The primary educators of children are their parents and families. To support parents in this responsibility, our Catholic parish of Our Lady and St Hugh established St Hugh of Lincoln Nursery School in 1995 on a peaceful site adjacent to Our Lady of Lourdes School. The nursery provides a warm, happy and safe environment for children aged between 2½ and 5 years of all religions and cultures.
The nursery school is governed by a team of Trustees who have ultimate responsibility for the nursery. The Nursery Manager is responsible for the daily running of the nursery along with the Deputy Manager. Ideas and suggestions from parents regarding life at nursery are encouraged and welcomed.
We welcome children from all denominations and backgrounds into our caring Christian environment. Our staff are qualified and experienced practitioners in early childhood care and education, and create a stimulating and supportive atmosphere, enabling children to develop happily and learn readily at their own pace. Each child is assigned a key person who will observe and monitor the children assigned to them during the course of each term.
Every child who starts at the nursery school is allocated a key person. This member of staff will work closely with your child whilst the child remains at the nursery school and is carefully selected in relation to the nursery school sessions that your child will be attending, as being the member of staff best able to support your child during that time. Your child’s key person observes, assesses and plans for your child, and records your child’s learning in a pupil profile. The key person will work closely with you and send regular updates to you via our online programme. We welcome and encourage parents to respond to these emails. The nursery also offers two parents evenings per year. If however, you feel the need to discuss your child’s development at any other time during the year, please feel free to arrange an appointment with your child’s key person for this discussion to take place.
We are pleased to offer a 10 minute home visit for your child to meet their key person before starting at the nursery (or within the first few weeks). Home visits are valuable to establish a friendship between your child and their key person whilst in the comfort of their own home. This helps to build a warm, caring relationship and assists your child to feel more confident about making the transition from home to school.
We run a Forest School session once a week and aim to ensure all children take part before leaving us to go to Primary School. There have been many studies describing the benefits of Forest School for young learners. These include opportunities to develop physically, intellectually, emotionally, socially and spiritually. Giving children the freedom to make their own choices and to take risks allows them to learn at their own pace and in a way that is relevant to them. The children are free to explore, discover, take risks, challenge themselves, develop confidence, help others and share. Whilst playing children make plans, cooperate, negotiate and problem solve.
We encourage all parents to discuss with the Nursery Manager, or with their child’s key person, the pattern of their child’s attendance at the nursery school, so that arrangements can be made for sessions that are suitable for their child’s stage of development. Parents are always welcome to make an appointment for this purpose, or to talk about anything that concerns them about their child’s progress.
The maximum number of children who can normally attend any one session is 40. If applications are received for more places than are available in any session, and no alternative session is available, it may become necessary to refer to our Admissions Policy. A copy of this Admissions Policy can be requested from the nursery school office.
Our Registration with Local and Central Government
The nursery school is registered with the Office for Standards in Education (Ofsted) as a provider of “day care” for children aged from 2 years 6 months to 5 years, in accordance with the Children Act 1989 and other relevant law (registration no. EY 501227). It also benefits from guidance provided by the Early Years Team of Oxfordshire County Council’s Education Department: the Early Years Team has overall responsibility for promoting and supporting the education of children aged between birth and five in every kind of educational setting in Oxfordshire.
Since the beginning of 1997, our nursery school has been registered with the Department of Education for England and Wales as a provider of Nursery Education (registration no. 114596-16): this registration now covers children from birth until the beginning of the school term after their fifth birthday.
We ask all parents to note carefully that a child’s place at St Hugh of Lincoln Nursery School does not guarantee a place for that child at Our Lady of Lourdes School. Parents who would like their child to attend Our Lady of Lourdes School should follow the appropriate admission procedure for the school. Information about that procedure is available from the School Office of Our Lady of Lourdes Primary School, telephone number 01993 702480.
We shall continue to enjoy the support of the Witney Catholic parish, of which we are a part; and our partnership between the Nursery School and Our Lady of Lourdes School.