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Thomas Eaton

Primary Academy

All for Learning and Learning for All

About Us

About us


Children who begin their time at Thomas Eaton in our Pre-school are welcomed as part of our school from the very beginning. Parents are welcomed too and we pride ourselves on our good relationships with children and their families. Our experienced and dedicated Early Years Team work closely together through Pre-school and Reception to ensure children are given the best educational start and develop a life long love of learning.


We benefit from having small class sizes in Early Years, giving teachers the opportunity to get to know their pupils extremely well; observe how they work and embrace their next steps in learning. Teachers get to know each child personally and make a positive contribution to their early development.


Learning in the Early Years (particularly in Pre-school) is play based. There are untold benefits of child led learning including the development of intellectual skills, thinking and motivation. Play encourages language skills, supports pre-literacy skills, develops social and emotional skills and fosters creativity and imagination.


Children will also work in small groups to further develop number, mark making and writing, phonics, art, fine motor and speech and language skills.


Teachers plan to develop children’s curiosity and interest in learning and risk taking is encouraged to give children the opportunity to be resilient and brave learners. 


Our outdoor space is used throughout the year and the freedom of this learning environment sees language skills thrive and discovery and inquiry skills develop. 



Reading with your child


Reading to children from an early age is the best way of encouraging them to love books and reading. By reading stories aloud, we take them into a world that goes well beyond our typical everyday spoken language, and form a link for them between reading, comfort and love. We need to do everything we can to ensure children get the reading habit while they are very young. 


But what can you do to help develop good reading habits in pre-school aged children at home? Children thrive on repetition, so remember that when they’ve read We’re Going on a Bear Hunt for the hundredth time, you are hardwiring their brain for success! The more they read, the more the story ‘belongs’ to the child. When a child knows a story well, they will want to ‘read’ it over and over again, joining in with the actions and expressions that their adult has used – a rewarding experience for everyone!


10 top tips for reading with your child at home.



1. Make reading to your child feel like a treat, introducing each new book with excitement.

2. Make it a special quiet time and cuddle up so both of you can see the book.

3. Show curiosity in what you’re going to read:
I wonder what will happen next.

4. Read the whole story the first time through without stopping too much. If you think your child might not understand, say something like:
Oh I think what’s happening here is that…

5. Chat about the story:
I wonder why he did that…?
Oh no, I hope she’s not going to…

I wouldn’t have done that, would you?

6. Avoid asking questions to test what your child remembers.

7. Link stories to your own experiences:
This reminds me of…

8. Read favourite stories over and over again, getting your child to join in with the bits they know. 

9. Read with enthusiasm. Don’t be embarrassed to try out different voices; your child will love it!

10. Read with enjoyment. If you’re not enjoying it, they won’t either!


Remember, you can always make up your own story as you go along, your child may enjoy hearing an adventure about themselves too!



The Characteristics of Effective Learning


The characteristics of effective learning are important learning behaviours that we support the children to develop throughout their time in Pre-School. They are split into three categories:


Playing and Exploring - Engagement:

Can I do this?

50 Things To Do Before You're 5


Active Learning - Motivation:

Do I want to do this?


Below you will find a useful website to explore the differences between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation and the importance of developing a growth mindset. 


Growth Mindset - Help your child try new things


Creating and Thinking Critically - Thinking:

How do I do this? 


We can help children to become effective learners by playing with them, listening and responding to them, scaffolding their development, supporting them to pursue their own interests, inspiring them, modelling discovery learning and both guiding and supporting them.


The following website gives families ideas of activities as to how they can support their child from home too.


Learning to talk | 3 to 5 years | Start for Life (