Early Years and Foundation Stage

Hampden Gurney has a school-based nursery on the ground floor of the building. The class teacher and two support assistants work with the group of pupils in Nursery as they start their school career with us, undertaking learning and play in the classroom and in the playground that leads directly off it.

As the pupils enter their first formal year of schooling, they join pupils on the 1st floor in the Reception class. This is a fascinating time in young pupils’ development as they begin to read and write, and start using numbers more confidently. The Early Years Curriculum forms a solid basis in the fundamentals as the pupils prepare for Key Stage One.

The EYFS learning environment is organised to allow children to explore and learn securely and safely. There are areas where the children can be active, creative and explore as well as be quiet and rest. The environment is set up in learning areas, where children are able to find and locate equipment and resources independently.

At Hampden Gurney, staff create learning opportunities around seven areas of learning:

Personal, Social and Emotional Development

This involves helping children to develop a positive sense of themselves, and others; to form positive relationships and develop respect for others; to develop social skills and learn how to manage their feelings; to understand appropriate behaviour in groups and to have confidence in their own abilities.

Communication and Language

We aim to give children opportunities to experience a rich language environment; to develop their confidence and skills in expressing themselves; and to speak and listen in a range of situations.

Physical Development

We aim to provide opportunities for young children to be active and interactive and to develop their co-ordination, control, and movement. Children will be helped to understand the importance of physical activity and to make healthy choices in relation to food.


Children will link sounds and letters and to begin to read and write. Children will be given access to a wide range of reading materials to ignite their interests.


We provide children with opportunities to develop and improve their skills in counting, understanding and using numbers, calculating simple addition and subtraction problems. Children will also take part in practical activities to explore shapes, spaces and measure and will use language to describe these.

Understanding the World

He we guide children to make sense of their physical world and their community through opportunities to explore, observe and find out about people, places, technology and the environment.

Expressive Arts and Design

We enable children to explore and play with a wide range of media and materials, as well as providing opportunities and encouragement for sharing their thoughts, ideas and feelings through a variety of activities in art, music, movement, dance, role-play, and design and technology.

Parents as Partners

We recognise that parents are children’s first and most enduring educators and we value greatly the contribution that parents make. We recognise the role that parents have played, and their future role, in educating young minds. We do this through:

  • Talking to parents about their child before their child starts in our school by doing home visits;
  • Offering parents regular termly opportunities to talk about their child’s progress and providing opportunities look through their child’s special profile.
  • Encouraging parents to talk to their child’s teachers about any concerns they may have.
  • Arranging a range of activities throughout the year that encourage collaboration between child, school and parents (fund raising days like Jeans for Genes day, World Book day, concerts including Mother’s and Father’s day picnics, Christmas Concert, International day ) to which all family members are invited. Parents are also encouraged to engage in a weekly library rota and specific dates where parents come to school in order to share creative Art & DT activities.
  • Completing two formal meetings per year (Autumn and Spring term) at which time the teacher and parent are able to discuss pupil progress and development.

For the overview of our curriculum see the subject maps below:
- Nursery Curriculum Map
- Reception Curriculum Map