Nursery & Kindergarten FAQs
What happens at playtime?
There are a variety of activities on offer at playtime, encouraging all the children to be actively engaged. There are camps and dens, a giant sandpit to create sand-cities, a living willow area for those who like to sit quietly, outdoor stage for those who like to dress up and perform as well as large construction items to build with. The woodland remains a favourite spot to chase in and out of and our large log climbing frame with extended bark area is very popular too. There are three adults on duty who closely monitor what the children are doing and liaise with the class teachers when necessary.
What extras will I be asked to pay in addition to the fees, particularly when my child moves through into Reception, Year 1 and Year 2?
We charge for very few ‘extras’.
We are passionate about offering an all-round rich learning experience and endeavour to include as much possible within our advertised fees. In Nursery and Kindergarten, Early Morning Club (from 3 years old) and workshops with visiting artists are all included. If you decide you wished your child to stay on at the end of the school day and join our After School Club until 5.30pm (from 3 years old), there would be a charge for this and for ballet classes.
In Reception, Year 1 and Year 2, school outings and workshops with visiting artists, as well as Early Morning Club, are all included in the fees. Gym Club and Singing Club for KS1 are also free; however there is a charge for other Clubs, such as Judo, Ballet, Funky Dance and our After School Club.
How can I communicate with school?
We encourage personal daily contact and written notes in the individual home-school link books. Information can also be found on our class notice-boards, newsletters, calendars and our website. Regular letters and emails are sent out from class teachers and the Head of Pre-Prep, and there are regular Parents Evenings.
What happens at lunchtime?
Our staff sit at the tables with the children and serve the meal. The youngest children are seated on high-backed pews and are provided with appropriate sized cutlery. We monitor closely what the children are eating and drinking, and ask that the children try a bit of everything. We also encourage good manners, use of cutlery and ‘please and thank you’!
Are there any opportunities for outdoor learning? I don’t want my child in a classroom all day!
We have wonderful grounds and like to make the most of them come sun, rain or snow. In addition to regular playtimes, we hold many lessons out of doors in the fields, woodland or around the pond. Children are encouraged to look for minibeasts in the woodland, study wildflowers, note seasonal changes, plot the play areas, go on a ‘sense walk’ and participate in a wide variety of enjoyable outdoor activities.
What do I do if my child is not yet toilet trained?
Our staff work alongside parents to help the children become toilet trained. Children may attend wearing ‘pull-ups’ and we ask that parents provide spare underwear and wipes. We celebrate any successes with you!
How can I support my child’s learning?
We value parental support and appreciate that learning takes place beyond the classroom. Do visit our classrooms and chat with the teachers, particularly at the end of the sessions. We strive to communicate effectively about what is happening, so do find things at home to support what is going on in class. There are also plenty of ways to let us know about your child’s interests and achievements. Do let us know if you have any talents or interests you can share with us. We are always looking for volunteers to support our ‘Puzzle It Out’ sessions on a Wednesday morning from 8.20 – 9 am throughout Pre-Prep.
How do you teach reading skills?
As and when the children are ready, the teachers will introduce phonics – the ‘sounds’, as building blocks for reading. Towards the end of the Kindergarten, children may start to bring home boxes of sounds or simple words to show their parents, and within a fortnight of joining the Reception classes, we hold a Reading Workshop for parents to attend.
What should I do on the first day?
What should I do on the first day?
Maintain a calm positive attitude! Set a routine and explain to your child what is going to happen, and then stick to that routine. Always give yourself time so you are not rushed and anxious – don’t respond to anxiety with anxiety! If your child is anxious, distract their attention by playing with the toys set out or pointing out their friends in the class and other items of interest. Above all, don’t worry, we are only a phone call away!
How can I support my child before he/she begins school?
Encourage independence in self-help skills such as: dressing, eating, using the toilet and separating from you.
Encourage good social skills such as sharing and taking turns. A parent class representative will probably contact you before joining; do take the opportunity to arrange play dates to familiarise your child with other children. The children will also be invited in for ‘taster days’, do come to these and pop by at other times.
Encourage your child to develop their language skills; listening and responding.