At Ramillies Hall Nursery, the children are taught and cared for in 3 separate departments, according to their age with each group occupying their own building.
Led by an Early Years Teacher and a Level 4 qualified practitioner, our Early Years Department is housed in the Former Ramillies School buildings, which have been remodelled to provide a warm and welcoming, stimulating environment where we teach and care for our 3 and 4 year olds.
The building is entered via a large cloakroom where children store their coats and bags and change into their indoor shoes. They then make their way up the stairs to enter the department where they self register on our welcome board and staff greet them and tell them which rooms are ‘open’.
Our Early years department comprises a series of rooms, each with a distinct feel. The first main play room is our investigation room where children can construct with small and large construction equipment, explore nature displays, play with small world toys, use our interactive whiteboard to play educational games or for guided internet research or take part in sensory activities. Opposite this room is a small gathering room. This is used for small group or one to one activities as well as for gathering the whole group together to celebrate birthdays and achievements, to introduce topics with the help of the whiteboard, to have a good singsong or to do circle activities. Many of these circle activities are led by our Emotional Wellbeing Co-ordinator and explore emotions, feelings, behaviour, golden rules and social aspects of our lives.
Around the corner is a beautiful library where children can of course enjoy a huge range of books, both fiction and non fiction, use the computers, play games, take part in Letters and Sounds Groups and tell their own versions of stories using story sacks and baskets and our puppet theatre.
The next room is for more general play such as role play in the home corner, making music in the music corner, or practising mark making and early writing skills in the writing area.
Finally is our large creative room where there are opportunities for painting, collage, model making, making our own playdough and exploring other sensory materials. Adjacent to the art room is the toilet room with 4 child size toilets and sinks to encourage independence. Linking the rooms at this end of the building is a Mark making corridor where children can practise large scale drawing and writing on our large black board, white board, or to use magnets on the magnetic board.
Our Early years children also spend a lot of time outdoors, using the large well equipped garden, visiting the field or going on local walks. Morning and afternoon snack times take place in the Early Years building, but at lunch and tea time, the children go downstairs to the dining hall where they are joined by the toddler children.
The routine in the Early Years Department is a balance of child initiated and adult led activities and play. Children have plenty of opportunity to explore the rooms and the exciting range of activities on offer, but there are pause points during the day where children take part in adult led activities either in a large group such as for physical activities including yoga, or small groups. Small groups can mean they are with other children in their Key Group but we also group children by their stage of development for some activities such as Letters and Sounds.
If you decide you would like your little one to join us, about a month before they are due to start, you will be invited in for a visit with them, to meet the team and in particular your child’s Key Person. All children in the nursery have a member of staff who is their Key Person. This is the person who will get to know you and your child best and help them to settle in initially and monitor their learning and development. They will keep a learning journal using our Online system “Famly” where you will be able to see observations about your child’s learning and development. After the initial settling in meeting, we will invite your child in for some settling in sessions at different times of the day so that we can get to know them, and they get to know us.
If you choose Ramillies, you won’t be disappointed. We have a fantastic team of practitioners with a good level of qualifications and all trained in Paediatric first aid. Our Early Years Department is led by Louisa who is an Early Years Teacher and Cherise who is a level 4 practitioner who has been at the nursery almost 20 years.