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Teaching and Learning

Assessments show that pupils from Burnside Nursery join

Reception with higher starting points than children from home or other settings”


Nikki Shaw, Nursery Leader and Assistant Head Teacher


Our carefully selected Early Years staff work closely with families to encourage and develop the children’s interests and skills. This enables each child to have the best start to their education by supporting them to reach their full potential and prepare for school. 


Our nursery education is led by qualified teachers, who have broad and deep experience and knowledge of teaching primary age and early years children. Our Early Years Practitioners hold a range of qualifications from NVQ to post graduate degrees, specialising in early years. 


As young children learn best from first-hand experience and by exploring through play, our teachers skilfully blend learning opportunities to increase readiness for school through a mixture of child-initiated play and adult-led learning. The  children thrive in our well-resourced nursery and are happy and confident moving into Reception Year, whether at Burnside Primary or another School. We pride ourselves in offering excellent opportunities for your child to grow and develop in a safe and secure environment.


The education team is supported by a team of key workers. Play is the main focus of our nursery day, all play opportunities are carefully planned and structured around the Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum.


Our values-based ethos helps children to grow up valuing themselves, others and the environment through a shared moral and ethical values vocabulary. Our children develop a moral compass to guide what is right and what is wrong. Nursery children learn and develop their understanding of our core values such as respect, co-operation and tolerance through first-hand experience, guided play and age appropriate language.


Adults model our values and give time for reflective practices. This enables children to become effective learners and to understand their own emotions. Our adults are warm and kind towards children and one another.


The foundations for learning start when children feel safe, emotionally secure and happy. Each child in nursery has their own ‘main key worker. These named adults take a special interest in the child's learning, development and well-being. Building a strong and trusting relationship with a child helps our practitioners to know how best to plan for their learning and development to support them throughout their nursery journey.


Nursery children benefit from all of the facilities associated with the main school.

Indoors we have a large, well-resourced, bright and airy classroom space which are separated into dedicated smaller zones for different types of play and learning following the Early Years foundation stage curriculum.  Zones include role play, maths, messy play, computers, reading and a sensory area.


Outdoors, children have lots of space to run, climb, balance, ride, build and explore in the early years ‘outdoor classroom’. The Early Years foundation stage framework continues to be delivered through a variety of focused activities in the outdoor areas. 


Nursery children also have access to the school’s extensive playing fields, and outdoor classrooms spaces. All of our spaces allow us the flexibility to take advantage of ‘teachable moments’ that occur throughout the day, using spontaneous and unexpected occurrences


Children sit at a table and eat their lunch to develop their social skills and use cutlery to develop their motor skills. Children are  supported by a members of the nursery staff and lunchtime supervisors whilst they eat their food in the school dining hall. Once all the children have finished eating the staff escort the children back to the nursery area and they have the opportunity to play for the remainder of the lunch break. 





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