Taunton School Pre-Prep Student playing with a castle
Nursery Curriculum

Nursery Curriculum

Early Learning Goals

The Nursery’s safe, nurturing and stimulating environment provides the perfect setting for children to begin the first stages of their learning journey.

The Early Learning Goals were devised by the School Curriculum and Assessment Authority and recommended by the Department for Education and Employment, and are more recently known as the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS).

Through organised play and fun and teacher-led activities, your child will cover the seven areas that constitute the Early Learning Goals. These are:


Taunton Schools Nursery

We recognise that a major part of a child’s development is guiding them to become more effective communicators.

Communication and language is one of the seven areas of the early years foundation stage, and we ensure that the children are able to reach all of the assessment criteria:

  • Listening and attention
  • Understanding
  • Speaking skills

We encourage the children to initiate discussions and allow thinking time – providing them with the tools that they need to have meaningful conversations. By providing opportunities to listen and communicate, we are developing the child’s understanding of language and giving them the chance to connect to the world around them.


Taunton School Pre-Prep Student in classroom

Through stimulating and fun activities, children develop their reading and writing skills, as well as learn how to communicate effectively.

In Nursery, we use storytelling, nursery rhymes, poems, counting games and finger rhymes to encourage listening and interaction in order to develop concentration, attention and participation skills.

Listening to stories and reading books actively invites conversation, helps build your child’s self-confidence, and boosts their self-esteem. We teach them to listen to other children as well as encourage them to share their own thoughts in order to develop their speaking skills and increase their vocabulary.

As well as stories and books, we use all sorts of fun activities to develop your child’s pre-reading skills. This is supported through our use of the Read Write Inc. approach to learning phonics which continues throughout the Pre-Prep. Other Activities and routines help your child to familiarise themselves with sounding out and writing their own name, such as word jigsaws, activities and games to support your child’s acquisition of all their sounds.

To develop your child’s writing skills, we focus on how to hold writing utensils correctly to enable easy letter formation. This includes expressing themselves with pencils, wax crayons, chalk, felt pens and various sizes and shapes of paper, to writing in sand, paint and the air.


Taunton School Nursery Maths

Games and activities play a key role in developing mathematical understanding and problem solving.

Through engaging play and fun activities in the Nursery, which includes songs, number rhymes, stories and counting games, your child will become familiar with and understand numbers, shapes, measures and space.

By using everyday objects, we encourage your naturally inquisitive child to explore ordering, matching, sorting and recreating patterns, as well as counting from one to one hundred in order to broaden their mathematic skills and eventually achieve a high level of numeracy.

Before long, your child’s use of mathematical language will develop, along with their ability to add and subtract and perform numerous mathematical tasks. In addition, your child will be able to use mathematics to solve both real and theoretical problems.


Taunton School Nursery Student playing dress up

Expressive Art & Design aims to develop your child’s creative skills and self-expression through exploration, imagination, media and materials.

Our fun-packed activities, including art, music, dance, play and stories, will unleash your child’s creativity and imagination as they discover the amazing world of colour, sound, texture, shape and form around them.

To encourage the exploration of self-expression further, we use a variety of materials and techniques such as drawing, painting, sticking, model-making and printing.

As music is a great way for your child to discover the wonders of sound, we actively encourage learning through many forms of music. From listening, movement, performing and improvisation, to songs and music-making.

Our Nursery and Pre-Prep is all about inspiration and engagement through imaginative play and learning opportunities, which is why you will find the home corner regularly transformed into everyday environments. These include a veterinary surgery, cafe, hospital, space station and even a beauty salon to stimulate your child’s imagination to the full and encourage interaction with other children through play.


Taunton School Nursery Student With Animal Cage

Understanding the World aims to develop your child’s understanding of people, communities, technology and the world itself.

Through engaging activities and games, your child will develop a wide understanding of the how, what, why, when and where of things, whilst embracing design and technology, science, history, geography and information technology.

Maximising on your child’s natural curiosity to question their surroundings and the world beyond, our activities encourage them to explore, discover, understand and share their findings.

Our Forest School and beautiful grounds provide practical experience in science and nature at work. From experiencing the changing seasons and various weather conditions to playing with water and sand, your child will enjoy welly walks and the local wildlife in its natural habitat.

But that’s not all; basic skills such as folding, cutting, joining and building are taught in preparation for the Design Technology National Curriculum, plus there are great opportunities for your child to express themselves through cooking.

And to familiarise your child with the digital age, computers with fun and educational software allow them to experience information technology and discover the important role it plays in today’s world.


Taunton School Nursery Outdoor play

Our Nursery’s safe environment plays a pivotal role in your child’s personal, social and emotional development by allowing them to build their self-confidence and self-esteem, whilst learning to manage their feelings and form relationships with other children and adults.

Developing your child’s sense of independence is achieved in a number of ways in the Nursery. Starting with small steps at first, your child is given their own peg, identifiable with their name and photo, to hang their bag on. They’re also encouraged to undress and dress for swimming and to fasten and unfasten their own coats. As their confidence and need for independence grows, they are further encouraged to make decisions of their own, such as choosing activities in the Nursery.

Taking our lunch breaks in the Dining Room allows the children to experience more of the school as a whole. They also learn the importance of choosing healthy snack and meal options, manners, sharing, and how to use appropriate infant-sized cutlery correctly.

Our Nursery and Pre-Prep is also where they will experience their first taste of Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education (PSHEE), covering friendship, healthy living, safety, personal and emotional development and physical development, as well as self-respect and respect for others and the environment. This will continue to be part of the learning process throughout their Taunton School education, right up until Senior School.


Taunton School Pre-Prep Dance Ballet

Physical Development aims to develop your child’s movement and handling skills, as well as their health and safe care.

The Nursery setting provides a safe and fun environment for a multitude of indoor activities that help to develop hand and eye coordination and motor skills, and actively promote the importance of sharing toys and equipment. This includes playing with playdough, clay, water and sand, and expressing themselves with chalk, paint, pencils, felt pens and crayons.

Outdoors, our extensive grounds include a large dedicated playground and woodland area where children can play together, whilst developing their spatial awareness and learning about respecting the personal space of others.

Toys include double chariots, double bikes, pushchairs, buggies, carts, ride-on toys and climbing apparatus that are perfect for developing your child’s balance, coordination and motor skills. Balls for mastering throwing and kicking techniques are also in abundance.

Music and movement is also on the agenda, with fun activities including exercising to music and exercise rhymes, which help to develop movement control, rhythm and musical ability.

Finally, our 25m indoor swimming pool provides a calm, safe and fun environment where Nursery children enjoy weekly sessions in the water. Activities and playing with toys and floats allow them to experience water, gain confidence and develop muscle control.