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Our Early
Learning Ethos

Tiny Turners offers an immersive world of learning

At Tiny Turners we believe in learning through play from a young age. And, when we plan activities, we are guided by the children's developmental stages and interests.

In accordance with government educational guidelines, all our nurseries follow the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) planning programme. This programme is based on seven areas of learning from birth to five years old. We cover each of these areas in an educational and fun way, so the children enjoy learning and are excited to share their knowledge and understanding with others.

  • Personal, Social and Emotional

  • ​Communication and Language

  • Physical Development

  • Mathematics

  • ​Understanding the World

  • ​Expressive Arts and Design

  • Literacy

Flying supergirl with a green and yellow outfit, white skin and brown curly hair
Superboy wearing a blue outfit, with tanned skin and light brown hair
Supergirl wearing a pink and blue outfit, with brown skin and straight black hair

Share your child’s journey

Tapestry Online Learning Journal Logo
When your child joins Tiny Turners you will be provided with login details for ‘Tapestry’, our secure online Learning Journal, where you will find photos, observations and comments for your child, in line with the Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum. So you will have a continual record of your child's experiences during their time with us.

Playing is Learning

Play is one of the most important ways children learn and develop. Whilst playing, children show their remarkable ability for exploration, imagination and decision making. The type of play children engage in and its purposes change over the course of childhood from infancy to adolescence. You don’t generally have to encourage children to play or provide incentives, because playing brings a level of pleasure and interest which means it will be maintained without external rewards.

How does Tiny Turners support development & learning through play?
Physical Development

Active play using large and small muscles such as climbing, running, ball games, digging, jumping, and dancing. This supports children’s overall health and sense of wellbeing, physical growth, appreciation for the benefits of active lifestyles and skills for independence in self-help such as dressing or feeding.

Social and Emotional Development

Dramatic and imaginative play which includes dressing up and role play can develop positive social and emotional skills and values. This provides opportunities for children to:

  • practise how to work with other children, negotiate ideas, and make choices and decisions

  • develop self-confidence by experiencing success and challenges

  • learn to control their emotions, reduce impulsive behaviour, or reduce stress as they act out feelings and events that might be worrying them

  • develop empathy and fairness as they learn to play alongside and with other children.

Child playing with wooden blocks
Cognitive Development

When your child plays individually and with others their cognitive skills, such as thinking, remembering, learning and paying attention are all being developed. Children develop the following cognitive skills through play:

  • problem solving

  • the power of imagination and creativity

  • concepts such as shapes, colours, measurement, counting and letter recognition

  • strengths such as concentration, persistence and resilience.

Nursery assistant reads The Very Hungry Caterpillar with a group of children
Literacy and Numeracy Development

Play requires thinking, language, interactions, curiosity and exploration. Through play children develop skills and understandings including:

  • an increased understanding of words and their use

  • listening and speaking skills

  • writing skills through scribbling, painting and drawing

  • learning how stories work (plot, characters, structure, purpose and format of words on a page)

  • learning that objects can stand for something else (a block can be a symbol for a telephone) which is foundation learning for formal reading, spelling and numeracy because letters, words or numerals are part of symbol systems

  • learning that letters, words, symbols, numerals and signs have a purpose and are meaningful to others.

What does our play-based approach to learning look like?

At Tiny Turners we use a wide range of play based experiences for children’s learning and development. We set up games indoors and outdoors that are age appropriate, which can be played safely and enjoyably by every child.

We encourage children’s learning through play by:

  • providing resources that reflect children’s ages, interests, knowledge, strengths, abilities and culture to stimulate and support play. Resources which allow open ended use of items like blocks or cardboards boxes foster creativity and the ability to manipulate concepts mentally as children. For example, turn a box into a car.

  • planning play experiences based on the assessment of children’s individual differences, interests, developmental needs and ability. For example, as a child learns to hold a pencil to draw and write, we will give children different sized objects to grasp, and to build strength in the child’s fingers.

  • observing children as they play so that they can understand how they play with other children, what skills and understanding they demonstrate in play and what activities can strengthen their skills in play.

  • joining in children’s play to extend the child’s learning and to model skills such as reasoning, appropriate language, and positive behaviours.

  • providing large blocks of unhurried and uninterrupted time for play for children’s ideas and games to develop.

Nursery assistant painting with two children
How can you contribute to your child’s learning through play?

Children’s success as learners depends on strong foundations developed from infancy. Play based learning fosters critical skills, understanding and dispositions which are essential for your child’s lifelong learning and wellbeing. You can encourage your child’s learning through play by:

  • sharing information about your child’s interests and abilities with us so that we can plan play experiences for your child based on their interests and abilities

  • playing with your child

  • discussing your child’s program with us, and the activities your child enjoys playing and taking part in

  • advocating for safe and interesting play spaces, outside Tiny Turners, in your local community.

A Typical Day

Tiny Turners is always a bustling hive of activity first thing in the morning as we welcome our children at the start of the day.
After parking in our designated safe drop-off spaces, you will be greeted by the Tiny Turners team.
How we start the day

Your child will join others in their designated nursery area. Each room has its own distinctive look and feel, to reflect their appropriate stage of development. It will become a place your child will learn to love coming to with a variety of fun learning activities developed by our team to support their development.

Children playing at nursery with a nursery assistant
Indoor play

Our rooms are designed to create a space where your child will enjoy coming to each day. Each area is a mini learning world with environments thoughtfully planned and equipped with facilities to meet the full spectrum of learning needs for our children for every day that they are with us.

When it’s nice we go outdoors

Our garden areas offer the space for your child to benefit from healthy fresh air whilst playing, exploring, and experimenting, all under the watchful eyes of our experienced support team. Such outdoor play stimulates the curiosity essential to learning and at the same time develop important physical motor skills and coordination.

Child smiling for a photo in nursery playground
Break times

Snacks at break times provide a great opportunity to allow children to experiment with new flavours and textures. These sensations are important for supporting a child’s learning and development, so we endeavour to make snacks and breaktimes another important and enjoyable part of your child’s nursery experience. Carefully respecting any personal allergies, Tiny Turner daily snacks include a selection of fresh fruit/vegetables and toast/biscuits.

Children eating tea at nursery
Eating is a learning time too

A wholesome healthy freshly prepared daily lunch is not only nutritionally important, but it’s also a time to learn valuable social skills. Our catering staff offer varied menu for each day, and we actively encourage children to try different tastes and textures and enjoy the experience of eating with others.

Rest times are an important part of the nursery day for our babies and toddlers who are in a stimulating environment, so working together with our parents, we ensure that each child’s specific rest time needs are carefully considered and met. For nap times, our rooms are transformed into cosy, relaxing areas where babies and children can get the vital sleep and rest they need for their individual developmental needs.

But little ones need to rest
Time to go home

As a parent it’s important that you feel part of your child’s day so that you can share the experience with them and that you don’t miss out on any developmental milestones. So, when you pick your child up from nursery, our staff will describe your child’s day.  You’ll know what they have eaten, what they’ve had to drink, how long they’ve rested and what activities they’ve found most fun.

Keeping in touch
You can contact our nurseries at any time of day if you have any concerns and nursery also has a parent room – a dedicated space where you can speak in confidence to our members of team about your child’s nursery life.

Tiny Turners

Tiny Turners
Willow Lodge
63A Brinkburn Road
Darlington DL3 6DX

Tiny Turners

Tiny Turners Marton
The Grove
Middlesbrough TS7 8AB

Tiny Turners

Tiny Turners
Wilton Castle
Redcar TS10 4QY

Tiny Turners

Tiny Turners
68 Darlington Road
Stockton TS18 5ER

Preparing your child for school

Starting school is a big adventure and we do everything we can to help the children get ready for their first day!

We believe being school ready means:

  • Having strong social skills

  • Coping emotionally with being away from the family

  • Being relatively independent in their own personal care

  • Having a curiosity about the world and a desire to learn

We learn through play at Tiny Turners, introducing the children to phonics, numbers, letters, shapes and colours. We also have special systems for children that may have communication difficulties. 

The children take part in circle time activities to get them used to listening and interacting with each other. We learn how to find our names, recognise the days of the week, months of the year and talk about the weather. We also encourage the children to discuss their weekends and holidays so they can practice their social and conversational skills.

"We are both really happy with the nursery. Our son enjoys his days. It's a loving, caring environment in which all staff are kind and considerate."


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