Free funded places available for children aged 2+, please ask us for details

Kings Castle Montessori Nursery

Open all year – From birth to 5 – Flexible sessions – Funded places available


Aims of the Early Years Foundation Stage

Every child deserves the best possible start in life to fulfil their potential. A secure, safe and happy childhood provides the foundation for children to make the most of their abilities and talents as they grow up. When parents choose child-care, they want to be sure that the child-care provision will keep their children safe and help them to thrive. The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) is the government framework that provides parents with that assurance.

The priority of the EYFS is to help young children achieve the 5 Every Child Matters outcomes of: staying safe, being healthy, enjoying and achieving, making a positive contribution.

Kings Castle fully embraces and complies with the government’s Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) framework. We have a Montessori curriculum which fully encompasses the Early Years Foundation Stage framework (EYFS). We expand and develop all the Early Learning Goals from the EYFS and we embrace the children’s interests to create a broad and engaging educational journey.

Individual attention and Key Worker System

Each child at Kings Castle is assigned a Key person who will be the point of contact for the family and build a close relationship with the child. However, we do have the flexibility to change Key workers, should your child have a greater bond with another member of the team. Each Key worker works in partnership with families to create an Individual Learning Plan for their Key children. This communication with families and the Individual Learning Plans provide each child with the best possible activities to extend their learning and development.

EYFS and Montessori at Kings Castle

The Kings Castle baby and toddler rooms (Highcliffe and Christchurch) blend traditional and Montessori approaches. Our Christchurch toddler room offers children both Montessori and traditional toys and equipment and staff have a mix of traditional and Montessori-training.

Once children join the Lulworth pre-school (usually at around age 3), they follow the full Montessori curriculum. The Montessori curriculum perfectly complements the EYFS framework and milestones.

EYFS Early Learning Goals

The Early Years curriculum is divided into the following Early Learning Goals:

Prime Areas:

  • Communication and Language
  • Physical Development
  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development

Specific Areas:

  • Literacy
  • Mathematics
  • Understanding the World
  • Expressive Arts and Design

The curriculum at Kings Castle incorporates and expands upon all these Early Learning Goals. Please ask the Nursery Manager if you would like more information on how these are achieved.

Communication and Language

Children are encouraged to extend their talking and listening skills throughout the day through group activities such as stories, circle time, song and rhymes. Our nursery practitioners are trained to encourage and develop the children’s language skills through role modelling, individual interaction, narration of activities, ‘Grace and Courtesy’ lessons (teaching British values and manners) and encouraging emotive language to help children explain and understand/ communicate their emotions and feelings. The book corner provides books relating to different topics and encourages the children to develop a love of books and printed materials and helps prepare the children for learning to read. Role-play activities give children ample opportunities to use their communication and language skills in a variety of contexts. For example, writing skills may be used with shopping lists, receipts, birthday cards, registers and much more.

Personal social and emotional development

Children are encouraged to become independent, to have the confidence to ask for help with their needs, to respect other people and the equipment they use. For example, a balance of individual, pair-based and group-based activities instil an understanding of personal space, sharing and respect for others. We use group lessons and snack time to develop the children’s sense of belonging, with children and adults sitting together and taking turns to prepare and serve snacks. Good manners are fundamental to good social skills and are encouraged at all times! Every we enjoy ‘Feel Good Friday’ which is a day dedicated to health and wellbeing. We do lots of activities on emotional and physical health like yoga, meditation, exercise classes, healthy eating lessons, oral health and self-care.


Children get ample opportunity for Physical activities. We go outside as much as possible every day come rain or shine! Our free-flow to the garden gives children the opportunity to develop gross motor skills such as controlling their movements, ball skills, balance and the use of bikes and trikes while activities such as den-building, gardening and outdoor art promote fine motor skills, patience and team-work. Physical activities continue indoors and children have continual access to our Messy Play area where activities such as drawing, painting, sticking and modelling develop fine motor skills such as hand/eye co-ordination and pre-writing skills. We also have regular “music and movement” activities to encourage co-ordination, good posture and a love of music.


The children have access to different forms and styles of text throughout their day, whether this is text and images around the nursery environment or access to books in our book corner. There are regular stories, activities to enjoy books with other children, time to share books with adults and time to talk about books! Children are encouraged to develop their pre-writing skills when they are ready through access to all kinds of “mark-making” activities and equipment, this may be drawing and painting, or using the large chalks outside, writing in sand and a range of other activities to introduce letters and sounds.

Understanding of the world around us

Children are given the chance to look at our world in different ways; they are encouraged with the aid of an adult to explore the environment around them and to explore objects and materials. We use our garden as much as possible to promote “exploration and discovery” and we also take our children out on regular walks and trips within the local community. When a topic allows, we will try to invite relevant visitors to the group to talk to the children.


Maths is continuously explored with the daily activities and we select at least one topic a year which concentrates on maths and science. The children look at maths in terms of size, shape, patterns, numbers and number problems. Our maths activities are varied and fun to give children a positive attitude towards numbers. Our children explore maths and numbers via a wide range of activities including songs, number rhymes, water-play, role-play, messy play, construction, junk modelling, gardening, art, etc!


All children are encouraged to express themselves through a range of creative activities. Every day we have a balance of planned creative activities and free-flow activities. For example:

Messy play Water, Sand, Dough, Glue and Gloop, Clay, Putty, Shavings, Glitter, etc.

Small World Farm and animals, Dolls House, Train set, Cars and Garage, Pirates Ships, etc.

Art Painting, Drawing, Threading, Sticking, Stamping, Tracing, Printing, etc.

Role Play Meals, Vet, Doctor, Dentist, Shopping, Big School, History, Fairy tales, etc.

Dressing up We aim to have the biggest dressing-up chest in the area!

Music Lots of different instruments for making and listening to music. Some of these include; Piano, Violin, Guitar, Drums and percussion instruments.

Construction Duplo, Lego, Stickle Bricks, Big Blocks, Wooden Blocks, Junk Modelling, etc.

Children are supervised at all times giving them the confidence to explore and develop new skills.

School ‘readiness’ at Kings Castle

Preparing the children for “big school” is an import part of the Lulworth curriculum. Lulworth is a bigger, busier environment, the Lulworth children generally drop their daytime naps, they move around between rooms independently, choose their own activities, concentrate for longer periods of time, eat using cutlery where possible, clear-up after themselves, wear pants instead of nappies and use the toilet independently! All of these things are great preparation for “school readiness” and happen every day as part of Lulworth. In addition, in the 2-3 terms before the children start “big school,” they will begin to do specific “school readiness” activities in our ‘Upstairs Classroom’. “School readiness” activities include learning to get changed (mastering buttons, shoes, zips, etc), having taster PE lessons, lots more activities using numbers, letters and practical life and more activities which involve ‘sitting still’!

We do not generally try and teach the children to ‘read and write’ but if your child is showing interest in reading and writing, we have lots of suitable activities to encourage this and to ensure that they have a fun and positive start to reading and writing.

Further information

For more information on Montessori, please see our Montessori Page.

For more information on the EYFS within a Montessori context please see: