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Early Years

Welcome to our

Early Years Foundation Stage

We are Nursery and Reception. Our teacher is Miss Dews (Early Years Leader).  Mrs. McGee* (Early Years Teaching Assistant) and Miss Smith (Early Years Teaching Assistant) also work with us. Mrs. Newton also supports us during lunchtimes and Mrs. Wilkinson works with us on Friday mornings.

Miss Dews and Mrs. McGee are our Key Workers.

*Mrs. McGee is currently absent. Mrs. Dunn is working in Early Years in her absence.

Our Unit

Our unit is made up of two big classrooms, two outdoor areas and a corridor space. We also use the garden and field areas in the school grounds. Our Nursery and Reception children work together most of the day. This helps our older children to develop their personal and social skills, 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.

The provision in the Early Years Unit is enhanced regularly in response to the children’s changing needs and interests. We plan carefully to ensure the children are continually learning through their play. Writing, reading and mathematical skills are planned into the unit each week. Children are provided with many opportunities for developing their personal, social and communication skills within their play.

Our Timetable

Nursery sessions run from 8.45 am – 11.45 am and from 12.15 pm – 3.15 pm. We also offer full day sessions for our Nursery children. Parents can choose from all day Monday, all day Tuesday and Wednesday mornings or Wednesday afternoons, all day Thursday and all day Friday. Nursery children who stay for a full day can either bring a packed lunch or they can have a school dinner for £2.10 per day.

The Reception children start their day at 8.55 am. Home time is 3.00 pm.

  • 8.45am: Dancing, Register, Weekly Story, Phonics & Squiggle Whilst You Wiggle

  • 9.45am: Free Flow – time to explore indoors and outdoors while we work with our friends

  • 11.30am: Nursery Lunchtime and Reception Group Time

  • 11.45am: Nursery Home Time and Reception Lunchtime

  • 12.15pm: Dancing, Register & Weekly Story

  • 12.45pm: Free Flow – time to explore indoors and outdoors while we work with our friends

  • 2.30pm: Nursery: Maths Songs, Rhymes, Dough Disco, Paint a Person & Circle Time

  • 2.30pm: Reception: Super Writers & Maths

  • 3.00pm:  Home Time for Nursery and Reception

Our Learning

You can find our more about Our Curriculum and the Early Years Foundation Stage Framework on our website.  You can also find out more about our weekly activities on Facebook. 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 supported play and one to one work with an adult. We closely monitor the progress of each individual child to ensure they reach their full potential.


We have recently adopted Sounds-Write as our synthetic phonics scheme across school. Our youngest children in Nursery will learn to distinguish sounds around them and play games to build the foundations for more formal phonics teaching, such as learning to listen for the first sound or last sound in a sequence. In the Autumn Term of Reception, children begin to learn the Initial Code. This is the single letter spellings as well as /ch/ /sh/ /th/ /ng/ /ck/ /wh/ /qu/. They will learn to blend and segment simple words. Phonics is taught in groups across the Early Years Unit for 20 minutes each morning and then consolidated throughout the day through the provision and adult support.

In the Autumn Term, Miss Dews led an information session for parents about reading and phonics for Nursery and Reception children. The information shared at this session can be found here: Reading and Phonics at Collierley


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. We begin to learn to recognise and write numbers to 10 initially before moving on to numbers to 20 later in the Reception year.

Forest School

Mrs. McGee runs Forest School in Early Years.  Each child should take part in a block of Forest School sessions during their time in Early Years. We are very fortunate to have our own Forest School area within the school grounds. It is incredible to see the improvement in the confidence and skills of the children as a result of the Forest School sessions. They are able to take risks and explore in a safe environment under the guidance of highly skilled staff.


Early Years provides the foundation of all that the children will learn throughout their school careers. We provide a supportive, caring environment which allows all children the time and opportunities to become independent learners who feel safe and secure within the school culture. Our ambitious and active curriculum provides children with the opportunity to learn through their own interests and build their knowledge.

Personal, Social and Emotional Development and Communication and Language are at the heart of our curriculum in Early Years. We work with the children to help them to develop a sense of belonging, understand their emotions, how they relate to other people, how to manage their behaviour and to develop the skills of negotiation and empathy. These skills are all developed and encouraged by staff as the children play and learn within the environment. In Reception these skills are developed further, alongside synthetic phonics, reading, writing and mathematical skills.


In the moment planning

In Early Years at Collierley Primary School our pedagogy (how we teach) is centred on “in the moment planning.” We strongly believe that young children learn best through play rather than focused activities set up by an adult. Our children learn to problem solve, take risks and become extremely independent within the Early Years environment.

“In the moment planning” is underpinned by strong relationships between the children and adults; familiar routines; an enabling environment; and, the appropriate role of the adult.


In line with the EYFS Welfare Requirements (2012) we have a key person system in Early Years. Miss Dews and Mrs. McGee share this role between them, supported by the other Early Years staff. We aim to quickly establish trusting relationships with the children and parents: peer to peer, staff to children, and staff to parents. These relationships are vital to the work we do in school as staff need to know the children very well in order to teach in this way.

Familiar routines

We have a daily timetable in place which provides the children with a familiar structure to their day. The daily routines are important to help children have a sense of security and predictability about their day at school. The day has been planned to provide sustained periods of uninterrupted play, indoors and outdoors, to allow children the time to explore and become deeply involved in their investigations and fascinations.

We have:

  • Daily story time

  • Well planned continuous provision, indoors and outdoors, including weekly Forest School sessions

  • Daily phonics sessions (Sounds-Write)

  • Daily maths sessions (White Rose Maths)

  • Ongoing discussions, questioning and talk

  • Daily, sustained access to active learning in our outdoor provision where children are encouraged to take risks, explore, investigate, question, look after each other and work together

An enabling environment

Our classrooms and outdoor areas are planned very carefully to ensure we meet the needs of all children in Early Years. Each area is designed to encourage children to be as

independent at possible within the environment. The basic, or continuous, provision remains the same throughout the year. This is enhanced in response to children’s needs or interests. We operate a free flow system so that children have access to the outdoors (as long as it is safe to do so) throughout the sustained play sessions. We consider the environment to be the “third teacher,” an idea often associated with the Reggio Emilia approach. The environment is set up in such a way that it engages the children and encourages them to explore, investigate and learn without the intervention of an adult.

The role of the adult

Adults within the environment will watch a child or group of children before deciding whether there is anything they can add to the learning that is taking place. Sometimes it is more appropriate to allow the children to find out, discover, take risks and make mistakes for themselves. While the adult waits and watches, they plan “in the moment” what they might do to enhance or extend the learning that is already taking place through play. The child will lead the interaction and the adult will respond with ideas, suggestions, comments or questions. They may also respond by adding a different resource into the play. The adult may or may not remain with the child or children for a sustained period of time. Professional judgement is used throughout the process based on the adult’s knowledge of the child, the child’s current attainment and where they need to move to next in their learning.

Focus children

Every child in Early Years is a focus child for one week once every half term. This means that communication with the child’s parents will increase during that week, discussing the child’s learning and interests. This two way communication is vital to this system’s success.

Observations of the child’s learning are written on Tapestry during focus weeks. Parents are able to access this information and can add their own observations and comments and are encouraged to do so.


The children in Early Years learn in a personalised manner. They are able to explore and investigate through their own interests and fascinations. The adults know the children very well and use their knowledge and relationships with the children to provide the best possible learning opportunities for each individual child. Communication with parents takes many different forms: daily conversations at drop off and collection times, formal parents’ evenings and meetings, the school Facebook page, Tapestry, email and parent information sessions throughout the year.

Children make good progress within Early Years. They are happy and heavily involved in their own learning. Staff are responsive to the children’s needs and enable the children to reach their full potential.

Children are independent within the environment. They access resources freely and are confident working in the areas. They are able to follow instructions to make their own play dough, mix their own paint and follow various recipes to make their own snacks.

The impact of our pedagogy is happy, settled, highly involved, independent children who are keen to learn, make good progress across all areas of the EYFS and enjoy coming to school.

30 Hours Free Childcare

September 2017 saw the introduction of 30 hours free childcare for nursery aged children in eligible families. At Collierley we offer 30 hours over 5 days between 8.45/9.00am and 3.00/3.15pm, including lunch and allowing for our flexible dropping off and collection times.

We offer a maximum of thirteen 30 hour places, in addition to twenty six universal 15 hour places. The minimum number of hours we offer is 15 per child. This is to ensure full coverage of the EYFS curriculum and that children receive their full educational entitlement.

Fifteen hour places can be chosen from one of our four options and remain dependent on availability:

5 mornings

5 afternoons

2.5 days – Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday mornings

2.5 days – Wednesday afternoons, Thursday, Friday

Parents should check their eligibility online at the Childcare Choices website: and they will then be directed to the digital childcare service to apply. They will be given an eligibility code. The code should be entered onto a form available from the school and returned to the office so that relevant checks can be made. This form will include consent for school to carry out the eligibility check.

Application forms for our nursery are available in the downloadable forms.

Visits to school are warmly welcomed.  Please contact the school office, via telephone or email to make an appointment –

We look forward to meeting you

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