Reception and Nursery

The Environment

St Mary’s Foundation Stage Unit aims to provide a happy, safe and stimulating environment which provides the best possible early years education for each child. Children in Foundation Stage learn by playing and exploring, being active, and through creative and critical thinking which takes place both indoors and outside.

In our Foundation Stage Unit the children in Nursery (FS1) and Reception (FS2) access the same learning environment and resources throughout the day. Each and every part of our learning environment has been carefully planned to meet and challenge all of our children. The Foundation Stage Unit contains two large classrooms, a mezzanine, children's toilets and an outdoor yard. Both classrooms and the outdoor yard are split into different 'areas' which the children can choose to access during the day.  Each area contains learning opportunities. Learning opportunities are carefully planned around the interests of the children so they can lead, take ownership and become immersed in their learning. We support the children to develop their skills progressively in exciting, fun and creative ways to achieve the highest standards possible. We regularly add to our provision to ignite excitement or to further challenge pupils.


The Curriculum

When children first come in to school they are following the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) programme of study - for children up to 5 years old (and beyond where relevant). Please click here for more details.

The EYFS has four guiding principles:

  • Every child is a unique child, who is constantly learning and can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured
  • Children learn to be strong and independent through positive relationships
  • Children learn and develop well in enabling environments, in which their experiences respond to their individual needs and there is a strong partnership between practitioners and parents and/or carers
  • Children develop and learn in different ways and at different rates. The framework covers the education and care of all children in early years provision, including children with special educational needs and disabilities

There are seven areas of learning and development that shape learning in the early years. All areas of learning and development are important and inter-connected. Three areas are particularly crucial for igniting children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, and for building their capacity to learn, form relationships and thrive.

These three areas, the prime areas, are:

  • Communication and language
  • Physical development
  • Personal, social and emotional development

The four specific areas in addition to these are:

  • Literacy
  • Mathematics
  • Understanding the world
  • Expressive arts and design

​Each area of learning and development is implemented through a topic based curriculum.

Throughout this time the progress of each child is continually assessed and activities planned to meet their future needs.


Typical School Day

8:40am - The school day starts.  Parents are welcome to stay until register time to support their child and to talk to the staff.

9:00am - Attendance register and dinner register taken.

9:10 -10:30- Learning session followed by continuous provision

10:30 - 10:45 - Morning playtime

10:45 - 11:30 - learning session followed by continuous provision

11:30 - 12:40 - Lunch eaten in the hall follow by playtime

12:40 - 1: 40 - Phonics followed by continuous provision 

1:40 - 2:40- Learning session followed by continuous provision

2:40 - 3:00 - Daily collective worship

3:00 - 3:10 - End of day routines

3:10 - Home time

We also have two PE sessions each week in the school hall. 

Each child also reads to an adult 1 - 1 at least twice a week. 


Key Information for new parents

* How to apply for a Reception place- please click here.

It should be noted that because we are a Church of England Primary School we have a different admissions ranking criteria to some other schools. Details can be found by clicking above.

* What do pupils say about us?

We asked our Junior Leadership Team to tell us what the best ten things about St Mary's is. Surprisingly playtime wasn't number one! Click here to see what they said. 

* School uniform

We do wear a school uniform at St Mary's from Nursery through to year 6. More information can be found on our School Uniform Page.

* Wrap around care

We do offer wrap around care from 7:30am - 5:45pm in the form of Breakfast and after School Club. Please click here for more details.

* School Dinners

Pupils in Reception are entitled to Universal Free School Meal. This means that if you choose your child to have a school dinner, it will be free or charge. You can select their dinner from a range of options each day. On some days you may choose for your child to have a packed lunch from home.

Please click the document below to view our Free Early Learning (FEL) Admissions Policy and Procedure.

Free Early Learning (FEL) Admissions Policy and Procedure