Early years

Early Years at Langley includes children aged from 3 to 5 years; from Nursery to the end of the Reception year. We believe that learning through play is key to the development of our young children.  The Early Years curriculum is taught in ways that build upon your child’s curiosity and interests, enabling them to learn through planned play activities.

We provide meaningful and engaging activities appropriate to your child’s development. We strive to provide children with engaging opportunities to play and make sense of the world.  At this stage of their learning, your child will learn through play-based activities. Your child will begin to learn by doing things for themselves, by exploring and investigating, watching and listening, talking and discussing, creating and communicating.

Physical Development

Your child will be given frequent opportunities to move in different ways, for example, running, jumping, balancing and playing with balls. Another important aspect of physical development at this stage is learning to hold and use tools, such as scissors, and also to use pencils and pens to draw lines and shapes. Your child will also begin to understand how to look after themselves and be healthy. 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.

The Reception outdoor area allows for children to build upon skills developed in nursery. The children have many opportunities to move in different ways, strengthen muscles and take risks. We use the Write Dance Programme, Dough Disco and Squiggle while you Wiggle resources to develop gross and fine motor skills through music and dance.

In addition to these three prime aspects of learning, there are four specific areas:


The ‘Communication’ section above outlines some activities to develop speaking and listening skills. In addition to sharing stories, your child will be encouraged to handle and look at books independently and to begin to learn about story structure. For children who are developing confidence in reading stories, we have a repeated reading programme. This allows children to understand how stories are structured, encourages children to join in with repetitive language and it helps to secure vocabulary by embedding  story language. In Nursery there will be opportunities for your child to recognise their name and other simple vocabulary. We encourage children to draw, paint, construct and build to develop control and hand-eye co-ordination. They may begin to learn to copy the letters in their name during their time in Nursery. In Reception, your child will begin to write and read words. We promote the development of their 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. The schemes progress gradually, and you will be given helpful advice along the way. Each classroom has a well resourced book corner with books carefully chosen to match the interests of the children. The children bring home a library book each week and the Reception children visit our local library where they share a story with the librarian and then chose a book to bring back to school.


At Nursery, your child will be given many opportunities to explore numbers and shapes in their play. For example, they may be encouraged to count the objects that they are playing with and to compare two groups of objects. They will begin to represent numbers using their fingers, marks on paper or pictures. We incorporate maths and maths vocabulary into many of the daily routines throughout the day. In Reception, the 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. Children explore number problems and begin to record calculations.    

Understanding the World

Your child will learn about the world around them and they will be encouraged to use simple technology and equipment. 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. At Langley, we have fostered strong links with the wider local community including fire fighters, police officers and librarians. These visitors provide children with a greater understanding of the roles of people in our community. Our staff ask open ended questions to encourage an ‘I wonder’ culture. This promotes a love of learning and encourages children to be curious, resilient and inquisitive.

Expressive Arts

Imagination and creativity are explored and developed through expressive arts. Your child will explore different media and materials and be encouraged to use their imagination in a range of different experiences. 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 have created something and encourage them to work collaboratively when it is appropriate. Children have access to a range of materials and resources. We encourage the children to express themselves creatively during their choosing time in the form of dance, music, role play and painting.