At Victoria Park Nursery School we provide early education for children aged between 2 and 5 years, led by qualified Teachers and Nursery Nurses. We are open during school term times and follow West Berkshire holiday dates.
Our morning sessions operate from 8.50am to 11.40am and our afternoon sessions from 12.40pm to 3.30pm. Most families choose for their children to attend either 5 morning or 5 afternoon sessions, however other options are available (see Attendance Options, below). Each Nursery School session starts with a short welcome group where the children find out about any new or different things that may be happening during the day. At the end of each morning and afternoon, the children come back into small groups for a story or singing time with their Teacher and Nursery Nurse.
The main part of the day is a freeflow session where children are able to make their own choices. At Nursery School, the children lead the learning, not the adults. This ensures that they remain enthusiastic, interested and motivated. Our teaching staff focus very much on supporting the children to develop what are called “Characteristics of Effective Learning” in the Early Years curriculum – a set of skills such as exploring, persisting and problem-solving that will help them to become effective life-long learners.
We know that parents think it’s really important for children to have access to the outdoors. At Victoria Park, our beautiful garden is open for almost the whole time the children are with us. They have lots of space to run freely, ride bikes and enjoy our spaces for digging, growing, building, climbing and pretend play.
Ladybirds is our group for 2 year olds, and we provide the choice of 5 morning or 5 afternoon places. If you have a government-funded place, you child will automatically be offered 5 sessions a week. In Ladybirds group, there may also be places for self-funded children. Whilst we offer a minimum of 3 sessions, we give priority to children booking for 5 sessions a week as we find this helps the children settle much more quickly.
In Pond and Garden groups (3 and 4 year olds) most parents and carers also choose morning or afternoon sessions. However, you may also want to consider our “early” and “late” attendance patterns. The “early” pattern is all day on Monday and Tuesday, plus Wednesday morning. The “late” pattern is Wednesday afternoon and all day Thursday and Friday. These patterns are useful for parents who work part-time, particularly if breakfast and tea clubs are added. There is a small charge for early and late attendance patterns, as the children have an extra Lunch Club.
Woods group is our class for children who qualify for the new “30 hours” funding. We are currently running a waiting list for this class, so please speak to our office staff if you are looking for a 30 hours place.
We run a Breakfast Club from 8.00-8.50am each morning in the multi-purpose room in the Family Hub. This can be helpful to parents and carers who work or who have other children to drop off at school. Breakfast includes a drink and cereal and a range of play activities. The children are take straight to their class groups at 8.50am ready for the start of the Nursery School day.
Lunch Club runs from 11.40am-12.30pm. Children bring a packed lunch and eat it with members of their own class, supported by their Teacher or Nursery Nurse. The children enjoy joining their friends in this social activity and then go out to play together in the garden.
Our Tea Club runs from 3.30 to 4.30 or 5.30pm 5 days a week. A drink and snack is provided and children have the opportunity to engage in further play based activities. Tea Club may include an art, craft or cooking activity and is held in the Multi-Purpose room in the Family Hub.
One breakfast, lunch or tea club will be included in your child’s 15 hours of Nursery School and your child’s Key Person will discuss which option fits best with your needs. Additional sessions may be booked if spaces are available and charges for these are listed in our Charges section.
The Government provides funding for 2 year olds from qualifying families and we give priority to these children when admitting to our Ladybirds group. 2 year olds have the choice of 5 morning or 5 afternoon sessions at Nursery School.
Check here for more information about 2 year old funding and to apply online.
During the year, our older children will all have the chance to take part in Forest School. These sessions are run in a local woodland by Sharon Chapman, our Forest School Leader.
All children are entitled to 15 hours of early education each week from the term following their third birthday. At Nursery School, most families choose to take this as 5 morning or 5 afternoon sessions per week. Children can also attend for the first half or the second half of the week. Our How we Learn page has more details of the choices the children have each day.
From September 2017, we have a limited number of places available in each cohort for the Government’s new “30 hours” scheme. In this case, children are able to attend all day Monday to Thursday, and on Friday mornings. One free Breakfast Club is included and Friday lunch clubs and afternoons are available for an additional charge if parents need full-time Nursery School.
Click here for the current Government advice on families who will qualify for 30 hours funding.
To apply for a 30 hours place with us, you need an eligibility code and a National Insurance number. Applications can be completed via this web link.