Federation of Crigglestone and Castle Nursery Schools

The Curiosity Approach             

We started our Curiosity Approach Accreditation in January 2022. We are very excited about the changes that are taking place in our schools already. 


The accreditation is a year long process. We cannot wait to show you the transformations that we make to our learning environments (inside and out) and daily practice throughout the process. 

How does the Curiosity Approach help children develop?

Children will be supported to develop skills that will be relevant to them, growing up in an ever-changing world.

These include:

  •  Independent thinking
  •  Stronger non-verbal communication
  •  Language and verbal communication
  •  Problem-solving
  •  Lifelong learning
  •  Risk taking
  •  Imagination
  •  Respect for resources and the natural world
  •  Creative and critical thinking


By developing a child's curiosity and sense of adventure, they acquire important skills such as problem solving and independent thinking, which will help them in all areas of their lives as they grow into adulthood.

The Curiosity Approach aims to create ‘thinkers & doers’ by putting the child at the centre of their own development and learning.


The Curiosity Approach encompasses many early years philosophies, including: Reggio Emilia, Te Whãriki, Montessori, Pikler and Steiner.


Children learn through play with everyday items to develop their own natural curiosity and eagerness to explore and create. This encourages the children to create their own toys to play with whilst also learning about the world around them. 


Children are encouraged to use their imagination to figure out what each item is for and how to use it rather than being given a toy with a fixed identity, which shapes how a child will play it.


The Curiosity Approach allows children to lead their own learning and develop at their own pace.  

Why is Curiosity and Initiative Important in Learning?

There are many similarities between The Curiosity Approach’s values and those set out in The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) Framework 2021. The Framework agrees that children learn and develop well in enabling environments, with teaching and support from adults who respond to their individual interests and needs. It recognises that play is essential for children’s development. The EYFS Framework also states that “children learn by leading their own play”.


When setting out the three characteristics of effective teaching and learning, the Framework again draws upon values shared by The Curiosity Approach.

These are:

  •  Playing and Exploring – where children investigate and experience things, and ‘have a go’. 
  •  Active Learning – where children concentrate and keep on trying, even when they encounter difficulties, and enjoy their achievements.
  •  Creating and Thinking Critically – where children have and develop their own ideas, and can make links between them, and develop strategies for doing things. 

Whilst playing actively and thinking critically, children will develop the skills to help them become independent thinkers and strong communicators – skills which are vital if they are to become lifelong learners.


They will take the time to be more curious, and take the initiative to explore what is happening all around them.


Reggio Emilia - 100 Languages

The Curiosity Approach encompasses many of the key elements of the Reggio Emilia Approach. We feel the Reggio 100 language is so important in children's learning and development.


Listening to children is fundamental to understanding them; however, listening does not only mean hearing the words that children say. One of the pioneers of early education in Italy, Loris Malaguzzi (1920–94), was very attuned to the fact that children have many different ways in which they communicate their thoughts and feelings. He put together the following poem to express what he perceived as the 100 languages in which children attempt to express themselves if only adults could learn to listen attentively:

More Information for Parents and Carers