Welcome to Houghton Community Nursery School


Our Vision 

Central to the work of Houghton Community Nursery is the creation of a caring safe and secure environment along with the promotion of equality of opportunity. The staff aim to ensure that everyone feels respected and confident. All children from our youngest babies, to our 2, 3 and 4 year olds should feel valued and able to fully participate in school life. We aim to create an inclusive, supportive atmosphere in which children can be independent and challenged in their development; where families are welcomed as partners and relationships are firmly based on mutual respect and trust. 

Realising the Vision

In order to realise the vision we treat children as unique and value their differences. Every child at Houghton Community Nursery has a voice- this can be expressed in many different ways; our staff are very skilled at listening, observing, giving them time and tuning into this voice so that every child is able to express their thoughts, fascinations and interests. These ‘consultations’ form the basis of our curriculum in which children and staff work in partnership to explore, create and discover how exciting learning can be.

Our Children

By the time our children leave us we hope they will have:

  • A life long enthusiasm for learning
  • Confidence in themselves
  • Respect for themselves and others
  • A sense of awe and wonder
  • A broad knowledge
  • An ability to work and communicate with others
  • An ability to think for themselves
  • A ‘voice’
  • The confidence to take risks- both physically and in their learning
  • An ability to see themselves as part of a wider community-embracing differences
  • A ‘Growth Mindset’- which promotes a belief that talents and abilities can be developed through effort, persistence, learning from ‘mistakes’ and challenging oneself

Open the door to learning…

All staff are highly experienced, and work closely alongside all the children. Central to our work at Houghton Community Nursery is the importance we give to the voice of the child. We actively listen to children – seeking to find out what they are interested in, what questions they have and what they would like to know more about. Our role as educators is to support them in this journey so that the children attending Houghton Nursery “discover how exciting learning can be.”  

This means our curriculum content is flexible as children’s interests change and can be be very varied. However this allows us to support the children in their learning and development of skills in the prime and specific areas of the early years curriculum which provide the foundations for lifelong learning, education and achievement. 


The EYFS is the Department of Education’s guidance and policy relating to schools that have children up to 5 years of age.

The EYFS describes the characteristics of effective learning. These are learning dispositions that children display when they are learning effectively.

They are:

  • Play and Exploring- Engagement
  • Active Learning-Motivation
  • Creative and Thinking Critically-Thinking

There are 4 key themes in the EYFS…

Unique Child


Positive Relationships

Enabling Environments

Learning & Development

Within the Learning and Development theme there are 7 areas of learning. These are split into Prime and Specific Areas. 

The Prime areas are…

  1. Personal, Social and Emotional Development
  2. Communication and Language Development
  3. Physical Development

    The Specific Areas of Learning are…

    1. Literacy
    2. Mathematics
    3. Understanding of the World
    4. Expressive Arts and Design

    The Curriculum into Practice

    Our curriculum begins with detailed observations of the children. Staff gain an understanding of the children’s current level of understanding and interests; they build the environment and learning experiences around these. The curriculum is delivered both indoors and out so that the children can access learning in whichever environment they prefer. We use real objects where possible and seek to give children first hand experiences so that learning is set in real contexts which make sense to the children.

    We also have daily small group times where children work with a key person to develop personal, social/emotional skills and grounding in mathematics and literacy.

    Staff track each individual child’s learning and development and set targets each term inegotiation with parents. Summative assessments are completed termly.

    The theory that underpins our practice -guiding and informing our curriculum

    All of our practice and curriculum is informed by our  knowledge of child development. We draw on the work of many theorists, researchers and educators to ensure we are providing the highest quality experiences for the children who attend Houghton Community Nursery. 

    Houghton Community Nursery School,
    Nesham Place,
    Houghton le Spring
    DH5 8AE
    United Kingdom
    0191 584 6655