Preparing your child for Reception
The clue is in the name… ‘pre-school’! Seahorse Nursery works hard to equip your child with as many skills as possible to give them the best start to life in a school environment. This starts as soon as your child joins nursery. We also try and support you as parents as the leap from Nursery to School can be a bit scary.
One of the huge benefits of your child being at nursery is the opportunity for lots of social interaction. The ability to make and develop relationships is incredibly important for a child’s well-being and long term success in the big wide world. Being at nursery is vital for developing sharing and turn taking skills, which are particularly important for those who do not have siblings at home. We find the use of sand timers is a brilliant visual to aid children with sharing a resource; they learn that they have a fixed amount of time to play with it but also that they will have another turn after their peer. Between 2 and 3 years old your child will start to seek out others when they arrive at nursery and begin to talk about particular friends when they are at home. Some of these friendships will last a life time and you can support this by having play dates at the weekends or on days they don’t attend nursery. Two of our pupils from 2001 formed a close bond while at Seahorse Nursery – the mothers also became good friends – the girls went on to the same school and are now both studying at Oxford University. Other social skills nursery develops which will help your child to thrive in a school classroom are; listening skills, self-discipline, patience, ability to work with others, to speak confidently in front of their peers and the ability to solve problems. Long term this will prepare them for public speaking, presenting their work to peers and working as part of a team.
Emotional well-being and resilience
We all recognise that growing up can have it’s challenges – Seahorse Nursery has small class sizes and high adult to child ratios which helps enable a nuturing environment where every child receives love, care and attention from our highly trained and qualified staff. Seahorse practitioners focus on developing each child’s self-esteem, confidence and the ability to talk positively about oneself to others (peers and teachers). We treat each child as an individual and respect that they will have their own personality, needs and wants. Our team see it as a huge privilege to play such a special role in a child’s formative years. We practice mindfulness which teaches the children to be still and focus on their breathing and feelings – these techniques can be used to help children relax and used as a calming method if life feels overwhelming.
With rights come responsibilities – we teach our children to be kind, considerate and respectful of the people around them and of our physical surroundings. Our Forest School sessions help the children develop respect for the natural environment through hands on learning and doing. We instil British Values of democracy, rule of law, individual liberty and tolerance of others. For example we hold Seahorse elections when there is any general or local election – last year we had the splatter paint party, cooking party and water play party. The children got to vote on which activity they would like to do at Nursery and later counted the votes to get the result. We think it’s important that our children have a sense of who they are and where they belong so we spend lots of time out and about in the local community; we regularly visit the local library, nearby play parks and use Horse Close Wood in Wimbledon Park for our Forest School sessions. We organise family events throughout the year; Father’s Day breakfast, Easter Egg Hunt, Sports Day, Grandparents Tea Party and a Christmas Party. These are an opportunity for parents to get involved in Nursery life and be part of the Seahorse community.
Developing Early Literacy and Phonics skills
Our mission is to teach our children the skills to become readers and writers. Seahorse Nursery focuses on teaching the 26 alphabet letter sounds so your child can decode and encode simple CVC words. Alongside this our children learn how to form each letter correctly. Where a child’s name starts with a digraph this will be explored but with regard to whole group learning the remaining 16 digraphs are taught in reception. We follow our bespoke Inky Swot curriculum; our approach is multi-sensory and most importantly fun!
Success in Mathematics and Science
The importance of what number means is encouraged with mathematical rods, linking elephants, funny bones and everyday objects e.g. conkers and vegetables as well as counting, matching, sets, adding and subtracting. Rocky, a puppet raccoon, regularly visits the Inky Swot club to help with mathematical stories and problem solving activities relating to size, length, weight, capacity etc.
Developing a love of the Arts
We want Seahorse children to be well-rounded and develop a love of music, movement, drama, art and craft. Our children have free access to the mark making area every day which is good for expressing their creativity and we have various workshops throughout the year to broaden the children’s horizons, e.g. Gruffalo drama session, bilingual beats, ballet.
The best way to get a feel for our environment is to come and visit us.
One of our team will be pleased to show you around the nursery and take you through how we support your child's learning and development.
A typical visit lasts around 20-30 minutes and you can use this handy online form to arrange a date and time. Please note that pre-school visits are generally at 10:00, and day nursery visits are at 10:30 and 15:30.