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All children in our Nursery and Reception classes develop knowledge and skills to support each individual child’s development pathway from ‘Development Matters’ found in the statutory framework for Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) which sets standards for the learning and care of children from birth to 5 years old.

The EYFS is based upon four principles:

  • A unique child
  • Positive relationships
  • Enabling environments
  • Learning and development

The children are taught within the three prime areas of learning:

  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development
  • Physical Development
  • Communication and Language

 The prime areas begin to develop quickly in response to relationships and experiences and run through and support learning in all other areas.

There are four specific areas of learning:

  • Literacy
  • Mathematics
  • Understanding the World
  • Expressive Arts and Design

 The specific areas include essential skills and knowledge.  They grow out of the prime areas and provide important contexts for learning.

Characteristics of Effective Learning

The Characteristics of Effective Learning relate to the way in which an individual child engages with other people and their environment through playing and exploring, active learning, and creating and thinking critically.  This underpins the learning and development across all areas and support the child to remain an effective and motivated learner.

Playing and exploring – engagement

  • Finding out and exploring
  • Playing with what they know
  • Being willing to ‘have a go’

Active learning – motivation

  • Being involved and concentrating
  • Keep trying
  • Enjoying achieving what they set out to do

Creating and thinking critically – thinking

  • Having their own ideas
  • Making links
  • Choosing ways to do things

Nursery (Caterpillars)

Nursery (Caterpillars) is the first year of the EYFS at Westways and is situated in the Warwick building.  Our Nursery provides an exciting and stimulating environment that is safe and secure, helping children make their first move from home or day care to a more structured provision.  All children are born ready, able and eager to learn.  Therefore, we encourage children to develop knowledge and skills to become independent, confident and happy learners.  The staff help children discover more about their world around them and introduce new ideas and experiences to develop their curiosity and imagination as they explore our bright and creative play areas.

Our session times for Nursery are as follows:

  • Morning: 8:45am – 11:45am (3 hours)
  • Afternoon: 12:15pm – 3:15pm (3 hours)

In our Nursery, we can offer full days or half-day mornings/afternoons with the minimum of 2 sessions each week.  We have a limited number of 30 hours places.  If you qualify for Extended Funding Entitlement (EFE), we accept extended hours funding.  (If you are interested in applying for ‘Tax-free Childcare’ (EFE code), please visit this website https://www.gov.uk/get-tax-free-childcare and check whether you are eligible for claiming).  We also offer a paid 'top up' sessions, the cost is £4.00 per hour, and is payable half-termly before the term begins.  Children are normally allocated a place in Nursery the term after their 3rd birthday.  Due to a high demand for places, these are allocated by children’s age and not the length of time on the waiting list.

 This would be at the beginning of the:

  • Autumn term (September) – children who are 3 years old from May to the end of August;
  • Spring term (January) – children who are 3 years old from September to the end of December;
  • Summer term (April) – children who are 3 years old from January to the end of April.

At Westways, Caroline Hicks, EYFS/KS1 Assistant Headteacher, manages the admissions into Nursery.  For any Nursery related enquiries or an application form, please contact the school office on 0114 266 2471 or email us at enquiries@westways.sheffield.sch.uk

Reception (Bees, Dragonflies and Ladybirds)

All children who have their 5th birthday between 1st September and 31st August are offered a full-time school place from the beginning of the Autumn term (September).

The children's learning is carried out through practical activities, learning through doing and small focus groups with a member of staff.  A record is made of children’s progress in their Learning Journals and our on-line system called ‘Tapestry’.  The children’s work can also be tracked in their English Books, Maths Books and Discovery Books.

For a virtual tour of our Reception learning spaces both inside and outside the Warwick building, please view the video below:

How to help children at home

Parents and carers are encouraged to help their children at home with reading, writing, handwriting and maths.  The children receive individual reading books every week to read at home.  Every time the children learn a new sound in Phonics, a supporting sheet to accompany the sound will be sent home for the children to practise.  From the Spring Term, children have handwriting books with letter formation and key words to learn.  Regular updates about children’s learning are recorded on Tapestry, our on-line learning journal.