Policy rationale

Pre-school children require a curriculum that provides equality of opportunity; promotes their physical, social, emotional, creative and intellectual development and ensures that they feel secure and valued.



The term ‘curriculum’ is used to describe the planned experiences which are appropriate for pre-school children.  These experiences are purposeful, flexible and allow children to follow their own interests and develop at their own pace. They also promote active learning and help children develop skills and dispositions that they will need to be life long learners.

Aims of the policy

Through the nursery curriculum policy we aim to provide a range of enjoyable, challenging play opportunities and other experiences to develop ‘Thinking Skills and Personal Capabilities and learning associated with:

  • The Arts

  • Language Development

  • Early Mathematical Experiences

  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development

  • Physical Development and Movement

  • The World Around Us

Policy Implementation

  • Prior to children starting nursery, staff gather information about the children from parents/carers and other professionals which they take into account when planning experiences to promote learning.

  • Staff observe children at play, review and evaluate the curriculum regularly and maintain appropriate records. The information gained from these processes will enable staff to take account of the needs of individual children, offer suitable challenges and provide for progression in play activities.

  • Planning – all nursery staff are involved in the planning process. Together we identify the learning we intend to promote through activities which are interesting, varied and progressive. Our planning is flexible and may change to take account of our observations of children’s responses and the outcomes of play.

  • Long term planning sets out in broad terms the range of experiences and intended learning for the year.

  • Medium term planning is 6-8 weekly and

    • Relates to the long term plan

    • Takes account of the children’s interests, stages of development and previous learning

    • Identifies progression in experiences/learning

    • Has a cross-curricular approach using topics or themes

  • Short term planning occurs weekly and

    • Takes account of recent observations and assessments of the children

    • Informs the staff’s work on a daily basis, ensuring best use of time, space and resources

    • Outlines the planned activities and resources required

    • Highlights learning and language to be promoted

    • Is evaluated to inform future planning

    • Is flexible to allow for unplanned activities and respond to children’s idea/interests

    • Provides opportunities for the observation and assessment of children

    • Ensures challenge within play activities

    • Is evaluated daily/weekly to inform future planning

    • Identifies the range of resources available within each play area

Whilst the nursery curriculum embraces six distinct areas:

  • The Arts

  • Language Development

  • Early Mathematical Development

  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development

  • Physical Development and Movement

  • The World Around Us

Children will experience it in a holistic way through play and other relevant experiences including a thematic approach for planning eg stories, rhymes, songs and drama


Resource Requirements

Time will be allocated to allow staff to reflect on and evaluate practice to ensure the best possible provision of the curriculum. Staff will strive to provide materials which are safe, clean, fresh, attractive and accessible to children thus maximising their experience of the curriculum. Staff will avail of any relevant INSET to assist the review, development and improvement of existing provision.


Policy Review

This policy will be monitored on an ongoing basis by the nursery staff and will be formally reviewed by the nursery co-ordinator, SMT and Principal. The next review date will be completed in May 2014.