Pre-Reception Teaching and Learning

Our Philosophy

As well as embracing the whole school philosophy of making learning challenging, enriching and fun, we are also very aware that the Nursery is a child's first taste of formal education. Learning through play is a vital aspect of early development. Through a combination of adult and child initiated activities we aim to enable our children to love learning and to maintain their natural thirst for knowledge. 

Early Years Foundation

We follow the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) guidelines, which are outlined below. The EYFS principles are grouped into 4 themes:

A Unique Child

Principle: Every child is a competent learner from birth who can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured.

Positive Relationships

Principle: Children learn to be strong and independent from a base of loving and secure relationships with parents and/or a key person.

Enabling Environments

Principle: The environment plays a key role in supporting and extending children’s development and learning.

Learning and Development

Principle: Children develop and learn in different ways and at different rates and all areas of learning and development are equally important and inter-connected.

EYFS Areas of Learning and Development

Personal, Social and Emotional Development

This is a crucial part of the EYFS as it is a prerequisite for your child’s success in all other areas of learning. We provide opportunities to develop your child’s independence through self-selection of resources and games as well as changing and managing their own hygiene. We support and offer experiences which enable your child to interact well with others and develop a positive sense of themselves.

Communication and Language

This focuses on developing speaking and listening skills, for example effective self-expression and anticipating events in stories. Children will learn to answer ‘how’ and ‘why’ questions about their experiences. With activities such as identifying which musical instrument is being played and using ICT equipment, we promote good communication through circle time and philosophy for children.

Physical Development

Your child will gain maximum use and enjoyment of the outdoor environment in our all-weather outdoor play area. A range of toys and apparatus are provided to suit all the children, from balancing, climbing and digging to ride on toys, ball games and even a parachute. Regular sessions of ‘funky fingers’ help promote your child’s fine motor skills.

Understanding the World

Your child will develop the skills, knowledge and understanding to help him/her make sense of the world. We encourage your child to explore their environment in our play area and extensive grounds. Children will be encouraged to talk about past and present events in their lives and those of family members. They will understand that other children don’t always enjoy the same things, and learn to appreciate different communities and traditions. We use programmable toys and computers to enhance their learning.

Expressive Art and Design

This area covers such aspects as art, music, dance, role play and imaginative play. We will encourage your child to make 2D and 3D constructions using a variety of materials. Your child will have opportunities to paint, collage and use play dough. He/she will also use puppets for storytelling and develop his/her imagination whilst role playing.


This includes counting, sorting, matching, seeking patterns and working with numbers, shapes, space and measures. There is an emphasis on developing problem solving and thinking skills. We use practical maths at snack time nominating a helper daily. We encourage your child to be aware of numbers across the curriculum.


This area concentrates on children’s phonic knowledge where they will learn letters of the alphabet and the sounds that they make. They will learn to write their own names and use their phonic knowledge to write familiar words. Children will develop the tools necessary to learn to decode regular words and read them aloud accurately. Our day is structured in line with a traditional school day which enables our pre-schoolers to become accustomed to the daily routine in good time for their transition into Pre-Prep.

Find Out More About Culford Pre-Prep & Nursery

If you’d like to know more about Culford Pre-Prep & Nursery then please contact our Admissions Team on Bury St Edmunds (01284) 385308 or email them by clicking here. They will be able to give you all the information you need and will be happy to arrange a visit for you.