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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 3 & 4 year-old room.  If you would like more detail, please just ask.

Physical development

The continuous provision will be planned to provide opportunities to strengthen palm arches and pincer grip.

Small manipulative tasks will support the children in the development of dexterity in final finger joints 

Malleable and sensory materials will include those which offer a high level of resistance and encourage small scale work, beginning with stiff doughs, then clay, then onto other mediums such a plasticine.

In term 6 woodwork will be introduced. Adults will plan for children to acquire basic woodworking skills such as sawing, measuring, and hammering. This will build upon the fine motor skills they have developed across their time in school. As well as during planned episodes of learning, staff will enhance the provision to include a woodworking station where children will further develop the skills practised in adult led time.

Children will have access to the outside all year round

Children will be supported to develop the use of large equipment such as climbing tree, monkey bars, cones, fireman’s pole, water pump, swings, trikes and two-wheel bikes.  Children will be given time to develop/explore/practice skills. Adults will encourage the mounting of steps or climbing equipment using alternate feet. Adults will teach children how to jump from the climbing tree safely (with bended knees and making sure that the area is clear). We will teach the children how to stay safe in the environment such as walking inside, keeping the bikes away from the swings and being aware of the swings. Children will be supported to negotiate space when playing racing and chasing games with other children and riding bikes.

Teachers plan a variety of music genres for children to move to spontaneously and with direction. Jabadao ideas for movement and cross-lateral work will be planned for after recall time and also in small group time, using resources such as lycra, scrunchies and the ‘spin on your bottom’ CD

Adults will encourage the use of dance and movement in work time, especially in the movement area. Adults will incorporate cross-lateral movements whenever possible.

Personal, Social & Emotional Development

We will support children to become more independent in self-care. Adult will ensure that children understand where to go if they need to use the toilet. Children will be reminded to ask if they need support and adults will help children by giving reminders to go to the toilet. Adults will use stories and songs to reinforce the importance of handwashing. Adults will plan for group activities that encourage children to share and turn take resources.

Activities and circle times will be planned that encourage children to talk about their feelings, likes and dislikes.

Children will be encouraged to put on their own coats, waterproofs and wellies, staff will model strategies for this such as putting your hood onto your head first and then your arms.

Staff will support children to do zips, encouraging the child to pull the zip up.

Children will be supported in making new relationships and reacquainting themselves with both children and adults. Experiences will be planned to support this during all sessions.

Visitors that support curriculum enhancement will be welcomed and the children supported in their relationships with them.

Adults will help children separate from their carers and to feel safe.

Children will be supported to learn each other’s names and to develop /make friendships.  Adults will model the language of friendship, feelings and emotions and verbally describe children's body language/facial expressions. Children will be encouraged to understand and use the terms ‘sad, happy, cross, excited, worried'.

Children will be encouraged to seek out others to share experiences and relate to staff beyond their class. 

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. Staff will encourage the child to have a go at solving the problem using the high scope method before the adult supports.

Children will be supported to develop their sense of confidence, belonging, security, trust, self-assurance and self-control (begin/continue to control impulsiveness). They will be helped to develop a positive approach to new experiences, to develop self-esteem, self-respect and assertiveness (using the ‘stop’ verbalisation and hand signal).  

Staff will plan opportunities to talk about how we keep ourselves healthy. Children will be given the opportunities to explore healthy food. Children will be able to learn about the importance of exercise and diet for healthy minds and bodies- for example using the 'Healthy Wolf' story sack.

Lunchtime routines will be maximised to educate children about healthy diets and eating a balance of foods. Children are only offered milk or water in school.

We will work in collaboration with parents to promote health and educate parents on the importance of limiting some foods and drinks.

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

Communication and Language

Adults will model listening skills, reminders will be given throughout the day about the importance of listening. Adults will model conversation and listening to others. Circle times will be used to promote good listening, resources and prompts will be used for listening such as 'Lola' the listening Leopard.

Adults will support children in speaking, giving them time and every opportunity to speak. They will talk with the children whenever and where ever possible extending their language and thinking. Staff will consistently model back and also extend language using interesting and new 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. If children that are finding difficulty with speaking they will have interventions planned for them based on their particular need. This could be bubble blowing, sound work, or language and vocab building support. To further support speech, language and vocabulary development we employ a private speech and language therapist to work with children who need targeted support for speech and language before going to school.


We will plan for daily singing and stories, using the song sheet and a wide variety of stories.  Adults will ensure that time is made during work time to read stories to children. We will also plan at small group time or singing and story time, for adults to narrate stories that involve the children.

Adults will model singing and encourage children to sing at work time. We will ensure a print rich environment where a wide range of typed and handwritten text is visible.

Children will be encouraged to listen to rhyme, in books and songs. Children will be helped to continue a rhyming string.  

Adults will recap stories that children have listened to previously, asking children to recall parts of the story. Adults will reinforce the different parts of a book e.g Title, author, blurb, illustrator etc.

Opportunities will be provided for children to re-enact stories. Children will be encouraged to make predictions about a text and will be encouraged to join in with repeated refrains.

Traditional repetitive stories that incorporate a journey, different settings and play with themes of good & bad characters will be selected.

 Adults will plan for group times that develop story telling. Children will be encouraged to make up their own stories.  Adults will scribe stories for children. These can be recorded, or acted out.

The continuous provision will be planned to provide opportunities to strengthen palm arches and pincer grip which help children to hold a pencil securely and ensure they are ready for writing.

Elements of the RWI program will be used to teach letter formation so that through practice and consolidation, the children can internalise a dialogue which dictates how to form each letter. 

 Adults will create engaging and exciting scenarios to peak children’s interest and provide a motivation to write.

Children will regularly be encouraged to name their own work.

Staff will carefully assess when children are ready to begin sound talk, and oral blending and segmenting. Adults will plan games such as cross the river to allow children the opportunities to blend sounds.

Staff will use sound talk in daily routines and when reading stories. Exploring the sounds in words will occur as opportunities arise throughout the course of the day’s activities, as well as in planned adult-led sessions with groups and individual children. 


Adults will follow the children’s interests and incorporate number, positional language and shape, space and measure where ever possible. They will encourage and model an interest in numbers and counting throughout the session and in all areas of play. Adults will model number names and quantity at every opportunity. They will model and continue to develop number problem-solving strategies, this is particularly useful at Greeting time. Teachers will plan to use stories and story sacks which contain number. Adults will continue to develop an interest in counting through number rhymes, songs (counting up and down) and books including action rhymes. We will plan regularly for cooking as a way of developing children’s interest in counting and measuring.

During child initiated play and group times adults will provide opportunities for and encourage children to estimate or make predictions for example 'I wonder if there are more boys or more girls today?' Or 'I wonder if there are less apples than pears at the snack table?' Arrays of objects will be used to provide opportunities to compare amounts.

Daily routines will be maximised to provide meaningful ways to make patterns, for example, during milk and recall time repeating patterns can be made using the coloured cups. Children will be encouraged to find shapes in the environment. Adults will model the correct terminology when discussing shapes.

Children will be provided with a variety of resources to promote the concept of 3d shape, for example block play and junk modelling. 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, collage materials and reclaimed large scale building resources for outside. 

Practical scenarios will be presented with the children actively encouraged to investigate and solve problems that involve making choices based on the measurement attributes of items, 

e.g. Which jug is best for the milk? How many cups of water will this bottle fill?


Adults will encourage children to join in songs (either in action or sounds). Adults will use the language of dynamics (fast, slow, high etc). Children will be given the opportunity to explore sounds and to use everyday objects to make their own sounds and rhythms. Adults will use music with a strong rhythm and beat and a variety of tempos to enable children to experience moving to music. 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 be introduced to a wide variety of musical instruments, they will be taught the correct names for instruments and how to play the different types.

Adults will teach the sequence of colour mixing. Children will have access throughout the session to mixed and powder paints. Children will be supported to gather the equipment needed for colour mixing.

Adults will encourage imaginative play in all areas. They will support children to develop the ability to use one object to represent another and to use available resources to create props for role-play.

Adults will observe children's play and make themselves available to be invited into that play, extending the children’s thinking and play with thoughtful and appropriate questions. Adults will listen as children talk about their play. Adults will encourage children to join in with make-believe play.

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

Children will be given opportunities throughout the year to experience a variety of events and celebrations.

Staff will use seasons and celebrations as a general stimulus for adult led learning. These themes are chosen to reflect what is happening in the environment and local community.

Age appropriate stories will be carefully selected used throughout the year that reflect a wide range of themes and cultures, for example same sex parent families, step families, books that represent people of colour, a wide range of cultures and people with disabilities.

Adults will promote the importance of taking care of our world for our futures. Children will be taught about recycling and the impact of litter.

Daily opportunities will be given for children to sort rubbish into the correct bins (recycling) or non.

Adults will plan for children to litter pick and discuss what happens if we drop litter and the impact it has on where we live. Staff will engage with parents and educate families on ways to become more environmentally friendly.

All adults will promote internet safety. This will become part of daily routines for example when watching clips on the whiteboard or using ipads to take photographs.