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Horsham Nursery School

The Nursery Curriculum

At Horsham Nursery we believe children learn best when they are actively involved in their learning. Children that are interested in what they are doing are effective learners and are able to use their new found knowledge and skills in their play, refining and evolving their thinking as they go.

Our nursery provides an exciting and rich environment where children have opportunities to explore, develop their interests and spend time playing and discovering the world around them. Our fantastic outside garden provides children the space and time to experience the natural world, develop their physical skills, and take part in real and meaningful activities, negotiating with their peers and communicating their thoughts and feelings.

Children have time to concentrate, becoming involved in what they are doing, persevering when things don’t go quite to plan, and are supported to think things through, finding solutions to problems, and feeling proud when they have achieved what they have set out to do.

Skilled and experienced adults are on hand to support children providing resources and materials to stimulate children’s interests, support them to make links in their learning that they can then apply and develop further in their play.

All other areas of learning

Personal, Social and Emotional Development

Making relationships, developing self-confidence and self-awareness, managing feelings and behaviour

PSED encourages children to value themselves, respect difference in others, form relationships, and develop effective skills in communicating and managing their thoughts, feelings and behaviour.

We understand the importance of  warm supportive relationships with a specific adult. Each child at the nursery has a designated key carer who will not only support  their child’s transition into nursery and liaise with parents, but will celebrate their successes, and encourage them to explore their environment and challenge themselves with new activities.

The adults support children to develop these crucial skills by promoting co-operative play, modelling how to communicate their thoughts and helping them to learn that important skill of negotiating as the children play and share toys.



Communication and Language

Listening, understanding, speaking, reading and writing

The ability to communicate helps children to express their needs, listen to others and participate more fully in society.  These skills are fundamental as they form the foundations for Literacy and all other areas of learning.

Adults support the children to develop these skills through everyday situations such as listening to the children’s thoughts, feelings and ideas, encouraging children to listen and talk to others, reading books,singing songs and rhymes, introducing new sounds, words and concepts. These skills help children make sense of visual and verbal signs and ultimately for reading and writing.

The nursery provide a wide range of resources and experiences to help children develop their early reading and mark making, such as painting, drawing, creating their own books and acting out stories.






Physical Development

The importance of physical development, movement and making healthy choices are crucial for all young children and impact on all aspects of children’s learning.

We have a large garden which gives children opportunities to become confident in their movements; climbing and balancing and managing challenges. Children can safely negotiate space around them, moving in a range of ways, including sliding down the hill. Both indoors and outdoors there are lots of opportunities to gain confidence in handling tools and small equipment, including pencils for writing and ball skills.

We support children’s understanding of how exercise, eating, sleeping and hygiene promote good health. Meal times and snack times are opportunities to highlight the importance of making healthy choices.

Mathematical Development

Our aim is for the children to develop a deep understanding and enjoyment of maths in the real world. We provide lots of fun and exciting resources indoors and outside which inspire the children to play. We are also very fortunate to have highly skilled adults who make sure that the children have continual opportunities to explore mathematical ideas by involving themselves in the children’s play introducing new words, ideas and challenges.  The children learn mathematical concepts in lots of ways, for example by: seeing and hearing numbers being used in real contexts, experimenting with shapes and patterns, singing number songs and rhymes, using materials like sand and water to find out about weight and capacity.

Understanding of the World

We are all different! Talking about special times or events for family and friends helps children understand some of the things that make them unique. We find out about a range of cultural backgrounds inviting parents to share with us their customs and traditions. We enjoy celebrating together different festivals during the year including Chinese New Year, Christmas and Eid.

The children explore the world around them; we encourage exploration, experimentation, observation, problem solving, prediction, critical thinking, decision making, and discussion through manipulating objects, questioning and talking about what they see. We notice and talk about change; changes in the garden, the seasons, and we observe life cycles watching chicks hatch from eggs and caterpillars emerge into butterflies. We explore our local community through visits to the local woods, shops and taking the bus to the library.

Technology enhances children’s learning.The children explore how to use a range of different technologies from playing with toys with buttons and flaps, using torches and metal detectors to observing closely using the digital microscope.

Expressive Arts and Design

Expressive Arts and Design help children to try new things, to be brave,  to make mistakes and try again. Being creative is a way of thinking which effects how children approach all their learning. Children are naturally creative, and we aim to nurture and encourage their desire to imagine, to make and to pretend. The emphasis is on the process that the child goes through in their thinking and ideas, for example as they paint a picture, rather than the finished product. The children can choose from a whole range of media, materials and methods to explore ideas and techniques, to see what happens.

The children learn about expressive arts and design in any ways, for example by, exploring colour and colour mixing, using different tools such as different kinds of brushes, sticks and rollers, experimenting with tactile and malleable materials such as dough, clay and paper, using musical instruments and responding to music by singing, moving and dancing, talking about what they have made, dressing up and role play.

We have a series of curriculum weeks each year which are used to extend and explore particular areas of the curriculum in more depth, such as creative week and music week. These are great opportunities for parents to get involved.