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Early Years

'The care, guidance and support of children and their individual needs is palpable in both Nursery and Reception.' 

Quote from Trust Early Years Review, January 2024

‘Every Child, Every Chance, Every Day’



At Thameside, we recognise that every child unique and is continuously learning to be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured. Our children learn to be strong and independent through positive relationships and enabling environments. We offer stimulating resources, relevant to all children’s cultures and communities; rich learning opportunities through play and playful teaching; and support for children to take risks and explore.

All of our practice stems from our commitment to communication and relationships, the teaching of social and learning behaviours and the development of gross and fine motor control. These skills are inherently entwined with confidence and independence which is crucial when cultivating a love of lifelong learning. We are committed to ensuring that our children are equipped with the skills needed for the next stage of their education: by succeeding in giving our children the best start in their early years, we give them what they need today and set them up with every chance of success tomorrow.

We have the highest ambitions for all our children and recognise that they have different starting points to their learning; we are committed to our determination to break down any barriers to learning. We plan according to our children’s stages of development to ensure that every single one thrives and develops.

 Working collaboratively with our wider community means that our parents and carers are actively involved in their children’s learning in school and are able to share learning experiences through learning journeys and community events. Our children are happy, proud and feel secure knowing that we celebrate their successes and value their achievements.

nursery vision

Thameside Nursery provides children with an excellent start to their school journey. In our welcoming and vibrant setting, we ensure that we ignite a love of learning that continues throughout their school career,

Our Nursery is run by an excellent team of Early Years Practitioners who have both extensive experience and a passion for nurturing our youngest children. 

Our Nursery at Thameside, is a place where: 

  • Children are welcomed into a calm, purposeful environment, where everyone feels safe and valued as a result of warm and nurturing relationships and interactions. 
  • Children are encouraged to show kindness, consideration and respect for other children, staff and the nursery environment. 
  • We encourage children's curiosity and exploration, and provide opportunities for creativity and reflection.
  • We will work in close partnership with parents, other agencies and professionals to enable our children to flourish both academically and personally. 
  • Staff provide positive role models, valuing good manners, teaching social skills and consideration for others through our 'school rules' and '5Rs'. 
  • High expectations are embedded to support children to reach their potential and nurture their own unique talents. 
  • Respect and understanding is promoted so that children understand their place within the school and wider community.


Reception vision

At Thameside, we pride ourselves on ensuring the best possible start for all of our Reception children, as we know a child’s development at this crucial stage has a fundamental impact on their happiness, school journey and shapes the young person they will become.

Our dedicated team of experienced Early Years Practitioners care deeply about the children in our school and form close relationships with children and families.

We treat every child as a unique individual, and, above all, we want our children to feel happy, secure and safe.  Praise and clear boundaries contribute to building confidence and resilience of our children.  We believe in praising effort and valuing the little steps that really make a difference to the children’s progress and self-esteem.

We believe that young children are intrinsically capable of amazing things and we develop this through having high expectations and strong relationships. 


The Early Years Foundation Stage covers children’s development from birth to the end of their first year in school and is taught via the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum.

The Early Years is very much an integral part of Thameside school, providing a strong foundation for achieving our school vision. We feel that this most definitely starts in Nursery and Reception, and we are passionate that our children learn through the provision of meaningful, fun and interesting play opportunities and activities that encourage the children to be creative and reflective.

We aim to inspire and nurture an inquisitive mind in every child.  This can be achieved through the environment we create, the questions we ask, being curious, having fun and working in partnership with families to provide the best learning opportunities for every child and enabling them to flourish both academically and personally.

Our curriculum strives to enable all children to achieve their potential through a carefully planned curriculum.  Our curriculum offer is underpinned by our ethos of ‘Every Child, Every Chance, Every Day’ and our core curriculum drivers of 'talk, read, think, link'.

We do not follow one approach but feel that it is most effective to draw of the strengths of many different approaches and theorists depending on the interests and needs of the children in the nursery. Within our Nursery we believe in using aspects of a number of approaches, and are introducing a range of authentic items and real resources, like tea sets, tea pots, large cupboard tubes, boxes, wheels and tyres.

The aim is to develop children's gross and fine motor skills; respect for property and the world around them and learn to celebrate cultural diversity through key events such as Chinese New Year, where our role play area was transformed to support this theme.  

Alongside this, we provide theme-based learning and provide short, structured group input sessions at the start of each day to help inspire the children and encourage many learning opportunities through the day.  This helps us to embellish the curriculum and move beyond the EYFS. Our curriculum is also enhanced through visits linked to our learning, for example a recent visit from 'Jonathan's Jungle Roadshow.'

Our brand-new, purpose built outside area provides us with the exciting opportunity to extend the children's learning environment outside which is vital for the development of gross motor skills and an enjoyment of the outdoor environment.  We go outside in all weathers and encourage the children to learn how to dress appropriately.  We open the doors to the garden and the children have the choice to play inside or outside accessing a wide range of resources; well-planned activities and scope for adventurous and imaginative play both indoors and outdoors.


The links below provide some additional information about the Early Years Curriculum and a guide for parents:

Early years foundation stage (EYFS) statutory framework - GOV.UK (

What-to-expect-in-the-EYFS-complete-FINAL-16.09-compressed.pdf (

There are also a variety of resources that can be used to support learning in the Early Years at home - please do get in contact with one of our Early Years' Team if you have more questions!:

Learning to talk | 3 to 5 years | Start for Life (

Parents and Carers guide - Attendance in Early Years



Thameside Primary School
Cotman Close
OX14 5NL


01235 527600