“What we want is to see the child in pursuit of knowledge, and not knowledge in pursuit of the child.”

“Enabling environments mobilise the energy, attention, curiosity and focus of children”. Howard Gardener

“Tell me and I forget. Show me and I remember. Involve me and I understand.”

“Play acts as a forward feed mechanism in to courageous, creative, rigorous thinking in adulthood”. Tina Bruce

Curriculum Overview

Our Teaching and learning is based on children’s interests: we use a focus child observation cycle which includes discussion with parents about their children’s current interests and development; planning for children’s first & next steps in learning & links to home learning.

Intentional Teaching: adult-focussed experiences are planned to offer children the opportunity to develop & extend their skills & knowledge by engaging with activities designed to introduce new provocations or to build on previous learning.

Review our Curriculum Progression Steps for 2023/24 to learn more about the way we work with children to inspire them, create firm foundations for their learning and help them prepare for school.

We offer regular learning opportunities based on:

  • core story and maths story books (dialogic reading), poems and songs. Click to watch some of the story videos our team recorded to support our families during the Covid 19 lockdowns.
  • core experiences: consistent learning areas (indoors and outdoors) which are carefully resourced and organised to promote high levels of involvement and provide inspiring starting points for high quality play and exploration and investigation. These include: art & modelling workshop; STEM garden; snack & cooking area; water play; sand play; malleable & tactile play; writing area; indoor book area & outdoor reading nest; home corner; large & small-scale block & construction play; allotment; mud kitchen; Forest School; indoor & outdoor maths equipment; small world play; gross motor play; music-making & dance area.
  • Outdoor learning and Forest School
  • Opportunities to extend children’s cultural capital – these include: library visit and enrolment, CN Literary Festival, CN Art Festival, chick hatching, visitors to nursery school (Covid permitting).

Although we are surrounded by beautiful countryside, not all our children have their own garden or can access the outdoors with their family, while others are experts in the natural world. We offer lots of learning outdoors to build children’s sense of awe and wonder, to promote health and to offer experiences which challenge and build resilience. During the pandemic, outdoors-only sessions reduced the risk of infection and we found that children responded positively to this change and accessed rich cross-curricular experiences in our large and varied outdoor space. Outdoor challenges introduce new skills and encourage persistance to try and try again.  If it’s difficult, and in response to “I can’t do it”, we encourage a growth mindset of  “we cant’ do it yet” and involve those who can in modelling and teaching their friends. Reflecting on skills learnt and progress made helps us believe we can  learn more.

We offer additional support and scaffolding to help every child to access the curriculum and to ensure they make progress through it.