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Summer 2024

Characteristics of Effective Learning

  • Playing and Exploring
  • Active Learning
  • Creative and Critical Thinking

These characteristics are encouraged, developed and supported to enable children to make progress in all areas of learning and development.

Communication & Language

Encourage and facilitate opportunities to listen to each other, to take the time to model language and interact.
Encourage conversations in self-chosen play and snack time.
Encourage children to express thoughts and ideas as appropriate to 2 year old development.
Sing familiar Spring and Summer songs and share stories, and poems and share new words and language.
Encourage children to join 'Lift Off to Language' sessions.
Provide listening and attention moments within their spontaneous play and routines.
Support receptive understanding of simple instructions in their routines and play.

Expressive Arts & Design

Draw and paint whilst developing details and representation.
Use a wide variety of mark-making tools.
Offer small world resources to enhance imaginative ideas linking to home environments.
Provide loose parts, so children can create their own small worlds.
Link their creative ideas to books and stories.
Ensure continuous provision of building materials.
Join in with singing songs and rhymes daily.
Play instruments with increasing control.
Provide regular yoga and dance sessions exploring different genres.


Read a wide range of late Spring/Summer stories to include an arrangement of selected core books that will enhance the children’s love of Summer themes and use props to deepen their storytelling and understanding.
Encourage caring for books and how to handle them.
Ensure books are everywhere in the learning environment and that non-fiction is used to explore the world.
Continue to encourage a love of books through the expansion of the books for home and our community library.


Ensure children have lots of opportunities to engage in meaningful and in the moment counting experiences in their play.
Use resources to encourage counting to 3, 5 then 10.
Take part in finger rhymes with numbers.
Compare amounts using language such as ‘lots, more, same’.
Provide a range of puzzles that are increasingly challenging.
Notice patterns in the environment and arrange things in patterns/categories etc.
Use simple language relating to size and weight: 'big/little/small' - 'heavy/light'.
Build with a range of resources.

Personal, Social & Emotional Development

Key worker to support separation and transition into the Saplings environment.
Give time to slowly and sensitively introduce routines and expectations as you observe children's starting points.
Select and use resources with growing independence and facilitate allowing self-chosen choices and develop a sense of responsibility.
Support playing alongside and beginning relationships with peers.
Support children to express their feelings and label them where appropriate.
To support children with their emerging independence and toileting.
Promote keeping healthy and looking after our bodies, including healthy food and dental hygiene.

Physical Development

Ensure outdoor play is available in all weathers.
Continue to provide opportunities to enhance coordination and stamina using bikes, scooters, and wheeled toys.
Provide the use of prams, balancing, climbing and swinging and involve the children in making obstacle courses.
Participate in activities that get the body moving and gradually gain more control over their bodies, making full use of the woodland landscape.
Continue to provide a continuous range of tools and equipment that develop the children’s fine motor skills appropriate for 2 year old development.
Provide activities that develop overall independence, co-ordination and self-confidence.

Understanding the World

Observe changes to the garden through Forest School sessions, exploring Spring flowers, catkins and leaves, progressing to full Summer blooms and vegetable/herb growing.
Provide children with opportunities to nurture planting and growing and taste the produce.
Explore and collect natural materials and talk about what they see.
Provide opportunities for spontaneous listening walks in the Saplings/woodland garden.
Encourage children to share life experiences and build cultural capital.