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Aspire – Our curriculum

The Aspire Approach to the Early Years Foundation Stage

Our task, regarding creativity, is to help children climb their own mountains, as high as possible. No one can do more”

Loris Malaguzzi

What do we as adults Aspire to? To have a happy, healthy life? To find love, have a fulfilling career, to travel? Or to make a difference in the world? Whatever our personal aspirations I think its’s true to say that we all Aspire for something. The definition of Aspire in the Cambridge English Dictionary is “to want something very much or hope to achieve something or be successful”. When we think of our children and our children’s futures, we have high aspirations for them, we want to provide them with everything they need to become the successful adults of the future, to help them in fact “climb their own mountains”.

Loris Malaguzzi’s quote demonstrates that our role as Early Years Educators is clear, our mission is to help children, to help them achieve their goals, and quite simply to teach them what they need, when they need it, in a way that enables them to climb high. In fact, we aspire for them to have their own hopes, dreams and aspirations.

It is through this vision that the Aspire Approach to the Early Years Foundation Stage was born. As Early Years Educators we are teachers of children, and as teachers we are skilled at play, in the observation of play, and in the analysis of play. However, to enable young children’s learning we need to frame our work and provide a curriculum that encompasses not only the goals of the Early Years Foundation Stage, but also the needs of society today. By doing this we accomplish two goals, we meet the Statutory Requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage as registered Early Years Providers in England and we prepare young children to move forward and be ready for the next step in their lives. Of course, both goals are vitally important for us, but it is in teaching and enabling children to learn and develop through play where our passions really lie.

The Aspire Approach enables us to fulfill our goals through the implementation of five basic principles:

  • We aspire for our children to learn about themselves, their communities, and the environment.
  • We aspire for our children to achieve through Early Intervention and Inclusion, through learning Language for Life, and through early teaching experiences.
  • We aspire to protect our children through our policies, procedures, and multi-agency work.
  • We aspire to develop our children through a commitment to our staff teams of monitoring performance, providing training and development opportunities, supporting wellbeing and in recognising quality practice and teaching.
  • We aspire for our children to be ready for their next step in life, through supporting independence, learning valuable life skills, and developing confidence in themselves and their abilities.

Our mission statement encompasses this ethos:

We believe in creating a culture and environment where every child in our care can explore, investigate, and experience what life has to offer, through play-based experiences.

We recognise that children can reach their full potential when they are supported by experienced talented educators who harness the spirit and interests of the child, challenging and encouraging them on their learning journey.

We value and recognise that children learn best when their parents/carers contribute and have a voice in their child’s development.

Having high aspirations is not easy, through playful learning experiences we aim to meet the individual needs of every single child in our settings, but by having high aspirations we become the teachers, the Early Years Educators and the adults who inspire the next generation.

Stars Day Nurseries have high aspirations, take a look at our Aspire Approach, and join us in enabling every child to “climb their own mountain, as high as possible.”

Jayne Hamey, BA Hons Early Years


The Early Years Foundation Stage Statutory Framework (2017)