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Curriculum Overview

Curriculum overview

At Netherton Park Nursery School children's learning is very carefully planned in line with the Early Years Foundation Stage guidance, to include experiences and opportunities that address all seven areas of learning.


There are 7 areas of Learning. 3 Prime areas and 4 specific areas.


Prime Areas


Personal, Social and Emotional Development

This helps children to develop a positive sense of themselves, and others; to form positive relationships and develop respect for others. This also involves developing social skills and learning how to manage their feelings.


Physical Development

This involves providing opportunities for young children to be active and interactive; and to develop their co-ordination, control, and movement.


Communication and Language Development

Involves giving children the opportunity to experience a rich language environment; to develop their confidence and skills in expressing themselves; and to speak and listen in a range of situations.


Specific Areas



Involves encouraging children to link sounds and letters and to begin to read and write. Children need access to a range of reading materials to ignite their interest.



Involves providing children with opportunities to develop and improve their skills in counting, understanding and using numbers, calculating simple addition and subtraction problems; and to describe shapes, space and measures.


Understanding the World

Involves guiding children to make sense of their physical world and their community through opportunities to explore, observe and find out about people, places, technology and the environment.


Expressive Arts and Design

Involves enabling children to explore and play with a wide range of media and materials, as well as providing opportunities and encouragement for sharing their thoughts, ideas and feelings through a variety of activities in art, music, movement, dance, role-play and design and technology.



We provide a rich and broad range of learning opportunities that are developed and carefully planned based upon children's interests and provocations introduced by the adults.  We plan the learning environments (both indoor and outside) with opportunities for learning and then carefully observe each child's interactions and responses, noticing the way they encounter the resources, environment and each other.  


This then leads to a series of professional questions about how we may extend the interests of the children and develop their skills as 'communicators'.  Our careful observations of each child are used to support staff professional judgements and knowledge of child development, so that we may make a professional judgement about each child's skills and capabilities.


Observations are shared with parents via our online learning journal 'Tapestry', many parents contribute their feedback as well as uploading observations form home too.  


Children are given time and space to 'think' and work can take place over extended periods of time.  We are very clear about how children learn and support parents and children in recognising the Characteristics of Effective Teaching and Learning.


Ofsted definition of teaching (2015) 
"Teaching should not be taken to imply a ‘top down’ or formal way of working. It is a broad term which covers the many different ways in which adults help young children learn. It includes their interactions with children during planned and child-initiated play and activities: communicating and modelling language, showing, explaining, demonstrating, exploring ideas, encouraging, questioning, recalling, providing a narrative for what they are doing, facilitating and setting challenges. It takes account of the equipment they provide and the attention to the physical environment as well as the structure and routines of the day that establish expectations. Integral to teaching is how practitioners assess what children know, understand and can do as well as take account of their interests and dispositions to learning (characteristics of effective learning), and use this information to plan children’s next steps in learning and monitor their progress."