Learning Journey

You are choosing Huili Nursery Shanghai as you share our philosophy; you want your child to have a different education, one which will help them to develop an enquiring and independent mind.

Learning Journey

You are choosing Huili Nursery Shanghai as you share our philosophy; you want your child to have a different education, one which will help them to develop an enquiring and independent mind.

Preparing your child for the start of their journey is vital and parents play a crucial role in ensuring that the transition from home is one that is planned for in a calm and peaceful manner. Children look to their parents and guardians as guides on which to model their own behaviour. They are incredibly astute at picking up on the emotions and feelings of those around them. An anxious parent will undoubtedly have a child who wonders why they are anxious. A happy and relaxed parent will have a child who models their behaviour and is happy and relaxed too.

You are choosing Huili Nursery Shanghai as you share our philosophy; you want your child to have a different education, one which will help them to develop an enquiring and independent mind. Independence starts at home with the parents and extended family in preparing your child for the journey ahead. How do you achieve this? There are a few simple steps that can help you on your way:

  • Allow your child to feel independent in a safe and secure environment. Allow them the opportunity to play alone without interference from an adult.
  • Encourage your child to do things for themselves; feeding, drinking, dressing, cleaning teeth, washing faces, brushing hair.
  • Involve your child in tidying up; sing songs to bring the task in hand to life.
  • Allow your child to walk, rather than being carried. Holding their hand affords them the freedom to feel ‘grown up’ whilst still being safe in their parents’ care.
  • Ask support from extended family and carers to also encourage independence.
  • In situations where you as a parent may feel unsure, learn to smile so that your child feels secure. This is especially important when you first walk in to the nursery. If you walk in with a smile, say “good morning” and leave after a brief discussion with the team, your child will see that you trust the teachers and will follow your lead. If you carry your child in to the setting clinging on to them, telling them how much you will miss them, they will wonder why they are being left with people that you look unsure of.
  • Trust the staff to do the best for your child. Remind yourself and your extended family of the reasons that you have made this decision – you want an independent and enquiring child. Allow the staff to guide you and believe that the best interests of your child lie at the heart of everything that they do.
  • Communicate openly through appropriate channels. If you are unsure of anything – just ask. At Huili Nursery Shanghai, we are confident in our approach to early years’ education and to this end, we are completely transparent in our practice. The leadership team operate an open-door policy and are happy for parents to pop by or book an appointment where necessary. The teachers and assistants are available at drop off and pick up to briefly discuss issues or can arrange a 1:1 meeting at a time suitable to both parties. We have created an atmosphere of warmth, belonging and open communication so that parents and extended family members feel valued within the Huili family.

Huili Nursery Shanghai, along with all other early years settings at Wellington College China has spent the last two years developing its own framework for learning. The framework takes the Chinese curriculum (3-6) and maps it to the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) from the UK. The framework identifies key development indicators for each age and stage of a Huili early years education. It supports a play-based approach to learning where the characteristics of effective learning are fostered. The ways in which a child engages with other people and their environment – playing and exploring, active learning, and creating and thinking critically – underpin learning and development across all areas and support the child to remain an effective and motivated learner. Every child is unique and reaches out to relate to people and things through the characteristics of effective learning, which move through all areas of learning.


Playing & Exploring (Engagement)

  • Finding out & exploring
  • Playing with what they know
  • Being willing to have a go


Active Learning (Motivation)

  • Being involved & concentrating
  • Keeping trying
  • Enjoying & achieving what they set out to do


Creating & Thinking Critically (Thinking)

  • Having their own ideas
  • Making links
  • Choosing ways to do things



Prime Areas
The prime areas begin to develop quickly in response to relationships and experiences running through and supporting learning in all other areas. The prime areas continue to be fundamental throughout the Huili Framework.

  • Communication and Language: Listening & attention; understanding; speaking
  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development: Making relationships; self-confidence & self-awareness; managing feelings & behaviour
  • Physical Development: Moving & handling; health & self-care

Specific Areas
The specific areas include essential skills and knowledge, providing important contexts for learning.

  • Literacy: Reading; writing
  • Mathematics: Numbers; shape, space & measure
  • Understanding the World: People & communities; the world; technology
  • Expressive Arts and Design: Exploring & using materials & media; being imaginative

EY1 – learning through schema

EY2 – learning through StoryTalk

EY3 & EY4 – Learning Adventures

In Early Years 1 and 2, we focus on establishing good routines, positive behavioural traits and establishing the Characteristics of Effective Learning, alongside developing pupils in the prime areas. Only when pupils show solid skills in these areas can we begin to focus on the others. From that point on, we ensure pupils are exposed to a wide variety of engaging learning opportunities, both indoors and outdoors. Throughout the setting, our learning spaces are specifically designed to promote learning and development in the seven areas and under the guidance of our early years’ practitioners, pupils are provided with an opportunity to flourish and thrive.

Development of Language
To ensure that children have exposure to the languages of English and Chinese, we have implemented a system that affords each pupil the opportunity to be immersed in language continuously. To achieve this, we have successfully recruited a team of exceptional  teachers and teaching assistants. Each class has teaching partners supported by teaching assistants and early years assistants.

As early years’ educators, we look to support children at all ages and stages of development. We encourage children to be actively independent and ask parents to be as supportive as possible in the process.
Prior to joining us in any specific age group we need children to have reached certain developmental milestones. These include:
EARLY YEARS 1 (2-3 years of age):

  • Toilet trained or preparing to be so
  • Able to wash hands independently
  • Can help with dressing and undressing
  • Awareness of hygiene, including blowing own nose
  • Can use a spoon and fork to eat independently
  • Use a cup and straw for drinking

EARLY YEARS 2 (3-4 years of age):

  • Toilet trained (including cleaning themselves)
  • Able to wash hands independently
  • Can help with dressing and undressing and can put on their coat independently
  • Awareness of hygiene, blowing own nose
  • Ability to use a spoon and fork, training chopsticks and begin to use knife independently
  • Use a cup and straw (children in Early Years 2 should not be fed a bottle or use a dummy)
  • Children must be used to walking and have developed a level of physical stamina (children in Early Years 2 should not be using pushchairs or be carried)

EARLY YEARS 3 (4-5 years of age):

  • Toilet trained
  • Able to wash hands independently
  • Dress and undress independently
  • Awareness of hygiene, blowing own nose
  • Can use spoon, fork, chopsticks and knife independently
  • Recognise their own name (this helps when identifying their own belongings – bags, coats, water bottles)

EARLY YEARS 4 (5-6 years of age):

  • Increased attention span
  • Expresses feelings more readily (some still need investigating and explaining, i.e. jealousy)
  • Co-ordination – rides a bike, uses a skipping rope, balances on one foot, skips, catches a large ball
  • Play is more complex and is filled with lots of fantasy and drama
  • Fine motor skills improve, using buttons, zips, ties shoe laces, attempts to cut up food
  • Writes own name
  • Reads simple picture books

If at any time we feel that we may need additional information regarding your child’s development, we would advise further assessment by the relevant specialist. Children who have developmental delays will be placed per where their needs will be best met, but only if the nursery is deemed suitable to meet their needs sufficiently.

The class sizes are dependent upon the age of the pupils and are as follows:

Class Chinese Teacher English Teacher Teaching Assistant Early Years’ Assistant
Early Years 1 – Class size of 18 – 2 Classes 1 1 2 1
Early Years 2 – Class size of 20 – 4 Classes 1 1 2 1
Early Years 3 – Class size of 22 – 4 Classes 1 1 1 1
Early Years 4 – Class size of 24 – 4 Classes 1 1 1 1


The core hours of the day are 08:00 – 16:00 with registration for EY3 and EY4 at 08:20 and for EY1 and EY2 at 08:30.  The Huili Nursery Shanghai Academy programmes run from 15:40 – 16:40.


A parent is the very first educator in a child’s life. Parents play a tremendously important role in the success of their child’s education and we need ongoing help and commitment in supporting your child. Before starting with us, we ask that you talk about the new and exciting changes with your child. When children are new to a setting, we encourage one of the parents to stay with them for a set period, after which time you both return home. The following day, we encourage you to stay for a while longer and maybe pop out of the room for a few minutes. This will increase over the next two days. Our settling in usually takes place over a period of 3-5 days, where you will be invited in to the class at set times.

Parents will be advised of the appropriate time as part of the parent induction process.