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Lower Phase

Assistant Headteacher (Lower Phase): Mr Charles Allen

Welcome to the Lower Phase

Our Lower Phase comprises Nursery, Reception, Year 1, Year 2, Year 3 and Year 4 pupils.

Our pre-schoolers attend nursery in the morning session and are other nursery pupils attend in the afternoon session.

In the Lower Phase we do not underestimate the value of the period of learning in Nursery and Reception, and then afterwards in Years 1 and 2. It provides the gateway for all statements of what matters in the six areas of learning and experience and provides the crucial firm foundations for pupil lives. The school fully recognises the three enablers necessary to ensure high quality provision for pupils at the start of their learning journey in these year groups:

Enabling Adults

Our adults create emotionally safe environments that support pupils as they begin to express and regulate their feelings and behaviours in positive ways.

They respond to their likes, dislikes, preferences, and choices and support them to make decisions. They adapt their plans to meet the needs and interests of all pupils. They model a joyful approach to learning and build and develop on their curiosity.

The adults deepen their understanding of the developmental needs of learners by observing, noticing, and responding sensitively. They decide when to intervene to support learners to construct meaning and encourage pupil collaboration to solve problems.

They create an environment which is communication rich and model multiple ways of expression together with the appropriate use of context-specific language.

Engaging experiences

Engaging experiences are provided to promote independence and challenge during deep-level involvement and un-interrupted active learning in real-life authentic situations.

Pupils experiment with a range of mark-making instruments and materials and begin to attribute meaning to these. They are provided with experiences and vocabulary to explore quantity, number, shape, and pattern. This includes opportunities for comparing, sorting, and classifying. They have experiences that promote enjoyment in physical activity using tools and equipment with increasing control.

The engaging experiences support learners to find out about the environment, the world around them and how it works, with a particular focus on causality.

Effective environments

Exploration of an effective environment is a key driver for development. It creates a sense of belonging and an appreciation of the world around them.

Our environments provide wide and varied experiences with consideration of the physical and emotional climate.

Our environments value diversity, demonstrate inclusivity and promote a sense of belonging. They provide access to a broad range of vocabulary, mathematical concepts, and digital media.

They allow pupils to experience a sense of awe and wonder and ignite curiosity. The environments support mastery by allowing frequent and extended opportunities to practise, rehearse and embed new skills.

Five Developmental Pathways

At this stage of learning, we focus on five developmental pathways. These are Belonging, Communication, Exploration, Physical development, and Wellbeing.


This includes how pupils develop a sense of how they fit into the many groups and communities to which they belong and their sense of importance within them. We foster strong and secure relationships to create this strong sense of belonging.


This is fundamental to pupil development and involves developing attention, listening, and understanding skills, alongside vocabulary and expressive skills. Pupils are provided with considerable rich language experiences and adults use these to support pupils to understand and make themselves understood. The adults model active listening and speaking for different purposes.


Teachers provide experiences that extend and enhance curiosity. They provide opportunities for pupils to explore, investigate and share their delight in their new knowledge and skills. Teachers provide the time and opportunity to explore, play and investigate to rehearse skills and test theories.

Physical development

Pupils are provided with numerous opportunities to engage in physical activity to enhance wellbeing and support concentration, motivation, memory, and healthy bone and muscle development. Plenty of opportunities for movement are provided. This develops gross motor and fine motor skills. The correct balance between repetition and variety is struck.


Pupils are provided with opportunities to develop their emotional, social, and physical health in emotionally safe environments that support pupils to manage their feelings and behaviours in positive ways. It develops an understanding that actions have consequences. There is a focus on pupils developing secure attachments and relationships, so they feel confident, take risks, show resilience, and participate positively.

Play-based approach

We believe that pupils learn best through a hands-on play-based approach. Through play children can access the curriculum using their preferred methodologies. Active, well-planned play helps children to think, make sense of the world, interact with others, to be reactive, to investigate and explore different materials, to experiment and predict:

  • Play allows learning to be fun and stimulating.
  • Play develops skills and concepts.
  • Play helps to develop communication skills.
  • Play helps to develop positive attitudes.
  • Play helps to develop independence.
  • Play is about children learning through perseverance, concentration, and attention to detail – characteristics usually associated with work.
  • Play is not only crucial to how children become self-aware and the way in which they learn the rules of social behaviour; it is also fundamental to intellectual development.
  • Play is a child’s way of learning about their world and processing events in their life.

Outdoor Learning

The development and use of the outdoors as a learning environment is very important for the development of all children. We provide numerous opportunities for pupils to learn outdoors, and they reflect a balance of child initiated and adult directed activities.

Our outdoor learning provision:

  • Ensures pupils benefit from exercise outside and using outdoor equipment.
  • Provides first-hand experience of nature.
  • Links problem solving to outdoor experiences.
  • Provides first-hand experience of conservation and sustainability.
  • Develops a love of nature.
  • Provides opportunities for messy play and large-scale activities that they may not otherwise experience.

Nursery, Reception, Year 1, Year 2 and Year 3 pupils have designated outdoor classroom areas that are used daily. Safe use of equipment is taught and the idea of a safe environment is promoted. All available space is being used. All staff are committed to providing a safe, secure, and stimulating environment.

Years 1 - 4

Every morning pupils in Years 1-4 have lessons in Literacy, Spelling and Handwriting, Numeracy, Guided Reading, and Welsh. The afternoon sessions provide opportunities for learning in the other Areas for Learning and Experience. Each week there will be lessons in Humanities, Science and Design Technology, Expressive Arts, PSE, and Computing (ICT). Every pupil has two hours of Physical Education each week. Every day finishes with teachers and adults sharing stories with the pupils.

A copy of our prospectus can be viewed here