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Early Years - Nursery and Reception


Our Early Years unit, consisting of Nursery and Reception classes, boasts a splendid shared outdoor area. Children can be seen joyously cruising on an array of vehicles or exploring our wildlife garden for mini beasts throughout the day. We educate them about food grown in our vegetable patches, and they relish creating mud pies in our outdoor kitchen. Indoors, children independently utilise all the resources available to them, honing various skills. We acknowledge that every child is unique and tailor individual learning experiences based on their learning styles and interests.

Our highly qualified staff understand that St Piran's may be the first time your child is away from you. Therefore, we strive to foster strong, positive relationships, making the transition into St Piran's life as smooth as possible.

As parents and educators, we are uncertain about the world our children will enter after leaving the security of the school. Therefore, our objective is to equip them with the necessary skills to thrive in any situation.


We have chosen to opt out of the Early Years Foundation Stage framework. This means that we have the freedom to plan our activities based on the children's interests, which may lead us out on a Gruffalo Hunt around our idyllic site or to baking gingerbread men in the school's kitchen! We are also allowed to write and follow our own assessments rather than the government's. This gives us the flexibility to clearly identify your child's achievements and set their next steps. All activities planned are designed to cover everything in the Early Years Foundation Stage framework and more.

We live in an ever-changing world, and the education your child receives during their school life prepares them for the unknown. With this in mind, we have designed a skills-based curriculum to teach your children the skills they will need throughout their life. We have called this the St Piran's Learning Habits. 

Within the Early Years, the focus is on three main areas:


Our approach with children is to foster their independence by encouraging them to explore their environment and access resources on their own. Through play, we give them the opportunity to take on different roles, teaching empathy and understanding. We also believe in allowing children to take risks and step out of their comfort zone in their learning while, at the same time, teaching them how to manage risks on their own.


We promote a growth mindset in children, encouraging them to persist through challenges and understand that making mistakes is a natural part of learning. We prioritise the process of learning over the end result, encouraging children to take pride in completing activities for their personal fulfilment rather than for external validation such as rewards or praise.


We highly regard the unique ideas of each child and promote their independence by encouraging them to think outside the box and not just conform to societal norms. Our approach is to empower children to decide on their own how they want to tackle activities and learn through experimentation, adjusting their methods as they go along.

Nursery School Day

The children are at the heart of everything we do at St Piran's, so our day is planned to reflect their needs and interests.

Our planned activities strike a balance between adult-led and child-initiated activities. Our philosophy is that outdoor learning can enhance every aspect of the curriculum, and we provide ample opportunities for free-flow activities throughout the day to benefit the children.

Parents are warmly welcomed into the setting at the beginning of each day.  This is a valuable time to share learning experiences and a chance to catch up and chat informally with your child's key worker.  Throughout the week, the curriculum is enriched by specific activities taught by the specialist staff your children will encounter throughout their whole school career.

A Typical Day in Nursery



7:30am - 8:15am

Wrap-around care is available in our Breakfast Club.

8:15am - 8:45am

Parents are warmly welcomed to accompany their child to the nursery door and converse with their Classroom Leader or Key Person.

8:45am - 9:15am

Children are invited to the carpet for registration and circle time activity, which has a different focus each day.

9:15am - 11:30am

In the morning, children engage in indoor and garden free-flow play. They are offered a morning snack consisting of fruit, a carbohydrate snack, and a choice of milk or water. They also participate in specialised lessons such as yoga, dance, PE, swimming, woodland learning, music, and cooking.

11:00am - 11:10am

Tidy-up time followed by our morning reflection time. 


Children are encouraged to use the toilet and wash their hands before lunch. 

11:30am - 12noon

All children eat their hot two-course lunch cooked on-site.  Older nursery children eat in the dining room with the Reception children.  Younger children eat in White Lodge.  

12noon - 1:00pm

Children enjoy playtime outdoors (unless very bad weather). 


Children staying only for the morning session go home. 


Children join together for a group activity or discussion. The afternoons have no timetable restraints, and so this is the time that the children begin to form relationships with their peers and lay the foundations for life-long friendships.

3:00pm - 3:15pm

Tidy-up time followed by afternoon reflection time and end-of-the-day story. 


End of the Nursery day.

3:15pm - 6:00pm

Wrap-around care is available in Extended Day.

Reception School Day

In the Reception department, we have three classes of 18 children. Each class has a support assistant who works under the direction of the class teacher. The children follow a broad, balanced curriculum that incorporates the National Curriculum and the Early Years Foundation.

We are able to offer children specialist teaching in French, art, music, games, swimming and ICT. The school's facilities include a Pre-Prep library, a sports hall, a swimming pool, a dance studio and art studio, which children from Reception use weekly.

A Reception School Day



7:30am - 8.15am

Wrap around care is available in our Breakfast Club.

8:15am - 8:45am

Parents are warmly welcomed into the Early Years garden to drop their child at the classroom door.  There are opportunities at this time to talk to the class teacher. 


Children are invited to the carpet for registration. 

9:00am - 11:15am

Children engage in a variety of inside and outdoor adult-led activities, child-initiated learning experiences and specialist lessons throughout the morning.  Specialist lessons include IT, PE, Games and Music.  During the morning, a snack of fruit and milk or water is offered.

11:15am - 12noon

Children are encouraged to use the toilet and wash their hands before walking to the dining room where a home-cooked hot lunch is provided.

12noon - 12:50pm

Children go outside to free play with friends (dependent on the weather).

12:50pm - 1:00pm

Registration and circle time commences.

1:10pm - 3:00pm

Afternoon play may include specialist lessons, such as French, woodland learning or swimming, or may be a continuation of earlier activities. 

3:00pm - 3:30pm

Story time.


End of the Reception day.

3:30pm - 6:00pm

Wrap around care is available in Extended Day.