Another group is concentrating on whether the tape they are listening to is of a clock ticking or the clatter of horses' hooves.
In fact, these children are working on learning literacy. The activities have been chosen to prepare them to write by making marks and to read by distinguishing sounds.
Karen Hunter, the headteacher, said: "We put out activities for the children. The children pick for themselves what to do, but adults are there observing and interacting when they see an opportunity for learning arise."
Inspectors have described the nursery as exceptional and Mrs Hunter's leadership as outstanding, praising the meticulous planning of activities. Photograph:Steve Hill