Shenton Primary School

Empowering and nurturing young minds to achieve excellence

Nursery & Reception


Every child deserves the best possible start in life and the support that enables them to fulfil their potential. Children develop quickly in the early years and a child’s experiences between birth and age five have a major impact on their future life chances. A secure, safe and happy childhood is important in its own right.

We recognise the importance of providing a nurturing and stimulating environment that promotes play-based learning and child led experiences. We also understand that high quality early education has long term benefits for children, including improved academic achievement, better social and emotional development and higher earnings in adulthood.

Good parenting and high quality early learning together provide the foundation children need to make the most of their abilities and talents as they grow up. If you need help with establishing routines, encouraging your child to eat healthy foods and/or managing their behaviour please talk to us. Our children make excellent progress in the Early Years. 

 “Research shows that children who receive high quality education are more likely to succeed in later life, with better outcomes in areas such as health, education and employment.” (National Day Nurseries Association UK)

Our pedagogy is grounded in the EYFS framework, which emphasises the importance of child-led learning, a play based curriculum and a focus on individual needs. We believe that children learn best when they are engaged in meaningful, developmentally appropriate activities that are tailored to their interests, needs and abilities. We also recognise the importance of building strong partnerships with parents and carers and involving them in their children’s learning and development. Our aims underpin relevant research, we see the EYFS stage as fundamental to giving children’s development and learning a solid foundation on which they continue to build on, as they grow and develop.

 At Shenton we realise the importance on creating the right environment which helps, children to learn and thrive. ”EYFS pedagogy is focused on creating an environment that supports children’s natural curiosity and desire to learn, fostering independence and encouraging children to explore and discover at their own pace.” (Early Childhood Forum UK)

The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) sets the standards that all early years providers must meet to ensure that children learn and develop well and are kept healthy and safe. It promotes teaching and learning to ensure children’s ‘school readiness’ and gives children the broad range of knowledge and skills that provide the right foundation for good future progress through school and life. For a parents guide to the EYFS



 Our intent is to provide a safe, nurturing and stimulating environment where children can play, learn and develop to their full potential. We aim to promote a love of learning and a sense of curiosity in children, while also supporting their emotional, social and physical development.

We are committed to providing high quality education experiences that prepares children for a successful transition to primary school and beyond. We support children’s communication and language, their physical development and their personal, social and emotional development through a flexible play based curriculum. We facilitate their learning through a broad, flexible curriculum. At Shenton we see the benefits of high quality interactions where adults listen to children and extend children’s thoughts and knowledge through play based learning. Thus enabling children to be engaged in meaningful, developmentally appropriate activities that are tailored to their interest, needs and abilities.

We recognise that all children are individuals and learn and develop in different ways and also have different strengths and interests. We strive to support all children to become confident learners who are excited to learn. The Characteristics of Effective Learning are the statutory principles, which describe the behaviours children use, when they engage with other people and their environment in order to learn. These are through:

  • Play and exploring
  • Active learning
  • Creating and thinking critically

It is our aim, for children to build on what they know, year on year as they progress through school. We see the importance of children making links and connections from their prior learning, so they learn more and remember more. In the EYFS we use themes and skills progression which are built on from nursery to reception through to year 1.



At Shenton we follow the Early Years Foundation Stage framework. This is made up of four overriding principles which our early year’s education is based upon:

  • Unique Child– Every child is unique child who is constantly learning and can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured.
  • Positive Relationships– Children learn to be strong and independent through positive relationships.
  • Enabling Environments– 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 carers.
  • Learning and Development– Children develop and learn in different ways. The framework covers the education and care of all children in early year’s provision, including children with special educational needs and disabilities.


Our EYFS curriculum provides a play based learning environment and the children in both nursery and reception are provided with both indoors and outdoors learning opportunities. Their learning experiences are linked to the seven areas of learning and development within the EYFS. These are split into the three prime areas and the four specific areas.

3 prime areas                                                                     4 specific areas                    

›Communication and language                                                                                    ›Literacy

›Physical development                                                                                               ›Mathematics

›Personal, social and emotional development                                                              ›Understanding the world

                                                                                     ›Expressive arts and design


We at Shenton create a language rich environment, both indoors and outdoors, through nursery rhymes, songs, stories and through quality interactions between adults and peers. All adults get to know the children really well, through high quality interactions thus enabling the children to flourish and become confident communicators. The staff track progress through those interactions with children and through ongoing assessments and evaluation of children’s progress and development. The children’s development and learning is tracked against termly progression maps which outline where children should developmentally be and also against the EYFS Early Learning Goals. Through knowing the children and tracking their learning and development, we can ensure all children are making progress. We also seek feedback from parents and carers to ensure that our provision is meeting the needs of families and contributing to positive outcomes for children. Overall, progress in the EYFS curriculum is measured through a combination of observation, assessment and planning as well as through the use of frameworks and statutory assessments.

We effectively plan and design an early year’s curriculum to meet the needs of the children to support their learning and ensuring it is progressive and well sequenced. The long term plan is revised to meet the needs of the children. The curriculum builds on the children’s prior knowledge from home, to nursery, to reception and through to Year 1.



Four themes underpin the curriculum within the EYFS for more information see-
A Unique Child
Positive Relationships
Enabling Environments
Learning and Development
Every child is a competent learner from birth who can be resilient, capable, confident and
Children learn to be strong and independent from a base of loving and secure relationships with parents and/or a key person
The environment plays a key role in supporting and extending children’s development and learning
Children develop and learn in different ways and at different rates and all areas of Learning and Development are equally important and inter-connected

How We Teach

The classes will have a variety of stimulating and engaging activities for your child to interact with. Children are supported by practitioners in the choices of activities they choose. During their play adults will help your child to develop  a variety of skills that address several learning areas.  These include core personal, social and emotional skills as well as early language and mathematical skills.  During these activities your child will also be introduced to new ideas to extend their play and learning. We encourage your child to learn by providing different experiences e.g. inviting a fire engine and firemen/women into school. At Shenton we feel it is important to plan from the children’s interests where possible. This enables your child to develop understanding of concepts they are interested in and means that learning is personal to them.  As your child gets older and progresses, adults will encourage your child to play different games and try new activities more often.

Remember your child is learning well if they are exploring the environment by themselves, making strong friendships and talking about new things they have learnt at home.

Settling in

When your child arrives they will be welcomed with a smile and a familiar face to make them feel safe and comfortable. As your child gets to know us, we expect them to wave 'goodbye' to you with a smile and look forward to playing and learning with their friends.

If your child has never been away from you, they may find this challenging. We do not want your child to be upset. You will be asked to stay with your child to help them get used to the setting for a while. Once they are beginning to leave your side to play, we will ask you to leave for a short amount of time. This time away will be built up gradually depending on how confident your child becomes, until they are happy to come into the setting on their own. This can take up to 6 weeks, particularly in nursery, but it is much better that your child separates from you slowly so that they are happy coming to school.

Children who Speak Another Language

If your child speaks another language we need to make sure they are ready to learn English. Children should be able to speak in full sentences, be able to talk about yesterday and tomorrow using appropriate tenses and ask questions in their first language. It is important that your child is speaking with confidence in their first language before we begin teaching them English as this stops a lot of confusion that will slow your child's learning in the future if it is not addressed now. Please come and talk to us about this, if you are not sure.


What If My Child has Special Educational Needs or a Disability (SEND)?

The school has a clear policy to ensure any children with a SEND is supported. Click here to read more.

Skills progression from nursery to reception throughout the year

EYFS Curriculum- Long Term Plan - see below for details

The EYFS curriculum makes links from nursery through to reception and year 1. The curriculum is progressive so children build on their skills and knowledge. Please see progression maps below for details.




 For more information please see Teaching and Learning Policy below.

How Do I Know If My Child is Progressing Well?

If the adults in school have any concerns about your child's development, they will discuss this with you first. Sometimes children behave differently in school to the way they behave at home.

If your child is making good progress, they will want to come to school, they will be exploring and trying new games/activities, they will be talking to you about their friends and what they have done. Adults in school will talk to you on a daily/weekly basis about particular moments in your child's learning, and will formally invite you to discuss your child's progress each term. During these meetings teachers will be talking to you about targets for your child that are appropriate to their stage of development. You can ask at anytime of course, particularly if you have concerns.

We also run a variety of workshops that can help build your knowledge of several topics such as how you can manage your child's behaviour effectively, how you could build more effective routines, healthy eating advice, as well as workshops on how you can help your child with Reading, Writing or Maths. If you are interested in any of these please talk to your child's teacher.

Reception Baseline

 When your child starts Reception their class teacher will carry out a Reception Baseline Assessment (RBA) for your child.

This is a statutory requirement by the Government, for all Reception aged children which needs to take place within the first six weeks after they have entered school. 

The RBA is a short, practical assessment of your child’s early literacy (reading and writing), communication (speaking), language and mathematics skills.

You do not have to prepare anything or do anything with your child beforehand. The RBA helps your child's teacher to get to know your child better as they will spend  valuable one to one time with them.

The link below gives you more information and explains the process in more detail.


This is included in our Shenton’s privacy notice for parents, as we share your child’s assessment information with the Government. Our privacy notice can be found here

If you have any questions please come and talk to us.