Our Curriculum 

The Cygnets Milton Pre School Curriculum

Curriculum Statement
The curriculum is the totality of all the learning experiences that children have throughout their preschool journey.
Our Big Idea approach creates a balance of deliberate teaching and spontaneous learning that puts each individual child, and language and literacy at the centre of our planning cycle. Children’s learning is scaffolded to ensure each child starting points are considered and excellent progress is made through a balance of independence and adult support. Personalised learning that takes into account children’s individual interests and stages of development. Children are encouraged to take age-appropriate risks, develop a problem-solving attitude, and are supported to self-regulate. 


  • •    To provide a warm, welcoming, inspirational learning environment and a curriculum that ensures all children receive an individually tailored education that extends and builds on children’s current skills and experiences

  • •    To enable all children, including those who are disadvantaged, children with special educational needs or disabilities to be provided with supportive, relevant and developmentally appropriate experiences that enable them to have a happy, successful time in nursery and make excellent progress.

  • •    To ensure all the requirements of the EYFS are met to a high standard for each individual child, especially with regard to the prime areas that underpin the development of all other areas of the curriculum

  • •    To aim to provide a progressive curriculum that supports children to develop their creativity and imagination by being inquisitive and eager learners. 

  • •    To ensure that throughout their Pre School journey children are contiguously prepared socially, emotionally, and academically for the next stage of their education.

  • •    To celebrate and embrace the different backgrounds, heritage, language and traditions of all the children in our school and community and ensure that difference is celebrated and respected.

  • Implementation

  • •    An ambitious, language rich curriculum is constructed by leaders and all staff and is designed to give children particularly the most disadvantaged the knowledge self-belief and cultural capital they need to succeed in life.

  • •    A child centred approach is adopted by all staff at Pre School with a whole team holistic view of children is used to inform teaching of each individual child. They work sensitively to establish caring and nurturing relationships with children, developing activities and an environment that ensure that every individual child feels safe, happy, and secure.

  • •    Observations are used thoughtfully to monitor pupil progress, shape future learning opportunities and develop progressive learning experiences for all children. Assessments are made in partnership with parents and a whole team approach creates an holistic view of each individual child.

  • •    The curriculum is coherently planned and progressively sequenced. Staff create an environment that supports an ambitious, curriculum that builds on what children know and can do towards cumulatively sufficient knowledge and skills for their future. The environment is resourced and organised to support active, varied, independent, play-based learning

  • •    Staff are diligent and skilled in their roles and provision is of a high quality. Teaching is consistently strong and flexible, building on what children know and can do, to provide a rich, varied and interesting, play-based educational activities. The Characteristics of Effective Learning form an integral part of the learning experiences provided for children


  • •    Data analysis and ongoing observations show that children, including those that are vulnerable make substantial progress from their starting points.

  • •    The vast majority of children are achieving age-appropriate expectations or above and are well on their way to achieving the Early Learning Goals.

  • •    Children are happy and engaged. They are well- supported to develop as individuals and to learn to be in a community with others.

  • •    Children develop detailed knowledge and skills across the seven areas of learning in an age-appropriate way.

  • •    Children demonstrate their positive attitudes to learning through high levels of curiosity, concentration, and enjoyment. Alongside high levels of engagement and involvement.

  • •    Children are beginning to manage their own feelings and behaviour understanding how these might impact on others. They are developing resilience and take pride in their achievements.

  • •    Children show continuous and intense activity. They are concentrated, creative, energetic and persistent throughout nearly all their time in the nursery

Our curriculum 
Under a project theme our focus is upon being responsive to children’s interests in order to create meaningful learning experiences and is a balance of children and adults working together. Our Big Idea centres around a story book taken from a theme that are children are particularly interested in at that time. Focus is given to literacy language and the use of our imaginations. We use this story to engage children in the seven areas of learning and use a child's interest to support  the progression of their strengths and weakness. Exploring walks allow children ideas to be scaffolded and allows children to plan their thoughts of play using resources and activities available. 
Big idea plans are shared with parents/carers and parental contributions to our Big Idea an home learning are valued and encouraged. Floor books are used to support children development of their ideas and encourage the development of further interests and learning. Children actively contribute to Floor Books and are encouraged to reflect on their past experiences through pictures, photos and words.  

All children’s learning is based on the Revised Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum which underpins all future learning by supporting, fostering, promoting and developing children’s development in all areas.

Personal, Social and Emotional Development

  • •    Self-confidence and self-awareness

  • •    Managing feelings and behaviour

  • •    Making relationships

Throughout children’s Pre School journey children will learn to play together co-operatively and constructively, learn to respect, and take care of each other and to do things for themselves. They will be supported to learn the lifelong skills needed to self-regulate their behaviour through our mindfulness sessions. Children will be supported to use the resources provided to progress to independently problem-solving conflicts and learning to label and acknowledge their emotions. Encouragement and support will be given to allow children to express their thoughts, ideas and set themselves goals during their free play and exploring walks. 

Communication and Language

  • •    Listening and attention

  • •    Understanding

  • •    Speaking

Throughout children’s Pre School journey, children will learn to communicate with others in a range of ways, developing a wider vocabulary, communicating their own ideas and stories and use of descriptive language. Children will be supported to listen attentively to stories, songs, rhymes and poems and respond to what we hear, learning to follow instructions and answer questions, while listening to others and taking turns to speak

Physical Development
•    Moving and handling
•    Health and self-care
Throughout children’s Pre School journey children will be supported to develop their fine motor skills by learning to tear, cut, sew, and manipulate different materials. Learn to handle tools and equipment effectively, including pencils and pens. Gross motor skills are learnt through climbing equipment and learning to ride lots of different kinds of wheeled vehicles and know the importance of cycle helmets. Children will take part in PE session which involve activities such as yoga and equipment like hoops, balls, and beanbags to play games, learning the importance of physical exercise and a healthy diet and talking about ways to keep themselves healthy and safe. Children will learn to manage their own basic hygiene and personal needs successfully, including dressing and going to the toilet independently. 

•    Numbers
•    Shape, space and measures
Throughout children’s Pre School journey children will be supported to develop their language of position, weight, size, time and money. Children will learn to sort, match, order, sequence and count lots of things
They will learn to solve problems, use scales to measure our ingredients during cooking sessions, create and describe patterns and play with water to learn about capacity and buoyancy 

•    Reading
•    Writing
Throughout children’s Pre School journey children will be supported to develop their knowledge of books and stories and recognise the difference between pictures and print. Children will develop a deep understanding of stories through our Big Idea repetition. Children will be supported to learn new words and extend their vocabulary through our Goldilocks words. Children will be supported to use a variety of tools including pencils to make marks, giving meaning to marks they make and when ready develop the skills to learn to write their names.

Expressive arts and design
•    Exploring and using media and materials
•    Being imaginative
Throughout children’s Pre School journey children will be supported to develop their creativity using a full range of materials, tools and techniques, experimenting with colour, design, texture, form and function. Children will explore different songs, styles of music and ways of making music and dance. Children will develop their imaginations and work alongside each other and with creative people

Understanding of the World
•    People and communities
•    The World
•    Technology
Throughout children’s Pre School journey children will be supported to develop their understanding and exploration of their own community, own families, and own background and beliefs and be supported to celebrate difference. Children will learn the importamce of the insects in our garden and have opportunity to examine and take care of them along with the plants, flowers and  seeds in our garden. Children will be supported to recognise a range of technology and select and use it for a particular purpose, investigate why and how things work, using lots of construction kits and materials

Curriculum experiences

Self-regulation and mindfulness
Mindfulness is about focusing on the present and being aware of what is going on both inside and outside, in a non-judgmental way. It’s about noticing physical sensations and emotional responses, as well as your connection to other people and to your surroundings. In Pre School we practice these skills daily to learn to focus, increase our attention span, understand, and regulate our emotions, manage our stress responses and general wellbeing. Learn to become more aware of our bodies and our sense, build a connection with the natural world and help us to develop empathy and compassion for others.

Deconstructed role play area 
Deconstructed role play allows children to fully engage in the experiences without there being limitations placed on their imaginations. It creates a language rich learning space where children can interact with one another sharing ideas and developing their own play scenarios.  Children can make sense of the world around them by exploring and investigating things that are current, relevant and interests them.

Block Play
Through block play children are free to use their imagination and follow their own ideas as they embark on voyage of discovery or share in the development of their friends’ creations. Have opportunity to express themselves through their play, a form of communication that’s particularly valuable for bilingual or non-verbal children. Blocks offer a great platform to develop problem-solving and reasoning skills. This can be deliberate, with children consciously working to develop a solution, or as a natural consequence of play, as they learn first-hand what does and what doesn’t work. opportunity for children to practise important maths skills, covering measurement, number, symmetry, balance and estimation. Block play promotes the development of spatial awareness and develops hand-eye coordination as children reach for, lift, move and build with blocks, strengthening their fingers, hands and arms. Through the exploration of cause and effect and experimentation, children are able to develop their problem-solving skills, test hypotheses and practise scientific reasoning. Children can take risks in their block play, helping them to discover that they have independent ideas. Children experience a sense of achievement as they ‘have a go’, creating and developing something new and unique.

Mud Kitchen
The open-ended nature of mud play encourages creative thinking and allows children to freely create without fear of making mistakes, contributing to a child's sense of self, and helping to build confidence. The mud kitchen creates the opportunity to practice social skills and help children make sense of the world. The mud kitchen allows opportunity for children use everyday language to describe mathematical terms such as size and weight, capacity and position.

What should i do if i have concerns about my child development?


At Cygnets, our Special Educational Needs Coordinators are Deborah Reeve and Faye SullivanPlease feel free to contact us if you have any questions about your child’s progress or you feel you need support in any way


The role of the SENCO in early years provision

The EYFS framework requires early years providers to have arrangements in place for meeting children’s SEN. Those in group provision are expected to identify a SENCO. A SENCO is required in order to ensure the detailed implementation of support for children with SEN. This individual receives  qualification for SEN Co-ordination or relevant experience.


The role of the SENCO involves:

• ensuring all practitioners in the setting understand their responsibilities to children with SEN and the setting’s approach to identifying and meeting SEN

• advising and supporting colleagues

• ensuring parents are closely involved throughout and that their insights inform action taken by the setting, and

• liaising with professionals or agencies beyond the setting

If you have concerns about your child's development please contact  Deborah at deborah@cygnets.org.uk or Faye at faye.cygnets@hotmail.co.uk