St Mary's School

At St Mary’s School we have 6 classes in our Early Years Foundation Stage Department.

Two Pre-Nursery classes for girls aged 2 years 9 months to 3 years and two Nursery classes for girls aged 3 years to 4 years. Here the timetable is flexible so that children are able to access our programme according to their needs and stages of development and learning. Learning through well-planned purposeful play is key in our Nursery rooms along with adult-led and child initiated activities. These are planned around the Prime areas of Learning and Development initially and as the year progresses the Specific areas of learning and development are included.

Two Reception classes for girls aged 4 years to 5 years. In our Reception classes, children are still given many well-planned purposeful play opportunities but the day is more structured with whole class, small group and individual activities in preparation for Year 1. These are planned around the seven areas of learning and development as shown below.

All the children are seen as individuals and learn at their own pace through extremely well planned focussed and purposeful planned play. As a school we firmly believe if the foundations for learning are embedded from this early age with the support of parents and carers the children will flourish as they move through the school

We are extremely well resourced including different learning environments, experienced and well qualified staff including access to specialist staff and the children have many exciting opportunities to experience the seven areas of learning and development from the EYFS Curriculum which we adjust to meet the needs of the individual child or groups of children.

The seven areas of learning and development are split into prime and specific:

  • Personal, social and emotional development
  • Communication and language
  • Physical development
  • Literacy
  • Mathematics
  • Understanding the world
  • Expressive arts and design

Below is a brief overview of what our educational programmes involve for each area of learning and development:

Personal and social development – involves helping children to develop a positive sense of themselves, and others; to form positive relationships and develop respect for others; to develop social skills and learn how to manage their feelings; to understand appropriate behaviour in groups; and to have confidence in their own abilities.
Communication and language – development involves giving children opportunities to experience a rich language environment; to develop their confidence and skills in expressing themselves; and to speak and listen in a range of situations.
Physical development – involves providing opportunities for young children to be active and interactive; and to develop their co-ordination, control, and movement. Children must also be helped to understand the importance of physical development, and to make healthy choices in relation to food.
Literacy – development involves encouraging children to link sounds and letters and to begin to read and write. Children must be given access to a wide range of reading materials (books, poems, and other written materials) to ignite their interest.
Mathematics – involves providing children with opportunities to develop and improve their skills in counting, understanding and using numbers, calculating simple addition and subtraction problems; and to describe shapes, spaces, and measures.
Understanding the world – involves guiding the children to make sense of their physical world and their community through opportunities to explore, observe and find out about people, places, technology and the environment.
Expressive arts and design – involves enabling children to explore and play with a range of media and materials, as well as providing opportunities and encouragement for sharing their thoughts, ideas and feelings through a variety of activities in art, music, movement, dance, role-play, and design and technology.

The best way to see what we have to offer in the Early Years Foundation Stage is to plan a visit to the school. We will be happy to meet with you and your child.

If you would like more information on the Early Years curriculum please visit the following links: