It is our belief at St Matthew's that children’s Nursery experience should be relaxed and led by their own interests.  We know that children learn best when they are happy, healthy, safe and secure, when their interests are followed and when they enjoy positive relationships with the adults caring for them. 

We provide a welcoming, safe and stimulating environment where children are able to enjoy learning, gain independence and grow in confidence. 

In the Nursery, children learn predominantly through play.  We seek to achieve a balance between adult-led and child-initiated interactions and activities. 

We create a purposeful learning environment, indoor and out, from which our children can choose freely and independently select and use resources.


Within the Nursery we provide part time places for up to 80 children. We also offer full-time places.


Morning 9-12          Afternoon 12:30-3:30         Full time 9-3


“At the end of the day, your feet should be dirty, your hair messy and your eyes sparkling.” Shanti


What we are learning this half term:

 Click on the image, to enlarge


Recommended Reads for Nursery

In Nursery, we are passionate about books. Every Friday we invite our parents and carers in to share a book with us. We call this Book Share.

Below are some of the titles and front covers from books we love and recommend for our Nursery children. We have chosen these books because they support children even before they learn to read. These books help children to behave like readers.

Some of the texts are repetitive; these help children to predict what might happen next. Often children will learn to memorise these books quickly.

Many of these books have rhythm and rhyme. These help children explore sound patterns and link words together. Rhythm also helps children to make predictions too.

Some of the stories allow children to practice and apply their phonic knowledge, which they will begin learning during their time in Nursery.

Lots of the books have illustrations to support children's story telling. Talking about the pictures in a text help develop our language.

Some of the books draw attention to the way books and text work, helping us understand written language.

Listening and joining in with stories help us to understand our world, play with words and develop essential communication and language skills.



Keeping up to date with your child’s progress

Please come and have a look with your child at their ‘Learning Journey Folders’ and celebrate the things they are learning and the achievements they have made. These folders are kept on the shelves in the nursery corridor.

We collect observations and photographs of your child’s learning. This enables us to track their progress and identify the next steps for learning. There will be opportunities for you to contribute to the learning folder which will be a valuable part of your child’s assessment during the Early Years.

There are also regular opportunities to discuss how your child is settling and the progress they are making.


Here our some ideas to support your child in their development throughout their time in Nursery:


Communication and Language

  • Encourage your child to listen to conversations and join in when they are confident
  • Share stories with your child and see if they can say what happened
  • Sing songs and nursery rhymes and encourage your child to join in.
  • Give your child simple directions and instructions and see if they can follow them
  • Ask your child why we use different objects (e.g. scissors) and see if they can explain
  • Challenge your child to place their toys in different places, using the words in, on, under, behind, or  on top in your instructions
  • Ask your child why and how questions and see if they are beginning to understand these
  • Encourage your child to use "because" to link ideas:   "I would like an apple, because I am hungry"
  • Encourage and celebrate when your child asks their own why and how questions
  • Encourage your child to use sentences when talking


Personal, Social and Emotional Development

  • Encourage your child to play in a group, and think of new ideas
  • Encourage and praise your child when they ask other friends to join in activities
  • Praise friendly behaviour towards other children and adults.
  • Give your child some responsibility such as putting away their shoes, or laying the table for dinner
  • Encourage your child to try something new, praising their effort but showing them that they can ask for help if they need it
  • Talk about what feelings are and that some actions can hurt people’s feelings
  • Encourage and model how to take turns and share


Physical Development

  • Challengr your child to move around the home in different ways: slither, shuffle, roll, crawl, walk, run, jump, skip, slide and hop
  • Practise climbing stairs and steps.
  • Give your child plenty of opportunity to run around and show them how to weave about people and objects
  • See which member of the family can stand on one foot for the longest time
  • Throw your child a large ball
  • Practise using scissors and other one handed tools
  • Encourage and praise your child when they are able to say when they are hungry or tired
  • Talk about safety with equipment (kitchen items, scissors)
  • Encourage your child to go to the toilet on their own, washing and drying hands
  • Encourage your child to put some items of clothes on independently (coat, trousers, zips)



  • Sing nursery rhymes - and talk about the words that start with the same sound (alliteration) and end with the same sound (rhyme)
  • Clap words in a rhythm
  • Share stories and poems and encourage your child to join in
  • Talk about the beginning, middle and end of stories
  • Ask your child questions about stories they know (where does the story start? Who is in the story? What happens first/after.../at the end?
  • Encourage the child to spot their own name and familiar words, signs and logos
  • Let your child hold the book that you are reading and show them how to hold it the right way up and turn the pages
  • Show your child how to handle books carefully
  • Help your child understand that the print in books has meaning and, in English, is read from left to right and top to bottom.



  • Encourage your child to make marks using different writing tools (chalk, paint, crayon, pen, pencil, stick)
  • Practise drawing lines and circles (this could be huge ones outside, or smaller ones on paper)
  • Show your child how to hold a pencil between thumb and two fingers
  • Challenge your child to copy some letters (e.g. from their name)
  • Ask your child about their drawing/writing and the marks they make
  • Gives meaning to the marks they see in different places



  • When playing with your child encourage them to use number names
  • Sing songs with numbers in order to 10
  • Ask your child to show you a number using their fingers, actions (clapping, stomping) marks on paper or pictures
  • Play matching games with numerals and quantities
  • Hunt for numbers when you are out
  • Show your child that anything can be counted
  • Plays with shapes: make pictures or build towers
  • Talk about the things that are similar and different about shapes, using words such as round, tall, straight
  • Give your child instructions using positional language (behind, on top, next to)