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Our approach and Curriculum

The Early Years Foundation Stage covers children’s development from birth to the end of their first year in school and is taught via the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum.

Thameside Nursery provides children with an excellent start to their school journey. In our welcoming and vibrant setting, we ensure that we ignite a love of learning that continues throughout their school career. 

The Nursery is very much an integral part of Thameside school, providing a strong foundation for achieving our school vision, which is to nurture life-long learners who are aspirational, courageous, creative and kind.  We feel that this most definitely starts in Nursery, and we are passionate that our children learn through the provision of meaningful, fun and interesting play opportunities and activities that encourage the children to be creative and reflective.

In our Nursery, we aim to inspire and nurture an inquisitive mind in every child.  This can be achieved through the environment we create, the questions we ask, being curious, having fun and working in partnership with families to provide the best learning opportunities for every child and enabling them to flourish both academically and personally.

Our curriculum strives to enable all children to achieve their potential through a carefully thought-out curriculum.  We do not follow one approach but feel that it is most effective to draw of the strengths of many different approaches and theorists depending on the interests and needs of the children in the nursery. Within our Nursery we believe in using aspects of a number of approaches, and are introducing a range of authentic items and real resources, like tea sets, tea pots, large cupboard tubes, boxes, wheels and tyres.

The aim is to develop children's gross and fine motor skills; respect for property and the world around them and learn to celebrate cultural diversity through key events such as Chinese New Year, where our role play area was transformed to support this theme.  

Alongside this, we provide topic-based learning and provide short, structured group input sessions at the start of each day to help inspire the children and encourage many learning opportunities through the day.  This helps us to embellish the curriculum and move beyond the EYFS. Our curriculum is also enhanced through visits linked to our learning, for example a recent visit from 'Jonathan's Jungle Roadshow.'

Our brand-new, purpose build outside area provide us with the exciting opportunity to extend the children's learning environment outside which is vital for the development of gross motor skills and an enjoyment of the outdoor environment.  We go outside in all weathers and encourage the children to learn how to dress appropriately.  We open the doors to the garden and the children have the choice to play inside or outside accessing a wide range of resources; well-planned activities and scope for adventurous and imaginative play both indoors and outdoors.

Further information about our school's curriculum vision and content from Early Years, can be found on our curriculum pages (which are in the process of being updated to reflect our new curriculum approach). 

Guides for parents

The links below provide some additional information about the Early Years Curriculum and a guide for parents:

Early years foundation stage (EYFS) statutory framework - GOV.UK (

What-to-expect-in-the-EYFS-complete-FINAL-16.09-compressed.pdf (

There are also a variety of resources that can be used to support learning in the Early Years at home - please do get in contact with one of our Early Years' Team if you have more questions!:

Learning to talk | 3 to 5 years | Start for Life (



Thameside Primary School
Cotman Close
OX14 5NL


01235 527600