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Learning Through Play

We follow the Early Years Foundation Stage Framework and the principles, which guide the work of the early years staff and are grouped into 4 themes.


A Unique Child - every child is a competent learner from birth who can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured. 

Positive Relationships - children learn to be strong and independent from a base of loving and secure relationships with parents and a keyworker.

Enabling Environments - the environment plays a key role in supporting and extending children’s development and learning. 

Learning and Development - children learn and develop in different ways and at different rates and all areas of learning and development are equally important and interconnected. 

By means of developmentally appropriate activities and a high level of adult input to encourage child initiated learning, we offer a curriculum which leads to the Nationally Approved Early Learning Goals in the Early Years Foundation Stage.


The prime areas of learning are:

1.   Communication and Language

2.   Physical Development

3.   Personal, Social and Emotional Development



The specific areas of learning are:

1. Literacy

2. Mathematics

3. Understanding the World

4. Expressive Arts and Design



Teaching is often done through play, where the child learns about:

Communication & Language

In both small and large groups, children are encouraged to extend their vocabulary and fluency by talking and listening, and by hearing and responding to stories, songs and rhymes. Children are helped to understand that written symbols carry meaning, to be aware of the purpose of writing and, when they are ready, to use drawn and written symbols for themselves. A well-stocked, regularly changed book corner give children the opportunity and encouragement to become familiar with books, learn how to handle them and become aware of their uses.

Physical Development

A range of equipment and opportunities, both indoors and outdoors, allows children to develop confidence and enjoyment in the use and development of their own bodily skills. Adult supervision enables children safely to create and meet physical challenges, developing increasing skill and control in moving, climbing and balancing. At the same time, children are supported in the development of fine motor skills required to use tools, including pens and pencils, and to handle small objects with increasing control and precision.


Personal, Social and Emotional Development

Within a nurturing environment children are individually supported in developing confidence, autonomy and self-respect. They are encouraged to play and concentrate independently and also to take part in the life of the group, sharing and co-operating with other children and adults. Through activities, e.g. conversation and practical example, they learn acceptable ways to express their own feelings and to have respect for the feelings of others. All children are given the opportunity, as appropriate, to take responsibility for themselves and also for the group, its members and its property e.g.



Through a mixture of child and adult led activities children can enjoy exploring the world of literacy. Mark making, story corner, rhyme bag and story boards encourage children to look at the way stories and books are structured, similarities in the way words sound, enjoy using illustrations in books and investigate the way some letters and their name come together.


Mathematics (Problem Solving, Reasoning and Numeracy)

By means of adult-supported practical experience, children become familiar with the sorting, matching, ordering, sequencing and counting activities, which form the basis for early mathematics. As they use their developing mathematical understanding to solve practical problems, children are assisted to learn to use the vocabulary of mathematics, identifying objects by shape, position, size, volume and number. Songs, games and picture books help children become aware of number sequences and, when they are ready, to use simple mathematical operations such as adding.


Understanding the World

A safe and stimulating environment allows children to explore and experiment with a range of natural and manufactured materials. They learn to observe the features of objects and substances, recognise differences, patterns and similarities, and to share and record their findings. Children are assisted in exploring and understanding their environment, both within the group and also in the wider community. A range of safe and well-maintained equipment enables children to extend their technological understanding, using simple tools and techniques as appropriate to achieve their intentions to solve problems.


Expressive Arts and Design

Children are encouraged to use a wide range of resources in order to express their own ideas and feelings and to construct their individual response to experience in two and three dimensions. Art equipment, including paint, glue, crayons and pencils as well as natural and discarded resources, provides for open-ended exploration of colour, shape and texture and the development of skills in painting, drawing and collage. Children join in with and respond to music and stories ad there are many opportunities for imaginative role-play, both individually and as part of the group.


Parents Guide:

Kids in Preschool

A Typical Day

Northleach Playgroup organises its sessions so that the children can choose from and enjoy a range of activities.  The children are also helped and encouraged to take part in adult-led group activities which introduce them to new experiences and help them to gain new skills and learn to work with others. We use the outdoor space whenever possible contributing to the children’s physical development and knowledge of the world around them.  The garden is planted with a varied selection of fruit and vegetables; and willing little helpers are never in short supply.  

The following schedule gives a guideline of a typical daily routine:


09:00:  Arrival and Welcome

09:30:  Free Play/Group Activities

10:30:  Snack

10:45:  Free Play/Group Activities

12:00:  Morning Pick-Up


12:00:  Lunch

13:00:  Free Play/Group Activities

14:30:  Snack

15:00:  Pick-Up

Art Class
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