About Us

Early Years

Early Years Foundation Stage

St Nicholas Priory CE VA Primary School Reception Unit

Our vision is to offer an environment where children’s natural desire to explore and learn is embraced. The Reception setting offers routines and boundaries set by the adults who organise and manage the classroom, providing an environment in which children are encouraged to take ownership of their learning through exploration and fun.

The majority of children’s learning in Reception is child-initiated. Children are free to choose the resources with which they will play and learn, as well as choosing whether they will learn indoors or outdoors in all weathers. Such child-led learning promotes the Characteristics of Effective Learning, supporting children’s independence, curiosity and motivation, as well as supporting them in becoming collaborative learners.

To supplement children’s free-flow learning, pupils are supported in short adult-led sessions, during which adults model reading, writing and maths skills, as well as supporting children’s Personal, Social and Emotional Development. During these daily sessions, pupils learn in ‘family groups’ of approximately 15 pupils, led by their Key Person, either a Class Teacher or Teaching Assistant.

During free-flow learning time, staff work alongside the children in their chosen activities to encourage, validate and celebrate learning carefully, watching for precious ‘teachable moments’ to enhance and develop their thinking and learning skills.  Staff develop a sound knowledge of each child through such interactions, and each individual child’s ‘next steps’ for learning are supported through interactions with adults in their play. By celebrating with interested adults around them, children are motivated and enthusiastic about the experience of attending school and are inspired by opportunities to test and try new ways of learning.