What does our Nursery curriculum look like?
At SCPS Nursery, we follow the Early Years Foundation Stage. We offer a wide range of learning experiences that cover the 7 areas of learning and beyond, for girls aged 2-4. We embrace the connection between home and the very early stages of being in our Nursery setting. The use of Tapestry, our online learning journal, enables us to make that connection between home and school life through the use of photos, videos and messages that can be uploaded by parents and teachers.
Our curriculum is creative, practical and engaging, especially for girls. Outdoor Learning is prioritised as a weekly focus, where the girls participate in welly walks to a nature garden or encouraged to take risks, explore nature, generate new ideas and build social skills through activities within our sizeable school grounds. Our girls are encouraged to develop their risk taking, resilience, team building skills and curiosity from the day they begin their learning journey with us.
Depending on the girls’ age and readiness, there are 3 points during the school year where they may join our Nursery: September, January or April. We strongly encourage you to discuss the right time for you and your daughter with our Nursery teacher, Mrs Agnew. She will consider your daughter’s age, her readiness for the environment, and her needs, and at that point discuss whether she would advise her being part time or full time.
What specialist subjects do we offer in our Nursery and Reception?
Across our Early Years classes, our youngest girls access specialist subjects delivered by our highly skilled and experienced specialist teachers. They are exposed early on to languages. Our curriculum is diverse, challenging and engaging.
Specialist Subjects: French, PE, Music, Mandarin, Coding.
How trained and experienced are our Nursery staff at SCPS?
Our experienced Nursery teacher and excellent teaching assistants are experts in working with Nursery-aged girls. They plan engaging learning experiences, communicate to parents regularly and understand the importance of nurturing as well as challenging the girls. The ratio of teachers and teaching assistants is outstanding, meaning that individual needs are met for every single girl in our care- both socially and academically. The teacher is supported by teaching assistants throughout the school day. Our Early Years team builds secure relationships with our youngest girls from aged 2-4 and know each girl extremely well: their needs, abilities, interests and personalities. We are a family, within the wider school ‘family’. We encourage girls who are above the age of 2 to join us at our Toddler Taster sessions, to gain familiarity and get to know our Nursery, ensuring readiness for the child and also to assure for parents that we are the best place for your daughter.
“The quality of teaching in the nursery at SCPS became immediately evident to us. As a ‘rising 3’ our child benefited from working with a talented and professional teacher at an early age. This formative relationship allowed her to return as a four year old and make great educational leaps.”
Part time and Full time
Part-time hours are five morning a week; this includes lunch at school and pick up is at 1 pm. When she is ready, your daughter will be expected to increase to full-time hours, finishing the school day at 3.20 pm. Our expectation is that all of our Nursery girls will have increased to full-time hours before they start in Reception.
What does our Reception curriculum look like? How are we different from other Prep schools?
In Reception, we follow the Early Years Foundation Stage and we aim for every girl to have achieved the Early Learning Goals by the end of her year in Reception. We offer a wide range of learning experiences that cover the 7 areas of learning and beyond, for girls aged 4-5. The use of Tapestry, our online learning journal, enables us to make that connection between home and school life through the use of photos, videos and messages that can be uploaded by parents and teachers. Via this valuable tool, as well as our weekly blog, parents are regularly updated about their daughter’s progress and current learning.
When is my daughter ready for Reception?
Girls join our Reception when they are aged 4 and turning 5 within the academic year. All of these girls start at the same time in September; they begin the school day at 8.30 am and finish at 3.20 pm. Our Reception girls learn without limits. If they attended SCPS Nursery they have already built a range of skills, their independence and confidence; if they are new to our setting they soon discover and develop these attributes. We facilitate play; we give girls time to explore and encouragement to ‘have a go’. We provide an environment which nurtures a love of learning. Our girls understand that they can have their own interests and are never judged.
“By joining as a ‘rising 3’ girls grow in poise and confidence, aspiring towards some of the older girls in the nursery. This year has been an immense year of consolidation, in which she has benefited from now being a ‘big girl’. Her leadership qualities and intellect have blossomed. The progression from 3 to 4 really solidified my child’s budding interests.”
What progress is made between girls in Nursery to Reception and what does the transition look like?
The transition from either our Nursery or any other Nursery is smooth and carefully planned. We build relationships with parents and girls and welcome them immediately into the SCPS family. We consider this transition between Nursery and School to be a vital part of the girls’ learning journey. We invite girls in for informal play sessions, allowing them to familiarise with the setting as well as allowing our teacher to begin to get to know the girl: her interests, her social interactions and her abilities.
Learning experiences have a significant ‘step up’, maintaining the importance of learning through play yet adding further curriculum opportunities, such as structured art lessons and coding tasks on tablets, and we deliver daily phonics lessons which are adapted to the girls’ abilities.
Outdoor Learning is a consistent part of our programme within the Early Years family and encourages risk taking, exploration and imagination.
What co-curricular opportunities do we offer in Reception?
The Reception year sees girls begin to take on new challenges, such as learning how to play a musical instrument or join extra-curricular clubs (on offer are: Library, Games, Coding or Art).
Reception girls are gradually yet positively integrated into the wider school community. Each girl has a Year 6 buddy reader whom they spend time with on a weekly basis. They develop wonderful relationships and see the older girls as role models. Reception also attend weekly assemblies and we are invited to special performances. We offer a trip every term in Reception, which ranges from picture galleries and museums to farm parks.