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Our Curriculum

At Horsted Keynes Preschool we are guided by our vision and values which were developed collaboratively with our preschool family including, parents/carers, Committee, practitioners, and children.


We work from the Early Years Foundation Stage Statutory Framework (EYFS) which sets standards for the learning, development, and care of children from birth to five years old. All schools and Ofsted registered early years providers must follow the EYFS. The Early Years Foundation Stage is a curriculum framework that aims to give children aged 0-5 the “best possible start in life.” As a curriculum framework, it sets the parameters for the curriculum we offer children at Horsted Keynes Preschool, including the three Prime Areas of learning and development and four Specific Areas. We intend to enable our children to learn holistically, through play, experimentation, and exploration.

The four guiding principles:

There are four guiding principles in the EYFS, we believe it is important that these principles are used when implementing the seven learning and development areas in the EYFS.
The principles are: - 

  1. That every child is unique

  2. That every child can learn to be strong and independent through positive relationships

  3. That children learn and develop best in enabling environments

  4. That children develop and learn in different ways

For more information see below.

Areas of learning and development:

There are seven areas of learning and development. 3 prime and 4 specific. The areas are: -


  • Communication and Language

  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development

  • Physical Development


  • Literacy

  • Mathematics

  • Understanding the World

  • Expressive Arts & Design


The main components of each of the seven areas are: -

Communication and Language experiences are about:

  • Listening, attention & understanding

  • Speaking

Personal, Social and Emotional experiences are about:

  • Self-Regulation

  • Managing self

  • Building relationships

Physical Development experiences are about:

  • Gross motor skills

  • Fine motor skills

Literacy experiences are about:

  • Comprehension

  • Word reading

  • Writing

Mathematics experiences are about:

  • Number

  • Numerical patterns

Understanding the World experiences are about:

  • Past & present

  • People, culture, and communities

  • The natural world

Expressive Arts & Design experiences are about:

  • Creating with materials

  • Being imaginative & expressive

Our aim is to deliver the Early Years Foundation Stage via our own ambitious curriculum, co-constructed by adults and children, which fulfills on all aspects of our vision and values (refer to our vision and values page).

“Play is the highest expression of human development in childhood for it alone is the free expression of what is in a child's soul”

-Friedrich Froebel

Our ambitious and inclusive curriculum is based on play and on the principles of the Early Years Foundation Stage, providing a smooth transition for children as they continue their journey onto primary school. It builds upon their prior knowledge and experiences and educates all children in knowledge, skills and understanding, to be effective, inquisitive, confident, reflective, creative, curious, independent learners and influence their wider thinking across all areas of the curriculum. Children have a natural desire to explore, communicate, create, and learn. Play engages children’s bodies, minds, and emotions. In playing children can learn to interact with others and be part of a community, to experience and manage feelings, and to be in control and confident about themselves and their abilities. At Horsted Keynes Preschool, we strive to ensure children feel safe and confident so they can explore and play.


At Horsted Keynes Preschool, we believe that every day is a learning day, and that learning is all around us. We pride ourselves on ensuring that all children are coming into a loving, caring, home from home environment where they are valued and listened to. We place great value on the development of children as individuals. Our aim in the Early Years Foundation Stage is to build strong foundations and resilience, so that they can grow to become successful, life-long learners and members of society. 

Fundamental British Values (democracy, rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance) are at the heart of our curriculum and everything we do. We focus on promoting the more general concepts within the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) and understand that the children’s development within these areas is key to promoting the values in the long term.  We endeavour to give the children the Cultural Capital they need for future success so that they can gain the knowledge, skills and understanding they require for success i.e. giving each child the best start in life and the support that enables them to fulfil their full potential and achieve future success.

We are passionate about creating opportunities for children to communicate more easily through developing language and communication skills. In our setting your child will experience an enabling environment which is warm and supportive. This in turn supports the children to begin to link learning to their play and exploration through our holistic provision. ensuring children are engaged and always motivated.

We support our children in developing the skills needed to learn to listen, speak and meet the high expectations for behaviour by working together and being kind.

Our children are at the heart of everything we do and at the centre of all decisions we make. Our ambitious curriculum is designed to develop a child’s knowledge of themselves and their place within the Preschool community, their local community, the wider context of Horsted Keynes and beyond.

Our Curriculum Intent and Teaching Pedagogy

“While we try to teach our children all about life, our children teach us what life is all about”

-Angela Schwindt

Pedagogy is the technical term for all the different ways that us as practitioners help children to learn, and how we teach them. Our pedagogy utilises aspects of different approaches and theorists such as Froebel, Reggio Emilia, Piaget, Vygotsky and ‘In the moment’. We strongly align with the New Zealand early years curriculum, Te Whāriki, which focuses on embedding a sense of belonging and well-being interwoven with an awareness that the natural environment forms a strong learning context.

We recognise that all children are unique, celebrating, and welcoming differences within our preschool community. Therefore, our ambitious curriculum is co-constructed by adults and children throughout the year, based on children’s interests while also weaving in skills, interests, topics, themes, experiences, and ideas that help broaden children’s perspective of what they enjoy and can be a part of.

Our intent is to:

  • To provide first-hand experiences linked to children's interests.

  • To enable children to experience the seven areas of learning, through playing and learning ‘in the moment’. It is in that moment of curiosity, puzzlement, and interest that the ‘teachable moment’ is implemented.

  • To create a learning environment and build relationships which support, enhance, and stimulate a child’s curiosity, confidence, and individual competency to flourish regardless of backgrounds, circumstances or needs.

  • To give all children an equal chance of success.

  • To provide an ambitious curriculum that offers children a wide range of opportunities ensuring that we do not expect children to aspire to things they have never encountered.

  • To work on broadening children’s experiences providing opportunities to try new things and encouraging them to relish a new challenge.

  • To build on the wealth of knowledge and skills children already have when they arrive

  • To value play and the powerful opportunities, it provides for children to build upon previous leaning in a meaningful and purposeful way.

  • To provide a learning environment that helps children achieve their potential and support those who need additional help to maximise their chances of achieving the Early Learning Goals at the end of the Foundation Stage. Ensuring children make at least good progress from their starting points.

  • To provide children opportunities to develop their sense of wellbeing and ability to regulate their feelings so that they feel confident in our community and are equipped with all the tools they need to transition to Primary school effectively.

  • To support children using our diverse team of practitioners who all possess differing talents and skills and provide high quality interactions to help unlock children’s potential.

  • To work in partnership with parents and carers, encouraging resilient, independent, enthusiastic learners who thrive and reach their full potential from their various starting points.

  • To work in partnership with other agencies and our community.

  • To foster the development of children’s character, personal development, health, including oral health healthy lifestyles and physical activity and wellbeing preparing them to make a valuable contribution to society.

  • To promote speech, language, and communication opportunities to strengthen children’s ability to learn and articulate their learning at a deeper level. Encouraging Skilful communicators, who connect with others through language and play, ensuring that they play in a language rich environment.

  • To provide opportunities for children to consolidate skills and make links in their learning, whilst also promoting a sense of accountability for their learning, developing time management skills for later life.

  • To promote diversity through participation in experiences which develop understanding and respect of different cultures and religions.

  • To provide opportunities for children to make a positive contribution to their local community and as global citizens.

  • To assign each child a key person who builds a strong relationship with the child and ensures every child’s learning and care is tailored to meet their individual needs.

  • To provide enabling indoor and outdoor environments designed to inspire children’s innate desire to learn.

  • To foster high quality leadership at all levels.

  • To reflect on our work and fulfil our learning potential


Our curriculum Drivers (What drives our curriculum)

The Early Years Foundation stage sets the expectation of what children should be learning. However, we want more for our children. They deserve to experience and learn about all that life has to offer. We have high expectations for your child’s learning journey and, as a team, we agreed on five main drivers that underpin our ambitious curriculum to ensure it is enriched, personalised and aspirational.


  • Communication – We believe that helping children find their voice is as important as them becoming avid readers or great writers and will support them with effective communication and language skills and purposeful relevant learning opportunities

  • Aspiration – We want children and our team to have high expectations of learning. Children are encouraged to aim high and to be open to possibilities at preschool and beyond. They will be challenged to be the best that they can be.

  • Community – We want our children to develop a sense of pride in themselves and respect for others. Children have a sense of pride in themselves and respect for others. Partnerships are developed from the beginning with all stakeholders and beyond. Parents/carers are our partners, drawing on wider expertise and learning from best practice. We understand and support our community to change and enhance lives

  • Adventure – We are passionate about the health of our children. We want our children to lift their eyes from the screen to be excited by the real world, engaging in rich experiences to develop imagination. We will encourage them to gain confidence and allow them to manage real risks by having fun.

  • Possibilities – Children cannot aspire to things they have never encountered. We will work to broaden our children’s horizons, expanding their knowledge of the world by nurturing their interests as well as encouraging fearlessness of what is new or unknown.

Further information
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