Learning Through Play
We follow ‘Curriculum for Excellence’, Scotland’s curriculum for children aged 3-18. We deliver the curriculum through the medium of play in order that children can develop and learn in an active and experiential way whilst having fun. The curriculum consists of eight areas:
- Expressive arts
- Health and wellbeing
- Religious and moral education
- Social studies
The children also benefit from professional Gymnastics coaching and the expertise of specialist staff from the Music and PE Departments who regularly work with the children. Music sessions currently take place twice a week, Gymnastics coaching, French lessons and PE sessions once a week.
Children can also attend speech, language and drama tuition for an additional cost.
Parents also have the option to accompany their children in attending swimming lessons with Making Waves. An additional cost for these lessons applies.
Details of which activities our Nursery children do on each day of the week are available from our Nursery Manager.
Nursery newsletters provide parents further information on the adventures that children have been having at Nursery.
Keeping Children Safe and Healthy
The health and safety of the children in our care is of paramount importance and is reflected in our provision and practice. This includes:
- Secure door entry system
- Signing in system for both parents and children
- All Early Years' Practitioners receive training in health and safety and child protection
- Personal plans for each child to meet their needs
- Regular fire evacuation practices
- Regular risk assessment carried out on playrooms, outdoor spaces and activities
- Provision of healthy snacks and drinks
- Provision of a hot or cold meal at lunch time, in the School Dining Hall
- Supervised tooth brushing on a daily basis
Working in Partnership with Parents and Carers
The Nursery operates an open door policy and welcomes the opportunity to work collaboratively with parents and carers.
“Even when it is busy and I’m collecting my daughter, I am always able to speak to someone about how her day has been.” (Current Parent)
Parents/carers will be invited to participate in:
- Curriculum planning and evaluation of service delivery
- Our Parents' Group to shape policy and practice
- 'Stay and Play' mornings with their child
- Nursery sessions to share expertise or skills
- Trips, outings and seasonal events such as, gardening or making costumes for Nativity
On a regular basis, staff will provide informal updates on your child’s learning and development. More formal parent-staff consultations will be held twice yearly, normally in October and March/April. Additional consultations can be arranged if necessary.
Staff will also keep you informed through:
- Monthly newsletters
- Display boards in Nursery reception and cloakroom area
- Meet the Teacher evening
- Parent Information Folder (in nursery reception area)
- Hamilton College Facebook page
Getting Ready for School
For children moving into Hamilton College’s Junior School the transition is made smoothly and confidently. Throughout the year, the Nursery works closely with the Junior School, using their facilities and attending joint events. From February until June, all children moving into J1 will be provided with the opportunity to attend Active Start sessions. These sessions involve children in structured play and allow them to make choices as well as consolidating skills and knowledge across all curricular areas. These activities take place in the Junior School Active Learning Room working collaboratively with J1 pupils. These sessions also allow children to adjust to the setting of the Junior School and provide familiarisation with key staff. At the end of the academic session a detailed transition record will be completed for your child. Parents and children will be provided with the opportunity to comment on this before it is passed to your child’s teacher.
Entry to our Junior School is through a selection process and children are required to meet entrance criteria. An Application to Join Hamilton College is available from our Admissions Team. All children will be required to attend an Assessment and Experience Day in January. Ongoing monitoring of children in the Nursery will also provide further evidence of development and learning.
If your child is moving to another primary school every effort will be made to contact the school and to make arrangements for all necessary information to be passed on. If the school requests a visit to us they will be warmly welcomed.
The Nursery is inspected by the Care Inspectorate and by Education Scotland who publish reports on their findings. Every year the Nursery produces an improvement plan to ensure that our service continues to meet the needs of all children and their families.