Nursery (Antarctica/Arctic Class)

Dean Field Nursery is open 8:40am – 3:00pm, Monday – Friday and the aim is to meet every child’s unique potential and develop confident children so they are ready to tackle any challenges when they embark on their school journey. Miss Fitzpatrick, Mrs Robertshaw and Miss Rhodes make learning exciting for all children by providing stimulating activities and a safe and warm environment for all children to flourish.

In Nursery, the team plan a variety of motivating activities to support all children’s development according to the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS). They focus on developing a vast amount of skills within 7 different educational programmes according to what a ‘typical’ child of the Nursery age should be doing. However, we take into account that every child is individual and even though we work towards developing the skills outlined in the EYFS Framework our staff ensure personalised next steps and challenges are in place. This is to develop them into confident, resilient and happy children who are ready for the next stage – Reception.

In Nursery we have a great focus on supporting children’s independence, resilience and communication and vocabulary skills as this provides the foundations of learning to be embedded in order for different subject knowledge and skills to be taught further up school in greater depth.

The EYFS Framework

The EYFS Framework explains how and what your child will be learning to support their healthy development from birth to 5 years. The full document can be found at

Your child will be learning skills, acquiring new knowledge and demonstrating their understanding through 17 areas of learning and developing which come under the 7 different educational programmes as listed below:

      • Communication and Language:
        • Listening, Attention and Understanding
        • Speaking
      • Personal, Social and Emotional Development:
        • Self-Regulation
        • Managing Self
        • Building Relationships
      • Physical Development:
        • Gross Motor Skills
        • Fine Motor Skills
      • Literacy:
        • Comprehension
        • Word Reading
        • Writing
      • Mathematics:
        • Number          
        • Numerical Patterns
      • Understanding the World:
        • Past and Present
        • People, Culture and Communities
        • The Natural World
      • Expressive Arts and Design:
        • Creating with Materials
        • Being Imaginative and Expressive

These 17 areas are used to plan your child’s learning and activities, which are suited to your child’s unique needs.Children in the EYFS learn by playing and exploring, being active, and through creative and critical thinking which takes place both inside and outside. These are known as the 3 characteristics of effective learning. When planning and setting up the learning environment these are taken into account to ensure they are embedded for children to develop. As a school, we contribute to the thematic approach to learning using a whole-school topic overview by selecting topics for each half-term for Nursery and Reception that we feel would encourage and excite children, these are reviewed but also not set in stone – meaning if children’s interests defer then we support this and change plans in order to maximize the most learning potential.

Parent Information on the EYFS Framework:There is a great guide, called the ‘What to expect, when’, this is aimed at parents in helping you gain an insight into children’s development and what they are working towards by the end of Reception, ready for starting Year 1. Children all develop at different rates and we value and support every individual child’s progress.  The guide can be found below and includes the ongoing updates of the new EYFS framework 2021 here:  alternatively, if you ask a member of the EYFS team they’ll be happy to print it out for you or send you a copy via email or Seesaw.

Parents of both Nursery and Reception are also provided with half-termly parent information which are similar to the school’s ‘Must Knows’ for their topics. Here, outlines what we will focus on developing in regards to the EYFS curriculum in that half-term.

Assessment in Nursery

The way we assess children’s learning in Nursery is through observations of their play and work they may produce in their scrapbook. Observations are recorded online on our Seesaw app and you can view them with your login details that you already have. You can also comment on these from home and upload observations/celebrations of learning and play that your child does to share with us as we appreciate your voice to gain a greater understanding of your child and their development.

When your child has been observed, the staff will link it to the statements found in the EYFS Framework. This helps to highlight what your child has already achieved and what their next steps are. At each half-term the EYFS staff will use your child’s learning journey and work done in books in school to assess where the child is working at against the EYFS framework to support them in the next half-term with their learning. This data is stored on Target Tracker, the rest of the school also use this to track the children’s development which means as your child moves through the Dean Field, their current teacher always has an up-to-date record of what your child’s progression in all subjects, what their strengths are and what support they need in order to progress.

You can also contribute to your child’s learning and development by informing us what they’ve been doing at home too! Often, children are most confident in their home environment and it’s important for us to know and understand them holistically. If you have photos, videos or messages about your child’s achievements (however small) please post them on your child’s Seesaw page so we can celebrate this in class and contribute it to their assessment record – this way we can ensure their next steps are even more explicit, providing the best start to education for your child.

Teaching and Learning in Nursery

The way Dean Field Nursery staff teach this curriculum is through a variety of:

          • adult-led activities
          • small focus group work
          • whole class activities
          • parent/child workshops
          • one-to-one support
          • promoting independent play through the use of child-initiated play and challenges set by staff and children (in the moment planning).

All of the activities created in each way of teaching is stimulated by children’s individual next steps, topics we are enjoying, current events in the community or by the children’s interests.

At Dean Field we strive to achieve more for every child and provide a wide variety of support for all children. Every session includes:

          • Read, Write, Inc. phonic group session – to help children differentiate sounds and obtain the foundation skills of early reading prior to starting Reception, giving them a fantastic head start! Our Nursery staff are Read, Write, Inc. trained and implement the same scheme we use in Reception upwards in regards to the Nursery framework.

We also encourage all children in Nursery class to ‘borrow a book’ from school to share reading and storytelling at home, with a great emphasis on reading for pleasure. These books can be changed as regular as needed. If your child has progressed on to recognising phonic sounds and has the confidence and ability to blend sounds together to read e.g. ‘c-a-t = cat’ then we have a selection of books that can support these skills too. Please visit our Early Reading/Phonics page found under the Curriculum tab on our website for further information.

          • Toothbrushing session – the children have their own toothbrush provided at Nursery.
          • TenTown Maths – we focus on one number before moving onto the next. Every child is also given a home login to use the resource at home too. Logging in can be accessed via the website:
          • Story time – we share stories through role-play, videos, imagination and adult’s reading our favourite books out loud.
          • Fruit and milk – here we encourage the children to be independent and confident.
          • Outdoor activities – this is a great area for children to develop a range of gross motor skills (large movements), independence and confidence. Somewhere they are safe to shout and move as greatly and creatively as they need to!
          • Indoor activities – Each area is zoned into the EYFS areas of learning so children have daily opportunities to access a variety of activities to support all areas of their development.
          • Squiggle While You Wiggle – Your child will learn a new gross motor movement to a piece of music daily. They will dance using this movement and use it to make marks, this could be in foam, on paper, in sand etc.  They will then use this action to think of letters they can form that use this shape.  These sessions are great fun but most importantly help your child to be confident mark makers. Further information can be found here:
          • Dough Disco – is a fine muscle exercise used in a daily Dough Disco play so the child’s brain learns to control the fingers a lot quicker. This supports handwriting control later on. Further information can be found here:
          • TalkBoost – Your child will take part in a daily TalkBoost session to support their vocabulary, speech, sentence structure, social play and speech confidence. This is a scheme designed to support children with delayed language, however, from our research we have found this beneficial to all our children’s development as well as being fun and engaging! We are therefore lucky enough to be able to provide this to all children. Further information can be found here:

To further prepare us for starting school we join the Reception children in outside play and the rest of the school in singing assemblies. As we near the end of our time in Nursey we take part in lots of fun transition activities so we feel confident, secure, safe and happy to start Reception.

How to join

Our Nursery is open to all children from 3 years until they are of school age. Government funded hours can be used at our Nursery and sessions are flexible. To book a visit to look around, gain more information or to enquire about joining please contact the main school office on 01422 258258 or email [email protected].


Trip to Ogden Reservoir

Nursery are learning all about Autumn, we enjoyed a school trip to Ogden Reservoir where we did a nature hunt. We enjoyed exploring Ogden and finding lots of sticks, leaves, pine cones and conkers. We found a bug hotel and spoke about what creepy crawlies might live in there. Good job we had our wellies on, as we jumped in all the muddy puddles!

We used our autumn treasures to make pictures at school, we enjoyed painting with sticks, conker rolling and leaf printing.




In Nursery, we celebrated World Nursery Rhyme week. Miss Fitzpatrick and Miss Rhodes are Nursery Rhyme Ambassadors. Nursery enjoyed a different song everyday and activities based on nursery rhymes. We enjoyed making a bus and role playing using tickets and play money for wheels on the bus, we also enjoyed playing with the farm animals for Old McDonald.

Did you know?

          • Nursery rhymes and children’s songs boost vocabulary and language development
          • They help children to develop literacy skills
          • They provide a fun way to support early numeracy skills
          • Nursery rhymes help children to develop social, physical and emotional skills.