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Ivy Bank Nursery

"When we give every child the best start in their early years, we give them what they need today. We also set them up with every chance of success tomorrow" - Development Matters


Nursery is the first stage of the Early Years Foundation Stage and the first stage of your child’s education. From September 2023 children can start at Ivy Bank Nursery in the academic year they turn 4, until they are  ready for the transition into a Reception class. We follow the statutory framework to ensure your children are safe, happy and develop as life long learners. To meet the needs of all children we closely follow the ratio guidance. For all children aged three and over there is at least one member of staff for every thirteen children. 


The Nursery News is sent out by e-mail each week as part of the school Newsletter. It will keep you informed about what activities your children have been doing throughout their time at our nursery.

Our Nursery Team

At Ivy Bank Nursery we aim to provide a happy, secure, friendly, stimulating environment where children learn and have fun together, supported by an enthusiastic and professional staff team. 

Our Nursery is led by qualified Early Years staff:


Our Nursery

Activities are planned and delivered to support your child’s current level of development and to encourage them to be creative and independent learners whilst following their own unique interests.

This is a time for new beginnings, making friends and learning lots of wonderful experiences and opportunities for learning and growing. In the Nursery, we aim to build upon all the good work you have already done with your child during their early years. Developing your child’s Personal, Social and Emotional skills will help them to feel confident and to achieve their full potential in all areas of learning.

Outdoor Area

Here at Ivy Bank we are lucky enough to have a nursery that has access to a woodland walkway within school, plus an outdoor area. As we are outdoors every day we recommend children bring wellies, coats, sun cream and hats dependent on the weather. We also advise a spare set of clothing as we sometimes have messy play.     

Our Learning

Our curriculum has been devised to meet the needs of the children and the learning requirements of the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage. We also use ‘Development Matters’ the non-statutory curriculum guidance.​ Our curriculum is sequenced to ensure all children make progress and are ready for the next stage of their education.​

Links to our curriculum, The Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage and the Development Matters documents can be found below:      

Our Nursery Curriculum - Click here to find out what we are learning

The Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage

Development Matters


Characteristics of Effective Learning​

Characteristics of Effective Learning are embedded through all areas of learning … creating powerful learners and thinkers.​

Playing and Exploring​
Children investigate and experience things and ‘have a go’.​

Active Learning​
Children concentrate and keep on trying if they​ encounter difficulties and enjoy achievements.​

Creating and Thinking Critically​
Children have and develop their own ideas, make links​ between ideas and develop strategies for doing things.​

Observations and Assessments

As nursery staff, we regularly work alongside the children in the​ areas, initiating conversations, asking questions and supporting​ play ideas. During this time, we observe the children as they work​ and gain a secure insight into their personalities, their interests,​ their learning styles and abilities.​

We gain a clear understanding of how the children are applying skills in their independent learning which help inform next steps in their learning.​

​“Assessment is about noticing what children can do and what they know. It is not about lots of data and evidence.” – Development Matters​


At Ivy Bank Primary School, we teach Phonics through a scheme called Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised.​

Once the children have settled into Nursery, and when we feel they are ready, we will begin our scheme to teach the hearing and recognition of sounds.​

This will provide the foundations of early reading and covers:​

• Environmental sounds​
• Instrumental sounds​
• Alliteration​
• Rhyme​
• Body percussion​
• Recognition of initial sounds in words​
• Oral segmenting and blending​

Further information can be found HERE.


In Nursery we provide lots of opportunities for the children to mark-make independently and practise their writing skills.​

We encourage the development of fine motor skills through a range of activities such as rolling playdough, tweezing and threading. The children also take part in daily 'Squiggle Whilst You Wriggle' sessions. Squiggle is an early writing programme that uses neurological and physiological movements to create marks. ​

These activities improve the muscles to allow children to hold a pencil correctly.​ Once secure, we can then work towards letter formation, encouraging the children to begin writing letters in their name.​


In Nursery children experience number through a range of activities including counting objects, matching and sorting games and songs.​

Our aim by the end of their nursery year is for children to be secure and have an in depth understanding of numbers to 5. To do so, we initially work on rote counting (verbally counting) moving on to counting small groups of objects using 1:1 correspondence, sorting and comparing small groups of numbers and identifying numerals and matching numerals to small quantities.​

Children are likely to become faced with daily challenges, so we always encourage the use of problem-solving skills when working with adults, or during child-initiated learning.​


Encouraging children to have a love of reading is very important in the Foundation Stage.​

We share stories every day, through Literacy based activities, reading stories together during independent learning or sharing a story at the end of the session.​

We also have our own class library where children are encouraged to choose a book to share at home together. 

“Children who begin reading for pleasure from a young age tend to perform better at cognitive tests and have better mental health.”​ - study by the University of Cambridge and Fudan University in China.​

Our Aims

I can write my name.​

I can write some letters correctly.​

I can count to 10 – forwards and backwards. ​

I can hold a pencil using the correct grip. ​

I know that the last number reached when counting a small set of objects tells you how many there are in total (‘cardinal principle’).​

I can show ‘finger numbers’ up to 5.​

I can link numerals and amounts: for example, showing the right number of objects to match the numeral, up to 5.​

I can sing a large repertoire of songs.​

I know many rhymes.​

I can talk about familiar books and be able to tell a long story.​

Files to Download


Ivy Bank Primary School

Valley Road Macclesfield, Cheshire SK11 8PB

Mrs Sarah Gill | Headteacher

01625 448014