Curriculum and Educational Approach

The Nursery School follows the ‘Early Years Foundation Stage Framework’ and we have been rated as ‘outstanding’ by ‘Ofsted’ (May 2017), the national inspection organisation. We are a Natural Thinkers School and staff plan an inquiry based programme, full of natural resources and found materials, based on children’s interests and fascinations.

Teaching and learning at Pembury House Nursery School is influenced by the Italian Reggio Emilia approach and Nordic Rain and Shine Forest Schools. We encourage children to become curious, independent, and willing learners, explorers and problem solvers. Outdoors, as well as providing access to climbing and sports equipment, we encourage children to become ‘natural thinkers’ and offer urban forest school and eco-school environmental activities.

For more information, please see our Developmental Learning Policy

Children attend daily ‘dialogic reading sessions’ in small focused teaching groups to develop ‘Talk for Writing’ literacy skills and we use ‘Helicopter Stories’ story making sessions to develop a strong sense of narrative. We have a part-time artist leading art projects, and a part-time music teacher leading music projects.

Please take a look at our Seasonal Learning Calendar for details of our upcoming events.

The Seven Areas of Learning and Development

The seven areas of learning and development which shape activities and experiences for children in all Early Years settings are divided into: 

Prime Areas – these lay the foundations for children’s success in learning and in life:

  • Physical Development 
  • Communication and Language 
  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development 

Specific Areas – these provide the range of experiences and opportunities for children to broaden their knowledge and skills:
  • Literacy 
  • Mathematics 
  • Understanding the World 
  • Expressive Arts and Design 

Effective Learning

There are three characteristics of effective learning which help us to understand how children learn:

Playing and exploring: We observe how children use their hands (and other bits of their bodies) to play and explore. 

Active learning: We observe how children use their heart to want to learn.

Creating and thinking critically: We observe how children are using their heads to really think.

Information about the curriculum is displayed around the nursery to help you understand what we do. We observe your children carefully and use what we see to plan exciting activities that will interest them and help them learn, using natural materials whenever possible.

Phonics: We use the resource Letters and Sounds, which is published by the Department for Education and Skills.  It aims to build children's speaking and listening skills in their own right as well as to prepare children for learning to read by developing their phonic knowledge and skills.

Learn more here:

Please come and speak to a member of nursery staff if you wish to find out more about the curriculum your child is following.