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A class of preschool children answering a teacher excitedly with bright smiles on their faces

Nursery 1 Curriculum and Programmes at
Primus International Nursery School

The curriculum for our 2 and 3 years olds is based on the Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum (EYFS) and embraces the Learning Goals within the Singapore curriculum, Nurturing Early Learners (NEL). The Curriculum is further enhanced by international curricula. The children learn through purposeful play combined with focused first steps in learning to read and beginning to write in both English and Chinese and in developing numeracy skills.

The Primus Schoolhouse International Nursery School curriculum is arranged around Seven Spheres of Learning:

Prime Areas Specific Areas
Language Arts, Speaking and Listening English/Chinese Language Arts Reading and Writing English/Chinese
Personal Empowerment Thinking Mathematically
Healthy Bodies Creativity and Culture
Inquiring Minds
Four kindergarten children jumping with their hands up and bright smiles on their faces

Inquiring Minds and Creativity and Culture provide the breadth of curricula whilst teaching staff maintain a balanced academic focus on Singapore Maths, for a smooth transition between the child’s education, and Language Arts both in English and Chinese. All curricular acitivites are designed to achieve the goals and objectives appropriate to his or her individual stage of development, as children all develop at their own rates and in their own ways.

Every child is a unique child, who constantly reaches out to relate to people and things through the Characteristics of Effective Learning, which move through all spheres of learning. These include

Playing and Exploring
Active Learning
Creating and Thinking Critically
Finding out and exploring
  • Showing curiousity about objects, events and people
  • Using senses to explore the world around them
  • Engaging in open-ended activity
  • Showing particular interests

Playing with what they know

  • Pretending objects are things from their experience
  • Representing their experiences in play
  • Taking on a role in their play
  • Acting out experiences with other people

Being willing to “have a go”

  • Initiating activities and seeking challenges
  • Showing a “can do” attitude
  • Taking a risk, engaging in new experiences, and learning through trial and error
Being involved and concentrating
  • Maintaining focus on activities for a period of time
  • Showing high levels of energy and fascination
  • Not easily distrated and ability to focus
  • Paying attention to details


  • Persisting with activities when challenges occur
  • Showing a belief that exerting more effort or attempting a different approach can pay off
  • Bouncing back after difficulties

Enjoying achieving what they set out to do

  • Showing satisfaction in meeting their own goals
  • Being proud of how they accomplished something not just the end result.
  • Enjoying meeting challenges for their own sake rather than external rewards or praise.
Having their own ideas
  • Thinking of ideas
  • Finding ways to solve problems
  • Finding new ways to do things

Making Links

  • Making links and noticing patterns in experience
  • Making predictions and testing their ideas
  • Developing ideas of grouping, sequences, cause and effect

Choosing ways to do things

  • Planning, making decisions about how to approach a task, solve a problem and reach a goal
  • Checking how well their activities are going and changing strategy as needed
  • Reviewing how well the approach worked

The learning as outlined briefly below and overleaf is for Nursery 1. The age/stage bands and curricula overlap because learning is not fixed to age but suggests a typical range of development. Educators assess where each individual child is within their developmental stage and facilitate learning experiences appropriate to them.

Language Arts Speaking and Listening English/Chinese

Active Learning, Creating and Thinking Critically Playing and Exploring
  • Increasing vocabulary
  • Enjoying nonsense stories and rhymes
  • Beginning to listen attentively and responding appropriately to others
  • Introducing and using repetitive sounds and words, aspects of language such as rhythm, rhyme and alliteration
  • Mark making
  • Enjoying songs and rhymes in both languages, beyond further practical uses
  • Point to and shares picture in story books
  • Exploring and observing the use of pictures and print in the environment
  • Understanding non-verbal messages
  • Enjoy using verbal communication
  • Taking part in symbolic, pretend or dramatic play

Personal Empowerment

Relationships, Self Confidence Feelings and Behaviour
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Understanding another’s point of view
  • Empathising with others
  • Taking part in group activities
  • Taking responsibility for their own actions
  • Learn to express disagreement and difference of opinion in appropriate ways,
  • Beginning to respect rules about their relationships with others and their environment
  • Learning to respect and interact with people who are different from themselves
  • Understanding their own particular strengths
  • Paying attention
  • Concentrating
  • Coping with change
  • Their own personal worth
  • Expressing emotions and emotional needs
  • Positive and constructive attitudes to competition
  • Keeping themselves safe from harm.
  • Their ability to acquire new interests and skills
  • Playing alone, alongside others and with others

Healthy Bodies

Gross Motor Skills Fine Motor Skills
  • Being safe
  • Walking up and down stairs
  • Independently on/off tricycle/scooter
  • Running around obstacles
  • Hoop games and bean bag skills
  • Balance one foot, and balance with assistance walking along a line/balance beams
  • Jumping in General
  • Locomotor: beginning to explore skipping and galloping
  • Strings four large beads
  • Turns single pages of a book
  • Explores mark making
  • Uses one hand consistently in most activities
  • Rolls, pounds, squeezes, and pulls playdough
  • Eats without assistance
  • Builds tower of nine small blocks
  • Uses non-dominant hand to assist and stabilise the use of objects
  • Paints with some wrist action, makes dots, lines
Three nursey children and their peers are paying close attention to their teacher's storytelling in an international nursery school

Language Arts Reading and Writing English/Chinese

Active Learning, Creating and Thinking Critically Playing and Exploring
  • Children make marks by scribbling
  • Provocations stimulate language development
  • Children mark by drawing lines and circles
  • Children are introduced to Jolly Phonics sounds
  • Children recognize and begin to write their own name
  • Children learn to selects books independently
  • Children point to picture in books when asked questions
  • Children begin to respond and join in predictable text
  • Children enjoy being read stories, poems, rhymes, and understand how to explore them through plots and characters using role play and drama
  • Children demonstrate correct book handling skills (holds book correctly, turns pages one at a time)
  • Children demonstrate left to right visual tracking
  • Children are introduced to Jolly Phonics songs
  • Children learn how to explore stories and literature valued by the cultures in their community
  • Children begin to tell stories from pictures using word
    Retells favourite stories from memory in correct sequence exploring and observing the use of print in the environment

Thinking Mathematically

Active Learning, Creating and Thinking Critically Playing and Exploring
  • Numbers 0-5: Number recognition
  • Numbers 0-10: rote counting and developing 1-1 correspondence
  • Matching and sorting
  • Basic shape names
  • Vocabulary more/fewer
  • Measurement, capacity and weight
  • Space and shape
  • Pattern

Creativity and Culture

Music and Dance Art
  • Listening with growing attention
  • Explore vocal sounds
  • Exploring to move to a steady beat
  • Developing body control and coordination
  • Starting and stopping, fast and slow movements
  • Distinguishing between singing voice and speaking voice
  • Explore body sounds and explore percussion instruments
  • Explore colour
  • Introduced to use a variety of tools with the correct technique
  • Introduced to a variety of materials and medium
  • Explore distinction between bright, light, dull and dark colours
  • Begin to play with basic shapes such as squares and circles in artwork
  • Begin to explore different types of lines such as straight, curved, thick and thin

Inquiring Minds

Active Learning, Creating and Thinking Critically Playing and Exploring
  • Setting and solving problems
  • Using trial and error
  • Beginning to make simple comparisons and asking questions
  • Beginning to explain
  • Listening to others
  • Taking part in discussions
  • Identifying and using basic information from a range of sources
  • choosing and experimenting with materials, playing with ideas, and exploring actively with all the senses
  • Trying things out, exploring and curiosity as important and valued ways of learning
  • Playing with ideas and materials as an enjoyable, creative and valid approach to learning
  • Actively exploring and making sense of the world by using tools, materials and equipment
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