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Our Curriculum

The Orchard provides a “home-from-home” atmosphere - in which children feel comfortable and ready to learn - underpinned by strong educational values. Sessions are led by a happy team of highly trained and professional staff who have worked together for many years.

The Orchard’s curriculum is based on the government’s Early Years Foundation Stage areas of learning and development:

• Communication and language
• Physical Development
• Personal, social and emotional development
• Literacy
• Mathematics
• Understanding the World
• Expressive Arts and Design

Learning plans are drawn up individually for children based on their interests and are regularly updated throughout their time at The Orchard. Our staff then tailor activities for each individual child in their care, making sure that their particular needs and capabilities are provided for.

Our aim is to prepare children for primary school - our pupils go on to private and state education in the surrounding area. Many of these schools continue to follow the “Early Years” curriculum which we use at the Orchard.

We run special “Preparing for School” sessions for children in the year before their transition to Primary School to support them in their move. During these sessions the children work in smaller more focused groups, giving them the opportunity to increase their concentration levels and improve particular skills, such as pen control and knowledge of numbers, letters and shapes, etc. The children love these sessions and feel that they are doing something exciting and special!

The Orchard has close links with Little Milton Primary School. Staff from the Primary School aim to make the transition from pre-school to primary School as smooth as possible and make regular visits to the Orchard. Children from both schools join each other for special events each year, such as Harvest Festival and the Orchard’s nativity play.

Individual attention for each child

We offer individual attention and a tailor made learning plan for each child. The Orchard operates a “Key Worker” system whereby each child is allocated a specific member of staff who will take a special interest in the individual needs of that child while they are at the Orchard. 

The Key Workers are responsible for maintaining an electronic “Learning Journal” for each child containing photographs of activities and a record of staff observations and individual next steps. Parents are invited to have secure access to the journal to view their child’s progress. 

Parents are also invited to regular “Parent Surgery” sessions to discuss their child’s progress.

Parent involvement is another very important part of the Orchard’s ethos. Research shows that when parents are involved in their early years setting their children do better educationally, enjoy closer relationships and benefit from a high quality of care.

Activities on offer

Some of the many activities we offer include: story time with discussion, singing and nursery rhymes, role-play, craftwork, cooking, sand and water play, construction, outdoor play and, on occasions, well-supervised country walks. 

We operate a library scheme to encourage the enjoyment of books at home. 

Special educational needs and disabled access

We pride ourselves in creating an environment in which all children, regardless of background and ability, can flourish together and are supported to reach their full potential. Our Supervisor Jessica Ford is the school’s SENDCo and is trained in the identification and assessment of special educational needs in order to provide appropriate learning opportunities for all children. 

The Orchard also caters for people with disabilities: there is disabled access to the building by means of a ramp, and facilities for the disabled within the building e.g. a disabled toilet.

The fundamental British values

The fundamental British values of democracy, rule of law, individual liberty, mutual respect and tolerance for those with different faiths and beliefs are already implicitly embedded in the Early Years Foundation Stage.

The Orchard Pre-School Aims Demonstrate This Following: Democracy, Rule of Law, Individual liberty and Mutual respect and tolerance




“The pre-school provides a colourful, stimulating and motivating learning environment for children to learn and develop.” “Children benefit greatly from the close attention they receive from staff.”

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