'We grow and learn together
in the footsteps of Jesus'

St Joseph's RC Primary School

Life at St Joseph's RC Primary School Life at St Joseph's RC Primary School Life at St Joseph's RC Primary School

Patrick Class

Hello, my name is Mr Noonan and I am the Nursery teacher.

The principles of our nursery are:

  • 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.

We believe in learning the seven areas of the curriculum through play and encourage the children to become independent.  We prepare them for the transition to Reception class.

Together with the other adults (Kim, Amanda and Lisa) I look forward to welcoming you, your child and your family to our nursery.

For the first few weeks we will get to know and settle in the new children.  Much of what we do will be to try and get the children used to the routine of nursery and sitting at group times for stories, songs etc.  Talking to your child about this routine will help them to manage it sooner and in a calmer way.  Sitting for short stories and songs/rhymes at home will help support what we are trying to do in the nursery.  The idea is that when children can sit, give attention and listen then they are ready to learn.  As the weeks pass and the children settle in and get familiar with the setting and the routine we will encourage them to concentrate on interests for longer and engage in activities like drawing/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/subtraction) in preparation for reception class.  It would be helpful if you could also work on this at home when you have the opportunity to do so.  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.  We can provide a piece of fruit most days but this is only meant as a snack.  Your child should also bring water in a plastic bottle.  Milk is given to each child at home time.

In terms of topics the focus for the first half term (September and October) will be on `ourselves`.  We try to make the children more self aware by talking about their interests (for example favourite toys) and likes (food and colours for example).  We also talk about our senses and our families.  After the half term we will start to think about our `celebrations and festivals` topic.  The main focus of this will be Advent and getting ready for Christmas.  As part of the celebration we perform a Nativity play every year with the children from the reception class.  We plan to visit a local church to help the children gain a deeper understanding of the significance of Christmas.

After Christmas we settle in new children and introduce phonics (letter sounds) to our older children. They will also have a go at writing the letters.  If you want to build on this at home you can support your child  with activities and games on the letters and sounds website (www.letters-and-sounds.com).  This website will also help you understand what your child needs to prepare for in reception class and beyond in terms of phonics.  For now the focus should be on phase 1.  You can start phase 2 if your child is ready to learn the letter sounds.  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 be helpful.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Our topics in the spring term include looking at and thinking about different forms of transport.  This offers opportunities for creativity and design, perhaps by coming up with new types of transport with your child.  Curious minds can also be challenged by looking at how things work.  As with all of the topics there are no limits and we can always follow the children`s lead.  So for example the transport topic could end up with chats on all sorts of machinery or discussions about far away lands from thinking about how to travel there.  In the spring we also start the fairytales topic.  This is very popular and a great chance to develop the children`s vocabulary and understanding of story.  Placing on emphasis on stories and books from a young age can give a child a life long interest in this enriching pastime (see link below).  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.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      In the summer term we continue with the fairytales topic (because books are so great!) and usually try to make up our own one.  We also continue with our growing and life cycles topic by planting more, caring for (and eating!) what we 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.  

We welcome members of Canada Water Library to the nursery throughout the year.  Every week someone from the library comes to the nursery to read and sing with the whole class.  We strongly encourage all families to join and use their local library.  Many of them now offer fantastic services and sessions for children in addition to their core purpose of loaning books.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      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.

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