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Elmhurst School

An Academy of the Great Learners Trust

Curriculum Intent

"The children in EY at Elmhurst are getting a fantastic start to their education. The settings are all calm, children are purposefully engaged, settled and happy and there was a real buzz for learning... was a joy to see an environment that so well planned and resourced."

(Lorraine Greco, Headteacher at Bedgrove Juniour School, January 2022)

Curriculum Intent


At Elmhurst School, we believe that language is the key to success for all of our children. Interactions are valued and relationships build upon the uniqueness of every child. Our nature based learning is holistic. It provides them with the stepping stones to academic accomplishment. Our Hygge approach encompasses the acquisition of knowledge, skills, values, attitudes and behaviours meaning that every child leaves Reception as a well-rounded individual, ready for the next stage of their education.


Teachers use statutory and non-statutory guidance to plan for, teach and assess each child, carefully scaffolding their experiences to promote learning and progress.


At Elmhurst, we are committed to the values and principles that underpin the Early Years Foundation Stage and Every Child Matters, including the four key principles. 


A unique child

Every child is a unique child who is constantly learning and can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured.



• understand and observe each child’s development and learning, assess progress, plan for next steps

• support babies and children to develop a positive sense of their own identity and culture

• identify any need for additional support

• keep children safe

• value and respect all children and families equally


Positive relationships

Children learn to be strong and independent through positive relationships.


Positive relationships are:

• warm and loving, and foster a sense of belonging

• sensitive and responsive to the child’s needs, feelings and interests

• supportive of the child’s own efforts and independence

• consistent in setting clear boundaries

• stimulating

• built on key person relationships in early years settings


Enabling environments

Children learn and develop well in enabling environments, in which their experiences respond to their individual needs and there is a strong partnership between practitioners and parents and carers.


Enabling Environments:

• value all people

• value learning


They offer:

• stimulating resources, relevant to all the children’s cultures and communities

• rich learning opportunities through play and playful teaching

• support for children to take risks and explore


Learning and development

Children develop and learn in different ways. The framework covers the education and care of all children in early years provision, including children with special educational needs and disabilities.


Practitioners teach children by ensuring challenging, playful opportunities across the prime and specific areas of learning and development.


They foster the characteristics of effective early learning:

• Playing and exploring

• Active learning

• Creating and thinking critically

Page last updated 03/02/2022