Mrs Milner First Steps Nursery


Welcome to First Steps Nursery!

Welcome to the First Steps Pre-school page. The lead practitioner is Mrs Milner. The support practitioner is Mrs Hockenhull.

First Steps Pre-School follows the Foundation Stage curriculum. The Foundation Stage at St John Vianney Primary School begins as your child enters First Steps and continues to the end of the Reception year. During the Foundation Stage children learn lots of new and exciting things.

Here you will be able to keep up to date with all the projects and activities we have been working on.

Look out for First Steps News here too!

Important Information


PE is on a Monday morning. Please send your child to school wearing comfortable clothes and suitable footwear on this day. Leggings, tracksuit pants and t-shirts are ideal. Skirts are not suitable for PE sessions. Children will participate in a variety of physical activities including using different apparatus and climbing.


First steps uniform consists of a white polo shirt and red jumper/cardigan. Uniform is not compulsory in First Steps but we do recommend children come to school suitably dressed. Lace up shoes and hard to fasten pants are not ideal. Please ensure all items of clothing and footwear are labelled with your child’s name especially jumpers, cardigans and coats.

Spare clothes

Please ensure your child has a full set of spare clothes in First Steps at all times. Accidents do happen including spilling drinks, getting wet during water play and soiling clothes during daily activities. These can be left in First Steps.

Wet weather clothing

Please provide waterproof jackets and wellies for use during outdoor play. These can be left in First Steps.

Snack Money

Snack is charged at 50p per 3 hour session, up to a maximum of £2.50 a week. Please ensure that snack money is paid on the first day of the week your child attends. It should be placed in a sealed envelope with your childs name clearly written on the front and handed to a member of staff.


Due to health and safety reasons jewellery should not be worn for First Steps.


Please ensure that children DO NOT bring any of their own toys into First Steps. It can cause unnecessary upset if they get broken or go missing.

Food and drinks

Could we please ask that you do not send in any food or drinks into First Steps unless agreed by a member of staff or if your child uses our wraparound service and requires a packed lunch.  We do have children from time to time who suffer from allergies and we need to make sure no allergens are present in our setting. Your child is provided with a healthy snack each day and milk and water are available at all times.

Contact details

Please make sure we have two up to date contact details in case of an emergency.

Dropping off and collecting your child

Always try to be prompt dropping off and picking up children as this prevents any unnecessary upsets. You must always tell staff in person or by telephone if someone else is collecting your child. A password is required if your child is to be collected by anyone unknown to First Steps staff.

Book Bags

Book bags will be sent home on a weekly basis. These include a story book to share with your child and a reading record book for you to comment in. Please make sure these are returned each week for exchange. Children may also receive an activity to complete at home. Children are also involved in the reading rainbow challenge. Your child will receive a sticker for each book they read with you at home and certificates will be awarded when your child hits specific targets.

Useful Documents

Personal, Social and Emotional Development in the EYFS

Children’s personal, social and emotional development (PSED) is crucial for
children to lead healthy and happy lives, and is fundamental to their cognitive
development. Underpinning their personal development are the important
attachments that shape their social world. Strong, warm and supportive
relationships with adults enable children to learn how to understand their own
feelings and those of others. Children should be supported to manage emotions,
develop a positive sense of self, set themselves simple goals, have confidence in
their own abilities, to persist and wait for what they want and direct attention as
necessary. Through adult modelling and guidance, they will learn how to look after
their bodies, including healthy eating, and manage personal needs independently.
Through supported interaction with other children, they learn how to make good
friendships, co-operate and resolve conflicts peaceably. These attributes will
provide a secure platform from which children can achieve at school and in later

Communication and Language in the EYFS

The development of children’s spoken language underpins all seven areas of
learning and development. Children’s back-and-forth interactions from an early
age form the foundations for language and cognitive development. The number
and quality of the conversations they have with adults and peers throughout the
day in a language-rich environment is crucial. By commenting on what children
are interested in or doing, and echoing back what they say with new vocabulary
added, practitioners will build children’s language effectively. Reading frequently
to children, and engaging them actively in stories, non-fiction, rhymes and poems,
and then providing them with extensive opportunities to use and embed new
words in a range of contexts, will give children the opportunity to thrive. Through
conversation, story-telling and role play, where children share their ideas with
support and modelling from their teacher, and sensitive questioning that invites
them to elaborate, children become comfortable using a rich range of vocabulary
and language structures.


Physical Development in the EYFS

Physical activity is vital in children’s all-round development, enabling them to
pursue happy, healthy and active lives7. Gross and fine motor experiences
develop incrementally throughout early childhood, starting with sensory
explorations and the development of a child’s strength, co-ordination and
positional awareness through tummy time, crawling and play movement with both
objects and adults. By creating games and providing opportunities for play both
indoors and outdoors, adults can support children to develop their core strength,
stability, balance, spatial awareness, co-ordination and agility. Gross motor skills
provide the foundation for developing healthy bodies and social and emotional
well-being. Fine motor control and precision helps with hand-eye co-ordination,
which is later linked to early literacy. Repeated and varied opportunities to explore
and play with small world activities, puzzles, arts and crafts and the practice of
using small tools, with feedback and support from adults, allow children to develop
proficiency, control and confidence.

Literacy in the EYFS

It is crucial for children to develop a life-long love of reading. Reading consists of
two dimensions: language comprehension and word reading. Language
comprehension (necessary for both reading and writing) starts from birth. It only
develops when adults talk with children about the world around them and the
books (stories and non-fiction) they read with them, and enjoy rhymes, poems and
songs together. Skilled word reading, taught later, involves both the speedy
working out of the pronunciation of unfamiliar printed words (decoding) and the
speedy recognition of familiar printed words. Writing involves transcription
(spelling and handwriting) and composition (articulating ideas and structuring
them in speech, before writing).

Mathematics in the EYFS

Developing a strong grounding in number is essential so that all children develop
the necessary building blocks to excel mathematically. Children should be able to
count confidently, develop a deep understanding of the numbers to 10, the
relationships between them and the patterns within those numbers. By providing
frequent and varied opportunities to build and apply this understanding – such as
using manipulatives, including small pebbles and tens frames for organising
counting – children will develop a secure base of knowledge and vocabulary from
which mastery of mathematics is built. In addition, it is important that the
curriculum includes rich opportunities for children to develop their spatial
reasoning skills across all areas of mathematics including shape, space and
measures. It is important that children develop positive attitudes and interests in
mathematics, look for patterns and relationships, spot connections, ‘have a go’,
talk to adults and peers about what they notice and not be afraid to make

Understanding the World in the EYFS

Understanding the world involves guiding children to make sense of their physical
world and their community. The frequency and range of children’s personal
experiences increases their knowledge and sense of the world around them –
from visiting parks, libraries and museums to meeting important members of
society such as police officers, nurses and firefighters. In addition, listening to a
broad selection of stories, non-fiction, rhymes and poems will foster their
understanding of our culturally, socially, technologically and ecologically diverse
world. As well as building important knowledge, this extends their familiarity with
words that support understanding across domains. Enriching and widening
children’s vocabulary will support later reading comprehension.

Expressive Arts and Design in the EYFS

The development of children’s artistic and cultural awareness supports their
imagination and creativity. It is important that children have regular opportunities to
engage with the arts, enabling them to explore and play with a wide range of media
and materials. The quality and variety of what children see, hear and participate in
is crucial for developing their understanding, self-expression, vocabulary and ability
to communicate through the arts. The frequency, repetition and depth of their
experiences are fundamental to their progress in interpreting and appreciating what
they hear, respond to and observe.

St. John Vianney Catholic Primary School, Elton Head Road, Sutton Heath, St. Helens, WA9 5BT