Teaching Staff - Foundation

Miss O'Donnell

Nursery Class

Miss Banim

Reception Teacher

Miss Young

Nursery Support Staff

Mrs Williams

Nursery Support Staff

Mrs Peters

Reception Support Staff

Mrs Coughlan

Reception Support Staff

Miss Barran

Reception Teacher

We are delighted that you have chosen our Foundation Stage department for your child and hope that both you and your child will be happy with us. As parents, you are the first educators of your children and as such we believe in a close relationship between parents and staff as we join you in educating your child.

Beginning school or Nursery is an exciting time for your child but may also be a worrying time for you. We hope that the following information will help to alleviate some of these worries. However, it is not meant as a replacement for personal contact, so if we can help further, please don’t hesitate to ask.

The aim of our Foundation Stage is to provide a safe, caring and nurturing environment in which children can grow and develop spiritually, educationally, socially and emotionally.We look forward to getting to know your child and working with you to ensure that your child’s time with us is both happy and rewarding. 

Yours sincerely,

Miss Barran

Foundation Stage Manager.

Fundation - What we are learning


Useful Links for Parents

Phonics Games

Maths Games

Early Years Foundation Framework

Foundation Stage Development Matters

Our Foundation Stage Philosophy

We believe that Foundation Stage education not only enriches your child’s life but also prepares them for the whole process of schooling. With your support and cooperation we hope to offer your child the very best start to that long process.

The Foundation Stage is about learning the ‘learning tools’:- cooperation, perseverance, tolerance and social interaction. It is committed to the concept of developing the ‘whole child’ – a unique child. Foundation Stage education makes the most of your child’s natural instinct to play. Play is the ‘work’ of the young child and through the medium of play we hope your child will come to understand the world!

As a parent you have started your child on the pathway of learning. You have a continued responsibility for educating your child and you should never underestimate the importance of your input. We see the relationship between home and school as central to all our work and appreciate and value all the support we know you will give.

Curriculum and Learning in the Foundation Stage.

Children in the 3-5 age range learn at a phenomenal rate. Every situation that they find themselves in is a learning opportunity! In order to make the most of this in the short time your child is with us we follow a very organised and structured curriculum. Good planning is the key to making children’s learning effective, exciting, varied and progressive. Learning experiences are planned around half-termly themes.

The Curriculum for the Foundation Stage is organised into the seven Areas of Learning outlined in the Foundation Stage Statutory Framework 2012:

  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development
  • Physical Development
  • Communication and Language
  • Literacy
  • Mathematics
  • Understanding the World
  • Expressive Arts and Design

Religious Education is taught through the Diocese approved religious syllabus; ‘The Way, The Truth and The Life.’

As with all the other things your child will be learning in school, we want to share with you what we will be doing in Religious Education.  This information will be sent to you each half term with suggestions as to how you can help at home.

F1 God’s World

During this first half of the Autumn Term the children will be learning about God’s World. 

They will have the opportunity to hear about the things that God has created and to know that He asks us to care for our world.  The children will begin to appreciate that God made each one of us different and special and that he cares for us all.

Here are some ways in which you can help at home:



  • Share books with your child about the creation story and about the plants and creatures that share our planet.
  • Help your child to treat all creation with respect, e.g. caring for pets, not dropping litter, etc.
  • Talk about the changing seasons, the colours of autumn, etc.
  • Tell your child how special they are to you and to God.
  • Use bedtime prayers as a time to thank God for all the good things He has given to us, especially our families and the new friends at school.
  • Bring your child to Holy Mass on Sunday. Mass times at St. Thomas More are Saturday evening (vigil Mass) 6.30pm and Sunday 11am. There is a ‘Children’s Liturgy’ most Sundays (except on Sundays when there is Church Parade for Rainbows, Brownies etc... and those Sundays when there is a Sacramental Programme celebration, or a special ‘Family Mass’).

Come and speak to us if there is anything you would like to discuss. Foundation Practioners plan closely to deliver individualised learning, development and care. Every child is supported to make progress, working through the developmental stages towards the statutory 

Early Learning Goals which establish expectations for most children to reach by the end of the Foundation Stage (end of Reception Year).

In the Foundation Stage your child will have opportunities to engage in:

  • Early mathematical work
  • Language activities
  • Reading and Literacy
  • Writing activities to encourage pen/pencil control and letter formation
  • Construction activities
  • Small world play e.g., farm, garage, underwater world
  • Sand and water play
  • Manipulative activities with clay and dough etc.
  • Physical activities ( indoors and outdoors)
  • Imaginative play through structured play areas e.g. a baby clinic, a home corner, cold zone etc.
  • Listening to and responding to music
  • Learning new songs and rhymes
  • Listening to and playing a range of musical instruments
  • Baking and cooking
  • Working with computers, programmable toys and digital cameras
  • Working with a range of creative materials and using a variety of creative skills
  • Playing games and doing jigsaws
  • Working / playing alone and co-operatively in small groups

N.B. These are just some of the main activities, there will be many more!

Starting Nursery/School.

Leaving parents for the first time or moving from Nursery into Reception is a big step in your child’s life. To make this as easy as possible we offer ‘taster’ sessions in our transition week in early July to enable your child to experience their new environment and teachers. In September we stagger the starting dates and times over the first few weeks. This enables staff to spend time with individual children and to get to know them.

Your child will be excited about starting Nursery or school but may also have worries e.g. mixing with other children, sharing toys, using toilets etc… He/she may be happy to leave you at first but may later want you to stay. Talk to your child about this and about what they will do every day.

If you are anxious about your child settling in keep these worries to yourself. Be positive, Nursery/School is a great place to go to! Tell your child that on the first day you will leave them for a short time. When you feel it is time to go, tell your child, tell the teacher and leave immediately. All children are different, so please don’t worry if your child takes a little longer to settle or, if they don’t want you around at all! Rest assured, even if your child does cry when you leave it is unusual for them not to calm down, so don’t be unduly worried.

As the year progresses activities will be arranged which help the Foundation Stage children to become more familiar with the school surroundings and help them to experience a sense of belonging to the school as a whole.

The Nursery/School Day and Routines.


  • Nursery – 8.40am – 11.40am
  • Reception – 8.40am – 3.10pm

Please bring your child to their entrance and wait with them until the session begins. Please be on time!

We ask parents/carers to collect children promptly at the end of their session/day. Children can become very distressed and panic if they are the only ones left when all their class friends have gone home. If for any reason, you are unable to collect your child on time try to let us know so that we can reassure your child. If someone different is going to collect your child please let us know, especially if it is someone we are unfamiliar with. Please inform us of any changes in family circumstances which might affect your child, this information will always be treated as confidential.

If you arrive late with your child please report to the School Office so that your child can be registered and then taken to their classroom.

N.B: At all times Nursery and Reception age children must be delivered and collected by an adult.

Absence and Illness

If your child is absent, please contact the school by telephone or email and on their return send a written note. If your child is unwell, has been sick or had diarrhoea, please keep them at home for their own wellbeing and also in the interest of other children and staff. Do not send a sick child to Nursery or into school.

If you have any concerns about your child’s sight, hearing or speech development please contact your Doctor or Health Visitor as soon as possible. If your child has a health problem or any medical conditions please tell us.  Let us know the outcomes of any health or medical assessment so that the staff are aware of your child’s special needs.


Please do not ask us to keep or administer any medicines which your child has been prescribed – except for asthma inhalers.


A healthy snack, usually a piece of fruit or a seasonal raw vegetable will be provided each morning for your child along with a drink of milk or water if preferred. Water is also available throughout the day. N.B. No sweets or chocolate brought from home are allowed in school.


It is advisable to dress your child in clothes that are easy to pull up/down for going to the toilet. Clothing, particularly trousers with belts or buckles are not suitable as children cannot deal with them independently, as are shoes with laces.As part of our curriculum we play/work outside whenever possible every day. Your child will get dirty! Please make sure that your child has suitable clothes e.g. wellingtons, hat, gloves and a sensible, warm coat for the winter. In the summer, the sun’s rays can be harmful to young skin so we advise wearing a sun hat outside and applying sun block before coming to school.

Important: Please mark or clothing, including shoes and wellingtons clearly with your child’s name.


St. Thomas More is a Healthy School so sweets are not shared on birthdays. However, we do celebrate each child’s birthday and make the day special for them.

Toys from Home

We do not allow children to bring any toys or valuables to Foundation Stage unless we request that they are brought in for a specific purpose. Lost or broken toys can cause upset.

Health and Safety

For the safety of all children cars must not be driven onto the school premises at any time. Please park cars in the Parents’ car park.

Climbing/play equipment must not be used unless supervised by a staff member – this is especially before the start and at the end of the day, when you are responsible for your child. Unsupervised use of equipment is not covered by L.A. insurance.

Dogs are not allowed on the school premises.

All Nursery children and their Parents/Carers must use the Nursery path and gate. Please do not cut through the infant playground when picking up children from Nursery.

What you can do to help.

Before your child comes to Nursery or School you can help them by practising these skills:

  • Putting on and taking off own coat/jumper/cardigan.
  • Hanging their coat on a peg.
  • Going to the toilet independently and dealing with their personal hygiene. Children entering Nursery/Reception must be ‘toilet trained’.
  • Washing and drying hands.
  • Using a tissue.
  • Tidying toys
  • Set aside a time each day to sit quietly, read a story, say rhymes or sing songs with your child.

Finally…You are always welcome at St Thomas More School. If you have any queries or questions about your child or the Foundation Stage Department, then please come and talk to us. We will do all we can to help.




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