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Curriculum Statement


At Woodcroft Nursery School, our curriculum is designed to provide a broad and balanced education that meets the needs of all pupils. It facilitates them to gain the skills, knowledge and understanding, as they start out on their educational journey, supporting them to progress from their individual starting points and preparing them for the next stage of their education and beyond.

Our curriculum is child-centred. This means that the children’s interests are at the heart of our provision; we celebrate children as unique individuals and we adapt our teaching style and level of support to meet individual needs. We recognise that all children come into our setting with varied experiences and all staff ensure that the learning opportunities provided widen their knowledge and understanding of the world; we have high expectations for all children to thrive at Woodcroft.

Our curriculum celebrates diversity and supports the pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development. Those children with particular needs including SEND are supported appropriately allowing them to be successful.

At Woodcroft Nursery School, our curriculum in underpinned by an absolute commitment to the prime areas of learning and development (Personal and Social, Physical and Communication and Language.)   

We have 5 clear aims which are inextricably intertwined with Physical and Mental Wellbeing and Building Learning Power to encourage children to feel safe, secure and ready to learn. We want our children to be:

Ready to learn: Children have a positive, confident attitude to learning. They are both physically and emotionally ready to learn.

Resourceful: Children show initiative, ask well thought out questions and are prepared to use a variety of strategies to learn.

Reflective: Children are curious, able and willing to learn from their mistakes and can describe their progress.

Reciprocal: Children are prepared to help each other and work as a team.

Resilient: Children are prepared to persevere and stay involved in their learning, even when the process is challenging.


Through the seven areas of learning we provide story- inspired topic themes that excite and engage children in their learning: building on own interests and developing their experiences of the world around them.

The aim of our curriculum is to develop a thirst and love for learning by:

  • Carefully planning sequences of activities that provide meaningful learning experiences and nurture each child’s characteristics of effective learning through ‘In the Moment’ planning’, ‘Curiosity approaches’ and ‘guided play’ opportunities.
  • Providing high quality interactions with adults that demonstrate and impact on the progress of all children, check understanding and address any misconceptions.
  • Staff acting as role models to the children they teach in order for children to develop their own speaking and listening skills.
  • Meaningful observations which are recorded on Learning Journals and shared with parents. These are used to inform the next steps of learning and support individual needs.
  • Providing an effective and engaging environment that is set up so that children can access all areas of learning both inside and outside holistically.
  • Providing inspiring provocations child-initiated activities that further enhance children’s learning opportunities.
  • Suggesting home learning opportunities that allow parents to build on their child’s school experiences, at home.
  • Inviting parents to share any successes at home through our online parent partnership systems.
  • Inviting parents to support the planning of meaningful learning experiences by sharing their child’s current interests and development personally, through the online platforms, through learning conferences and OPAL Spotlight reviews.

We recognise the importance of the home school partnership to provide the best conditions to support children’s successful outcomes.  Parents and carers are regularly invited to attend learning conferences and open events. Workshops, stay and play sessions and advice through our website are provided to enable parents to join in learning activities with their child and celebrate learning through play.

Feedback is highly valued and parents and carers are provided with an opportunity to share their opinions through regular questionnaires, feedback forms, the Famly app and via a dedicated email address.

We are passionate about the world around us and aim to instil this love for our environment within the children. Our setting, with expansive outdoor space, enables open-ended use of the natural environment within our provision which covers all seven areas of the Early Years curriculum and supports a range of skills and social interactions, for example;

  • Using apples from our trees for baking, printing patterns with paint and through seed and growing exploration,
  • Using blossom from the trees to make a magical potion, create a collage picture, decorate hair styles or as confetti for an impromptu wedding,
  • Using sticks, stones and leaves to create images of people, animals and places to enhance storytelling, and demonstrate artistic expression,
  • Exploring the natural inhabitants of our garden areas by recognising and tallying the different species of birds who visit, building homes for minibeasts using natural materials, showing care and concern for new found friends,
  • Take supervised risks as part of Forest School learning, accessing a tyre swing and slack line, using potato peelers for whittling, learning how to build and light fires safely and using natural materials to build dens.

Through these activities, celebrating what the natural environment has to offer, we aim to instil joy in the natural world around us and encourage children to respect for and care for the environment at an early age as well as be aware of the risks inherent in tool use and the environment. We support children to take risks in an unpredictable environment whilst developing leadership skills and promoting mental health and wellbeing.

We are fortunate to have a large garden with mature trees. Therefore there are numerous natural resources available all through the year and these change as the seasons progress, inviting discussions about what is happening to our trees at different times of the year. By encouraging the use of natural resources within play, we also aim to instil innate creative ability that will help our children to be resourceful, think outside of the box, be confident to express their own ideas and opinions and be inspired and motivated. We feel these are invaluable skills to contribute to economic and personal success in adulthood and we aspire for every child to achieve this. 

At Woodcroft Nursery School we have a strong commitment to language and communication and recognise that the development of children’s spoken language underpins all seven areas of learning and development.

We immerse our children in an environment where adults enjoy exploring language with children, through conversation, poems, oral storytelling and a wide variety of books.

Early literacy is taught using core texts as a basis for planning and usually start with an exciting hook to engage children in both the topic and the book. Other books closely related to the topic are shared each day to provide children with an experience of a range of authors and genres. Children are encouraged to regularly read for pleasure at home and are provided with a recommended reading list which are chosen for their level of challenge and quality language.

To develop children’s early literacy skills, we use a range of Talk for Writing (T4W) techniques.

Children develop their literacy skills by the imitation of stories that they learn using actions and story mapping techniques. They then move on to innovation of these well-known stories by including their own ideas. Children can also show independence by planning and writing their own stories with adult support, scribing as required. Children are further supported in this area through the combined use of Helicopter Story techniques which help children to build confidence in early writing, storytelling, and drama.

Early literacy opportunities are also promoted in many of the continuous provision activities available to children throughout the week.

Phonics is taught through Phase 1 Letters and Sounds. Children in the nursery start with activities focused on the seven aspects in Phase to develop the children’s language abilities in the following ways:

  • Learning to listen attentively
  • Enlarging their vocabulary
  • Speaking confidently to adults and other children
  • Discriminating between different phonemes
  • Reproducing audibly the phonemes they hear
  • Using sound-talk to segment words into phonemes

Once secure in these aspects, children move on to Phase 2. This usually takes place when children move on to their Reception Class, however children who demonstrate they are ready to progress to this stage are provided with these opportunities:

  • Practising letter recognition for reading and recall for spelling
  • Practising oral blending and segmentation
  • Practising blending for reading VC and CVC words

Through stories and activities associated with these, phonic sounds are introduced to children each day in an engaging way and revisited throughout the year to embed.

Early maths is taught through a combination of child-initiated and adult –led activities. Exposure to everyday mathematical experiences, number rhymes, stories along with staff who recognise the potential for incidental mathematical learning everywhere, enable the children to build on prior learning and draw on experiences to develop ideas and choices for mathematical problem solving. Through our curriculum we support children in mastering numbers 0-5 and then progressing through to 0-10 and 0-20. We aim for our children to become confident mathematicians who can apply what they have learnt to real life experiences.

A key way in which we promote mathematical learning is through regular cooking opportunities. Not only is this a highly valuable life skill but also brings together all mathematical, PSED, physical and communication and language rich learning; building on prior knowledge in a holistic way.

Throughout our curriculum delivery, we recognise the changing needs and interests of our pupils and we are responsive to this, regularly developing existing learning themes and acting upon the voice of the child.


Through all the wonderful experiences that are provided, children develop their characteristics of effective learning and are able to apply their knowledge to a range of situations making links and explaining their ideas and understanding. Children are confident to take risks and discuss their successes and failures with adults drawing on their experiences to improve or adjust what they are doing.

From their own starting points, children will make good progress academically and socially, developing a sense of themselves so that they are well prepared for starting school and beyond.

Children are developing as confident, engaged and flourishing learners and continue to grow in confidence and independence as well as in skills and knowledge.

We see, and evidence, this impact in our observations; our assessments and data; our weekly curriculum evaluations and in our Reflective Practice staff discussions.

Our children are engaged learners.  Parent’s tell us how much their children enjoy coming to Woodcroft and Reception class teachers often comment on how prepared our children are as they move on to school.

We note, year on year, that a high majority of our children have achieved the 5 Rs by the time they leave us, therefore they are;

Ready to Learn