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Sir John Heron Primary School

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Welcome To Nursery

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A guide to your child’s learning and development in the early years foundation stage.

Age bands:

Children are expected to work predominantly within the 30-50 months age band at this stage in their learning.



Autumn Term 1&2

Vocabulary Focus


Our first special book will be ‘A Brave Bear’ and then we will be reading ‘Happy Birthday Maisy’. Through these stories we will explore the language and rhythm of the text. We will pay special attention to the emotions and feelings of the characters in the story and relate these to our own emotions and feelings.  We will be beginning to recognise familiar words and signs, such as our own names, the names of people who are special to us and our favourite shops and foods. We will play early phonic games which include listening to musical sounds, exploring rhyming words and tapping out simple beats and rhythms. In our provision we will be gaining control over writing and drawing tools, making pictures, lines, circles and crosses which have meaning to us and using our name cards to copy the letters from our names.


We will be covering these areas of learning in Literacy over the term:

  • Rhyming and rhythmic activities. (30-50)
  • Sometimes giving meaning to marks as they draw and paint. (30-50)
  • Filling in the missing word or phrase in a known rhyme, story or game, e.g. ‘Humpty Dumpty’. (22-36)
  • Listening to and joining in with stories and poems, one-to-one and also in small groups.(30-50)
  • Recognising rhythm in spoken words. (30-50)
  • Showing interest in illustrations and print in books and print in the environment.(30-50)


Vocabulary for story language – once upon a time, one sunny day, happily ever after, suddenly

Time words – first of all, next, after that, finally, in the end

story, information, book, front cover, title, pages



We will learn lots of number songs and use equipment, toys and actions to support our counting skills. We will be counting groups of objects to 10 and counting out small groups of toys from a larger group. In Nursery we will play lots of games which will help us match and recognise numbers to 10. This will include musical numbers and dominoes. Through our provision, we will learn the names of everyday shapes and think about their properties, such as how many sides they have and if they have straight or curved edges. We will use food and cooking activities to explore everyday shapes.


We will be covering these areas of learning in Mathematics over the term:

  • Reciting some number names in sequence. (22-36)
  • Using some number names and number language spontaneously. (30-50)
  • Anticipating specific time-based events such as mealtimes or home time. (22-36)
  • Using some number names accurately in play. (30-50)
  • Showing an interest in number problems (30-50)
  • Showing an interest in representing number
  • Showing an interest in numerals in the environment (30-50)
  • Beginning to represent numbers using fingers, marks on paper or pictures.(30-50)
  • Showing interest in shape by sustained construction activity or by talking about shapes or arrangements.(30-50)
  • Showing interest in shapes in the environment (30-50)

Vocabulary  - number, count, zero, one, two, three……


Understand and use language of comparison e.g wider/narrower     longer/shorter     taller/shorter    widest/narrowest


Order, next, forwards, backwards, more, less, fewer, altogether, equals, the same as


Vocabulary – talks about significant times of the day e.g. home time, lunchtime, snack time, bed time. Know the name of the days of the week and say them in order


Before, after, yesterday, today, tomorrow

PSED (Physical, Social, Emotional Development)

In Nursery we will be establishing friendships, talking with others and being friendly with the other children and grown-ups we know. We will develop rules for using and sharing the Nursery equipment, finding ways to share toys and make sure everyone gets a fair turn. Every day we will develop our independence in putting on our own coats ready for the changing Autumn weather outside with our teacher’s support. We will be trying to do up our zips and buttons. We will help the teachers with getting out and tidying away the toys and resources we play with.


We will be covering these areas of learning in PSED over the term:

  • Separating from main carer with support and encouragement from a familiar adult. (22-36)
  • Expressing own preferences. (22-36)
  • Drinking well without spilling. (22-36)
  • Helping with clothing, e.g. putting on hat, unzipping zipper on jacket, taking off unbuttoned shirt. (22-36)
  • Showing understanding and cooperating with some boundaries and routines. (22-36)
  • Seeking out others to share experiences. (22-36)
  • Demonstrating friendly behaviour, initiating conversations and forming good relationships with peers and familiar adults. (30-50)
  • Being more outgoing towards unfamiliar people and more confident in new social situations. (30-50)
  • Beginning to accept the needs of others and can take turns and share resources, sometimes with support from others.(30-50)
  • Can play in a group, extending and elaborating play ideas, e.g. building up a role-play activity with other children. (30-50)

Words for developing self-confidence and self-esteem – proud, going, to, can do, try, goal succeed,


Vocabulary for working together and relationships – hello, please, play with, watch, copy, smile, build, make, feel, give, take, ask, tell, share


Positive adjectives – active, kind, thoughtful, friendly, careful, confident, creative, helpful, considerate, strong, quick, courageous, artistic, warm, musical, gentle, caring


Communication and Language

In our Nursery will begin to listen and join in during circle times, we will listen carefully and follow instructions. We will sing lots of familiar action songs and also learn some new ones. Through the exciting activities around the nursery we will develop our confidence to speak with our friends and teachers. We will be introduced to a range of stories, such as ‘Dear Zoo’, ‘Brown Bear Brown Bear’, ‘Whatever Next’, and ‘Owl Babies’. There will be lots of toys and resources which will help us to become familiar with these tales and we will be encouraged to retell them ourselves.  We will be extending our vocabulary, learning and using lots of new words related to our topics. This will include extending our descriptive language and sentences e.g our ‘Brown Bear’ will become ‘a furry brown bear’ or ‘a soft furry brown bear who likes honey’.


We will be covering these areas of learning in Communication and Language over the term:

  • Listening to others one to one or in small groups, when conversation interests them.(30-50)
  • Understanding ‘who’, ‘what’, ‘where’ in simple questions (e.g. who’s that? What’s that? Where is?). (22-36)
  • Using simple sentences. (22-36)
  • Listening to stories with increasing attention and recall. (30-50)
  • Understanding use of objects (e.g. “What do we use to cut things?’) (30-50)
  • Using talk in pretending that objects stand for something else in play, e.g. ‘This box is my castle.’ (30-50)


Use an increasing range of vocabulary appropriately, understanding the meaning of new words


Use past, present and future tenses – in conversations with peers/adults about themselves and their experiences, activities, ideas and events

Understanding the World

In our Nursery will be digging our garden area over and planting bulbs ready for spring. We will look at the leaves and weather, observing the changes we see and feel. This will help us to develop an understanding of changes that occur over periods of time. We will explore the religious festivals celebrated by ourselves and our friends. We will begin to look at the similarities and differences between the celebrations and to understand why it is important to behave respectfully towards special objects and the beliefs and practices of others.


We will be covering these areas of learning in Understanding of the World over the term:

  • Beginning to have their own friends.(22-36)
  • Enjoying playing with small-world models such as a farm, a garage, or a train track. (22-36)
  • Operating mechanical toys, e.g. turns the knob on a windup toy or pulls back on a friction car. (22-36)
  • Showing interest in the lives of people who are familiar to them. (30-50)
  • Showing interest in different occupations and ways of life. (30-50)
  • Recognising and describing special times or events for family or friends.
  • Commenting and asking questions about aspects of their familiar world such as the place where they live or the natural world.(30-50)

Vocabulary – today, yesterday, tomorrow, morning, afternoon, evening, last week, this week, next week, this morning

Old, new, then, now, past, future, before, after, birthday, next


Vocabulary for expressing feelings – happy, cheerful, glad, excited, joyful, sad, miserable, gloomy, angry, worried, anxious, frightened, scared, nervous


Physical Development

In our Nursery we will be learning how to use the climbing equipment safely. We will practice moving in different ways such as jumping, hopping on one foot and skipping. We will continue to develop our confidence on the climbing and balancing equipment. We will focus on holding and manipulating a range of tools such as pens, pencils, rolling pins, dough cutters and paint brushes to make marks, pictures and letters. We will be using scissors to cut and makes snips in paper, and we will practice cutting straight and zig-zag lines. Our teachers will help us to practice our self-care skills, making sure we put our aprons on when we play in the water, washing our hands and putting our dirty tissues in the bin.


We will be covering these areas of learning in Physical Development over the term:

  • Walking upstairs or downstairs holding onto a rail two feet to a step. (22-36)
  • May be beginning to show preference for dominant hand. (22-36)
  • Clearly communicating their need for potty or toilet. (22-36)
  • Helping with clothing, e.g. putting on hat, unzipping zipper on jacket, and taking off unbuttoned shirt. (22-36)
  • Beginning to use three fingers (tripod grip) to hold writing tools (22-36)
  • Moving freely and with pleasure and confidence in a range of ways, such as slithering, shuffling, rolling, crawling, walking, running, jumping, skipping, sliding and hopping. (30-50)
  • Holding pencil between thumb and two fingers, no longer using whole hand grasp. (30-50)
  • Understanding that equipment and tools have to be used safely. (30-50)


Vocabulary – language of movement linked to body parts and how they move


Vocabulary linked to foods and food groups at the snack table, body parts, exercise and effects on the body, dressing skills,


Expressive Arts and Design

In Nursery we will be developing independence in the art area, this will include making textured paint to create different effects, putting on our own aprons, writing our names on our work and washing our hands when we are finished. There will be lots of bright colours as we make glittering Divas for Diwali and shiny stars for Christmas. When we play we will use role-play and small world to extend our imaginations, acting out our own experiences like cooking dinner or feeding the baby. We will also make up our own exciting stories such as superheroes rescuing people or animals eating grass.


We will be covering these areas of learning in Expressive Arts and Design over the term:

  • Experimenting with blocks, colours and marks. (22-36)
  • Beginning to use representation to communicate, e.g. drawing a line and saying ‘That’s me’. (22-36)
  • Creating movement in response to music.(30-50)
  • Singing a few familiar songs. (30-50)
  • Exploring colour and how colours can be changed.(30-50)
  • Engaging in imaginative role-play based on own first-hand experiences.(30-50)



Vocabulary – join, assemble, construct, model, build, design, screwing, building, balancing, threading, slotting, structure, model, tall, taller, tallest, big small


Vocabulary for designing and making – recycled, paper, cardboard, plastic, foil, polystyrene, natural, man-made, waterproof, construct, build, assemble, join, plan, design, structure, thick thin