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Chigwell and Hainault Synagogue nursery Early Years foundation stage Curriculum 

The EYFS curriculum encompasses of seven key areas of learning.

All children begin their journey in our nursery in the Caterpillar class, here we focus on the child’s development within the prime areas. 

  1. Personal, Social and Emotional Development

  2. Communication and Language

  3. Physical Development

In the Caterpillar class staff monitor children’s progress and promote early identification of any needs your child may have.  The class always has a variety of resources out daily that allows for child-led play that simulates your child and supports their all-round development within the prime areas.  We plan daily adult led activities that are linked to the individual child’s needs and interests to help engage and enhance their participation.


Communication and Language                                                                             At Chigwell and Hainault Synagogue nursery we recognise that children’s communication and Language skills are a fundamental part of a child’s development, allowing interactions with peers and adults thus supporting all areas of development.  Our practitioners are highly trained to support children’s communication and language skills through modelling positive language during all activities, we sing songs and rhymes often with the aid of props to actively engage your child and promote further discussions.  We ask meaningful questions throughout all activities to invite your child to elaborate on what they have heard, always taking time to allow them to process the information given and respond should they wish to.


Personal, Social and Emotional Development                                                     Our nursery recognises the importance of attachment bonds to support your child’s personal, social and emotional development.  Once your child is registered with our nursery, they will be allocated a key person who will begin to plan for your child’s development immediately.  These plans will be completely in line with the statutory framework for early year 2021.   We use information received from the parent(s)/ Careers covering any support you feel your child needs as well as any interests your child may have this ensures a child-centred approach is taken into account when planning your child’s first days with us.  Your child’s key person will support your child to build on relationships by planning group activities as well as one to one activities within the setting.  They will encourage your child to interact with peers and seek out others to share experiences with.  All staff promote your child’s confidence through regular praise and recognition of their accomplishments and support them to manage their own feelings and begin to build on empathy through modelling “kind hand” and reasoning to help build understanding.  We promote children’s independence within our nursery, so your child feels a sense of pride in their own abilities, this is achieved by encouraging them to come in and take their coats off and find their individual pegs, we support them to put artwork in their drawers independently and much more.


Physical Development                                                                                          Within our grounds we have an outdoor area where children are able to explore the natural environment, support and develop their gross motors skills using various resources such as tricycles and balance bikes.  We have a playhouse with a slide, encouraging your children to take and manage risks that are suitable for their age and stage of development (always under adult supervision).  Children are able to explore natural resources both within the setting as well as during outings to the local park, allowing children to learn about the world around them.                                             Staff work and monitor children’s gross and fine motor skills closely, preparing many activities to build on their fine muscles within their hands, recognising this is important for a child’s early literacy skills.  Staff ensure there are many meaningful and challenging adult-led activities as well as child-led play opportunities to support their fine motor ability. 

Once your child turns three and depending on their stage of development within the prime areas, they will commence in the Butterfly class.  In this class staff continue to work on all the prime areas as well as incorporate the specific areas of learning and development.

  1. Literacy

  2. Mathematics

  3. Understanding the world

  4. Expressive arts and design


Literacy                                                                                                              Building on early fine motor skills that your child learnt in the Caterpillar class, we offer a range of mark making tools to support the children’s early writing ability.  Once your child is secure in their pen control (using the tri-pod grip) staff will begin to work on your child’s ability to form recognisable letters, normally those in their name.         Both classes have a quiet reading den which allows children to explore the world of books. We encourage children to look at books independently as well as within a group, allowing for discussions around the context and characters to take place, building on communication and language, understanding and your child’s ability to understand text in its correct form.


Mathematics                                                                                                      Our practitioners understand the importance of mathematical development.  We recognise this provides children with the skills to problem solve within everyday tasks, build on their reasoning and prepare them for the next stages in their mathematical education.  Children are supported to recognise numbers from a young age, match quantities to their number form and suggest patterns in sequences. We have a rage of resources to support these such as water play with different size contains/ beakers, number matching games, classroom displays to mention just a few.


Understanding the world                                                                                    During the summer term we provide the children with the opportunity to meet and learn about various occupations within the local community, such as police officers, firefighters etc. children are welcomed to ask questions and explore the fire engines and police cars. We celebrate each child’s birthday to ensure all children feel happy and included in the celebration of each other’s “special day”.                                       At Chigwell and Hainault nursery we understand every child is unique and encourage all in the setting to welcome these differences.  We understand the importance of religion and what this means to people, therefore we celebrate all Jewish festivals, as well as those of other religions and cultures thus supporting and building on children’s understanding of what makes us the same with differences.  We are a team of believers, that all children deserve the same opportunities in life so highly support cultural capital to enable all those in the setting to have the same opportunities as their peers.


Expressive arts and design                                                                                Children’s imaginations have no bounds and provides a fundamental skill for children to explore resources and bring them to life.  Children are encouraged to use their imaginations during free play and creative art activities.  We encourage and support children to explore a range of media and materials from painting on easels to paint with spray bottles on outdoor walls or junk modelling.  We understand the importance of open-ended play opportunities during creative activities to enable the children to really use their imaginations and build on their understanding of self-expression.  Children are encouraged to discuss their creations with staff and peers allowing them to express themselves and build on their confidence and vocabulary.


Jewish Studies                                                                                                    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.  We celebrate all major and minor Jewish festivals to keep the Jewish ethos of the nursery alive, we also recognise how these activities not only build on the children’s understanding of the Jewish customs but also teaches 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, 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. Should your child meet any of their set termly goals, their key worker will always inform parents using a “wow” sheet, this will highlight what your child has achieved and how this links to your child’s learning and development within the EYFS. Your child’s Key person will also set a new termly goal that is an extension to what has already been achieved and make suggestions on how you can support your child with this next step 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 as well as mid term updates should goals be met before reviews are sent out.

  • 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.

  • All Staff have nursery email addresses where parents are welcome to ask any questions or convey any information regarding their child, staff will also email parents with any updates. Staff are available via email Monday to Thursday (term time) between the hours of 8:30AM and 4pm  and Friday 8:30AM to 1:00PM emails received during the nursery day will be responded to at the end of the nursery session.


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                                                                

  • Your child will attend a settling in period of one hours prior to their start date (without parents)                 

  • your child will then a further 2 hours settling in period again without parents 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 and depending on their stage of development, 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, Depending on your child’s stages in development)


Once your child is three and depending on your child’s stages of development within the prime areas they will transition into the butterfly class, should we feel a child is not yet ready to transition to the butterfly class, parents will be informed and will always be kept up to date.

  • 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.


Parents will be kept informed how the child’s transition visits have been and when they will begin in the Butterfly class. 

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. 

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