Nursery & Reception Curriculum and Academic Support

Nursery & Reception Curriculum and Academic Support

Nursery and Reception (Early Years)

In our Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) Department we provide a warm, calm and caring environment for our young children, where they feel happy, safe and secure and develop a sense of belonging.  Our pupils love coming to our Nursery and Reception.

Our children have fun and learn and develop in a well-planned and organised environment which offers stimulating and rich play opportunities, encourages independence and supports young children’s own efforts and achievements.

As active, happy young learners, our children enjoy playing and exploring both indoors and outdoors. Through a broad range of planned teaching, child initiated and adult led experiences, we encourage our children to become enthusiastic and motivated learners who are confident in developing their ideas and following their individual interests.

We place great emphasis on ‘how’ children are learning as well as ‘what’ they learn and we foster an environment where a positive mind-set is encouraged. The characteristics of effective learning underpin the organisation, planning, observation and teaching in EYFS as we observe and interact with the children, encouraging a ‘can do’ attitude for all.

We work closely with parents and carers to build strong, positive and secure relationships with the children and their families. We support the children in becoming confident and independent individuals who value themselves and treat others with care and respect, as they move on up through the Ewell Castle Preparatory School.

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 of 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. The curriculum of the Early Years Foundation Stage consists of the seven areas of learning as defined in the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage which dovetail into a more subject led timetable.

Maths Curriculum - EYFS to Year 2

         Nursery - Curriculum Overview           Reception - Curriculum Overview        


Learning Support in the Pre-Prep 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.