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Kirkley Nursery & Centre of Excellence

Early Years Foundation Stage Learning

Our aim at Kirkley Nursery is to provide a happy, safe and stimulating environment, which allows all children to feel secure and valued and therefore ready and eager to learn! Kirkley Nursery is a bespoke and spacious building ensuring that the children have access to all areas of learning, at all times.

The Nursery also enjoys secure and wonderful outdoor areas, which the children are able to use throughout the session and are free to choose from indoor and outdoor activities. This allows the children the opportunity to explore new and exciting experiences. 

You may also have other questions which may be answered in the information below:

why is nursery so important?

Within Nursery every child deserves the best support and this enables them to become active learners and thinkers. All children learn in a variety of ways and there are 3 main aspects of learning we follow:-
  • Play and exploring – children investigate and experience things and have a go.

  • Active learning – children concentrate and keep trying if they encounter difficulties and they enjoy their achievements.

  • Creating and thinking critically – children have and develop their own ideas, make links between ideas and develop strategies

what is the early years foundation stage?

The EYFS is the period of education for all children from birth until the end of Reception year at school.  It is called the Foundation Stage because it provides children with the secure foundations they need for their future learning. It builds on all the learning that children will have already gained from their families.
At Kirkley Nursery, we aim to ensure that our children benefit from learning experiences of the highest quality. We believe that ‘free-flow learning’ is key to young children’s development and stimulates their learning.  As our children feel safe, secure, valued and supported in their play by adults who care about them, we hope that they will go on to become independent and enthusiastic learners.

What will the children be learning?

There are 7 areas of learning covered by the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) Curriculum. These are divided into three prime areas and four specific areas. The prime areas are:-

  • Communication and Language

  • Physical development

  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development

The specific areas are:-

  • Literacy

  • Mathematics

  • Understanding the World

  • Expressive Arts and Design Communication and Language

phonics scheme

At Kirkley Nursery we follow the Letters & Sounds plans. Children will be given lots of opportunities to develop speaking and listening skills, one to one, in small groups and as a class. In a range of situations such as circle time and story- telling, children learn to listen attentively and respond with relevant comments.
We also encourage our children to be inquisitive and ask and answer questions in response to stories we share. They will show understanding of instructions and learn to express themselves clearly and effectively when speaking one to one or in a group.


At Kirkley Nursery we see the Early Years Foundation Stage as crucial in securing solid foundations that children can continue to build on as each grows and develops their unique potential. In September 2020 we will become early adopters of the new Early Years framework 2020 and children will work towards reaching the new early learning goals.

The early years framework is broken down into 3 areas:
  1. Characteristics of effective learning; playing and exploring, active learning and creating and thinking critically.
  2. Prime areas of learning; communication and language, physical development and personal, social and emotional development.
  3. Specific areas of learning; literacy, mathematics, understanding the world and expressive arts and design.
In line with our Trust Early Years Foundation Stage Policy, we shape our curriculum based on the children's individual interests and needs. We recognise that children develop and learn in different ways and at different rates. Children are given every opportunity to develop holistically; physically, socially, emotionally, intellectually and spiritually.  We look at the individual needs of each child and their starting points; we use children’s own interests and the flexibility of the Early Years curriculum to follow each child’s individual learning paths, keeping the characteristics of effective learning at the heart of all we do.


Learning in the Early Years is not a formal or top down approach. Learning experiences will occur naturally in school through play. Children are also provided with playful and practical experiences which develop their knowledge, language skills through conversation and encourage participation to develop new skills. Staff model appropriate skills, good use of language and offer support and challenge.
Language and communication skills are paramount to every aspect of life. Our Early Years team support children to develop their skills so that they can communicate their needs appropriately, listen effectively, understand verbal and visual cues and develop a range of vocabulary and speech skills.
Alongside continuous provision and child initiated activities children work with staff in groups, individually and as a whole class, during adult led and taught sessions.


At Kirkley Nursery we keep the characteristics of effective learning running through the heart of the Early Years curriculum, adults design and develop experiences to enhance and extend.  Children can explore and lead their own learning, develop curiosity, take risks, become resourceful, learn to be reflective, collaborate with others and become resilient.

By the end of the year, all children will be securing the foundations required to work with our whole school curriculum drivers:
  • Initiative:

It is vital that we nurture the natural curiosity of our children, enabling them to become independent in thought and action and encouraging them to imagine, enquire and question. We will give children opportunities to think critically, by solving problems and making choices.

  • Community:

It is important that children make links from school to the local and wider communities; through developing and experiencing positive relationships and celebrating diversity, therefore equipping them with the skills to become valued members of society.

  • Communication:

Pupils in our schools will develop the skills necessary to articulate their own thoughts, ideas and feelings successfully in a range of forms. Tolerance and respect towards of others’ differing points of view will be modelled with a culture of acceptance.

  • Adventure:

We recognise the responsibility we have for the physical development and well-being of our children. We believe that a curriculum rich in sport and physical activity along with participation in positive competition develops confidence and resilience and allowing them to manage real risks.

Online leaning resources

Useful Websites

During this challenging time, we wanted to provide you with details of websites that can be accessed at home to support children’s learning and development specifically for the early years. Please find a list of suggested websites below. We hope you find this information useful and enjoy using these sites to enhance your child’s learning experiences at home!

Please do remember to review the sites ahead of time so that you are able to help your children find the best resources available within the sites. Some offer a great number of games, songs, stories, videos etc. so it is important to know the site well in order to support and develop your child’s learning.

3 & 4 year old Online Provision

Communication & Language/ Literacy

FREE Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler Home Learning Packs

Is your child a fan of Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s wonderful picture books? Now you can download a range of home learning activity packs to complete as your read the books!

Storytime and Book Sharing

Phonics Play

Some free phonics games


Oxford Owl

Interactive books and reading activities to share with your child at home

Teach your Monster to Read

Phonics activities


White Rose Maths

Every lesson comes with a short video showing you clearly and simply how to help your child to complete the activity successfully 


Lots of maths and literacy games

A Variety of Subjects

Oak Academy (For Reception but also relevant for 3- 4 year olds)

Music, RHE (PSHE) and Understanding the World video lessons

Teacher’s Pet – Home Learning Hub

Includes a suggested timetable and supporting resources

ABC Does

Alistair Bryce Clegg’s ABC website with lots of home learning ideas

Top Marks

Search for ‘Early Years’


Orchard Toys

BBC Early Years Resources for Learning at Home

Busy Things!

A site built around the 7 areas of learning in the Early Years Foundation Stage. You can access a free 7 day trial but you need to subscribe after this period to access the content – various subscription packages available.