The Early Years Foundation Stage

The Early Years Foundation Stage is for children age 0 to 5 years.

Stay ‘n’ Play

For parents and their children to attend from birth.

Bierton Road: This is held every Tuesday from 9.15-11.15 am

Starbank Road: This is held every Thursday from 9.00-11.00 am and from 12.30-2.30 pm

This is very popular and we hold a waiting list.

Please phone the Nursery for more details.


We have 120 Part-Time places at our Nursery at Starbank Road and 35 places at Bierton Road (Mixed between Part-Time and Full-Time)

The children are divided into small groups of 12 each with their own key practitioner.

Children are admitted into the Nursery Class at age 3+, usually for the academic year prior to starting at School in Reception at age 4+.  A list of all those wishing to be considered for a Nursery place is kept with the School secretaries in the main School office. Proof of your child’s date of birth must be shown on registration.  Places are allocated according to the Local Authority criteria.

A place in our Nursery does not mean you will be allocated a place in Reception – all parents have to apply for a Reception place following the Local Authority procedure.

Nursery hours are:

Morning: 8.30 am to 11.30 am

Afternoons : 12.30pm to 3.30pm

Your child will need:

  • A coat – clearly named.
  • A spare pair of clothes.
  • A school book bag – available from the Nursery.

Please wear play clothes to Nursery – your child will, for example, be painting, playing in water and sand and going outside.

Your child will need to be as independent as possible so please:

  • Sleeves they can push up.
  • Trousers they can manage by themselves – joggers are ideal.
  • Shoes or trainers with a Velcro fastener – open toed sandals and heels are not allowed.
  • Jewellery can be dangerous so is discouraged.

The Nursery has two qualified teachers, one Higher Level Teaching Assistant and three Level 3 teaching assistants.


We have two Reception classes of 30 children on each of our school sites.

Places are allocated by the Local Authority.

Every Reception class has a qualified teacher and a full time teaching assistant.  

Reception hours are :

  • Morning session 8.25 am to 11.40 am
  • Dinner time 11.40 am to 12.40pm
  • Afternoon session 12.40 pm to 3.00pm

All children are expected to wear the school uniform.

Your child will also need :

  • A pump bag with a PE kit of black shorts, T-shirt and a pair of elasticated pumps.
  • A coat.
  • A school book bag.

All items including their uniform need to be clearly named.

Prior to your child starting in Nursery and Reception you will be invited to induction meetings and play sessions. In September you will also have a personal meeting with your child’s class teacher to discuss your child’s individual needs and to fill in forms.

We are very flexible during the time the children settle into our Foundation Stage as we wish the experience to be positive and enjoyable.

In Nursery parents are invited to spend at least the first session with their child and then after discussion with the parent and teacher until the child is happily settled.

In Reception all children start part-time for at least one week.

The Foundation Stage Curriculum

The Foundation Stage emphasises that children learn most effectively through play.

Through a play-based approach the children experience a wide variety of learning opportunities both indoor and outdoor.  We arrange visits to a variety of venues – for example Ash End House Farm, the Nature Centre, the theatre at Warwick Art Centre, the Bear Factory and Think Tank.  We also invite a range of visitors into school – Juggling Jim, dental nurse, fire officers, police, musicians, artists.

We also regularly visit the local Eco-Park on Hob Moor Road at different times of the year for Forest School activities and to experience the changing seasons.

Within the Early Years Foundation Stage there are goals which most children are expected to achieve by the end of their year in Reception. The steps which children take as they progress towards achieving these goals are known as Development Matters.

There are three prime areas of learning:

  • Communication and Language.
  • Physical development.
  • Personal, social and emotional development.

and four specific areas:

  • Literacy.
  • Mathematics.
  • Understanding the world.
  • Expressive arts and design.

In planning and guiding children’s activities we reflect on the different ways that children learn. The characteristics of effective teaching and learning are:

Playing and exploring – children investigate and experience things, and ‘have a go’;

Active learning – children concentrate and keep on trying if they encounter difficulties, and enjoy achievements; and

Creating and thinking critically – children have and develop their own ideas, make links between ideas, and develop strategies for doing things.

The Foundation Stage has both adult-led sessions and times when the children can initiate their own learning. Through observation and listening to the children, different topics and projects are planned for.  All staff reflect daily on their observations and on the learning they have observed so the children’s next steps can be planned for.

Your child’s learning will be documented through notes and photographs. These will be kept securely on their individual online Learning Journey which you will be able to access at home.

You can help with your child’s learning.

All the fun activities that you do with your child at home are important in supporting their learning and development, and have a really long-lasting effect on your child’s learning as they progress through school.

Even when your child is very young and is not yet able to talk, talking to them helps them to learn and understand new words and ideas. If you make the time every day to do some of the following things with your child it will make a real difference –

  • Sing and say rhymes and songs together.
  • Share and read books together – talking about the pictures and the story.
  • Talk to your child as much as possible – when you are cooking, shopping, gardening.  Let them help you with your jobs.
  • Talk about the numbers, colours, words and letters you see when you are out and about.
  • Count everything you can with your child – the number of stairs, the number of cars you can see.
  • Talk about all the different packaging in shops and what the writing says.
  • Share your writing together – writing a shopping list, writing cards.  Let your child write – praise all their efforts.
  • Allow your child to cut out and stick pictures from magazines.
  • Plant seeds or bulbs in a pot or garden.
  • Visit the park as often as possible and at different times of the year.  Let your child out of the pushchair to run and walk freely and to climb on the climbing frame.
  • Use the weather – rain, puddles, snow, wind, and sun to extend your child’s vocabulary.

At Starbank we recognise that parents are the child’s first teachers and we value your contribution. You are invited to contribute to your child’s Learning Journey. We welcome parents’ support on trips and in the classroom – for example sharing your culture with the children or talking about your job.

We run a wide selection of parent workshops and invite you into the classroom to work and play with your child.

Examples are – Phonics, reading, writing and maths workshops where we share with you ideas on how we teach your child and how you can further support them.  We also deliver language workshops on how to support and develop your child’s language, and creative workshops where you are invited into school to be creative with your child.

We send home half-termly Newsletters from Nursery and Reception to keep you informed about what is happening in school and to give you ideas about how you can support your child’s learning at home.

We are always available if you need to speak to us.  Please come and see us if you have any concerns, great or small, or any questions. We can usually sort things out together.

We send home ‘keeping in touch’ forms so you can offer your feedback about the setting and share your ideas on how we can improve.

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