Barrow Hills School in Witley has announced that it will offer nursery provision for children aged two and above, starting from January 2016.
The on-site nursery will initially offer a maximum of 12 high-quality places for children during the school’s academic year. It is envisaged the nursery will help to create a greater choice and flexibility for parents and make it easier for them to access the childcare and early education services they need. The required staff-to-child ratio for two to three year-olds is 1:4 so the move to extending the age range at Barrow Hills also provides local employment opportunities as additional qualified staff members will be appointed.
The ‘learning’ focused hours of nursery will be from 8.15am to 3.15pm, with ‘wraparound’ care offered from 8am to 6pm to fit with the demands of modern working life. Existing floor space within the Early Years Department will be used to accommodate the nursery which, alongside some interior building work and the purchase of premium age-related furniture, play equipment, educational toys and resources, will complement the existing pre-prep portfolio.
For many years, Barrow Hills has provided excellent care and education for the Early Years Foundation Stage (ages three to five) via its Kindy and Reception classes. This, combined with the Key Stage One intake (years one and two), has traditionally represented the school’s pre-prep intake. The decision to provide a nursery facility at the school provides parents with access to a seamless education for their child from the age of two to 13 years – ensuring the consistency and continuity that helps to create a stable and secure learning environment. The aim is to provide an easy transition for children and for parents; it is anticipated that the availability of care for younger children will be especially beneficial for families with an older sibling already in attendance at Barrow Hills.
Headmaster, Matthew Unsworth, said: “It’s important to us that the start of every child’s educational journey is a happy one and the Early Years framework is the basis for all our teaching and learning. By exposing children to early education in a safe, caring and social setting it helps to improve the academic ability of toddlers and give them a head start in their learning, providing a grounding for their education in a special environment where children can flourish.”