Prime Areas

On this page you will find a brief outline for each of the three prime areas as well as useful links and ways you can support your child at home.

Communication and Language

Language skills are fostered through many ways including providing real life experiences and interesting play opportunities stemming from children’s interests and experiences. Singing songs and nursery rhymes and listening to stories are a crucial part in the development of language, so as such they are woven into our daily routines.

We also use many non-verbal methods of communication to support the speech development of the children such visual timetables, listening cue cards and gesturing. Staff listen attentively to children’s speech and broaden what is said by modelling the correct forms of spoken language, expanding their sentences and introducing new words through their play.

Click on this link for communication activities you can try at home.

 Personal, Social and Emotional Development

One of the main focuses, of both the nursery and reception classes, is to spend time building warm, caring and trusting relationships with the children to ensure that the children are happy and confident within our setting. We achieve this through playing with the children, talking with them and devising activities prompted by their interests. 

We also help children to develop a positive self-image in order to be confident in themselves and their skills by promoting a growth mind set. This is achieved by focusing on the process of learning such as taking risks, the willingness to try new things, problem solving and showing children that it is alright to make mistakes. At Holy Cross we encourage curiosity and exploration as we want our children to be great thinkers who from the earliest stages begin to develop independence and the ability to think for themselves.  We foster this independence by allowing children to access their own resources, providing first-hand experiences and through ‘choosing time’ where they are able to choose which activities they want to play with.

Click on this link for more information regarding personal, social and emotional development.

 Physical Development

Both Nursery and Reception classes provide opportunities for young children to be active and to develop their co-ordination, control, and movement both on a large and small scale. We recognise how crucial good physical development is for children and the impact this can have on their general development. Therefore our children will benefit from a range of gross and fine motor activities in the provision, being able to access our climbing frame continuously, formal p.e sessions in the school hall as well as going up to the forest regularly. Reception children will also experience exciting and wonderful outdoor learning opportunities at forest school once every week. 

Click here for tips on the physical development of children aged 3-4.

Click here for tips on the physical development of children aged 4 and over.

One of the main objectives within the foundation stage is developing a good pencil grip and strengthening the hand muscles as this allows the child to write neatly at a reasonable speed without tiring. As children progress through the various stages of pencil grip, staff will observe how your child holds their pencil and will provide appropriate support to develop this grip further. Activities we will do include using spray bottles, tweezers, pegs, squeezing sponges and playing with playdough and cornflour.

  Pencil grip progression

For more information and ideas of fine motor activities you could try at home please click on this link. 

Our children are also able to independently access snack tables where they can select a piece of fruit and pour themselves a cup of water. Self-care is very important in the development of independence and self-confidence so therefore we will also spend time supporting and teaching the children how to dress and undress through putting on their coats, hats, scarves and spend time teaching them how to use our toilets and the importance of hand washing. 

For some more information and some ideas to support potty training, please click on this link.

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