Your questions answered
When can my child start Nursery?
In the term that your daughter turns 3 years old. For example, a child who turns 3 on 12th December could start in the September of that year.
Do you take boys and girls?
We are a girls-only school.
Does my daughter have to be out of nappies?
Yes, we do request that your daughter is out of nappies, however, the team are very experienced in helping children become toilet trained and we are here to help - just bring lots of spare clothes!
Can she have a nap during the day?
Yes, we can cater for naps (usually following lunch), however, they do not always like missing out on other activities, so they may not want to.
Will I know if she has eaten her lunch or had a nap or not?
Yes, we always record what your daughter has eaten and how much, as well as letting you know if she has had a nap and for how long.
What are the ratios in your nursery and how many different staff/adults will interact with her?
We adhere to a minimum of 1 member of staff to 8 children.
Do I have to bring lunch or snacks for her or do you provide food?
Everything is provided for your daughter - breakfast (if they are in from 7:30), mid morning and afternoon healthy snacks, a hot lunch and pudding, as well as an evening tea.
My daughter is a fussy eater / has allergies – how do you monitor mealtimes?
There are always two members of the team on duty at mealtimes. This allows the girls to have support when required. Staff eat with them, so that we can model appropriate behaviour but offer encouragement to try new or unfamiliar foods. We will never force your child to try something, but we may start with a smell, a lick or even just allowing it on their plate. If you are at all worried about this then please do come and speak to us. Allergies and dietary requirements are catered for and your daughter will have a colour coded card in the lunch hall to alert all staff, if they are unable to eat certain foods. In the Nursery we record what they have had for lunch and how well they have eaten.
My daughter loves to be outdoors – what does your nursery offer that she would enjoy?
We are outdoors throughout the day and even when we are based in the classroom, the doors are always open, so if your daughter loves the outdoors, she will love it here!
My daughter is shy and doesn’t like leaving me – how would you deal with this?
We usually offer 2 or 3 settling in sessions but if your daughter requires a slower pace or introduction to nursery life, we are very happy to work with you to ensure a smooth and happy transition.
What is Reggio Emilia and how is that different from other nurseries I have looked at?
We are inspired by the Reggio Emilia as an ethos. It was developed in Italy and its roots are based on the child and that they are full of curiosity and enthusiasm with a never-ending capacity to learn and become involved in the world around them. So, while we introduce themes and topics for the children, we never quite know which direction they will take it! Reggio talks about the 100 languages of children, and this is seen in the many and vast ways children learn through everyday experiences. We encourage this curiosity, willingness to 'have a go' and pride in their achievements.
We achieve this by using our Learner Qualities. Our learner qualities are: Brave, Reflective, Inquisitive, Collaborative, Kind and Sparky.
When you say child-centred learning, what does that mean?
We focus on your daughters' interests, ideas and needs, value what they say and incorporate this into our planning and activities. In essence, we become the facilitator to their learning, putting your daughter at the centre.
How do you encourage children to take risks?
It is hard to let your child do an activity for the first time, but with encouragement and understanding of dangers, children soon become very aware of their own capabilities. We are risk averse but not always risk free. We encourage children to assess any activity rather than pointing out potential pit falls, for instance when we were looking for sticks to make a campfire, we opened up a conversation about fire, what it is, how can we stay safe, what should we do when it is lit. The girls even came up with their own safety rules of how to carry a stick safely. It is all about experiences!
How will my daughter learn how to read and write?
We follow the National Curriculum on Letters and Sounds, introducing 3 - 4 sounds each term. We have a phonics-based activity each day, alongside lots of stories, songs, rhymes and mark making. It is always done in a fun way and the girls like nothing more than going on a letter hunt.
How do you teach maths?
Maths is everywhere from understanding that a bigger cup will give you more milk to seeing how many things can fit in a box. These everyday experiences are invaluable in your daughter's learning and we will extend this by putting questions or challenges to them such as: How many girls are in today? How may cups will we need? Do you think we have enough milk? I have 1 apple and there are 4 girls, what do I need to do?
What should I expect my daughter to be able to do (read, write, arithmetic) as she grows within Nursery?
We would expect your daughter to have a good sound understanding of numbers up to 5 (this is much more than just counting by rote, but understanding what makes 5, understanding more and less than, and also a focus on space, shape and measure. Phonics is important and an enjoyment of books/stories and rhymes is integral to this. We will help children to hear and say initial, middle and end sounds in words as well as being able to know some of the letter names and sounds.
Do you use technology in Nursery and if so what do you teach and how much time each day is spent on screens?
We do use technology in Nursery. The Clevertouch board is used daily. This can be to mark make, watch a short clip about a particular theme, complete a maths-based activity or just sometimes the girls request a bit of a dance! We also used iPads to record their progress and girls use these to take photos when exploring outdoors.
How much time do children have to explore specialist subjects such as music, tech, dance, languages, science and outdoor learning?
Music, French and Ballet usually last for 30 minutes. Sessions are longer for Gym and Cookery. Outdoor Explore and STEM activities can last for as long as they are happy taking part in it (usually between 45 -90 mins).
What do Nursery children do for sport and exercise?
The girls have ongoing access to the outdoor play area throughout the day, climbing the tree, building with crates and blocks, balancing apparatus, skipping, hoops. In addition to this we offer Ballet and Gym as well as utilising our 11 acres to explore.
How much interaction do the Nursery children have with the older students?
The girls in Nursery have many opportunities throughout the day and week to be with older girls. This includes daily morning play with Reception and Assembly with the whole school three times a week. There is also Outdoor Explore and Cookery once a week with Reception and Year 5 book friends once a week.
How do you prepare Nursery children for their move into Reception?
Transitions can be an anxious time for parents and children, however, through ongoing sessions with Reception and the Reception teacher the girls already have a very good bond before moving into the Reception class. This ensures a smooth and seamless transition for all. In addition to this, in the Summer term they will spend extended sessions with another nursery child to join in with the Reception class.
I think my daughter has SEN – how will you support her?
We welcome all girls and if they have any SEN needs we will work with them, you, and other agencies to help support them and help them reach their potential.
How will you keep me informed about my daughter’s day and progress?
We will always have time to provide a handover at the end of your daughter's session to let you know how her day has been. We also complete online learning journals through Tapestry and will upload photos and observations for you to look at and for you to leave comments.
Do you have a learning journal that shows me how she is progressing and in which skills?
Yes, Tapestry learning journal will inform you of all the exciting activities that your daughter gets up to and we as practitioners will link these to areas of learning within the Early Years Foundation Stage.
Can you offer help and advice if my daughter can’t sleep, suffers from separation anxiety or if I have other concerns?
We are here to help in any way we can. Between us, the team has had many years of experience, not just as Nursery practitioners, but also as parents, so please come and speak to us. We may be able to help and suggest something that you have not tried, but most importantly, we are here to listen and support.