School grounds
Drama class
Reading books


Reception Class, Taught by Pauline Butcher

We provide high quality, purposefully planned play opportunities that enable children to develop and flourish. Our spacious indoor and outdoor learning spaces enable children to be active learners, become independent and develop creative and critical thinking skills.

Equal importance is placed on inside and outside environments and we ensure that each area stimulates the children’s imaginations.  All the areas are delivered through carefully planned, purposeful play, with a balance of adult-led and child-initiated activities. We have a termly topic to base our activities around and are steered by the children’s interests.

Our creative approach helps the children make links in their learning. The topics fully capture the children’s imaginations and foster a love of learning through exciting learning experiences and rich resources along with developing an enquiry approach to learning.

Characteristics of Effective Learning

The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) curriculum includes the characteristics of effective teaching and learning. The Nursery and Reception teachers plan activities with these in mind. They highlight the importance of a child’s attitude to learning and their ability to play, explore and think critically about the world around them.

The three characteristics are;

  1. Playing and Exploring – children investigate and experience things, and ‘have a go’
  2. Active Learning – children concentrate and keep on trying if they encounter difficulties, and enjoy achievements
  3. Creating and Thinking Critically – children have and develop their own ideas, make links between ideas, and develop strategies for doing things.

We follow the areas of Learning and Development identified in Development Matters in the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS). The areas are divided into ‘Prime’ and ‘Specific’.

Prime Areas:

  1. Personal, Social and Emotional Development (PSED): This area of development is critical for children in every aspect of their lives. It enables them to succeed in all the other areas of learning. Children develop a sense of belonging in a secure environment where they can gain confidence and learn to be independent.
  2. Communication and Language (CL): The main focus in this area is on the development of speaking, listening, attention and concentration.
  3. Physical Development (PD): Children explore activities that help them to develop, practise, gain confidence and improve their gross and fine motor skills.

Specific Areas:

  1. Literacy (L): Children learn to listen carefully and enjoy a range of stories and rhymes. Children are encouraged to share books and gain a love of stories. Opportunities are available for children to develop their pre-writing skills in different ways and using a variety of tools such as pens, pencils, and brushes.
  2. Maths(M): Through songs, stories, imaginative play, games, block building, sand, water, technology and art, children will use mathematical language and develop mathematical concepts. While playing indoors and outdoors children will become familiar with counting, sorting, matching, observing patterns, making connections, recognising relationships and working with numbers, shapes, space and measure.
  3. Understanding the World (UW): Children are encouraged to observe, explore and experiment with a wide range of materials using their five senses. Children begin to recognise features common to their immediate environment and later they begin to develop a sense of time past.
  4. Expressive Arts and Design (EAD): At CIS we encourage children to develop their creative and imaginative skills by providing opportunities to explore tactile and sensory materials. We encourage children to explore colour, shape, texture and pattern; musical instruments, sounds and rhythm; imaginative role play through stories, songs and home experiences.
Oaks International

Nursery & Primary

Cherry Hinton Road,
Cambridge CB1 8DW
Tel: +44 (0) 1223 416938