Early Years

The Early Years Foundation Stage 

Very high quality provision is offered in our Early Years classes. Please click here to read the highly successful evaluation report from the internal review that was carried out in January 2018. Click here for our latest Early Years Self Evaluation Form (SEF), which was completed in January 2018.

What happens in our nursery? Watch this film to see.

What happens in reception? Watch this film to see.

Please read the following very helpful guide to the Early Years (nursery and reception) produced by Richmond Local Authority.

In nursery and reception classes we support children in three prime areas of learning:

  • Physical development
  • Personal, social and emotional development
  • Communication and language

These three prime areas are strengthened and applied through the specific areas. These are:

  • Literacy
  • Mathematics
  • Understanding the world
  • Expressive arts and design

Slideshow of reception parents’ curriculum evening: October 2017

Our learning programmes involve the following activities and experience:

Recommended books to read with your child

Communication and language development involves giving children opportunities to experience a rich language environment; to develop their confidence and skills in expressing themselves; and to speak and listen in a range of situations.

Physical development involves providing opportunities for young children to be active and interactive; andto develop their co-ordination, control, and movement.  Children must also be helped to understand the importance of physical activity, and to make healthy choices in relation to food.

Personal, Social and emotional development involves helping children to develop a positive sense of themselves, and others; to form positive relationships and develop respect for others; to develop social skills and learn how to manage their feelings; to understand appropriate behaviour in groups; and to have confidence in their own abilities.

Literacy  development involves encouraging children to link sounds and letters and to begin to read and write.  Children must be given access to a wide range of reading materials (books, poems, and other written materials) to ignite their interest.

Supporting your child’s understanding of phonics at home

Mathematics involves providing children with opportunities to develop and improve their skills in counting, understanding and using numbers, calculating simple addition and subtraction problems; and to describe shapes, spaces and measures.

Supporting your child’s mathematical development at home

Understanding the world involves guiding children to make sense of their physical world and their community through opportunities to explore, observe and find out about people, places, technology and the environment.

Expressive arts and design  involves enabling children to explore and play with a wide range of media and materials, as well as providing opportunities and encouragement for sharing their thoughts, ideas and feelings through a variety of activities in art, music, movement, dance, role-play and design and technology

Children learn to work together, be creative and inventive and have enormous fun.

Helpful guidance information

Preparing for change at school

Getting the most out of school

Independence and responsibility

Praise and reward

Giving your child a helping hand

Online safety

What children do in the nursery

So safe, fun, interesting, varied, inspiring and great relationships between children and adults . . . my children don’t give me a backward glance.

Parent comment, parent questionnaire, 2015

The school nursery – overview plans

We are very proud of our school nursery as we believe that we offer children very good provision and a positive, happy start to their learning journey. We now offer 39 morning places and 39 afternoon places. All children enjoy three hours of provision each day. In the nursery we aim to provide the children with a wide, rich range of  play based activities and experiences. It is largely through structured play that young children learn about themselves, others and the world in which they live. Play offers important opportunities for young children to develop their communication skills. In addition, they learn to explore, investigate, try things out and learn alongside others. Embedded, carefully thought out routines are in place and there is a familiar pattern to children’s daily experience. As a result they feel secure and settle quickly, gaining the maximum from their first experience of school.

A morning in the nursery

An afternoon in the nursery

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In our planning we provide a broad curriculum, which includes all the subject areas of the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum. There are seven broad areas of learning and these are divided into two sections.  Prime areas of learning are fundamental, work together, and move through to support development in all other areas.

A)   Prime Areas

1)    Personal, Social and Emotional Development

This is about making relationships, developing self-confidence and self-awareness, plus learning to manage feelings and behaviour.

2)    Physical Development

Children extend their ability to move around and to handle objects and equipment. They broaden their existing knowledge about how to to be healthy and their understanding about how to care for themselves develops.

3)    Communication and Language

Children learn to listen, to understand what the teacher and their peers are communicating and how to express their needs, thoughts and ideas through speech.

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B)   Specific areas of learning

 Specific areas include essential skills and knowledge for children to participate successfully in society.

4)    Literacy

Taking the first steps in learning to read and write.

5)    Mathematics

Finding out about numbers and shapes; learning about physical space and measurements.

6)    Understanding the World

Children find out about people and communities, the world they live in and how technology is used in our world.

7)    Expressive Arts and Design

They explore and use different media and materials . . . and they develop their imagination.

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In September 2013 we opened our forest school environment. This natural area creates an enhanced opportunity for pupils to spend more time learning in the outdoors. There will be morning and afternoons when they will spend all three hours learning together outside in this specially designed environment.

Forest school map

Forest school information

Our planning covers different topics each half term. Weekly activities are carefully planned for both adult led and independent learning. Identified learning is delivered through individual, group and whole class teaching where the learning objectives have been clearly identified.

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Being in the nursery is fun! The children have the opportunity to become involved in a wide range of first hand, practical experiences, leading to the acquisition of knowledge, skills and understanding. Sometimes children will choose what they want to do. At other times they will be asked to work with an adult and take part in an activity that helps them to concentrate and develop a particular skill. For example, cutting or tracing. How do we judge how well children are doing? In the first place we assess their well being. Are they relaxed and at ease, spontaneous and happy? Secondly, we look closely at their involvement in the activities on offer. How engaged in activities are they? How much interest in, and enthusiasm for, play based learning do they show?

If the children are to learn effectively we need to ensure that the atmosphere in the nursery is right. Our  nursery is a welcoming, caring, safe yet stimulating place where the children feel eager to return each day, and where they feel they can express themselves and in turn receive a positive, respectful responses from staff. Equally, we believe it is important to build good relationships with parents so that we are all working towards the same common goals.

For more information about the school nursery please download our Early Years Foundation Stage handbook.