South Way, Bognor Regis, PO21 5EZ Mon - Fri 7.30am - 6pm
01243 871044



We aim to ensure that each child: 

  • is in a safe and stimulating environment; 
  • is given generous care and attention, due to our ratio of qualified staff to children, as well as volunteer/student/helpers; 
  • is able to join with other children and adults and play, and learn together; 
  • is continually able to develop in their learning during their time with us; 
  • is in a setting that sees parents as partners in helping each child to learn and develop; 
  • is in a setting in which parents help to mold the care we offer.  


The Early Years Foundation Stage

The provision for children’s development and learning is guided by Development Matters in the Early Years Foundation Stage. Children start to learn about the world around them from the moment they are born. The care and education offered by our setting helps children to continue to do this by providing all of the children with activities following their interests and that are appropriate for their age and stage of development. There are seven areas which we follow to extend children’s learning.

The areas of development and learning

There are seven areas of learning and development that must shape educational programmes in early years settings. All areas of learning and development are important and inter-connected. Three areas are particularly crucial for igniting children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, and building their capacity to learn, form relationships and thrive. These three areas are called ‘prime areas’:

  • Communication and Language
  • Physical Development
  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development

We also support children in four ‘specific areas’, through which the three prime areas are strengthened and applied. These areas consist of:

  • Literacy
  • Mathematics
  • Understanding the World
  • Expressive Arts and Design
Communication and Language

The development of children’s spoken language underpins all seven areas of learning and development. Children’s back-and-forth interactions from an early age form the foundations for language and cognitive development. The number and quality of the conversations they have with adults and peers throughout the day in a language-rich environment is crucial. By commenting on what children are interested in or doing and echoing back what they say with new vocabulary added, practitioners will build children’s language effectively.

Physical Development

Physical activity is vital in children’s all-round development, enabling them to pursue happy, healthy and active lives. Gross and fine motor experiences develop incrementally throughout early childhood, starting with sensory explorations and the development of a child’s strength, coordination and positional awareness through tummy time, crawling and play movement with both objects and adults.

Personal, Social and Emotional Development

Children’s personal, social and emotional development (PSED) is crucial for children to lead healthy and happy lives, and is fundamental to their cognitive development. Underpinning their personal development are the important attachments that shape their social world. Strong, warm and supportive relationships with adults enable children to learn how to understand their own feelings and those of others.


It is crucial for children to develop a life-long love of reading. Reading consists of two dimensions: language comprehension and word reading. Language comprehension (necessary for both reading and writing) starts from birth. It only develops when adults talk with children about the world around them and the books (stories and non-fiction) they read with them, and enjoy rhymes, poems and songs together. Skilled word reading, taught later, involves both the speedy working out of the pronunciation of unfamiliar printed words (decoding) and the speedy recognition of familiar printed words. Writing involves transcription (spelling and handwriting) and composition (articulating ideas and structuring them in speech, before writing).


Developing a strong grounding in number is essential so that all children develop the necessary building blocks to excel mathematically. Children should be able to count confidently, develop a deep understanding of the numbers 1-5, the relationships between them and the patterns within those numbers.

Understanding the World

Understanding the world involves guiding children to make sense of their physical world and their community. The frequency and range of children’s personal experiences increases their knowledge and sense of the world around them – from visiting parks, libraries, and museums to meeting important members of society, such as police officers, nurses and firefighters. In addition, listening to a broad selection of stories, non-fiction, rhymes and poems will foster their understanding of our culturally, socially, technologically and ecologically diverse world. As well as building important knowledge, this extends their familiarity with words that support understanding across domains. Enriching and widening children’s vocabulary will support later reading comprehension.

Expressive Art and Design

The development of children’s artistic and cultural awareness supports their imagination and creativity. It is important that children have regular opportunities to engage with the arts, enabling them to explore and play with a wide range of media and materials. The quality and variety of what children see, hear and participate in is crucial for developing their understanding, self-expression, vocabulary and ability to communicate through the arts. The frequency, repetition and depth of their experience are fundamental to their progress in interpreting and appreciating what they hear, respond to and observe.

Learning through play

Play helps young children to learn and develop throughout their early years. Stepping Stones Day Nursery uses Development Matters (EYFS) to plan and provide a range of activities which help children to make progress in each of the areas of learning and development. We encourage a range of adult and child led activities throughout our day within both our indoor and outdoor environments.

The characteristics of effective teaching and learning

The characteristics of effective teaching and learning are the ways in which your child engages with other people and their environment. These are split into three areas which we have characterised and you will see around our nursery.

We have developed a fun initiative where the children discover how their play is helping them learn with three jungle animal friends! Motivated Monkey, Curious Crocodile and Creative Chameleon. They all like playing in different ways and the children can join them in their jungle adventures.

In planning and guiding what children learn, practitioners must reflect on the different rates at which children are developing and adjust their practice appropriately.

Three characteristics of effective teaching and learning are:

  • Playing and exploring – children investigate and experience things, and ‘have a go’
  • Active learning – children concentrate and keep on trying if they encounter difficulties, and enjoy achievements
  • Creating and thinking critically – children have and develop their own ideas, make links between ideas and develop strategies for doing things

These underpin learning and development across all areas and support the child to remain an effective and motivated learner.

Learning Journals

At Stepping Stones Day Nursery, we create a learning journal for every child. Your child’s key person will complete a monthly page celebrating your child’s learning through play whilst at nursery. Learning journals help us to acknowledge your child’s achievements and each term, you will be invited to share your child’s progress and discuss next steps of their development with their key person.

We believe that parents know their child best and we ask that you contribute to the discussions by sharing information about what your child likes to do at home. We use progress review records to assess how young children are learning and developing by observing them frequently. We use information gained from observations, as well as from photographs of the children to document their progress throughout their time at Stepping Stones Day Nursery. We make termly assessments from the progress review records and observations about your child’s achievements in line with the Early Years Foundation Stage and ensure we are helping your child to progress effectively in all areas of development.

Key person

Every child is assigned a key person when they begin their journey at Stepping Stones Day Nursery. This allows them to form a positive relationship with you and your child, therefore helping you and your child to feel safe, secure and happy.

Your child’s key person works with you to make sure that what we provide is right for your child’s particular needs and interests. They are responsible for working with you to maintain your child’s journal – to do this we will collect information about your child’s needs, activities, interest and achievements. This information will enable the key person to identify your child’s stage of progress and together decide on how to help your child to move on to the next stage.