What makes us unique?

AHN Beach School Nov 17-128

Our vision for children

  • to be happy, healthy, confident and inquisitive
  • to be cared for by happy & healthy, enthusiastic, caring and knowledgeable staff
  • to make meaningful relationships with other children and adults
  • to question others and the world around them
  • to have high levels of wellbeing & engagement (involvement)
  • to experience joyfulness, laugh and have fun
  • to be excited and to be given the tools to follow their curiosity and imagination

We want to instil confidence through experiences that support children in believing they can achieve anything, offering support along the way to help them do so. We are advocates of risk taking and teach children to embrace challenges and make mistakes. We respect children and their choices, listen to them and values their rights and opinions. We embrace the opportunity to open discussion with children and adults regarding global issues such as anti-discrimination and sustainability.

Our Curriculum… 

  • Is play based. PLAY and holistic learning is at the centre of everything we do. The children are the leaders in our setting and we use reflective practice and continual professional development to ensure we are providing the necessary support to enhance their experiences throughout their early years.
  • Focuses on building positive emotional attachments, achieving high levels of well-being & involvement and therefore being ‘ready’ to explore the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) Characteristics of Effective Learning; Playing and Exploring: engagement, Active Learning: motivation, Creating and Critical Thinking and Emotional Well-Being as well as the 7 areas of learning and development.
  • Is based on children’s interests and their individual starting points, it is inspired by but not limited to guidance such as Birth to 5 Matters. It focuses on the magical moments that teach children about the world around them.
  • Is driven by Key People and their knowledge of individual children that they advocate for however all staff share responsibility in supporting children’s wellbeing, learning and development. The curriculum is flexible and responsive to meet children’s different learning styles, there is no ‘ceiling’ to it. There is a collective understanding that learning is not linear.
  • Is an active, living process, it is not something that is ‘delivered’ to children It is built by the children, staff, families and wider community. It is diverse and tailored to individual needs of the unique child & family. Each child is respected as an individual and we adapt our curriculum & pedagogical strategies to benefit each and every child’s unique identities; their strengths, prior knowledge, experiences and interests. This will then support children in their journey of discovering and accepting themselves.
  • Is set out in room by room curriculum documents, identifying what we would like children to be in the process of developing when they are making the next step in their journey.


Our vehicles for teaching (pedagogical strategies) are… 

  • Relationship led practice

We are passionate about professional love and relationship led practice as a means to ensuring adults create meaningful relationships with children and families. We view relationship led practice as the vital connections and emotional bonds between staff, children & their families, informed by attachment theory. The knowledge of the importance of relationship led practice impacts everything we do. We see our care routines and practices as a vital part of relationship led practice, using them as opportunities for building relationships and learning.

  • High quality interactions

It is important to use that staff are interested, responsive and excited about the experiences they have with children. Adults teach through children’s natural curiosity and role model respectful relationships between children and other adults. Staff are inducted into the difference between interacting and interfering and use strategies such as; observe, wait & listen, sustained shared thinking and 4 comments to a question.

  • Empowering environments & flexible open routines

Our environments are seen as the 3rd teacher. We aim for them to be safe, homely spaces that promote discussion and exploration. The environments reflect children’s interests through carefully chosen relevant, open ended and stimulating resources. They are ever evolving and provide new experiences as well as opportunities to repeat experiences and schemas of play. Children can see images of themselves and their care and learning experiences within the environment to promote metacognition.

We believe that sustained long periods of time and choice to explore indoors and outdoors are key for children to gain the most from their learning experiences. Getting outside and into the local community (Wandering Wonderers) as well as Forest and Beach School provide a wealth of new experiences and opportunities and help build children’s cultural capital.

  • Partnership with Parents and the wider nursery community

A child’s family has the biggest impact on their identity, values and window of the world. We aim to create relationships with Parents, Carers, siblings or anyone who knows the child very well that are trustful and open. This then allows for a two-way conversation to support the child’s safety, wellbeing and learning & development. Equity and equalities are incredibly important to us and we aim to work alongside Parents and the wider nursery community to raise anti-racist, anti-homophobic, empathetic children who value everyone within our society. We value and foster strong relationships with other agencies to support children in need and children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities to provide the best care and learning environment for them and their families.

  • Responsive observation, assessment and planning cycle (OAP)

Our OAP cycle is based on the planning in the moment approach. We are led by the children in the moment and respond accordingly, making the most of teachable moments. In addition to responsive planning, we use planning intentions to share ideas for enhancements to continuous provision, provocations and adult initiated play to stimulate new ideas, exploration and learning. Daily evaluations review the impact of our curriculum and vehicles for teaching on a day to day basis. Key People assess children’s learning and development following their observation focus week which allows them to get a deeper insight in to each child; their strengths, challenges and ways in which they need support. These support plans are shared in room moderation meetings where team members evaluate the impact of strategies they have put in place for individual children.