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 Primary 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 EYFS Framework explains how and what your child will be learning to support their development. Your child will be learning skills, acquiring new knowledge and demonstrating their understanding through 7 areas of learning and development.

Children should mostly develop the 3 prime areas first. These are:· Communication and language· Physical development· Personal, social and emotional development

These prime areas are those most essential for your child’s healthy development and future learning. We would urge you to interact with your child as much as possible prior to them starting Nursery as this will help them with all areas of development.

As children grow, the prime areas will help them to develop skills in 4 specific areas. These are:· Literacy· Mathematics· Understanding the world· Expressive arts and design

The early years curriculum is designed to be flexible and ensure all children flourish. 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 vary in duration and change depending on the overarching topic, current events and the children’s interests.



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.


In September our first topic was, Celebrating Me!  This topic encouraged children to develop their Personal, Social and Emotional skills, to talk about themselves and recognise the differences and similarities between each other.  

This half term our topic is: How many bears do you know? This topic encourages children to develop their understanding of seasonal changes, focusing on Autumn and hibernation.