Early Years

We have three classes in our Foundation Stage – Nursery and two Reception classes.

Miss Norton is our Nursery teacher; Mrs Blackley, Mrs Popadynec and Mrs Valentine are the Reception class teachers. All four teachers, along with their teaching assistants plan and structure the Early Years curriculum together.

The nursery class provides part-time and full-time places. Children with part time sessions attend for 5 morning or 5 afternoons per week. Children may attend the nursery class from the age of 3 years. Full time places are available for parents wishing to purchase extra sessions for their child or with eligibility for 30 hours funding.

Children are admitted into the Reception class during the year in which they reach their fifth birthday.

Our curriculum

Our curriculum is planned based on excellent Early Years practice with planned activities for each of the areas of learning:

  • Communication and language
  • Physical development
  • Personal, social and emotional development
  • Literacy
  • Mathematics
  • Understanding the world
  • Expressive arts and design

These activities are planned throughout the learning environment with children using a wide variety of resources in the many areas of the classroom (sand area, water tray, messy area, mark making area, maths area, reading corner, role play, small world, construction or the computer corner).

This is further enhanced by outdoor provision where children can undertake activities only possible in the outdoor environment such as writing in flour, large scale painting projects or basic carpentry.

In Nursery, children are introduced to Phase One phonics which involves listening and identifying environmental sounds, identifying words starting with the same phonemes (letter sounds) and rhyming words.

In Nursery, the main focus is for children to grow in their understanding of the world, communication and language skills, personal and social skills and their independence in preparation for becoming school ready. We also focus on children learning to choose appropriate activities, expand their learning by trying new things as well as engaging in some teacher-led and key worker activities as a whole class, small group or individual.

Children in our Reception classes have their own class base with their own key workers. This gives children are real sense of belonging and the security of working with someone they know well. They meet as a class at many points throughout the day for whole class stories, singing, circle time and introductions to activities.

Each day the children are involved in phonics lessons. For these, children are taught in whole class sessions using the Little Wandle resources. Any pupils who require extra support in order to embed this learning receive intervention sessions at other points in the day. By the end of the year most of the children will be able to recognize and use sounds which are represented by more than letter in their writing, e.g. oo, ee, or ai.

Children will also be involved in mathematics activities each day. These activities are in small groups of children who are at the same stage in their learning. When the children have been introduced to a new skill, such as measuring, adults often reinforce this during the day by working with them to measure items during their self-chosen activities, e.g. when building with the bricks.

Many of our activities in Reception are planned from the children’s interests or from identified gaps in their knowledge. Therefore, our exact topics and plans change with each cohort. The document below gives an overview of how we ensure we deliver a broad and balanced curriculum.

Reception Overview

Some of the activities children are involved in at Nursery and Reception result in lasting evidence of their achievements, e.g. a picture they may bring home or writing in their book; however, many of the activities are more about an experience rather than resulting in lasting evidence so at St Leonard’s we take photographs and written notes about the activities children are involved in. Many of these will be shared with you through our home-school communication system ‘Class Dojo’.

Lets Connect

All phone enquiries are dealt with by our school secretaries (Mrs Pam Taylor and Mrs Catherine Berry).

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