Early years – Nursery and Reception

Our children commence their education in the Early Years. We inspire them to learn by engaging them in fun and creative play in a happy environment.

Early Years at Mowden is comprised of the Nursery and Reception classes.

We follow the Early Years Foundation Stage and our curriculum is based on learning through play. This environment allows the children to explore, investigate and learn through a balance of freely-chosen activities, as well as a mixture of adult-supported and adult-led tasks.

The classroom environment is set up so that the children can move freely around clearly defined areas both indoors and outdoors for reading, writing, art, construction, imaginative and investigative play and mathematics. The emphasis in Early Years is on developing the children’s social, language and physical skills. We want our children to have a confident and enquiring attitude towards life and an interest in the world at large.

The curriculum is delivered through both broad topics which link to the calendar, eg seasonal changes and festivals, and also by following the children’s current interests in line with their individual needs. Through this creative curriculum the children are encouraged to become active learners and creative thinkers ready to move forward to the next stage of their learning.

All of our staff are highly qualified and are actively encouraged to continue with their professional development and training.


Our Nursery at Mowden is situated in a purpose built suite within the Pre-Prep building with daily access to an outdoor classroom. The Nursery is led by an Early Years teacher and her team of Early Years assistants.

Mowden School and Nursery offers nursery places for children who are ‘rising three’. Children may join Mowden at staggered points during the year, with their education individually tailored to their stage of development. For example, children who turn three during the Autumn term may enter the Nursery at the beginning of the Autumn term in September. This is also the case for the Spring and Summer terms.

The emphasis is on learning through play, reading and writing and number skills are developed through playful appropriately targeted activities. The aim is to develop the child’s motor, intellectual, creative, social and language skills in the warm family atmosphere, which is one of the strengths of Mowden. Our specialist staff take great pleasure in making sure that each of our children feels happy and special.


In Nursery you can choose between full days or mornings. The hours are 8.30am until 1.00pm and a full day; 8.30am – 3.45pm.

The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)

In the Nursery, all children work within the requirements of the EYFS. This provides an excellent base for the next stage in your child’s educational life.

Early Years Funding

Parents can claim Early Years Funding for eligible 3 and 4 year olds.

After Nursery, what next?







The Reception class has one teacher and a teaching assistant. The room is light and bright with lots of indoor space, benefiting from direct access to outdoor play.
Reception is the first year of primary school. It is preceded by Nursery and followed by Year 1. In Reception, children start on a full time basis.

As in Nursery, our Reception children work within the requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS), which provides an excellent base for their work in Years 1 to 3.

Reception children share a building with those in Years 1 to 3. This builds a friendly, comfortable atmosphere with a continuity and familiarity of surroundings that help the children feel happy and secure.

The Reception year builds a foundation upon which to start teaching Key Stage 1 the following year, but it is also a year of fun and exciting opportunities. French, and Swimming are taught by specialist teachers.

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