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Summer 2024

Characteristics of Effective Learning

  • Playing and Exploring
  • Active Learning
  • Creative and Critical Thinking

These characteristics are encouraged, developed and supported to enable children to make progress in all areas of learning and development.

Communication & Language

Encourage children to express their thoughts and ideas across all areas of the learning environment.
Interact with children and talk about subjects that interest them in the moment.
Facilitate their communication style.
Encourage all forms of communication, both verbal and non-verbal.
Support children with SEND to communicate using inclusive strategies.
Share new language and vocabulary to enhance language skills.
Continue 'Sail Into Sounds' sessions and continue to offer children 'Lift Off to Language' sessions.
Encourage children to participate in listening and attention games including listening walks, and sound discrimination.

Expressive Arts & Design

Encourage children to draw, paint and explore different media and materials to create their own ideas and effects.
Encourage experimentation with tactile materials, paying attention to liquids, solids, malleable materials, floating and sinking.
Ensure continuous provision of imaginative resources to encourage imaginative interactions, thoughts and ideas.
Encourage movement and dance to a broad range of genres.
Play instruments, paying attention to rhythm and pitch.
Build and construct with blocks and construction materials.


Read a specific range of Spring/Summer stories that enhance a child’s understanding of the seasonal changes from Spring and Summer.
Ensure books are high quality (CLPE) and have rhythm and rhyme, strong key elements, storyline and illustrations.
Encourage all forms of rhyme through books, songs, poems and props.
Use non-fiction books to research topics and in the moment enquiries.
Ensure books are everywhere in the learning environment.
Continue to encourage a love of books through the expansion of the books for home and our community library.
Make a class book involving the children’s photos and emergent mark-making.


Ensure children have lots of opportunities to engage in meaningful counting experiences in their play.
Embed the five principles of counting into the learning environment both indoors and outside.
Enhance the provision of numerals and number lines and books for the children to access.
Provide meaningful opportunities to engage in mathematical role play with 1:1 counting opportunities, e.g. ice cream shop.
Provide lots of hands-on opportunities to encourage counting and number names from 1 to 20.
Provide activities that involve combining objects, developing early addition and subtraction.
Sing number songs and use props daily.

Personal, Social & Emotional Development

Embed a successful transition from Saplings moving into Nursery.
Develop a sense of responsibility for the environment through observing seasonal changes to the nursery garden from Spring into Summer.
Care for the wildlife.
Discuss ways to keep healthy and be independent in self care such as washing hands, brushing teeth and independence in toileting.
Promote healthy eating and snacks.
Spend time talking about feelings through circle time and stories.

Physical Development

Celebrate the children’s physical skills as they refine and master their movements.
Explore how children’s bodies change through exercise and introduce yoga and mindfulness.
Talk about keeping healthy and being active.
Talk about sun safety.
Use tools effectively to master their finer manipulation skills.
Encourage children to manoeuvre and build with large blocks to encourage strength and stamina to the upper body.
Encourage riding bicycles and scooters, paying attention to spatial awareness.
Encourage independence in putting on their own coats and attempting to fasten zips and taking shoes on and off.

Understanding the World

Observe changes to the garden in Forest School sessions, observing Spring daffodils to Summer blooms.
Recognise new growth, planting vegetables.
Observe and talk about change as it appears by building new language and understanding.
Encourage children to make collections of natural materials.
Provide opportunities for listening walks, birds, traffic, people, etc.
Encourage children to explore how things work, such as everyday objects, fiddle box, remote controlled vehicles and programmes.
Encourage children to share life experiences and build cultural capital through shared experiences.