This specific area covers important aspects of mathematical understanding and provides the foundation for numbers. It focuses on having a deeper understanding of numbers through subitising (recognising quantities without counting), representing with maths equipment, loose parts, and mark making, and being able to investigate through problem solving.

Children recognise, build, and recreate patterns and models. They are familiar with numbers, songs, rhymes, stories, and counting games. They compare, sort, recognise and use numbers up to ten and are familiar with larger numbers from everyday lives. Through practical activities, children start to understand and record numbers, begin to show awareness of number operations, such as addition and subtraction, and begin to use the language involved.


We use Read Write Inc as our phonics scheme across the nursery and reception. This specific area enables children to start to use their sounds to support word building within reading and writing. The children begin to associate sounds with patterns in rhymes with syllables and with words and letters and they recognise their own names and some familiar words. In their writing they use pictures, symbols, familiar words, and letters to communicate meaning, showing an awareness of the different purposes of writing.

At Southwold, we love to mark make inside and outside on a small and large scale with lots of different materials- big sheets of card, notelets, writing paper, rolls of wallpaper, chalks… the list is endless! Children begin to write their names with appropriate use of upper and lower-case letters, with guidance from a ‘name model’ if necessary. The reception children at Southwold take part in a 20-minute session of Read, Write, Inc every day. The Nursery children enjoy daily story times, ‘Tales Toolkit’ sessions, rhyme times, music sessions, and Fred Games to support them in hearing sounds in their environment.

Reading in the Early Years

The Nursery and Reception children will take a high-quality text home on a weekly basis which will also be shared in school. Please use the diary to record story times with your child and any questions they have asked or wonderful language they have used. Please ensure books are returned to school and placed in the ‘return box’.

Reception - You will receive a diary for your child. Please comment in the diary each time you hear your child read. We will also comment in these books. Reception children will also have ‘rotten red words’ and sound cards to bring home and we ask for your support in helping the children to learn these. Once your child knows all their sounds and can blend 3 and 4 sound words, your child will start to bring home a reading ditty, which will be worked on at home and in school. More information will follow.

Expressive Art & Design

This specific area focuses on the development of children’s imagination, storytelling, and their ability to communicate and express ideas and feelings in creative ways through their play. Children explore sound, colour, texture, shape, form, and space in two and three dimensions. They respond in a variety of ways to what they see, hear, smell, touch, and feel. Through art, music, dance, imaginative play, and stories, they show an increasing ability to use their imagination, to listen and observe. They use a widening range of materials, suitable tools, instruments, and resources to invent, express ideas, and communicate their thoughts.


The reception children will have a PE lesson once a week. Please provide dark shorts and a white t-shirt for PE – children will get changed. Their kit should be kept on their peg in a named PE bag. Policies for these areas can be accessed via the school website. Nursery will still enjoy visiting the hall for mini P.E. sessions but will not get changed.

A little reminder for Nursery and Reception children. You will need:

  • Named PE kit in a bag for your peg (Reception)
  • Book bag
  • £1.00 weekly voluntary contribution (cooking, treats, craft activities)
  • Water Bottle clearly named (Fresh water is always available in the unit)
  • Spare clothes for your peg
  • Waterproof coat/Mac and trousers
  • Wellies/ outdoor shoes to keep in school.
  • A fruity snack in case you feel hungry (remember to label these and pop them straight in your own tray) Children will also be entitled to government fruit and vegetables too.

Working with Parents

Parents are their children’s first and most enduring educators. This is why we believe that building a strong school-parent relationship is essential in securing the best education for each child. A happy start to school life is encouraged by meeting with us before your child starts school. This includes play dates at school, a picnic in the local park, and a special morning with your new class.

Your child’s experiences and achievements are continually recorded through observations and assessment so that we can ensure each child’s needs are met and that each child is supported and valued as an individual. The evidence collected is in their Tapestry journal over the period your child spends in the early years then forms the basis of an Early Years Learning journey.

As and when it is safe to do so we encourage you and welcome you to spend time in our Early Years classes. We value your skills and helping hands! We aim to keep you fully informed of your child’s progress. Parents’ Evenings take place twice a year and Foundation Stage Newsletters and curriculum overviews will be sent out termly. We have an open afternoon where you visit your child’s classroom and hear all about our learning.

Learning at Southwold is Great Fun

  • A rich, engaging curriculum where learning extends to the outdoor classroom, and we embrace the ‘whole child.’
  • A cross curricular approach that inspires curiosity, questioning, exploration, investigation, and imagination.
  • Storytelling sessions where children learn stories by heart through retelling, puppet work, hot seating, and story mapping.
  • Phonics sessions that are upbeat, active, and engaging
  • Lots of opportunities for messy play, designing, creating, and reviewing.
  • Enabling mastery in Maths using equipment- encouraging children to learn how to do or recognise and go on to apply it to their play, securing and deepening along the way.