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The Federation of Thomas Wall Nursery

& Robin Hood Infants’ School

Happy School, Confident Learners

Our School Values

  • Positive Relationships
  • Resilience
  • Risk Taker
  • Curiosity
  • Love of Learning
  • Communicator

Early years Foundation Stage

At the Federation we believe that every child is unique. We help our children to learn by developing our Learning Powers of resilience, risk taking, positive relationships, good communicators and curiosity. 


The Unique Child


We believe in order for children to make a smooth transition to our setting it is important for us to get to know each child. We do this in a variety of ways.


Home Visits

All children entering our nursery are offered a home visit prior to starting. In reception children who are new to the school and did not attend our nursery are also offered a home visit. There may be times when a reception child who attended our nursery is offered another home visit. This is based on each child's individual needs and what is best to help the child settle into their new reception class. 

Home visits allow an opportunity for staff to meet your child in their most comfortable and confident environment; their home. It allows us to find out your child's interests, to begin to build relationships with them and allow you to ask any questions you may have or share any achievements or concerns about your child. The home visit will take place in either the summer term before they start or at the beginning of the Autumn term. 

During the home visit we will ask some questions to find out more about your child. This allows us to plan exciting activities to help your child settle into their new environment. We also provide you with an All About Me booklet for you to bring with you when your child starts. 


Stay and Play

We also invite you to a stay and play. In the nursery we provide two stay and plays. One in the summer term and one in September. This is because we recognise that the summer time can be a long time for children and we want to remind them of the adults they will meet and the fun they will have with us. Parents are required to stay with the children during the stay and plays. 



If your child attends a pre school we may visit the pre school in the summer term. The pre school will also share information with us about your child and how they learn. This will help us to support them and create a smoother transition when they start with us. 

Those children who attend our nursery and feed into our reception classes will participate in a variety of activities to support transition including meet the teachers, story time and visits to their new classes. 

All children starting our nursery and reception will receive a booklet with the practitioners names and photos and information about the class. 


Parent meetings

You will be invited to a meeting in the summer term to find out information about the school, some basic routines, what uniform your child needs, our curriculum and to meet the staff. 

Positive Relationships


Positive relationships are really important to young children and their learning. Our settling in process and home visits help your child to develop positive relationships with adults in our setting. 

In the Early Years all the practitioners in your child's class develop positive relationships with your child and support their learning. Your child may also develop relationships with practitioners from other classes. In the nursery, once your child has settled they will be assigned a key person. The key person will be a practitioner that works closely with your child to develop a strong attachment, sense of security and to help them flourish in their development and learning. 

In our reception classes the class teacher will be your child's key person.


You can request to speak to your key person at any time throughout the year, or you may just want to send them a message to inform them of any key information about your child. We arrange more formal meetings twice a year. This is in the Autumn and Spring term, where we can share with you how your child is settling into their class and how they are progressing with their learning.  In the summer term you will receive a written report about your child's time at school or nursery. If your child is remaining in our nursery for another year you will be invited to discuss their progress rather than receive a written report. 


Parent Partnerships 


We believe parent partnerships are valuable to a child's education. We have our school app called Class Dojo where you are updated regularly about events and learning taking place within the school and your child's class. This can also contain photographs of some of the activities children are participating in. The app also allows you a messaging system between parent and practitioners and the opportunity to send in photos and videos from home. We find this is an invaluable way to support home learning. We also welcome you to speak with us at the beginning or end of the day, once we have dismissed all the children. 

We also hold workshops throughout the year where you are invited in to learn about some features of your child's education, ways you can support them at home and see your child in action through play. Some examples of these are Communication and Play, Writing, Phonics, Fine and Gross Motor Skills or Maths.


We ask you to complete an All about Me book about your child's interests and provide us with a family photograph and a baby photo. 


We like to broaden children's experiences by visiting local places. In order to do this we rely on parental support to accompany us. In Nursery we take a ratio of 1 adult for every 2 children. In reception we take as many parents as possible with at least a ratio of 1 adult to  5 children. An example of some places we have visited include the Church, the Library, the Farm, the Park, the Zoo.


Each term we send home a home learning sheet with ideas of how you can support your child at home with their learning in school. You can then send in photo of the work your child has been doing with you or return the completed sheet to us for your child's Learning Journey. 



Enabling Environment


At the Federation we provide high quality engaging environments inside and outside that support and develop children's learning.  Children learn and develop best in caring and supportive environments that respond to children's interests and allow them to play and explore. A high quality learning environment increases children's attention and focus, provides meaningful experiences and motivates children to think of higher level critical thinking skills. 


The Indoor Environment


The Indoor Environment is a place where children can have a calmer space, play quietly and engage in activities that require smaller equipment.


The Outdoor Environment


The Outdoor Environment allows children to move their bodies in a different way. They are able to explore different larger scale movements such as climbing, running, jumping. They also have access to large construction, a sand pit, mud kitchen, digging area, trikes, bikes and scooters and a range of physical equipment. We access the outdoor area during all weathers, except the very extreme conditions. Nursery children should have wellies at school to wear when it is raining and have access to waterproof trousers. Children aged 3-5 should be active and out of breath for 180 minutes every day. 



Children have access to continuous provision in the indoor and outdoor areas. We also have a covered patio area with a woodwork table. 

Children initiate their own learning and adults join and interact with them. There is a mixture of child initiated and adult directed learning. The adult directed learning will be focused on key skills and knowledge children need to help them move forward in their education. Children's interests play a key role in the learning environment. Children learn best when they are excited and motivated by what is around them. Practitioners constantly monitor the level of children's engagement and in the environment and plan for learning opportunities. 


Children are encouraged to be independent in their learning including; pouring their own drinks, getting their own fruit, selecting their own toys, tidying up when they have finished, putting on aprons for water and paint play, going to the toilet and washing their hands, selecting their name to self register and looking after their belongings. 



Learning and Development


The curriculum in the Early Years is based upon the seven areas of learning. Three areas are of particularly importance for building and igniting children's curiosity, enthusiasm for learning, forming relationships and thriving. Children need a secure knowledge of these three areas in order to progress well in the other 4 areas. These are known as the Prime Areas: Communication and Language, Physical and Personal, Social and Emotional. 

The other areas are the specific areas: Literacy, Maths, Understanding the World and Expressive arts and Design. 


In the nursery the curriculum is heavily centred around the prime areas, especially in the Autumn term. However children always have access to all the areas within the learning environment, indoors and out. 


Teaching in the Early years consists of many forms. It is modelling, reinforcing, explaining, investigating, encouraging and questioning. It can occur through planned adult directed activities or spontaneuosly through children's own play. Children learn in whole class carpet sessions, group work and 1:1 alongside an adult depending on children's needs. 


In the nursery children first learn to develop their listening and attention skills through fun and engaging activities. The carpet sessions are short and fast at first and then they progress throughout the year, gradually becoming slightly longer,  to prepare them for learning in reception.  


Nursery children will participate in two carpet sessions a day, one at the beginning of the session and one at the end. This will be a mixture of stories, songs and rhymes, topic related learning, phonic games, maths and social skills. 


Reception children participate in four carpet sessions a day. One at the beginning and end of the day and one before and after lunch. Reception children participate in daily phonics lessons as part of our Little Wandle phonic programme, maths lessons (we follow the White Rose maths scheme), stories and songs and topic related activities. 


Children have opportunities to free flow. They are able to access the other early years classes and the outdoor area. Activities are set up by adult's based around that week's learning focus. Children are also able to initiate their own learning and access other resources. 


We believe it is important for children to develop their own independence. They self register on arrival, look after their belongings by hanging up their coat and putting their bag away, tidy up. 

Characteristics of Effective Learning


Education for children's future requires supporting children's ability to learn and think for themselves. 


Each unique child is an active agent of their own development.


Play and self initiated activities are ideal opportunities for children to build characteristics of effective learning. 


Through the characteristics of effective learning we are preparing children and developing their life long skills by; promoting positive dispositions, providing experience of making choices and decision making, taking responsibility, facing challenge and thinking flexibly and critically.


These are developed through the three areas of:

Playing and Exploring: Children can follow their own curiosity and find challenges, make choices about their play; what they will play, who with and for how long, use their senses and movement to explore the world around them and use their imagination to act out how they feel and what they know. They are able to take risks with new experiences and engage with open ended activities. Imaginative play allows children to make sense of the world, their experiences and their place in it. They will begin to regulate their own thinking and behaviour and develop flexibility and rules within their play. 


Active Learning: Throughout their play children begin to develop concentration and involvement in their learning. They make their own goals and work towards them. Through facing challenges and new experiences they learn to persevere and develop resilience. Children are supported to bounce back after set backs and try again. Within our Federation we embrace "fabulous mistakes" as a learning opportunity. 


Creating and Thinking Critically: Children begin to develop their own ideas and possibilities are endless. They learn to predict what might happen, test out their ideas and make adjustments. They develop their critical thinking and begin to identify problems and try to find solutions. Practitioners encourage children to become critical thinkers, thinking for themselves, to be flexible and adapt their work and talk through their thoughts and ideas. 

Information: Links for parents and families