At St. Sidwell’s, we have a 30 place Nursery, providing the Early Years Foundation Stage for three and four year olds. The Nursery is part of an exciting Foundation Unit, which is purpose built for Nursery and Reception aged children, where the provision is of the highest quality. The Nursery is lead by a fully-qualified Early Years Teacher, Ms Susan Tong, and a highly experienced Teaching Assistant, Mrs Linda Lockyer. We have an excellent Early Years Apprentice and Early Years Practitioners who support learning too. Reception and Nursery children share the Unit with each class having their own special area as well as shared areas and resources.
There is a spacious, secure outdoor learning environment where children can use large equipment and wheeled toys and they benefit from play and learning activities throughout the year. There is a grassed area with a mud kitchen and safe access to the school grounds which includes an orchard, grassy banks, hedges and a fenced pond. Indoors, the area is carefully planned to accommodate the interests and needs of young children with a Home Corner, soft furnishings, a quiet space for reading and resting, a snack and self service drinks area as well as many interesting and creative activities.
Nursery children have opportunities to take part in school activities and special assemblies or celebrations, where appropriate. In this way, nursery children become familiar with the building, with other adults in the school and with some of our expectations, all of which greatly assist transition if they continue at the school into Reception class.
All families are entitled to 15 hours government funded nursery education each week during the term following their third birthday and most are also eligible to apply for additional hours under the 30 Hours scheme. We offer a range of sessions for parents to choose from, including a full school day, as follows:
Mornings – 8.45 a.m. to 11.45 p.m. (3 hours)
Afternoons – 12.30 p.m. to 3.25 p.m. (3 hours)
All day – 8.45 a.m. to 3.25 p.m. (6 hours with 45 minutes lunch session at an additional cost of £1.20 plus the cost of the meal, should you choose to have a school lunch)
Children who stay all day may pay for a school lunch prepared on the premises or will need to bring a packed lunch. Those children attending for only half a day will not eat lunch at school.
You are able to choose any combination that suits you, subject to availability, and for those who are not eligible for the 30 Hours funding additional sessions may be bought at a cost of £12.00 per session. (As from 1st September 2021 fees will increase to £12.60 per session) If you wish to buy extra sessions, you need to commit to a term at a time, and pay weekly in advance (or in full if you prefer). Click here to pay online. We may be able to accommodate temporary changes to your child's attendance in exceptional circumstances for example if you move house or your working hour change.
We are also able to offer extended hours child care (Fun Club), at an extra charge. This means that our school is able to provide quality child care linked to nursery hours to enable your child to be in school from 8.00 a.m. to 5.45 p.m. if this is what you require.
Applying for a place in the Nursery
Parents/carers wishing to apply for a place for their child in the nursery need to read the governors' policy on nursery admissions and complete an application form (available from the office) and return it to the school. Parents may take up their 15 hours free entitlement from the term after their child's 3rd birthday or purchase nursery hours during the term before, after their child's 3rd birthday.
A few weeks before your child is due to start in the nursery we will contact you to arrange a Stay and Play visit at school with your child. At this time we will find out about your child, show you around our setting and confirm the date to start in the class. We do expect a parent or carer to be prepared to stay with their child for the first few sessions, until they feel secure and happy to be left. We find that this process of Stay and Play then coming to school with a family member, usually enables children to have a smooth transition into the nursery class.
Many of our children do not speak English when they start in our nursery but they very quickly learn to understand and then communicate in English. All our children learn through active, engaging play using familiar toys and other objects. We do a lot of singing and frequently repeat favourite songs, nursery rhymes and stories using actions and pictures. This helps all our children learn to communicate effectively which is essential for their development and learning.