At Ashton Keynes Preschool we understand how important the first five years are in a child’s life and how children’s early experiences and relationships are vital for child development and helping to shape their future. This is a very exciting time for the children as they learn and make sense of the world around them. During this time they will need lots of experiences which are fun, happy, active and challenging.

We have a strong emphasis on inspiring a lifelong love of learning. We have high ambitions for every child and work closely with parents and families to support each child’s learning and development so they can achieve the best possible outcomes. 

Our curriculum is child centred, this means that we take our cues from the interests of the children and follow these in a way which enriches and extends their knowledge and development.

The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) sets the standards for learning, development and safe care for children aged 0 to 5 year olds. It ensures children have a broad range of knowledge and skills for future success and promotes high quality teaching and learning to ensure children are well prepared for their transition to school.

There are seven areas of learning and development outlined in the EYFS that we use to shape our curriculum. The ‘prime areas’ provide a fundamental base for children’s learning and development and they underpin learning in the four specific areas. All areas of learning carry equal importance in a child’s development and are interconnected.

Prime Areas

  • Communication and language (CL)
  • Physical development (PD)
  • Personal, social and emotional development (PSED)

Specific Areas

  • Literacy (L)
  • Mathematics (M)
  • Understanding the world (UTW)
  • Expressive arts and design (EAD)

Our practice and pedagogy is shaped by the four guiding principles as outlined in the EYFS:

  • Every child is a unique child, who is constantly learning and can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured
  • Children learn to be strong and independent through positive relationships
  • Children learn and develop well in enabling environments with teaching and support from adults, who respond to their individual interests and needs and help them to build their learning over time.
  • Importance of learning and development and understanding that children develop and learn at different rates.

Our highly skilled and experienced Practitioners support our children through their own individual unique learning and development journey. We work closely in partnership with our parents so we can plan for effective learning at preschool and so learning can be continued and extended at home. This ensures our children have the opportunity to reach their full potential on their own individual pathway.

Curriculum Intent

At Ashton Keynes Preschool our intention is to provide a broad and ambitious curriculum for our children which gives them the essential knowledge and cultural capital they need to succeed in life. 

We have high aspirations for all of our children. We celebrate each child’s own knowledge and experiences and build on what they know as well as providing a breadth of new rich learning opportunities. This prepares children for their next stage of development and education and enables each unique child to achieve their full potential.

We put the children at the heart of everything we do. In our programme we intend to promote the holistic development of our children by providing exciting learning opportunities. We aim to inspire our children to develop a love for learning and exploring and learning through play. By adopting a holistic approach, we intend to have a high emphasis on supporting the emotional wellbeing of our children through strong key person relationships. This enables and nurtures them to become happy, confident, independent and well-rounded individuals who are motivated, enthusiastic and love to learn.


We follow the statutory framework outlined within the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)  and the Development Matters guidance and create exciting experiences and learning opportunities so our children can excel in all 7 areas of learning. We consider how our children like to learn and promote the characteristics of effective learning by providing opportunities to promote

  • Playing and exploring
  • Active learning
  • Creating and thinking critically.

We consider our children’s interests and incorporate these into our activities and learning experiences as we understand that children learn more effectively when engaged in activities that they are interested in. 

We adopt a play-based approach to learning and implement our ambitious curriculum through a mixture of:

  • Child initiated play
  • Invitations to play- Skilfully planned adult led activities and experiences
  • In the moment planning and next steps.

We encourage the use of loose parts and open-ended resources to offer a wider variety of opportunities by allowing children to think critically and creatively to encourage discovery, collaboration, risk-taking and movement.

We promote the physical health, and mental health and wellbeing of our children by offering opportunities to participate in activities such as yoga, PE and music and movement, and clam activities.

We provide free flow play between indoors and outdoors so the children can choose where they would like to play, giving then choice and control over their own learning environment that is best for them as an individual.

We educate our children on the world around them and actively involve them in our local community including regular walks, visits to local parks, shops and the church as well as regularly supporting local community events. We encourage children to develop a ‘love of reading’ and support our children to develop their vocabulary, communication and language through stories, songs and rhymes.

We have a continuous provision to ensure each area is supported through free choice play.


Our children are highly motivated, curious and enthusiastic learners. They are happy and enjoy their time at Preschool. They have positive attitudes towards play and learning and they have a thirst for learning. They are confident, resilient individuals who have high levels of self-esteem and feel safe and secure. They thrive in social situations and build excellent relationships with their peers and understand rules and boundaries. They have developed a love of reading and can communicate and use new vocabulary effectively. All children including those with additional needs thrive and children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) achieve the best possible outcomes. All of our children are fully prepared for their next stage of education including their all-important transition to school.

To monitor our impact and strive for the best outcomes for our children we hold weekly staff meetings where the children’s interests, needs and wellbeing are discussed. We observe the children, complete termly assessments and hold termly Parents evenings. Staff send home sharing bags for their key children to build a positive relationship with parents and provide good communication and consistency.  Peer observations are carried out regularly and staff attend a variety of training courses. We also send out a parent and child questionnaire yearly and review their feedback and along with our preschool SEF helps us to build an action plan of how to continually improve our settling.