Nursery Curriculum

We welcome children after their second birthday in to the Parkside Nursery. This is the start of the journey for boys and girls as they experience the very best early years education taught by experienced staff in a truly stunning setting.

The Nursery is a safe, secure building with its own fenced-off playground areas, large spacious classrooms, Music Room with an interactive whiteboard and a Library. All children benefit from using the School’s facilities and are taught by specialist staff for gym, sport, swimming, forest school, music and French. Children staying for lunch enjoy the company of the Pre-Prep boys in the Salon. A highlight of the School year is the Christmas Toy Service and Nativity play which is performed together with the  Reception boys in St Mary’s Church; a beautiful church dating back to the late 7th Century, within the school grounds.


The Early Years Curriculum focuses on the 7 Areas of Learning:

Prime Areas of Learning

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There are 3 prime areas of learning:

  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development
  • Physical Development  
  • Communication & Language

Specific Areas of Learning

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The 4 specific areas of learning are: Literacy, Mathematics, Understanding the World, Expressive Arts & Design.

Through well planned learning opportunities, the children’s individual progress is closely monitored across the Early Learning Goals using ILD (Interactive Learning Diary).

Imaginative play is at the heart of the Nursery; children have the opportunity to develop inquisitive minds and ask questions. Staff plan adult led activities both inside and outside the classroom and there is plenty of opportunity for child initiated learning. Each class has an ongoing theme, which changes regularly, so children are always excited to learn. 

All children are allocated a Key Person who gives the security that helps them to grow in self-confidence. Your child’s Key Person is always available as a point of contact to discuss your child’s progress.

Social skills are nurtured and developed in each session, notably by opportunities to learn through play, during snack time and eating lunch in the main dining hall alongside Pre Prep boys.

We encourage children to be kind, share, take turns and develop positive relationships with both adults and peers. Independence is encouraged by promoting self-help skills in preparation for their school life.

2 to 3 Year Olds

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Children in this age group attend for a minimum of 2 morning sessions a week. The focus is primarily on the 3 Prime Areas of learning (Physical, Social & Emotional Development, Physical Development and Communication & Language). Then, after a 2-year check, all 7 Areas of Learning ('Primary' and 'Specific') are incorporated in to the daily planning. There are weekly sessions in the Gym and sport is taught by a specialist teacher. Children enjoy music and movement, developing their imagination through role play and drama, visiting the Library and using the outdoor learning area and exploring the beautiful grounds of the School.

3 to 4 Years Old

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Children in this age group increase the minimum number of sessions each term in preparation for Reception.

Autumn Term minimum 3 mornings
Spring Term  minimum 3 mornings and 1 day
Summer Term  minimum 3 mornings and 2 days

Children in the Owls have weekly swimming, sport, gym, French, forest school and music lessons incorporated into the timetable. They regularly learn songs linked to topics, developing their imagination through role play and drama, visiting the library and using the outdoor learning area as well as exploring the School grounds.

The children have opportunities throughout the week where they can explore learning phonics and numbers through play and adult lead activities.

Activities / Communication

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Our experienced Early Years team work together to provide a rich learning environment where children are stimulated and challenged by a variety of experiences both in and outside the classroom. They learn through child-initiated play with a structured timetable, ensuring adult-led activities are planned; and where progress is closely monitored against the early learning goals. We focus on preparation to Reception with secure knowledge in early reading, writing and maths skills, along with an ignited curiosity about the world around them.

The attractive and well-equipped rooms enable us to provide a home-from-home environment where children feel safe, happy and loved. Our ‘open door’ partnership with parents ensures effective communication that is friendly, open and honest and supports children in reaching their potential; socially, emotionally and educationally. With regular communication and feedback through ILD (Interactive Learning Diary) parents are well informed and fully involved in their child’s development and experiences in the Nursery.

All children are allocated a Key Person who provides the comfort and security that helps them to grow in self-confidence. During their time in Nursery, children learn the values of kindness, turn-taking, sharing, gratitude; all culminating in developing positive relationships with both adults and peers. Independence is encouraged by promoting self-help skills in preparation for their school life.


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The morning sessions are 8.30am -12.00pm with a timetable for activities and focused learning in all areas of the Early Years curriculum.

The afternoon session runs from 12.00pm - 3.00pm. This includes lunch, nap time for younger children if needed and an afternoon focused activity which varies every day.

Before going home, the children have snack and story time. We offer a staying for lunch option from 12.00pm - 1.30pm which can be booked on an ad hoc basis. This is often a very helpful tool for developing independence and self-confidence, whilst enhancing and further developing their social skills.


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The transition into Reception is seamless. The boys are given many opportunities to become familiar with the whole school, which includes having lunch with the Pre Prep boys or joining Reception for concerts and special events. Boys have taster mornings in Reception termly so they are familiar with their next teacher and the Pre Prep environment.

Parent & Toddler Club

Parent toddler room

Parkside’s Parent & Toddlers Club is located at Parkside’s ‘Excellent’ (ISI) Co-Educational Nursery. The club runs on a Friday morning between 9:30 -10:45am, during term time and is open for all toddlers between the ages of 12 months and 2 years.

Our Parent & Toddler Club informally introduces your child to both Parkside’s Nursery teachers and our Nursery environment. We are delighted that the majority of these children join the Hedgehogs class after their second birthday in the Nursery.

The session provides free play in one of our large classrooms to enjoy a wide selection of toys, as well as taking part in a range of activities, including a home corner, painting and messy play. We are also in a privileged position to be able to use the secure Nursery playground and Parkside School’s extensive picturesque grounds for nature walks, forest school and outdoor activities. There is a focused activity led by our Early Years staff and a music session for your little ones to enjoy.

Parent and Toddler Activities Spring Term 2021

We also provide tea/coffee and homemade cake for the parents; and fruit, cheese and breadsticks for your toddlers. It is a wonderful opportunity for adults to socialise and begin to become part of the Parkside family.  

If you have already registered your child to join our Nursery, there is no charge for the Parent & Toddler Club for the duration of the term before starting. If you haven’t registered your child at our Nursery, we offer one free taster session.

Parent & Toddler Club is charged at £10 per session termly, or for the rest of the current term depending on the start date.

Contact Parkside Nursery

For further information about the Parkside Nursery, Parent & Toddler Group or to book a free Taster Session, please email Giulietta Nigrelli

or telephone on 01932 862749 

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