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St Peter’s School

Welcome toSt Peter’s School


Early Years Phase


In our Early Years phase we have a Nursery and a Reception class that work closely together. 

We believe that every child is unique and will develop in different ways and at different rates. Every individual is at a different stage along their learning journey. We plan, ‘In the moment‘, where possible, to meet every child’s interests and needs.

Children are born ready, able and eager to learn. They actively reach out to interact with other people and the world around them. Development is not an automatic process, however, it depends on each unique child having opportunities to interact in positive relationships and enabling environments.

In the Early Years we use, ‘Development Matters,’ as guidance to understand and support each child’s development and pathway along their learning journey. 


There are 7 areas of learning and development underpinned by three characteristics of effective learning: engagement, motivation and thinking.

Three areas of learning and development are particularly important for igniting children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, and for building their capacity to learn and to thrive.  These three areas, known here as the prime areas, are:

  • Personal, Social and Emotional development
  • Physical Development
  • Communication and Language

We also support children in four specific areas of learning and development, through which the three prime areas are strengthened and applied.  The specific areas are:

  • Literacy
  • Mathematics
  • Understanding the World
  • Expressive Arts and Design

Playing and exploring, active learning and creating and thinking critically support children’s learning across the 7 areas of learning.


In the Early Years, the staff learn about individual children by taking the time to get to know them, talking to them, interacting with them and observing them as they play, explore, learn and interact with their friends. Staff use photographs and video clips as evidence of observations. They reflect on and analyse their observations and use these to plan further experiences and learning opportunities to support and extend each child’s individual development. This is an on-going process throughout the year.

Observations are currently recorded using an online system, Early Excellence Assessment Tracker (EEXAT).  Parents can view and contribute to their child’s learning journey at home by means of a secure log on.