Duke Street Nursery School

"Our children and families are at the heart of everything that we do"

Intent, Implementation and Impact

Our Federation Curriculum Statement of Intent, Implementation and Impact

An introduction to our unique and aspirational Curriculum…

At Duke Street and Highfield Nursery School, we respect and nurture a child’s natural curiosity to learn and explore. We support a child’s own intrinsic desire to find out about the world around them, helping them to be effective and enthusiastic learners for life. Children flourish in their learning when they have solid inner characteristics. Our Curriculum places the ‘Characteristics of Effective Learning and Teaching’ at the heart of its delivery. 


Our Curriculum Intent 

We aspire for our children to leave us as:


Highly motivated and curious learners who are internally driven to learn and constantly seek to know more. Who are keen to explore and are interested in asking questions and following their ideas and fascinations. We support ‘thinkers’ and ‘doers’. 

Confident communicators who know that their ideas matter. Who communicate effectively, making a positive contribution to society?

Secure and loving individuals who develop strong attachments with others. Who create positive, respectful, and long-lasting relationships? 

Children who are secure in their skin as they understand and respect their emotional needs and can regulate themselves effectively through various strategies. 

Resilient and confident individuals with positive skills and habits enabling them to be their best selves.

Individuals who adore reading and seeking it out, soaking up the power of a story or using a non-fiction text to find out fascinating facts. 

Lifelong learners with an inner drive to achieve their very best and the belief that they can do anything if they put their mind to it can embrace challenges and overcome them with perseverance and a bounce-back ability. 

Masters of mathematics who see the fun in maths and are able to know the purpose, which it brings to everyday life.

Our Curriculum Implementation


Positive relationships:

Each child's journey through our nursery school begins with us building solid relationships with children and their families.

Family is the single most important influence in a child's life. Positive parental relationships and engagement are potent levers to a child's success and progress. 



We provide a rich, balanced, creative curriculum where children actively learn through play experiences. 

Our unique curriculum reflects our school community and ensures that all children reach their full potential, introducing them to new experiences and building upon and widening the experiences they already have, thus building their long-term memory.


The Characteristics of Effective Learning and Teaching, 'playing and exploring', 'active learning', and 'creating and thinking critically', underpin the children's learning and development. 

We nurture and celebrate individuality. The strong emphasis on relationships ensures practitioners know the children well. 

Highly skilled practitioners use careful observations to follow the child's lead. We know children learn best when they are interested and motivated. 'In The Moment Planning' allows us to capture the moment a child is highly engaged and inspired, allowing practitioners to build and extend learning appropriate to the unique child. We call this a teachable moment.  

Our environment is a haven for children. Soft furnishings and a home-from-home feel support emotional well-being and calm 

behaviour. Following the ‘Curiosity Approach ‘enables learning possibilities to be endless, encouraging curiosity, awe and wonder. Such a magical place to be!

Throughout each child’s journey at nursery, we focus on language. From early language to aspirational language, we believe that language unlocks learning! We are aware of the word gap between our most deprived children and their peers, both locally and nationally, and this continually drives our focus. Following the ‘Hanen’ approach, practitioners are skilled at using the correct level of communication with the child’s interaction type and ability level. 


All children are treated fairly regardless of gender, race, religion, disadvantage or ability, and we strive to treat children equitably, which is not always equal. 


Children classed as vulnerable learners are identified as early as possible, and advice is sought from our more experienced practitioners and external 

professionals. Our vulnerable learners include those with special educational needs, and disabilities, looked-after children and those with other safeguarding concerns, learners with behaviour and attendance needs, early year’s pupil premium and learners with social, emotional and mental health needs. 

We pride ourselves on our inclusive provision, which meets the needs of some of our most vulnerable learners. Highly trained practitioners provide specialist provisions to ensure that all children reach their full potential. 


We use the knowledge from the ‘Attachment Friendly Schools Award’ to 

ensure all behaviour is treated as communication, unpicking the root causes and nurturing the child to a calm state of mind. We aim to provide the right help at the right time. Using effective ‘Windows of Tolerance’ plans 

ensure that children’s emotional well-being is always the priority. 

Our curriculum is only as good as those who deliver and facilitate it! We highly value continuous professional development for practitioners at every level. Training is personalised and bespoke for every member of staff. Investing in all staff and volunteers, including students, is highly regarded. 

We know the value of sharing expertise and strengths within our team, using peer-to-peer support across the federation to develop the quality of teaching.  Our leadership team focuses on ensuring consistent implementation of our unique curriculum. 

Our Curriculum Impact

We aim for most of our children to be' on track' across the development areas when they start primary school. However, our focus is to ensure that children progress from their initial starting points. We recognise that children develop at different rates. We moderate progress to ensure this is accurate. 


Observation and Assessment

Practitioners develop strong relationships with children and their families to ensure effective and accurate observations are collated using various methods. These include using practitioner knowledge, conversations with parents, snapshots and termly focus child observations that feed into six monthly summative assessment checkpoints. 


Children are assessed six monthly following their birthday. When being assessed we use the end points that are based on three stages by 36 months, by 42 months and 54 months. During the assessment practitioners meet and make a professional judgement as to if a child is on track, working towards or not on track to meeting the relevant end points. Each child then has an individual plan where their key worker will write a short summary about the child’s development, how they are going to further support the child and what can be done at home to help support the child. This is then shared with parents.

A baseline is completed within 4 weeks of a child first starting.

We choose to summatively access children six monthly. Young children need time to ’master’ skills and develop knowledge. Children learn best through repetition. It is through this repetition that pathways are formed and made stronger within the brain, thus becoming permanent.  By assessing children six monthly based on their birthday it allows children time to develop those skills and knowledge thus making pathways in the brain remain permanent. 

Children are assessed formatively every day, with every interaction, our skilled practitioners support the child’s next steps there and then in the moment. They will also use that information to feed into the environment/circle time planning and plan appropriate provision.

 We developed this rationale based on guidance from the School Inspection Handbook July 2022, which amongst other things states:

“Assessment should support the teaching of the curriculum, but not substantially increase teachers’ workloads by necessitating too much one-to-one teaching or overly demanding programmes that are almost impossible to deliver without lowering expectations of some pupils.”

And the reformed EYFS September 2021, which states reducing unnecessary paperwork is a key aim of the new EYFS framework, this is so practitioners can spend more time engaging with children.


If a practitioner is concerned about a child’s development then they do not wait until the child’s summative assessment they will speak to the relevant parties.

Children who have been identified as having complex needs and requiring more support are assessed four monthly (termly). To complete this assessment we use the ‘Special Educational Needs and Inclusion Team Developmental Journal’ to measure smaller steps of progress.

Our 2-year checks are thorough, and quality assured to ensure they identify needs and next steps to support development. These are always shared with parents. Other professionals are informed if assessment indicates a need. When this is the case, staff quickly and effectively tailor the curriculum to meet the child's unique needs, delivering a range of interventions in areas required.

Considering the reformed EYFS, we prioritise and recognise the importance of practitioners spending quality time with children instead of time spent recording 'observations'. 


Practitioners use Tapestry's online system to document snapshot observations of children's learning and experiences. Parents feed into this and share their comments about children's education at home. Any other professionals, such as childminders, are also encouraged to contribute. This gives us a holistic understanding of each child. 


We use summative assessment in our schools to ensure that:

  • Practitioners clearly understand a child's progress across all areas of learning and development.
  • The practitioners have the skills and knowledge to enable the children to progress. · Parents understand their child's progress and are helped to support learning and development at home.
  • Concerns about individual children's progress are identified and addressed.
  • The quality of provision is monitored, and improvements are made where necessary.
  • The progress of groups of children can be monitored to ensure they are given the best opportunities to learn.