our curriculum

There is more to children’s play than meets the eye


Victoria House has adopted the Early Years Foundation Stage Framework, and planned and led by graduate teachers with an emphasis on play based activities. All of your child’s learning is achieved through play. The Early Years Foundation Stage applies to children from birth to the end of the reception year. It is based upon four principles:

  • A Unique Child – At Victoria House Nursery we recognise that every child is a competent learner and we endeavour to support children in becoming resilient, capable, confident and self-assured. We value the diversity of individuals and recognise that children develop in individual ways and at varying rates. Our staff/child ratios enable us to fulfill this to the highest degree where we are able to support children individually.
  • Enabling Environments – Victoria House Nursery recognises that the environment plays a key role in supporting and extending children’s development. We are well resourced and the Nursery allocate a generous budget to source and maintain equipment and materials. Learning areas are organised to allow children to explore and learn, and to locate equipment and resources independently. There is an enclosed outdoor classroom, which has a positive effect on children’s development. It offers children opportunities to explore, use their senses and be physically active and exuberant in all weathers.
  • Positive Relationships – We recognise children learn to be strong and independent from secure relationships. We aim to develop caring, respectful, professional relationships with children and their families. We recognise the role that parents have played, and their future role, in educating their children and value the contribution they make. We operate an open door policy which means parent/carers are most welcome to visit and stay at their leisure throughout the working week. We strive to operate transparently. This enables us, especially in the early days, to establish a strong bond with each individual family.
  • Learning and Development – This is divided into the 7 main areas as shown. We value all areas of learning and development equally because we understand that they are inter-connected. We offer learning through play-based, fun experiences. In this way, children have the opportunity to think creatively alongside other children as well as on their own. They actively communicate with each other as they investigate and solve problems. Children’s learning and development is recorded and assessed as they work toward the Early Learning Goals;
  • Communication and Language
  • Physical Development
  • Personal Social and Emotional
  • Literacy
  • Mathematics
  • Understanding the World
  • Expressive Arts and Design

Our Staff are highly trained skilful educators and benefit from continuous professional development linked to the Department of Education and Children and the Isle of Man College. We also have a comprehensive In-House training programme.  The children have the opportunity to experience both free choice and planned activities both indoors and outdoors on a daily basis. Through observations our staff will use assessments to plan an appropriate curriculum and next steps for each child. Observations may highlight a child’s specific interest or schema. A schema is ‘A pattern of repeatable behaviour in which experiences are assimilated and gradually co-ordinated.’ (Chris Athey, Extended Thought in Young Children, 1989). Once identified, the Nursery will then plan experiences and curriculum opportunities to match children’s interests, actions and play patterns. We may use a theme or topic linked to a group of children’s identified interests to facilitate the learning. Planning in the moment is all about capturing the moment of engagement and running with it to make sure the children progress. What is planning in the moment? – Planning in the moment is all about seizing the moment for children to progress. Based on what the children are already deeply involved in this way of planning relies on skilled practitioners using quality interactions to draw out the children’s knowledge and build on it there and then (in the moment). This means that the practitioner needs the skills to be able to see the teachable moment from the child’s perspective and be skilled enough to know when to intervene and when to stand back and observe. This approach has naturally contributed to a calm atmosphere where children become more confident and independent as they understand their own ability how to gain knowledge and learn new skills.