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EYFS Curriculum

How does your child learn at Sandcastles when all they do is play?

Just like adults, children learn best when they’re interested and engaged.  Play is therefore when children learn at their highest level.  All Sandcastle’s practitioners who care and educate your children plan to ensure the opportunities made available to them are stimulating and relevant to their age and stage of development.
Below is a very small glimpse into the Early Years’ Curriculum.  We are happy to provide more information upon request.

Nursery and Reception Year                                                    From Year 1

Prime Areas these underpin the curriculum                                                                               and are the key focus for our youngest children

Personal, Social & Emotional Development                          Personal, Social & Health Ed

Physical Development                                                              P.E.

Communication and Language                                               Literacy (English)

Specific Areas  the curriculum expands to                                                                                incorporate these areas 

Literacy                                                                                      Literacy (English)

Mathematics                                                                             (Numeracy) Maths

Understanding the World                                                        Science, Geography, History, RE,    .                                                                                                     ICT, Design & Technology

Expressive Arts & Design                                                      Art, Dance, Drama & Music


All areas within Early Years are inter-linked eg. If a child is playing with the water, they will have opportunities to develop & explore in the ways detailed below. (please note that the resources made available to them and adult interaction plays a part in this, although children are free to make their own choices and lead their own play)

PSED – gaining confidence/self-esteem, using own initiative/independence, making choices, sharing/taking turns, recognising emotions/expressing feelings, operating within boundaries
PSRN –  problem solving, number (calculating, counting, adding, taking away, dividing into groups)shape, measure, colour, matching, size, capacity, mathematical language
CCL – communication (speaking & listening), learning new vocabulary, language for thinking, exploring sound, mark making through patterns & recording observations
KUW – floating/sinking, exploration & discovery, senses and movement, building and construction, record observations (photos, mark making)
PD – special awareness, fine motor skills, manipulating tools, pouring, squeezing, mopping!
CD – colour mixing, mark making (making patterns), exploring texture and sound, developing imagination & creative skills (mark making is early writing skills)

(this is not an exhaustive list)

Learning and Play

For young children learning and play are very closely linked, one does not happen without the other.  So if you think that your child is just playing all day you can be safe in the knowledge that they are learning too!
At Sandcastles, exciting, stimulating play based opportunities and activities are set out and made available for the children to immerse themselves in.  We actively encourage the children to lead their own play and are reassured when the activity takes on a new path reflecting an individual’s own interests and experiences.

Ofsted Report 2013

Staff have an excellent understanding of the Statutory framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage and the different ways in which children learn.  As a result, children throughout the nursery are exceptionally well supported in their learning and development and become inquisitive learners.  Staff have an in-depth knowledge and understanding of their key children’s needs and plan stimulating activities for their development.  The quality of teaching is extremely effective and consequently, children are motivated and eager to learn. 

Every Child Matters

This is central to the ten year strategy choice for parents, Childcare Act  2006.  Through an order and regulations made under this Act in September 2008 The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) became a legal force.   Throughout your child’s time at Sandcastles Nursery they will be journeying through the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum which finishes at the end of Reception Year at school.  We believe the EYFS to be a fantastic start to your child’s education.  At Sandcastles we do not believe in stretching children but allowing them to be all that they can be – immersing themselves in each new experience and opportunity.

We provide each and every child with the best start in life, supporting them to reach their full potential through experiences and opportunities offered in our safe, secure happy environment.  This is the foundation for each individual to thrive, using their recognised abilities.  The Every Child Matters aim is to help young children achieve five outcomes – Staying Safe; Being Healthy; Enjoying and Achieving; Making a positive contribution; Achieving economic well-being

Within the Early Years Foundation Stage framework there are four main themes which we put into practice –

A Unique Child – every child is a unique child who is constantly learning and can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured.
Positive Relationships – children learn to be strong and independent from a base of loving,  secure and positive relationships with parent/carers and a key person.
Enabling Environments – Our environment plays a key role in supporting and extending children’s development and learning.  Children learn and develop well in environments where their experienes respond to their individual needs and there is a strong partnership between practitioners nd parents and carers.
Learning and Developmentchildren develop and learn in different ways and at different rates and all areas of Learning and Development are equally important and inter-connected.  Each room and garden is planned carefully via the areas of learning detailed above.  The framework covers the education an care of all children in early years provision, including children with special educational needs and disabilities.

We deliver these through carefully chosen resources, purposeful play, adult led and child initiated activities.  We invite outside professionals to provide purposeful and memorable opportunities to extend the children’s knowledge and experience.  All age groups have daily access to our gym and extensive garden areas.

We place a lot of emphasis on Personal, Social and Emotional Development as children who are ready for school socially are then more adept at settling into school life.  We aim that children will leave Sandcastles as happy, confident children with a thirst for learning.

Development through play