Nursery Teaching and Leaning

Foundation Stage Curriculum

Throughout the Early Years, children are instructed through a mixture of child-initiated activities and more adult led sessions.

The children are taught according to the requirements of the Early Years Curriculum, but are offered a broader range of experiences and benefit from the more focused attention that comes with our smaller class sizes.

The Foundation Stage Curriculum is organised into three prime areas and four specific areas. Prime areas are fundamental, work together and move through to support development in all other areas. Specific areas include essential skills and knowledge for children to participate successfully in society. As young children learn in a holistic fashion, one activity will usually promote development in more than one area. 

Prime areas: 

1. Communication and language
2. Physical development
3. Personal, social and emotional development

Specific areas: 

1. Literacy
2. Mathematics
3. Understanding the world
4. Expressive arts and design


In the Nursery, the children learn through play, practical and creative activities and through more focused adult initiated opportunities. Play is encouraged that is emotionally, intellectually, physically and socially challenging.

The Nursery curriculum takes place both indoors and outdoors in an appropriately safe and stimulating environment.

The children are encouraged to achieve excellence through ways which are enjoyable and highly motivating.


In Reception, the children are supported in learning to work at focused tasks for greater periods of time. The Reception year prepares children for learning in Key Stage One and the programme of study is consistent with the Early Years Framework.

The children are provided with periods of unbroken time to explore and make choices of the resources and techniques they wish to use in order for learning to be deeply rooted and independent.

They benefit from learning experiences both indoors and outdoors and work within appropriately safe and motivating environments.

Curriculum Enrichment

At OLA, we also offer an enriched curriculum, including the following activities.

1. French

Children in Reception enjoy weekly French lessons with a specialist French teacher where they are introduced to the language through songs and games.

2. Swimming

Every week children join our highly experienced swimming teacher, Mr Bogue, in the indoor pool for water confidence and swimming lessons. They work towards achieving the school’s own swimming awards starting at ‘Tadpole 1’ progressing to the ‘Super Shark’ award, alongside the Swim England awards.

3. Physical Education

Twice a week, children enjoy lessons with Mrs Barrett, our qualified PE coach. These lessons provide opportunities for children to learn new skills, develop confidence with movement and improve their coordination. 

4. Music and Movement

Music and movement sessions encourage the children to express themselves through dance, drama and role play. Musical instruments are used to help children think about beat and rhythm.

5. Forest Classroom

The children have a weekly trip to our own wood, which is a short distance from the school to take part in our Forest Classroom session. During the session the children have many opportunities to explore the woods, observe the seasons and the changes that occur, enjoy the challenges of being in the natural environment and have hot chocolate!

OLA School Community

The children are part of the larger school community, attending a range of school activities, including morning assemblies and sports events.

The school has its own Religious Education programme which supports the children’s personal, social and emotional development and the ethos and mission of the school.