Chigwell and Hainault Synagogue nursery Early Years foundation stage Curriculum 

The EYFS curriculum encompasses seven key areas of learning.


The three prime areas of learning are:

  1. Personal, Social and Emotional Development

  2. Communication and Language

  3. Physical Development


The four specific areas, through which the three prime areas are strengthened and applied, are:

  1. Literacy

  2. Mathematics

  3. Knowledge of the world

  4. Expressive arts and design


In our nursery Jewish Studies forms the 8th area of learning, ensuring it is an integral part of the children’s learning and development.  This is incorporated using planned, age-appropriate activities and play opportunity which allows the children to learn about themselves and the community around them, recognising themselves as individuals.


Each Friday the two classes carry out a role play Shabbat party; children take it in turns to be shabbat Mummy and shabbat Daddy.  This is to build on the children’s understanding of the Jewish customs as well as teach them key aspects found within many areas of the early learning goals set out within the EYFS, such as sharing, listening and attention, communication skills- speaking and understanding. The children are able to relate their learning to home life and others around them, building the foundations for their development in understanding the world.


At Chigwell and Hainault nursery, all children are allocated a key person before commencing the setting this allows staff to build trusting relationships with not only the child but the child’s parent/ carer from the moment the child begins with us. We understand that parents are their child’s first “educators” and children will learn many new things from their home life.  We aim to work closely with parents to gain understanding of what life is like for the child at home and what their child’s strengths and needs may be as well as any interests the child may have.  We use this information to plan for the child’s time at nursery as well as their individual next steps.  We provide half termly reviews to parents allowing them to see their child’s progression and areas we aim to build on with their child enabling them to take the opportunity and support the child in these areas at home.


Play and the learning environment

“Children’s play reflects their wide ranging and varied interests and preoccupations.
In their play children learn at their highest level. Play with peers is important for children’s development.”


Play is an important aspect of a child’s development. In our nursery we offer a combination of child-led and adult-led play opportunities.  We offer a range of resources that supports the seven areas of learning and development, such as the role play kitchen areas, embedding sharing, making relationships, building communication skills, enabling the child to be actively involved with their learning through imaginative play.

Children are free to explore their learning environment and experience new daily planned activities that staff set up.  These activities are based on both the children’s individual needs and their interests.   We understand the experiences the children have are crucial in encouraging an enquiring mind, confidence and a love of learning alongside developing a range of early skills.

We recognise that children learn many new skills within an outdoor environment. We aim to provide the two classes with daily outdoor experiences and activities.

Planning and guided children’s activities will reflect on the different ways that children learn and reflect these in their practice.  At Chigwell and Hainault, we support children in using the three characteristics of effective teaching and learning. These 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; and

  • Creating and thinking critically – children have and develop their own ideas, make links between ideas, and develop strategies for doing things.


Working with parents 

We foster close relationships with parents and see parents as an integral part of their child’s learning.  We recognise that parents are children’s first and most enduring educators and we value the contribution they make.  We recognise the role that parents have played, and their future role, in educating the children. We do this through:

  • talking to parents about their child before their child starts at our setting.

  • Allocating their child, a key person before commencing the setting.

  • provide parents with the opportunity to talk to the child’s key worker if there are any concerns.

  • Gain information from parents about their child’s likes, dislikes and information regarding their child’s development.

  • Provide parents with their child’s termly goals and half termly reviews.

  • Each child is given a blue diary.  Where staff and parents can record any important information to be shared, allowing communication between working parents or children often dropped off and collected by friends or family members.


Transitions into nursery

We ensure a smooth transition into our Nursery. 

  • Children and parents are invited in to meet the child’s keyworker and see the nursery in action.                                                                             

  • Staff discuss key aspects of the child, such as any interests or particular needs the child may have.                                                                                     

  • The child is then given a start date.                                               

  • The child will attend alone for 2 hours to allow them to settle into their new environment 

  • The child will commence full time on their next attendance day                                                                                       

All children between the age of two and three commence in our caterpillar class where learning is focused around the three prime areas.  Once the child reaches their third birthday, they transition up to the Butterfly classroom where all areas become focus and the prime areas are enhanced using the four specific areas.

Transitions into the butterfly classroom (approaching child’s third birthday)

  • The child’s parents will be made aware of the child’s new keyworker.                  

  • The child will complete a number of short visits to the butterfly classroom, first with their current keyworker.                                                                             

  • Child will visit the butterfly class for longer periods without current keyworker. 

  • Child will commence in the butterfly class once they turn three.                                                                                                                                            

What our parents say about us

As both a parent and teacher I thought long and hard about which nursery setting I wanted my son to attend. I managed to find a nursery that was warm, inviting and stimulating, which provided a safe, happy and loving environment. The management and staff are skilled in engaging actively with the children, allowing them to create, explore and learn in fun ways. My son has developed immensely since being in the care of the fantastic staff who have nurtured him for 2 years. He absolutely loves nursery and runs in each day! I would thoroughly recommend the nursery to any parent. 

From the moment my daughter started this nursery until she left it has been a completely positive experience.  
My daughter has learnt so much and made so many friends. The teachers (auntie's) have been so influentialto her and this will stay with her for life.  They work sohard for the children and are genuinly invested in each child.  Each day when i picked her up she would tell me of all of the fun activities she had done that day and would come home with endless bits of art work and other things she had made.  She was so excited to go in each day.  She has had such a great start to her education by attending this nursery and we couldn't be happier.