The Nursery School, situated within sixteen acres of beautifully landscaped gardens, is divided into two large, brightly decorated rooms – Lions class and Tigers class. The Nursery School building is set in its own enclosed garden, providing a natural, safe and secure play area with logs, playhouse and outdoor play.
Lions Class is for children aged two to three years old, and Tigers Class is the pre-Reception class for three to four-year-olds. We have a very well established, experienced staff. Lions Class is led by the Head of Nursery, Mrs Patricia Jones and the Deputy and Safeguarding Lead, Mrs Julie Prendiville. Tigers Class is staffed by Mrs Jane Fraser, who is the class teacher and joint Early Years co-ordinator and Mrs Helena Farrington. Mrs Rachel King, the Nursery SENCO and Mrs Simmone Gair complete the team.
Our Nursery School provides full and part-time care and education for boys and girls aged 2-4 with an enviable staff to pupil ratio of 1:6 or lower. We offer flexible sessions to suit individual needs with wrap-around care (8am – 6pm).
We give a very gentle and purposeful start to the formal education process, combining purposeful play and a stable educational structure. Our main aim is to ensure the happy, all-round development of each child through a comprehensive and balanced range of exciting and challenging experiences.
We cover the seven Areas of Learning in the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS). At the centre of this learning is our commitment to making each child and their family feel secure, happy and valued. We place great importance on developing an excellent working relationship with our parents and fully appreciate the essential part they play in their child`s development. Learning through play is an integral part of Nursery life, and we use our facilities, both inside and out to give our children an extensive, rounded learning experience.
Personal, Social and Emotional Development
This prime area of learning is the most essential to our children`s development. We are here to support children as they leave their parents, sometimes for the very first time, until the moment they leave Nursery, happy and confident to move on to Reception. We aim to have a comfortable, loving atmosphere that encourages individual growth, balanced by clear routines, boundaries and respect for others. We help children develop their confidence and self-esteem, their relationships with children and adults and how to manage their feelings and behaviour.
Communication and Language
We help children develop their Listening and Attention from simple songs, rhymes and stories in Lions Class to Tigers Class Talk Times. We support and extend Understanding and Speaking in child-initiated play and more structured activities. We have language groups led by our Nursery SENCO to support children who need extra help with language development.
Our extensive grounds, large pirate ship, trim trail, digging pit, bikes and scooters all help our children develop their physical skills. We go out in all weathers, so waterproofs and wellingtons are a must! Our outdoor classroom allows for lots of messy play with sand, water, paint and playdough. We encourage independence in self-care, from supporting early toileting to managing clothing, helping prepare snack and making healthy choices- ‘fruit first, treat after’! Both Lions and Tigers Class have a weekly structured P.E lesson in the main school with a specialist teacher.
Lions Class children are introduced to the joy of literature by Miss Trisha`s exciting and dramatic storytelling! In Tigers Class in the spring and summer terms, the children take part in a topic on Sounds All Around and Jolly Phonics. They are encouraged to bring in items from home for a weekly Sound Table based on the initial letter of each child`s name. Activities have ranged from apple- tasting and making sock-snakes to ink-writing with quills and making chocolatey ‘goo’! Early writing starts with lots of mark-making in paint, water and dough to purposeful emergent writing and writing and reading of names.
From clapping out each child`s birthday number (or counting in tens for the staff birthdays) to helping with registration and lunch numbers, our children are using practical maths every day. In Lions Class, children take part in a topic on Shapes All Around, where they are encouraged to spot everyday shapes in their environment at Nursery and home. Children can explore sorting, counting, measuring, capacity, size and time in a variety of play and structured activities.
Understanding the World
Our beautiful grounds are an excellent resource for exploring and learning. The children are encouraged to look for wildlife, build natural structures and notice all the seasonal changes in their environment. We celebrate a variety of festivals throughout the year, where the children learn about different customs and cultures. They experience how to strike a flint on Bonfire Night, carve pumpkins at Halloween, act out the story of Rama and Sita for Diwali, take part in a Nativity Play, eat with chopsticks at Chinese New Year, make pancakes and roll decorated eggs down the hill at Easter! We use the school minibus to visit local places of interest including farms, garden centres, parks and woods. Tigers Class have weekly French lessons with a specialist teacher. Each classroom has a computer and iPads, and we have a range of technical toys.
Expressive Arts and Design
Children have constant access to a variety of art materials, where they are encouraged to create their own pieces of work. We combine this with structured art activities, ranging from clay diva lamps for Diwali, self-portraits and printed bouquets for Mother’s Day. Imaginative play is a significant part of every Nursery day, whether it is in the Home Corner, dressing up or with small world toys. We have a weekly Music and Movement session for both Lions and Tigers Classes, and Tigers Class has a structured music lesson with a specialist teacher in the main school each week.
‘Outstanding’ ISI Inspection
The Nursery and EYFS was inspected by ISI (Independent Schools Inspectorate) in 2014, and all areas were found to be ‘Outstanding’, the highest possible rating. Below are the headlines from the EYFS part of the ISI Inspection.
“In the EYFS, children make outstanding progress in their learning and their achievement is also outstanding.”
“In meeting the needs of the range of children who attend, the provision is outstanding. The enthusiastic and caring staff, who have high expectations, know each child extremely well and plan detailed educational programmes that are tailored to every child’s needs. This, together with high quality teaching, enables each child to make substantial progress in learning, and to become increasingly more independent.”
“The setting’s welcoming classrooms are spacious and plentifully resourced, enhancing all children’s experiences. Easily accessible, excellent outdoor areas enable all children to engage in imaginative role play as well as supporting all areas of their learning and physical development.”
“Provision for the children’s well-being is outstanding.”
“Leadership and management are outstanding.”
“The overall quality and standards are outstanding. All children, including those who require additional support, are happy in the setting and enjoy their learning, making substantial progress from a wide range of starting points which prepares them for the next stage of their learning.”
Nursery Contact Number: 01276 31616
The Reception class attends for a full day; wrap around care is available.
The children’s academic progress continues into our Reception class, where we encourage them to become independent learners. Our children thrive in the carefully structured hands-on learning environment where we provide varied experiences at each child’s developmental level which we believe encourages academic success.
Pupils are provided with academic and developmental building blocks, enabling them to make a positive start to life at school. They learn to listen, sit properly, take instruction and work on small group projects and tasks. Numeracy and literacy skills are essential, and we consolidate these alongside a stimulating and creative learning programme which includes sports, music, drama, dance, Forest School and Spanish. These lessons are taken by specialist teachers which enable us to combine the best elements of teaching with the ability to be able to learn through play as well. Our pupils are encouraged to learn self-sufficiency, and we promote old-fashioned manners such as learning to look adults in the eye when they are talking to them and say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’!
Each child is given the opportunity to reach their full potential in whichever area they excel in and to help them build confidence in themselves and their abilities.