Nursery - Hedgehog


Welcome to our Early Years Foundation Stage

We are the youngest children in school and we are made up of Nursery and Reception children. Our teachers are Mrs Orton (Nursery) and Mrs Garvin (Reception). We also have Miss Moore (Nursery) – Early Years Educator, Miss Bourke and Mrs King (Reception) who are Teaching Assistants.

Our Unit

Our unit is made up of two big classrooms, an outdoor area and we also use part of the learning street. We also use the playground and field areas within the school grounds. Nursery and Reception children work together most of the day, this helps our older children to develop their personal and social skills by helping and supporting the younger children. It ensures the younger children settle into nursery quickly as they have excellent peer role models to learn from. The mixed age class also provides a seamless transition from Nursery to Reception for our youngest children. Being part of our EYFS unit also allows us to follow a stages not ages approach. This means that our learning is tailored to meet our individual needs rather than our age. 

The provision in the Early Years Unit is enhanced weekly with activities and resources tailored to the children’s needs and interests. We plan carefully to ensure the children are continually learning through their play. Play is essential for children’s development so the early years curriculum is very much play-based. Writing, reading and mathematical skills are planned into most areas of the unit each week wherever possible. Children are provided with many opportunities for developing their personal, social, physical, creative and communication skills within their play.

Our Timetable

Nursery sessions run from 9 am – 12pm.

The Reception children start their day at 9 am with home time at 3.30 pm.

We start the day with free choice play in Early Years. This is followed by our weekly story and phonics. We use Read, Write, Inc and Letters and Sounds to plan and implement our Phonic teaching. After phonics/Literacy, we have a lot of time to explore the classrooms and outdoor areas during the morning while we work with our friends and our teachers. At the end of the morning we sit together and have a Maths teaching input. We then talk together about what we have done before we get ready for lunch or home time. Reception continue to explore the classrooms with additional teaching inputs in the afternoon.

Our Learning

One of the objectives of both Nursery and Reception is to create an environment where each and every child feels happy, safe and secure.  We also aim for pupils to develop, at an early age, self-confidence, independence, enthusiasm for learning and an appreciation of what can be achieved through hard work and determination. We have a personalised curriculum based on the assessment of each child’s learning. The children in the Early Years Unit learn indoors and outdoors through a mix of independent play, direct group teaching, small group work, supported play and one to one work with an adult. We run specific, tailored intervention groups to ensure all of our children make progress and achieve their potential. Current interventions are based around the Literacy, Mathematics and social areas of learning and include: phonics, fine motor skills, gross motor skills, challenge writers, number recognition and shape recognition. These groups are always very active and fun.


We begin with our youngest children in Nursery who learn to hear and distinguish different sounds around them in Phase 1 of Letters and Sounds which provides them with a strong foundation for the more “formal” phonics sessions that the children will begin once they are ready. Phonics is taught in small groups in the Early Years Unit for 20 minutes each morning, although phonics teaching and learning is continuous throughout the day through the provision and adult support. In Phase 2 our children begin to learn the letters and sounds they need to be able to read and write simple words. Phase 3 provides the longer vowel sounds, such as “ai, ee, igh, oa and oo”.

A guide for the correct pronunciation of the phonics sounds can be found here. (link to youtube video -

We use the actions from the Jolly Phonics programme to aid the teaching of phonics initially. A description of the actions can be found here. (link to youtube video -


Mathematical skills in Early Years can be developed in every area of provision. Each day the children take part in a more formal, short session where they sing number songs and learn about number sense. The children use a range of resources to help them to develop their number skills. Reception children use ‘Numbots’ which is an online programme designed to support children’s learning of early mathematical concepts.


At the end of the foundation stage, we would hope that each pupil will:

  • have settled into school life;

  • feel happy and relaxed working and playing with his or her peers and teachers;

  • have begun to read, write and understand numbers and the concepts of addition and subtraction;

  • be developing an enquiring mind and learning from the world around them;

but most of all in Nursery and Reception your child will have lots of fun, develop a love of learning and build a firm foundation on which to build as he/she moves through Arley Primary School.


Nursery newsletter Spring

EYFS website links

Other Information

Educational Games

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