Early Years Curriculum
At Whitehills Nursery School, we aim to provide a happy, secure and exciting environment in which children, parents, staff, governors and associated agencies work supportively together in order to improve outcomes for all of our children.
We aim to provide a broad and balanced curriculum which will enable each child to develop personally, socially, emotionally, spiritually, physically, creatively and intellectually to his/her full potential. Each child is valued as an individual and teaching and learning is based on the understanding that children develop at different rates.
The contribution each individual is able to make to the school is valued and due regard is shown for their social and cultural backgrounds as well as individual differences. Parents and other members of the community are always welcome to share in the life of the school.
Communication is at the heart of our curriculum. We create plenty of opportunities for children to become effective communicators and to be able to communicate more easily through developing language and communication skills. Children at the Nursery communicate in many different ways including using pictures, gesturing, signing and with words. We focus on promoting communication and language to widen children’s vocabulary throughout the Nursery.
Our curriculum celebrates diversity and supports the children’s spiritual, moral, social and emotional development so that they feel safe, secure and are ready to learn.
The Whitehills Child will be confident, independent and resilient. We aspire for every child to leave the Nursery with a firmly embedded sense of self, be able to communicate their thoughts, ideas, feelings and knowledge and engender a life long love of learning, discovery and literature.
Learning is carefully planned using the Development Matters non-statutory curriculum guidance for the Early Years Foundation Stage (2021) to design an effective early years curriculum, building on the strengths and meeting the needs of the children we work with. The curriculum consists of everything we want our children to experience, learn and be able to do. We have developed our own ambitious progressive sequential curriculum that ensures all children make progress during their time with us. We have high expectations for all children and believe that with high quality education and the correct support all children can meet their full potential.
We actively promote outdoor learning and place strong emphasis on the importance and value of outdoor experiences for children’s continued learning and development. Outdoor learning is a curriculum entitlement in the Early Years as it is essential to children’s health, development and well-being. It also provides our children contact with the natural world and offers them experiences that are unique to outdoors, such as direct contact with the weather and the seasons. Outdoor play also supports children’s problem solving skills and nurtures their creativity, as well as providing rich opportunities for developing imagination, inventiveness and resourcefulness. The outdoor environment offers more space than indoors and this is particularly important to those children who learn best through active movement. Our children learn to assess risk and develop the skills to manage new situations. The children in our Nursery have continuous access to the outdoor learning environment regardless of the weather.
Please see below for Whitehills Nursery Schools Curriculum. Click on each to open the document.
The seven areas of learning and development in the Early Years Curriculum are-
Communication and Language
- Being able to make themselves understood.
- Understanding and following instructions.
- Developing good listening skills
- Being able to hold a conversation with friends and adults.
- Understanding ‘why’ questions.
- Enjoying stories and remembering much of what happened.
- Using talk to organise themselves in their play.
- Being able to articulate their thoughts, feelings and ideas.
- Building up a broad vocabulary.
Personal, Social and Emotional Development
- Forming meaningful relationships with other children and adults
- Having respect for other people
- Being able to express and cope with feelings and emotions
- Becoming independent and helping others
- Make choices and take responsibility
- Learning appropriate behaviour
- Have feelings of wonder and joy
- Learning about festivals traditions and special occasions
- Learning about taking care of ourselves, cleaning our teeth, washing hands
- Learning about how to keep healthy by exercising and making good choices about food and drink.
- Learning to gain control over our bodies – becoming more confident and independent in our movements.
- Use large muscle movements, climbing, throwing, mark making and waving streamers.
- Work with others to move objects and resources safely.
- Becoming independent with regard to dressing, putting on coats.
- Express feelings through movement and music.
- Gaining skills and control over a variety of tools.
- Developing fine motor skills using a range of tools such as scissors, pens and pencils.
- o Enjoying songs and rhymes
- Enjoy sharing books, with an adult and with friends.
- Enjoying listening to stories, with a book or orally.
- Using favourite stories in their play with others
- Noticing print in the environment and developing curiosity about its meaning
- Beginning to make marks to represent words.
- Begin to develop interest in letters and the sounds they represent.
- Begin to use some of their print and letter knowledge in their early writing – writing a shopping list etc.
- Developing counting behaviours –
- o counting in context
- o reciting numbers in order
- o counting objects with 1-1 correspondence.
- o Recognise numerals.
- Making marks to represent numbers/quantities.
- Naming shapes, 2D and 3D and using shapes appropriately.
- Recognising, creating and extending patterns.
- Using positional language in play – in front, behind.
- Beginning to understand and explore language of measure – length, weight and capacity.
Understanding the World
- Exploring the local environment
- Exploring and solving problems
- Finding out about the past
- Using a variety of technology in different ways to extend and develop the children’s knowledge and understanding.
- Making models using different materials and techniques
- Planning and designing models and play before making it.
- Having an understanding of locality, travelling to other places.
- Looking at maps, routes and distances.
Expressive arts and design.
- Joining in with songs and rhymes.
- Responding to music and rhythm through movement and dance.
- Exploring musical instruments and the sounds they make.
- Developing pretend play, based on their own real life experiences.
- Experiment with different materials to make models and develop their ideas.
- Explore different media and techniques to create art work.
- Experiment with colour mixing.
- Develop an interest in different types of creative works.