interaction within their communities.
Learning is based on interrelationships – there is a close interaction between teachers, parents,
and children. As outlined above, children are collaborators and work best when included in a
community as opposed to working independently. It promotes working in small groups. 

3. Children are natural communicators and should be encouraged to express themselves however they feel they can. One of the most profound aspects of Reggio Emilia is known as The Hundred Languages of Children. The concept is that children are natural communicators, and thus should be encouraged to communicate through whatever means they can. This may include words, movement, drawings, paintings, buildings, sculptures, and more. Because of the many ways that children express, discover, and learn, children should be encouraged to use many materials for discovery, communication, and demonstration of what they feel, understand, wonder, question, or imagine. It is then, the teacher’s responsibility to facilitate the exploration of a child’s surroundings.
4. The classroom environment acts as the third teacher. One of the most powerful and important components is to ensure that the classroom acts as a “living organism, a place of shared relationships among the children, the teachers, the parents, and a feeling of belonging in a world that is alive, welcoming, and authentic.” Classrooms and common spaces are carefully integrated with one another, as well as with the outside community. Classrooms also use natural furnishing to encourage real-life interactions.
5. Teachers are partners, nurturers, and guides who help facilitate the exploration of children’s interests as they work on short and long-term projects. Teachers are the ones who guide experiences, open-ended discovery, and problem solving. The teacher’s main role is to
listen and observe the children, as well as question and listen for opportunities to encourage
further exploration of a child’s interests. Children and teachers are expected to collaborate, but it’s
the responsibility of the teacher to identify when a concept can be used to further discovery and
learning. As a mentor, it also means that teachers are not planning projects or learning points in
advance – they’re allowing projects to emerge based on the interests of the children.

 6. Documentation is a critical component of communication. Teachers, in addition to
playing the role of a guide, are also responsible for documenting the learning process within the
classroom and transcribing the verbal language used by children. Teachers may take photos and
even videos to better understand the children and assist parents in becoming more aware of what
their child is doing. Documentation also provides teachers an opportunity to evaluate their own
work and exchange ideas with others. Moreover, documentation demonstrates to children that
their work is of value. Through documentation, a child may finish their preschool experience with
a portfolio of projects, pictures, photos, scripts, and quotes that they make take great pride in, as
it represents the steps they’ve made throughout their education.
7. Parents are partners in education. Reggio Emilia sees parental participation in their child’s
education as a critical component of the learning philosophy. It may take form in many ways, but
parents should always be invited to play an active role in their child’s learning experiences as well
as help to ensure the welfare of the children in the community around them. Parents, both their
skills and ideas, are very valuable. Teachers respect parents as a child’s true primary teacher, and
educators are positioned as advocates and learners alongside the children, also known as “the
second teacher.” Parental involvement is critical to the creation of a learning community for


The Progress Check for 2 Year Olds

When a child is aged between two and three, practitioners will review their progress, and provide parents and/or carers with a short written summary of their child’s development in the prime areas. This progress check will identify the child’s strengths, and any areas where the child’s progress is less than expected. If there are significant emerging concerns, or an identified special educational need or disability, practitioners will develop a targeted plan to support the child’s future learning and development involving other professionals with parental involvement and consent.

"Through play, our children explore and make sense of the world we live in. Play is essential for children’s development, building their confidence as they learn to explore, relate to others, set their own goals and solve problems. Children learn by leading their own play, and by taking part in play which is guided by adults".                                         Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage 2021 - 1.14

As practitioners we follow the Revised EYFS 2021 guidance about our children being unique. We consider the individual need, interests, and stage of development of each child in our care and use this information to plan a challenging and enjoyable experience for each of them in all the areas of learning and development.

The most powerful interactions are not planned in writing. As skillful practitioners we respond “in the moment”. This starts with our observations of children, assessing their starting points and then planning and teaching them to develop their learning. Each child’s interest and enthusiasm is captured and exploited immediately to maximise learning and progress and their next steps are identified so that learning can be extended.