Early Years at St Mary's
We welcome children from a wide variety of settings into our Early Years, which consists of a maximum of 30 children. This small cohort allows every child to develop secure, nurturing relationships with adults and peers, helping them grow in confidence throughout their time in Reception – also known as Ash Class!
Before starting, new Reception children visit St Mary’s to meet their teacher, explore the learning environment and find out who will be in their class. In September, every family meets with the Reception teacher one to one to discuss their child’s interests and needs. The children have a phased start to help them begin to form friendships and settle into the school routines. We understand transition to “big school” can be an anxious time for parents as well as children, and our staff are always available for reassurance!
Children in Reception need space to move and play, imagine and interact with their peers. Ash Class spend lots of time outdoors: whether that’s planting vegetables, riding balance bikes or counting woodlice under a log. The children gain a wide variety of experiences in and out of school through trips and visitors. Previous Reception cohorts have been to the zoo to see a “Living Nativity” and had visits from firefighters and beekeepers. Ash Class also go to St Mary’s Church as part of our Collective Worship. The highlight of Reception for many children is hatching ducklings and helping them learn to swim.
Throughout the year, more adult-led learning is gradually introduced to prepare the children for Year 1. Phonics, maths and R.E. are all taught in short sessions from the start of the year, and the children are supported to develop their understanding further through a carefully considered learning environment designed to spark their interest and excitement. This year Reception also benefit from specialist teachers in music, computing, P.E. and Spanish.
For more information, please take a look at the Ash Class page.