About Nursery & Reception
Nursery (From 2 Years old)
For our youngest children, we have our Marist Nursery, our dedicated centre for children from 2 years old. Nursery places are offered to girls looking at staying on into Reception in the first instance. We also accept boys into the Nursery, if they are brothers of current students, sons of Marist staff or Alumni. Nursery welcomes children from all faiths, and our Religious Education sessions focus on respect and caring for each other. Along with the Reception class, the children follow the Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum. The Marist Nursery is very much part of community life within the Preparatory Phase and, when appropriate, the nursery class joins the rest of the school for assemblies, concerts, and fun.
You can choose which sessions your child attends, with a minimum of 4 sessions per week. A session is classed as a morning or afternoon period.
What do we do at Nursery?
The main thing is that we have fun! We want our children to be curious, build on their independence and develop a thirst for learning. Play and child-led exploration underpins everything that we do at The Marist Nursery. Our staff support the children in their own unique learning journeys through a range of engaging activities and build on each child’s development through “In the Moment” play and adult-led activities.
As we are a full-time school nursery, we work alongside the Prep Phase ‘Creative Curriculum’ to provide a rich learning experience by using a thematic approach. This allows us to introduce the children to new concepts and areas of learning, while still following their interests. We use various fiction and non-fiction texts to support and facilitate learning in all seven areas of the Foundation Stage which are:
• Communication and Language
• Physical Development
• Personal, Social and Emotional Development
• Understanding the World
• Expressive Arts and Design
Our creative curriculum allows for the children’s own ideas and interests to develop. The children have access to our Nursery outdoor environment on a daily basis, and also take part in Outdoor Learning where we regularly venture beyond our own Early Years area into the school’s woodland for our timetabled forest school sessions.
Throughout our curriculum we organise fun-filled events as part of the school day, which focus on the children’s interests and invite them to explore the world of their imagination. Every stage has an element of surprise as we aim to create a sense of ‘awe and wonder’ to engage the children in their learning. We inform parents of the different texts we are using, some of the activities we may be doing, and how you as parents can support your child’s learning.
As the Nursery is very much part of the whole school setting, we are lucky enough to have weekly specialist sessions including Outdoor Learning, Ballet, Swimming, PE, and Music. Qualified teachers and specialist leaders provide these sessions using all of the facilities available at The Marist.
Monitoring and Assessment
We are lucky to have an online tool, ‘Evidence Me’ which we use to record observations and videos of the children’s learning across the Foundation stage. This information is shared every half term with parents. One fantastic element of this tool is that as parents, you can upload photos and videos from home. We love receiving these and seeing the learning that happens at home too. We then add them to your child’s personal learning journey and link them to the seven areas of learning.
Reception (Academic Year Children Turn 5 Years)
Nursery children naturally move into the Reception class, where they are joined by girls who have come from different Nursery settings. All children are warmly welcomed and supported as they begin their start to school. Children in Reception are full-time but during their first days, they have the option to finish at lunchtime as part of the transition process. Children continue to follow the Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum with an emphasis on daily Phonics, Literacy and Maths.
We strive to make transitions as smooth as possible to enable the children to feel safe and secure in their surroundings. All children new to The Marist Early Years department will receive a home visit from our staff to begin the transition process and build relationships with you and your son or daughter. We also offer taster days for the children to spend time either in Nursery or Reception before they start.
Children moving from Nursery to Reception and Reception to Year 1 also follow a transition period as we never underestimate the importance of supporting the children when they transition to a new class or key stage.