One of the primary areas of the Early Years Foundation Stage is an area called "Personal, Social and Emotional Development".
In the nursery this area is supported by the grace and courtesy lessons where children are taught to respect one another and respect ones' personal space, opinions or wishes. This is also supported by a concept called "vertical grouping" where younger children learn from the older ones and older children have the opportunity to consolidate what they themselves have learned.
Another way of supporting this personal and emotional development is by allowing them to have freedom of choice - this empowers them to not only become independent learners, but also to become confident and self-assured individuals by giving them a sense of control in their lives and helping them to feel that their choices have been respected.
Social development is encouraged through group activities, team work, and the grace and courtesy lessons. Through these lessons children are reminded to help each other in the classroom by doing little things like: saying please and thank you, tidying up together, helping each other putting on art aprons, preparing a snack for friends, as well as discussing what it means to be kind and helpful to one another.
This emotional development helps the children understand that everybody has their own feelings and that having feelings is perfectly normal and acceptable. Talking to children about feelings helps them understand about the different type of feelings and how the pleasant ones can be fun and the unpleasant ones overcome or managed. This is done throughout the day in the nursery by giving children clear boundaries, a clear set of rules and consequences, clear expectations, and routines.
Please see below some example of just how the children put some of the ideas mentioned in this blog into action!
Miss Lore and the Queens Park Rainbow Montessori Nursery Team!