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Early years...

We take early years development very seriously here at The tutu Club. We are ofsted recognised as a Club and run alongside the EYFS and Key Stage 1 goals  for Hampshire.

Maria Catlah (N.N.E.B. Cert Ed. – M.IfL.), was kind enough to write this excellent piece for us. Maria has worked in Early Years Childcare and Education for over 35 years both directly with children and families as well as a Manager of Nurseries and Family Centres. For the past 10 years she has worked as course co-ordinator and senior lecturer in a Further Education college teaching Early Years Childcare and Education.

“From the minute babies are born learning begins… It takes no time at all for babies to work out how to get adults to do many things that they don’t particularly want to do, such as “walk around with baby in their arms, not sitting down with baby in their arms”,  “rock baby to sleep” and in some cases “go for a ride in the car before they will go to sleep”. However, it is not so easy the other way round! During the course of my professional career, working in Early Years Education many parents have said to me “I can’t believe the things my tiny baby makes me do yet, If he/she does not want to do something there is no way on earth I can make him/her do anything that he/she does not want to do!

Babies come into the world ready to learn! A child learns more in the first 5 years of life than they will throughout the rest of their life. The government realise the importance of this hence, the reason there is the Early Years Foundation Stage (EFYS) development plan in Great Britain today. The EYFS is a method of assessment of child development. A rich learning environment is so important for children, not only in nursery, school or any educational establishment but also at home and in social community activities. Young children learn through repetition and practice, also through what they see and hear,  copying good role models. They also learn best when they are having fun!"

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"The tutu Club is the perfect venue for a wide range of learning opportunities, taking part in activities gives so much scope for learning, children are social beings and love to be part of a group. While your little tot is twirling and singing at the tu tu club they are learning so much, not only the very important dance moves but a wide range of skills which are particularly important for future development.

Fitness and exercise is a very important part of a healthy lifestyle, especially with the current concerns of childhood obesity. It has been proven that if children are encouraged to take part in physical activities from a young age, they are more likely to continue to do so in the future. As well as physical fitness and exercise other important skills are developed such as  balance, and spacial awareness, and eye and eye foot co-ordination, physical skills, jumping, hopping, skipping etc, gross and fine motor skills.

In dancing, singing, moving to music and simple drama, children have the opportunity to develop their individual creativity and expression,  developing rhythm and timing as well as using their imagination and own ideas.

Belonging to a group gives so mush scope for personal and social and emotional development. 
Learning to work alongside others and sharing is a vital skill for adult life. Activities at the tu tu Club will provide wonderful opportunity for building confidence and self esteem, celebrating the child’s own achievements and recognising the achievements of their friends. An understanding of winning and losing, turn taking, co-operation and building friendships with other children. Good communication involves speaking and listening. The art of good listening has to be learned. Taking part in music, singing and dance involves the development of both speaking and listening skills, learning new words and vocabulary in singing songs, names of dance steps.

Listening to instructions, and listening to music, as well as developing excellent non verbal communication through mime and gesture.

Many children’s songs and rhymes involve numbers and counting and elements of addition   and subtraction such as “ten green bottles”, “five little speckled frogs” as well as listening and counting to the rhythm of music. This is a perfect opportunity for children to be introduced to numbers and counting. Dance movements also involve a lot of mathematical and directional language such as “ forward, backwards, up, down, circle, diamond, line etc” This also introduces shape, space and measure.

Having the fantastic opportunity to be part of The tutu club not only gives children a rich learning experience but also creates opportunity for growing independence and a great feeling of self belief, worth and confidence, all this, and most importantly, having fun and enjoyment!”

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