Nursery and Reception

Welcome to the Early Years Foundation Stage. On this page you will find information about how and what we teach your children in the Nursery and Reception year groups. 

Our Learning Environment

In our Nursery and Reception classes we aim to provide a safe, stimulating and inclusive learning environment. Both Nursery and Reception have a large newly furnished and resourced classroom, with a third room, which is shared by both classes, that is used for group work, interventions and cooking. There is also a large outdoor space that is shared by all of the children. All of the resources, both indoors and outdoors, were brand new at the start of the academic year 2017-18.

The children are encouraged to develop their independence, make their own choices and select their own resources in order to reinforce their learning. This is achieved by the classrooms being carefully planned in order for children to be able to navigate the room, find what they are looking for and to be able to revisit activities.

We want our children to develop great foundations to do very well academically over the rest of their school lives but we are also passionate about our children developing a love of learning. We believe that a balance of adult-led teaching, child-initiated activities and rich learning experiences inspire, excite and challenge the children in their learning.  Therefore, across the Foundation stage, we deliver the curriculum through active, purposeful play, that is based on the interests of the children, in order to promote high engagement and interest. We also deliver teaching through short bursts of focused, high quality teaching and then, through sustained periods of play during 'choosing time', staff will support children in practicing and revisiting the skills . 

During the children’s play, staff will interact in ways that encourage the development of language, creativity and thinking skills to help children make connections in their learning which will give them the confidence to become independent and motivational learners. Our focus at Holy Cross Primary is to develop a growth mind-set that celebrates and focuses on the individuals learning process, ensuring that the effort and determination of every child is acknowledged and encouraged so that children develop positive learning behaviours.

Children’s learning and achievement is noted and recorded in a range of ways, and observations are used to plan the next steps of learning for each child’s journey through the year. Every child has a space on the classroom wall where their work is displayed and celebrated, every few weeks this is taken down and put into their Learning Journey. Parents will be invited in once every half-term to look through this book with their child.

Working with Parents

Parents are 'children's first and most enduring educators' (Curriculum Guidance for the Foundation Stage, QCA 2000), and so we believe that developing partnerships with parents and carers is essential for your child' time at school. Our staff aim to be approachable and friendly, and there are opportunities to talk to your child's teacher at both the beginning and end of the day.

Throughout the Nursery and Reception years, parents will be invited to look through and comment on their child's learning journey once a term, be encouraged to share 'wow moments' of their child's learning at home and be invited to join us in celebrating many festivals and celebrations throughout the year such as a Christmas craft morning and a family Easter egg hunt. 

Childhood bucket list - 50 fun things to do before your child is 12. 

Curriculum Content

At Holy Cross School, the Nursery and Reception classes follow the Early Years Foundation Stage Framework to plan and deliver an exciting curriculum based on the seven areas of learning and development. You can  find a helpful guide to the EYFS for parents here

All of the seven areas of the curriculum are important and all are inter-connected. Three of the areas are known as the ‘Prime Areas’ and these are:

Personal, Social and Emotional Development

Communication and Language

Physical Development

Good development in these areas sets a secure foundation for children to develop in the specific areas of learning and as such these are of a particular focus in Nursery, as they will give children the basic skills that they will need to develop their reading, writing and  maths that they will learn as they progress through their education.

The other four areas, known as the Specific areas, are:

Literacy (includes Reading and Writing)


Understanding the World

Expressive Arts and Design

We believe that the most meaningful learning takes place when children are motivated by their own interests. We therefore create mini topics initiated by children’s ideas and passions. As the children we have change from year to year, so do their interests, strengths and needs therefore the content we deliver may vary from year to year however the learning objectives, as outlined within the EYFS curriculum, will remain constant.

You can download a copy of our curriculum letter here.

Explore Our Curriculum

The links below will provide you with more information regarding each area of development as well as providing links to useful websites and further information.

Prime Areas

Specific Areas



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