Our Approach


We know that high quality early years education has the power to make life changing differences to children. Therefore our approach is clear; stimulate, support and challenge.

  • We care that children settle, feel confident and independent to explore and learn. Teachers prioritise wellbeing and emotional security as they know these lead to good learning and development.
  • We plan a curriculum and learning environment that is rich, broad and inspiring. Each child’s progress and next steps in learning are carefully monitored and supported by highly trained staff.
  • We ensure progression of learning through the early years. We use teacher led learning and independent learning through play to ensure that children’s needs are met and that they are ready for Year 1 and the Key Stage 1 curriculum.

Underpinning our teaching and learning are the principles that:

  • every child is a unique child, who is constantly learning and can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured
  • children learn to be strong and independent through positive relationships
  • children learn and develop well in enabling environments with teaching and support from adults, who respond to their individual interests and needs and help them to build their learning over time. Children benefit from a strong partnership between practitioners and parents and/or carers.
  • importance of learning and development. Children develop and learn at different rates. The framework covers the education and care of all children in early years provision, including children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).

What does learning look like at Sulivan?

At Sulivan, our youngest learners benefit from a nurturing and stimulating environment. Our staff are experts in early years provision so that we can ensure the highest quality of education is provided at this critical stage in development. A full curriculum is provided from when the children join us at 3 years old and works on a progressional model through Nursery and Reception. Our school’s approach to delivering first-rate early years education ensures that key elements of the curriculum are enhanced so that our children achieve their best. 

Our approach to early years learning is founded in three key areas of provision. 

Why do we enhance communication, language and literacy learning?

We know that communication, language and literacy are key factors in securing success in the future and therefore we place special emphasis on these areas of development during the early years by providing a language rich environment and curriculum.We invest in the development of communication and language skills alongside personal and social development to ensure these critical factors to making progress are fully developed. 

How do we teach phonics and early reading? 

Phonics and Early Reading are prioritised as areas of learning in Reception. Children benefit from the Little Wandles Revised Letters and Sounds Phonics programme as well as a rich diet of literacy based learning, shared and home reading experiences to develop a pleasure and competency in reading.

Why do we prioritise personal, social and emotional development?

We prioritise the happiness and wellbeing of our children. This approach is based on the knowledge that children learn and develop faster when they are happy and secure. Our classrooms and use of the outdoors ensure that children settle quickly and build positive relationships with our staff. Teachers and supporting adults, are trained and skilled in providing an emotionally supportive environment. We work towards excellent social and personal skills, high self esteem and emotional literacy with all our children. We use specialised programmes such as Zones of Regulation and ELSA to support our children to develop positive attitudes and behaviour for learning and strong emotional literacy for life.