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The Curriculum at Sunflowers Nursery Pebworth

The curriculum is designed to meet the needs of our children in a fun, stimulating way.  The topics are chosen following children's interests, and group activities, enhanced provision resources and opportunities reflect this child centred approach.


How was the curriculum for 2022-24 created?

Curriculum creation developed based on:
    What skills do these children need? 
o    resilience, 
o    independence 
o    collaboration
o    perseverance
o    self-regulation
o    greater opportunities for communication & language
o    Metacognitive thinkers as this enables children to talk more specifically about thinking in different contexts. It enables children to use a plan, do, review approach in their learning. They become independent and more powerful learners.
    The 7 areas of learning (that all children get the experiences and teaching they need to become secure in key concepts, like early numeracy & then making sure they have plenty of time to enjoy, practise, repeat and become secure. Different children will do that in different ways.)
    The characteristics of learning 
    Cultural capital
    Current economic crisis
    Current communication crisis – covid = too much screen time & not enough social opportunities including school/ nursery/ baby groups etc

What is needed?
    Loving, respectful care 
    Children who are listened to
    Staff developing conversations, playing with children, and teaching them new skills and concepts.
    A high-quality enabling environment  and curriculum, 
    Effective pedagogy
    An inclusive curriculum. Every child can access our curriculum, with extra help when needed (scaffolding)

Our professional understanding of child development helps us minute-by-minute to support learning and development.
The progress model of our curriculum helps us to make sure that our enabling environment and our playful, adult-guided learning promotes progress.


Examples of Parent curriculum overviews / Knowledge Organisers:

Curricular Goals:

Curricular Goal 1– To settle in and become a confident learner

First milestone: children make a strong relationship with their key person. Increasingly, they separate confidently from their parent/carer at the start of the session and become involved in their play. They use their key person as a ‘secure base’ throughout the session, ‘touching base’ as/when needed.

Where children need individualised and additional help, this will be offered promptly. Help includes: additional stay & plays, individual meetings with parents to map a way forward; Early Help support for parenting. 

Second milestone: As children grow in confidence, they will be content to be left, but will prefer to stay with their key adult, and / or have attachments such as familiar toys (blanky, rabbit).

Third Milestone: Their involvement in nursery activities deepens. They explore a wider range of activities.

Fourth Milestone: They play for longer periods of time.

Fifth Milestone: They enter Nursery confidently, self register and engage in play.


Curricular Goal 2 – To develop meaningful relationships

First Milestone: They engage with others through gesture, gaze or talk/babble to achieve a goal

Second Milestone: To play with increasing confidence with or alongside other children, because they know their key person is nearby

Third milestone: They play collaboratively.

Fourth Milestone: Play with one or more other children, extending and elaborating play ideas.

Fifth Milestone: Talk with others to solve conflicts.


Curricular Goal 3 – To be independent in meeting their own self care needs

First Milestone:  Self care needs (i.e. nappy-changing, teeth brushing) are carried out slowly and calmly with the carer fully present, and engaged with, the child (the Pickler approach)

Second Milestone: During nappy/teeth/handwash time adult models language i.e it was a wee wee, we are brushing your top teeth.

Third milestone: They are encouraged to recognise when they have urinated/passed a movement / take part in holding the brush.  Begin to actively participate.

Fourth Milestone: Need some support or prompting to conduct self care activity

Fifth Milestone: Conducts & completes activity with independence



Curricular Goal 4 – To recognise their written name

First Milestone: To react through look or gesture to their name when spoken

Second Milestone: To show interest in print in the environment.

Third milestone: They recognise that their name corresponds with a written word (not which one)

Fourth Milestone:. They recognise the initial letter of their name

Fifth Milestone: They recognise their name in various situations (place mat, self registration flower, drawers…)


Curricular Goal 5 – To count to 10

First Milestone: To verbally chant some numbers

Second Milestone: Verbally chant numbers 1-10, not always in order

Third milestone: They say one number for each item in order: 1,2,3,4,5.

Fourth Milestone:. Know that the last number reached when counting a set of objects tells you how many there are in total (‘cardinal principle’).

Fifth Milestone: Consistently (5/5) count to 10 correctly in play (jumps, objects…)


Curricular Goal 6 – To be enthusiastic about learning

First Milestone: To investigate and experience toys and activities with key adult support / encouragement

Second Milestone: They enjoy their achievements (and sharing them with important others such as key person or peers)

Third milestone: To express interest in activities and be willing to ‘have a go’ (unsupported)

Fourth Milestone: They begin to have their own ideas and make links

Fifth Milestone: They concentrate and will try new strategies if they encounter difficulties.

Assessment & progression overview
Assessment serves children’s learning and our curriculum. Most assessment is formative, so that it quickly helps to make a difference to children’s learning. Minute-by-minute assessment practices, like scaffolding and feedback, are essential elements of effective pedagogy. Daily observations are written onto FAMLY.  When appropriate, a next step is given. These observations are then used to feed into individual plans and opportunities. This is shared with parents & is used to inform as above.
Our next step targets follows the same pattern:
    Observe (what can the children do? what do they have difficulties with? what do they enjoy doing?)
    Analyse (what stage of development are they at? what are the next steps?)
    Use (what we have found out about the children so that we plan for the next steps in their learning)


However, we also need to have an overview of children’s progress, so that we can take further actions where needed, and so we can monitor equalities as such children are observed summatively every half term.  A progress report is created and shared with parents every term either in the form of parent meeting, or via telephone call (alternated or adapted to meet the families needs). Key adults and managers look at progress for each child in their care (VC all children) and analyse areas to develop and consider what is needed i.e. new learning style? Different resources? Refer to external agency through SENDCo? 

Spring 2023 saw Sunflowers introducing a new parent update: Key workers now offer half termly telephone calls with parents / carers regarding their child's progress and exciting learning journey.  These will occur alternate half terms to the progress report and parent meetings.
In addition, the Manager (VC) explores the observation tallies monthly to ensure all children are being observed regularly and in each area.   The results are discussed with individual and all staff and actions taken i.e. in October few Literacy observations had occurred.  This became a target area for November (in addition to other areas).
Progress can be tracked using FAMLY as well as through practitioner knowledge of the child. When a child is making less than expected progress, this is discussed and prioritised for that child such as involve children in specifically focussed intervention style groups (for example playing regular very small group games focussing on certain speech sounds, or sharing...) contact SALT, provide opportunities to paint, do a sensory audit to see why child doesn’t engage in wet play…  i.e. try to work out what their strengths are, so we can build on them. Scaffolding is another way that we make sure every child can access the curriculum. So we develop skills, and try to work out what their needs are, so we can further support them. During and after this process, this child is then closely monitored.  Parents / carers are kept in the loop through daily conversations, messages on FAMLY and parent meetings / calls.

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