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. The outcomes that are focussed on for each mind map are displayed on the “Learning Wall” which is located in the foyer area of the Nursery.
Free flow play enabled the children to make informed choices of where, who and what to play with. This improvement supported children as they developed their social and physical skills, confidence, self-esteem and creativity while having fun in accessing a balance of organised and freely chosen learning experiences. Additional activities and experiences were provided by specialist teachers and resources based within the school. This extended children’s learning opportunities and linked in with the transition programme for those children who were moving on from nursery to school.
Quote from Care Inspection Report Feb 2019
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 for welcome time in the morning to discuss what we are going to learn about each day, this promotes the children to have intention behind their learning.
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, curriculum cabin, bug hotel, 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.
We are fortunate that we have two members of staff who are qualified to deliver the Forest School Programme. This takes place once a week in a risk assessed area of forest on the grounds of Hamilton College.
The children attend a Gymnastics session each week which is delivered by a fully qualified acro coach. The children are encouraged to take risks using the approved professional equipment.
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.
From August until December we have a weekly French lesson and from January until June this is replaced with Spanish. These classes are 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.
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.
Junior School Assembly
The Nursery children join the Junior School children twice a 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, nursery staff and Junior School children in the dining hall, promoting lunchtimes as social occasions used to highlight nutrition and shape eating patterns.
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. We also have a “Transition Lunch” one per month, where the nursery children join the J1 children. This supports the transition process
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
- Daily updates/reminders on noticeboard
- “This Is What We Are Doing Today In Nursery” board.
- Hamilton College Twitter account
- Monthly Parents Focus Group