1. At what age do you take children in nursery?
Children start in the Nursery in the term after their third birthday. We ask that the children are potty trained and out of ‘pull ups.’
2. What are the Nursery hours?
The Nursery hours are 8.30am to 3.30pm.
We are able to offer wrap around care from 7.30am with our breakfast club and our after school care, ‘Little Spires’, runs until 5.30pm. The children who attend Little Spires are given a substantial snack to keep them nourished until they go home. Wrap-around care is an extra charge; please refer to the fees section for more information.
3. Can my child have a taster session before starting?
Once your child has been registered to start in our Nursery, we will invite them to a taster session for an hour and a half without a parent. The children are welcome to bring a special snuggly toy so they have something familiar with them. These sessions will allow children to become confident with the Nursery staff, other children and the environment
We are happy for the children to have a gradual start to nursery, building up their time in nursery over a period of time.
4. What is the Early Years Foundation?
The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) sets standards for the learning, development and care of children from birth to 5 years old (the end of the Reception year). It focuses on seven areas of learning which are delivered using stimulating and multi-sensory approaches focused on nurturing each child on their educational journey.
5. What activities will my child do at nursery?
A variety of activities are on offer to the children each day ranging from creative play activities to aid numeracy and literacy, construction and problem-solving, story time, free play and rest time after lunch. In addition, specialist teachers from the Prep School teach music, ballet, French, computing and sport lessons each week. We also make the most of our 27 acres of grounds through our extensive programme of outdoor learning. This is underpinned by the EYFS curriculum and complemented by structured direct teaching. Activities are carefully planned with play-based learning valued. Each Friday morning the whole school together for an assembly in the cathedral; parents are welcome to attend this assembly.
6. What will my child be given to eat and drink?
All of our snacks and hot lunches are homemade on site by our dedicated catering team using local and fresh ingredients where possible and are included in the fees. The children are given a morning snack in the nursery, alternating between fresh fruit, hummus & crudités, and homemade flapjack. A two-course lunch is served in the school dining room (the Undercroft). The lunch menu is rotated every 4 weeks.
If your child arrives early for breakfast club, cereals, toast and, on most mornings, a hot option are served. If your child stays for little tea after school, sandwiches, cake and fruit are served in the Undercroft between 3.30pm and 4.00pm.
7. Can you accommodate dietary requirements?
Yes, we can accommodate all dietary and cultural requirements including vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free and nut-free.
8. How many staff will there be at nursery?
We work on a ratio of 1:8 in our nursery. Our maximum number for any one session is sixteen children.
9. What qualifications do the staff have?
All of our EYFS staff are qualified level 3 or above early years practitioners. All staff have annual paediatric first aid training and up-to-date safeguarding training.
10. What happens if my child is taken ill at nursery?
Our school nurse, Mrs Jan Hunt will look after any child taken ill during the school day, and if necessary, contact the parents to collect them if they need to be sent home. All children who have sickness or diarrhoea must be kept off school for a period of forty-eight hours with no reoccurrence.
11. How much will it cost to attend the nursery?
Please refer to our fees page for full details.
12. Do you accept childcare vouchers?
Yes, we accept the government childcare vouchers for up to fifteen hours per week.
13. How do you communicate with parents?
We value parents as partners and wherever possible we enjoy speaking to them to ensure that any queries or worries are dealt with as quickly as possible. There are plenty of opportunities for us to do this; at the end of each day or by telephone if more convenient to do so. We value having an open dialogue with parents to ensure that we are able to meet the needs of each child and support their development.
As well as daily updates from the staff, a weekly bulletin is sent out to all parents via email every Friday with short write ups and photos about the week’s activities, and notices about future events. A more-detailed newsletter is sent out at the end of each half term. We encourage our parents to follow us on Facebook and Twitter to keep in touch with daily school news. All of the children in the nursery have their own learning journals which are sent home each half term for parents to read. We also hold parents’ evenings and write termly reports. Parents can also book an appointment to speak with a member of staff at any time.
14. How can I prepare my child for starting reception?
Many of the Reception class have already attended our Nursery and will be used to the routines, staff and buildings. Children joining us from other settings will be welcomed with open arms. We will contact you prior to the children starting to offer you some settling in sessions. We also have a little booklet ‘My School’ which enables children to look at pictures of their new classroom and teachers.
There are no special preparations needed for starting in the reception year. It would be helpful if parents could encourage their child to start being independent when getting dressed and undressed, to be able to put on their own coat and shoes and to be independent when eating their meals.
We do not expect children to know their letters or numbers but if they could recognise their christian name this helps them to look after their own belongings and find their coat peg. As parents, one of the most helpful things that we can do is to ensure that all belongings including uniform and shoes are clearly named. This greatly increases a child's ability to be independent and be ready for play and PE in good time. We are always there to support when things get in a muddle!