Little Windmills

Our cosy environment promotes child lead learning throughout the day, your child will be able to access the garden area throughout the session as we promote free flow play which supports children’s health, development and wellbeing. Our nurturing team builds positive relationships with every child in our care, promoting learning and development at your child’s pace and following each child’s interests. We use the key person system to enable good attachments and to build relationships with our families.

Learning and Development

Each child is supported to learn and develop using a child lead approach. We will tune in to your child’s interests and support learning following their needs and pace. Each child has an online learning journey where we observe every child and plan/ provide learning opportunities. We regularly share tapestry observations with families and enjoy hearing about children’s achievements and interests from home. We value each child and promote equal opportunities and celebrate our families and community.


Every child deserves the best possible start in life and Early Years provision that helps them achieve their full potential. At Wheatley Nursery School we have high ambitions of all children and are committed to providing a curriculum to meet the needs of each child to ensure that children from disadvantaged backgrounds will do well.  Our intent is that the curriculum gives each child the knowledge and cultural capital they need to succeed in life.

We have a clear intent to support all children to make rapid progress. The curriculum is planned and sequenced to build on what children know and can do. It recognises the importance of starting from the child, following their interests and fascinations to develop the knowledge and skills they need in all areas of the curriculum. Alongside this, our intention is that children develop strong characteristics of effective learning so that they become learners for life.

The holistic approach to teaching and learning will support children’s development and progress through experiences that are embedded in a meaningful context. We do this through a personalised, flexible curriculum that responds to children’s interests and fascinations, building on what they already know and can do. The intention is to engage and motivate our children so that they have an exciting time at Wheatley Nursery School, reach their potential, and become the best learner they can possibly be.

At Wheatley Nursery School we want to ensure that parents and carers are our partners in supporting children’s learning and development. Parental involvement in how children learn and what their early experiences are helps practitioners plan for effective learning throughout the early years. Our intent is to develop a genuine partnership with families, working together with each contributing their particular expertise and knowledge so that support is effective and relevant.


Our broad and balanced curriculum is a progression of carefully planned teaching and learning experiences that respond to children’s development. These are based on the educational programmes in the Early Years Foundation Stage Statutory Framework, and we use ‘Development Matters’ to support identification of the development for each child in each area of learning.

We find out about and build on children’s previous learning and the experiences they have at home. We are committed to developing good communication with parents so that information can be shared to ensure that new learning builds upon and strengthens children’s previous understanding.

Practitioners create a positive, caring and welcoming atmosphere where the children feel secure and confident, while still being challenged to achieve their best. Our emphasis is very much on helping individual children to achieve their full potential. We are fully inclusive, and all children are expected to think about the needs of others. We value and respect all families and aim to develop a positive two-way relationship with each parent or carer.

We know that children do their best when all their emotional, physical and learning needs are being met. We embrace the individual and all practitioners understand that each child is different, and their learning requirements and styles are unique too. By focusing on a high level of wellbeing and involvement in learning, we can support each child’s confidence as a learner and their ability to create and think critically.

Children learn through their own self-initiated play and explorations, and through small groups where the Key Person has planned the activity. Children can explore their interest and expand their learning through rich experiences in our indoor and outdoor environments. Practitioners plan for and ensure that both the inside and outside spaces are fun, safe, engaging and offer challenge. Children’s learning is supported and extended by practitioners through timely and sensitive interactions in children’s explorations. These interactions might include:

  •  communicating and modelling new language
  •  providing a narrative for what children are doing
  •  showing, explaining and demonstrating exploring ideas and theories
  •  questioning to enhance learning – “I wonder how…”
  •  recalling and linking to previous learning
  •  facilitating eg fetching a resource that a child wants 
  •  setting challenges to deepen and extend learning

At Wheatley Nursery School we encourage children to develop their imaginations, to get actively involved in learning and to make decisions. Through their play our children will:

  • Explore, develop, and represent learning experiences
  • Practise and build up ideas, concepts and skills
  • Learn how to understand the need for rules
  • Take risks and make mistakes
  • Think creatively and imaginatively
  • Communicate with others as they investigate and solve problems

To plan appropriate activities, practitioners start with careful observation. We record these in a secure online journal called Tapestry. This is shared with parents and family members can add their own thoughts and observations. We reflect on our observations and use our assessments to identify a child’s development and plan experiences that allow all children to access a broad, balanced, well-resourced curriculum which offers opportunities for enjoyment and success through active learning. Planned activities – including an emphasis on cultural capital and extending our children’s worlds –  as well as our organisation of our learning environment promote equal opportunities, support children with special educational needs and ensure that every child is included and supported.

About ‘Being Two’

Two year olds are a very distinct group…

They truly are a category all of their own, but are often lumped into a broad category known as the ‘Under-Threes’. The developmental changes between children who have just passed their second birthday and children who have almost reached their third birthday are enormous and their needs are rather specific.

By two… 

  • children have become mobile explorers who have started to develop their independence.
  • their language skills have not necessarily developed enough for them to make their needs clearly known.
  • most do not yet have the social skills to manage turn-taking, sharing or waiting, so their emotions may erupt quickly.
  • they need more sleep than three year olds yet are much more active learners than babies.

Two year olds need adults…

  • who are ‘tuned in’ to their distinct needs.
  • who have a good understanding of how young children develop.
  • who respond, support and plan for their individual needs.
  • who are aware of, and value, their fluctuating emotional and physical needs.

Our experience working with children between the ages of two and three has given us a clear picture of a child who is contented and actively learning in Little Windmills.

Little Windmills staff have developed a list of features that we think best describe what we see in children who are settled, deeply involved in their play, and learning most effectively when in Little Windmills. We encourage the development of these attributes which help forge sound foundations for their life long development and learning .

Feeling secure

Our experience tells us that until a child trusts and is comfortable with us and our setting, they cannot relax and begin to explore and learn. 

Feeling secure is the first quality we foster in any child who comes to Little Windmills.

Curiosity and delight!

Young children’s natural curiosity (the definition of which is ‘a strong desire to know or learn something’) leads to discovery, exploration, wondering, testing, questioning and, rapidly extends children’s abilities, knowledge and creativity.

That curiosity often leads to delight. The delight of a two-year-old is always something to behold; a clear indication that a child is being rewarded solely by the sheer pleasure of a new discovery, experience or feeling. This is the true essence of learning through play.

Optimism and resilience

‘Life is not about how fast you run or how high you climb but about how well you bounce!’

A child must believe it is possible they ‘can’ achieve something challenging in order to be brave enough to try. Being ‘optimistic’ – someone who takes a favourable view of events and hopes for a positive outcome in a situation – gives children the courage to take risks and challenge themselves .

However, what helps a child to cope when they do not achieve what they set out to do…

and what encourages them to keep trying? It is ‘resilience’ – to withstand or recover quickly from difficulty.

‘Optimism and resilience’ are interlinked – we see them as a joint characteristic. We see each child as an individual always supporting and encouraging children with sensitivity.

Achieving & progressing

When children succeed in what they set out to do they gain confidence, skills and understanding. This enables them to move on to the next level of learning.

Achieving and progressing are connected and one cycles through to the other; steadily propelling children’s learning and development onwards.


Self-esteem makes children feel worthy of the attention of others, confident they will be liked, and that they are able. Most importantly, a healthy self-esteem protects children emotionally when things go wrong. Children must feel valued and heard to strengthen and develop this very positive characteristic.

Becoming an effective communicator

Children are communicators from birth – a necessity to stay alive and thrive.

When children discover that others can be a great source of fun, new ideas and experiences their future learning and life skills can be truly enhanced.

Children’s early experiences of being with others can have a powerful impact on developing effective communication skills. Becoming an effective communicator is beneficial in every way and a precious life enhancing skill.

Communication is not only about talking but learning to manage your feelings, gaining social skills, making yourself understood and learning to understand others.

‘Two-year-olds’ need to gain these skills naturally and,…. at their own pace.

Being the unique individual they are!

In Little Windmills we feel very strongly, and perhaps most importantly, that each child should feel at ease just being themselves, knowing they will be treated with respect and valued for all their individual characteristics, quirks, sensitivities, strengths and difficulties.

Just appreciated for being the unique little person they are.

‘A Shared Understanding’

The very heart of our staff’s role in Little Windmills is to form strong relationships with parents as your children make their first gentle steps of independence.

Acting together as a strong partnership in supporting your child’s individual needs, well- being, development and learning is a huge benefit to us, but most importantly to your child.

We want to work with you, hear your thoughts and seek your opinions and ideas, telling us all about your child and what you hope your little one will gain by being in Little Windmills.