Learning & Development

At Thorley Day Nursery we have high expectations for all children as we skillfully guide them through the Early Years Foundation Stage ensuring they are exceptionally well prepared for the opportunities ahead of them. We successfully promote and enhance their learning and development to ensure they are ready for school.

All children at Thorley Day Nursery learn in a calm and caring environment, with a high standard of teaching to help them gain the knowledge, skills and understanding required to make good progress through the Early Years Foundation Stage.

Key persons observe, assess, plan and reflect upon children’s learning and development as individuals and as part of small groups across the seven areas of learning and development as set out in the Early Years Foundation Stage. The seven areas are split into two sections:


Prime Areas of Learning and Development

  • Personal, Social and Emotional
  • Physical Development
  • Communication and Language

Specific Areas of Learning and Development

  • Literacy
  • Mathematics
  • Understanding the World
  • Expressive Arts and Design

All areas of learning and development are equally important and interconnected.

Parents can find out more about the Early Years Foundation Stage at the Foundation Years website.

As skilled and experienced teachers, we ensure that children enjoy learning by promoting their Characteristics of Effective Learning to help them learn to the best of their ability and beyond. The Characteristics of Effective Learning detail the ways in which children learn. The three Characteristics of Effective Learning identified by the EYFS are:

  • playing and exploring - children investigate and experience things, and ‘have a go’;
  • active learning - children concentrate and keep on trying if they encounter difficulties, and enjoy achievements; and
  • creating and thinking critically - children have and develop their own ideas, make links between ideas, and develop strategies for doing things.

Before your child starts at Thorley Day Nursery we invite you to a small number of settling in visits. During your settling in visits you and your child will spend time with their key person, getting to know each other. This will be the beginning of a meaningful partnership throughout nursery life benefiting your child’s well-being, learning and development. Key persons will share information daily about your child’s day at nursery and will continually share and include you in your child’s learning and development.

The teachers at Thorley Day Nursery are experienced and qualified professionals. They are our most important resource in our learning environments. The strong bonds that develop between children and their key person helps to extend the child’s learning and development.

A balanced and diverse range of adult-led and child-led activities are planned daily to ensure your child learns and develops in a meaningful and positive environment. Key persons respond to children’s individual needs and interests to help them achieve their potential.

Children are relaxed and happy in their nursery environment from an early age. Our daily routine is flexible so that opportunities for children’s learning and development are not missed. Children have the luxury of dipping in and out of learning to suit their personal well-being.

Extra-Curricular activities

In addition to the high-quality teaching of our staff we further support all areas of children’s development through the Extra Curricular activities we offer free of charge.

Activities include weekly Fundamentals sport sessions focussing on Physical Development.

Our teaching of Understanding the world is complemented by focussed and hands on teaching from Eco Warriors about the natural world we live in.


British Values Are At The Heart of What We Do

British Values are a set of four values introduced to help keep children and adults safe and promote their welfare – it is our duty to promote British Values.

  • Democracy
  • Individual Liberty
  • Rule of Law
  • Mutual respect for and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs and for those without faith

All children are listened to and are involved in the shaping of their learning across the EYFS. Choice is part of everyday life, we give children choices throughout their day. We always respect and embrace the choices children make. We include children in decision making each day at nursery to support their understanding of a democratic society. We teach children to follow daily routines and boundaries to keep themselves and others safe. We learn about and celebrate the range of different beliefs, cultures and faiths of people in our community and beyond.

Staff have attended Equality and Diversity and British Values training to support their exceptional teaching and nursery provision.


Special Education Needs

Our aim is to provide for the developmental needs of each child at nursery. All children are regularly assessed and their progress is monitored. We put children and their parents at the centre of decision making. We encourage parents to be involved in their child’s learning and development and we keep them fully informed of their child’s progress and achievements and of any concerns which may arise during assessment or at any other time.  Children who experience difficulties in any areas of learning will be given appropriate help and support, and are monitored by our nursery’s Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Co-ordinators (SENDCO)

Our staff are skilfully trained and experienced in working with children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities. The nursery has two dedicated Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Coordinators (SENDCO’s). The nursery SENDCO’s are experienced in their role and have attended Portage training in addition to a range of focused SEND training. Key persons frequently attend focused SEND training to ensure a knowledgeable workforce. Key persons and the setting’s SENDCOs work in partnership with parents /carers and external agencies to provide the best possible care and education to meet children’s specific needs. You can find out more about how we support children with Special Educational Needs and their families in our Local Offer listed online

We follow the Special Educational Needs and Disability – Code of Practice 0-25 years.

SEND support – as a team we set clear targets for children to make progress, agreeing what support should be provided and we track how this is working. We follow a graduated approach with four stages of action: assess, plan, do and review as set out in the SEND - Code of Practice.

We work in close partnership with parents to access the best support for their child. With your consent we share our professional and personal knowledge and understanding of your child and their achievements with outer agencies and work collaboratively to ensure your child makes good progress so they can reach their potential. With consistent and dedicated support children at Thorley Day Nursery can and do exceed learning goals set for them.