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Ensuring the very best outcomes for all our children and families is embedded in our practice at Dorking Nursery School to empower each individual to reach their personal and learning potential. Everyone is valued as an individual, there is a continued focus on individual needs and personal and social development is at the heart of our practice.  This fully supports the ethos of the Early Years Foundation Stage Statutory Framework to ensure children learn and develop. Our aim is to provide a foundation for future life chances and educational readiness.

We offer a rich indoor and outdoor environment within which we encourage the children’s enjoyment of learning and their desire to investigate and question, whilst ensuring the safeguarding and welfare of all children.  By following the principles and guidance of the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS), emphasising developing the children’s unique and individual potential as active learners, and provide a broad, stimulating and balanced curriculum.  The children have free-flow access to a garden.  

Preparing our children for life in Modern Britain is an integral part of our ethos and values at Dorking Nursery School where all members of our community are respected, valued and given space to express themselves.   

There are 4 key threads that we promote to ensure the children have a variety of experiences and opportunities which will prepare them for future life in Modern Britain, these are:-

  • Democracy - children having views, valuing each other, talking about feelings, turn taking, sharing, working together and developing enquiring mind
  • Rule of law - managing feelings and behaviour, consequences, learning right from wrong, rules
  • Individual liberty - developing confidence, self-worth, self-esteem, taking risks, talk about differences 
  • Mutual respect and tolerance - learning about how you want to be treated, similarities/differences (families, faiths, community, culture). 

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Curriculum intent

Our curriculum intent is based on appropriate learning needs of two, three and four year olds. Our aim is to provide a broad and balanced curriculum where the children can access learning opportunities which promote high expectations, risk taking and independence through a combination of adult-led and child-initiated activities.  These equip the children with the motivation, skills and attitudes needed for life. The needs of each individual are carefully planned to ensure the best possible outcomes.

Curriculum intention

The environment is carefully planned to support the implementation of the curriculum and promote learning.  This enables the children to be independent and autonomous in their learning both inside and outside. The children are taught to take responsibility for their own learning and practise the skills they have been taught through their own child initiated learning.  Adults are deployed in the provision to ‘tune in’ to the children to support, intervene, extend play and ask inciteful questions.  The role of the adults is key, as this will support further planning opportunities by adding resources and activities to extend their play and learning. In order to teach key skills, specific activities are planned and delivered using an adult (adult-led activities). Learning intentions for these are written onto the daily planning sheet and colour coded linked to the seven areas of learning.  Specific skills and knowledge is also taught daily through ‘group times’.  Group times promote specific language and literacy skills and knowledge . There are also planned opportunities for specific interventions to be provided for children who may need additional support. These may be individual or small group and delivered either within and alongside a child’s play, or in a more quiet, calm space.

Curriculum impact

The impact of our curriculum will be demonstrated by the milestones* that our children achieve.  Daily observations of children will inform our daily practice and planning for each individual. At specific moments during each academic year, the children will be assessed against the milestone for their age. For those individual children who are not meeting their milestones, targeted plans will be implemented to support their progress. For those children who are not on a mainstream pathway, or have enhanced levels of Early Intervention (Funding), progress for these individuals will be tracked through their personal support plans and targets.

*Milestones adapted and support by the principles of OPAL Observing Play and Learning, developed by The Barnet Early Years Alliance.