Nursery and Reception

The Chapter House Nursery and Reception follows on from our Queen's Kindergarten. It continues to support a child's early development through the power of play and social interactions, capturing their individual interests and encouraging learning through them. 

Building upon the EYFS curriculum, the Nursery and Reception years provide the opportunity for children to learn a modern foreign language and to undertake expert music tuition. Pupils can also enjoy participating in sports, including regular swimming, dance and multi-skill sessions and take full advantage of our excellent sporting facilities, outdoor learning areas and playgrounds.

Chapter House: Rated 'Outstanding'

Chapter House Early Years judged ‘Outstanding’ across all areas by Schools Inspectorate 2019

The Chapter House Early Years was praised for its 'excellent care and learning experiences that the setting provides’. The glowing ISI report follows a three-day inspection in February this year, with inspectors observing every aspect of school life.

The key findings for the Early Years Foundation Stage provision are set out in the report:

  • The overall effectiveness of the Early Years provision is outstanding.
  • Children receive the best possible support and care.
  • Children’s personal, social, and emotional development is given high priority and, as a result, is excellent.
  • Each child benefits from high-quality individual time with adults who ensure that they are safe, happy and secure.
  • The requirements for children’s safeguarding and welfare are fully met.
  • Due to the excellent care and learning experiences that the setting provides, almost all children under the age of two meet or exceed the level of development that is typical for their age.
  • The outstanding outcomes for children are a result of knowledgeable and highly effective leadership and management that has established rigorous and supportive systems of monitoring, evaluation and assessment.
Chapter House Rated Outstanding


Nursery and Reception Information

Our Foundation Stage Staff

Our Foundation Team

Miss Soames - foundation Teacher at Chapter House

Miss Soames

Mrs Schofield - Foundation Teacher at Chapter House

Mrs Schofield

Miss Catton - Foundation Teacher at Chapter House

Miss Catton

Miss Smith - Foundation Teacher at Chapter House

Miss Smith

The Foundation Stage Curriculum

The Foundation Stage Curriculum

For the new academic school year 2018-19 we will continue with the successful style of learning developed by Anna Ephgrave. ‘Planning In The Moment’ is about solid, effective EYFS practice. It’s about the “enabling environment” the power of “positive relationships”, respecting and recognising and tuning into “the unique child” and the power of play and interactions in enabling “learning and development”. This is based on the foundations set by our metaphorical early years mothers and fathers, those pioneers who show us the way.

In both Literacy and mathematics we will plan a week ahead to develop their ‘Letters and Sounds’ and mathematical understanding, these are referred to as our ‘Magic Moments’. Both Literacy and Mathematics will be present around the classrooms in order that the children can experience it throughout the day.

Staff will make regular observations on Tapestry that parents will have direct access to. We also encourage you as parents to add your own observations so that we can see what the children get up to out of school too – as this is the whole child and often gives us a different insight to their personal interests.

We are planning three different trips and visitors for the school year 2018-19, to enhance their learning. These are:

  • a visit from One Day Creative to take part in a pirate movement workshop
  • a trip to the theatre just before Christmas
  • a trip to Hesketh Park Farm in the Summer to see what life on a farm would be like.

The main principles, as set out in the Early Years Foundation Stage Statutory Guidance, on which the EYFS is based are grouped into four main themes:

EYFS Curriculum
  • A Unique Child – every child is a unique child who is constantly learning and can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured.
  • Positive Relationships – Children learn to be strong and independent through positive relationships.
  • Enabling Environments – Children learn and develop well in enabling environments, in which their experiences respond to their individual needs and there is a strong partnership between practitioners, parents and carers.
  • Learning and Development – Children develop and learn in different ways. The framework covers the education and care of all children in EYFS provision.

There are three prime areas and four specific areas of Learning & Development.

Prime Areas:

  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development – Our programme supports children to develop relationships, to develop their self confidence and self awareness and to manage their feelings and behaviour.  For example we encourage the children to be able to describe themselves in positive terms and talk about their abilities, sharing these with both peers and adults.  At the end of each week and during holidays the children will have the opportunity of taking care of our classroom cuddly friends ‘Boris’ and ‘Bessie’.  They don’t need feeding, but we do ask for a diary to be filled in to tell us of the adventures that they get up to!
  • Communication and Language – We support children in their listening and attention skills, in their understanding and in their speaking.  On a weekly basis your child will be encouraged to bring in items or share stories for Show and Tell, this is an ideal opportunity for children to become great communicators, listeners and to show opinions about things that they have heard or seen.
  • Physical Development – We support children to grow more confident in moving and handling, and to develop their awareness of health and self-care.  All children experience a healthy range of foodstuffs through milk and fruit being continually available as a snack. At lunch times there is a three week menu that is prepared for younger children, by a chef using a variety of fresh, healthy foods offering them a balanced diet.  Water is available to the children, we ask that you provide a water bottle for this purpose.  Children in Foundation Stage take part in a daily Movement 4 Learning programme that we were a pilot school for on behalf of Professor Pat Preedy and Dr Rebecca Duncombe. Following this pilot we were able to take from the findings that this programme enabled the children to be much more school ready in physical skills which enabled them to achieve far greater progress than would normally be expected.


Specific Areas:

  • Literacy – We support children in their early reading and writing.  Children are encouraged to engage and submerge themselves with books at school.  They will bring home library books for you to share with them, they will be given a notebook in addition to this, that you can use with your child to explore different aspects of the book they have brought home.  There are many opportunities of engaging in mark making leading to the development of writing skills.  This is an important stage for young children and we try to encourage them throughout the various stages of writing, using a variety of styles and resources.
  • Maths – We support children’s learning in the areas of number, shape, space and measure.  The maths activities that they experience will be of a practical nature, as children are ready there will be more formal recording of the skills and processes that they have learnt.  At home you can help your child through involving them in simple activities recognising shapes and numbers in your everyday lives.
  • Understanding the World – We support children’s learning about People and Communities (British Values), the World and Technology.  At school they will have the opportunity to access websites through using a variety of tablets, whiteboards, programmable toys etc.  We always love to hear of any websites/apps that they may enjoy using at home.  The children love to learn about the world in which they live through first-hand experience, in order to do this we invite into school a selection of visitors who have volunteered to share either their interests or occupations with us.  If you feel that you have something to offer that would interest the children then please do let us know!
  • Expressive Arts and Design – We support children’s learning by exploring and using media and materials and by being imaginative.  As part of this area of learning the children will take part in an EYFS/KS1 production that includes singing, instruments, acting and costumes.  Our stage production is then performed to all parents near to the end of term.  Watch out for your shining star!


Spring Term 2019

This term, the children in Reception will be moving onto the next Phase in Letters and Sounds for their literacy. This will support their increased confidence in writing and reading independently. In Nursery the children will continue to build on their Phase 2 sounds that they have already started.

In Mathematics they will be furthering their knowledge of both numbers and shape, building on what they already know and moving it to the next step in their development.

We will continue to develop all areas of the children’s learning by extending their own personal interests and encouraging them to take part in activities that cover their next steps.


Autumn Term 2019

This term, the children in Reception will be moving onto phase 2 and 3 in Letters and Sounds for their literacy.  This will help to develop a confidence in writing and the initial stages of reading independently.  In Nursery the children will embed their Phase 1 letters and sounds which focuses on recognising different sounds and training their ears to listen.

In Mathematics they will be furthering their existing knowledge and understanding of both numbers and shape.  They will learn to recognise numbers, to count carefully and begin to use numbers in practical problem solving activities.

We will continue to develop all areas of the children’s learning by extending their own personal interests and encouraging them to take part in activities that cover their next steps. There will be plenty of opportunity to engage in outdoor activities.

Nursery and Reception Menu

All meals are freshly prepared by our very own on-site EYFS chef.

Each day children receive a well-balanced lunch and tea option. A vegetarian option is always offered and the chef can cater to individual requirements such as allergies.

The menu is on a 3-week rotation, as shown below.

Week 1

Monday Chilli with rice, sweetcorn and nachos or Quorn Chilli with rice, sweetcorn and nachos (V)
Chocolate Brownie
Tuesday Pasta in tomato sauce with garlic bread and salad
Wednesday Roast Turkey with Yorkshire pudding, roast potato and broccoli or Quorn with Yorkshire pudding, roast potato and broccoli (V)
Apple and blueberry crumble with custard
Thursday Pork sausages, mash and beans or Veggie sausages, mash and beans (V)
Oat cookie
Friday Fish, chips and peas or Macaroni and cheese (V)


Week 2

Monday Cheese & tomato pizza with sweet potato wedges & baked beans
Fruit Jelly
Tuesday Chicken Goujons, chips and mixed vegetables or Breaded mushrooms with chips and mixed vegetables (V)
Wednesday Roast Pork with roast potatoes and cabbage or Quorn with roast potatoes and cabbage (V)
Pineapple upside down cake with custard
Thursday Beef and vegetable stew with rice and cauliflower or Vegetable and bean stew with rice and cauliflower (V)
Fruit cocktail
Friday Fish pie with peas or Spinach and ricotta lasagne (V)


Week 3

Monday Hunters chicken with rice and mixed vegetables or Quorn hunters chicken with rice and mixed vegetables (V)
Bananas and custard
Tuesday Pasta bolognaise with sweetcorn and garlic bread or Quorn pasta bolognaise with sweetcorn and garlic bread (V)
Wednesday Roast Chicken with roast potato and carrots or Quorn with roast potato and carrots (V)
Peach Melba mousse
Thursday Chickpea and mushroom burger with potato wedges and coleslaw
Carrot cake
Friday Fish fingers, chips and peas or Halloumi goujons with chips and peas (V)

Homework and Reading Lists


No current homework set.

Reading Lists

To be confirmed.

Foundation Stage Co-curricular Activities

Foundation Stage Lunchtime Clubs

The children will get the chance to learn creative and imaginative dances to music.

Parachute Club
Children are welcome to join in this fun club using the parachute to play a variety of games. Parachute games encourage cooperative, non-competitive play and reinforce turn-taking and sharing. Playing with the parachute also strengthens shoulder, arm and hand muscles. (This club can accommodate a maximum of 12 children, so it may be split into 2 groups.)

For dates and times, please visit the co-curricular tab on our Enrichment page.

Contact the Nursery and Reception

General Contact

Head of Chapter House and Queen's Kindergarten, Karen Kilkenny and the rest of the team can be contacted by phone on 01423 333310 or via email at:

Nursery and Reception Gallery

Chapter House Nursery Outside
CH Boarding Balloons

Nursery and Reception News

Practising Phonics
Karen Kilkenny

Throughout the week the children have been practising all of their phonic knowledge of letters and sounds.  The children are all working at different phases of ‘Letters and Sounds’ and are very proud of their achievements, applying the knowledge that they have gained.

Read More about Practising Phonics

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