Nursery (ages 3-4)

Welcome to the Nursery at The Mead.

This is where it all starts, where those first positive experiences set your child up for a lifetime of learning. It is in these critical early years that he or she will develop their long-term attitude to school.

Therefore all our focus is on creating a warm, happy and nurturing environment in which your child can develop. Our Nursery should be an extension of home, a safe and cheerful place, full of reassurance, play, friends, support and imagination. Here we encourage the complete development of the whole child, helping them to mature into loving, independent, thoughtful individuals. While the emphasis for the child is on happiness and fun, behind the scenes, our planning of the curriculum and the general organisation of the school is carefully crafted to support every aspect of their development.

Learning is fun!

Children settle quickly into Nursery, making friends and increasing in confidence as they explore the world beyond their immediate family. At each step, and with our extremely experienced staff on hand to support and guide, our boys and girls develop and master new skills, try new experiences, and tackle fresh challenges.

We follow the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) curriculum, which has seven areas of learning:

Communication and Language development gives children opportunities to experience a rich language environment; to develop their confidence and skills in expressing themselves; and to speak and listen in a range of situations.

Physical Development is all about being active and interactive; developing co-ordination, control, and movement. Children also learn about the importance of physical activity, and how to make healthy choices in relation to food.

Personal, Social and Emotional Development involves children developing a positive sense of themselves, and of others; forming positive relationships and developing respect for others. Children develop social skills and learn how to manage their feelings; how to understand appropriate behaviour in groups; and build confidence in their own abilities.

Literacy involves linking sounds and letters and beginning to read and write. Our children are given access to a wide range of reading materials to ignite their interest.

Mathematics at this stage focuses on developing skills in counting, understanding and using numbers, calculating simple addition and subtraction problems; and describing shapes, space, and measure.

Understanding The World helps children to make sense of their physical world and their community through opportunities to explore, observe and find out about people, places, technology and the environment.

Expressive Arts and Design gives children the opportunity to explore and play with a wide range of media and materials. Children share their thoughts, ideas and feelings through a variety of activities in art, music, movement, dance, role-play, and design and technology.

With the emphasis on fun and play, there is plenty of learning happening, and even our youngest children begin delving into the wonderful world of words and numbers, science and languages! There is time too for storytelling, creativity, music and physical activities. They have access to delightful outdoor play areas and enjoy adventures further afield in their Forest Learning sessions.

As they get older, the children extend their problem-solving skills and begin learning phonics, steadily building letters and sounds.

Drama and music are an important part of life in the Nursery and all the children take part in our annual Early Years Nativity Performance. Our Nursery children also have weekly PE and French lessons and have the opportunity to take ballet and judo classes.

Getting ready to move on

As the children move into their second year of Nursery, our focus shifts towards developing independence, tackling early-learning skills and preparing them for the move to big school. With an eye on their continuing education, we ensure that transition into Reception class is seamless and approached with enthusiasm by the children. They are already so much a part of the Mead family, attending assemblies, eating their lunch in the dining hall, and being fully involved in events such as Sports Day and the Harvest and Easter services.