Understanding the World

Understanding the world involves guiding children to make sense of their physical world and their community. The frequency and range of children’s personal experiences increases their knowledge and sense of the world around them – from visiting parks, libraries and museums to meeting important members of society such as police officers, nurses and firefighters. In addition, listening to a broad selection of stories, non-fiction, rhymes and poems will foster their understanding of our culturally, socially, technologically and ecologically diverse world. As well as building important knowledge, this extends their familiarity with words that support understanding across domains. Enriching and widening children’s vocabulary will support later reading comprehension.

At Hillcross we;

  • Provide a wide range of natural materials and resources throughout our continuous provision, both inside and outside for the children to explore freely.

  • Provide opportunities to explore our extensive school environment, talking about what we notice and introducing new vocabulary.


  • Invite people from our local community in such as PCSO'S, Fire Brigade, Dentists and farms to provide real life opportunities and developing our own questions to help us find out more.
  • Carry out local visits to supermarkets, post office, parks and libraries creating maps and using directional language.
  • Find out about ourselves and our families, talking about past, present and celebrating our differences.
  • Celebrate different festivals and cultures through workshops, collective workshops and special guests.


  • Develop our outside allotment to ensure that the children have opportunities to plant, document change, growth and decay over time.


  • Follow the 'Hillcross Reading Pledge'.

How can you help your child with their learning at home?

  • Provide opportunities to play and explore outside.
  • Visit your local parks, shops and libraries with your child commenting on what you see, hear and feel.
  • Talk about yourselves and your families, looking at photos and linking to the past, present and future.
  • Explore and investigate toys with a mechanical effect such as pulleys, cogs and wind up toys.
  • Read books together.
  • Encourage messy play such as shaving foam, play dough, water and sand introducing new vocabulary to describe what you are doing or how it feels.
  • Provide time to talk to each other without distractions.
  • Talk about change linked to families, weather, planting and growth.

Hillcross Primary School, Ashridge Way, Morden, Surrey, SM4 4EE

020 8542 6936