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Specific Areas of Learning


We are passionate about children developing a life-long love of reading. We have a commitment to provide every child who attends Heath Lane Nursery with a home library of 5 books by the time they leave. We provide parents and carers with guidance on how they can support early reading at home using a range of strategies such as video links, guidance cards and the use of resources sent home such as story sacks (please see the Supporting Early Reading tab!) We immerse children in stories and nursery rhymes. Through ‘Talk for Writing’ children will be introduced to new vocabulary, understand story structures and be able to join in with repeated refrains. Through the sharing of both stories and non-fiction texts (such as recipes/instructions, labels) children will begin to make a link to written language and understand that print carries meaning. The development of fine motor skills and the provision of a wide range of mark making materials ensure that children are given ample opportunity to explore composition and can begin to give meaning to their own marks.


It is essential that children gain a firm foundation in the knowledge of number from which to grow mathematically. We provide many opportunities for children to develop a very strong grounding. We ensure that we work on the early maths skills of sorting, classifying and subitising before rushing into counting and more formal number work. Contextual opportunities to count are provided in daily sessions and through the regular singing of number rhymes. Children are taught how to accurately count small number through using concrete, natural materials such as pebbles in Forest school sessions, small world people and snack equipment. Children will be challenged to gain a greater depth in maths through work spotting patterns and using larger numbers. The understanding of shapes will be taught alongside this and the teaching of mathematical vocabulary will be woven through all we do.

Understanding the World

We aim to give children as much opportunity as possible to make sense of the world around them. They have fantastic opportunities to understand the natural world through Forest School sessions delivered by an experienced, qualified teacher who has received the level 3 Forest school training. We welcome visitors to the nursery to share their experience and expertise and look for opportunities to go out and about into the community. Every year we fund a farm experience on the school site and regularly have members of different faiths come in to share their festivals and celebrations. We ensure that all materials, resources and books represent all ethnicities, abilities, ages, faiths and family set-ups. We want our children to understand the rich diversity of their community and go into the next phase of their education challenging stereotypes and celebrating difference.

Photo of Our map display celebrates children’s experiences whilst out and about with their families during holidays or weekend activities.

Expressive Arts and Design

We give children every chance to express themselves imaginatively through a range of mediums. Adult-led sessions are carefully planned to ensure that children are taught to use a range of resources; paintbrushes, powder paints, glue spreaders, scissors etc. This enables them to access and use this equipment independently during their child-initiated sessions and empowers them to follow their own plans and imagination. A range of play materials are available so that children can develop their own narratives, re-enact familiar stories and communicate through small world activities. Role-play opportunities are provided in a rich home corner and through other familiar set up experiences. We want all children to leave with a belief that they are artists and a desire to express themselves confidently and creatively.