Twyford St Mary's
Church of England Primary School


Ash Class

Welcome to Ash Class (Year R and Year 1)

Most of the children here at Twyford St Mary’s start with us in Year R (Reception) and Ash Class is their first experience of our school and – for many – the place that they take the first steps of their educational journey.

Ash Class offers a nurturing environment where everyone can grow together. A welcoming and airy room with a fantastic, enclosed outdoor classroom space, Ash Class has a natural indoor/outdoor flow. This welcoming, familiar space is a ‘home class’ to all our Year R children and around half of our Year 1 group.  The class splits in the morning for core learning responsibilities to be taught in their year groups however, foundation learning is taught in a mixed class. Ash Class Year 1s are selected for several reasons (from friend groups to their characteristics of learning) but often the Year 1s in Ash are those who we know will thrive in our open-ended, play-based setting.

From learning how to hold a pencil to learning how to play cooperatively with others, and from establishing a sound foundation in Phonics and Maths to enjoying the scope to express their creativity in Art and Music, Ash Class aims to provide the best start to a child’s education journey, where all children can flourish and succeed.

Megan Hassman

How it works

Many parents are curious to find out more about how we teach Year R and Year 1 children side by side in Ash Class.

Within Year R mornings, staff have a conclusive plan, which allows children to achieve within the early years foundation stage (EYFS) statutory framework. These children have access to a continuous provision environment with adult led opportunities, which allow children to bump into learning wherever they go.

This play-based environment develops alongside the children. At the beginning of the year, the environment is similar to the nursery setting that many children may be used to, but as the year goes on, the space transforms to something more similar to a Year 1 classroom.

The Year 1 children selected to continue in Ash will be those who respond well in this environment. They are taught core subjects in Beech Class in the morning, which gives them the structured space and focus they need but return to Ash in the afternoon.

Here we work to ensure that children’s interests are encapsulated, the environment is flexible and fast-paced, and its constantly changing nature fulfils the needs and interests of the whole class.

Meet the teachers

Miss Hassman

Class teacher and Year R lead teacher, Megan Hassman, is an early years specialist who majored in early years development at university. Her upbringing on a farm has instilled her with a passion for learning in the context of nature and she loves using the outdoors as much as possible to inspire and educate.

Mrs Simonato

Ash Class Learning Support Assistant, Mariangela Simonata, is also an early years specialist who has worked for several years in nursery settings as well as being a SENCO.

Staying in touch with us

We have regular touch points across the school year to keep families informed of your child’s progress, including parents’ evenings, in-class events and meet the teacher sessions.

I am always happy to talk to parents or carers about any aspects of your child’s learning or well-being and if you have any quick questions or pertinent information you want to share about your child, you can usually find me on the playground at pick up. If I can please ask that you wait until I have ensured all children are safely on their way home, then I will be free for a quick chat!

For any other concerns, or if you would like a meeting to discuss any issues, please contact the office and we can arrange a phone call or a meeting.


Key days and dates

PE        Year R: Tuesday                            Year 1: Monday

For the diary

Summer 1: Art workshop – Clay.

23rd May – Parent event – A wild place!

Summer 2: Trip to Lee-on-the-Solent.


More information

Ash Class 2023 Curriculum Focus

Early Years at Twyford St Mary’s

Curriculum INTENT for EYFS

Twyford St Mary’s Early Years Policy