Welcome to our Nursery (rising 3 - 4 years)
Our Nursery is where the story begins. Nursery is housed in a 16th century building in which Cardinal Wolsey sketched the plans for his college with a garden in the shadow of Christ Church's imposing frontage. Our Nursery is kept deliberately small so we can focus on the individual needs of each child. The Nursery children enjoy making mud pies in their outdoor 'Mud Kitchen' and in sunnier months delight in nature classes in our Woodland School, walks on Christ Church Meadow along with a weekly Yoga session.
Nicolette English, Head of Nursery
Rachel Holt, Nursery Teacher
Katrina Somerville, Nursery Assistant
‘Teachers are ‘most brilliant’ and ‘fantastic’, say CCCS parents’, Good Schools Guide 2021.
Normal Nursery School hours are from 8.15am - 3pm (the morning session ends at 1.30pm). Breakfast club is available from 7.45am and after school care is available for older Nursery children until 5.30pm. Before and after school care is staffed by our teachers which allows for continued care and support.
A day in the life of our Nursery
From 8.15am - children can enjoy free play with their friends in our inviting and colourful Nursery environment. We follow a weekly timetable which not only gives children a routine and structure to each day but also helps prepare them for transition to Reception and a sense of belonging to the whole school environment. A group storytime combined with lots of music, singing and discussion gives children the chance to share news with their teachers and friends. We play number games, open the ‘sharing’ and ‘sound’ bags and work on our ‘letter sound’ of the week.
10.15am - children have fresh fruit for morning snack along with milk or water. We encourage them to serve themselves including pouring their own drinks (and clearing up any spills with a sponge - usually a popular activity!)
10.30am - 12 noon - teacher-led or adult-initiated activities when we spend time working with each child according to their interests or stage of development. We plan many activities using Montessori materials. We observe, assess and plan for each child in line with the Early Years Foundation Stage.
11.45am - 12.15pm - Lunch is eaten in the dining hall alongside all boys from the Pre-Prep department. A hot lunch is served and staff sit and eat with their classes. Children all use a napkin, say a Grace of Thanks and wait for their friends before eating together. Healthy eating and table manners are a primary focus during this time.
12.15pm - 1.30pm - after lunch we spend at least an hour in our Nursery garden. During the warmer months we have free flow to the outside environment throughout the day. As well as a large sandpit and climbing structure, there are bicycles, stilts, hoops, a water tray, planks and crates, which offer lots of opportunities for the children to manage their own risks and develop strong motor skills.
1.30pm - Teacher-led clubs start including: Le Petit Club française, (an introduction to learning French); Science Club; Continents Club (including looking at different cultures and religious celebrations); Cookery Club; Outings to museums, the public library or the Cathedral, for example.
Each week the children have a formal music lesson with the Head of Pre-Prep, Miss Farmer and a story time with Mr Murray, the Headmaster. In addition, Yoga and Soccer classes are timetabled weekly. We have large playing fields and a wonderful Woodland School where we take the children and enjoy learning in the outdoor environment.
Each child in the Nursery has a special CCCS school bag and a home/school link book. We ask that they bring them each day so that they have a ‘special place’ to put their finished work. The link book is an ideal way to keep the lines of communication open between home and school and whilst parents are welcome to speak to a member of staff at any time, it is not always possible to talk first thing in the mornings. A simple note in the book telling staff if a child has not eaten breakfast or did not sleep well can be useful. Staff are always available to answer any questions or concerns that parents may have at a mutually convenient time. We hold parent/teacher meetings twice yearly when parents are invited in to discuss their child’s development with their Key Worker.
We also invite parents to join us for Cathedral Assemblies and the many concerts and performances held throughout the year. Nursery children participate in several of these but we warmly invite our families to all School events. These are wonderful opportunities to see many aspects of the Drama, Art and Music departments that the Nursery children will enjoy as they progress through the School.