Situated in spacious leafy grounds, our Early Years (from the term they turn 3) and Reception classes have been designed with the needs of young children in mind. From their first days in Early Years, our aim for all our pupils is to foster in them a love of learning which will remain with them throughout their lives.

We encourage learning through play and practical activities, inviting the children to develop a lasting curiosity about why and how things work, both inside and outdoors. In the Early Years Foundation Stage, we see both our inside and outside environment as one learning space.

Early Years and Reception share the assembly hall, sports courts and field with Years 1 and 6. They benefit from their own, designated garden and look forward to shared use of further facilities including the science laboratories, music centre, technology rooms, ICT suites, playing fields and swimming pool.

It is important to us that we integrate all ages whenever possible; encouraging a community ‘family’ spirit and the desire to look out for each other, both big and small. We want all our pupils to feel happy, safe and valued from the moment they start at St Joseph’s.

Our Early Years and Reception pupils follow the Statutory EYFS Curriculum, working towards the Early Learning Goals. Teachers plan creatively to ensure a broad curriculum in which children are inspired to learn from a range of rich experiences. Each child is known as an individual, their interests and personalised needs being at the heart of learning.


Early Years Curriculum – Children take their first exciting steps into school life. Social, language and physical skills are rapidly developing, and are nurtured through play and game based activities. Underpinning the curriculum is an emphasis on promoting the Characteristics of Effective Learning: play and exploration; active learning and critical thinking. These are attributes which enable children to flourish as curious, resilient, independent learners.

Reception builds on a firm foundation in Early Years. Inspired by a balance of play and more formal, adult-led learning, children’s Reading, Writing and Mathematical understanding takes off and soars. Children are encouraged to be active learners who do not give up when faced with challenge and are willing to have a go at new activities or experiences.

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