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We follow the statutory framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage (2017) which sets the standards for learning, development and care for children from birth to five.

The curriculum is everything the children do, see, hear, and feel, planned and unplanned, both indoors and outdoors. This includes the dispositions and attitudes within our learning community.

Planned experiences follow children’s interests and learning needs.

We believe children learn through play and have a right to play (article 31).Every child has a right to an education (article 28). Education must develop every child’s personality, talents and abilities to the full. It must encourage the child’s respect for human rights, as well as respect for their parents, their own and other cultures, and the environment (article 29). UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. We achieved the Rights Respecting Schools Award level 1 in December 2016

Movement matters to us at Highfield. Free play, fresh air, exposure to the natural world and physical activity are an integral part of learning. The environment supports children’s communication, imagination and thinking skills; building confidence and resilience. The substantial, secure outdoor area at Dyson offers children freedom to move, explore, play and learn through interaction with children, practitioners, and natural and recycled materials.

Children want space at all ages. Space, that is ample space, is almost as much wanted as food and air. To move, to run, to find things out by new movement, to feel one’s life in every limb, that is the life of early childhood.”  Margaret McMillan (1930) 

We believe that the best classroom and the richest cupboard is roofed only by the sky.’  (Margaret McMillan)

We know Physical Development & Cognitive Development are linked. Brain connections are built from birth onwards, from all of our ‘doing’ experiences; the more ‘doing’ experiences, the more connections. Children learn about the world with their body.

Children need environments they can manipulate and where they can invent, construct, evaluate and modify their own constructions and ideas through play. They require opportunities to develop ownership of the environment where they play. The introduction of loose parts such as scrap materials, sand and water increases the possibilities for children to engage in these types of behaviours.

Our nature play opportunities and spaces at our Outdoor Nursery improve physical coordination. Children feel better able to focus and have enhanced cognitive abilities. Time in nature aids psychological well-being in children. Children are more likely to visit greenspace as adults. 

Our risk assessments consider the benefits to children as well as the risks to provide challenge in play but offer protection from unacceptable harm.