3 Months – 2 Years
The Baby Room provides a safe, warm and nurturing environment for the littlest at Lucton, and we work together with parents to provide them with the very best start in life. Their day usually begins by exploring the meadows and school grounds, playing on sit-on toys, rolling balls, blowing bubbles and a variety of sensory and messy play.
Free play encourages their physical, emotional and social development and we also sign songs and finger rhymes, and play games to develop their language skills and encourage them to thrive.
Children join the Little Ladybirds groups during their second and third years. This is a crucial stage when a great deal of development takes place and therefore to enhance this natural desire to explore and investigate, we have divided our rooms into a variety of unique and exciting areas.
We also find that children learn a great deal from the production of food; they enjoy watching plants grow and harvesting their own produce and they are also involved in making biscuits and shaping and rolling pastry for apple pies!
We use both indoor and outdoor space as a learning environment for our young children; we never miss an opportunity to play and have fun. We do our utmost to ensure that the children entrusted to us are happy, stimulated and demonstrate care and respect towards each other.
The Transition class provides a slightly more structured routine; however, the main focus is still on learning through play with a balance between staff-led and child-initiated learning.
Opportunities for outdoor fun and learning are built into the daily routine with staff joining in with the children’s play. Through this interaction they are able to show that they value their ideas and interests and are able to extend the children’s curiosity, imagination, language development and thinking skills.
Weekly music and PE sessions are delivered by specialist teachers, and the children also enjoy dressing up and playing in the role play area, building with construction sets, engaging in arts and crafts and even baking delicious recipes to take home and share. However, despite the many activities that are available, each day is structured so that children also have time for rest and for quieter pursuits.
For Transition class children, lunch is held alongside the Prep School in the main dining hall, giving them the chance to become familiar with the environment they will soon be joining when they make the leap from nursery to school.
One of our greatest assets is our idyllic, rural location, and nursery children benefit from the sheer variety of exciting outdoor areas there are to explore. Our meadows, playing fields and orchard are wide open spaces where they are able to run safely and gain a sense of freedom. The school grounds are wonderful all year round and, in the summer, the fields are the perfect location for picnics and stories under one of the large trees.
In addition to the Prep School playground, where they can access ride-on toys and games, the Transition class can, with supervision, use the adventure playground, where they can have fun whilst improving their gross motor skills and coordination. Children also have the opportunity to use the Sports Hall, which allows them to run and experience ball games in a secure, covered area away from the elements.
At Lucton we are fortunate to have a fantastic heated indoor swimming pool in which children can build confidence in the water and learn to swim effectively. We provide all necessary equipment including arm bands, toggles, rubber rings and arm floats but request that parents provide swimming kit, towels and swimming nappies (if required).
To ensure that children get the most from their time in the pool and develop their abilities effectively, we follow the National Plan for Teaching Swimming and hope that by the time they start school, they will feel confident to swim without armbands. Those that progress to our Reception class will continue to build on these skills, receiving twice weekly swimming sessions and working towards national swimming awards.
Physical Education takes place throughout the nursery and all children are encouraged to be as active as possible. Obstacle courses, ball skills and other fun games are used to improve balance and coordination and staff ensure that children feel secure and confident enough to join in, learn new things and to be adventurous.
Movement to music is also introduced during PE which further aids coordination and allows them to express themselves and, for an additional cost, children aged 3 and over can take part in ballet classes which are taught by a professional ballet and dance teacher.
At Lucton, we understand the huge impact that healthy eating can have on a child’s development and, as such, we provide meals and drinks that are wholesome, balanced and nutritious.
The weekly lunch menu is displayed both on the school website and outside the nursery door. During term time children receive a two-course meal, freshly prepared by our talented catering team, with much of the menu produced on site including homemade bread, soups and puddings. Before starting, we ask parents for information about any special dietary requirements, preferences and food allergies in order to ensure that appropriate food choices are offered.
Forest Schools are unique in that they provide opportunities for learning to take place outside of the traditional classroom. Children explore the natural environment including Lucton’s woodland and meadows; they make dens, learn about wildlife, trees and plants, and build self-confidence and independence as they begin to recognise boundaries and assess risks.
Friday Parents Assembly
On Friday mornings the Transition class join the Prep School for assembly. Each week is hosted by a different year group and although children do not have to take part if they do not want to, we encourage all to participate as it is an excellent way for them to build self-esteem and gain experience speaking in front of others.
Each assembly is influenced by topics that the children have been learning about in nursery and it is also an opportunity to recognise their achievements, both in and out of school, by awarding certificates and badges.
Parents, guardians and extended families are all welcome to attend the assemblies and with refreshments provided, it offers an excellent opportunity to socialise with other parents and meet staff members. Parents are also more than welcome to use the swimming pool for an hour after the assembly.
Progression into Prep School
In the Transition class there is a real focus on ensuring that children are school-ready and prepared for the next step, with the majority joining Lucton’s Reception class. Having become accustomed to both the quality of education on offer at Lucton and being familiar with the school environment, many parents feel that they would like this consistency to continue and children find that they make the transition to Reception with ease.
School uniform is introduced in the Transition class. For boys this includes a red sweatshirt, white polo shirt, black trousers and a red coat and for girls a red cardigan, white polo shirt, black pinafore and a red coat. All of the items mentioned are Lucton branded and can be purchased from the school shop, or alternatively, ordered by a member of the nursery staff on behalf of parents.