Nursery & Reception Curriculum

Nursery & Reception Curriculum

Nursery and Reception Curriculum - Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)

Children can join our Early Years following their third birthday.  Classes are divided into Nursery and Reception. 

This is where your child’s journey of discovery begins.  In our caring and stimulating environment, confidence can be built, new friends made, and learning achieved through play and investigation of their world.  Our friendly, nurturing, and approachable staff have extensive experience in the care of young children and will ensure that all your child's needs are fulfilled.

We believe in spending as much of the day as possible outside using our outdoor area for imaginative play and discovery.  In the Early Years Foundation Stage, play is child led but there is encouragement to join in with structured tasks during the mornings.

The seven areas of learning covered by the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum are the focus in Nursery and Reception, providing a relevant, purposeful, and engaging curriculum, enabling pupils to exceed expectations as well as offering a smooth transition for those pupils continuing at Ewell Castle.

The curriculum at the EYFS consists of the seven areas of learning as defined in the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage:

·        Communication and language.

·        Physical development.

·        Personal, social, and emotional development.

·        Literacy.

·        Mathematics.

·        Understanding the world.

·        Expressive arts and design.

Children in Reception gradually build up their activities during the year ready for the more formal timetable in Year 1. 

         Nursery - Curriculum Overview: Sept 2023           Reception - Curriculum Overview: Sept 2023        

Learning Support in Nursery/Reception and Preparatory School 

Ewell Castle is an inclusive school providing differentiated learning for all pupils, paying close attention to individual needs.  Our year groups have a Learning Support Assistant assigned and are placed where the needs are the greatest.   

Our team comprises Learning Support Assistants and is led by our SENCo, who is Head of Learning Support. Each Aassistant has a particular area of focus.  As a team, we offer a range of interventions, including, maths, English, touch-typing, sensory circuits and social skills.  Pupils are invited to these interventions and these take place before a school day.  During the school day, the Learning Support Assistants will work with groups of children to support independent learning in the classroom.  The Head of Learning Support is a Dyslexia Specialist and offers bespoke individual lessons delivered in response to assessments and in liaison with class teachers and parents.  These individual sessions are charged at an extra cost. (Click HERE for Finance leaflet)

We have ELSA (Emotional Literary Support Assistant) support and pupils can access a six-week Emotional Literacy Support programme tailored to their specific need.   In addition, we have access to a peripatetic Speech and Language Therapist, Occupational Therapist and Behavioural Consultant.   


Building Learning Power (BLP)

At Ewell Castle Prep School, we are on a journey to grow our ‘Learning Power’. We are all learning to be better learners.

We follow Professor Guy Claxton’s work closely on Building Learning Power (BLP). Guy Claxton’s work suggests that there are four key learning dispositions – Resilience, Resourcefulness, Reflectiveness and Reciprocity. The four Rs of learning. Each of the four Rs are relates to learning muscles.

We teach the children about these skills and the learning muscles. They learn that just as we can build our physical muscles with the right kinds of exercise, we can also exercise our learning muscles to develop their strength and stamina.

We use BLP to develop our ‘Language for Learning’ in school and this enables us to engage all pupils in a conversation of how we learn. It is our intention that the children use the language for learning to explain ways in which they achieved or approached tasks and how they can move on to the next chapter in their learning. To engage all of our learners, particularly in the younger years, we have introduced ‘learning experts’, in the form of cuddly toy mascots, to reflect each of the four Rs of learning.


The key elements of this disposition are Perseverance, Noticing, Managing Distractions and Absorption. The children learn how to stay locked onto their learning, the importance of never giving up and the benefits of learning when getting un-stuck. Our Learning Expert for this area is Incy Spider.


The key elements of this disposition are Questioning, Capitalising, Making Links, Reasoning and Imagining. The children develop their ability to ask and answer questions, use resources around them to help them with their learning, make links between the different areas of their learning and of course, use their imaginations! Our learning expert for this area is Resourceful Ratty.


The key elements of this disposition are Planning, Meta-learning, Distilling and Revising. The children will learn how and why they learn and will be encouraged to regularly look back on their learning to see whether they have met their targets and objectives. They will be asked to think about future targets and areas for improvement. Our learning expert for this area is Reflective Parrot.



The key elements of this disposition are Imitation, Interdependence, Listening and Collaboration. The children will learn how, why and when it is best to learn on their own, with a partner or within a group and develop the skills they need to be a valued member of a team and a learning community. Our learning experts for this area are two meerkats named Give and Take.