Here at Boldon Nursery we offer an open plan, mixed age group nursery. Children from 2-4 years access and share all of the provision.
Differentiation – Highly skilled and experienced practitioners facilitate age-appropriate access to learning for all children by ensuring language, communication and resources meet the developmental needs of all children accessing the space.
Peer Learning – It’s amazing to watch as older children support and engage with younger children. Our youngest children often watch and observe their more capable peers and together they play, engage, explore and learn.
Teaching & Learning – Working in a mixed age environment is a wondrous experience for all children and staff, providing opportunities for sustained shared thinking, empathy and relationships.
A cohesive family unit – children have endured so much due to Covid isolations and 2 years of restrictions, we must reflect and respond to how they present and their individual needs.
Maria Montessori strongly advocated mixed age groups:
“Younger children learn by watching older children as well as adults. In a mixed age ‘classroom’, older children who are completing challenging ‘lessons’ are an example to the younger children; they show what is possible.”
Here at Boldon, we are very lucky to be able to facilitate mixed age provision and we celebrate a variety of ages playing and learning together. We recognise that all Early Years providers have a shared goal – to provide the best experiences for young children to achieve the best possible outcomes however, we strongly believe in our model and we organise our provision differently having considered the impact of:
- moving children from room to room
- changing to unfamiliar key persons
- returning to an unfamiliar routine
- joining an unfamiliar peer group
All the above can add unnecessary upset and challenges for young children, especially in these Early Years where they are developing self-regulation, social and communication skills. It can be unsettling to frequently transition to another room, new faces and a new environment.
During those unavoidable times of transition, we carefully consider the needs of each individual child ensuring their well-being is priority:
- Does the adult move with the child?
- Does the child stay with specific Key Persons from the beginning to the end of their time at nursery? (as in Waldorf Education)
- Does the child need a change of adult?
Our flexible approach to organisation ensures children feel safe, valued, and feel a sense of belonging within the nursery.