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The World Around Us



To enable the children to develop the knowledge, skills and understanding they need to make sense of the world.




To provide the children with first-hand experiences that encourage observation, exploration, prediction, problem solving, critical thinking, decision making and discussion.


To provide a range of indoor and outdoor activities that stimulate children’s curiosity and interest.


To provide opportunities for children to become aware of the similarities and differences between themselves and other people and to understand that all people deserve to be treated with respect.


To provide support in helping children communicate and record their observations and predictions orally and in other ways (e.g. drawings or models).


Operating Policy


The curriculum will be implemented in order that the children have opportunity for practical investigation with a wide range of equipment and tools, in structured free play, individual, group and adult directed situations.


The children will be encouraged to question, hypothesise, predict and observe, and to form opinions based upon their experiences.


Programme of Work


The programme of work will take the form of a mixture of topic based and general activities. The children will be able to explore properties of materials and tools in an open-ended manner.  Parental and community links will be developed to further support learning.


The programme of work will include some or all of the following types of activity:


Exploration and Investigation


      Observation of objects, materials and living things with and without aids such        as magnifying glasses, binoculars and microscopes.


         Pictures and collages of natural scenes including animals, plants and trees.


         Observation of animals and plants both inside and outside the nursery.


         Free play with objects and materials that have different purposes and work in  different ways (torch, egg whisk, construction toys).


         Individual and group discussions about the weather and changing seasons.


         Keeping daily and weekly weather charts at certain times of the year.


         Structured sand play giving the children opportunities to observe and predict    outcomes.


         Structured water play giving the children opportunities to observe and predict    outcomes.


         Visits to farm and W5.


         Discussion of the children’s findings, allowing them to ask questions and speculate on reasons.


Designing and making skills


      Using a wide range of materials and tools to make objects relating to topics, experiences and visits.


         ‘Junk’ modelling.




         Simple measuring activities.


         The use of construction toys to make models and vehicles.


Information and Communication Technology


      Discussion about different technological items e.g. telephones, televisions.


Role play using technological items e.g. a telephone discussion between a       doctor and a patient.


         Provide opportunities for children to investigate how things work by safely taking apart and reassembling technological items.


         Observation of and discussion about ICT in the environment (e.g, traffic lights, mobile phones, TV aerials and   satellite TV dishes).


         Use of computer programs.


Sense of Time


      Oral history - discussions about the personal experiences of nursery staff, parents and grandparents when they were children.


         Story telling based on family history.


         Stories relating to events in the past.


         Discussion and role play about special events such as weddings, births and festivals.


         Discussions about daily routines.


         Observation of changes over time (e.g. the seasons)


         Investigation of items from the past and comparison with present day equivalents e.g. a modern washing machine and Victorian washing     equipment.


         Long term growing projects (e.g. sunflowers from seeds)


Sense of place


      Discussion about different types of homes.  


Visits to locations within the local environment - e.g. shops, parks, places of work.


         Individual and group discussions following visits.


         Provision of play maps and models to enable children to create their own environment.


         Recording of visits through drawing, painting and modelling.


         Discussions and stories that involve journeys - home to nursery, home to grandparents home, home to a holiday destination.


Cultures and Beliefs


      Stories relating to life in other parts of the world.


         Discussion about special events in children’s lives such as weddings, births and festivals.


         Making and eating food from different cultures.


         Looking at books which show different dress, customs, language and beliefs.


Planning, recording and assessment


Topic planning takes place on a monthly or half-termly basis.  Activity planning occurs on a weekly or daily basis.  The topic planning and activity planning sheets used by the nursery are laid out to identify each of the seven areas of development. This ensures that Knowledge and Appreciation of the environment is considered whenever a topic or activity is planned.


Staff are able to observe the children and records of such observations can be made on the children’s personal profile sheets.


Assessment is carried out through a mixture of informal observation, interaction with the child, the use of the information on record sheets and discussion during regular staff meetings.  The information gathered during the assessment process is then used for future planning of activities for each child.






Information gained through recording and assessment will be shared with parents, other school staff and outside agencies as appropriate.