Greatstone Primary School Nursery
Greatstone Primary School

Curriculum – Nursery

Curriculum Intent

At the heart of the early years’ curriculum we aim to ensure children have a secure, safe and happy experience. We work in partnership with parents/carers, and together with our high quality early learning and teaching, aim to ensure children are provided with the support they need to achieve and succeed in everything they set out to do.

Our curriculum is broken down into seven areas of learning and development which all intertwine like a willow tree, similarly to our understanding that children’s learning is not a clear linear line, but an artistic and intricate spider’s web.

Together, with parents/carers, we aim to lay the core foundations to ensure children are equipped with the skills they require for a more formal education when they reach Year One and continue to travel through the primary phase. The pathways in learning which we create, allow children to pave their own journeys using their current skills and knowledge that they can build upon to construct detailed maps.

There are three prime areas of learning:

  • communication and language
  • physical development
  • personal, social and emotional development.

These areas of learning are our backbones to all other learning.

The following four areas are the specific areas of learning:

  • literacy
  • mathematics
  • understanding the world
  • expressive arts and design.

Without the prime areas of learning we cannot always progress onto the specific areas and achieve our best.


When planning and guiding what children learn, we take into account the developmental stages children are working at and adapt and tweak our practice to match the children’s needs.

Our manual and philosophy in how to implement the early years’ curriculum is through the three very important characteristics of effective teaching and learning, which are:

  • playing and exploring – children investigate and experience things, and ‘have a go’
  • active learning – children concentrate and keep on trying if they encounter difficulties, and enjoy achievements
  • creating and thinking critically – children have and develop their own ideas, make links between ideas, and develop strategies for doing things.

We follow the Anna Ephgrave ‘Planning in the Moment’ approach which focuses on the way we respond to children’s ideas and interest, just like parents naturally would. We allow the children to lead their own learning and the practitioners support and scaffold the children’s individual learning processes.

Our environments are set up in a way which allows children to freely access a wide range of resources that are carefully organised and enhanced as the year progresses. These resources aim to offer as many open ended opportunities as possible and can be transported from one area to another. A wooden block is not just a block – it’s a rocket, a cereal box or even treasure!

We wonder all the time and ponder on ideas and thoughts raised by the children and the practitioners. When we wonder and ponder, we open our minds to possibilities, new experiences and of course, new learning.

Our tracking procedures mean that our paper work is limited to ensure that most of our practitioners’ time is spent with the children. Careful assessments, observations and planning is created without the need to record and document everything, but what is deemed as WOW and NEW learning moments.


Below, you can find a copy of our curriculum maps for both of our classes as well as the ‘Statutory framework for the early years foundation stage’ and the ‘Development Matters, Non-statutory curriculum guidance for the early years foundation stage’.

  • Little Monkey Class (2 -3 year olds) – Curriculum Progression Document
  • Wise Owl Class (3 – 4 year olds) – Curriculum Progression Document


  • Statutory framework for the early years foundation stage

  • Development Matters: Non-statutory curriculum guidance for the early years foundation stage