Ethos and values

By the time children leave us to go to school we want them to:

Have independence and be resilient learners.

Be able to celebrate their individuality

Be respectful and kind

Engage in learning, their surroundings and with others

Be effective communicators

These underpin our core values:








We created RICKIE to help us talk to the children about our values and why they are important.  All the children are introduced to RICKIE from day one and are learning our core values throughout their day.

What do these values actually mean?

Respect – At Little Acorns we aim to teach the children about respect for each other (children and adults) and for the environment around us.  We believe that we are setting the foundations of learning about boundaries, right from wrong, understanding that we are all unique, tolerance for each other’s similarities and differences.

Independence –  We have high expectations for the children when it comes to independence.  From the minute children join we encourage independence which we believe helps to build resilience and confidence.  We encourage positive thinking and problem-solving skills to allow the children to thrive.

Communication – Effective communication, in whatever form, is a life skill.  We encourage children to use their communication skills to tell us their needs and to be able to ask for help.  Communication is the key to engagement with others and with learning.

Kindness – We aim to teach the children about kindness and model that every minute. We show how kindness can build strong friendships and warm relationships. We want children to learn about helping one another and that there are many different ways of being kind.

Individuality – We teach children to embrace their uniqueness. We want to begin to teach children to understand how we are similar and different to other children.  We want children to understand that each individual responds to certain situations differently and how we can learn to cope in those situations through self-regulation. We are beginning to give children the tools to cope with and recognise big feelings.  

Engagement – Through developing creativity and using imagination we want to engage the children in their learning.  We have a love of lifelong learning and aim to teach the children this by showing that we are still learning…everyday.  We want to show children how to embrace learning to allow them to engage with their environment and the people around them.

All early year’s settings follow the document Early Years Foundation Stage (2021) which sets out the learning and development, the assessment and the safeguarding and welfare requirements we must provide for the children in our care.  For the purpose of this document, we will be focussing on the learning and development sections.

In the diagram below the EYFS is shown by the three outer rings. The smallest being the characteristics of effective learning, then the prime areas and then finally the specific areas of learning.  Bringing it all together with Little Acorns values and beliefs, the diagram below shows how we at Little Acorns believe there are many layers to the development of children’s learning.  Whilst children would be able to make progress in the outer rings without the firm foundations of the inner rings, that progress would not be as great.  By working together as a team with the family and the local community to make children feel happy, safe and have the opportunity to play, by instilling the values of respect, independence, communication, kindness, individuality and engagement and by understanding that children learn in different ways, we believe this allows the children to access their learning at the highest possible level.

Please see the following link to our curriculum document which details how the above information links with the EYFS Education Programmes and the 7 areas of learning.

Curriculum document link.

Partnership with parents/carers and families

We understand what it is like to have small children because most of us are parents.  We understand the pressures of feeling that we have to get it right all the time.  We hate to break it to you, but we also know this isn’t possible.  We all make mistakes. We don’t have all the answers but by working together we can work the problem. We know that life throws us some hard knocks and some amazing highs.   All these times and experiences shape your child’s life.  We want to work with you to celebrate the highs and help wherever we can in the lows.   The more we know about you and your family, the stronger our relationship, the more benefit to your child.  We want to help support you through it. No judgements here! Parenting is hard.

We aim to offer parenting discussions covering topics such as toileting, fussy eating, child development and preparing for school, coffee mornings, stay and plays, even our weekend work parties (cake and tea provided) 😁 We also understand that parents are busy people and that time is always short so you don’t need to feel pressure in attending these things.

You are the experts in your child so we need and value your input into their learning and time at Little Acorns.