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Early Years Foundation Stage

St Joseph’s Nursery

The early years is a unique and exciting time in your child’s life, during this stage they develop rapidly and learn how to become life-long learners.  For this reason it is vital that they have a nurturing, exciting and stimulating environment in which they can grow and develop. The staff encourage initiative and self-confidence and nurture children into becoming independent thinkers.

Nursery Sessions
Full Day                                            9.00am to 3.00pm
Morning Session                             8.30am to 11.30am
Morning Session with lunch          8.30am to 12.30pm
Afternoon Session                          12.30pm to 3.30pm


Our Reception Classes continue to follow the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum.  Our Reception team offer a creative and varied curriculum to meet the needs of the children through planned purposeful play opportunities as a whole class, small group and individual activities in preparation for Year 1. These are planned around the seven areas of learning and development as shown below.


The Reception children following the whole school reading scheme, Read Write Inc.  The main reading schemes at St Joseph’s are Read Write Inc., Collins Big Cat and Oxford Reading Tree. In addition, we have books available from many other schemes to provide breadth of interest and stretch for the most able. Every child participates regularly in differentiated group phonic activities and work individually with an adult.


Children work with their teachers who find exciting ways to help them experience and understand the foundations of mathematics in preparation for the rest of their school career.

The Reception children have access to specialist teachers for PE. The Reception children have continuous access to our wonderful outdoor learning environment.

Below is a brief overview of the 7 areas of learning and development:


  • Personal and social 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.
  • 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; and to develop their co-ordination, control, and movement. Children must also be helped to understand the importance of physical development, and to make healthy choices in relation to food.


  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Understanding the world – involves guiding the 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 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.

What to Expect When is a very useful and helpful booklet aimed at parents with children under the age of 5. It supports Parent(s) and Carer(s) by helping them understand how their child is learning and developing and what to expect during their first five years, in relation to the Early Years.  Children develop more rapidly during the first five years than at any other time. This booklet has been written to help parents know what to expect during these vitally important years by focusing on the Seven Areas of Learning and development which are covered in the Early Years Foundation Stage.

Physical Development

Communication and Language

Personal Social and Emotional



Understanding of the World

Expressive Arts and Design

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