Our ethos

Learning through play…

Play is essential to young children and can produce deep and meaningful learning. Play gives children the opportunity to develop a wide range of skills and develop their knowledge through hands on experiences.

When children play they learn to socialise and interact with others.  Play empowers children to discover their own solutions and enables them to develop at their own pace. Play motivates children and is a powerful vehicle for all seven areas of learning that are outlined in the Early Years Foundation Stage.

Outdoor Play

At Butterflies we believe that the outdoor environment is just as important as the indoor environment and we see it as an ‘outdoor classroom.  This is why the children are able to have free flow access to the outdoor area on a daily basis.  The Outdoor area supports all areas of learning but it has a big emphasis on physical development (prime area of learning.) Children have the opportunity to run, jump, balance, climb and build dens. These activities keep children fit and healthy and also encourage them to take risks. Playing outside also encourages the children to learn about the natural world by searching for mini beasts, planting and watching things grow and collecting natural objects to explore and investigate.

Partnership with Parents

The staff at Butterflies day nursery pride themselves on having excellent partnership with parents and achieve this in many different ways such as daily verbal communication, regular newsletters, sharing observations, parents’ evenings, stay and play sessions and nursery trips. 

The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)

The EYFS is a Government Framework that is followed by all Early Years provid-ers to ensure quality and continuity.  The framework is followed from birth up to five years old. It identifies stages of learning and development through age bands and helps practitioners to assess a child’s development and also to plan activities that are appropriate for their stage of development.  The Framework has seven areas of learning; three Prime Areas and Four Specific Areas (Explained below). The EYFS promotes the achievement of the National “Early Learning Goals” which most children achieve by the end of their reception year.

The Four Themes of The EYFS

A Unique Child – Every child is unique; their individual needs and interests are catered for. Every child is valued and are welcomed into Nursery. 

Positive Relationships – all staff are friendly and welcoming and help children feel a sense of belonging.

Enabling Environments – Both the indoor and outdoor environments are stimulating and provide rich learning opportunities through purposeful play. The environment is adapted when necessary to meet individual needs of children.

Learning & Development – Butterflies provides planned activities that support the 7 areas of learning with emphasis on the three prime areas. All play activities incorporate the characteristics of effective early learning: Playing and exploring, active learning and creating and thinking critically.

7 Areas of Learning

Prime Areas 

Personal, Social & Emotional development

Making Relationships – Interacting with others, playing with others, showing affection and concern for others and forming friendships.

Self-Confidence & Self-Awareness – becomes aware of themselves and what they can do, explores new toys and environments, able to ask for help and becomes confident to talk to others. 

Managing Feelings & Behaviour – learns to co-operate with others, responds to other people’s emotions, learns right from wrong, aware of their own and others feelings, can express feelings appropriately 

Communication & Language

Listening & Attention – listens to and enjoys rhymes and stories, recognises and responds to sounds, listens to others during conversations and learns to focus their attention. 

Understanding – Follows others body language, develops an understanding of words in context, understands simple sentences and questions, understands use of objects and responds to instructions. 

Speaking – develops from making sounds to using words, asks questions, talks about objects and people, hold a conversation, learn new words, builds vocabulary and form sentences. 

Physical Development

Moving & Handling – develops movement by rolling, crawling, cruising, walking, running. Developing fine and gross motor skills.

Health And Self-Care – expressing their own needs for food, water and going to the toilet. Feeding themselves, helps with dressing and undressing, washing hands and has an understanding of healthy living. 

Specific Areas


Reading – Looking at books, handling books, favourite stories, songs and rhymes. Joins in with stories and becomes aware of how they are structured. Letters and sounds activities- initial sounds in words, segment and blend simple words and names and sounds of letters.

Writing – making marks with a variety of media. Talking about marks as they draw and paint. Writing letters and their own name.


Numbers – Number rhymes, sorting objects, using number names randomly and in play, counting, mathematical language, matching numerals and quantity, shows interest in numbers and recognises numbers. 

Shape, Space & Measures – Jigsaws, building blocks, emptying and filling containers, sequencing, simple shapes, language of size, looking at shapes in the environment, construction activities. Order items by length, height, weight or capacity.

Understanding The World

People & Communities – enjoys pictures and stories about themselves and others. Develops a sense of own family, small world toys. Recognises and talks about special events in their own or other people’s lives. 

The world – Observing what is happening around them. Exploring everyday objects and toys. Commenting and asking questions about the natural world and what they find. Show care and concern for living things and the environment.

Technology – Shows an interest in toys and knows how to operate them. Basic ICT skills, operating mechanical toys, shows an interest in technological toys and shows skill in making them work. Uses ICT and is able to complete age appropriate software.

Expressive Arts & Design

Exploring & Using Media & Materials – Explores and experiments with a range of media, moving to music, singing songs, musical instruments, construction, explores colour, explores sounds and experiments with different textures.

Being imaginative– Pretend play, responding to music, making up songs and stories and develops preferences for forms of expression.


Assessment is essential as it helps us track the progress your child is making at Nursery. Assessment will usually be in the form of observations, learning stories and questioning carried out by the child’s key worker. The information obtained will be used to plan next steps for planning to ensure your child is making progress and it ensures that their individual needs are being met. Observations, learning stories and examples of your child’s work will be kept as evidence in a “learning journey” which you are able to view at any time. Parents/Carers are encouraged to share information on their child’s achievements at home and to contribute to assessment. A written profile is provided to parents and will be fully explained by the child’s key worker.



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