Teaching & learning


What is teaching & learning?

Practitioners at Choochoos recognise it is their role to ensure our children are learning during their time at Choochoos and our practitioners play a vital role in teaching them. This can continue at home with parents/carers, working closely with the child’s key person to work together to identify the child’s stage of development and be able to progress them on to their next stage of development and learning together. Teaching and learning really is about the key person/buddy knowing their children, so we can progress them on to their next stage of learning, providing them with a strong start in life to become confident learners, who are school ready.

During a child’s day at Choochoos they will be guided with a routine, which is flexible, exploring many activities and experiences throughout their day.


 ‘I’ve noticed that my daughter has become very aware of safety when walking by roads. She always wants to hold my hand, and is careful to make sure she’s not on the roadside of any pavement, moving to my other side if we cross a road for example and telling me children go on the side away from the road. I asked where she’d learnt this and she told me she’d been taught it at nursery. Thank you for teaching her something so straight forward, but which will help to keep her safe’, (Parent, November 2020).

The EYFS (Early years foundation stage)

  • The EYFS provides the curriculum framework that our practitioners build on to decide what they intend children to learn and develop.
  • Our practitioners decide how to implement the curriculum so that children make progress in the seven areas of learning.
  • Following the implementation our practitioners evaluate the impact of the curriculum by checking what children know and can do.

For more information refer to section ‘Development matters. Learning & development, the prime & specific areas’ and sections within ‘Key person approach’.


Ofsted’s three i’s (Intent, implementation, impact)

Our practitioners apply ‘The Three I’s’ to everything they do for our children during their time at Choochoos, e.g. consider in spontaneous activities, planned activities, our environment, routine and experiences for our children. These three steps enable us to provide the best outcomes for our children.


  • Intent – What do you want the children to learn and develop? Why do you want them to learn this?
  • Implementation – How will you help the children learn and develop this? What resources will you provide/add and why? Is the environment rich and challenging? Interactions, are they meaningful?
  • Impact – How will you know if the children have been successful and achieved what you set out for them to learn?


Our practitioners also consider the key elements below for children to learn:

  • Engagement – Are your children excited, passionate and interested?
  • Building knowledge – What can you add to extend the interest?
  • Consolidation of learning – Plan, do, review, discuss what they know/or want to do, plan, review and explore how to extend this on further.


Our practitioners also consider:

  • What will the children be learning during this activity? What resources will you use?
  • What is the reason and why you have set this activity up?
  • Do you know what the children can already do?
  • What is your role in teaching the children during the activity?
  • How can you adapt the activity to age/development?
  • How can you extend the activity for the children involved?
  • What new vocabulary will you be introducing to the children during this activity?
  • How will this activity help progress the children on to their next stage of learning? And how will you know if they have achieved this?
  • How can you capture these wow moments for our children?

As a key person:

  • Do you know your individual key children?
  • What are their interests, schema, well being and involvement?
  • What stage of learning and development at they at?
  • What are their current next steps?
  • How are you moving their development on to the next stage of learning? What resources/experiences will you provide?
  • How do you know if they have achieved this?
  • If they have any additional needs, what are you doing differently to support this?

For more information refer to section ‘Observation & planning’ and sections within ‘Key person approach’.


Ofsted’s cultural capital

  • Cultural capital is the essential knowledge that children need to be prepared for their future success. For example, self help skills, how to use a knife and fork and how to put on shoes, etc.
  • It is about giving children the best possible start to their early education.
  • It is about bridging that gap in children’s experiences. Some children will arrive at Choochoos with different experiences from others, in their learning and play. What our key people will do, through using the EYFS curriculum and interactions, potentially makes all the difference for our children.
  • It is our role to help children experience the awe and wonder of the world in which they live, through the seven areas of learning. No two children when they start at Choochoos will have the same experiences. For example, a child may not have visited the beach, seen the sea, been to the zoo or even visited a park. It is a key persons role to find out about their children and what they already know and what is missing.


To find out more about Choochoos approaches to learning, please click here for our leaflet, ‘Choochoos approaches’.