Your Child's journey

We welcome children from birth and nurture them right up until they are ready for school. We believe we play a very important role in shaping their development in some of the most important years of their lives.

Our seven stages of development are applied across all age groups and guide your child on their journey as follows:

Birth - 11 Months

Personal and Social Education

Making Relationships
• Enjoys the company of others and seeks contact with others from birth.
• Gazes at faces and copies facial movements. e.g. sticking out tongue, opening mouth and widening eyes.
• Responds when talked to, for example, moves arms and legs, changes facial expression, moves body and makes mouth movements.
• Recognises and is most responsive to main carer’s voice: face brightens, activity increases when familiar carer appears.
• Responds to what carer is paying attention to, e.g. following their gaze.
• Likes cuddles and being held: calms, snuggles in, smiles, gazes at carer’s face or strokes carer’s skin.

Self-confidence and self-awareness
• Laughs and gurgles, e.g. shows pleasure at being tickled and other physical interactions.
• Uses voice, gesture, eye contact and facial expression to make contact with people and keep their attention.

Managing feelings and behaviour
• Is comforted by touch and people’s faces and voices.
• Seeks physical and emotional comfort by snuggling in to trusted adults.
• Calms from being upset when held, rocked, spoken or sung to with soothing voice.
• Shows a range of emotions such as pleasure, fear and excitement.
• Reacts emotionally to other people’s emotions, e.g. smiles when smiled at and becomes distressed if hears another child crying.

Communication and Language

Listening & Attention
• Turns toward a familiar sound then locates range of sounds with accuracy.
• Listens to, distinguishes and responds to intonations and sounds of voices.
• Reacts in interaction with others by smiling, looking and moving.
• Quietens or alerts to the sound of speech.
• Looks intently at a person talking, but stops responding if speaker turns away.
• Listens to familiar sounds, words, or finger plays.
• Fleeting Attention – not under child’s control, new stimuli takes whole attention.

Understanding
• Stops and looks when hears own name.
• Starts to understand contextual clues, e.g. familiar gestures, words and sounds.

Speaking
• Communicates needs and feelings in a variety of ways including crying, gurgling, babbling and squealing.
• Makes own sounds in response when talked to by familiar adults.
• Lifts arms in anticipation of being picked up.
• Practises and gradually develops speech sounds (babbling) to communicate with adults; says sounds like ‘baba, nono, logo’.

Physical Development

Moving and Handling
• Turns head in response to sounds and sights.
• Gradually develops ability to hold up own head.
• Makes movements with arms and legs which gradually become more controlled.
• Rolls over from front to back, from back to front.
• When lying on tummy becomes able to lift first head and then chest, supporting self with forearms and then straight arms.
• Watches and explores hands and feet, e.g. when lying on back lifts legs into vertical position and grasps feet.
• Reaches out for, touches and begins to hold objects.
• Explores objects with mouth, often picking up an object and holding it to the mouth.

Health and Self-care
• Responds to and thrives on warm, sensitive physical contact and care.
• Expresses discomfort, hunger or thirst.
• Anticipates food routines with interest.

Literacy

Reading
• Enjoys looking at books and other printed material with familiar people.

Writing
Children’s later writing is based on skills and understandings which they develop as babies and toddlers. Before they can write, they need to learn to use spoken language to communicate. Later they learn to write down the words they can say.

Early mark-making is not the same as writing. It is a sensory and physical experience for babies and toddlers, which they do not yet connect to forming symbols which can communicate meaning.

Mathematics

Babies’ early awareness of shape, space and measure grows from their sensory awareness and opportunities to observe objects and their movements, and to play and explore.

Understanding the World

People and Communities
The beginnings of understanding of People and communities lie in early attachment and other relationships.

The World
• Moves eyes, then head, to follow moving objects.
• Reacts with abrupt change when a face or object suddenly disappears from view.
• Looks around a room with interest; visually scans environment for novel, interesting objects and events.
• Smiles with pleasure at recognisable playthings.
• Repeats actions that have an effect, e.g. kicking or hitting a mobile or shaking a rattle.

Technology
The beginnings of understanding technology lie in babies exploring and making sense of objects and how they behave.

Expressive Arts and Design

Exploring & using media & materials
Babies explore media and materials as part of their exploration of the world around them.

Being Imaginative
Babies and toddlers need to explore the world and develop a range of ways to communicate before they can express their own ideas through arts and design.

8 - 20 Months

Personal, Social and Emotional Development

Making Relationships
• Seeks to gain attention in a variety of ways, drawing others into social interaction.
• Builds relationships with special people.
• Is wary of unfamiliar people.
• Interacts with others and explores new situations when supported by familiar person.
• Shows interest in the activities of others and responds differently to children and adults, e.g. may be more interested in watching children than adults or may pay more attention when children talk to them.

Self-confidence and self-awareness
• Enjoys finding own nose, eyes or tummy as part of naming games.
• Learns that own voice and actions have effects on others.
• Uses pointing with eye gaze to make requests, and to share an interest.
• Engages other person to help achieve a goal, e.g. to get an object out of reach.

Managing feelings and behaviour
• Uses familiar adult to share feelings such as excitement or pleasure, and for ‘emotional refuelling’ when feeling tired, stressed or frustrated.
• Growing ability to soothe themselves, and may like to use a comfort object.
• Cooperates with caregiving experiences, e.g. dressing.
• Beginning to understand ‘yes’, ‘no’ and some boundaries.

Communication and Language

Listening & Attention
• Moves whole bodies to sounds they enjoy, such as music or a regular beat.
• Has a strong exploratory impulse.
• Concentrates intently on an object or activity of own choosing for short periods.
• Pays attention to dominant stimulus – easily distracted by noises or other people talking.

Understanding
• Developing the ability to follow others’ body language, including pointing and gesture.
• Responds to the different things said when in a familiar context with a special person (e.g. ‘Where’s mummy?’,‘Where’s your nose?’).
• Understanding of single words in context is developing, e.g. ‘cup’, milk’, ‘daddy’.

Speaking
• Uses sounds in play, e.g. ‘brrrm’ for toy car.
• Uses single words.
• Frequently imitates words and sounds.
• Enjoys babbling and increasingly experiments with using sounds and words to communicate for a range of purposes (e.g. teddy, more, no, bye-bye.)
• Uses pointing with eye gaze to make requests, and to share an interest.
• Creates personal words as they begin to develop language.

Physical Development

Moving and Handling
• Sits unsupported on the floor.
• When sitting, can lean forward to pick up small toys.
• Pulls to standing, holding on to furniture or person for support.
• Crawls, bottom shuffles or rolls continuously to move around.
• Walks around furniture lifting one foot and stepping sideways (cruising), and walks with one or both hands held by adult.
• Takes first few steps independently.
• Passes toys from one hand to the other.
• Holds an object in each hand and brings them together in the middle, e.g. holds two blocks and bangs them together.
• Picks up small objects between thumb and fingers.
• Enjoys the sensory experience of making marks in damp sand, paste or paint.
• Holds pen or crayon using a whole hand (palmar) grasp and makes random marks with different strokes.

Health and Self-care
• Opens mouth for spoon.
• Holds own bottle or cup.
• Grasps finger foods and brings them to mouth.
• Attempts to use spoon: can guide towards mouth but food often falls off.
• Can actively cooperate with nappy changing (lies still, helps hold legs up).
• Starts to communicate urination, bowel movement.

Literacy

Reading
• Handles books and printed material with interest.

Writing
Children’s later writing is based on skills and understandings which they develop as babies and toddlers. Before they can write, they need to learn to use spoken language to communicate. Later they learn to write down the words they can say.

Early mark-making is not the same as writing. It is a sensory and physical experience for babies and toddlers, which they do not yet connect to forming symbols which can communicate meaning.

Mathematics

Numbers
• Develops an awareness of number names through their enjoyment of action rhymes and songs that relate to their experience of numbers.
• Has some understanding that things exist, even when out of sight.

Shape, Space and Measure
• Recognises big things and small things in meaningful contexts.
• Gets to know and enjoy daily routines, such as getting-up time, mealtimes, nappy time, and bedtime.

Understanding the World

People and Communities
The beginnings of understanding of People and communities lie in early attachment and other relationships.

The World
• Closely observes what animals, people and vehicles do.
• Watches toy being hidden and tries to find it.
• Looks for dropped objects.
• Becomes absorbed in combining objects, e.g. banging two objects or placing objects into containers.
• Knows things are used in different ways, e.g. a ball for rolling or throwing, a toy car for pushing.

Technology
The beginnings of understanding technology lie in babies exploring and making sense of objects and how they behave.

Expressive Arts and Design

Exploring & using media & materials
• Explores and experiments with a range of media through sensory exploration, and using whole body.
• Move their whole bodies to sounds they enjoy, such as music or a regular beat.
• Imitates and improvises actions they have observed, e.g. clapping or waving.
• Begins to move to music, listen to or join in rhymes or songs.
• Notices and is interested in the effects of making movements which leave marks.

Being Imaginative
Babies and toddlers need to explore the world and develop a range of ways to communicate before they can express their own ideas through arts and design.

16 - 24 Months

Personal, Social and Emotional Development

Making Relationships
• Plays alongside others.
• Uses a familiar adult as a secure base from which to explore independently in new environments, e.g. ventures away to play and interact with others, but returns for a cuddle or reassurance if becomes anxious.
• Plays cooperatively with a familiar adult, e.g. rolling a ball back and forth.

Self-confidence and self-awareness
• Explores new toys and environments, but ‘checks in’ regularly with familiar adult as and when needed.
• Gradually able to engage in pretend play with toys (supports child to understand their own thinking may be different from others).
• Demonstrates sense of self as an individual, e.g. wants to do things independently, says “No” to adult.

Managing feelings and behaviour
• Is aware of others’ feelings, for example, looks concerned if hears crying or looks excited if hears a familiar happy voice.
• Growing sense of will and determination may result in feelings of anger and frustration which are difficult to handle, e.g. may have tantrums.
• Responds to a few appropriate boundaries, with encouragement and support.
• Begins to learn that some things are theirs, some things are shared, and some things belong to other people.

Communication and Language

Listening & Attention
• Listens to and enjoys rhythmic patterns in rhymes and stories.
• Enjoys rhymes and demonstrates listening by trying to join in with actions or vocalisations.
• Rigid attention – may appear not to hear.

Understanding
• Selects familiar objects by name and will go and find objects when asked, or identify objects from a group.
• Understands simple sentences (e.g. ‘Throw the ball.’)

Speaking
• Copies familiar expressions, e.g. ‘Oh dear’, ‘All gone’.
• Beginning to put two words together (e.g. ‘want ball’,‘more juice’).
• Uses different types of everyday words (nouns, verbs and adjectives, e.g. banana, go, sleep, hot).
• Beginning to ask simple questions.
• Beginning to talk about people and things that are not present.

Physical Development

Moving and Handling
• Walks upstairs holding hand of adult.
• Comes downstairs backwards on knees (crawling).
• Beginning to balance blocks to build a small tower.
• Makes connections between their movement and the marks they make.

Health and Self-care
• Develops own likes and dislikes in food and drink.
• Willing to try new food textures and tastes.
• Holds cup with both hands and drinks without much spilling.
• Clearly communicates wet or soiled nappy or pants.
• Shows some awareness of bladder and bowel urges.
• Shows awareness of what a potty or toilet is used for.
• Shows a desire to help with dressing/undressing and hygiene routines.

Literacy

Reading
• Interested in books and rhymes and may have favourites.

Writing
Children’s later writing is based on skills and understandings which they develop as babies and toddlers. Before they can write, they need to learn to use spoken language to communicate. Later they learn to write down the words they can say.

Early mark-making is not the same as writing. It is a sensory and physical experience for babies and toddlers, which they do not yet connect to forming symbols which can communicate meaning.

Mathematics

Numbers
• Knows that things exist, even when out of sight.
• Beginning to organise and categorise objects, e.g. putting all the teddy bears together or teddies and cars in separate piles.
• Says some counting words randomly.

Shape, Space and Measure
• Attempts, sometimes successfully, to fit shapes into spaces on inset boards or jigsaw puzzles.
• Uses blocks to create their own simple structures and arrangements.
• Enjoys filling and emptying containers.
• Associates a sequence of actions with daily routines. • Beginning to understand that things might happen ‘now’.

Understanding the World

People and Communities
• Is curious about people and shows interest in stories about themselves and their family.
• Enjoys pictures and stories about themselves, their families and other people.

The World
• Explores objects by linking together different approaches: shaking, hitting, looking, feeling, tasting, mouthing, pulling, turning and poking.
• Remembers where objects belong.
• Matches parts of objects that fit together, e.g. puts lid on teapot.

Technology
• Anticipates repeated sounds, sights and actions, e.g. when an adult demonstrates an action toy several times.
• Shows interest in toys with buttons, flaps and simple mechanisms and beginning to learn to operate them.

Expressive Arts and Design

Exploring & using media & materials
• Explores and experiments with a range of media through sensory exploration, and using whole body.
• Move their whole bodies to sounds they enjoy, such as music or a regular beat.
• Imitates and improvises actions they have observed, e.g. clapping or waving.
• Begins to move to music, listen to or join in rhymes or songs.
• Notices and is interested in the effects of making movements which leave marks.

Being Imaginative
• Expresses self through physical action and sound.
• Pretends that one object represents another, especially when objects have characteristics in common.

22 - 36 Months

Personal, Social and Emotional Development

Making Relationships
• Interested in others’ play and starting to join in.
• Seeks out others to share experiences.
• Shows affection and concern for people who are special to them.
• May form a special friendship with another child.

Self-confidence and self-awareness
• Separates from main carer with support and encouragement from a familiar adult.
• Expresses own preferences and interests.
Managing feelings and behaviour • Seeks comfort from familiar adults when needed.
• Can express their own feelings such as sad, happy, cross, scared, worried.
• Responds to the feelings and wishes of others.
• Aware that some actions can hurt or harm others.
• Tries to help or give comfort when others are distressed.
• Shows understanding and cooperates with some boundaries and routines.
• Can inhibit own actions/behaviours, e.g. stop themselves from doing something they shouldn’t do.
• Growing ability to distract self when upset, e.g. by engaging in a new play activity.

Communication and Language

Listening & Attention
• Listens with interest to the noises adults make when they read stories.
• Recognises and responds to many familiar sounds, e.g. turning to a knock on the door, looking at or going to the door.
• Shows interest in play with sounds, songs and rhymes.
• Single channelled attention. Can shift to a different task if attention fully obtained – using child’s name helps focus.

Understanding
• Identifies action words by pointing to the right picture, e.g., “Who’s jumping?”
• Understands more complex sentences, e.g. ‘Put your toys away and then we’ll read a book.’
• Understands ‘who’, ‘what’, ‘where’ in simple questions (e.g. Who’s that/can? What’s that? Where is.?).
• Developing understanding of simple concepts (e.g. big/little).

Speaking
• Uses language as a powerful means of widening contacts, sharing feelings, experiences and thoughts.
• Holds a conversation, jumping from topic to topic.
• Learns new words very rapidly and is able to use them in communicating.
• Uses gestures, sometimes with limited talk, e.g. reaches toward toy, saying ‘I have it’.
• Uses a variety of questions (e.g. what, where, who).
• Uses simple sentences (e.g.’ Mummy gonna work.’)
• Beginning to use word endings (e.g. going, cats).

Physical Development

Moving and Handling
• Runs safely on whole foot.
• Squats with steadiness to rest or play with object on the ground, and rises to feet without using hands.
• Climbs confidently and is beginning to pull themselves up on nursery play climbing equipment.
• Can kick a large ball.
• Turns pages in a book, sometimes several at once.
• Shows control in holding and using jugs to pour, hammers, books and mark-making tools.
• Beginning to use three fingers (tripod grip) to hold writing tools.
• Imitates drawing simple shapes such as circles and lines.
• Walks upstairs or downstairs holding onto a rail two feet to a step.
• May be beginning to show preference for dominant hand.

Health and Self-care
• Feeds self competently with spoon.
• Drinks well without spilling.
• Clearly communicates their need for potty or toilet.
• Beginning to recognise danger and seeks support of significant adults for help.
• Helps with clothing, e.g. puts on hat, unzips zipper on jacket, takes off unbuttoned shirt.
• Beginning to be independent in self-care, but still often needs adult support.

Literacy

Reading
• Has some favourite stories, rhymes, songs, poems or jingles.
• Repeats words or phrases from familiar stories.
• Fills in the missing word or phrase in a known rhyme, story or game, e.g. ‘Humpty Dumpty sat on a …’.

Writing
• Distinguishes between the different marks they make.

Mathematics

Numbers
• Selects a small number of objects from a group when asked, for example, ‘please give me one’, ‘please give me two’.
• Recites some number names in sequence.
• Creates and experiments with symbols and marks representing ideas of number.
• Begins to make comparisons between quantities.
• Uses some language of quantities, such as ‘more’ and ‘a lot’.
• Knows that a group of things changes in quantity when something is added or taken away.

Shape, Space and Measure
• Notices simple shapes and patterns in pictures.
• Beginning to categorise objects according to properties such as shape or size.
• Begins to use the language of size.
• Understands some talk about immediate past and future, e.g. ‘before’, ‘later’ or ‘soon’.
• Anticipates specific time-based events such as mealtimes or home time.

Understanding the World

People and Communities
• Has a sense of own immediate family and relations.
• In pretend play, imitates everyday actions and events from own family and cultural background, e.g. making and drinking tea.
• Beginning to have their own friends.
• Learns that they have similarities and differences that connect them to, and distinguish them from, others.

The World
• Enjoys playing with small-world models such as a farm, a garage, or a train track.
• Notices detailed features of objects in their environment.

Technology
• Seeks to acquire basic skills in turning on and operating some ICT equipment.
• Operates mechanical toys, e.g. turns the knob on a wind-up toy or pulls back on a friction car.

Expressive Arts and Design

Exploring & using media & materials
• Joins in singing favourite songs.
• Creates sounds by banging, shaking, tapping or blowing.
• Shows an interest in the way musical instruments sound.
• Experiments with blocks, colours and marks.

Being Imaginative
• Beginning to use representation to communicate, e.g. drawing a line and saying ‘That’s me.’
• Beginning to make-believe by pretending.