St Joseph's Rotherhithe


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

Here are the principles of our nursery:

  • 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
  • We create opportunities for the children to engage in activities planned by adults and those that they plan or initiate themselves
  • We provide a rich and stimulating environment both indoors and outdoors

We provide activities that will support your child to learn and develop through following the 3 prime areas. These are deemed most essential for healthy development and future learning:

  • Communication and language

  • Physical development

  • Personal, social and emotional development

 As children grow, these 3 prime areas will help them to develop skills in the following 4 specific areas:

  1. Literacy

  2. Mathematics

  3. Understanding the world

  4. Expressive arts & design

We believe in the importance of active learning. Children encounter the seven areas of the EYFS curriculum through play, as we encourage the children to work collaboratively and become confident explorers of the world around them. By the end of the year, children are also prepared for the transition to Reception class by a firm grounding in phonics, early number and literacy. 

Together with Saphron and Lisa, the experienced nursery team, I look forward to welcoming you, your child and your family to St Joseph's RC Primary.

Useful Documents for New Starters

Our Learning - Autumn 1

For the first few weeks we get to know and settle in the new children so that they become 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 song or rhymes at home will also support this transition. 

Our topic this term is `Why do you love me so much?' 

In this project we learn about love, families and how people are the same and different. Using the wonderful story Owl Babies as a starting point, we learn about the ways in which our families care for us and how animal families care for their young. This topic also offers the chance to explore what emotions are and look at coping strategies we can put in place to help manage those difficult feelings! We will also focus on friendship skills such as introducing yourself, turn taking and making conversation through interactive circle games and songs.  

Our Learning - Autumn 2

Our topic this term is `Why do the leaves go crispy?'

In this exciting seasonal project children learn about woodland animals, trees, leaves and seasonal change.  Counting skills are honed with the provision of natural Autumnal resources such as acorns, pine cones and conkers. We also take the children outdoors as much as possible so that they can observe nature's signs of the changing seasons. We work in a team to collect leaves to make leaf mulch. This term provides the perfect opportunity to engage in Forest School crafts like making conker necklaces or natural paint. As children become more familiar with the setting and the routine, we encourage them to concentrate on interests for longer and engage in multi stage projects such as making a clay hedgehog with foraged sticks. During this term we also get the chance to perform a Nativity play with the reception children for our parents and carers, and show off our abilities to sing, dance and act! 

   Our Learning - Spring 1

 Our topic this term is `Why can't I have chocolate for breakfast?`

This topic concentrates on healthy eating, nutrition and movement. Children start by developing an understanding of healthy and unhealthy foods and the different types of food, and look at the origins of different foods. We will explore the sensory properties of food via weekly guided cooking sessions and food-based messy play! Inspired by the work of artist Claes Oldenburg we will make food sculptures from various materials. In addition, children will understand the importance of keeping active, fit and healthy through daily yoga, dance and PE activities, as we monitor the effect of exercise on our bodies.  Our topic book this term is Kitchen Disco, and children will recite and move to the rhythms of this fun, lyrical text! 

 Our Learning - Spring 2

Our topic this term is `How does that building stay up?' 

This topic will see our nursery transformed into an architect's studio and construction site, as we find out about buildings, structures, properties of materials, houses and homes. We will (virtually) explore the world and marvel at the many architectural wonders in it. This project will also help children to develop a practical sense of measure and shape as they work collaboratively to build homes and structures from various materials. Our texts this term will the The Three Little Pigs and The Billy Goats Gruff, two traditional tales that both feature construction - of houses and bridges, respectively! Our scientific enquiries will look into which house is strongest - straw, sticks or bricks - and how we can build a working bridge. The study of traditional tales will also empower children to understand narrative structure and retell a story from start to finish.  

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


Our Learning - Summer 1

Our topic this term is `Do Dragons Exist?' 

The summer term begins after the Easter break and this is when we start this fantastical topic looking at the world of dragons, castles, knights, elves, fairies and other characters that dwell in the realms of imagination. We will start by making our own paper mache dragons inspired by Mexican alebrijes. The role play area in our classroom will be transformed into a magical castle where we will make-believe we are characters from the dragon-themed books like Zog. In addition we will look at the honourable value of `all for one and one for all' and come up with our own knight's code in class based on cooperation and kindness. Finally, after making marvellous costumes we will inspire fear and awe by going on a dragon parade around the school! 

Our Learning - Summer 2

Our topic this term is `How many pebbles on the beach?' 

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 seashore. Our aim this term is to spend as much time outdoors as possible, and we will try to recreate the feeling of the seaside right here in Rotherhithe! Children will find out all about the astounding creatures in the deep blue sea and choose their own sea creature to make. We will look at non-fiction texts about sea creatures, as well as wonderful sea-themed stories like Hooray for Fish and The Singing Mermaid. Children can also sing seashore rhymes and poems like A Sailor Went to Sea in our role play pirate ship! At the end of the year transition activities will take place for children moving on to reception class. 

In the summer we continue with our interest in growing and life cycles by planting more, caring for (and eating!) what we have planted already and looking at the transformation of live caterpillars to butterflies.   

Useful links and resources

Tips to manage the transition into nursery

5 tips for managing tantrums

5 ways to encourage children to eat healthy food

Encouraging children to build harmonious relationships

The importance of reading

10 fun and educational ways to keep your child entertained indoors

Thank you! The Nursery Team