A year into her role as Manager of Bolton School Nursery, Jasmin Sanders discusses how she has settled in, all that is special about the Nursery she has joined, what sets it apart from its competitors and her plans for the future.
“I have been made to feel extremely welcome. The team is very experienced, professional and friendly and it is evident how much they care about each child and their family. All of our children achieve highly and there is a clear focus on helping children to be ready for the next stage in their education and, indeed, life.”
Who comes to Bolton School’s Nursery?
“At Bolton School Nursery we welcome children aged 0 to 4 years from families from all cultures and from a wide catchment area, including Bolton, Bury, North Manchester, Wigan, Preston, Chorley and Warrington. We have regular celebratory days full of colour and fun, such as Chinese New Year, Eid, Hanukkah, Christmas and Diwali, along with awareness days like World Hello Day and World Wildlife Day. Our doors are open to everyone; we offer the universal 15 hours funding entitlement to all children over 3 years old and a variety of sessions to suit everyone’s lifestyle and choice. Our diverse nursery community is one of our strengths and we are very proud of it.”
Do you plan to make any adaptations or changes?
“We have lots of plans for the future, including a whole garden makeover, accessing Forest School sessions at a new site and creating more links within the community, as well as hopefully linking with other schools and nurseries in the area, in order that we can share what we do well. We have also put in place an online learning journey system – in addition to regular parents’ evenings – for parents and key persons to access, giving families more input and involvement in their child’s educational achievements every day.”
What sets your Nursery apart from its competitors?
“One of our differentiating factors is our ability to offer a wide range of bespoke activities for every child. Parents can choose from additional educational experiences, including Spanish lessons, dance classes, swimming, yoga, trips out, Forest School experiences, Baby Moves and much more. We also have highly experienced practitioners who are qualified in delivering Makaton and Sing and Sign sessions.
Many of our families find the flexibility that we offer ties in well with their busy professional life, as we are open all day and all year round. Additionally, for those families who have older children at Bolton School, being able to drop off and collect their youngest child at the same time is very convenient. They can also be assured that their child, at this early and crucial stage in their development, is part of a well-run and highly esteemed Foundation, with excellent facilities on the Nursery’s doorstep.”
Do all children progress to the Infant School at Bolton School?
“Our Pre-school children and teachers link with the Beech House Reception Class at Bolton School. This helps children become more familiar with a school environment. All of our families are welcome to apply for the Bolton School assessment process for a place at our Infant School, where 90% of children achieve a Good Level of Development in the Early Years Foundation Stage (compared to 67% for Bolton as a whole). Whilst many children progress to Beech House, we also have children who move on to other primary schools.
Our separately run term-time Nursery Class for 3 and 4 year olds also helps prepare children for the move to Infant School.”
When was the Nursery last inspected?
“Our Early Years Foundation Stage (covering our Nursery, Nursery Class, Reception Class at Beech House and Kidzone, our wraparound childcare club) was described as ‘Outstanding’ across all categories when it was inspected by the Independent Schools Inspectorate in 2019. It is highly unusual and very impressive for a nursery to achieve this rating and we have managed this in the last four inspections! The report said staff ‘have an excellent understanding of how babies and young children develop’ and ‘new children settle smoothly into the setting’. We link with the Local Authority and have recently been chosen to take part in this year’s phonics launch along with other schools and nurseries in the area.”
How well is your Nursery resourced?
“I believe we have everything in place here to ensure each child can enjoy the very best start in life. Our staff were praised in the latest inspection with comments including ‘staff make very good use of the excellent range of high-quality resources to engage children fully and enhance their learning exceptionally well’ and ‘staff know the children extremely well; they devise enjoyable, interesting and age-appropriate activities that enthuse and challenge all children who increasingly develop confidence and skills across all areas of their learning and development.’
Ours is a modern, purpose-built nursery where resources and equipment are constantly updated. The interior is bright and spacious, containing age relevant equipment, designed to encourage all areas of development. The enclosed gardens and play areas provide further opportunities for the children to run, climb, dig, ride wheeled toys or explore.
We are open from 7am until 6pm, Monday to Friday, and are only closed on Bank Holidays and during the Christmas and New Year period. We offer part- and full-time places for children and additional sessions as and when requested. Parents should call us on 01204 434732 to find out more and to arrange a visit.”