Learning through Play
In Nursery and Pre-Reception, children engage in a thoughtfully structed day overseen by our qualified lead Nursery teacher, exclusively dedicated to the development for rising 3s and rising 4s. Our generous setting includes six Nursery areas, including a purpose built kitchen, an art and craft room, indoor role play area and beautiful outdoor spaces. Following registration and Phonics Fun, the children are guided by their Key Group leaders, establishing a starting point for the day before enjoying the freedom to explore both indoor and outdoor environments.
Throughout the day, a variety of enriching activities awaits them, an additional roleplay area, a themed writing corner, a water/sound wall, a mud kitchen, a sand pit and a range of large construction kits. Additionally a designated bike and scooter area adds to the excitement.
We are fortunate to have a wonderful outside classroom for quiet circle time activities or guided group work.
Open Plan Learning
In our Nursery and Pre-Reception, a well-balanced approach to learning is ensured through designated group times and flexible open-plan learning areas, fostering inspiration and motivation among the children.
Each term, our curriculum aligns with a specific topic or theme which will exceed the requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) Curriculum.
The EYFS identifies 7 areas of learning divided into 3 prime areas and 4 specific areas. The prime areas are particularly crucial for sparking curiosity, fostering enthusiasm for learning, and for building the children’s capacity to learn, form relationships and thrive. These prime areas are: • communication and language • physical development • personal, social and emotional development
Supporting and enhancing the prime areas are 4 specific areas: • literacy • mathematics • understanding the world • expressive arts and design.
In Yellow Room children engage in a range of fine motor and writing activities, read a variety of books and use age appropriate computer software on the interactive Smartboard or Tablets.
In Red Room the children have their snack area, where they independently help themselves to healthy drinks and snack, which they may have made earlier in the kitchen.
The Blue Room serves as a creative haven, allowing children to experience being an engineer through junk modelling and wood work, sand and water play. Independent access to a range of art media, including paint, collage and malleable materials.
The Green Room focuses on the creation and development of role-play areas, which continually changing linked with the books or themes the children are learning about. An additional interactive Smartboard in this room enables access to computer software, enabling children to listen to stories, rhymes and songs.
During the school day, all nursery children will have ‘phonics’. Phonics is the association between letters and the sounds that the letter makes. When learning to recognise and then blend these letters the children learn to read. They then learn to segment the sounds as they learn to spell independently.
Our EYFS qualified teacher listens to the children read and the children have books and book bags in Pre-Reception as they are rising 4. They are also able to borrow books from our school library in order to develop and nurture a love of reading. These can be used for reading to your child just as much as the child spotting the letters and sounds that they know.
As well as small group phonics, over the course of the day, the nursery children will have guided group time with their Key Workers. This will be to teach new concepts or to embed taught learning across all areas of the curriculum. Small groups are carefully managed during each morning to ensure the rotas for focused art work and cookery involve every child. The children will have Musical Movement and Wake and Shake sessions to aid their physical development and co-ordination, stamina and concentration.
Additional Specialist Teaching
We have a range of specialist teachers at St Christopher’s who work with the Nursery and Pre-Reception children as well as the older children.
Our younger children benefit from their Music lessons taught by a qualified teacher who is herself a gifted musician. The children not only learn songs for both performance and class entertainment but also enjoy weekly rhythm and percussion sessions.
Pre-Reception children benefit from French lessons taught by a qualified Modern Languages teacher. Through a variety of enjoyable games and songs, the children quickly grasp the language.
Our Art Director introduces Nursery and Pre-Reception children to a new artist each term. They are skilfully guided through various exciting mediums, fostering their artistic talents.
The youngest members of the school begin to receive P.E. lessons from our qualified P.E. teacher. These sessions complement their daily physical development activities in Nursery.
The Woodland Adventures area is a valuable resource. This builds upon the learning the children experience in their Outdoor Adventures sessions which are provided by a trained external specialist three times a term. Children have lots of fun using the natural environment to create, imagine and explore including our delightful willow tunnel. In the process, they learn to problem solve outdoors in these well stocked and stimulating areas.
We have a commitment to live theatre at St Christopher’s and in addition to joining in with the whole school to enjoy visiting theatre group productions; Nursery and Pre-Reception annually visit the local theatre at Christmas time. This is a wonderful opportunity to walk down into Epsom with staff and parents to enjoy an age appropriate production each year. Pre-Reception children experience their first school trip on a coach in the summer term and head to a day of fun to enhance their termly topic such as the popular Dapdune Wharf trip. The children also enjoy some local visits in the spring term, such as a trip to the library or the park accompanied by very generous staff – pupil ratios.