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Early years Foundation Stage

Qualified Staff in every nursery room plan activities following the E.Y.F.S. 

Parents can access the document online at

The children's progress is collated in their child profile books and through our EYFS tracker records.

These are shared between the staff, children and parents.

The Early Years Foundation Stage is planned for and implemented in many different ways across the week. Children will access a balance of child-initiated play/learning and an adult directed curriculum. As children move into the older rooms the adult directed curriculum becomes more prevalent. To ensure your child can access and experience the Early Years Foundation Stage we recommend a minimum of two days per week. The consistency of care is vital because it enables the practitioners to build upon your child's knowledge and experiences and plan appropriate individual next steps. For example - In our experience children accessing additional settings do not benefit as greatly as those children who access the curriculum purely from Hillside House Pre-school.

Opening Times:

Mon - Fri: 7:50am - 6:00pm

Ages Taken:

Birth - 5 year olds

The Learning areas are:


Characteristics of Effective Learning:

  • Playing and Exploring

  • Active Learning

  • Creating and Thinking Critically


Prime Areas (0-5 years)

  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development

  • Communication and Language

  • Physical Development


Specific Areas (3-5 years)

  • Literacy

  • Mathematics

  • Knowledge and Understanding of the World

  • Creative Development

Babies & Toddlers

It is our aim to provide a safe, homely happy and stimulating environment. At Hillside House Nursery the children, staff and parents build strong relationships allowing the children to feel safe and secure. This gives children the confidence to explore their environment freely using all their senses.

Qualified and caring staff provide resources and activities that encourage development and growth in all areas. The children will often be in small groups to be outside, carry out activities and play. During their time in the younger rooms children will increase their ability to communicate with others, develop physical skills, but most of all the children will learn those all-important personal, social and emotional skills.

Hopefully this will give the children confidence to explore and experience new things through play and be receptive to learning. The children will have access to the outside play area twice a day activities are often planned using the outdoor environment. 

The younger rooms aim to provide a healthy balance of child initiated play and learning with a variety of well planned, stimulating, fun activities in every session, the emphasis being on learning through play and developing at their own rate. 

The daily routines are purposely designed to incorporate an effective balance of child initiated and adult led activities, based around the children's individual interests and progress. The routine ensures a good balance of 'the familiar' and of challenges everyday, so children feel safe and secure but also reaching their learning potentials. 

Sing and Sign Sessions

We have staff trained in makaton and Sing and Sign. The staff plan circle times using songs, books and flashcards alongside the signing. The babies and toddlers show great enjoyment, concentration and interaction during these fun sessions.

Treasure Baskets

Treasure Baskets are used with babies from when they can sit to around 15 months old. They enable babies to explore real objects, natural materials and different textures using all of their senses.

Regular Outside activities and nature walks

We are committed to planning regular and fun outside play sessions for babies and toddlers, including walks, slides, swings, balls, and sensory play.

Baby Explore Sessions

We have two set sessions each week that enable children to access a planned sensory session. The sessions are often based on a theme or topic and include light and dark play, parachute activities, messy play and much more.

Heuristic Play Baskets

Heuristic play baskets are used for older toddlers and young children. Similar to treasure baskets, they are made up of natural and interesting real life objects. Toddlers are now ready to explore in a different way, transporting, filling, emptying, dropping, rolling, collecting and so on. These sessions encourage children to explore things with all of their senses.

Puppet play and story time

Babies and toddlers will enjoy a mixture of one to one time with books and puppets but also access daily group sessions, sharing stories together. The practitioners will use story sacks, large books and props to make the stories come alive. The older toddlers will also follow a 'book of the week'.

Rising Three's and Pre-school

Children of this age have a wide range of different experiences and will have varied interests and skills. The environment will provide opportunities for children to express their feelings, opinions and knowledge, but also explore, experiment, and gain new experiences. 

Qualified staff plan activities following the Early Years Foundation Stage. The daily and weekly routine incorporates an effective balance of child initiated play and learning with a variety of well planned, stimulating, fun activities in every session, the emphasis being on learning through play and children developing at their own rate. The children will sometimes be in small key groups and have appropriate adult directed activities for their age/stage of development and sometimes be part of the whole group activities. The practitioners follow a very comprehensive observation, planning and assessment cycle ensuring children are being supported in every area of their learning with the correct balance of achievement and challenge.

The children take part in daily circle times and small targeted group activities. This part of the day gives and opportunity for children to learn about a variety of things in a fun and relaxed way including: topics, mathematics, days of the week, seasons, weather, shape, size, traditional group games and much more.

Every day the children will go into their key groups to do a 'Letters and Sounds' phase one activity. This prepares the children for their future learning in reception class, it supports children to learn good listening. speaking and concentration skills. In addition children will start to learn about phonics. When your child is ready they will have a 'blue book' which is sometimes used during small group time for different activities such as weekend drawings, pencil control and writing names.

The environment ensures children can move freely and choose activities following the seven areas of learning:

Fun themed home corners e.g. campsite, nursery rhyme cottage, doctor's surgery and cafe.

The creative area where children use the art resources to create collages, paintings and junk models, draw, paint, cut and stick.

The cosy book corner where children can relax and look at books on their own or with a friend.

The writing table, where children can colour, write, cut, stick and draw.

Science area that comprises of experimental equipment, nature, factual books, pet gold fish, display about aspects of knowledge and understanding of the world.

Free flow covered outside play garden, with a variety of learning areas.

Hillside House Nursery provides many extra curricular activities for the children.

These are all included in the price. Please ask about this in your child's room. We have visitors to the nursery to enhance the children's learning such as the storyteller, road safety lady, tractor man and the emergency services.



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