A well prepared and stimulating learning environment

We incorporate all seven areas of learning into the early years curriculum, ensuring the children have a well prepared, inviting, and stimulating environment.  Staff provide a range of activities to cater for children’s individual interests and development needs, working towards the Early Years’ Outcomes – Early Learning Goals, across all areas of the curriculum.

At Zeeba Dalston, we operate a Key Person system.  Your child will have an individual Key Person who will observe progress and development. The Key Person approach gives every child the reassurance to feel secure and cared for, helping them to become familiar with the Nursery environment and to feel confident and safe within it.

We recognise every child’s individuality, efforts and achievements and believe that strong, secure relationships between adults and children are crucial for your child’s development.

The Key Person meets the needs of each child in their care and responds sensitively to their feelings, ideas and behaviour. They offer security, reassurance and continuity and are usually the one to support and soothe their key children where needed. They are in the best position to understand children’s individual needs and to share information with parents about their child’s experiences in Nursery.

How we monitor your child’s progress

All early years providers are required to meet certain standards set out in the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS). One of the requirements is that members of staff use ongoing observations to monitor how your child is developing and then use this information to plan a challenging and enjoyable experience in all areas of their learning and development.

Our method to help with planning and keeping track of progress is using an individual progress tracker. The tracker is divided into each area of learning and development, setting out the child’s progress across the prime and specific areas of learning from birth to five years.

Learning Journeys

Parents and carers are a vital aspect of children’s learning and development.  As the primary carer and educator for their child, it is essential that parents and carers play a part in nursery life and the care and education that takes place within the setting.

Electronic Learning Journals are an efficient and effective method for parents and carers to be ever more involved and in touch with their child’s learning and development.  Staff within the nursery routinely capture photographs and videos as part of their observation process.  These are then enhanced with a description of the skills that are being demonstrated and the learning that is taking place, based on links made to the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum.

Through an app on their smart phone, tablet or computer, parents and carers have 24-hour, unrestricted access to their child’s learning journey and all of the observations and assessments completed within it.  Simply downloading the app and logging in via their registered details is all that parents need to do.

To allow parents and carers to contribute even further, the home observation feature provides a means to share photos, videos and information with the setting that the Key Person can use to inform their individual planning for each child.

Children learn skills and their interests can change rapidly, so a simple and effective way for parents and carers to share this information from home only strengthens the opportunities available to their child.

What are prime and specific areas?

The statutory framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage (DFE, 2017) focuses on how your child learns and what adults can do to encourage that learning. It identifies three prime areas, which are considered to be fundamental through the EYFS, and four specific areas which include essential skills and knowledge and provide important contexts for learning.

Ongoing assessment plays a very important part in recognising and understanding what a child needs. It involves practitioners observing your child to understand their level of achievement, interests and learning styles.

The three PRIME areas are:

Personal, Social & Emotional Development

involves helping children to develop a positive sense of themselves, and others; to form positive relationships and develop respect for others; to develop social skills and learn how to manage their feelings; to understand appropriate behaviour in groups; and to have confidence in their own abilities.

Physical Development

involves providing opportunities for young children to be active and interactive; and to develop their co-ordination, control and movement. Children must also be helped to understand the importance of physical activity and to make healthy choices in relation to food.


Communication and Language

involves giving children opportunities to experience a rich language environment; to develop their confidence and skills in expressing themselves; and to speak and listen in a range of situations.

The four SPECIFIC areas are:


Literacy Development

involves encouraging children to link sounds and letters and to begin to read and write. Children must be given access to a wide range of reading materials (books, poems, and other written materials) to ignite their interest.


involves providing children with opportunities to develop and improve their skills in counting; understanding and using numbers; calculating simple addition and subtraction problems; and to describe shapes, spaces and measures.

Understanding the World

involves guiding children to make sense of their physical world and their community through opportunities to explore, observe and find out about people, places, technology and the environment.

Expressive Arts and Design

involves enabling children to explore and play with a wide range of media and materials as well as providing opportunities and encouragement for sharing their thoughts, ideas and feelings through a variety of activities in art, music, movement, dance, role-play and design and technology.