Our Distinctive Curriculum


Learning with Extra 'SPARKLE'


Special - the unique child 

Playful -curious, exploring the world around them

Active - courageous, prepared to take risks 

Resilient - Confident, I can do it 

Kind - Caring, for the environment and others 

Loving - Respectful, of similarities and difference 

Eager to learn - resourceful, making decisions and taking the initiative


At Harrington Nursery School learning is play and play is learning.  We believe that children learn best in an environment that interests and inspires and provides opportunities for them to develop their skills at a development appropriate level.  Although focused, learning is not restricted by the adults intention or direction.  A range of learning opportunities are planned in a way that enables play to remain open-ended, as it responds to the children's interests and follows their lines of thought.  At its core, the ethos of learning is one of focus and flexibility, with practitioners reflection and evaluations of learning being made at key points throughout the process.


This will include a balance of child and adult initiated and adult directed activities.  These activities take place in a learning environment that is carefully organised into areas of learning which provide the structure for teaching within which children can explore, experiment, plan, make decisions and become independent.


Bush Buddies

 In partnership with the YMCA and Derby Wildlife Trust, they have developed a space next to the Nursery School for our children to use for Bush Buddies.  The transformation of the space has been incredible and are so thankful of our partnership with these organisations to make this possible.  Harrington Nursery is dedicated to OUTDOOR LEARNING.

Restoring an attached walled secret garden to a beautiful, wooded space to become the new HARRINGTON HEARTLAND.

A canopied covered garden, for safe outdoor learning and play where the children gather as BUSH BUDDIES and each week have fun, learning about nature.

Aiming to encourage an environmentally friendly attitude and a love of the natural world.

By involving the children in creating, nurturing and respecting the world in which they live, encouraging a curious and investigative mind.

Outdoor play also helps the children understand the importance of physical activity and healthy living.


Brave - Risk Taker

Unstoppable - Perseverance

Supportive - Team Player

Happy and Healthy


If you would like more information about the curriculum we are following, please get in touch and a member of the nursery team will be more than happy to help.


Distinctive features

  • Transition - including the use of 'Flat Cat' during home visits, settling into nursery and shared with feeder schools
  • Enquiry led learning - this consists of ongoing research and development centred around children's interests, including Reggio Emilia Principles
  • Digital Technology - iPad technology, at the forefront of the development within Derby City
  • Educational Visits - see 'Teaching and Learning Page'
  • Outdoor learning - see Harrington Heartlands
  • STAR learning - speaking, thinking and reviewing, giving learning a purpose using the TASC Wheel - BLOOMS Taxonomy theory
  • Language and Communication - including using 'STAR bear' as a tool to encourage language both at home and school
  • Story Square - encouraging children to dictate and perform their own stories
  • Learning Library - books and resources
  • CLIC Maths - following the process: count, learn it, its nothing new and calculate
  • SLIC Phonics with the Alphabet Aliens
  • Family Engagement - Harrington Hummingbirds, Family Forum, Family Workshops, Family Consultations, Question of the Month.  See 'Events' for dates of these.
  • Creative song writing and school productions



Our School Anthem

Sparkle sparkle every day

Sparkle sparkle learn and play

Caring, sharing as happy as can be

Together one big family

Sparkle sparkle learn and play

Sparkle sparkle the Harrington way