Hornsea Nursery School is the kind of school parents expect, educators celebrate and children adore.
Our unique curriculum celebrates the great potential of young children, with the goal of nurturing self-motivated, life-long learners.
At the core of our approach is the conviction that children are innately talented and motivated investigators, capable – with thoughtful guidance – of sophisticated inquiry across a wide range of subjects.
Our goal is to cultivate the skills that are at the foundation of a life of happiness and success: cooperative and individual problem-solving, analytical thinking, emotional intelligence and empathy, cultural competence – as well as early literacy and math skills and real-world preparation.
Our emergent curriculum is play-based, but far more than "play." It is a series of expertly guided investigations that grow from the children's own interests, which immerse them in the process and joys of real discovery.
Research consistently supports that emergent curriculum in early education – emphasizing authentic experiences rather than a rigid curriculum – leads to greater levels of information and skills acquisition, increased self-esteem and, ultimately, higher achievement. We have found this approach allows children to consistently exceed the usual educational standards, and to simultaneously develop a robust self-awareness and a joy in learning that will serve them for a lifetime.
‘Children must be taught how to think,
not what to think’
To achieve this, our curriculum is built around a series of enquiries or projects that grow out of the children's authentic interests. They are playful – combining the power of the children's boundless curiosity with an expertly guided investigative approach that immerses the children in the process and joys of real discovery.
We use Birth to 5 matters as a guide to child development. and expectation but draw the content of the curriculum from STEAM (Science, technology, engineering, arts and math). We strive for excellence at all times, aiming to inspire and motivate all children through the way in which we teach.
Projects might last a few hours, a few days, or even a few months. At Hornsea Nursery School children have time to explore their interests, to pursue questions, create theories and extend knowledge. Project work allows children to play around with ideas in a concrete way that matches their developmental and intellectual abilities. Children come together in groups to work on projects, building collaborative problem-solving skills as they share ideas and knowledge.
“The principles which man projects as a guide are not dogmas. They are hypotheses to be worked out in practice, and to be rejected, corrected, and expanded as they fall or succeed in giving our present experience the guidance it requires.” John Dewey
Each group has a key teacher and often a Leader in Learning to support. Our teacher-to-child ratio allows for plenty of one-to-one engagement and thoughtful observation. Each member of the teaching staff has outstanding experience and advanced training, for example; HLTA, Degrees, Qualified Teacher Status, and a commitment to ongoing professional development. Our practitioners spend significant time on research and development ensuring they are completely up to date and innovative.
Our approach to learning is grounded in a great respect for the child, and a dedication to research driven practice. Every decision holds us to the highest standard of creating the optimal conditions for children to learn. From the smallest details, such as ensuring a media-free centre and providing nutrient rich food to allowing children to connect with nature daily and ensuring hands-on learning, our practice is rooted in what we value as fundamental rights of children to the best education possible.
‘Tell me and I forget.
Teach me and I remember.
Involve me and I learn’
Our pedagogy is anchored on a strong understanding of child development and human potential. Some of our practice is based on familiar early childhood experiences, like digging in mud and singing songs, while other techniques are reflective of the great research tradition and brain science in our educational community, like mindfulness and thinking protocols.
By every measure, our approach looks and feels like play, but careful observation highlights the intentional integration of skills and inquiry that makes play the most fruitful opportunity for learning and growth.
At Hornsea Nursery School children are learning from interesting provocations, thoughtful questions and rich problem solving in the same way that artists, scientists, mathematicians, writers, and engineers learn in the world. As such each group takes the name of an occupation.
Our practice of constant documentation serves as an ideal tool to measure not only the traditional learning domains and early childhood skills or milestones, but more importantly the approach to learning, character development and skills for the future that drive our curriculum and later success so we can best determine next steps.
We believe a primary role of the school is preparing children with the knowledge and skills for what comes next. This is so important in early years because what children learn in those vital first years of life will stay with them forever.
We are dedicated to making sure we support children in reaching the highest standards of what children can achieve both collectively and as individuals. We also use assessment and screening to guide early intervention opportunities. When necessary, we refer families to appropriate services and supports to get early intervention beyond what Hornsea Nursery School can provide.
In order to ensure all children achieve their potential we enhance the curriculum by providing children with the opportunity;
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At the forefront of early education
We are very much at the forefront of early education. We have partnerships with Hull University, St. Johns University, York and Nord University, Norway. We are also a training location for student teachers and provide several training packages and inspiration days for professionals. We also regularly welcome educators from around the UK to observe and to share best practice.
We are guided by the following Principles;
Best of three worlds – Inspired by the schools of Reggio Emilia, Steiner and Montessori
As a school and a non-profit making organisation we have to always keep education at the heart of what we do. At Hornsea Nursery school this is what you can expect –
Have access to
We pride ourselves on the experiences and education we provide.
Areas of Learning
The prime areas begin to develop quickly in response to relationships and experiences, and run through and support learning in all other areas. The prime areas continue to be fundamental throughout the EYFS. The specific areas include essential skills and knowledge. They grow out of the prime areas, and provide important contexts for learning.
Phonics & Reading and Mathematics are linked on the previous page for quick reference.