For example, our different age group rooms are named after three different classical composers; Baby Bachs (for children aged 6 months to 2 years), Mini Mozarts (2 to 3 years) and Bouncing Beethovens (3 to 5 years). In the rooms we listen to various types of music, from classical to Disney and a few party songs as well, which are age appropriate for the children. At sleep time the children listen to soothing lullabies as they go to sleep.
Nathalie’s influence also provides the children with opportunities to partake in different classes every day they attend: Ballet on Mondays, Drama on Tuesdays, Gymnastics on Wednesdays, Street Dance on Thursdays and Singing on Fridays. These classes are at no extra cost to your family and mean your child can develop new skills from a young age. All our age groups take part in the activities, from babies aged 6 months to children aged 4. The classes are held within an hour slot and the timing is split between the age groups. Baby Bachs have 10 minutes; Mini Mozarts have 20 minutes and the Bouncing Beethovens have 30 minutes per class. We feel as a nursery that these times are appropriate for the different ages as well as what the teachers are teaching them. All our teachers are trained in their field of work, for example, our Gymnastic teacher runs Gymnastics classes where her students have gone onto win medals in different exams. The practitioners also have a lot fun joining in with the children.
In Ballet the children dance to soft piano or classical music and use different materials and their bodies to create smooth shapes, as well as some classic Ballet moves. For example, Baby Bachs use scarves to help them create different shapes i.e., moving it up and down and side ways. As the children move up through the rooms they are introduced to new ways to move their bodies, for example, Bouncing Beethovens are encouraged to do ‘Good Toes Bad Toes’ as well as making small and big shapes with their bodies, curling into a small ball and then stretching tall.
In Drama the children are encouraged to use their imagination and then further to extend it for example, pretending to be a train and telling their peers where they are going. This is helped with the use of different materials and with the use of stories. The teacher will read a story and the children are encouraged to give their ideas as to what happens next in the story. This is a great way for the children to feel free in their imagination and use this tool in their everyday play.
In Gymnastics the children develop and master new physical skills. Baby Bachs are developing their Forward Rolls as well as stretching before and after the activity. Mini Mozarts are mastering their Forward Rolls and once this happens the children then learn Backward Rolls. By the time the children reach the Bouncing Beethovens group they are able to do all of these confidently as well as learning even more. For example, Headstands, where the child is encouraged and with the support of the teacher, to reach their legs above their head whilst leaning against a wall.
In Street Dance the children listen to familiar pop songs (with age appropriate language) to recreate familiar routines for example, the children’s favourite Gangnam style. For all age groups the children are encouraged to do other routines to the beat of the music. For example, Baby Bachs and Mini Mozarts are encouraged to march like soldiers and move in a train with their peers. Whereas in Bouncing Beethovens the children learn that ‘dancing’ is formed of different movements. For example, skipping with a peer, spinning on the spot and moving their arms like a robot. The children then put these moves into making their own dance routines.
As a practitioner of 10 years, it’s great when another person teaches the children new and exciting songs to sing, ones of which I have not heard before! The children are introduced to new songs, some nursery rhymes or, it can sometimes be a song from a Disney film.
Lynsey Holden 1 September 2015