Essex Nursery

Introduction to Nursery and Early Years

Within the Stephen Perse Foundation children can start their nursery and early years experience at the age of 10 months, in the baby class, and complete the early years phase of their education at the end of their Reception year, at age five. During this time the children will be grouped in five classes.

  1. Baby class 
  2. Toddler class 
  3. Rising three’s class 
  4. Kindergarten class – pre-school 
  5. Reception class – first year of formal schooling

For the academic year 2022/23 our early years classes are located as follows: 

Dame Bradbury’s, Saffron Walden – Baby, Toddler, Rising three’s, Kindergarten and Reception. 

Salisbury Villas, Cambridge – Baby, Toddler, Rising three’s and Kindergarten.

Madingley, Cambridge – Baby, Toddler, Rising three’s and Kindergarten. 

Shaftesbury Road, Cambridge – Rising three’s, Kindergarten and Reception.

In each class the children’s learning opportunities and experiences are aimed at developing the skills they need to be successful. Through having each of these classes in our early years provision we can plot a child’s learning journey knowing what they need in Reception and discovering how best to support them in achieving ‘school readiness’.

Story time at Stephen Perse Nurseries

Baby class

For our youngest members of the early years the baby class is aimed at establishing a connection and developing social experiences with people outside of their immediate family. Babies are gently introduced to a wider range of activities both indoors and outdoors to help them discover new skills and encourage all those important connections to be made between their different experiences.

Toddler class

Children in the toddler classes see themselves at the centre of their own world. Their key person is charged with challenging and stretching these increasing mobile and independent individuals both mentally and physically.

Rising three’s class

In our rising three’s class the children have developing social awareness and are ready to explore the world with the help of their friends. They begin to experience a weekly timetable and little lessons to help them get used to speaking to a group and taking turns when playing with the toys.


In Kindergarten the children are addressed as a group. The classroom and resources are a shared space and there are agreed class rules to help look after the classroom and all those using it. The children wear uniforms and are required to listen to each other’s ideas and make collective decisions.


At the start of Reception the children are ready to take intellectual risks and be challenged. They have an understanding of themselves as individuals and experience of being in a school setting and are accustomed to the routines and behavioural expectations that are attached to this environment.