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Reception Classes (EYFS)

Young Girl and Boy Looking at an iPad Nottingham high school logo

Find out more about our Reception classes (EYFS) at Nottingham High Infant & Junior School. We are no longer taking enquiries for 2022 admission, but are open for 2023 applicants.

Welcome to NHIJS EYFS


We are a committed team of Early Years and Infant specialist who work collaboratively alongside dedicated teaching assistants to ensure that from the very start, your child begins their educational journey in the most engaging and positive way possible.

Each member of our team, including the Head of EYFS, takes responsibility for specific parts of the curriculum such as literacy and numeracy, keeping our school up to date with modern, best practice. Each class teacher is responsible for your child’s holistic development and will get to know them extremely well within the first few days of their first term. They are passionate about children’s mental health and ensuring that our EYFS setting reflects the wide and diverse community of our School. ‘Read to learn’ and ‘Next steps ready’ are important phrases to the EYFS team and they are committed to ensuring that each individual child in Early Years knows that they are heard, seen and valued in our setting. We will keep in regular contact with you each step of the way, so that you are fully aware of your child’s progress.

Why choose NHIJS for your Early Years child?

Three children sat on the floor reading with a teacher

You will want a supportive, nurturing, challenging and happy environment for your child.

You will want an age-appropriate curriculum that is adaptable to your child’s needs and interests. You will want them to be in a class with a low adult to pupil ratio so that your child is able to settle quickly with teachers who know them well and who will treat them as an individual. You will want them to be in a school where they can be stretched through a holistic curriculum and appropriately supported to reach their individual goals. You will want them to have many additional opportunities through music, sport, swimming, clubs, trips and visits to broaden, enhance and develop their experience of, and interest in, the outside world. At Nottingham High Infant & Junior School we offer all this and more.

How do children learn in the Early Years at Nottingham High School?

Teacher reading to a child

In all parts of our School, we believe that children who find learning engaging and fun make the best progress.

We start each topic with a specific event that will draw your child into that area of learning. For example, perhaps a dinosaur egg might appear in the middle of the class or perhaps Hamish, our pet Highland cow, has gone missing and needs to be found.

Our experienced and enthusiastic teachers understand that young children need time to consolidate, challenge and develop their learning subconsciously. This is done by allowing them time to engage with activities and specific resources chosen to foster and strengthen their learning. They believe they are playing, we know they are learning!

We involve our children in the planning of topics to give them ownership and develop a sense of responsibility towards success goals. We tailor specific 1:1 teaching to meet their discrete requirements and areas of interest and we ensure that we have regular communication with parents from the beginning of the academic year to create a safe and familiar environment for each child.

Our curriculum and planning is flexible & adaptable, having the luxury of being able to react ‘in the moment’ with your child to support them on their path of learning. Each child’s journey is a unique and bespoke one and is relevant and purposeful, engaging with what appeals to each child at that point in time. The curriculum is holistic and develops your child through the EYFS so that they are fully ready and raring to transition seamlessly into Year 1.

Two children holding a rabbit
Infant School

The main entry point into the Infant & Junior School is Reception, but we welcome new pupils in all year groups subject to availability.

Admission for Reception follows a child-centred and age appropriate assessment which aims to be play-based and accessible to all. This is in two parts, individual and group, to establish if Nottingham High School’s approach to learning is suitable for your child at this stage of their development. To start your journey with us please fill out the enquiry form and our Admissions team will be in touch with the next steps.

An example of a typical day in EYFS

8.00am School opens and your child can be welcomed into class where their teacher or their TA awaits with a fun and engaging activity. 
8.30am Registration happens and your child can pre-choose an option from our home-cooked lunch menu.
1st lessons This might be a focus on phonics or literacy, it might be some time in the outdoor classroom followed by activities to support learning.
Morning Play A time for a healthy snack, learning to share and help friends and enjoy the fresh air.
2nd lessons Perhaps it is time for some numeracy or writing stories about our favourite things. 
Lunch Time Enjoy a healthy and home-cooked meal with friends and then time to let of steam in the garden, the trim trail or on the bikes and scooters.
Afternoon lessons Time to make music, to swim or to enjoy a PE session.  
15:45pm End of the school day, time to go home or to join in with one of our clubs or to join our on-site after-school club which runs until 18:00.
3 teachers in front of a class

Children learn best when they don’t even know they are learning, meet our experienced staff responsible for EYFS.

Mrs Emily Smallwood: Head of EYFS (R) (she/her)

I am the RS Class Teacher and also the Head of Early Years at Nottingham High School. I am responsible for the holistic development of the children in my class and oversee that of all of the EYFS children. I am hugely passionate about children’s mental health and well-being and that every individual child knows that they are felt, heard and seen in our learning, provision and environment.

Miss Emily Harris: (M) (she/her)

I am the RH Class Teacher and am responsible for the children’s pastoral and academic well-being in my class. I have a huge love for drama and use this to support me in my role of Literacy Lead for the EYFS and as one the Lovell House Reading for Pleasure Champions. I am also one of our schools Deputy Designated Safeguarding Leads.

Ms Anna Pearce: (L) (she/her)

I am the class teacher for RB and I focus on the children’s academic and pastoral progression. I am a hugely experienced teacher across all year groups and use my in-depth knowledge of the Key Stage One curriculum to support children in preparing for their future education. I am the Mathematics Lead for the EYFS and ensure that we keep up-to-date with best practise guidance to support our Mastery approach to Mathematics.

Group of children crafting
Group of children swimming with arm bands on
Group of Children being taught outside
Young girl taking photo of her friends
Group of children being taught outside