St Joseph's Rotherhithe


Hello, my name is Miss Hope and I am the nursery teacher.

Here are the principles of our nursery:

  • We build on what our children already know and can do
  • We ensure that all children are included, feel secure and valued
  • We offer a structure for learning that has a range of starting points, content that matches the needs of young children, opportunities for the children to engage in activities planned by adults and those that they plan or initiate themselves and activities that provide opportunities for learning both indoors and outdoors
  • We provide a rich and stimulating environment.

In our Nursery we believe in the importance of active learning. Children are encouraged to explore the seven areas of the curriculum through play and encourage the children to become independent explorers of the world around them.  We also prepare them for the transition to Reception class by a firm grounding in phonics, early number and literacy.

Together with the other adults (Saphron, Ida and Lisa) I look forward to welcoming you, your child and your family to St Joseph's RC Primary.

Autumn Term

For the first few weeks we get to know and settle in the new children so that they become used to the routine of nursery and sitting at group times for stories and songs.  Talking to your child about this routine will help them to manage it sooner and in a calmer way.  Sitting for short stories and song or rhymes at home will help support this transition.  The idea is that when children can sit, give attention and listen, then they are ready to learn. 

Our topic focus for the first half term (September and October) is `Why do you love me so much?'  In this project we learn about love, families and how people are the same and different.   

Here are some fabulous photos of our first few weeks in Nursery 



Our exciting, seasonal project after the October half term is 'Why do the leaves go crispy?' where children learn about woodland animals, trees, leaves and seasonal change.  As the weeks pass and the children settle in and get familiar with the setting and the routine, we encourage them to concentrate on interests for longer and engage in activities like drawing and mark making (to support their development in writing) and use of numbers (saying the numbers in order, recognition, counting out a given number of items from a bunch, understanding more and less and the first steps of addition and subtraction) in preparation for reception class. During this term we also get the chance to perform a Nativity play with the reception children for our parents and carers. 

Here is a photo gallery of some of our exciting learning in Autumn 2 


 Spring Term  

 Our topic title after Christmas (spring term) is `Why can't I have chocolate for breakfast?` which concentrates on healthy eating, nutrition and movement. Also in the spring we find out about buildings and materials in a topic entitled `How does that building stay up?'

During this term we continue our phonics teaching to the children. This is where they learn the SOUNDS of the letters.  Sounding out words is an important part of how the children will learn to read and write as they get older.  We start with Phase 1 phonics which helps children to discriminate between the different sounds they can hear and make. When they are ready we begin Phase 2 phonics, where children begin to learn letter sounds. We will also encourage the children to write the letter sounds.  

We will also start to grow vegetables, flowers and herbs in the spring so the children gain an understanding of life cycles and appreciate healthy eating.  

Summer Term

The summer term begins after the Easter break and this is when we start the fantastical topic: `Do dragons exist?`

The year is rounded off by `How many pebbles on the beach?`looking at all things beach related and the creatures living in and around the sea.                                                                                                                                                                                                      We also continue with our growing and life cycles topic by planting more, caring for (and eating!) what we have planted already and looking at the transformation of live caterpillars to butterflies.  Transition activities take place in the summer for children moving on to reception class.  

What you can do at home 

 If you want to build on children's phonics knowledge, activities and games on the letters and sounds website ( can be helpful.  This website will also help you understand what your child needs to prepare for in reception class and beyond in terms of phonics.  The Alphablocks is a popular cartoon for children that uses letter sounds (phonics) in a fun way.  Looking at this show and talking about it with your child could encourage an interest in phonics.       

Please also make sure your child comes to nursery having had a proper and healthy meal.  This should be sufficient enough to ensure your child does not feel hungry during the session.  Your child should also bring water in a plastic bottle.  Milk is given to each child at home time while fruit and vegetable snacks are provided throughout the day. 

Please keep us informed of your child's interests and achievements.  Let us know if you have any concerns.  If you have any questions please do not hesitate to ask.  We are happy to help as best we can.

Useful links and resources

Tips to manage the transition into nursery

5 tips for managing tantrums

5 ways to encourage children to eat healthy food

Encouraging children to build harmonious relationships

The importance of reading

10 fun and educational ways to keep your child entertained indoors

Thank you! The Nursery Team