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.   


This term our topic has been ‘Pick up a Stick’. The children have enjoyed reading The Gruffalo, The Gruffalo’s child, Stickman and Stanley’s Stick. The children have had the opportunity to retell these stories through gymnastics. Reception children were encouraged to make a stickman and take it on an adventure that they could write about. Nursery children were encouraged to use their imagination to transform their stick to anything they wanted it to be! Look at our magic wands……they are FANTASTICK!


Chinese New Year
We have been learning about Chinese New Year and how Chinese people celebrate it. We explored lots of different activities around the classroom, such as writing our name in Chinese, using chopsticks, making lanterns and making cards for our family and friends. We also read about “The Great Race” and learned about some of the animals in the Chinese Zodiac. We tasted some Chinese food, such a rice, prawn crackers and spring rolls. We also had some fortune cookies! Yummy!


World Book Day 2022
Today we celebrated all things books. We read our favourite stories, dressed up as our favourite book characters and wrote some book reviews. School also held a competition to decorate a vegetable inspired by a story character.


Exciting news!!!

On Monday 28th March, we welcomed Bishop Paul into school to officially open our outside area. We had a short celebration and Bishop Paul blessed our garden. The Nursery and Reception children were excited to show our visitors around and talk to them about our new outdoor classroom.




Just before half-term we celebrated the platinum jubilee. Nursery children came to school dressed as kings and queens – we were very impressed by their fantastic outfits! During the week the children learned about the Queen’s life and did lot of fun activities. At home, children made some lovely crowns! The whole school came together for a picnic on the field, we even had a special royal visitor!


‘Are Eggs Alive?’ was our topic for this term . Flowers, humans, frogs, and butterflies are among the life cycles that the children have learned about. The children in Nursery witnessed caterpillars hatch from eggs and metaphasis into butterflies. The children were so excited to release them in our outside area.

The children in reception enjoyed a trip to Preston Park’s Butterfly World. They were excited by the sight of all the butterflies flying around and thoroughly enjoy this trip. The children also enjoyed playing in the park and having a picnic. In literacy, our children have even written their own stories of ‘The Very Hungry Caterpillar’, it was a lot of writing, but we were super impressed with our work.