The Foundation Stage children are the youngest children in our school. We have two nursery classes with a morning nursery and an afternoon session. There are three reception classes in total.
The teachers in Foundation Stage plan and use the Early Year Foundation Stage (EYFS) curriculum which was implemented in September 2012. Within this curriculum there is a strong emphasis on children learning through play, and at Mildmay our Foundation Stage classrooms reflect this. The curriculum is broken into different areas of development (rather than subject areas).
The Prime Areas are:
- Personal Social and Emotional Development
- Communication and Language
- Physical Development
The Specific Areas are:
- Understanding of the World
- Expressive Arts and Design
Each area of development is important, and therefore should have an equal waiting within the delivery of the curriculum. At Mildmay we recognise this, and believe that it is important to develop the child as a whole, so each day in the Foundation Stage classes has a different adult led focus. Although we have daily phonics, handwriting and number sessions, each day we make sure we are covering a different area of development.
As prescribed in the Early Year Foundation Stage Curriculum, the children learn through play and practical activities, so at Mildmay we plan and teach in practical ways, and so you will not see children sitting completing worksheets. For example, instead of filling out a worksheet on subtraction, the children enjoy subtracting during a topic on Fire-fighters by using water pistols and plastic bottles (a much more fun and exciting way of teaching!)
During the day in Foundation Stage, the children learn through play and choose their own learning, this is very important, and the adults within the Foundation Stage are constantly observing the children to see what they can do or know during their own learning time. All observations are made to help create the children’s learning journey, to show where the children are at. Activities are planned and provided to ensure that the children have a variety of learning opportunities in order to reach their full potential.
We work hard on the children’s Personal, Social and Emotional Development, and the children learn the importance of sharing, turn taking and being independent learners. Snack time in the Foundation Stage is an important time of the day, where children learn to be independent and help one another but it is also a nice time to sit and talk. The children’s birthdays are celebrated by visiting the local shop for birthday biscuits and they all sit together to have a special snack.
The nursery teacher plans very closely with the reception teachers. Nursery and reception plan and teach the same themes and topics. Like the rest of the school, we go on school trips, linking to the topics. All activities are planned for carefully, to ensure they are differentiated for the needs of the individual children, and the children are challenged.
Because the team plan practical hands on activities, we ask for a 50p per week to help pay for ingredients, biscuits etc. This can be paid weekly, ½ termly or termly it’s your preference.
Transition from Nursery to Reception
There is a seamless transition between children leaving nursery and joining reception. The nursery children visit the reception children and teachers once a week for a Foundation Stage assembly. We also share the outside learning environment, so the children mix on a daily basis. We often have whole school assemblies, for special occasions, and the nursery always take part in these. Like the rest of the school, Nursery children enjoy taking part in PE in the hall once a week and visiting the ICT weekly. Towards the end of the academic year we ensure that the reception teachers spend more time in the nursery, getting to know the children even better, and the children get to play in the reception classes. All these factors really help the smooth transition from our nursery into full time reception. All this ensures that our nursery always start in reception with confidence and ease.
Because the Nursery is part of the school, we use all the resources available to the other children. We often have whole school themed weeks and activities, which of course the nursery always take part in.
We are lucky to have a fabulous Nursery class at Mildmay Infant & Nursery School. The children in the ‘Bees’ class have a base which is set across two light and spacious classrooms with toilet and changing facilities specially adapted for young children. The children have their own large outdoor area and access to the Early Years Playground where they can play with both small and large play equipment including bikes and scooters which they love. Last year we invested in a new surface and fencing for the children and we are continuing to invest further funds this year to provide the best possible outdoor learning resources for the children.
Our Nursery is run by qualified teachers and Nursery Nurses who are specialised in the education of young children. They understand how under fives learn and provide play based activities which are differentiated to extend the learning opportunities for all children in a fun and relaxed way.
The children share outdoor space and assembly times with the Reception children enabling them to make friends with children in the year above. This helps the children settle as they move up through the school.
We have three intakes a year; September, January and after the Easter holidays. Children start in our Nursery the term after their 3rd birthday. We currently offer five morning or afternoon sessions a week. More information can be found in our Prospectus.
The term before your child is due to start in nursery, we have Little Robins. Little Robins has been set up to enable you to bring your child to nursery and spend a session playing with your child in the nursery. This is the perfect opportunity to meet staff, let your child become familiar with the nursery setting, and importantly give you a great chance to meet fellow parents and make new friends.
Nursery staff run these sessions, and plan activities to give you an insight into the fun and exciting activities your child will take part in, once they join. However, it is important to remember that although staff are around in these sessions, parents are responsible their children.
We ask for a 50p donation per session, which goes towards tea, coffee and pays for the party on the last session.
If you are interested in your child joining our Nursery please contact the school office on 01245 250021 or drop us an email Parents@mildmay-inf.essex.sch.uk