•  theorchardnursery@plymouthcast.com
  • |
  •  01202 582228

Curriculum Statement

Our Curriculum

INTENT (The purpose –what we intend to do)

Our Curriculum offers a wide variety of rich experiences that are crucial to child development. We believe children learn best when they are interested, curious and deeply engaged, which at this age and stage of development is best achieved through play.

Our approach is committed to child-led learning. We see children as confident and capable learners who are able to lead their own learning and develop their own ideas and theories, whilst practitioners watch, support, extend the learning alongside the child. We believe that the correct mix of adult directed and uninterrupted child initiated play ensures the best outcomes for children.

It is our intent that all children develop physically, verbally, cognitively and emotionally in an environment which values all cultures, communities and people.

Warm and positive relationships between staff and children, consistent routines and strong relationships with parents are key.



At The Orchard Nursery we meet the welfare requirements laid down in the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage 2021 and actively safeguard and promote the welfare of all of our children. There are seven areas of learning and development that shape activities and experiences for children. Of these areas, three – known as the prime areas – are vital for igniting children’s curiosity and building their capacity to learn and form relationships. These are communication and language, physical development, and personal, social and emotional development. The three prime areas are strengthened and applied through the four specific areas: literacy, mathematics, understanding the world, and expressive arts and design.
We prioritise creating a ‘language rich’ environment through the use of songs, nursery rhymes, stories and providing time for quality interactions between adults and between peers.

We understand the importance of parental engagement and believe that our parents have a crucial role to play in their children’s education. We work hard to create strong partnerships between home and nursery.  Parents enjoy using eyLog to engage in their child’s learning and are encouraged to share learning at home.

As part of the learning and teaching process, children are assessed in relation to their progress towards the checkpoints in the Development Matters and our Nursery goals. These judgements are made on the in depth practitioner knowledge of the children acquired through ongoing observation and assessment. These ongoing assessments are used to inform planning and next steps in teaching and learning for all children throughout the year.

The curriculum is taught through the following ways…….

In the moment planning

We have adopted an ‘In The Moment’ approach to our teaching and learning. Our approach supports us engaging in high quality interactions with the children where we follow their interests and to spot ‘teachable’ moments in their play. We support them to develop their skills and knowledge. Their learning is moved on as immediate next steps are identified and met. All planning is flexible and responsive to children’s needs so plans can be changed and adapted dependent on children’s interests.

Our Environment

Our environment is carefully planned and designed to ensure the core provision meets the needs of all the children to ignite and promote curiosity. Our learning environment consists of various different areas. Each area is equally important and provides children with a range of resources and equipment to enable children to learn, working towards our Nursery Goals.

Curiosity approach

We take aspects from ‘The Curiosity Approach’ and use natural, reclaimed and authentic resources, which promote exploration, discovery, creativity, imagination, curiosity, awe and wonder. These resources are anything from branches, pine cones, leaves, mud, flowers, shells, real items such as kettles, pots and pan, crates, tyres, cable drums and microwaves.

Adult-led activities

In addition to open-ended, child-initiated learning, regular routines of the day offer important opportunities for learning and literacy development!  Adult-led activities include a daily story, singing sessions, and letters and sounds activities. One session per week, all children participate in a scheduled music and movement session run by Boogie Mites. We also deliver a physical sports session run by Dave Sawyer to promote balance, co-ordination and gross motor skills.

A seasonal and story based approach to learning

At The Orchard Nursery we use the seasons, and our CORE stories to teach the children. Our CORE stories reflect learning and the times of year. For example we use “Owl Babies” as our first half term core story to help settle the children and have discussions around saying goodbye and feelings.

Autumn 1 – Owl Babies

The Three little pigs


Spring 1 – Tooth brushing books

The Tiny Seed

Summer 1 – Smartie the Penguin (pre-school)

The Hungry Caterpillar

Autumn 2 – The Leaf Man

Goldilocks and the Three bears

Spring 2 – We’re going on a bear hunt

Oliver’s vegetables

Oliver’s Fruit salad

Summer 2 – The Underpants Rule (pre-school)

Safer Stranger

Commotion in the ocean


IMPACT (The result of what we do)

  • Our curriculum and its delivery ensure that children, from their own starting points make good progress and are offered a broad curriculum which meets each child’s unique needs.
  • Children make good progress toward their age-related expectations both academically and socially, before transitioning into reception.
  • We believe our high standards are due to our carefully planned environment, enriched play-based curriculum, quality teaching and assessment to make sure each child receives the right support at an early age.
  • We believe high quality child-initiated play results in deep involvement. Deep involvement indicates brain development and learning.
  • Children feel happy and safe and enjoy coming to nursery.