St Joseph's Rotherhithe

Patrick Class

Hello, my name is Miss Hope and I am the Nursery teacher.

The principles of our nursery are:

  • We build on what our children already know and can do
  • We ensure that all children are included, feel secure and valued
  • We offer a structure for learning that has a range of starting points, content that matches the needs of young children, opportunities for the children to engage in activities planned by adults and those that they plan or initiate themselves and activities that provide opportunities for learning both indoors and outdoors
  • We provide a rich and stimulating environment.

We believe in learning the seven areas of the curriculum through play and encourage the children to become independent.  We prepare them for the transition to Reception class.

Together with the other adults (Marta, Saphron and Lisa) I look forward to welcoming you, your child and your family to our nursery.

For the first few weeks we will get to know and settle in the new children.  Much of what we do will be to try and get the children used to the routine of nursery and sitting at group times for stories and songs.  Talking to your child about this routine will help them to manage it sooner and in a calmer way.  Sitting for short stories and songs/rhymes at home will help support what we are trying to do in the nursery.  The idea is that when children can sit, give attention and listen then they are ready to learn.  

As the weeks pass and the children settle in and get familiar with the setting and the routine we will encourage them to concentrate on interests for longer and engage in activities like drawing/mark making (to support their development in writing) and use of numbers (saying the numbers in order, recognition, counting out a given number of items from a bunch, understanding more and less and the first steps of addition/subtraction) in preparation for reception class.  We also introduce phonics to the children.  This is where they learn the SOUNDS of the letters.  Sounding out words is an important part of how the children will learn to read and write as they get older and especially in reception class.  We will also encourage the children to write the letter sounds.  If you want to build on this at home you can support your child  with activities and games on the letters and sounds website (  This website will also help you understand what your child needs to prepare for in reception class and beyond in terms of phonics.  For now the focus should be on phase 1.  You can start phase 2 if your child is ready to learn the letter sounds.  The alphablocks is a popular cartoon for children that uses letter sounds (phonics) in a fun way.  Looking at this show and talking about it with your child could be helpful.        

It would be helpful if you could also work on these activities at home when you have the opportunity to do so. 

Please also make sure your child comes to nursery having had a proper and healthy meal.  This should be sufficient enough to ensure your child does not feel hungry during the session.  Your child should also bring water in a plastic bottle.  Milk is given to each child at home time.

In terms of topics the focus for the first half term (September and October) will be `Why do you love me so much`.  In this project we`ll learn about love, families and how people are the same and different.   

After the half term the topic title is `Why do leaves go Crispy?`  An exciting seasonal project.  At this time of the year we perform a Nativity play with the children from the reception class.

                                                                                                                                                     Our topic title after Christmas (spring term) is `Why can`t I have chocolate for breakfast?` which concentrates on healthy eating and nutrition.  Also in the spring we will find out about buildings and materials in a topic titles `How does that building stay up?.

We will also start to grow vegetables, flowers and herbs in the spring so the children gain an understanding of life cycles and appreciate healthy eating.  

The summer term begins after the Easter break and this is when we start the fantastical topic: `Do dragons exist?`

The year is rounded off by `How many pebbles on the beach?`looking at all things beach related and the creatures living in and around the sea.                                                                                                                                                                                                       We also continue with our growing and life cycles topic by planting more, caring for (and eating!) what we planted already and looking at the transformation of live caterpillars to butterflies.  Transition activities take place in the summer for children moving on to reception class.  

We welcome members of Canada Water Library to the nursery throughout the year.  Once every fortnight someone from the library comes to the nursery to read and sing with the whole class.  We strongly encourage all families to join and use their local library.  Many of them now offer fantastic services and sessions for children in addition to their core purpose of loaning books.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Please keep us informed of your child`s interests and achievements.  Let us know if you have any concerns.  If you have any questions please do not hesitate to ask.  We are happy to help as best we can.

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