Welcome to Nursery and Reception

Early Years Foundation Stage

Our warm and welcoming Early Years provision offers the perfect start to a child’s educational life, where children learn both inside and outside and are given time to explore, concentrate, persist and develop their thinking.

At New Horizons, we take a holistic approach to learning, which fits the whole school’s ethos: ‘Children first, Aspire, Challenge, Achieve’, combine this with a happy, purposeful atmosphere for foundation learning and a rich, varied Early Years curriculum and you have the ingredients for a child’s best possible start.

Our experienced staff work hard to ensure that every child participates fully in all the key areas of learning through a curriculum which has a strong emphasis on play and enjoyment. The joy of learning is a solid foundation to lay at this crucial stage. “Making learning irresistible”.


The Nursery staff are Miss Edwards and Mrs Hellier.

The teachers in EYFS are Mrs King, Miss Bones and Mrs Wingrove.

The Teaching Assistants are Mrs King and Mrs Glanville.

Topics and Long Term Plan

We follow ‘Development Matters in the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)’ This non-statutory guidance material supports practitioners in implementing the statutory requirements of the EYFS. The EYFS statutory framework is available on the Foundation Years website as well as the Department for Education website www.education.gov.uk/publications

Children in the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) engage in 3 prime areas of learning and 4 specific areas of learning, building on what they already know and can do. The Characteristics of Effective Learning and the prime and specific areas of Learning and Development are all interconnected.

The Characteristics of Effective Learning focus on Playing and exploring, active learning, creating and thinking critically.

The prime areas are fundamental, work together, and move through to support development in all other areas.

Personal, Social and Emotional Development

At New Horizons Children’s Academy we aim to give all children the very best opportunities to develop a sense of identity in a secure and safe environment.

We ensure our pupils:

  • Have high self esteem- a vital component in being able to be a successful life- long learner.
  • To enjoy being challenged, being able to take measured risks.
  • To relish being thinkers and problem solvers.
  • To be able to work independently or as an effective team player.

All adults lead by example, respecting one another, valuing different views and establishing relationships. We enable the children to develop a positive attitude to learning- making it irresistible.

Communication and Language

Effective communication is central to every child’s education. We enable children to express their views, needs and feelings by interacting with others. At New Horizons we offer a wealth of opportunities to enable children to speak and listen effectively through first hand experiences.

Physical Development

At New Horizons we believe that children should:

  • Respect their bodies:
  • Be aware of the benefits of being fit and healthy
  • Be given opportunities to develop their physical skills, both gross motor and fine motor.

Skills include co-ordination, control, manipulation and movement; we encourage learning to take place both inside and outside.

The specific areas include essential skills and knowledge for children to participate successfully in society.


At New Horizons we believe that having an enjoyment of stories is fundamental to learning, we therefore provide lots of opportunities to engage with a range of stories from all over the world.  We provide a wealth of opportunities to engage with texts, fiction and nonfiction, teaching early reading skills and providing a range of writing opportunities for children to learn how to express themselves in writing for a range of purposes and audiences. We have print rich environments and provide lots of writing materials in our environment both inside and out. We follow Letters and sounds as a way of teaching phonic skills, children in Nursery and in Reception have discreet Phonic sessions daily which teach reading and writing skills. More information can be found on the Government website www.letters-and-sounds.com

We also provide ‘Tricky finger challenges’ that are designed to support co-ordination and fine motor skills enabling children to develop cursive handwriting skills early on.

We use a variety of reading schemes in school which follow the UK Book Band colours and Oxford Reading Tree Levels. This is to expose the children to a wide range of text types, characters and settings.

Oxford Level: 1 | Band: Lilac (Age appropriate for Reception)
Oxford Level: 1+ | Band: Pink (Age appropriate for Reception)
Oxford Level: 2 | Band: Red (Age appropriate for Reception)
Oxford Level: 3 | Band: Yellow (Age appropriate for Reception)

Oxford Level: 4 | Band: Light blue (Age appropriate for Year 1)
Oxford Level: 5 | Band: Green (Age appropriate for Year 1)
Oxford Level: 6 | Band: Orange (Age appropriate for Year 1)


At New Horizons Children’s Academy we teach synthetic phonics from Nursery upwards moving to spelling rules in KS2. The following information is broken down into the different phases of learning throughout Early Years and Key Stage 1. Please use this SWAY to support you to aid your children with their phonics, reading, writing and articulation at home: https://sway.office.com/pWPp2FpwFMtwcD9g?ref=Link


In the Nursery, children enjoy learning Nursery Rhymes and Voice Play songs. Rhymes sensitize a child to the individual units of sound that words are comprised of.  The rhythms present in nursery rhymes help children to remember the words, exercising their auditory memory skills.  In line with the rest of the school, we follow the Little Wandle Revised Letters and Sounds Revised programme, starting with Phase One.  Children also access differentiated phase one teaching through short guided groups daily and the learning environment provision.  Children will begin to be exposed to phase 2 Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised and will begin to match the letter formation to the sound within the environment.


In Reception children continue to follow Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised during their reception year. The groups are differentiated to ensure children are reaching their full potential and appropriate support is given. By the end of Term 6, most children are secure to the end of Phase 3, knowing the basic digraphs and long vowel sounds. They are reading the majority of the Phase 2 and Phase 3 High Frequency words (45 words) and they are able to read and write simple sentences.  Some children in Reception will move onto Phase 4.  This is a period of consolidation of the 42 graphemes through blending and segmenting CCVC and CVCC words with consonant clusters.   By the end of Reception most children are secure in Phase 3.

Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised:

We follow the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised programme for phonics. More information can be found here:


Phonics Play:

We also use a website called Phonics Play to support the children with their phonics learning. This a great resource to try out and covers all the Phases from 1 – 6 as well as some really exciting games to consolidate your child’s learning.  At the moment, this website is currently free –so please log on with the following code and explore!


The teaching of mathematics is practical and linked to real life experiences. Children will learn about the concept of number and other mathematical ideas such as shape, space and measure. Where they will learn about pattern, sequencing, sorting, solving problems and making connections, all in a very rich and stimulating environment which encourages enjoyment, practising and exploration, we encourage children to be able to think about their findings to ensure that children have concrete understanding of key concepts.

Understanding the World

Understanding the world around you is a fundamental part of our curriculum.

At New Horizons we develop enquiry skills that motivate children to discover the diversity of our world with wonder and excitement. They will learn about technology, how people, places and things change over time and how to use a variety of tools safely. We learn about British values such as democracy, the importance of having rules, about mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs and for those without faith. We also learn about SMSC (spiritual, moral, social and cultural development) Where we learn about how to share with others and the importance of caring for ourselves, others and or environment.

Expressive Arts and Design

Role play, imaginative play, music, art and dance all enable children to make links between areas of learning and extend their understanding of our world. Being creative, using our senses, experiencing a wide range of activities, exploring materials, artefacts, movement- helps children to be innovative, imaginative, to communicate ideas and feelings, to make connections and to solve problems.

We are proud that our children are happy and feel supported and inspired in their learning. Getting it right in the Early Years Foundation Stage is so vital to encourage life- long learning.

Our Nursery pupils, who can join in the term after their third birthday, are happy, confident individuals who are encouraged to communicate with staff and peers and work harmoniously with one-another in a nurturing environment. We believe children learn best when learning is linked in a meaningful way. Our topic based curriculum is designed to capture children’s interests, excite their imagination and provide first hand experiences to help children make sense of the world around them. We are play based, encouraging children to follow their own interests with a focus on core skills such as communication. Application forms are available on the school website or from the office, once completed these need to be directly returned to the school, places are allocated in accordance to our Nursery Admissions policy.

Our Reception children start in the September that they turn 5, please apply using the Medway Reception application Form. Applications can be submitted online or by sending a paper copy to Medway Council.

Do come and see our Early Years in action and see for yourself what a happy and purposeful atmosphere for learning there is. We would love to show you around.


In Reception children take home a bookband book every week. Children are expected to share the book at least 3 times with an adult across the week. Reading the book more than once will allow the children to become familiar with the text so that they can answer questions about the characters, use their phonic skills to read words and their knowledge of ‘Tricky words’. Children will be issued with a book from our library once a week, the children get to choose this book from a wide range of texts. This book is to share together. Each child has a contact book where parents can record any reading that has taken place.

Reception children also have a phonic book to take home where they can practise the phonemes, high frequency words and tricky words that they have learnt in Phonic sessions that week. New words are set weekly.

Home learning books- Every Friday children take their home learning book home. This is a special book where children can record what they have seen and done with their families. Entries can be photographs, drawings, cutting etc. This book is a place for children to share their special moments and accomplishments. Books are collected in on a Monday and the experiences are shared with the class. During holidays suggestions about what children could do are put into the books along with the expectation that children will create a holiday diary to share with the rest of the class. Children are very proud of their special books and gain great communication skills by being able to talk about their own lives.

Nursery children- Are asked to complete a holiday diary over school breaks. This could be in the form of collecting special items from places they have visited e.g. cinema tickets, photographs, mark making and adult writing. Nursery parents will be able to come into school on a Tuesday to choose a book to borrow and share at home.


Useful Websites

Phonics Play: https://www.phonicsplay.co.uk/

Games, Stories, Activities ideas http://www.bbc.co.uk/cbeebies

Songs and Short Stories http://learnenglishkids.britishcouncil.org/en/

Online Educational Games http://www.crickweb.co.uk/Early-Years.html

Reading activities with Spot the Dog http://www.funwithspot.com/

Top Marks Learning Games: https://www.topmarks.co.uk/ 

Handwriting Support: https://www.ictgames.com/mobilePage/writingRepeater/

Maths Games: https://nrich.maths.org/early-years 

Early Years Activities: https://abcdoes.com/