Newsletter Autumn                   

Newsletter Spring 1 Nursery                           Newsletter Spring 2 Nursery


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.



We have had a very busy start to our Autumn term and we are so pleased with how all the children have settled into Nursery and Reception. Our first topic was “Ourselves”. Within this topic, the children shared their ideas, likes and dislikes, similarities and differences. During this time, we also took part in the school diversity week; in which the children learned that it’s good to be different and that we are all unique.  

We all painted our self-portraits.  


‘Senses Day’ 

While learning about ourselves, Reception spent a day immersed in their senses. We used our senses to complete activities, such as feeling different objects and explained how they felt to others. Guessing the sound thinking about what it could be. Smelling different mystery ingredients and talking about what they could be, and whether we liked them or not. We did a taste-test and tasted lots of different foods and described how they tasted to others.  We tasted bitter, sweet, salty and sour foods.  

How Many Bears do you know?   

This half-term, within our topic we have been talking about Autumn. In Nursery, they created and explored their very own pumpkin patch. The children weighed and sold their pumpkins in their roleplay shop. They loved it! 

How Many Bears do we know?! We know loads! We have been reading lots of stories about them, including Goldilocks and the three Bears, Whatever Next and Don’t Wake Mr Bear. We have even been on our very own bear hunt! We have talked about how some animals prepare to hibernate in Autumn and all about the seasonal changes around us.  


 Sports Festival

Reception took part in the EYFS Sports Festival at Durham University. The children really enjoyed the activities; dancing, chasing, martial arts and team games. It was commented upon how well behaved our children were, “they listened and engaged with the activities so well.” And the children were a credit to the school. A brilliant day all around!

Chinese New Year 

In spring 1, Nursery had a great time learning about Chinese New Year. We learned about how Chinese New Year is an important festival in China and for Chinese people all over the world. This year, it is the year of the rabbit. We looked at the traditional clothes worn in China and listened to Chinese music. We also made Chinese lanterns and dragons. We made our home corner into a Chinese restaurant and practiced using chop sticks. Our favourite part was tasting Chinese food, it was delicious!

In Reception, we learnt  about Chinese New Year and how this can be celebrated. We read about “The Great Race” and learned about some of the animals in the Chinese Zodiac.  In PE, we moved like some of the different animals from the Chinese zodiac. We also watched some Chinese dragon and lion dancing and had a go at our own dances.

We made some dragon puppets and decorated some Chinese lanterns using the Chinese lucky colour red. We tasted some Chinese food, such as rice, prawn crackers and spring rolls. We also had some fortune cookies!   We explored lots of different activities around the classroom, such as writing our names in Chinese, writing numbers in Chinese, using chopsticks, making cards for our family and friends and acting out the story of the great race.  We even took home a lucky money envelope with a coin in called hongbao!

Valentine’s Day

Nursery have had a great week celebrating love. We made valentines cards and valentines biscuits and gave them to our loved ones. We also made friendship potions and talked about the qualities of our friends.

Just before half-term, we celebrated Pancake Day! We all tried different toppings on our pancakes – syrup, lemon juice or jam!