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St Matthias

Church of England Primary School

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St Matthias Early Years Unit

At St Matthias , we have a very lovely Early Years Unit.


Children can come to our setting from the age of 3 years and they will remain in the Early Years Unit until the end of their Reception Year.


We believe that every child enters the Early Years with different needs.  An Early Years Unit is designed so that every child can enjoy learning in a fun and exciting environment with the support of a very skilled team of Early Years specialists.  Nursery and Reception children have access to a variety of learning activities and areas throughout the day and there are times that are set aside for either quiet or focus activities.  


If you would like to visit,  please contact our office for an appointment to come and play with us.  We know that your children will love learning with us.    

Early Years Unit

 Early Years Team love teaching at St Matthias and quickly build positive relationships with parents and children new to the unit.  Having  combined rooms extends the variety and type of learning available to children as well as having the advantage of working alongside different adults. At St Matthias, we believe that children in the Early Years need to have opportunities to learn through play as well as small group and individual focus activities. Having access to more space means that all of the children in the Early Years can use more resources such as: sand, water, iPads, maths, writing, reading, playdough, small world, construction and our very well resourced outside areas. The children  settle quickly, enjoy the day and leave school with a smile on their face. positive, strong relationships to be formed. Parents are able to talk to staff members at the beginning and end of the day.   Have a look through the window to see how much fun we are having learning in the Early Years at St. Matthias.

If anyone would like to find out more about the Early Years then please contact the office and arrange to come in for a chat and a tour.

Mr Carl Salmon.

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Our purpose-built Early Years Unit, with its experienced, caring staff team and well resourced outdoor learning area, welcomes our youngest learners throughout the school day and hosts a morning, afternoon and school day sessions.


Nursery Session Times


Nursery sessions are held every week day during the school term time.

The morning sessions start at 9.00am each morning and end at 12.00pm.

The afternoon sessions start at 12.00pm and finish at  3.00pm.

Your child can stay for the whole day (9am-3pm) if you are entitled to 30hours childcare or if you want to pay for extra sessions.

Nursery Lunch will be taken at 12.10pm. Children staying over the lunch period have the option to bring their own packed lunch or to have a hot school meal for £2.30.

Our  Nursery children are welcome to attend extra nursery sessions at a charge of £13.50 for the three hour session subject to availability.

If your child is booked in for a session then you will be charged for that session unless the office is given 2 weeks notice.  This is to ensure that we have the correct child:staff ratios in place.


Our Nursery children are also able to utilise our Whizz Kids After School Care from 3.00pm until 5.30pm at a cost of £4 per hour.

We would prefer that children feel settled in nursery  before you start using Whizz Kids.


Nursery Funding

Please note that under government rules introduced in 2011, every child is entitled to fifteen hours per week of nursery provision without any cost from the start of the term after their third birthday. Some younger children are also entitled to fifteen hours free nursery

 education based on family income. If a child attends another nursery setting in addition to St Matthias, their  funding will be split between both settings and parents may be asked to pay at both settings for any additional time used beyond fifteen hours per week.


In September 2017 the government introduced new 30 hours per week funding for 3 and 4 year olds.  You, and any partner, must each expect to earn (on average) at least £120 a week (equal to 16 hours at the National Minimum or Living Wage). If you, or your partner, are on maternity, paternity or adoption leave, or you're unable to work because you are disabled or have caring responsibilities, you could still be eligible.

You can't get 30 hours free childcare if you, or your partner, expect to earn £100,000 or more.


Further Information

If you would like to find out more about whether our provision would be beneficial for your child, please have a look at our leaflets below . Our Early Years class page (on the "Pupils" tab) is frequently updated with photos and information about our learning activities and we are always pleased to welcome families considering a place to see our Early Years Unit in action. Please speak to a member of our office staff to arrange a visit.

What do we do?

In our Early Years Unit you will see adults actively engaged in pupils' play and talk. However, you will also see us watching and listening to what children think and say.  We love to listen to children’s ideas and thoughts; they are very important to us.

Once a child is happy and secure in their relationships and environment, they are more likely to take risks and have a go at things that they might not be so certain about.

Play is the fundamental way in which young children learn. It is where they make sense of the world. We believe that children learn by ‘doing’ and so our Early Years Unit is set up for children to have a variety of activities for them to investigate and play with. These are a mixture of adult and child–led. Throughout the day, children are also able to access resources that they chose for their own play.

Talk is also a very important part of our Early Years Unit. We encourage and support children to speak confidently to each other and adults in a relaxed and friendly environment.

Every child in our Early Years Unit is seen as an individual: we work hard to ensure that we support every child from where they are developmentally and through an exciting, fun environment which supports their further development.

We want our children to be excited about every day in school, wondering what they might investigate and find out about. Taking risks, asking questions, being excited about what they have discovered and wanting to share it with others are all important parts of learning.


What can parents and carers do?

Parents and carers are their children’s first teachers. When they are with you, learning can happen at any time and anywhere. For example through:

  • Being generous with praise and cuddles
  • Reading things together
  • Playing games, singing nursery rhymes
  • Talking about what you can see in the park or on the street
  • Counting the stairs as you go up or down

What is the Early Years Foundation Stage?

The EYFS is the stage of learning is when your child attends a setting or childminder's home between birth and the age of five. They remain in this stage of learning until the end of the Reception Year in school.

The EYFS Framework describes how Early Years Practitioners should work with children and their families to support their development and learning.

What are the EYFS principles?

Children develop quickly in the Early Years and Early Years Practitioners aim to do all they can to help children have the best possible start in life. Children have a right to provision which enables them to develop their personalities, talents and abilities irrespective of ethnicity, culture or religion, home language, family background, learning difficulties, disabilities or gender. The EYFS guidance helps adults to understand and support each individual child’s development pathway.

The EYFS Curriculum is based on four important principles:

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 and parents/carers.

Learning & Development
Children develop and learn in different ways. The framework covers the education and care of all children in early years provision, including children with special educational needs and disabilities.

What is in the EYFS Curriculum?

Practitioners teach children by ensuring challenging, playful opportunities across the prime and specific areas of learning and development. These areas are separated into different aspects. The Areas are:

  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development
  • Communication and Language
  • Physical Development
  • Literacy
  • Mathematics
  • Understanding of the World
  • Expressive Arts and Design


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