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Damson Wood Nursery and Infant School

‘Learning and Growing Together’

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At Damson Wood, we believe that children learn best through a fun and engaging curriculum that captures the children's own interests. Throughout the day, the children will have short child and adult-led activities interlinked with the current learning topic and the essential characteristics needed to become a great learner. The environment in our Foundation Stage is set up in an engaging way where the children's interests and our learning themes are the basis for both indoor and outdoor play-based learning. In Nursery, the children learn through an objective-led approach. This means they are brought together for tailored learning based on each child's next step for progress. Teaching staff will play alongside the children, introducing new concepts and ideas. At other times we will observe the children for assessment purposes.


Our thematic approach (see Curriculum Map below) sets out to spark the children's interest through our 'stunning starters' - a highly imaginative approach to hook the children in to their learning. We love to make links to the children's learning at home and with their parents. Throughout the school year we hold 'Fabulous Finales' where family members join in the fun of learning with their child in school through an exciting showcase of thematic learning. 

By the end of the nursery school year; most children will be aged between 30-50 months of age and will be achieving the milestones for their age in readiness for Reception.  


Communication and Language - 30-50 months

Listening and attention: Listen to others in one-to-one or small groups when conversation interests them. Listen to stories with increasing attention and recall. Join in with repeated refrains and anticipate key events and phrases in rhymes and stories Focusing attention – still listen or do, but can shift own attention Is able to follow directions ( if not intently focused on own choice of activity)

Understanding: Understands use of objects (e.g. What do we use to cut things?). Show understanding of prepositions such as under, on, top, behind y carrying out an action or selecting correct picture. Responds to simple instructions e.g. to get or put away an object.

Speaking: Uses talk to connect ideas, explain what is happening and anticipate what might happen next, relive and recall past experiences. Questions why things happen and gives explanations. Asks who, what, when and how. Uses a range of tenses (play, playing, will play, played). Uses intonation, rhythm and phrasing to make the meaning clear to others. Uses vocabulary focused on objects and people that are of particular importance to them. Builds up vocabulary that reflects the breadth of their experiences Uses talk in pretending that objects stand for something else in play e.g. This box is my castle.

Personal, Social and Emotional Development (P.S.H.E)


This subject underpins all we do in school. Through our P.S.H.E curriculum we learn how to behave in order for our group, class and school to learn and play together harmoniously. We follow the Jigsaw P.S.H.E scheme in school which introduces the children to the themes of relationships, healthy living, changes, learning about ourselves, dreams and goals and celebrating differences. 

30-50 months

Self-confidence and self-awareness: Can select and use activities and resources with help. Welcomes and values praise for what they have done. Enjoys responsibility of carrying out small tasks. Is more outgoing towards unfamiliar people and more confident in new social situations. Confident to talk to other children when playing, and will communicate freely about own home and community Shows confidence in asking adults for help.

Managing feelings and behaviour: Aware of own feelings and knows that some actions and words can hurt others’ feelings. Begins to accept the needs of others and can take turns and share resources, sometimes with support from others. Can usually tolerate delay when needs are not immediately met and understands wishes may not always be met. Can usually adapt behaviour to different events, social situations and changes in routines.

Making relationships: Can play in a group, extending and elaborating play ideas e.g. building up a role play activity with other children. Initiates play, offering cues to peers to join them. Keeps play going by responding to what others are saying or doing. Demonstrates friendly behaviour, initiating conversations and forming good relationships with peers and familiar adults.


Physical Development - 30-50 months

Moving and handling: Moves freely with pleasure and confidence in a range of ways, such as slithering, shuffling, rolling, crawling, walking, running, jumping, skipping, sliding and hopping. Mounts stairs, steps or climbing equipment using alternate feet. Walks downstairs, two feet to each step while carrying a small object. Runs skillfully and negotiates space successfully, adjusting speed or direction to avoid obstacles. Can stand momentarily on one foot when shown. Can catch a large ball. Draws lines and circles using gross motor movements. Use one-handed tools and equipment e.g. snips in paper with scissors. Holds pencil between thumb and two fingers – no longer using whole hand grasp. Holds pencil near point between first two fingers and thumb and uses it with good control. Can copy some letters e.g. letters from their name.

Health and self-care: Can tell adults when they are hungry or tired or when they want to rest or play. Observe the effects of activity on their bodies. Understand that equipment and tools have to be used safely. Gains more bowel and bladder control and can attend to toileting needs most of the time themselves. Can usually manage washing and drying hands. Dresses with help, e.g. puts arms into open fronted coat or shirt when held up, pulls up own trousers and pulls up zipper once it is fastened at the bottom.


30-50 months - Reading: Listens to and joins in with stories and poems, one to one and also in small groups. Joins in with repeated refrains and anticipates key events and phrases in rhymes and stories. Beginning to be aware of the way stories are structured Suggests how the story might end. Listens to stories with increasing attention and recall. Describes main story settings, events and principal characters Shows interest in illustrations and print in books and print in the environment. Recognises familiar words and signs such as own name and advertising logos.


30-50 months - Writing: Sometimes gives meaning to marks as they draw or paint. Ascribes meanings to marks that they see in different places.

Mathematics - 30-50 months

Numbers: Use some number names and number language spontaneously. Use some number names accurately in play. Recites numbers in order to 10. Know that numbers identify how many objects are in a set. Begin to represent numbers using fingers, marks on paper or pictures. Sometimes match number and quantity correctly. Show curiosity about numbers by offering comments or asking questions. Compare two groups of objects, saying when they have the same number. Show an interest in number problems. Separate a group of three or four objects in different ways, beginning to recognise the total is still the same. Shows an interest in numerals in the environment. Shows an interest in representing numbers Realises not only objects but anything can be counted including steps, claps or jumps.

Shape, space and measures: Show an interest in shape and space by playing with shapes or making arrangements with objects. Show awareness of similarities in shapes in the environment. Uses positional language. Show interest in shape by sustained construction activity or by talking about shapes or arrangements. Shows an interest in shapes in the environment. Use shapes appropriately for tasks. Begin to talk about the shapes of everyday objects e.g. round , tall.

Understanding the World - 30-50 months

People and communities: Shows interest in lives of people familiar to them. Remembers and talks about significant events in their own experience. Recognise and describe significant events for family or friends. Show interest in different occupations and ways of life. Knows some of the things that make them unique, and can talk about some of the similarities and differences in relation to friends or family.

The world: Comments and asks questions about aspects of their familiar world such as the place where they live or the natural world. Can talk about some of the things they have observed such as plants, animals, natural and found objects. Talks about why things happen and how things work. Developing an understanding of growth, decay and changes over time. Shows care and concern for living things and the environment.

Technology: Know how to operate simple equipment. Shows an interest in technological toys with knobs or pulleys or real objects such as cameras or mobile phones. Shows skill in making toys work by pressing parts or lifting flaps to achieve effects such as sound, movements or new images. Knows information can be retrieved from computers.

Expressive Art and Design - 30-50 months

Exploring and using media and materials: Enjoy joining in with dancing and ring games. Sing a few familiar songs. Begins to move rhythmically Imitates movement in response to music. Tap out simple repeated rhythms Explore and learn how sounds can be changed. Explore colour and how colours can be changed. Understands that they can use lines to enclose a space, and then begin to use these shapes to represent objects. Beginning to be interested in and describe the texture of things. Use various construction materials. Begin to construct, stacking blocks vertically and horizontally, making enclosures and creating spaces. Joins construction pieces together to build and balance. Realises tools can be used for a purpose.

Being imaginative: Developing preferences for forms of expression Uses movements to express feelings. Creates movement in response to music Sing to themselves and make up simple songs. Make up rhythms Notice what adults do, imitating what is observed and then doing it spontaneously when the adult is not there. Engage in imaginative play and role-play based on own first-hand experiences Builds stories around toys e.g. farm animals needing rescuing from an armchair cliff. Use available resources to create props to support role-play. Imitate and create movement in response to music. Develop a repertoire of actions by putting a sequence of movements together. Captures experiences and responses with a range of media, such as music, dance and paint and other materials or words.


Our curriculum is underpinned by our school values - The Damson Wood S.P.A.R.K.S


S - Safe 

P - Proud

A - Ambitious 

R - Ready

K - Kind

S - Successful