The Curiosity Approach

Here at ABC Day Nursery we follow The Curiosity Approach.

This is a modern-day approach to early childhood.  Inspired by and bringing together aspects of many childhood theorists, creating a truly unique and wonderful mix, together with the passion of a forward thinking and dedicated team, to offer the very best early years experiences for children.

Where has the idea originated from?

The Curiosity Approach was founded by Lyndsey Hellyn and Stephanie Bennett. They have over 50 years of experience in Early Years and are Directors of six Curiosity Approach nurseries across the East and West Midlands.

They are “huge advocates of young children and are dedicated to raising standards of Early Years provisions.”

Why did ABC make the change?

We embarked on our journey to become the first Curiosity Approach  accredited setting in Shropshire, as we researched and began to quickly fall in love with everything it stands for.

Children’s natural curiosity, awe and wonder for life and the wonderful world around them is enhanced and allowed to be stretched, creating the ‘thinkers and doers’ of the future.

We have rich environments, full of open-ended resources, authentic items, and loose parts. We have removed ‘toys’ which have a set purpose and can limit play. By replacing toys with these open ended resources, we allow our children the freedom and creativity to problem solve, use their imaginations and extend their play in any way they choose.

A stick is not just a stick….to a child it can be a wand, sword, potion mixer, paint brush, spade, the imagination, and creativity has no limit.

We aim to teach children ‘how’ to think rather than ‘what’ to think.

What makes our environments so Outstanding?

We have a ‘continuous provision’ which is based on our children’s individual next steps. This is available all day every day, inside and outside to provide children opportunities to achieve and also to extend their play. This is full of purposely chosen items to inspire children, enable play opportunities, practice, and perfect age appropriate skills, whilst gaining confidence, independence and accessing opportunities across the whole Early Years Foundation Stage.

We then support this by setting up ‘invitations to play and provocations’. These may introduce children to new ideas, concepts, skills, processes or resources. But are very different to ‘activities’ which have a set outcome. An invitation or provocation although set up with an ‘intention’ is open ended and can be accessed and played with in any way the child chooses.

We believe through accessing this well planned and highly inviting and stimulating environment through play children learn at their own pace, in a happy confident way and will thrive. Ofsted have strongly agreed with us and recently rated all four of our settings Outstanding. Our data again proves that this play based learning far outweighs an adult directed approach where children are made to take part in activities of our choosing.

How do we put children at the centre of everything we do?

Children are born with a natural curiosity. They want to do, they want to discover, explore for themselves, use their senses, be active participants and in charge of their own learning.

What we offer at ABC provides children with the time and skills they require to become confident, independent, and capable learners.

Children have many, many years ahead of them of formal learning. We set the foundations, so they are ready to take on these challenges. Not by being mini schools, but by embracing the opportunities and experiences children truly need in their early years from birth to 5 years.

The first curious nursery group in Telford

We often share ideas, information and blogs on our social media. You will find us on Facebook and Instagram, where we post ideas, photographs and inspiration.

If you would like any more information, please feel free to get in touch at any one of our four settings and if you have anything donate then find out what we are looking for here.

You can find out about what the Ofsted inspectors thought about the Curiosity Approach at out four Outstanding settings in their reports: Lightmoor; Hoo; Hadley and Hollinswood.