For prospective Nursery parents and carers
At The Giles’ Nursery we provide parents and carers with the best possible educational start for their child. For the last three years our Early Years has been judged to be ‘outstanding in all areas’ in external inspections, most recently by Hertfordshire County Council in November 2017. Our ethos is one of aspiration and high achievement and our values, which you can read on our “About Us” page, underpin all that we do. Central to our approach is an expectation that we will work in partnership with our parents and carers so that:
we meet the individual needs of each and every child;
each child makes excellent and rapid progress, whatever their starting point;
we provide an inclusive, rich and stimulating environment so each child can play, develop and learn in a happy, safe and creative way.
Our approach to learning
We offer a loving and nurturing environment that allows our creative skills-based approach to learning to flourish. This approach is a holistic one and develops early literacy, numeracy and scientific investigative skills in an engaging and cross-curricular way. This means that in Nursery your child will enjoy and benefit from the emphasis we place on:
learning through active engagement – role-play is a key learning tool that helps our children develop their communication and language skills, their ability to socialise and interact with others, their confidence and their personal and emotional skills
adopting a topic-based approach to learning – we choose topics so they appeal and are inclusive to all children; they enable pupils to develop their understanding of the world, their scientific investigative skills and how they express themselves through the arts and design
- challenge – we provide activities that engage our children in developing problem-solving skills that will foster resilience and team-working, extend thinking and provide early opportunities for sustained thinking and reasoning skills
enrichment – our light and spacious Nursery classrooms contain flexible activity zones that facilitate, for example, music-making, phonics learning, scientific investigation, celebrations of our local community and its diversity and IT skills development.
- extending learning beyond the classroom – our outdoor Nursery areas are well-resourced, weather-proof and fun! In addition to a well-equipped outside, secure playground there are large canopied areas allowing all-year-round learning with special role-play areas, sand and water. Last September we created, with the help of our active PTA, a wonderful Sensory Garden where children can dig and plant a variety of herbs, flowers and plants. For next September we are creating a new ‘Enchanted Garden’ for Nursery pupils right next to our newly developed ‘Eco-area’, which is planted with natural and native plants.
As well as the extensive outdoor resources outlined above, our Nursery benefits indoors from excellent facilities to support our children’s learning, including a computer bank to enable IT skills’ development, a range of musical instruments, arts and crafts resources, and an interactive white-board.
In 2016 we achieved the last stage of the HQS (Herts Quality Standard), a kitemark for outstanding practice in Early Years.
Our staff team
We place great value on having highly qualified, experienced Nursery Nurses and a professional staff team in our Nursery. Children who attend The Giles Nursery benefit also from the higher than average staff : pupil ratio that we are able to provide. This means that:
each child is exceptionally well supported to achieve their early learning goals
a smaller number than usual in pupil groups can participate in a wider variety of activities at any one time
progress is closely and regularly monitored and assessed with any interventions specifically designed and targeted to meet individual needs
It also means that for those children who have special educational needs we are able to provide high-quality, consistent and often one-to-one support throughout the Nursery stage.
At the end of the Nursery stage, children who are entering our Reception in The Giles Infants’ School are assured of a smooth transition. We take pride in the level of support we provide at this crucial stage of our children’s development. During the summer term Nursery pupils spend time in the Reception classrooms, getting to know the staff – many of whom are qualified Nursery Nurses – as well as the physical layout and play areas of our lovely, well-resourced new reception building and gardens. Our Nursery and Reception staff also meet together to discuss in detail the progress, attainment and achievement of each child to ensure their needs continue to be met on an individual basis on entering Reception.
We place great value on our relationship with our parents and carers, whose involvement is critical to our pupils’ learning and achievement. As well as having an ‘open door’ policy, we actively engage parents and carers in many different ways, for example, through:
curriculum talks, discussions and presentations
‘home-to-school work’ such as sending maths bags, rhyming rings, books home to enhance learning with a parent or carer at home
We believe it important that we communicate with parents and carers at every stage of their child’s development and we know that parents value this highly. In our most recent 2015 Nursery survey:
100% of respondents felt the staff worked well together
100% said they felt that the settling in period was supportive
100% said that the Nursery leader and team made them feel welcome as a parent to share their views
And across the whole school:
100% said that their child was happy and enjoyed school
100% said their child felt safe at school
100% said their child enjoyed learning
In the words of the parents themselves (about Stay and Play):
“It has been an amazing experience watching them playing and developing throughout the year. Being able to notice how much my daughter has changed in terms of confidence is priceless”
“It has been a joy to watch [my child] interact with his friends during Stay and Play and to be given the opportunity to see how he grows during his nursery sessions…….It has also been an exciting time for [him] to show me what he has been working on in school”.
The Giles Nursery and Infants' School has a splendid purpose-built nursery. All children from the term after they are three are entitled to 15 hours of free early education for 38 weeks per year until they start full-time school usually after their fourth birthday.
We are able to offer:
60 morning places, five mornings a week for 38 weeks a year (15 hours a week)
60 afternoon places, five mornings a week for 38 weeks a year (15 hours a week)
Under the government’s new ‘30 hours free childcare’ scheme we are able to offer extended 30 hours free provision to eligible parents as part of the above 60 morning/60 afternoon allocation. Such offers are always subject to availability and for term-time only. To see if you qualify for this scheme please visit www.childcarechoices.gov.uk.
If you find you are not eligible but would like to purchase extra sessions, this will be possible subject to place availability.
Morning Sessions: Start at 8:30am and ends at 11:30am
Afternoon Sessions: Start at 12:30pm and ends at 3:30pm
We also offer a lunch club from 11.30am to 12.30pm which is included under the 30 hours’ free provision; for 15 hours’ only pupils there is a small charge per session to cover our additional costs. This must be booked in advance and children will need to bring a packed lunch with them from home.
You can download an Application Form from our ‘Information for Parents’ section of this website or request one from our main school office (telephone 01438-359747).
You can submit your application by post or via email from 3 January to 16 March 2018. We will not allocate places until the closing date for receipt of applications. Please visit the Admissions page in the 'Information for Parents' section for more information and details of our Admission Arrangements (see link below).
Visiting our Nursery
If you would like to find out more about our Nursery please do come to one of our Nursery Open Visits from November through to February. For details about these please ring us on 01438-359747 to find out the dates and times of our next Nursery tour.