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Foundation Stage

Pre-Nursery, Nursery & Reception


Before children begin their education at St.Michael’s, parents are invited to a ‘Welcome to Foundation Stage’ evening. This provides an opportunity to meet staff and other parents and to gain an understanding of our ethos and practice. Children are invited to four familiarisation sessions, two ‘Stay and Play’ where parents are encouraged to stay with their children, plus two further sessions where children will stay independently from the parent or carer.   

Children may be accepted into Pre-Nursery as soon as they are 3 years old. Nursery children are accepted in the September following their third birthday for a minimum of five sessions a week. These can be a combination of full days and morning sessions. The morning sessions are from 8:30 am – 1.00 pm, whilst a full day finishes at 3.30 pm. However, once the children are ready, they may increase their number of sessions. Other individual options for afternoon sessions are available on request.

Building on all that they have learnt during their time in Nursery, children make excellent progress in Reception across all aspects of their learning and development and achieve well above the national average by the end of the year. Children who have not been through Nursery at St. Michael’s may start in Reception in the September after their fourth birthday.

All Reception children attend for the whole day from 8:30 am – 3:30 pm


Before starting Nursery in the September, children have the opportunity to investigate our calm, happy learning environment.

Through play and planned activities we aim to encourage and promote all 7 areas of the Early Years Foundation Stage; with particular focus on Personal and Social, Communication and Language and Physical Development. 

The children will be in the main Nursery group, however the activities will be especially focused on each child’s  individual stage of development. 

All children have access to the activities and outside opportunities provided by our well resourced Nursery. 

We look forward to welcoming your child to St. Michael’s Nursery.



Our Nursery children quickly adapt to the start of their school life. Our experienced staff will build a close relationship with you and your young child to ensure that he or she feels special, secure and confident as they begin their educational journey in school.

Play underpins all development and learning for young children. Children learn happily through a carefully blended mixture of child-initiated and teacher-directed activities, both inside and outside the classroom, developing their knowledge and skills, building the foundations for their future learning.  From a thorough knowledge of each child’s understanding and progress, your child is supported to learn with enjoyment and challenge and guided to the next stage of their learning as and when they are ready to move on.

Specialist teaching in French, Music, Drama and Physical Education complement other learning activities and enhancements, providing an extra stimulus for the children’s language, creative and physical development.

Nursery children enjoy being part of the main school and particularly welcome joining everyone in a whole school assembly each week. Older siblings take great pride in seeing their younger brothers and sisters join in the stories, songs and prayers.

By the time children leave Nursery, they are fully prepared to embark on the next phase of their learning journey with confidence and enthusiasm.


The Reception base is a busy place at St. Michael’s and is a hive of constant activity where the children are actively engaged in enthusiastic learning.  

Classes are kept to a maximum of 20 children with a full-time teacher and Nursery Nurse for each class. As in Nursery, a close working relationship between the children and the staff ensures that the children are able to discover and learn with confidence in a happy and attractive environment.

A large emphasis is placed on the development of phonic and number understanding. Daily activities reinforce letter and sound recognition which thoroughly prepare the children as they begin to read and write. Practical activities rooted in everyday life help to establish and reinforce language and mathematical understanding and encourage the development of problem-solving skills at this young age.

In addition to classroom-based activities and specialist teaching for Music, French, Drama and PE, good use is made of outdoor learning spaces within the school grounds to stimulate the children’s imagination and to extend their learning experience.




Come and see for yourself

Book a personal visit or register for one of our open days

Visit our school so you can see for yourselves the class sizes, the dedication and commitment of our staff, the range of facilities and resources available to enhance your child’s learning, meet our pupils and confidently make the right decision for your child.

Simply fill in the form below and we will get in contact:

    “After a lengthy search in West Oxfordshire at numerous other private schools, I found none of them were a patch on St Michael's. They had huge grounds, impressive sporting and drama facilities, however the special family/nurturing feel we've always loved about St Michael's just wasn't there at all. I decided that if we couldn't find a school which measured up to St Michael's, then there was little point in moving, so we stopped the house move and are remaining where we are.”

    - Mrs Falconer, Parent

    “During my time at St Michaels, not only did I really enjoy it, I found that I wasn’t scared to move on and I felt prepared and ready for senior school. I now realise just how much the school gave me and at Senior School, I have found topics that I had already covered or had been hinted to in the lessons at St Michael’s. So I really thank the school and feel grateful for the preparation that I had and now use. ”

    - Francesca Halling, Former Pupil

    “As a former pupil, St. Michael's was the obvious choice. Their values and school ethos have remained the same and Sophia has become a confident, caring and hardworking individual. ”

    - Mrs Lloyd, Former Parent

    “Just wanted to say a big Thank You to all staff and teachers over the last few months. As a full time working Mum I don't know what I would have done without the structure provided each day.”

    - Mrs Homer, Parent

    “..thriving, secure, ‘family feel’ environment where children are positively nurtured as individuals and able to reach their own potential.”

    - Mrs Foy, Parent

    “St. Michael's is a wonderful school. I would recommend it to anyone looking for a safe haven for their child to grow, learn to be well rounded individuals with the love of God in their hearts and love for all human beings as well as develop academically putting them in a good position ready for the next level of education.”

    - Mrs Balogun, Former Parent

    “St. Michael's is a well organised school with a long track record of academic excellence. The small classes combined with the warmth and positivity of the staff make it a fantastic place to learn, grow and thrive. I loved my time at the school so for me the choice was simple. ”

    - Mrs Grant, Parent and Former Pupil

    “St. Michael's has been on our radar for the last few years following on from various positive conversations with different people about the school, your results and the general atmosphere and approach. With our daughter now turning two, we felt it was a good time to start enquiring and visiting the school. We're so glad we did!”

    - Prospective Parent