Places are offered for our Nursery and Reception classes in the summer term prior to admission. Once places have been accepted, parents and children are invited to visit the School towards the end of the summer term for an Early Years open day. This provides an opportunity to meet the staff, as well as other parents and children joining the School, and to learn more about the School and its expectations.
Children are eligible for a nursery place during the school year in which they have their fourth birthday. Each child attends for 15 hours per week, which is equivalent to five sessions. The Belmont Nursery is open for five mornings and three afternoons each week and, to provide some flexibility for families, parents are able to express preference for half-day sessions (mornings or a combination of mornings and afternoons) or an option which includes one full day and three half days each week. Nursery hours are 8.45 - 11.45 am. (9.00 am start for the option with a full day) and 12.30 - 3.30 pm. Those remaining for lunch eat between 11.45 - 12.30 pm. within the nursery setting and under the supervision of one of our Early Years practitioners. The Nursery is self-contained, with its own entrance, three spacious rooms, toilet facilities and an outdoor area.
The induction period for children in the Nursery is carefully planned to develop the relationships between home and school and to allow each child to become known as an individual and to feel confident and secure within the setting. Early in the autumn term, the class teacher and another member of the nursery team make a home visit to each child. Children and their parents are also invited for a drop-in morning or afternoon with the other children due to attend the same sessions. This enables staff, children and parents to begin to get to know one another and gives parents the opportunity to ask questions. In their first two weeks, children attend for half their sessions so that group sizes are kept small.
Full-time education begins during the school year in which a child has his or her fifth birthday and, after an initial induction period, children attend school between 8.55 am and 3.15 pm each day. There are two Reception classes, each with its own teacher and full-time Early Years practitioner. The classrooms both open onto a shared outdoor learning environment and the Ground Floor Hall which contains areas for role play.
Prior to admission, Reception staff make a home visit to children in the class who were not in the Belmont Nursery and contact any previous nursery they may have attended to ensure a smooth transition. All parents and children are invited to a drop-in session at the beginning of the autumn term. Children attend half days only for the first week in groups of 15 and, in the second week, finish school at 1.00pm to allow them to adjust to the lunchtime routines. During this settling period, we provide opportunities for parents to meet with the Reception staff. This is an opportunity to share information about individual children in order to ensure their needs are fully met.