Back to top

Whitehills Nursery School

Early Years Curriculum

It is every child’s right to grow up safe, healthy, enjoying and achieving, making a positive contribution and with economic well-being. 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 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. 


We use 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 you work with. The curriculum consists of everything we want our children to experience, learn and be able to do.

Click here to read the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum- Development Matters 2021

Click here to read the Statutory Guidance for the Early Years Foundation Stage


The seven areas of learning and development are-

 Communication and Language

 Is about

  • 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

 Is about

  • 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.

 Physical development

Is about

  • 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.


Is about

  • 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.


Is about

  • 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

It’s about

  • 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.

 Is about

  • 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.

To find out more about or Early Years Curriculum click here to read our EYFS Policy


If you would like to see a copy of our Long Term Curriculum Plan please click below. Although we plan from children's interests and current stage of Learning and Development their are certain subjects/learning experiences we deliver to ensure we deliver a broad, ambitious, language rich, diverse and child centered curriculum.


Whitehills Nursery Schools Long Term Curriculum Plan


School map, click to follow