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Child Development

All children are different. At Hollytree we work closely with parents to encourage each individual child to develop at their own pace and fulfil their potential.

The Early Years, from birth to five, are one of the most important stages of development. At Hollytree we strive to provide a safe, nurturing environment where children learn and develop in these vital years.


The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) sets the standards for promoting the learning, development and safety of children from birth to five years. 

The learning and development requirements cover three prime areas which are important for stimulating children's interest in learning and in building relationships:

Communication and Language: 

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

Physical development:

providing opportunities for young children to be active and interactive, develop their co-ordination, control and movement, understand the importance of physical activity, and make healthy choices about food.

Personal, Social and Emotional Development:

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

The three prime areas are strengthened by four specific areas of learning: Literacy, Mathematics, Understanding of the World , and Expressive Arts and Design. These areas are connected, with learning in one particular area supporting learning in the others.

For more information on the EYFS click here:

Key Groups

All of our children are put into Key groups and have a Key Person who will stay with them during their time at Preschool. This Key person relationship is extremely important and all of our staff work hard to develop the relationship with each and every child and their families. The role of the key person is to help their children feel safe and cared for whilst encouraging their development in all areas of the EYFS through careful observations, assessment, planning and teaching.

Our Key Groups

Hedgehogs - Jo
Ladybirds - Sue
Rabbits - Stacey
Badgers - Hannah
squirrel - Copy (2).jpg
Squirrels - Rosie

Group Times


Whilst most of our sessions revolve around 'Free Play' we do have specific group times for particular groups of children.

Language Group:

This is to support children with their Communication and Language skills. It may be that they have a specific program to work on as directed by a Speech and Language Therapist or that we are working on particular skills to promote their Listening, Understanding, Speaking or Confidence. Language Groups are led by a member of staff and usually have 3 or 4 children in at a time.

Key Group:

At times we may split into key groups for stories, circle time, games or activities such as cooking. These key group times help to build up key person relationships and help develop friendships and social skills in a smaller group situation.


Our older children enjoy group times to help develop their phonic knowledge. We follow the 'Jolly Phonics' program teaching the children the letter shapes and the sounds they make. All children show an interest in specific areas at different times. Once children are showing a keen interest in Phonics they will be given a 'Sound Book' which they can take home. New sounds are added with their key person and the children make amazing progress in their Literacy development. They may also bring home an Early Reading book and key words once they are ready.


Again with our older children we plan Number activities, rhymes and games to develop their counting, number recognition and understanding. These activities are all approached in a fun way and the children love participating.

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