Choosing the right Nursery and Pre-School for your child is such an important decision, which is why we have compiled a list of FAQs to help answer those all-important questions. If you have any more questions, please contact the Nursery directly.
Nursery Manager: Mrs Lynne Baines (01245 236 144 | firstname.lastname@example.org)
Admissions Registrar: Mrs Caroline Elder (01245 236 192 | email@example.com)
Are you open all year?
Our Pre-School is Term Time only but with the option to sign up for our Holiday Scheme, which runs throughout the school holidays. Fees for attendance at the Holiday Scheme are available on request.
Our Nursery is open all year round (51 weeks) with the option to be Term Time only or Full Time.
How are fees charged?
Full year fees are charged on an annual basis, with an allowance for closure between Christmas and New Year, four further weeks for bank Holidays and other family holidays, which may be taken at any time. Full year fees are payable in twelve monthly instalments, which are due on the 1st of each month. One month’s notice is required for cancelled places.
Term time fees are based on school term dates and fees are payable termly in advance on the first day of term, or over a 9 month period 1 August to 1 April. One term’s notice is required for cancelled places.
Is there a deposit?
There is a non-refundable registration fee of £100. Once you have registered your child and we offer a place, a further £100 acceptance deposit is payable, this is returned after the child’s last term subject to terms and conditions.
Do you have a minimum session requirement?
Children may attend for either a full day or morning only session, with a minimum of 4 sessions per week in Nursery and a minimum of 6 sessions per week for children in Pre-School. A full day is 2 sessions.
What are your hours?
A full day is 8.00am to 6.00pm. A morning session is 8.00am to 1.00pm. An extended day from 7.30am to 6.30pm is available on request, at an additional fee. You can choose either the extended morning or the evening, or both. This can be ad hoc.
What is the earliest time I can pick up my child?
Many parents ask this! We follow the School timetable as a guide, so our structured learning ends at 3.15pm, which is in line with the Pre-Prep Division. Parents are asked to indicate what time they anticipate collecting their child when they register so that we can work out staff rotas and catering numbers for supper, which is served at 4.30pm. Children are collected between 3.15pm and 6.00pm, or 1.00pm for the morning session.
Can you book ad hoc extra sessions?
If we have the availability, then yes you can pre-book extra sessions. These extra sessions will be added to your invoice accordingly.
What do your fees include?
Fees include a cooked lunch and supper, as well as a morning and afternoon snack (as appropriate to attendance). Breakfast is included in the additional fee for attendance during 7.30am – 8.00am.
Do you cater for allergies?
We work closely with our Catering Department to ensure that all allergies are met and dietary requirements are catered for, where possible.
Do the children wear a uniform?
Our children in Pre-School wear a uniform (full details are available in our Parent Handbook on request). Our children in Nursery do not wear a uniform but are encouraged to wear practical clothing to allow them to fully participate in all activities. We ask that all children bring a pair of wellington boots to keep at New Hall for Forest School, visits to the Farm and muddy play in the garden! We also suggest bringing spare clothing for all children!
What will my child do all day?
Pre-School (Hazel Class)
We follow the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum that covers birth to the end of Reception. This is a play-based curriculum covering seven areas of learning:
- Communication and Language, Physical Development and Personal, Social and Emotional Development (the three Prime areas).
- Mathematics, Literacy, Understanding the World and Expressive Arts and Design (the four Specific areas).
We use objective led planning that allows us to follow the individual child’s interests whilst ensuring that the learning objectives are being met. We have weekly specialist subjects that are taught by teachers from the Pre-Prep Division: Forest School, Music, Dance and P.E. The children are also able to take up co-curricular activities outside of school.
A typical day in Pre-School
Children arrive between 8.00am and 8.45am. We have registration, followed by Dough Disco to get the children up and moving, ready to start the day full of energy! We have set times for the specialist subjects and dedicated time for phonics, mathematics, ICT and R.E. We are a Catholic Pre-School and Nursery, so this is an integral part of our day. We have a snack early morning and lunch at 11.45am. An afternoon snack is offered around 2.00pm, followed by a cooked supper at 4.30pm. Our structured learning ends at 3.15pm. Free flow access to our garden is available all day as we value the importance of fresh air and exercise!
Nursery (Sycamore Class & Cedar Class)
Children arrive between 8.00am and 8.45am and we have a circle time (registration) at 8.45am, which involves lots of beautiful singing and stories! Our children in Sycamore Class (ages 2-3) enjoy a day filled with a mix of structured learning and play. We begin to introduce the specific areas of learning more formally yet relaxed!
We follow the children’s interests and recognise the importance of schematic play (behaviour patterns). In Cedar class (1-2s), it is very much play-based, with the focus on just the three Prime areas. We need to build the foundations in this class in order for them to progress further. We develop a love of learning by providing exciting and fun-filled activities, such as cornflour gloop, shaving foam painting, water and sand play and lots of role-playing to develop their imaginations. We do lots of singing and storytelling to encourage language development. We often visit the farm and the Library to take advantage of the amazing School grounds! We have children that are at different stages of development, with different needs, so our planning and approach is differentiated according to the needs of the individual child.
A typical day in Nursery
Morning registration with singing and prayers. Free play with a focused activity related to a theme or topic, arts and crafts, exploration. Morning snack, lunch at 11.30am, dedicated sleep or quiet time between 12.15pm and 2.00pm, afternoon snack and supper at 4.30pm. Between these timings, the day is filled with fun and stimulating activities to encourage language development, physical development and relationship building. The specifics are introduced softly so that the children are not even aware that they are being taught! The whole Nursery and Pre-School come together every Friday for collective worship.
Will my child be able to sleep?
Equally important is rest! We have dedicated sleep areas with individual mats, sheets and blankets. Our rooms have blackout blinds and sectioned lighting to allow for a quiet space. We follow a parent’s routine and wishes as closely as possible, and this means that we may have children sleeping at different times during the day, which is perfectly fine. We tend to find that once a child has settled into the Nursery routine, they naturally adapt to those around them and quite often follow a different routine to that at home. This becomes their ‘Nursery’ routine! The children are always supervised when asleep and never left alone.
Do you provide formula or nappies?
We do not provide nappies due to allergies. Children are all so different and parent preference is always best. For this reason, we ask parents to provide their own nappies and wipes and formula, if required. We ask that either cartons of formula are provided, or an unopened tin to remain at Nursery. Parents bring their own pre-sterilised bottles and we make up the feed and return the rinsed out bottles.
How do you settle children?
We believe that settling a child in at Nursery or Pre-School is completely individual; no two children or families are the same! We ask to meet with the family before registration to not only allow you the opportunity to see the building and meet the staff, but also to gauge a feel for the child and to get to know more about them. We would usually suggest a shorter session to begin with, if the child or parents are apprehensive, and to gradually build this up. Having said this, some children prefer to dive straight in! We often have the emotional roller coaster whereby a child starts amazingly well and then crashes two or three days later. This can be emotionally difficult for parents, but it is perfectly normal. Whatever their start, we guarantee that they will soon be smiling and eager to come to School every day to be with their friends!
Parents are welcome to stay with their child in the Nursery for a little while of the first session, but again, this can sometimes cause more distress when mummy or daddy leave! We therefore try to encourage a positive goodbye and handover so that your child can see that you are happy to leave them. Your child will have a keyworker who will be responsible for their development and learning journey, and they will encourage positive relationships to be formed as early as possible.
What are your ratios?
We have a ratio of one adult to three children in Cedar Class (ages 1-2), one adult to four children in Sycamore Class (ages 2-3), and one adult to eight children in Hazel Class (ages 3-4). We often have smaller groups. Our staff are all highly experienced and qualified Early Years Practitioners and all have paediatric first aid training.
Cedar Class has a maximum capacity of 12 children per session. Sycamore Class has a maximum capacity of 16 children per session. Hazel Class (Pre-School) has a maximum capacity of 50 children per session. In Pre-School, the children are always split into smaller groups for specialist subjects, and small focus groups when direct teaching is occurring.
How do you communicate to parents? How will I know how my child is doing?
We continually observe children as part of the EYFS and we record these observations and link them to the relevant areas of development. These are recorded on our online Learning Journey portal called Tapestry. Parents are given an individual login, which enables them to look at their child’s learning journey and to also upload their own videos, and photos, as well as make comments to our observations. This is a very useful communication link.
We also provide each child with a home/school liaison book and write notes in this. We encourage parents to check this daily and to use this as a communication tool if they do not have the time at drop off. We will also provide verbal feedback at the end of the day, if practical to do so!
We offer two formal parents’ evenings during the academic year. these provide the opportunity to discuss your child’s development with their keyworker and the Nursery Manager. We operate an open-door policy and actively encourage parents to ask any questions they may have at any time. There is no such thing as a silly question!