“Children develop quickly in the early years, and early years practitioners aim to do all they can to help children have the best possible start in life.” (DfE 2012)
At Castle Mead we believe in investing in our early education. We recognise that children in the Foundation Stage learn best and most effectively when they are given the opportunity to explore, investigate and learn about things that interest them. Carefully planned opportunities which are informed by the children’s fascinations ensure that children are actively engaged in their learning and development. Topics may last a day, a week or even a half term depending on where the children take their learning.
Adults in the foundation stage focus on what the children can do, their stage of development and what their next steps are in order to support them in meeting their full potential. This is an exciting way to learn and teach and we share the children’s learning journeys regularly with parents/carers.
At Castle Mead we pride ourselves on how included the nursery children are within the main school. The children play alongside the reception children during their independent learning times where they are provided with a range of multi-sensory resources in both the indoor and outdoor environment. The children are also taken into smaller separate groups where the adults focus on teaching particular skills. The children regularly use areas such as the school hall for lunch and the library and their confidence in sharing these learning spaces has been highly effective in the promotion of their independence and in supporting a smooth transition into school.
- 8am – 1pm
- 8am – 3.30pm
- 8am – 6pm
- 1pm – 6pm
The nursery opens at 8am and closes at 6pm.
Each session will include –
Independent learning. This is where we will place out a range of activities based on the children’s interests and to support each aspect of their learning. The adults within the room will observe the children and extend their learning through their choice of activity.
Circle time and BLAST (Boosting Language Auditory Skills and Talking) intervention. An opportunity for children to engage with adults to develop their listening, attention and communication skills. This will include very early stages of phase 1 phonics.
Adult led activity session. These are based on the children’s interests and level of development and cover all aspects of the EYFS development matters. During this time we encourage creativity, independence, discussions and participation. Snack is incorporated and planned for using one of our prime areas of learning as we see this as a vital opportunity for children to develop.
Independent learning and outside play. Both environments are set up by using a range of provocations to stimulate individual interests. The nursery team observe this session closely to understand each child’s development and next steps.
Together time. Activities are planned whereby the children will look at a variety of opportunities such as: media, stories, re-enactment etc. to develop self-esteem and confidence. These are changed each term to support our current topic.
Transition activities. For children leaving and joining during the day.
Tidy up time. Where children are encouraged to tidy up at the end of their free flow session, supervised by the nursery team.
We try and use a wide variety of activities depending on the season such as story time, welly walks, ring games and exploratory walks.
Lunch time / Tea time
Nursery children, along with reception children go to the school hall to have their lunch. Our philosophy at Castle Mead is to create a sociable, friendly supportive family environment while eating healthy food at lunch times. Children can bring their own healthy packed lunch or pay to have a hot school dinner, which needs to be booked in advance. Our hot school dinners are freshly prepared on site each day by our Catering Team who fully understand the importance of healthy eating. Staff oversee the children and encourage discussions about their food. For example – where does food come from?
We are able to take children into the nursery at the start of the term that children are turning three. If you are in receipt of two year old funding then your child will be eligible for a maximum of 15 hours of Free Entitlement (subject to availability). If not, you will be charged at the current session rate. Free Entitlement for all children starts the term after their third birthday.
If you are interested in our nursery please contact the school office who will be able to assist you in the admissions process or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org