To help you understand about the curriculum we have listed the four principles of the Early Years Foundation Stage and also the Seven areas of learning.

At Holly Hill Nursery we have the fantastic benefit of a qualified teacher who leads and supports all the learning across the Nursery. The teacher works with staff on a weekly basis to structure the best way to apply the learning in a fun and safe way. Our aim is to provide children with opportunities to learn, develop and flourish into independent learners with a lifelong love of learning by providing them with the best possible start in their early education.

The Four Principles of the EYFS

The Early Years Foundation Stage is a framework that sets the standards for early years development, learning and welfare from birth to five years of age. It provides a structure to guide carers with providing provision. The Early Years Foundation Stage is comprised of four complementary themes:

1. A unique child

This is based on the principle that every child is a competent learner and can be resilient, capable and confident. It is recognition that each child develops in different ways, at different rates and each area of development is equally important. Respecting the diversity of individuals, promoting non-discriminatory practice. Not only keeping young children safe, but encouraging self-esteem and helping build resilience.

2. Positive relationships

This highlights the importance of children having loving and secure relationships with parents and carers, in order to become strong and independent.

Interactions with and between children and adults at nursery should always be respectful, providing positive role-models and demonstrating caring, respectful behaviour is very much part of supporting children in their learning. Viewing parents and carers in a partnership role and working together will have a positive impact on children. Practitioners who are able to ‘tune in’ rather than talk at children will be more effective than any resources. The aim of a ‘key person’ is to build a special relationship with their children and families and help children be confident, self assured and independent.

3. Enabling environments

An enabling environment is one which provides a rich, varied and safe space in a setting in which children can play, explore and learn. This can contribute greatly to children’s learning and development in the early years. We start be creating an environment that is warm, welcoming and nurturing and facilitates a sense of belonging. Starting with the child means observing to find out about what they like, dislike, need, want, are interested in and can do. From this we can plan activities and resources that are relevant to each child. A rich and varied learning environment, indoor and out, will support learning and development and provide children with the confidence to explore further. Providing children with a wider view of the world is essential in helping them make sense of what they see and hear.

4. Learning and development

Children’s play is their learning! This is based on the knowledge that children develop and learn in different ways and that all areas of learning are interconnected and equally important. When your child is deeply involved in their play, doing something they clearly enjoy – playing with blocks, role play, puzzles, exploring textures, mark-making – this is it!

The Seven Areas of Learning

These areas combine together to make up the skills, knowledge and experiences that babies and children acquire as they grow, learn and develop. The prime areas are Personal, Social and Emotional Development, Physical Development and Communication and Language. These are fundamental because they work together to support development in the other areas. The developmental statements in these areas help practitioners to identify and plan for the children’s individual interests and abilities.

Prime Areas:

  1. Personal, Social and Emotional Development

This area looks at supporting children to develop a sense of themselves, social skills and respect for others and a positive disposition to learn. Children’s emotional well-being also needs to be supported in order to help them understand and manage their feelings and behaviour.

2. Physical Development

This area looks at supporting children in using their senses and bodies to explore the world around them and make connections between new and existing knowledge. They should have the chance to be active and interact with things to improve their skills of coordination, control, manipulation and movement. Children also need to develop an understanding of healthy living practices.

3. Communication and Language

This area looks at supporting children’s developing competence in listening and understanding as well as speaking and communicating. Children should be given opportunities to build these skills and gain confidence to use them in a range of situations.

Specific Areas:

4. Literacy

This area focuses on learning the skills needed for reading and writing.

5. Mathematics

This area looks at supporting children to develop their understanding of numbers, calculating, shapes, space and measures.

6. Understanding the World

This area looks at supporting children in developing the knowledge, skills and understanding to help them make sense of their world. They should be able to explore creatures, people, plants and objects and undertake practical ‘experiments.’

7. Expressive Arts and Design

This area looks at supporting children in developing their creativity by providing a range of opportunities, materials and media in which to express themselves and use their imaginations. The children should be encouraged to explore and share their thoughts, feelings and ideas.

Key Workers

Every child is allocated a Key Worker prior to starting the nursery. The role of a Key Worker is to help your child to settle in and to build up a relationship with them and with you so you feel you can discuss your child’s progress and development at any time you like. Your child’s Key Worker will also be responsible for ensuring that records are kept up to date. 

Our settling in package

Here at Holly Hill Nursery, we strive to ensure that every child’s start at nursery is as calm and enjoyable as possible. To ensure this we offer a bespoke settling in package tailored to each individual child and family.

Your child’s key worker will work together in partnership with you so that your journey with us is positive from the start.

At the first settling in session, we invite you to stay with your child so that they can familiarise themselves with the room they will be in and the key workers who will care for them, whilst still having a familiar face nearby. During this time, we will discuss your child’s stage of development with you and you will meet your child’s Key Worker. 

Your child will then visit for their second session on their own and then depending on how your child settles, the time will be increased to that of a full session at nursery.

During your settling in visits, we will ensure that we understand your child’s current routine, how your child likes to be comforted, if they have a special comforter, a favourite story or activity they like to do. Throughout your child’s time at nursery, their Key Worker will tailor activities to suit your child’s interests and will share pictures with you using our iConnect software (see iConnect and Parentzone).