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Hollymount Primary School

Foundation Stage

The Early Years Foundation Stage


At Hollymount we have 2 Nursery Classes.  A morning Nursery (Acorns) from 8:30 – 11:30am and an Afternoon Nursery (Conkers) from 12:30 – 3:30pm.

In Reception we have 2 Classes of 30 children in each class.  Typically, the Reception Class day is from 8:55am – 3:10pm.

Nursery and Reception children experience a rich, stimulating and engaging curriculum that centres around the child.  Teachers plan topics that are language rich and have the children’s interests at heart to ensure maximum play and engagement in both the indoor and outdoor environments.  Teachers plan for a good balance between adult directed and child initiated play based activities.

Topics are carefully planned to ensure progress from Nursery to Reception.  For example, In Nursery the children will learn about “Lifecycles” where they will look at the life cycle of a butterfly and frogs. Whereas in Reception, they will build on this existing knowledge by then looking at the life cycle of a chick/duck and living plants such as beans and sunflowers. We make experiences memorable for the children so we plan a hook to the learning which we call a “Sparkly Starter.”  At the end of a topic we finish off with a “Fab Finish” which usually involves some form of celebration to the learning.

In Nursery, topics that we cover are – Nursery Rhymes, My Family Journey, Super Me, Traditional Tales, Lifecycles and Animals.

In Reception, topics that we cover are – This is me, My culture and traditions, 999 what’s your emergency, Traditional Tales, Lifecycles and The Living Planet.

The Early Years Foundation Stage is made up of 7 Learning Areas.  3 Learning areas make up the PRIME AREAS OF LEARNING which are heavily focussed on in Nursery Teaching.  4 learning areas make up the SPECIFIC AREAS OF LEARNING which are built on the prime areas of learning in Reception.

Prime areas:

  1. Communication and Language (Listening and attention; Speaking)
  2. Personal Social and Emotional Development (Self-Regulation, managing self, Building Relationships)
  3. Physical Development (Gross motor; Fine motor)


Specific Areas of Learning

  1. Literacy (Comprehension, Word Reading, Writing)
  2. Maths (Number, Numerical Patterns)
  3. Understanding of the World (Past and Present, People and Communities, The Natural World)
  4. Expressive Arts and Design (Creating with Materials, Being Imaginative and Expressive)