Early Years

Welcome To Early Years at Northdown Primary School

The early stages of a child’s life are vitally important and that is why at Northdown Primary School we invest a critical amount of time in developing a child’s social, emotional, personal, physical and academic ability.

We aim to nurture the full potential of all children by:

  • Providing them with an enriching, broad and balanced curriculum, which creates excellent foundations for their future learning
  • Offering a wide range of new and exciting experiences across all areas of learning that are stimulating and challenging and offer unlimited opportunity for development
  • Providing a happy, positive and inclusive environment that is sensitive to the needs of all pupils, being mindful of gender, race, language, religion or belief, disability or Special Educational Need
  • Developing excellent relationships with parents and carers to build a strong partnership in supporting children
  • Creating a stimulating and safe environment where children and adults are able to make mistakes and learn freely from them

At Northdown Primary School, the children are able to begin their learning journey within our Nursery the term after their third birthday.

Our sessions for our school-based Nursery are five mornings from 9:00 am until 12:00 pm. This equates to 15 hours. Whilst in our care, Nursery children are provided with a range of exciting and new experiences which offers them unlimited opportunities for development. Parents will always be contacted if these experiences happen outside of the Nursery hours and parental permission will be requested.

Our Reception children start full time school during the academic year in which they are 5 years old.

Our Early Years Team

Nursery Team

Mrs Harris

Miss Bushell

Reception Team

Miss Filmer

Miss Cooper

Miss Newson


At Northdown Primary School, we follow the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum and we are guided in our practise through Development Matters and the Statutory Framework for the Early Years.

The Early Years Foundation Stage is made up of seven key areas. These areas are as follows:

Prime Areas

● Communication and Language
● Physical Development
● Personal, Social and Emotional Development

Specific Areas

● Literacy
● Maths
● Understanding of the World
● Expressive Arts and Design

These areas are delivered throughout our theme and are all connected together. They are equally important and depend on each other. All areas are delivered through a balance of adult-led and child-initiated activities.

In the Early Years, we make our curriculum as enriching and exciting as possible as this gains the most enjoyment and engagement from the children. On the first day of each term we have an off-timetable ‘Hook Day’, which is specifically designed to grip the children’s excitement into the new theme. We also strive to have enrichment opportunities during the term, which further engage the children in the topic – these can include trips and visitors coming into school.

Themes that are Taught During the Year

Learning Through Play

Throughout the day, the children have opportunities to extend their learning through Learning Through Play. This time is dedicated for the children to experience new learning as well as build upon previous learning through continuous provision. This dedicated time is influential to a child’s development as they are able to grow as an individual as well as learn important life skills. During this time, children show a wide range of characteristics which influences their learning. These characteristics of effective learning are as follows:

● 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

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


The Early Years Environment

The Early Years environment is to inspire independent, creative, curious learners that will harness and develop an array of skills which enhance their learning. We have a variety of areas within the environment where children are able to imagine themselves as someone else, for example, being a builder in the construction area or being a dentist in the role play area. Within the environment, we also have a creative area where the children are encouraged to use their imagination and fine motor skills to create, make and mould what they wish, for example making a rocket using junk modelling or creating a picture using different textures.

The outside environment is extremely important for a child’s development as it extends the children’s learning and wellbeing. We provide the children with regular opportunities to explore their learning outside and this is complemented by ensuring continuous provision is planned, resourced and ready in the environment.

In the outside environment, the children can investigate nature by going on bug hunts, exploring the mixture of sand and water and being imaginative in the mud kitchen whilst making mud pies!

The adults outside encourage the children’s imagination and communication by playing alongside the children and observing the children at play.

Parent Participation

At Northdown Primary School, we believe working together with our parents will enhance the child’s emotional wellbeing. For this reason, in Early Years we invite parents in regularly to explore the classroom and the children’s work, as well as to join in with fun, exciting activities.

Join us for an Open Day