Freethorpe Community Primary and Nursery School’s aim is to create a whole school and community nursery provision in the heart of our school, where the learning and development opportunities on offer are a balance between child initiated self-exploration, guided learning and developing and learning through play. Our school offers a strong sense of community and provides a warm and nurturing environment. There is an excellent child adult ratio, meeting the Early Years Foundation Stage ratios, to ensure the children are getting the best possible care at this important stage of their learning journey.
Key to the ethos at Freethorpe School and Nursery, as in all phases across the school, is that the children actively lead their own development. For our Foundation Stage pupils, we encourage active learning in a supportive space which allows them to develop their own interests and excitement about the World, whilst engaging with other children and developing their individual personal and social skills.
From the day a new child starts in our Nursery, the school is geared up towards gentle preparation for the next step into Primary School. We start each session with a greeting from all the staff, putting our belongings into an individual tray, then a session or day of enjoying stories, investigations, exploring the World, imaginative play, introduction to number and initial sounds (phonics), through to socialising, sharing meal times, song, music and play. We have a very gentle settling in policy, where there is no pressure put on the children. At the very start, all we focus on is that the children are happy and feel settled in their new environment with new adult carers and friends – each child is allocated a Key Person who will work with you to encourage new learning, let you know how your child is developing and also ensure that your child is happy and safe.
Children can bring a packed lunch to school if they are spending the whole day or lunch sessions with us, or the school kitchen is able to provide lunches. This is fantastic preparation for when the children join a Reception class. Each day, the children can play outside on the field, in the Foundation Stage play area or perhaps explore the Wildlife area and outdoor classroom enhancing, through outdoor learning, your child’s development and play. Our school team of teachers and Nursery Staff are here to make sure that the Nursery is a safe, caring and nurturing environment. We work together to make sure that every child’s individual needs are met. This is done best in a partnership, with parents, carers, children, staff and the whole community. The Nursery and Reception Class make up the Early Years Provision and allows greater integration when transferring to the Reception Class staff and learning space.
Our Nursery is open for the following sessions, Monday to Friday:
- Morning session from 8.45 am to 11.45 am
- Lunchtime session from 11.45 am to 12.30pm
- Afternoon session from 12.30 to 3.30pm
The Governing Body has agreed that any available sessions, over and above the current 15 hours free weekly provision will be chargeable.
Entitlement to FREE nursery education.
We offer 2,3 & 4 years olds their 15 hours government funding for 38 weeks per year during term time. This free entitlement can be shared between more than one setting. Funding is offered the term after the child's 2nd or 3rd birthday. 2 year funding is subject to Norfolk County Councils criteria being met. 3/4 year funding can be claimed starting from the term after the child's 3rd birthday. In addition, we offer up to 30 hours a week for those families who meet this criteria.
Non-funded sessions are charged at:
- £11.40 for 3-4 year olds and £2.80 Lunch club
- £12.00 for 2 year olds and £3.00 Lunch club
Before or After School Care
We offer a before and after school care sessions. These sessions need to be booked in advance and are subject to availability. These sessions cannot be used as part of your government funding entitlement. Before school sessions run between 07.45 - 08.45am and after school from 15.30 - 16.30pm. Charges for these sessions are: £4.50 per hour for 2 yr olds and £3.50 per hour for 3 & 4 yr olds.
Following an Ofsted inspection in May 2019, the report said:
Teaching in the early years is strong. Planning is detailed and a range of purposeful activities are organised in both the Nursery and the Reception class. Children were observed to be engrossed in solving problems, using play equipment and taking part in mathematical activities. Relationships in these two classrooms are excellent and behaviour is good. The outdoor classroom is used well, for example when children plant and grow vegetables, which they subsequently harvest and eat in class.
Contact us for more information at: nursery-freethorpe@
Funding and Fees:
15 hours per week free early years funding is available to all 3-year olds in the term following their 3rd birthday; some 2-year olds may also be entitled to early years funding in the term following their 2nd birthday, please ask for more information. Our hourly rate for non funded children and hours outside early years free funding is £4.50 per hour from September 2019. All booked sessions must be paid for irrespective of whether or not children attend; any notice of leaving less than 3 weeks will be charged at the usual sessional rate. Invoices are issued half termly in advance and payment should be made at the school office within the specified settlement terms.
What is the Early Years Foundation Stage?
This is the statutory curriculum for all children aged between birth and five years old. At Freethorpe CP and Nursery School we recognise that this is a very important stage as it helps your child get ready for school as well as preparing them for their future learning and successes. We ensure that from when your child joins us until their final day that their early years’ experience is happy, active, exciting, fun and secure; and we support their development, care and learning needs.
How will my child be learning at Freethorpe Nursery?
Your child will be learning skills, acquiring new knowledge and demonstrating their understanding through 7 areas of learning and development. Children should mostly develop the 3 prime areas first. These are:
- Communication and language
- Physical development
- Personal, social and emotional development.
These prime areas are those most essential for your child’s healthy development and future learning. As children grow, the prime areas will help them to develop skills in 4 specific areas. These are:
- Expressive arts and design
- Understanding the world
These 7 areas are used to plan your child’s learning and activities. Your child’s key person will make sure that the activities are suited to your child’s unique needs. This is a little bit like a curriculum in primary and secondary schools, but it's suitable for very young children, and it's designed to be really flexible so that the teachers can follow your child's individual needs and interests.
Children in our school learn by playing and exploring, being active, and through creative and critical thinking which takes place both indoors and outside.