We follow Curriculum for Excellence (Early Level) which consists of eight areas:
- Expressive arts
- Health and wellbeing
- Religious and moral education
- Social studies
Over the course of the academic session all curricular areas are covered. Staff consult with the children about their interests and existing knowledge, and skilfully use this information to deliver learning experiences that are child-centred, challenging and progressive. Our planning is displayed on our “Learning Wall” which is located in the foyer area of the Nursery.
In the nursery, children are very motivated and participate enthusiastically in a range of worthwhile learning experiences. They are developing their independence very well as they select activities and resources with confidence. (HMIe November 2016)
Our Day in Nursery
Children are immersed in play-based learning, moving freely between rooms. This encourages children to explore, develop interests and become independent, competent learners. We come together during the day for welcome time, stories, songs and focused learning relating to the children’s current interests.
Outdoor play is integral to our approach to learning and development and takes place every day in our large, enclosed garden area. This purpose built, outdoor learning space is equipped with a mud kitchen, large sandpit, bikes and scooters. The outdoor area is also resourced with natural materials such as wooden decking, crates and tyres. Children are encouraged to think creatively, develop their problem solving skills and improve their ability to assess risk in the environment.
The children visit the school library each week. During their visit the children are able to browse and choose a book to take home. They also enjoy storytelling with the School Librarian and spend time discussing their stories.
The children participate in a music and movement session with our specialist music teacher in the Junior School Music room.
Physical Education (PE)
The children enjoy a weekly Physical Education session with our specialist PE teacher. This session takes place in our well-equipped school games hall, extends the children’s gross motor skills and encourages cooperation and teamwork.
The children attend a Gymnastics session each week which is delivered by a fully qualified coach from Hamilton Gymnastics Club. The children are encouraged to take risks using the approved professional equipment.
A weekly French lesson is delivered by a Junior School modern language specialist and is supported by Nursery staff by conversing with the children in informal ways throughout the week.
Junior School Assembly
The Nursery children join the Junior School children each week for an Assembly. In Assembly we are together as a school community to promote positive behaviour, develop and understand our Christian Ethos, and celebrate achievements.
Health and Wellbeing
Keeping Children Safe and Secure
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 systems: at College entrance and Nursery Department
• a signing in system for both parents and children
• robust training in health and safety, child protection and first aid
• regular fire evacuation practices
• regular risk assessments carried out on playrooms, outdoor spaces and activities
• enhanced staff : children ratios
Snacks and Lunchtime Experience
The Hamilton College Catering department has been awarded the national Healthy Living award. Endorsed by the Scottish Government and NHS Scotland, this award recognises and rewards catering establishments that offer a menu based on the general principles of a healthy balanced diet that has been developed to be in keeping with Scottish dietary targets.
The Nursery children choose from a varied menu each day. They eat with their peers and Junior School children in the dining hall, promoting lunchtimes as social occasions used to highlight nutrition and shape eating patterns. (“Setting the table - Nutritional guidance and food standards for early years childcare providers in Scotland”).
Eating together with Junior School helps the children with their transition from Nursery and provides an opportunity to see their siblings and friends. Buddies from J6 help and support Nursery children during their lunchtime experience.
All snacks are included in the fees. A two course hot lunch is also included in the cost of a full day session. Lunch menus can be viewed here. If your child has any allergies or special dietary requirements our Catering Manager will accommodate this.
The Nursery operates an open door policy and we welcome the opportunity to work collaboratively with parents and carers. Parents and carers will be invited to participate in a range of events including stay and play sessions, parent consultations and ongoing evaluations of service delivery.
Staff provide informal updates on your child’s learning and development on a daily basis. More formal parent-staff consultations are held twice a year (October and March) Additional consultations can be arranged if necessary.
We will keep you informed through:
• monthly newsletters
• digital learning journals (parents are able to access and comment on this portfolio)
• Hamilton College Website and Facebook Page
• displays in Nursery reception and cloakroom