top of page
DSC00523 (1)_edited.jpg

Early Years 

Where it all begins.

The Early Years classes at Johnston are at the heart of the school. After all, our Early Years unit prepares children for future learning and success.  We believe children’s early years’ experience should be happy, active, engaging and secure, while supporting their development, care and learning needs.

Children leave our Early Years setting with a range of memorable and exciting learning experiences.  We allow children to take ownership of their own learning, encouraging them to be active and independent learners.  The learning environment we create ensures that self-initiated learning is automatic and spontaneous, leading to enthusiastic, curious and confident children with enquiring minds.

We ensure that the learning process will be a ‘two-way’, and we involve parents and families so that we can share and celebrate our children'’s successes, achievements and development together.

In Pembrokeshire, children are eligible to attend school on a part-time basis from the first term after their third birthday and full-time basis from the first term after their fourth birthday. Please note that compulsory education commences from the term following their fifth birthday.


The date of your child's birthday determines when he or she can start school, regardless of the date when the term starts and the table below shows when your child may be admitted to school. Parents can opt to defer their child's start date anytime up until the child is of compulsory school age; for more information please contact the Admissions Officer at Pembrokeshire County Council.


Child's birthday falls between:            Admission Term:

1st April – 31st August                                 Autumn

1st September – 31st December              Spring

1st January – 31st March                            Summer

Transition to our Early Years' Unit

Prior to starting to Part Time Nursery, parents and children are invited to attend a stay and play session where the children can see the Early Years' Unit and parents are informed of key school information. In the days prior to the children starting school, Early Years' staff will carry out a home visit, giving the parents and staff an opportunity to gather information which will support the child's first day in school.

Curiosity and Opportunity

In our Early Years, we ensure these areas of the curriculum are taught, explored and promoted in our provision in a number of different ways. These include:

Adult Led and Focused Activities - Activities are carefully designed to be open-ended and allow personalisation through skilled adult facilitation. They are mainly completed in small groups.

Enhanced Provision – Designed predominantly to encourage independent learning, this is carefully planned and resourced to enhance learning about a topic. It usually takes the form of role play areas, interest tables, games, props and topic books.

Continuous Provision and Child Led Activities - The indoor and outdoor classrooms are equipped with resources that allow children to make their own decisions about what they explore and learn. Adults can if appropriate, facilitate a child-initiated activity by making suggestions or providing equipment. Play is an essential part of learning as it enables children to internalise and make sense of their world.

Carpet time – the children come together as a class to share songs, stories and learn concepts together. Time spent learning together on the carpet increases throughout the year.

On entry, children are assessed in line with the Foundation Phase Profile baseline. We also carry out the Early Communication Nursery Screening, as well as the Dyslexia Early Screening Test (DEST.) Assessment of the children's progress and learning is on-going and primarily done through observation. 


Our Unique Core Book Curriculum

At Johnston, we aim to inspire a love of literature from a young age. Our Early Years curriculum has been thoughtfully designed with the use of ‘core books’. Over the year, the children will explore a diverse range of literature, including fiction, non-fiction and poetry books. These core books will act as a vehicle to drive the learning of the seven areas of our curriculum and lay the foundations of knowledge for learning. Alongside these high quality texts, the children will be provided opportunities to practice and apply new skills. We will invite real life experts to visit us, go on engaging trips and plan interesting activities and experiences throughout the year in order to bring the stories to life.

Early Years in the Meadow

The Johnston meadow is used to support pupils’ learning in Early Years across the areas of the EY curriculum. Our outdoor learning programme runs for pupils in our Early Years setting and focuses primarily on the children’s development in: Communication and language; Personal, social and emotional development; Gross and fine motor skills; Understanding of nature. We run sessions in small groups , meaning that children have a really rich learning experience carefully guided by qualified staff.

bottom of page