The Child’s Experience


Understanding how children experience our Early Years provision is crucial to our commitment to establishing positive engagement from our parents and families. We want our children’s parents to understand and support the curriculum and our approach through the eyes of their child.

Settling and feeling safe

Ensuring every child feels safe and secure coming to Sulivan is our first priority. From there, we can build positive relationships, purposeful learning experiences and strong developmental progression. Safety and security is grown from consistent routines, clear expectations and mutual respect. Therefore, each day, children will experience clearly defined routines and consistency in adult relationships and teaching. Daily routines such as self registration, timetabled play and independent learning as well as daily, consistency in whole class learning sessions means children settle quickly and develop independence and readiness to learn.

The importance of play 

Play is a crucial part of our early years practise. It allows children to develop and learn both independently and with others. Children need a careful balance of solo, peer-to -peer and adult intervention in play in order to ensure learning takes place.Play can allow for multiple moments of awe and wonder, personal progression and learning experiences that are seeded in children’s enjoyment and personal interests.  Our carefully designed approach holistically ensures that our  provision meets the needs of every child. Planning for high quality play-based learning is carefully balanced with adult led learning and guidance. 

Ready for Instruction and adult led learning

Alongside play-based learning we ensure rigorous teaching of early literacy, reading, phonics and numeracy skills is ensured by using proven programmes and methods for learning, appropriate for the early years age range. 

Starting in Nursery and developing more fully in Reception, children benefit from teacher-led learning and guidance. Balanced throughout the day, age appropriately, children experience adult led learning during their play and during teacher led learning sessions. These sessions will be in daily phonics, writing and maths as well as topic based learning in expressive arts, history, PSHE, geography, science and technology.

Early Years Experts

High adult to pupil ratios ensure that children receive individual attention as well as learn to learn with others, play cooperatively and develop attention and listening skills, language and cognitive development in order to reach milestones and early learning expectations. 


In order to learn, develop and be happy our children need space to grow. Our extensive indoor and outdoor facilities give each child the opportunity to explore, revisit and play in an environment that is specifically tailored to early learners. We prioritise high quality resources, materials and learning aids so that all children have access to quality independent and guided learning experiences. 


Extensive research and planning contributes to our curriculum which is designed for each stage of early years development to ensure Year 1 readiness. Learning is planned through play and adult guided lessons and small group activities. The Early Years Curriculum is planned so that progression in all areas of the curriculum is made by all children.