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Personal, Social & Emotional Development

The development of personal and social skills is an inherent function of the nursery school and is encouraged at all times as a continuing process rather than through a structured programme. Children are encouraged to:

  • develop confidence, independence and self-esteem.
  • become independent in Personal Hygiene.
  • integrate with their peers and relate well with adults.
  • develop a sense of right & wrong.
  • share, show kindness to one another and be polite.
  • display appropriate behaviour in varying circumstances.
  • work independently, together within a small group and within the larger class group.
  • Children are introduced to customs and traditions different from their own and are encouraged to learn about and become familiar with other cultures. This process occurs through events including our local Well Dressing Festival, through topics and through resources such as pictures and books.

Communication, Language & Literacy

Language Development

Children are encouraged to articulate clearly. They are encouraged to express themselves individually and to listen to one another. There is emphasis on the enrichment of vocabulary through the spoken word, poetry, traditional verse, and stories. Children are encouraged to express their ideas and thoughts through imaginative play.

The curriculum encourages participation in the following areas:


  • 1 : 1
  • 1 : small group
  • 1 : large group


  • to one another
  • to members of staff


New words are introduced regularly. Children are encouraged to use them to extend and to enrich their own vocabulary.

Role Play

Provision is made daily to allow this to occur naturally. Resources are used e.g. Home Corner, dressing up clothes.

Literacy Development

The curriculum aims to make children familiar with the written word through recognition of sounds, alphabet letters and syllables. It encourages participation in the following areas:-


  • Looking at these regularly.
  • Learning to handle them with care and respect.
  • Using them as a medium for discovering words and alphabet letters familiar to the child.
  • Recognising them as a source of enjoyment and as a source of reference.

Stories, Poems and Rhymes

Listening to these and participating in re-telling them.

Pre-reading Activities

  • Matching activities.
  • Alphabet recognition.
  • Name recognition.
  • Letter sounds.
  • Flashcard words.
  • Reading Skills

Children prepare for and participate in the Ginn 360 Reading Scheme.

Writing Skills

  • Motor skill developments are encouraged through manipulatory activities e.g. modelling, painting, crayoning and bead threading.
  • Writing patterns and tracing (with finger, crayon, pencil).
  • Learning to hold a pencil (right handed and left handed).
  • Letter formation.
  • Practice in writing name.
  • Copying below a written sample.

Mathematical Development


  • Cardinal numbers 1 - 10, 11 - 20.
  • Counting sets of objects.
  • Birthday candles.
  • Children in the class.
  • Biscuits on the plate.

Number Songs and Rhymes e.g.

  • When I was one I ate a bun.
  • Five fat sausages.
  • Five currant buns.
  • There were ten in a bed.

Numbers Ascending and Descending.

Ordinal Numbers to 10, e.g. children in a line etc.

Odd and Even Numbers

One-to-One Principle.


Biscuits to children, brushes to paint pots etc.

Number Recognition

Number Charts

Number recognition games (matching the number with the same number of items).

Birthday badges, numbers on clocks, signs, clothes etc.

"Cinderella's" number, Hickory, Dickory Dock.


Numbers on pages in books.

Games involving matching a number to a set of objects.

Number Operations


Practical application e.g. counting children on individual milk tables then combining with others to discover total.

Games involving adding 1, adding 2.

Counting 2 sets of objects together.


Practical application through activities e.g. four children having milk and biscuits. Sam does not want a biscuit. How many biscuits are required?

Rhymes - Five fat sausages, Ten green bottles etc.


Practical application through activities e.g. count children at milk tables, discover that three at a table plus another three plus another three altogether make nine. This leads to "three threes altogether make nine".

Pairs : pumps, gloves, shoes, feet, hands. Games involving pairs.


Sharing "fairly" - a birthday cake, an apple, a lump of dough for play, quiche at lunch, etc.

Conservation of Number

Everyday activities involving this concept e.g. toy cars - make a traffic jam line, then spread part in e.g. the "car park".

Group of conkers in a set, separate.

Sets and Sorting

Activities of classification using variety of materials e.g. sorting toys, beads, tally tubes, small cubes, attribute blocks.

Games involving collecting colours, shapes etc.

Activity involving sorting children into sets according to information e.g. boys/girls, aged 3/aged 4 .

Use of sorting trays and rings in which to classify.

Pictorial recording e.g. we have sisters, we have brothers

Sorting and classifying activities occur throughout Early Years day e.g. colours of cups at milk table.


Two Dimensional

  • Recognising and naming shapes and identifying them within the environment e.g. circle, square, triangle, rectangle, semi-circle, diamond, hexagon, oval, pentagon, octagon.
  • Games involving shapes.
  • Pattern and picture construction using shapes e.g. paper shapes to stick.
  • Fuzzy felt pictures, magnetic shapes, plastic shapes.
  • Drawing around shapes.
  • Rubbings - of bricks, grids etc.
  • Floor tiles - which shapes cover a surface? Tessellation.

Three Dimensional

  • Recognising and naming cylinders, cubes, cuboids, triangular prisms etc.
  • Identifying them within the environment e.g. cornflake box.
  • Games involving shaped bricks to familiarise children with properties.
  • Box models - encourage handling of 3D shapes.
  • Dough - using cutters to produce shapes.


Encourage children to discover and observe patterns.

To continue in sequence using paint, collage, printing material to experiment with patterning.

Looking at nature to discover patterns e.g. butterflies, cones, bark, horse chestnut, leaves etc.

Linear patterns - parallel lines, vertical and horizontal lines producing checks, tartans etc.

Symmetry - exploring this through mirror images, through folding patterns, discovering lines of symmetry.

Circular patterns - concentric circles (tree trunks, darts board).

Spirals - snail shells.

Copying and continuing patterns using coloured counting items e.g. buttons, cubes.

Building number patterns e.g. Rainbow patterns.

Sound patterns - Clapping rhythms, stamping rhythms, percussion rhythms.



Measure children against a tall item e.g. height chart, pampas grass frond.
Compare children in group.
Compare children with Mums, Dads and Staff.

Length & Width

Measure items in classroom, external environment using variety of units e.g. hands, feet, strides, string, rulers, street rule.


Make a collection to include tape measures, steel rule and rulers of different sizes.


Cover surfaces with unit measurement e.g. plastic rectangles.

Assess how many will be required then check.

Draw around hands, feet, bodies of children.

Draw around member of staff to compare.


Encourage children to compare different weights e.g. compare a bag of conkers with a set of feathers or a paperweight with a balloon.

Drop some items (e.g. feathers, cones) from height and compare velocity.

Balance - Use this to experiment with uniform units e.g. counting objects of same weight.

Incorporate non-uniform units e.g. shells & cones.

Consider a see-saw. Discuss "heavier" and "lighter"

Draw attention to Size:Weight ratio.


The hour and half-hour

Knowledge & Understanding of the World


Children are encouraged to learn about events past, present and future through topics and themes. An awareness and understanding of how people lived through time is encouraged through discussion and through looking at photographs and pictures.


Children are encouraged to be made aware of the environment in which they live by participating in discussion about local features. Topics are studied concerning these and visits are sometimes arranged. Local maps and world maps (holidays) are examined.


Children are made aware of the fascination of the world about them through aspects of nature and man made objects.

They are encouraged to bring interesting items to school for all to look at, touch, smell and discuss.

They explore concepts involving air and water (absorption, evaporation) and participate in simple experiments concerning these including activities to discover which elements will dissolve.

Through practical observation they learn about plants (roots, shoots, sources of food), trees (parts of, identification, seed dispersal) and flowers. They tend the garden near to the school.

Natural History

Children are encouraged to introduce interesting objects they have found and discussion and displays ensue.

The Body

Naming elbow, knee, wrist etc.

Functions of:- skin, blood, bones, veins, lungs, heart etc.


Naming petals, stamens, pollen etc.


Naming parts of trees and functions of parts.

Seed dispersal.


Insects and Animals

Names, number of legs, eating habits, habitats etc.

Bees - hives, honey making.


Names, carnivores, herbivores, eating habits etc.

Rocks and Fossils

Encouraging children to look at samples.

Basic principles of fossilisation - linked with dinosaurs etc.


Children are encouraged to design and construct models using a variety of materials including large and small construction equipment, boxes, glue and Sellotape. Interesting items are brought into school for children to handle and investigate how they work. Technology is explored through discussion and handling of familiar equipment including Dictaphones, televisions, video recorders and items brought into school, for example an electronic keyboard.

Physical Development

Children develop their fine and gross motor skills through a range of activities.

Fine Motor Skills

Bead / Button threading, peg boards, elastic band boards, sewing cards, playdough / clay / Plasticine modelling, jigsaw puzzles, collage activities - cutting and gluing, small construction activities, sand and water play.

Gross Motor Skills

Activities involving moving to music, physical exercise, balancing beams, play tunnel, large/ small ball, bean bag and quoit co-ordination.

Creative Development

The curriculum encourages expression of creative ideas and feelings and allows children to explore these in a variety of ways.

Art Activities

Free painting.

Pattern-making e.g. blot, string, folding.

Printing e.g. hand, leaf, sponge, vegetables and items miscellaneous (cones, bark).


Shoe soles.

Templates (dinosaurs, animals).

Alter screen.

Grids and gratings.


Crayons & Colouring Pencils

Pictures and patterns.

Cutting and Gluing

Sticking, pictures, collages.

Box Models

Using glue, Sellotape, paint.

Folding and Cutting

e.g. making paper “snowflakes”. Chalks and Boards

Pictures and patterns.


Children participate in singing, ring games, action rhymes and nursery rhymes accompanied by piano.

They learn to handle and to play percussion instruments - chime bars, triangles, bells, tambourines and shakers.

Drama and Imaginative Play

Children are encouraged to enter the world of make believe through both free and structured imaginative play. They are encouraged to participate in a Nativity Concert at Christmas and in a Summer Concert. The theme for this arises from the children's own imaginative ideas. Parents, relations and friends are invited to attend these concerts.

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