March St, Burnley, BB12 0BU

01282 454473

Stoneyholme Nursery School

Laying the Foundations for Lifelong Learning

3-4 year old provision

At Stoneyholme Nursery School we use the ‘Statutory framework for the early years foundation stage, setting the standards for learning, development and care for children 0-5’ (September 2014) Together with the Early Years Foundation Stage Guidance, which support our planning, teaching and assessment of children. This is overseen by our qualified Lead Teacher and head teacher.

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"The curriculum is of a high quality. Children’s activities are developed with much care and thought. Great use is made of the indoor and outdoor environment. Children benefit from extensive opportunities to learn in the nursery garden. Staff are given extra training to help children light fires, climb trees, make dens and identify trees and insects. Books, stories, songs, visits and visitors are also key parts of the planned experiences for children. Children’s learning and their progress is excellent"

Ofsted 2017

The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) sets out standards for the learning, development and care of children from birth to 5 years old. All schools and Ofsted-registered early years providers must follow the EYFS, including childminders, preschools, nurseries and school reception classes.

The EYFS supports an integrated approach to early learning and care, providing a set of common principles and commitments to deliver quality early education and childcare experiences to all children.

At Stoneyholme Nursery School we embrace the EYFS which is used to support our planning, teaching and the assessment of children. Staff in nursery will ensure that all children are given opportunities to develop in the three Prime areas and four Specific areas. Woven into all teaching are the Characteristics of Effective Learning. Staff plan activities to ensure that all children’s individual needs are met, they are engaged, motivated and are developing their thinking skills at all times. In addition since September 2013, staff have worked together to develop ‘Our Image of the Child’ and this has made a great impact on our practice and our role as ‘playful partners’.

The revised EYFS framework sets out seven areas of learning and development made up of Prime Areas and Specific Areas. The children make progress at their own pace towards the Early Learning Goals in the seven areas.


1. Personal, Social and Emotional Development:

Self-confidence and self-awareness:

Children are confident to try new activities, and say why they like some activities more than others. They are confident to speak in a familiar group, will talk about their ideas, and will choose the resources they need for their chosen activities. They say when they do or don’t need help.

Managing feelings and behaviour:

Children talk about how they and others show feelings, talk about their own and others’ behaviour, and its consequences, and know that some behaviour is unacceptable. They work as part of a group or class, and understand and follow the rules. They adjust their behaviour to different situations, and take changes of routine in their stride.

Making relationships:

Children play co-operatively, taking turns with others. They take account of one another’s ideas about how to organise their activity. They show sensitivity to others’ needs and feelings, and form positive relationships with adults and other children.


2. Communication and Language:

Listening and attention

Children listen attentively in a range of situations. They listen to stories, with increasing attention and recall, responding to what they hear with relevant comments, questions or actions.


Children follow instructions involving several ideas or actions.

They answer ‘how’ and ‘why’ questions about their experiences and in response to stories or events.


Children learn to express themselves effectively, showing awareness of listeners’ needs. They develop their vocabulary.


3. Physical Development:

Moving and handling:

Children show good control and co-ordination in large and small movements. They move confidently in a range of ways, safely negotiating space. They handle equipment and tools effectively, including pencils for writing.

Health and self-care: Children know the importance for good health of physical exercise, and a healthy diet, and talk about ways to keep healthy and safe. They manage their own basic hygiene and personal needs successfully, including dressing and going to the toilet independently.



4. Literacy:


Children will play with sounds and letters. They will develop their reading skills through rhyme and rhythm.


Children will engage in pre writing activities. They will experiment with making their own marks for a purpose.


5. Mathematics


Children will learn all about numbers and counting.

Shape, space and measures:

Children use everyday language to talk about size, weight, capacity, position. They recognise, create and describe patterns. They explore characteristics of everyday objects and shapes and use mathematical language to describe them.


6. Understanding the world

People and communities:

Children talk about past and present events in their own lives and in the lives of family members. They know that other children don’t always enjoy the same things, and are sensitive to this. They know about similarities and differences between themselves and others.

The world:

Children know about similarities and differences in relation to places, objects, materials and living things. They talk about the features of their own immediate environment and how environments might vary from one another. They make observations of animals and plants and explain why some things occur, and talk about changes.


Children recognise that a range of technology is used in places such as homes and schools. They select and use technology for particular purposes.


7. Expressive arts and design

Exploring and using media and materials:

Children sing songs, make music and dance, and experiment with ways of changing them. They safely use and explore a variety of materials, tools and techniques, experimenting with colour, design, texture, form and function.

Being imaginative:

Children use what they have learnt about media and materials in original ways, thinking about users and purposes. They represent their own ideas, thoughts and feelings through design and technology, art, music, dance, role play and stories.

Characteristics of Effective Learning

The characteristics of effective learning describe factors which play a central role in a child’s learning and in becoming an effective learner. They are vital elements of support for the transition process from EYFS to Year 1. The characteristics of effective learning run through and underpin all seven areas of learning and development. They represent processes rather than outcomes and explain how your child demonstrates playing and exploring, active learning and creating and thinking critically.

1. Playing and exploring ( engagement)

‘Finding out and exploring’ involves open-ended hands-on experiences which result from innate curiosity. These experiences provide raw sensory material from which your child builds concepts, tests ideas and finds out. ‘Using what they know in their play’ describes how children use play to bring together their current understandings, combining, refining and exploring their ideas in imaginative ways. Representing experiences through imaginative play supports the development of narrative thought, the ability to see from other perspectives, and symbolic thinking. Children are willing to ‘have a go’ initiating activities and seeking challenge, learning by trial and error.

2. Active learning (motivation)

‘Being involved and concentrating’ describes the intensity of attention that arises from children engaged in following a line of interest in their activities. Children are able to maintain focus for a period of time, show high levels of energy and fascination, paying attention to details. ‘Enjoying achieving what they set out to do’ builds on the intrinsic motivation which supports long-term success. It refers to the reward of meeting one’s own goals, rather than relying on the approval of others.

3. Creating and thinking critically (thinking)

‘Having their own ideas’ covers the critical area of creativity – generating new ideas and approaches in all areas of achievement. Being inventive allows children to find new problems as they seek challenge, and to explore ways of solving these. ‘Using what they already know to learn new things’ refers to the way children use narrative and scientific modes of thought to develop and link concepts. ‘Choosing ways to do things and finding new ways’ involves children approaching goal-directed activity in organised ways, making choices and decisions about how to approach tasks and planning and monitoring what to do and being able to change strategies.

To find out more about how you can support the Characteristics of Effective Learning see the link below: