We follow the Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum and base our planning, observations, assessments and evaluations upon it.

We are guided by our genuine understanding of how children learn and of the three ‘characteristics of effective learning’ – playing and exploring (engagement), active learning (motivation) and creating and thinking critically. We know that these characteristics support children’s learning and development across all areas of the curriculum.

We recognise that every child is unique and develops at their own pace and therefore aim to work in partnership with parents to do whatever is best for their child. Children usually settle in very quickly here as there is so much to do! 

‘Every child is a unique child who is constantly learning’ EYFS 2024


There are seven areas of learning and development within the EYFS curriculum. These are split into ‘prime areas’ and ‘specific areas.’

Prime Areas:

Personal, Social & Emotional Development

Managing Self
Building Relationships

Physical Development

Gross Motor Skills
Fine Motor Skills

& Language

Attention & Understanding

Specific Areas:


Word Reading


Numerical Patterns

Understanding the World

Past and Present
People, Culture and Communities
The Natural World

Expressive Arts & Design

Creating with Materials
Being Imaginative and Expressive

varied and engaging

Activities at Southover Nursery


We implement the seven areas of learning through a combination of planned, purposeful play and a mix of adult-led and child-initiated activity. Our warm and nurturing environment means that children are just as much at ease when playing freely as they are when being guided and supported by adults. We follow a daily timetable that is, by necessity, flexible, but that gives children an orderly routine to recognise and predict. Our aim is to enable every child the opportunity to work towards and achieve their own particular learning goals.


A day at Southover Nursery generally follows this routine:

  • Children arrive with big smiles and are welcomed into  nursery by their teachers who help them hang up their coat, change into their slippers and organise their bags.
  • Free flow play with a balance of child led and adult guided play and activities
  • Group time
  • Snack time - children wash their hands before finding their snack (provided by you) in their tray. They seek out their name on a table and sit to eat, pour their own milk and chop their own fruit (with adult supervision)
  • Garden time - morning
  • Music time - we sing and do the actions to our favourite songs
  • Lunch time - children wash their hands before sitting together and singing our lunch time song, ready to eat their packed lunches (provided by you).
  • Home time - for those doing a morning session only
  • Free flow play
  • Garden time - afternoon
  • Home time - we provide a summary of everything the children have been up to that day


  • Throughout the week the children also have the opportunity to participate in our extra activities such as yoga, jumping beans, small intervention and focus groups, music time with instruments and more
Group Times

A special feature of our provision is our 'group times' when the children are split into smaller groups roughly according to their age. Here they have time to listen to stories, play games and have discussions with their peer groups, guided by their own teacher.


For the older children, group time is great preparation for school, as they sit together, practice having a register, appoint a 'leader', talk about the world around us including the weather and the days of the week, count how many are in the group and take part in show and tell. The children share their experiences and expand their knowledge by listening to each other and their teachers as a wealth of learning opportunities are opened up and followed.


When appropriate, we also use group time to teach children about numbers, phonics, early 'writing' and 'reading'.


Our group times allow special time for focused learning in greater depth, for exploration of our key topics and provide an ideal opportunity for  teachers to identify areas of support for children individually.

Jumping Beans & Gym

We run OT-inspired 'jumping beans' sessions every week. These fun sessions offer a range of opportunities for small groups of children to develop new skills using a variety of equipment (beanbags, balance beams, peanut ball etc). They are encouraged to be aware of themselves, of others and of the space around them. We also have whole group gym sessions during which the children enjoy jogging on the spot, doing star jumps, balancing, stretching and skipping, often in response to music. During these sessions, the children learn about the importance of being healthy and eating well and about the effect that exercise has on their bodies.

Music & Singing

We believe that music, singing and rhymes play a very important role in nursery life. We have daily music and singing sessions and the children also have the opportunity to take part in 'Music Time' during which they explore musical percussion instruments, experimenting with sounds and how they can affect our feelings. Sometimes they learn some simple makaton signs to accompany the songs.


Children come to love our 'old favourites' but also enjoy learning new ones. They are encouraged to do the actions and to play instruments as they sing, following the beat and listening to the words. There is a sense of pride and great joy is taken when we share these songs and their musical abilities with friends and families, particularly at our Christmas and end of term shows.


During the year, we try to provide as many 'real experiences' as we can. We always incubate some eggs and take great delight in taking care of the chicks once they have hatched. We invite 'people who help us' in to see us and tell us all about what they do. We watch as our caterpillars turn into butterflies and then let them fly away. The children also take delight in growing sunflowers and vegetables in our nursery garden, and discovering different fruits and vegetables during our tasting weeks. All this inspires a great deal of learning and generates lots of enthusiasm!


Our lovely Helen is also a qualified yoga instructor and every week all the children have the opportunity to take part in a 15 minute yoga session. The children have great fun developing their balancing, stretching and relaxing skills and clearly enjoy the challenge of learning something new.


We enjoy learning many poems and rhymes from the Poetry Baskets programme. We choose a 'Poem of the Month', often to link with our current topic or season and share this with our families. The children learn these poems as a group and enjoy memorising the words and actions. They recite them on a daily basis, sometimes spontaneously in their play! They are a wonderful way for us to introduce new vocabulary.

Outdoor Play

We are lucky to have a fabulous large garden space that we make use of everyday, rain or shine! We recognise how important it is for children to have access to natural spaces and therefore provide opportunities for exploration, discovery, experimentation and adventure as well as much needed time to run, jump, climb, balance, and ride!

Activities and Resources

We have a wealth of engaging and exciting activities and resources on offer. On a daily basis children have the opportunity for creativity with both adult-led guided craft activities and free choices available for mark making in a variety of ways. Imaginations can run wild with our role play and home areas, books can be chosen and enjoyed over and over again, colours can be sorted, puzzles completed and dinosaurs taken on adventures! Building blocks are connected, sorted and counted, shapes and patterns are discovered and construction skills challenged. Sensory tables allow hands to feel and discover, cut and roll and squash and squeeze. Children at Southover Nursery are always busy!

Being Healthy

We want our children to be happy and healthy and to develop their own understanding of what being healthy means. Throughout the year the children have the opportunity to learn about their bodies, about healthy eating and the importance of brushing their teeth. We use books as a focus to build upon and provide real life experiences such as our fruit and vegetable tasting sessions, role play at the dentist, yoga and jumping beans sessions

The children are surrounded by opportunities to exercise and challenge their bodies, both indoors and outdoors.

Have a question?

At Southover Nursery, we recognise the crucial role early education plays in a child’s development. If you have any questions about our curriculum or want to learn more, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.

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