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Welcome to Holy Cross Catholic Primary School Nursery!

“Every child deserves the best possible start in life and the support that enables them to fulfil their potential. Children develop quickly in the early years and a child’s experiences between birth and age five have a major impact on their future life chances. A secure, safe and happy childhood is important in its own right. Good parenting and high quality early learning together provide the foundation children need to make the most of their abilities and talents as they grow up.” Early Years Foundation Stage Framework (2021)


Holy Cross Nursery Curriculum Intent

At Holy Cross it is our intent to ensure the Nursery Curriculum is ambitious and provides each child with the opportunity to develop their skills and interests in a range of areas. Depth, however is much more important than covering lots of things in a superficial way and so the curriculum aims to sequence and build on learning over a period of time. We value the strengths of our children, families and local community and so the curriculum intends to help children embrace diversity and gain an appreciation of each other’s cultural diversity. We understand the importance of good communication and language in providing children with the skills needed to become successful learners and so we place language at the heart of the curriculum.  


How we will implement our curriculum

Our curriculum follows the guidelines of the Early Years Foundation Stage Framework (2021) and is implemented using Development Matters (2021). The topics taught in Nursery are selected through; discussion with parents to determine children's interests and needs, practitioners knowledge of the children and what is required to help them reach the next steps of learning, consideration and appreciation of the local community its needs and what it has to offer our children. The curriculum is reflected upon regularly and so is flexible, to ensure there are changes to support the growing needs of the children and community.


Our EYFS team Mrs Pinchi, Miss Magee, Mrs Hunter and Miss Brennan will be happy to talk to you about your child’s needs and interests. For further information please contact us.


The EYFS Framework 2021 Overarching Principles

There are four guiding principles that shape our practice at Holy Cross. These are:

• Every child is a unique child, who is constantly learning and can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured;

• Children learn to be strong and independent through positive relationships;

• Children learn and develop well in enabling environments with teaching and support from adults, who respond to their individual interests and needs and there is a strong partnership between practitioners and parents and/or carers; and help them to build their learning over time. Children benefit from a strong partnership between practitioners and parents and/or carers.

• Importance of learning and development. Children develop and learn at different rates, (see the characteristics of the effective teaching and learning, EYFS Framework 2021). The framework covers the education and care of all children in early years provision including children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). EYFS 2021. 


Three characteristics of effective teaching and learning are:

• playing and exploring - children investigate and experience things, and ‘have a go’

• active learning - children concentrate and keep on trying if they encounter difficulties, and enjoy achievements

• creating and thinking critically - children have and develop their own ideas, make links between ideas, and develop strategies for doing things


The curriculum is organised into seven areas of learning and development:

All areas of learning and development are important and inter-connected. Three areas are particularly crucial for igniting children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, and for building their capacity to learn, form relationships and thrive. These three areas, the prime areas, are:

  • Communication and language The development of children’s spoken language underpins all seven areas of learning and development. Children’s back-and-forth interactions from an early age form the foundations for language and cognitive development. The number and quality of the conversations they have with adults and peers throughout the day in a language-rich environment is crucial. By commenting on what children are interested in or doing, and echoing back what they say with new vocabulary added, practitioners will build children's language effectively. Reading frequently to children, and engaging them actively in stories, non-fiction, rhymes and poems, and then providing them with extensive opportunities to use and embed new words in a range of contexts, will give children the opportunity to thrive. Through conversation, story-telling and role play, where children share their ideas with support and modelling from their teacher, and sensitive questioning that invites them to elaborate, children become comfortable using a rich range of vocabulary and language structures.
  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development  Children’s personal, social and emotional development (PSED) is crucial for children to lead healthy and happy lives, and is fundamental to their cognitive development. Underpinning their personal development are the important attachments that shape their social world. Strong, warm and supportive relationships with adults enable children to learn how to understand their own feelings and those of others. Children should be supported to manage emotions, develop a positive sense of self, set themselves simple goals, have confidence in their own abilities, to persist and wait for what they want and direct attention as necessary. Through adult modelling and guidance, they will learn how to look after their bodies, including healthy eating, and manage personal needs independently. Through supported interaction with other children, they learn how to make good friendships, co-operate and resolve conflicts peaceably. These attributes will provide a secure platform from which children can achieve at school and in later life.
  • Physical Development  Physical activity is vital in children’s all-round development, enabling them to pursue happy, healthy and active lives. Gross and fine motor experiences develop incrementally throughout early childhood, starting with sensory explorations and the development of a child’s strength, co-ordination and positional awareness through tummy time, crawling and play movement with both objects and adults. By creating games and providing opportunities for play both indoors and outdoors, adults can support children to develop their core strength, stability, balance, spatial awareness, co-ordination and agility. Gross motor skills provide the foundation for developing healthy bodies and social and emotional well-being. Fine motor control and precision helps with hand-eye co-ordination, which is later linked to early literacy. Repeated and varied opportunities to explore and play with small world activities, puzzles, arts and crafts and the practice of using small tools, with feedback and support from adults, allow children to develop proficiency, control and confidence.


There are four specific areas through which the prime areas are strengthened and applied, the specific area are;

  • Literacy It is crucial for children to develop a life-long love of reading. Reading consists of two dimensions: language comprehension and word reading. Language comprehension (necessary for both reading and writing) starts from birth. It only develops when adults talk with children about the world around them and the books (stories and non-fiction) they read with them, and enjoy rhymes, poems and songs together. Skilled word reading, taught later, involves both the speedy working out of the pronunciation of unfamiliar printed words (decoding) and the speedy recognition of familiar printed words. Writing involves transcription (spelling and handwriting) and composition (articulating ideas and structuring them in speech, before writing).
  • Mathematics Developing a strong grounding in number is essential so that all children develop the necessary building blocks to excel mathematically. Children should be able to count confidently, develop a deep understanding of the numbers to 10, the relationships between them and the patterns within those numbers. By providing frequent and varied opportunities to build and apply this understanding - such as using manipulatives, including small pebbles and tens frames for organising counting - children will develop a secure base of knowledge and vocabulary from which mastery of mathematics is built. In addition, it is important that the curriculum includes rich opportunities for children to develop their spatial reasoning skills across all areas of mathematics including shape, space and measures. It is important that children develop positive attitudes and interests in mathematics, look for patterns and relationships, spot connections, ‘have a go’, talk to adults and peers about what they notice and not be afraid to make mistakes. .
  • Understanding the world Understanding the world involves guiding children to make sense of their physical world and their community. The frequency and range of children’s personal experiences increases their knowledge and sense of the world around them – from visiting parks, libraries and museums to meeting important members of society such as police officers, nurses and firefighters. In addition, listening to a broad selection of stories, non-fiction, rhymes and poems will foster their understanding of our culturally, socially, technologically and ecologically diverse world. As well as building important knowledge, this extends their familiarity with words that support understanding across domains. Enriching and widening children’s vocabulary will support later reading comprehension..
  • Expressive arts and design The development of children’s artistic and cultural awareness supports their imagination and creativity. It is important that children have regular opportunities to engage with the arts, enabling them to explore and play with a wide range of media and materials. The quality and variety of what children see, hear and participate in is crucial for developing their understanding, self-expression, vocabulary and ability to communicate through the arts. The frequency, repetition and depth of their experiences are fundamental to their progress in interpreting and appreciating what they hear, respond to and observe. .



Children in Nursery will be assessed through discreet formative assessment to enable practitioners to plan for children's next steps of learning. Adults will use their informed knowledge of the children and will not spend time completing unnecessary paper work. This allows practitioners to have more time supporting children in their play or adult led activity. We value the contributions from all adults who have contact with the children. We will share information in the form of a 'Learning Journey' with parents and/or carers regularly. This information will be shared with the Reception teacher at the end of the year to help support the transition to the new class. 


Children Learning with English as an Additional Language

For children whose home language is not English, there are opportunities to develop and use their home language in play and learning, supporting their language development at home. There are also opportunities to learn and reach a good standard in English language during the EYFS, ensuring children are ready to benefit from the opportunities available to them when they begin year 1.


The Value of Play

Play is essential for children’s development, building their confidence as they learn to explore, relate to others, set their own goals and solve problems. Children learn by leading their own play, and by taking part in play which is guided by adults.


Key Person

Each child is assigned a key person and parents and/or carers will be informed of the name of the key person, and their role.  The key person will help ensure that every child’s learning and care is tailored to meet their individual needs. 


What sort of things will children learn during their time in Nursery?


In the Prime Areas there are a number of skills your child will learn and her are just a few examples:- 

Develop their sense of responsibility and membership of a community.

Make friends and become confident independent learners.

Use a wider range of vocabulary.

Know many rhymes, be able to talk about familiar books, and be able to tell a long story.

Use one-handed tools and equipment, for example, making snips in paper with scissors.

Be increasingly independent as they get dressed and undressed, for example, putting coats on and doing up zips.

Revise and refine the fundamental movement skills they have already acquired: rolling, crawling, walking, jumping, running, hopping, skipping, climbing.


In the Specific Areas:-

Understand the five key concepts about print: - print has meaning - print can have different purposes - we read English text from left to right and from top to bottom - the names of the different parts of a book - page sequencing.

Write some or all of their name.

Link numerals and amounts: for example, showing the right number of objects to match the numeral, up to 5. Solve real world mathematical problems with numbers up to 5.

Talk about and explore 2D and 3D shapes (for example, circles, rectangles, triangles and cuboids) using informal and mathematical language: ‘sides’, ‘corners’; ‘straight’, ‘flat’, ‘round’.

Begin to understand the need to respect and care for the natural environment and all living things.

Begin to make sense of their own life-story and family’s history.

Respond to what they have heard, expressing their thoughts and feelings.

Explore different materials freely, to develop their ideas about how to use them and what to make.



What will children do during a Nursery session?

Your child will take part in a wide range of activities, both indoors and outdoors.  Your child will learn through activities he or she has chosen, or from those that are led by an adult.  Children in the Foundation Stage learn through play based activities that are fun and enjoyable.  These activities are supported by caring adults who will work closely with you to ensure your child makes progress.  We keep careful progress records for each child which are linked to the Development Matters and the EYFS Framework 2021.  Parents are actively encouraged to contribute to their child's learning journey.


Parental involvement

We encourage you to be involved with this curriculum and ask you to help us with your child’s Learning Journey during your time with us at Holy Cross.

Our open door policy encourages interaction between yourselves and you child’s key person on a regular daily basis, making the transition from your care to ours much easier.

When families support their children with their learning they make better progress, so we are very keen to get you involved in school life wherever possible.  We encourage parents to bring their child into our setting each morning.  Parents are usually invited into Nursery each morning (depending on any Covid restrictions) from 8.45am, but please leave by 8.55am so that we can start our day. We hold termly parents meetings to discuss your child's progress and development. We also hold various workshops to give an insight into our curriculum and how it is taught (depending on any Covid restrictions). Please visit the Nursery class page, on our school website to find out all our news and see our learning. 


Family Support

At Holy Cross we try to work closely with each pupil's family to ensure that all of their needs are met and we have a strong team of staff to carry out this role. All of our EYFS team liaise with families but your child's key worker will have that extra understanding of your child's needs.  Our SENCO can help with any special educational needs and can offer support and advice with a wide range of issues.


Our Vision

At Holy Cross Primary School we follow in the footsteps of Jesus by creating a welcoming ethos, valuing each child and their family no matter what ethnicity or background.

Our children take responsibility for each other especially those less able or with SEN through the respectful and inclusive culture that we have established in our setting.

Our EYFS learning environments both indoor and outdoor provide a high level of support and challenge for the learning and development needs of all the children attending our setting.

The positive impact of the enabling environment ensures all children are eager to learn and share their learning with others.

Our children learn independently and collaboratively and are encouraged to preserve to resolve problems they encounter.

Developing partnerships to engage families in children’s learning and supporting them to create a home learning environment by welcoming and ensuring parents/ carers and children feel valued as part of our school and local community.

Ensuring high quality holistic provision makes our Nursery class a welcoming, secure, fun and exciting place for all families and children in our school community. 

Curriculum Overview for the 2021-2022

Please see link to EYFS Framework 2021


Please see link to Development Matters 2021

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