The environment at Woodlands contributes greatly to supporting children’s learning and development. We provide a setting in which children can play, explore and learn in a safe, caring and supportive space. You will see our environment is child-centred and our practitioners understand how individual children learn best and that they value and encourage independence.
An enabling environment supports children’s development and learning across all seven areas of the Early Years Foundation Stage, ensuring that children grow and develop to be ‘resilient, capable, confident and self-assured’.
Giving children the physical and mental space in which to enable learning in a safe environment is key to their growth.
An enabling environment is more than simply a physical space, it is also made up of the emotions of the people in the environment – the children, the staff who work at Woodlands and the parents of the children who attend. Emotional environments reflect the relationships of those within them, and how those in the setting talk to each other, how they behave, how they treat others and how inclusive it feels.
The indoor environment at Woodlands feels comfortable, safe and homely and makes children feel safe and secure. There are areas for different types of play or activity with appropriate and well-maintained resources that fit with each stage of learning across the ages of the children in the setting. Indoor play and learning environments need careful planning to ensure they take account of children’s changing interests and needs.
Outdoor environments have many positive effects on children’s development. They give opportunities to experience and enhance many different skills with a greater sense of freedom than that experienced indoors. Outdoor spaces and learning environments provide contact with the natural world allowing children to use all their senses. Often, children who are more reserved in an indoor setting will ‘come out of their shell’ when given the opportunity to play and learn outdoors.
Human beings are ‘hardwired’ to take risks, from birth. Babies take their first independent breaths; they decide to try crawling and walking and then running; they try new foods; they see a tree and want to climb it. Sadly, an increasingly risk adverse society is making physically active, playful risk taking ever more difficult for children to practise.