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Nursery Curriculum Introduction


Life in Early Years at HLC is fun and filled with exciting and enjoyable learning opportunities. Our school mottos: “belong, respect, inspire, succeed and enjoy” lie at the very heart of our Early Years curriculum offer. We are a large learning community in Nursery, but every child is known as an individual, instilling a sense of real belonging. We work closely with our parents and carers to make sure that each child is happy, safe and learning as much as they can.

In both Nursery and Reception we follow the Early Years Foundation Stage: ‘Development Matters’ which looks at child development from birth to 5 years of age, focussing on the seven areas of learning which are separated into two groups, Prime and Specific.

Prime areas of learning

  • Communication and Language
  • Physical Development
  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development.

Specific areas of learning

  • Literacy
  • Mathematics
  • Understanding the World
  • Expressive Arts and Design.

We use these areas of learning to underpin our broad and balanced curriculum offer and to ensure that all children are provided with opportunities to find their talent and learn to respect the differences of others.

Learning in Nursery is planned around a weekly text that engages children in a wide range of experience and learning opportunities, these books are flexible depending on the interests of the children. The Nursery environment is rich in reading opportunities and reading is rigorously promoted and modelled effectively by adults. We want children to develop a love of reading and this is done through capturing their interest and imagination at a young age. Children are encouraged to take home any of our Nursery books to share with an adult for pleasure, practise re-telling stories and develop a love of a wide range of books.

Nursery pupils will be introduced to Phase 1 phonics through small, focused groups and adult-led activities. This is through fun and engaging activities, for example singing Nursery Rhymes, going on a sound hunt and exploring with musical instruments. Where appropriate, teachers will introduce some children to the initial sounds from Phase 2. We encourage our children to apply their phonics learning through their play and promote mark making, the use of print within the environment and story scribing.

We create irresistible indoor and outdoor learning environments, thoughtfully enhanced with authentic objects for children to explore, including items from the natural world. These resources spark curiosity, imagination and bring a unique quality to their learning and play. We hope to inspire our little thinkers and develop their curiosity to know more and learn more. We value the importance of play and how crucial it is to all areas of a child’s development. We give our children time to become deeply involved in their play and ensure that every detail of their school day is committed to knowledge and skills growth, with children applying their skills to situations and experiences, and opening up opportunities to develop new ones alongside them.

We believe that children have a natural desire to learn, explore, discover and succeed. Our caring teachers and support staff plan a wide range of learning opportunities and use exciting provocations within the environment to ensure that children are motivated and deeply engaged in their learning. Our dedicated team listen to and observe our children closely to identify and follow each child’s interests. By doing this, we recognise and take the opportunity to extend our children’s interests and learning further, by facilitating key teaching opportunities and planning for our children’s next steps.