Early Years Curriculum: Nursery and Reception

Early Years at Langley includes children aged from 3 to 5 years; from Nursery to the end of the Reception year.  Learning through play is key to the development of these very young children.  The Early Years curriculum is taught in ways that build upon a child’s curiosity and interests, enabling them to learn through planned play activities.  We provide meaningful and engaging activities appropriate to each child’s development in order to give children the broadest opportunities to play and make sense of the world.  

The seven areas of learning are used to shape the curriculum with an emphasis on communication and language as we believe these skills to be absolutely essential in children’s future development.  We place great emphasis on meaningful interactions between staff and children.

Personal, Social and Emotional Development:

We place a great deal of emphasis on giving children life skills by encouraging them to develop their independence in self-care routines. For example, toilet training, hand washing, putting on their own coats and shoes and getting themselves changed for P.E. At snack times, the children in Nursery learn to sit at the table and serve themselves their choice of snack. We are a ‘Healthy School’ providing healthy food at snack times and we talk to the children about being healthy. We have a set of Golden Rules which are shared and understood with the children. Staff promote the children’s positive self image by gentle encouragement and meaningful praise.

Communication and Language

Staff model good language and communication skills throughout Nursery and Reception as we believe that these skills are the centre of all learning. We add new words to enhance the activities that the children undertake and staff model new vocabulary to individual children when appropriate. The children are encouraged to speak in small groups and then larger groups at Circle Time. The classrooms are well resourced to support the development of language skills.  

Physical Development

The children have constant access to resources which help them to develop their physical skills. In the classroom and outdoors, there are opportunities to construct with large scale resources, fill and empty containers, mark-make and write, use tweezers and scissors and balance on planks and beams. In addition, the children in Reception have two P.E. sessions each week. We use the Write Dance Programme to develop gross and fine motor skills through music and dance.


We promote the development of good literacy skills through high quality teaching of phonics and Brave Writing.  Through planned play activities we teach the children to hold mark-making equipment correctly, the correct letter formation and the sounds that letters make. Each classroom has a cosy and well resourced Book Corner with books carefully chosen to match the interests of the children. We have a ‘Book of the Week’, around which most activities are based on across the seven areas of learning.

Mathematical Development

We incorporate maths and maths vocabulary into many of the routinely activities throughout the day. Children count the number of class members present and how many are absent at Registration time. We use a calendar to promote number recognition and to show how numbers are used in everyday life. During focussed activities, children learn new concepts such as addition and subtraction, counting on and back, sharing amounts and counting accurately.    

Understanding the World

We have a range of ICT equipment to develop children’s learning. The children have access to iPads, Bee-Bots, Talking Tins and an Interactive Whiteboard which they can use at any time. We also have an I.C.T. suite for the Reception children to use on a weekly basis. We invite visitors for the children to experience the roles of people in our community. Staff ask open ended questions to encourage an ‘I wonder’ culture in the children.

Expressive Art and Design

We encourage the children to think creatively when they are constructing, painting and drawing. We give the children the opportunity to talk about how they made something and encourage them to work collaboratively when appropriate. The children take part in focussed art activities as well as having the freedom to express themselves creatively during their choosing time in the form of dance, music, role play and painting.

Throughout the Foundation Stage the children’s progress is observed and recorded using the Development Matters document.  A record of each child’s development is kept and shared with parents.  In doing so, parents can also contribute to their child’s Learning Journey by recording ‘Did you know’ moments for staff to include in the Learning Journeys.

Tim Jones,
3 May 2017, 13:29
Tim Jones,
3 May 2017, 13:29