The beginning of a life-long journey…
Early childhood lays the vital foundations upon which everything else is built.
That is why we have a state-of-the-art Nursery, which celebrated its four-year anniversary in September 2022 since the grand opening, and welcomes children from nine months. The Nursery, which is known as The Garden At Kingswood, is open for 45 weeks of the year with an option of an extra five. It provides a nurturing, inspiring and challenging environment for children to play, learn and interact with staff and other children.
Never content to stand still, we take a strong lead on innovative practice. The Nursery and Early Years at Kingswood Prep School are focused on aiding the children’s development at every stage. We warmly invite you to experience the School for yourself, and we look forward to welcoming you.
Anna Ballanger: Common Questions When Beginning Nursery
Anna Ballanger, Head of The Garden at Kingswood Prep School, discusses the key questions asked by parents when starting their child on their journey into early years education.
“As a parent, it can feel hard to put the care of your child into someone else’s hands for the very first time, and you may worry about how they are going to settle away from you. However, there are things that you can do at home with your child to help prepare them and you for the changes ahead.
Do take the opportunity for a home visit if it is offered to you. This gives your child a chance to get to know their key person, whilst feeling secure in their own home. Their key person will have a special role in helping them settle and make progress, and will be a vital part of your partnership with the Nursery. As all children are different, a bespoke settling in programme will respond to the needs of individual children – some may need lots of short sessions before they are ready to be left, whilst others may be confident after a couple of sessions. During these settling in visits, make sure you chat with the room staff, so your child knows that you trust the people you are going to be leaving him or her with.
Talk to your child, so they know what to expect at Nursery and what their day will look like. Read books about starting at Nursery and involve them in purchasing new items for Nursery, such as a bag or uniform. Children pick up the anxieties of their parents, so make sure you appear confident and happy to them, however hard it may feel to leave them. Nursery staff are experts in making children feel safe and happy in their care, and will always call you if there are any problems.
Prepare your child at home for their start by getting them used to Nursery routines. This may include sitting on a chair around a table for meal times, going to sleep without being rocked or walked in a pushchair, or taking milk from a bottle or cup instead of being breastfed during the day. See if you can work towards the timings of your Nursery day at home, for example finding out when lunch is served and doing this at home for a few weeks before they start.
A Nursery will work with you in partnership to find out what is best for your child, so do share any anxieties or information that will help staff to get to know you and your child better. Joining a Nursery is a huge adventure for children, and this extra time spent preparing them before they start will make the experience a very positive one for them and you.”
The Garden at Kingswood welcomes children from nine months for 50 weeks of the year and, since opening its brand new building in September 2018, children have been able to enjoy Kingswood Prep School’s state-of-the-art facilities, including the wonderful new Art Room and multi-functional Hall.
Whether its creating crafts and paintings with the Year 6 Art Monitors or dancing in the Association Hall, these engaging spaces have given the children fantastic opportunities to discover creativity and individuality through a range of diverse activities.
With an emphasis on exploration and enquiry through outdoor education, we provide a unique first step into a school-based environment.
If you would like to find out more about availability at The Garden or have any questions regarding the admissions process, please don't hesitate to get in touch.
In the Early Years curriculum, we provide a happy, stimulating, exploratory experience for our children within a unique and secure setting. First and foremost, our aim is for the children to develop important life skills, such as curiosity, creativity, persistence, resilience, imagination, confidence and resourcefulness.
We know that when children have an outstanding educational experience during their early, formative years, it not only aids their brain development but also shapes their lifelong attitude towards school and learning. For this reason, we place a strong emphasis on meeting children’s individual needs and providing a balance of both spontaneous and carefully planned activities to suit a wide spectrum of learning styles.
Early Years at KPS provides the time and opportunities for children to prepare for school: to develop as individuals, form relationships, learn to collaborate, cultivate their creativity, make sense of their world in their own unique ways and establish a lifelong love of learning.
Our curriculum focuses on interactive experiences and working with specialist teachers on exciting topics and themes over extended periods of time. The children are encouraged to investigate the events around them that have real meaning for them. We strongly believe in the importance of teaching holistically and grasping learning opportunities wherever they arise.
Our passionate staff are powerful advocates for the children and families in their care, working in partnership with parents and providing information and support on a wide range of issues. The staff at KPS have the emotional warmth and intuition to recognise the uniqueness of each child.
Our teaching focuses on encouragement, sensitivity, support, child-initiated activity and modelling skills, with a strong focus on developing and supporting language and social skills. Specialist teachers for Gym, Spanish, Maths and Science work with the children throughout their time in the Nursery and continue to support them as they progress through KPS Pre-Prep.
The Nursery children at KPS love to explore the School’s vast and beautiful grounds, whether this involves sharing a story among the trees, playing in the magical secret garden or taking some calculated risks with friends in the adventure playground.
The Nursery children are very much a part of the School, joining in for School events and assemblies from time to time as appropriate as part of a rich and varied day. From the beginning of their time in Nursery, children are immersed in the Kingswood ethos, which makes the progression to Reception natural and easy.