Kender Nursery is a large nursery led by Rowan Smith. In the classroom there is an Early Years Teacher supported by three Early Years Practitioners, one Inclusion Learning Support Assistant and an Early Years Practitioner apprentice.
Our most recent Ofsted inspection says of our outstanding provision that “children in the Nursery and Reception experience an excellent start to their education. The rich learning environment and sharp focus on developing their literacy and number skills help them to make rapid progress.“
We believe very strongly that young children learn best by playing and by following their own passions and interests. We support the children's learning by ensuring our curriculum is rich and varied and provides challenges that stimulate their interest and follow their passions, particularly outside in our lovely, large garden.
Our nursery focuses on developing confident and independent children who are able to make informed choices and decisions for themselves, whilst developing a caring and considerate attitude towards other people and their environment. We believe that the consistency provided by regular sessions and routines, a familiar and consistent peer group and staff team, are significant factors in developing these life skills.
In Nursery, the staff focus on the prime areas of the early years curriculum; developing the children’s communication and language, personal and social skills and physical skills through daily interactions during free-flow time and through specific carpet sessions. We strongly believe in the importance of focussing on these skills to enable children to access the specific areas of the curriculum (Literacy, Maths, Understanding the World and Expressive Art and Design).
Application and Nursery places:
Children can start at our nursery from 3 years of age. Application forms for children who have turned two can be obtained from the school office or downloaded online using the link below. Proof of address and a copy of your child's birth certificate will need to be provided. Places in our Nursery are allocated using the Lewisham School Admissions criteria.
We offer part time places of 15 hours per week, 3 hours a day in the morning or afternoon. These are either 8:40 - 11:40 or 12:30 - 3:30. We try and offer as flexible an offer as possible to fit with your circumstances and are happy to discuss individual requirements.
We also offer full time places for parents who qualify for 30hours free childcare. Information regarding the criteria for eligibility can be found here:
As our school days are slightly longer than most schools, we charge a top-up to cover the extra hours of £18.75 per week. Parents of fulltime children will also need either to provide packed lunches or pay £11 per week for the school lunch.
Outdoor play is a fundamental part of the EYFS and children in nursery and reception have access to the outside area for most of the day. Margaret McMillan, one of the founders of early education, said that children need space as much as they need food and air, in order to grow. Children love and need to be outside and often learn more effectively outside. We plan very carefully for the outside area so that we are offering a range of challenging and motivating activities that stimulate children’s development. The areas of learning that are inside are mirrored outside but are on a larger scale.
Transition from Nursery to Reception
Children who start reception will be given a settling period in which they will only stay for half a day for one week. This allows children to settle well and feel confident in their new environment.
Children who are coming to reception from Kender Nursery will have had the opportunity before they start to go to the reception class and meet their teacher and begin to get used to the new routine. In reception the children will be introduced to literacy and numeracy sessions in the morning. The session will gradually increase in length as the children mature and get used to the new routine. Children will be learning phonics following the 'sounds write' program and mathematics following the maths mastery program.
Learning through play
Play is a natural way for young children to learn it is important to allow children to play so that they can make sense of their world. Children learn through a range of different play experiences these encourage children to develop their communication, cooperation, and negotiation skills and to build on their imagination, creativity, problem solving skills.
‘A messy child is a happy child’
Children are encouraged to experience a range of activities. Sometimes these activities are messy. This is an important part of their learning. In reception children are required to wear uniform yellow polo shirt, green jumper or cardigan and grey or black trousers and shoes.
Assessment in the EYFS
Each child in nursery and reception has a ‘learning journey' in which observations, photographs and samples of work are kept. Your child’s profile is an open record and we encourage parents to contribute information so we get a full picture of your child’s development.
Practitioners make observations of each child in each area of learning to develop a picture of what each child knows and how to take the child further in their learning. These observations are made throughout your child’s time in nursery and reception and are used termly as an assessment.
Before your child moves up to Year 1 the information is shared with the Year 1 teacher so that they build a picture of your child before they start.
Working with parents
We believe that working closely with parents is vital in order to keep a rounded picture of each child’s development and we are asking parents to make their own observations of their child’s development to share with practitioners in class. Parents are encouraged to look at their child’s profile and will be given the opportunity to come in to the class during open mornings. You are welcome at any time to share information and discuss your child’s development with us.