The Early Years (Nursery & Reception)
'The children explore, investigate and communicate well and become absorbed in their activities, whether in teacher-led sessions or in their chosen activities."
ISI Report 2016
Nursery Admissions Process
College is delighted to now offer places in the Nursery class to girls aged 2
and a half who can join in the term of their third birthday.
Girls joining in September need to attend a minimum of three sessions (one session = either morning or afternoon attendance) a week, but have the opportunity of signing up for as many sessions as they wish. For some girls this may mean that they attend full-time. In addition, nursery girls can attend Breakfast Club and After School Care.
Girls can join the Nursery Class when they are two and a half. Generally, girls join the Nursery Class in September but we are happy to admit girls throughout the year in the term that they turn three. All children in the term following their third birthday are eligible to receive a maximum of 15 hours education per week regardless of parental income. Click here for information about our pattern of delivery.Those parents who wish to access only 15 hours free Early Years Education will be offered 5 sessions from 10.15am to 1.15pm, subject to availability , until their child reaches compulsory school age. If you wish for your daughter to attend more than 15 hours a week, Kent College offers a flexible balance of full days and morning sessions to suit. The School reserves the right to withdraw from the scheme at any time and will endeavour to give one term’s notice of our intention. By the time your daughter joins the Reception class she will be expected to attend full time.
We also accept girls at the beginning of the spring and summer terms if they have had their third birthday after September. However, please note that these girls will remain in nursery for the following academic year.
The sessions available for these girls entering at the spring and summer terms will be dependent on numbers in our current nursery class.
The Early Years, an introduction
Our main intakes to the school are in the Nursery and Reception classes, which comprise the Early Years Department. They have their own wing of the School with light, colourful, stimulating and well-resourced classrooms and spacious outdoor facilities for play and learning. The two year groups have quite a lot of interaction which ensures a smooth transition from Nursery to Reception.
It is widely accepted that children learn more between the ages of 0 and 5 years than at any other time in their life. Therefore you need to be secure in the knowledge that your daughter will enjoy her first experience of school and that she will be safe, happy, valued and stimulated. This is our aim in the Nursery and Reception classes, which together form the Early Years Department.
"Relationships at all levels are excellent and pupils feel exceptionally happy and safe at school, including the children in the EYFS." ISI Report 2016
We set out to achieve this by combining play and enjoyment with a carefully structured approach to learning. We follow the national Foundation Stage Curriculum which is organised around the seven areas of learning:
- Personal, Social and Emotional Development
- Physical Development
- Communication and Language
- Understanding the World
- Expressive Arts and Design
Within each of these areas there are a number of development matters and learning goals. For each girl the class teacher is required to compile a 'Foundation Stage Profile' which shows how she is doing in each of the seven areas in relation to the learning goals. There are no tests involved, just observation, and this type of feedback is extremely informative and useful for parents.
The learning goals establish expectations for most children to reach by the end of the Reception year, and in many cases our pupils have exceeded these expectations and will be working at the lower stages of Key Stage One of the National Curriculum. A detailed guide about the curriculum will be given to you prior to your daughter joining the School and copies are available upon request.
Our Early Years pupils benefit from subject specialist teachers for dance, PE, music, drama, French and swimming. Dance is an optional extra which incurs an additional cost. Nursery pupils can do ballet and Reception pupils can do ballet and/or modern dance.
"Specialist teaching in French, drama and music effectively underpins the EYFS children's creativity and knowledge of the world." ISI Report 2016
Throughout the academic year, the Early Years enjoy various trips and outings which enhance the curriculum and gives them exciting and unusual ways to develop their knowledge and skills. The Early Years have had recent trips to Leeds Castle, Raystede Animal Sanctuary, Downingbury Farm and Sevenoaks Wildlife Centre. Pupils also benefit from visiting guests which includes authors, artists and even some reptiles from Beaver Water World!
Click on the links below to download our general Admissions information. All are available as part of the School's prospectus pack which can also be mailed out to you from our Admissions department.
Our team of qualified, experienced staff are our most important asset who will support your daughter in every aspect of her development; not only in her academic attainment, but also to ensure her happiness, well-being and progress. Our high staff to pupil ratio ensures each girl gets plenty of individual attention and support. We also have a full-time school nurse.
A unique quality of the teaching in the Early Years is the access the girls have to specialist teachers. This means that even at the age of 3, the girls benefit from the expertise of teachers who are specialists in music, drama, PE, swimming and dance. The girls have access to modern computers and benefit from individual tuition in the teaching of Information Communication Technology (ICT). Both classrooms have their own computer and interactive Smart Board which the girls in Nursery and Reception use on a daily basis.
Nursery Class Session Times & Intakes
Girls can join the Nursery class in the term that they turn three. Most start with morning sessions with optional lunch, building up to full time attendance. The morning session is from 8.30am – 12.00pm excluding lunch, and 8.30am - 12.30pm including lunch. The afternoon session is from 12.3pm – 3.30pm. By the time your daughter joins the Reception class she will be expected to attend full time.
Part of the Community
The pupils in the Early Years Department benefit from being an integral part of the whole Prep School which ensures a smooth transition into Year One. The Early Years pupils take part in assemblies and events such as the Nativity plays, celebration assemblies and whole school events such as the Sponsored Walk which parents can join in too. They enjoy supervised interaction with the older girls at playtimes. The single-sex environment enables us to tailor activities to the girls needs and allows them to develop in confidence without being overshadowed by boys.
Communication with Parents
Communication between home and school is particularly important in the Early Years and parents are encouraged to play an active role in their daughter's progress. There are parent consultations each term and two reports per academic year. The school also has an active Parents' Association, click here for further information.
Prior to your daughter joining, we have a comprehensive induction programme to ensure you and your daughter has a smooth transition from home to school! This includes an information session for parents, an individual consultation with the class teacher, and a fun Taster Afternoon for your daughter when she has a chance to meet the other girls in her class and her teachers. Our class teachers will also endeavour to visit your daughter at her present nursery (where applicable), to get to know her better before she joins us.