Designed by our Early Years specialists, your little one will get the very best start through our enriching and wellbeing focused Bright Beginnings Curriculum.

This holistic yet personal approach supports each child’s development and progress – whether that’s building academic skills, personal resilience, confidence to move rooms or preparing them for school.

Our Bright Beginnings Curriculum comprises the following elements:

Opportunities and Experiences for Learning

Based on the latest research, our five key areas of Opportunities and Experiences for learning are aligned to and build on the EYFS framework. These are designed to nurture and develop the skills your child needs to flourish and reach their full potential. Activities include reading, writing and drawing, numbers and measures, as well as critical thinking, loose parts, and caring for self and others.

Opportunities and Experiences for Learning

Our 'HEARTS' Values

Working together with our families, we’re passionate about enabling children to fulfil their full potential - academically, socially and emotionally.

Your child’s wellbeing is critical to this. Our core ‘HEARTS’ values and principles will underpin everything they do at our nurseries, ensuring they are happy, confident and secure, paving the way for their future success.

Our Hearts Values

Bright Beginnings FAQ's

The Bright Beginnings Curriculum was inspired by our expert Early Childhood team’s ongoing drive to help children thrive as they navigate today’s world and prepare for tomorrow.

It’s widely acknowledged that if children feel safe and secure, are making friends and are forming strong attachments with key people, they will be able to flourish and be ready for the next stage in their lives.

Understanding that this is what children need, Bright Beginnings offers a comprehensive and ‘holistic’ approach to learning, wellbeing and development in their early years.

It’s specifically designed to help them develop strong emotional resilience, and equip them to make the most of opportunities - and deal with the challenges - that they may encounter throughout their lives.

The curriculum provides experiences designed to develop a wide range of skills, which are unique to Bright Beginnings from mindfulness, self-expression and problem-solving to forest school, cooking music and movement.

These experiences and skills contribute to children’s emotional resilience and sense of self. They are of equal importance to their introduction to mathematical concepts, developing their love of writing, passion for reading and building strong social relationships.

Wellbeing also forms a key pillar of the curriculum. Integral to Bright Beginnings are Bright Horizons Children’s HEARTS Values for Wellbeing, which provide the underpinning ‘conditions for learning’:

  • Healthy Body
  • Emotional Wellbeing
  • Attachments
  • Relationships
  • Teaching
  • Safe and Secure

Bright Beginnings focuses strongly on developing skills such as problem-solving, critical thinking and self-regulation, alongside aspects such as writing and drawing, using tools, and shape and space which are the essential skills children need for their future learning.

Children develop best by having access to a wide range of stimulating opportunities and experiences, through exploring, creating, being active and with the support of skilled, caring adults who help promote their learning.

The curriculum provides experiences which are unique to Bright Beginnings from mindfulness, self-expression and problem-solving to forest school, cooking music and movement.

These experiences and skills contribute to children’s emotional resilience and sense of self. They are of equal importance to their introduction to mathematical concepts, developing their love of writing, passion for reading and building strong social relationships.

The unique focus on wellbeing means your child will be given the emotional foundations - as well as the practical skills - to learn and thrive as they progress through their early years and beyond.

Everything that children experience adds to their knowledge of the world and naturally interconnects as their learning evolves.

Bright Beginnings identifies 5 key areas of learning for your child. These are called Opportunities and Experiences for Learning. Every opportunity and experience that your child has in our nurseries contributes to their learning and emotional development.

1. Feelings and friendships

2. Sharing thoughts and ideas

3. Technical and Life Skills

4. Thinking Creatively

5. Exploring and Learning About my World

Within these 5 key areas are further ‘aspects’ of learning. These are the skills we help children to develop and which will enable them to become confident, secure and happy individuals, prepared for the next stage in their learning.

We know that children learn best when they are engaged, happy and challenged. The activities within each aspect ensure your child will enjoy plenty of exciting and stimulating experiences that are tailored to their individual interests and learning needs.

1.1 Confidence

1.2 Independence + self-regulation

1.3 Understanding and respecting others

1.4 Making relationships

1.5 Managing behaviour

1.6 Dispositions for learning

1.7 Mindfulness

2.1 Self-expression

2.2 Reading

2.3 Writing & drawing

2.4 Speaking, listening and understanding

3.1 ICT

3.2 Number & measure

3.3 Calculation

3.4 Using tools

3.5 People and places

3.6 Caring for self and others

3.7 Relaxation

4.1 Heuristic play & Loose Parts

4.2 Shapes & Space,

4.3 Dance

4.4 Gardening

4.5 Cooking

4.6 Music

4.7 Movement

4.8 Art and craft

5.1 Problem solving

5.2 Critical thinking

5.3 Story telling

5.4 Role play

5.5 Outdoor play

5.6 Forest school

5.7 Understanding the wider world

All areas of learning are of equal importance and build on the national regulatory frameworks for England and Scotland (Early Years Foundation Stage and Curriculum for Excellence).

The Bright Beginnings curriculum provides children with a uniquely ‘holistic’ approach to learning and development including physical and emotional wellbeing - preparing them for their future in today’s world.

The curriculum is segmented into three key developmental age ranges: 0-2 years, 2-3 years and 3-5 years. These help children’s experiences in our nurseries to be tailored more specifically to their age, stage and capabilities.

The aspects of learning also help ensure each child is progressing well and identify if any extra support is needed as they move through their individual learning journey.

Our teams work in partnership with families so learning can continue at home. Together we support your child to get the most from the experiences we provide, learning all the time and ready for the next stage, whether that be moving rooms at nursery or going to school.

Listen To Our Podcast

There are several ways you’ll be kept in touch with how your child is progressing at nursery:

  • Informal daily chats at pick up or drop off- Chat to your child's key person about what they have enjoyed and learned today. Who they've played with and what they like to play with.
  • Updates on your child’s learning journal via the app- You can see what your child has been doing throughout the day and also see the observations that have been added onto the app. You can also add your own observations so that we can build on what they have been doing at home.
  • 1:1 catch ups with your child’s key person- You can book some time in with your child's key person to discuss how they are developing and progressing and if they may need some extra help.
  • Regular ‘parents evenings’ and ‘themed’ events- Join our parents evenings and speak to your child's key person and other staff members. See the nursery set up and understand why we plan the opportunities and experiences that help your child learn and develop.
  • If you’re ever concerned about your child’s progress, you can arrange additional 1:1 meetings with your Nursery Manager or child’s Key Person and we’ll be happy to work together to ensure your little one is getting our fullest support.

Observation simply means, ‘watching and learning about your child’. Observations in nursery help your child’s key person to plan exciting experiences which follow and build on your little one’s natural interests and fascinations.

By noticing who they prefer to play with, where and how they learn best, your child’s learning can be organically extended.

  • For example, we may notice that your child has a particular interest in filling and emptying containers in the water or sand. We’ll use that observation to set up more opportunities for them to learn about capacity, use the language of maths and find out about mixing and combining materials. We would also share this with you, so that you can do similar activities at home (if you want to!).

We often repeat activities so that children can revisit the learning and strengthen those important brain connections. Working together with our families strengthens the learning process further. Our shared observations about what they like to do helps to interconnect those experiences in the nursery and at home.

Practitioners will use their observations to help them plan the next steps in your child’s learning

What are observations

These terms can seem daunting, but they are helpful in guiding our practitioners as they plan the next areas of your child’s learning or in highlighting areas where your little one isn’t yet confident or may need some extra support and development.

  • For example, when a baby is just learning to walk, their key person will arrange opportunities for your little one to cruise and pull themselves up - helping them to strengthen their muscles and support balance.

Emerging - Your child has just begun to develop new skills and learning how to apply them

Developing - your child is beginning to use their new skills and learning to understand them

Secure - your child can consistently and confidently use these new skills

Using this framework also enables parents and carers to be involved and help achieve your child’s next steps in learning together.

Each child is valued as an individual, and we encourage them to progress at their own pace. If any additional support is needed, experiences can be planned to really focus on helping develop those areas. Sometimes, we may suggest introducing a specialist if a child needs specific extra support.

For specialist SEND advice

The Bright Beginnings Curriculum is designed to work alongside and go significantly beyond the statutory requirements of the national regulatory frameworks for both England and Scotland.

All of our nurseries comply with the highest standards required by the statutory frameworks but also build in additional benefits such as our dedication to ensuring each child’s personal wellbeing.

The Ready to School programme combines the benefits of the curriculum with practical activities and collaboration with local schools, helping to demystify ‘the great unknown’ for little ones and give them confidence in taking that next step.

The additional focus on wellbeing and emotional resilience will help give your child the confidence to look forward to their next transition step – building on their previous positive experiences throughout their nursery journey.

The wide range of opportunities and experiences provided by the curriculum also prepare children to be ‘school ready’. They will have been supported in developing the skills to become independent, communicate with others, listen to and follow instructions and make friends.

Of course, they’ll also have been introduced to the early years foundation stages of maths, early reading and writing.

Children’s learning doesn’t stop at the nursery door – or the front door! It’s a shared journey. We value parents, carers and your whole family as partners in your little one’s development.

No one knows your child like you do, so you’ll be supported and encouraged to share news and updates with us, which we can then use to provide at-home and in-nursery activities to extend your child’s learning and prepare them for the next step in their journey.

Take a look at some of our favourite play and learning activities here.

As part of our Bright Horizons family, you’ll regularly be invited to the nursery to see for yourself and enjoy the fruits of your little one’s nursery activities.

In addition, your Bright Horizons Family app brings you daily updates, videos and pictures of your child from their key person as well as information on other nursery events.

Better together! Parents and carers are also encouraged to add their child’s ‘wow’ moments, milestones and other interesting or fun family activities to the app – simply upload the video or photo and ‘post to feed’.

We have conducted research to measure the impact of our curriculum and we will continue to do so on a regular basis. Our initial research shows that:

  • Bright Beginnings has positively impacted the teaching and support for learning provided by our practitioners, which has led to measurable impact on our children’s engagement and wellbeing levels.
  • Our practitioners report that using Bright Beginnings has enhanced their understanding of the holistic nature of children’s learning and development.
  • There’s been a significant increase in children’s pro-social skills, as well as some evidence to suggest a positive impact on children’s overall self-regulation skills. We have recorded a significant increase in children’s wellbeing and engagement.

Bright Horizons share pioneering early years wellbeing curriculum at the World Forum