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The Curiosity Approach at Kirkley Nursery & Early Years Centre of Excellence

Kirkley Nursery has been open for half an academic year and now has 46 children on roll, with new children joining each week.  The Nursery children divided into three rooms, 6 months to 2 years old (Hedgehog Room), 2 – 3 years (Squirrel Room) and 3 – 4 years (Owl Room).

Since January the Nursery Practitioners alongside the Nursery Manager, Kate and myself have begun the journey towards The Curiosity Approach accreditation.  To achieve this we have access to an online toolkit with videos and documents to guide us through the training. There are six different modules, which are released every two months. We anticipate it will take us between 12 – 24 months to complete the training, whilst building a reflective portfolio to show the changes made and the impact these have had on the children. The first section of the portfolio contains the nursery ‘before’ photos and we are looking forward to collecting evidence of all the exciting developments as we progress.

The Curiosity Approach is based on a blend of ideas from Early Years pioneers and philosophies. These include Reggio Emilia Approach, Waldorf Education (Rudolph Steiner), Maria Montessori, Te Whariki (Curriculum of New Zealand) and Emmi Pikkler. You could find out more information about their ethos on The Curiosity Approach Facebook Page.

The first module is linked to the nursery environment, with a particular focus on ‘Construction Areas’. In a staff meeting, Nursery Practitioners shared photos of construction areas they found inspiring and then discussed the different elements of the invitations to play, e.g. small world play, books, loose parts. After reflecting on the common aspects of the photos, Nursery staff wrote an action plan for their construction area and began to create the areas in their rooms.

Here are some of the construction area photos discussed at the staff meeting.

Each module has a self-reflection section with a quality rating and then a solution section to discuss and highlight changes made and their impact.  We are very much at the start of the journey but all the staff feel very fortunate to be able to take part in this training.  The next two modules are ‘Open-ended Resources’ and ‘Invitations to Learning’. I’ll keep you updated on our progress!

Caroline Richardson, Head of Service EYFS