Personal, Social & Emotional Development

  • Making relationships
  • Self-confidence and self-awareness
  • Managing feelings and behaviour


At Douglas Valley Nursery School personal, social and emotional development is at the core of the curriculum we offer to the children. We recognise its importance for children in all aspects of their lives and the opportunity it provides in helping children to reach their full potential. It also lays the foundations for sex and relationships education in supporting children to develop respectful, reciprocal, relationships based on equality.

We understand the importance of supporting and building upon children’s personal qualities, their skills for learning, self help skills, social skills and emotional resilience and well being. We aim to help children create positive self image, begin to form positive, respectful relationships, become confident and independent learners and begin to have empathy with others’ feelings, cultures and religions.

We provide opportunities for children to:

  • Establish positive respectful equal relationships
  • Become able to work as part of a group and/or independently
  • Develop positive attitudes to learning, including resilience, resourcefulness, reflectiveness, reciprocity
  • Be curious, explore and experience new ideas, be confident to initiate ideas, manage their own learning and solve simple practical problems
  • Become independent and demonstrate the need to look after themselves
  • Become aware of the needs and feelings of others, understand the need to share and take turns and understand right and wrong
  • Treat living things with care and concern and look after their own and others’ property


Personal, social and emotional development underpins the curriculum, this is reflected in the approach to teaching and learning, the attitudes of practitioners, the ongoing consolidation of values, attitudes and skills through both child initiated and adult planned activities and experiences.

The learning environment is designed to allow children to explore, make choices, be independent, solve problems and interact with others. It encourages focused child initiated play and allows children to decide where they want to learn. Practitioners create a emotional environment that focuses on building self esteem, confidence and a “can do” attitude.

The key person system allows children to form positive relationships with their key person and gives them a sense of belonging within their key person group. Induction procedures, including induction visits and meetings between parents and practitioners allow children to observe positive relationships between practitioners and parents/carers. This is continued throughout a child’s time at Douglas Valley with regular opportunities from induction onwards such as stay and play sessions and open days. Children are encouraged to develop relationships with each other and to play and work together.

Practitioners celebrate children’s achievements through positive reinforcement and praise. Children are encouraged to show pride in their work and in the learning environment both indoors and outdoors. Children’s individual learning journeys allow their achievements to be shared with parents/carers. Practitioners have a positive, consistent approach to supporting appropriate behaviour.

Children’s individual home lives are valued by practitioners and activities and experiences are planned to give children the opportunity to develop a strong self image by being able to make links between home, their community and the school.

The progress children make in personal, social and emotional development is judged against the development matters statements in the Early Years Foundation Stage.