The Early Years of your child’s education is known as the Foundation Stage. This vital stage includes the time a child spends in the Nursery and Reception classes. It is distinct from, but complimentary to the National Curriculum, which begins when a child is in Year 1.  At Thornaby C of E School children in Nursery and Reception are provided with a stimulating learning environment which encourages learning through play – a fundamental part of early learning.


The content of the Foundation Stage curriculum is defined under the following headings:

• Personal, Social and Emotional Development
Children learn to work and play cooperatively with others. They develop a positive sense of themselves.
• Communication, Language and Literacy
Children develop competence in communication with others, speaking and listening and in becoming readers and writers.
• Mathematics
Children develop mathematical understanding through number stories, songs and games and the use of mathematical language and by solving practical problems.
• Knowledge and Understanding of the World
Children find out about their environment and the people and places that have significance in their lives.
• Physical Development
Children develop physical control, movement, an awareness of space and manipulative skills. There is an increase in understanding of how their body works and how to be healthy and safe.
• Creative Development
Children develop imagination and the ability to communicate and express ideas and feelings in a variety of creative ways.


These set out the skills, understanding, and knowledge we hope the children will achieve by the end of Reception. We do this by:
• Providing planned and child initiated activities
• Planning activities which follow children’s interests
• Developing creativity, self-esteem and confidence
• Encouraging enjoyment and pride in achievements
• Encouraging a close partnership with parents
• Regularly assessing children’s learning to help us plan their next steps



The children have a daily phonics session which will commence after children have become settled into Nursery. We follow Letters and Sounds, focusing on phase 1 which concentrates on developing their speaking and listening skills and lays the foundations for the phonic work which starts in phase 2. When we progress to phase 2 we also include the jolly phonics actions.


We read a book of the week during the literacy session, snack time and home time. Children are encouraged to talk about the pictures in the story and predict what might happen. We discuss stories we have read and re-call the main events in the story.


Children are taught the basic skills of counting and are encouraged to use number in their play. We will be starting a number of the week to help children recognise numbers and understand an amount can be represented by a number. We also use Ten Town to help children recognise numbers. We also include shape, measure and size in our topic work.


Nursery’s topics change 1-4 weeks, depending on the children’s interests.

This half term our new topic is ‘Winter



The children have daily phonic and reading sessions. Their repertoire of letter sounds will increase rapidly and we will be sending home new sounds to revise every week. They are being encouraged to segment and blend simple words using ‘robot talk’. Action words are introduced to build up their sight vocabulary ready for reading.


A book of the week is read daily and children are encouraged to discuss the characters and events in the story. They are learning to discuss, predict and evaluate the stories they have listened to.


Maths is taught using the ‘Maths Mastery’ approach. Maths Mastery helps the children to build deep conceptual understanding of concepts which will enable them to apply their learning to different situations. Children participate in daily ‘Maths Meetings’, which encourages them to love maths via songs, chants and rhymes. 


Topics are changed every 2-4 weeks depending on the children’s interests. So far this year the children have been learning about:
Being healthy
Chinese New Year