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The Best Start for All

The Best Start for All

In this article Rebecca Philips and Naomi Kyte, Nursery Managers at Salisbury Cathedral School, talk about the benefits of choosing a nursery within a school setting and how this is now a choice available for all.

Traditionally, choosing a nursery within a school setting has been perceived as more suitable for families with a stay-at-home parent. Happily, this is no longer true. Salisbury Cathedral School offers daily, high-quality wraparound care, from 7.30am to 6pm, and fantastic holiday clubs run by school staff to ensure all children can enjoy the myriad advantages of being part of a school prior to Reception.

Quality of education is an obvious benefit of choosing a nursery within a school setting. The staff at Salisbury Cathedral School always have an eye on what pupils will be doing in Reception and how to best prepare them. The children are introduced to the ‘Supersonic Phonic Friends’ – the gentle phonics scheme featuring woodland animals which is used throughout Pre-Prep – and encouraged to develop their phonic learning early on. Introductory numeracy is also woven into the fabric of every day, hidden in free flow indoor and outdoor play directed by qualified and experienced staff.

Small class sizes ensure staff are able to be flexible to the unique needs of every child in their care and the opportunities each day provides. For example, if the sun is shining they can get outside into the school grounds for exciting outdoor learning opportunities such as foraging and pond dipping. Smaller classes also enable the staff to provide a level of nurturing difficult to deliver in busier settings. It is a particular strength at Salisbury Cathedral School where we value each child as an individual, and pride ourselves on meeting their needs.

Being part of a larger school also provides marvellous opportunity for nursery pupils to enjoy specialised teaching in music, physical education, French and dance on a weekly basis. The children not only benefit from the expertise of the subject specific staff, but also begin to get to know the staff who will be by their side as they develop through the school. Linda Cunningham-Brown, Reception Teacher, and Head of Pre-Prep, similarly spends time with nursery regularly to help ease their transition to Reception.

This continuity of staff is another advantage of joining a nursery which is part of the school your child will attend. It is supported by continuity of environment, routines, and friends too. Environmental familiarity and ongoing friendships will be invaluable as your child faces the many challenges of growing up as well as s/he greets the exciting and varied opportunities on offer in a stimulating school

such as ours. A child’s early years are full of new experiences, people, and environments. Providing stability within their learning environment can offer valuable support to enable them to enjoy the excitement of these challenges without being overwhelmed.

Joining a school setting also means your family is introduced to the rhythm of the school year. Even though Salisbury Cathedral School offers extensive holiday provision, there is a distinction between term times and holidays. Your nursery child can enjoy all the excitement of the end of term and getting ready for school, while you can rely on continued support through the holidays. What’s more, the range of clubs and activities on offer will ensure your child will feel comfortable and enthused to attend because they will see their friends and know the staff.

One other all encompassing advantage of choosing the nursery within your chosen school is community. You and your child, in fact your whole family, can join a community which will enhance your life for many years to come. Here at Salisbury Cathedral School, the Head Master greets everyone at drop off and pick up most days. This homely welcome sees most every child beaming as they walk in and encourages the sense of community which enhances the school. Nursery has an open-door policy for parents to pop in and see their child’s work and teachers, and events throughout the year welcome parents and extended family into school whenever possible too.

So, when choosing a nursery for your child do consider the many advantages of choosing a setting within a school. Your child will benefit from high quality education, small class sizes, specialised teaching and continuity of environment, staff, and friends; while your whole family will enjoy a welcoming community that you can grow within.