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At Monkey Puzzle Day Nurseries our approach to your child’s development starts with the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) curriculum and goes way further to help your child make the most of their time at nursery and prepare them for the journey ahead.

All children at Monkey Puzzle Day Nurseries are encouraged to learn through play. Our curriculum covers all the key areas of the early years foundation stage and is designed to meet the needs of each individual child.

We follow the Government’s Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) framework which sets the standards for learning, development and care for children from birth up to 5 years of age.

The principles which guide the work of our Early Years Professionals and are woven into our curriculum are grouped into four 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/or key person

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

Learning and Development – children develop and learn in different ways and at different times; all areas of learning and development are equally important and inter-connected.

Learning and Development

Three prime areas of learning

  • Personal, social and emotional development
  • Communication and language
  • Physical development

Four specific areas of learning

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

Key Person System

Each child has their own key person to enable them to feel reassured, safe and cared for within our setting. The key person is responsible for embedding the EYFS within the child’s day and to ensure parents receive observations and assessments that reflect the child’s ongoing development. These records are available to be viewed and discussed at any time by parents, who are always encouraged to add details of their child’s experiences from outside the nursery. This enables us to identify with your child’s learning requirements to ensure the most stimulating activities and effective learning goals are in place for each individual child.

Key Initiatives

Quality Circle Time: Circle time empowers children to practice skills such as speaking, listening, turn-taking, and problem-solving, whilst enjoying and appreciating each other’s company.

When planning circle times at nursery we are mindful of the stage of development that the children are at. Our practitioners work with small groups of children, in cosy areas where children can sit comfortably on rugs and cushions. The time is planned when there will be minimal interruptions (for example, avoiding drop-off and collection times) so that practitioners can give the children their undivided attention and have time and space to develop their communication and language. Practitioners may share a story, sing a song, or provide objects or pictures that are special to the group as a focus for conversation.

Play Based Approach: One of the reasons that play and playful experiences are included in the Early Years Foundation Stage is that play is crucial for the overall development of children. From the child’s point of view, play is instinctive – children have a need and desire to play and find it enjoyable and pleasurable. Through play, children are taking themselves from what they know and understand to what they are curious about and want to find out about. From a practitioner’s perspective, play is a valuable way of supporting learning and development. That is one of the reasons why a range of play opportunities are provided within our setting.

Messy Play: A fun time for children to enjoy learning through making a mess! Playing with a variety of different materials with an aim of developing sensory awareness, coordination and fine motor skills. Exploration of shapes, textures, sounds and smells encourages a better knowledge and understanding of the surrounding world and it’s defining properties. It also promotes freedom of play, enhancing imagination and creative expression.


“Self-regulation is the ability to manage your own energy states, emotions, behaviours and attention, in ways that are socially acceptable and help achieve positive goals, such as maintaining good relationships, learning and maintaining wellbeing.”

Stuart Shanker, 2010

Research tells us that children who experience nurturing and stable caregiving go on to develop greater resilience and the ability to self-regulate uncomfortable and overwhelming emotions. We believe that children flourish best when their personal, social and emotional needs are understood, supported and met and where there are developmentally appropriate expectations for their behaviour.

Extra-Curricular Activities

We focus on children’s personal, social, physical, cognitive, and creative skills and teach them the importance of health and fitness. To fully support this, we welcome external extracurricular providers to enhance our curriculum. These include:

  • Sports
  • French/Spanish lessons
  • Heartbeeps
  • Kide Science
  • Music and dance
  • Gymnastics , etc.

Events and Trips

Throughout the year we organise a variety of interesting and fun activities for the children e.g. visits to the local farms, park, super markets, library, coffee shop and to local places of interest. Our annual events include a Sports Day, a Christmas concert, a visit from Santa, an Easter Egg Hunt, a Halloween party, Parent Mornings, as well as a number of charity events throughout the course of the year.

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