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We are confident that our curriculum equips all children with the skills and knowledge that they need to become, resilient, independent and curious learners, who can adapt to a variety of situations, and who have the confidence to explore, experiment, problem solve and challenge themselves. We recognise that each child is on a unique and individual learning journey. At Gainsborough Nursery School children will be nurtured. Their individual interests and talents will be valued and developed. As a result, they will have belief in themselves and their abilities. They will know that they are capable, unique and loved.

You will find a short summary of the kind of activities we will be doing to help support your child with their learning in the 2-year-old room.  If you would like more detail, please just ask.

Physical Development

We provide a wide range of arm strengthening activities that allow the children to practice large scale pivoting from the arm and elbow, for example the digging and sand pit, balls & large paint, sweeping brushes and rollers. 

A range of sensory and tactile textures will be provided, on large surfaces that allow children to create and recreate movements and marks.

 Mark making options, such as pens, chalks, paint, felt tips and pencils will always be readily available for the children to access, alongside a range of papers.

Adults will use regular assessment to identify and support children with low muscle tone.

Children will have access to the outside all year round in all weathers.

We encourage cross-lateral movement daily, eg clapping and tapping, singing songs with actions.

Resources that support gross and fine motor development will be available daily eg playdough, filling and pouring resources, bike riding, balls etc

Staff will encourage and plan for children to explore outside and use the different resources and equipment to climb.

Adults will play stop and go games with children, encouraging children to be able to stop on a signal.

Personal, Social & Emotional Development

Adults will encourage children to use the snack table independently, they will teach children to wash their hands after using the toilet and before coming to the snack table, explaining why we need to do this.

Adults will support the children to develop their self-care. We will also support parents of the children who have a dummy, wear nappies, drink from bottles, when the child is developmentally ready, to move to the next step. Story sacks can be shared to support toilet training and the giving up of dummies.

Adults encourage children to help when changing or being dressed and undressed. Children will be supported to put on their own waterproofs and wellies.

 Daily routines are maximised to encourage children to make their own choices and decisions.

We will plan for group activities that encourage children to share and turn take resources.

All staff will model the highscope conflict resolution method throughout the session. Children will understand the language of asking for a turn “how many minutes?”, staff will support children to decide how long they want to use something for before sharing it.

Children will be provided with the opportunity to try healthy foods and broaden their palate.

Stories will be used such as 'That’s not my dummy', to promote healthy choices.

We will support Parents to access the dentist and provide toothbrushes throughout the year.

Communication and Language

Adults will support children in speaking, giving them time and every opportunity to speak. They will talk with the children whenever and wherever possible extending their language and thinking. Staff will consistently model back and also extend language using interesting and new vocabulary

Children will be taught ‘how to listen’, adults will plan a variety of activities to promote listening skills, such as a listening moment, or sound lotto.

Adults will use real resources and experiences to introduce new vocabulary, adults will recap vocabulary that has been learned and consistently introduce new and interesting vocabulary.

Children will be encouraged to develop conversational skills, listening to other people and speaking in turn. Teachers will provide activities that give children opportunities to express their feelings and their likes and dislikes. 


Daily opportunities will be planned for stories and singing, as well as spontaneous opportunities throughout the day. This may be on an individual basis or in small and large groups. The environment will be rich in print and there will be a variety of text and age appropriate books which promote diversity.

They will always have a cosy space to share stories. This provision will be enhanced with props throughout the year, linked to children’s favourite books and songs (for example finger puppets)

The different songs we are learning each half-term will be shared with parents to allow children to continue this learning at home.

Mark making mediums, such as pens, chalks, paint, felt tips and pencils will always be readily available for the children to access, alongside a range of papers.

Surfaces for writing will include both horizontal and vertical spaces.

Adults will plan for children to engage in mark making in a variety of ways for example in shaving foam or sand.

Adults will model writing children’s names on artwork, encouraging the child to attempt to make their own mark.

Daily opportunities for singing and rhyme will be provided. Children will explore listening during daily planned activities as well as during child initiated learning, for example when outside the adult may ask “What's that noise?" as a plane goes by.


Adults will follow the children’s interests and incorporate number, positional language and shape, space and measure where ever possible. Adults will carefully model counting saying one number name for each item.

Adults use finger rhymes stories and songs to promote counting.

Baskets and containers are provided for children to collect small collections of objects. Daily routines will be maximised to promote number.

Adults model and encourage children to help create simple repeating patterns.

We will introduce children to jigsaws and small and large construction and continue to develop the use of shape and positional language in children's role-play.

Our continuous provision will provide ample opportunities for the children to engage in open-ended play with shapes, these could include; large wooden blocks, junk modelling, a variety of small construction kits, jigsaws, or collage materials.

We will seek opportunities to extend, reinforce, correct and refine vocabulary children use to make measurement comparisons during play, e.g. bigger, smaller, longer, and taller. For example, ‘My shoes are bigger than your shoes!’

Continuous provision will provide opportunities for children to fill and empty containers for example, lentils or in the water tray.


We will provide daily opportunities for singing and rhyme. Adults will model singing throughout the day, for example, singing the tidy song, using a planning rhyme or when planned for at singing and story.

Songs sung throughout the year will reflect changing seasons and celebrations and songs sheets will be given to each class every half-term.

Children will experience of a variety of musical genres.  Children will be encouraged to listen to music, to join in and to move to music.

Children will have access to paint throughout the session. Children will be encouraged to experiment and explore paint, encouraged to observe what happens when colours are mixed.

Children will have daily access to real life objects to use in play for example in the home area potatoes, onions, carrots and other vegetables to chop. This will also develop vocabulary.

Our World Around Us

We focus on seasons and celebrations as a general stimulus for adult led learning. These themes are chosen to reflect what is happening in the environment and the local community as well as the world around us. They have been carefully chosen to promote the following:



Problem solving


Language and vocabulary development

Emotional intelligence

Mathematical skills and concepts.


Term 1 – PSED with a focus on settling in, learning rules and routines, looking after our learning environment

Term 2 – light and dark – linked to celebrations such as Halloween, Diwlali, bonfire night, Christmas

Term 3 – Material and chemical change-  linked to the weather, freezing melting dissolving.

Term 4 – Spring- exploring plant change and growth

Term 5 – Animal growth and change – lifecycles

Term 6 – Human growth and change- keeping healthy- closely linked to feelings and transitions to new classes or to new schools