A popular School Nursery in Ashford
Early Birds Nursery is a school nursery for 2, 3 and 4 year old’s, on the site of Finberry Primary School.
Situated on a purpose built site, we share facilities with the school, so have access to lots of resources, outdoor space and equipment that other nurseries don’t!
After an unprecedented number of applications, applications for September 2023 are now closed. Places are currently under review and, in line with our admission criteria, offers will be made to successful families in May.
Our Ofsted Outstanding nursery at Chilmington Green Primary School is still able to accept applications for three-year-olds. Please email Jenny at Jenny.Baker@stouracademytrust.org.uk for further information.
Interested in a nursery place at Early Birds for your 2, 3 or 4 year old? Please complete the form below and return it to the main school office or e-mail it to Jenny.Baker@stouracademytrust.org.uk
As a school nursery, we offer three attendance options across the 5-day week, term time only.
The national curriculum sets out what should be taught at Year 1 upwards. Before this, (Nursery and Reception) it is called the ‘Foundation Stage’ as it is about laying the foundations for future learning.
Our inside and outside nursery environments are carefully planned to allow the children to engage in a wide range of learning opportunities where we promote learning through play as the best way for children to develop important skills, such as social skills, independence, curiosity, and problem solving.
There are seven areas of the EYFS curriculum and in the Nursery, our main area of focus is on the prime areas, as these are the areas that really set the children up ready for reception.
The prime areas are:
Jumping, climbing, balancing, fine motor skills, developing hand and finger strength and coordination. We set up obstacle courses outside and have use of the school hall to have weekly pe sessions. We also use playdough, enjoy craft activities, constructions, messy play, and puzzles.
Personal, social and emotional
We help the children learn how to make relationships, become more confident, and learn to manage their feelings and behaviour. We use role play as a great way to practise these skills!
Communication and language
Language development is hugely important and is one of our main focusses in the nursery. Learning to listen, pay attention, understand instructions and questions, developing confidence and the ability to speak and communicate with others. We share lots of stories and encourage children to use props to act out the stories!
Developing independence and healthy practises is also important – we encourage our children to put on their own shoes, use the toilet and washing their hands themselves.
We also support children in the four specific areas:
Literacy – (learning to read and write)
We give the children lots of opportunities for mark making – paint brushes, pens, crayons, chalk etc and also use singing to develop children’s awareness of rhyme – which helps when they learn to read. Studies how shown in the Early Years the child’s awareness of rhyme is a good predictor of how easily they will learn to read!
Maths is about counting, calculating and developing an awareness of shapes and measures. Accurate number counting and number recognition is achieved through repetition, so we try to incorporate it in as many activities as possible throughout the day.
Understanding the world
This is to do with finding out about people, places, technology and the environment – this is an area that can really excite and motivate the children! As a school nursery, we are lucky that we can be involved in lots of whole school opportunities, like visits from a variety of interesting people!
Expressive arts and design
Exploring different mediums and materials and developing imagination and creativity. We support children by providing activities such as storytelling, dancing, music, role play and arts and crafts!
How will you know how your child is getting on?
Each child is assigned a key person which will be one of the nursery team. Having a key person means that each child has a special adult in the setting and over time, the adult can really get to know the child and tune into their needs, moods and interests. The adults can then use their knowledge to provide individualised support for the children. Although the children will have one key person, all the team will work with them to support them on their learning journey.
We use ‘Tapestry’ online learning journals to document children’s learning. ‘Tapestry’ is an exciting way of building a strong link between home and school. Families can login to view their child’s observations and also add their own observations from home.
One parent said,“It’s great being able to see what Albert has been up to throughout the day. We look through his pictures together in the evening and he tells me all about the photos/activities that he has been doing. It helps me to praise him at home for his great work. He doesn’t give too much away, when I ask how his day has been, but prompting him with photos that have been posted, reminds him and gets him chatting away!”
We have found that sharing learning with families in this way has helped to develop their understanding and appreciation of the potential of child led learning opportunities. Many parents look at the observations with their children at home and this can lead to further learning opportunities where the children talk about their learning, consolidating and reflecting on their activities.
All children have to attend 5 days a week, whether this be 5 morning sessions, 5 afternoon sessions or 5 full days. This pattern of attendance helps children to establish a daily routine needed for primary school, supports building stronger relationships with staff and the other children and provides a greater opportunity for them to make good progress.
If you are entitled to 15 hours funding a week, your morning or your afternoon session will be fully funded with use of your universal or FF2 funding.
If you are entitled to 30 hours funding a week, your full day place will be fully funded with use of your extended hour HMRC code.
In the event that you are not entitled to free childcare, we charge £5 per hour meaning five mornings or five afternoons will be £75 per week or five full days would be £175 per week.
We are also happy to accept 15 hours funding combined with 15 hours paid for full time places.
Please note that school dinners are charged at £2.30 each or free to those in receipt of Free School Meals. Alternatively, your child is welcome to bring in a packed lunch.
Free childcare for 2 year olds
Some 2 year olds can get up to 15 hours of free childcare per week for 38 weeks of the year. This is a national childcare scheme known in Kent as ‘Free for 2’ and is available to 2 year olds who meet the Government’s eligibility criteria.
Once you have been confirmed eligible for a free 2 year old place, the funding will remain with your child until they take up their free 3 year old place – even if your circumstances change.
Find out if your child is eligible:
|Child born between||Will become eligible for free early education and childcare|
|1 January and 31 March||The start of term 5 following their second birthday (after Easter holiday)|
|1 April and 31 August||The start of term 1 following their second birthday (after summer holiday)|
|1 September and 31 December||The start of term 3 following their second birthday (after Christmas/New Year holiday)|
Free childcare for 3 and 4 year olds
All 3 and 4 year olds can have up to 15 hours of free childcare each week for 38 weeks a year.
This is a national scheme every child in England is entitled to.
For more information about using your free childcare, read our parents’ guide to 15 hours (universal) funding.
30 hours of free childcare
Eligible working families with 3 and 4 year olds can receive up to 30 hours of free childcare each week. This is an extra 15 hours of free childcare in addition to the universal entitlement and is known as extended entitlement. It is available over 38 weeks a year.
Find out when your 3 year old is eligible:
|Child born between||Will become eligible for free childcare|
|1 January and 31 March||The start of term 5 following their third birthday (after Easter holiday)|
|1 April and 31 August||The start of term 1 following their third birthday (after summer holiday)|
|1 September and 31 December||The start of term 3 following their third birthday (after Christmas/New Year holiday)|
Apply for 30 hours
To get the additional hours you will need to sign up online to get an eligibility code. You’ll also need to reconfirm your eligibility every 3 months.
You must apply for your 30 hours eligibility code in the term before your child becomes eligible by age. The government has recommended application periods. If you do not apply within these recommended periods you may not get your code in time. If you do not apply for and receive your code before the deadline date you will not be able to take up your place until the term after.
|When your child turns 3||When they can get 30 hours from||Recommended time to apply||Deadline for applying|
|1 September to 31 December||1 January||15 October to 30 November||31 December|
|1 January to 31 March||1 April||15 January to 28 February||31 March|
|1 April to 31 August||1 September||15 June to 31 July||31 August|
To find out about full eligibility criteria, how to apply and other information read our guide to 30 hour funding.
Our uniform is reasonably priced, practical, good quality and our children are proud to wear it. It also means that best clothes are not spoilt, and saves arguments over clothes choice in the morning!
Parents can choose to have uniform orders delivered to the nursery free of charge during term time from our online supplier mapac.
Many parents choose to match the sweatshirt or cardigan with the following (available from most supermarkets at very reasonable prices as well as the Mapac online shop).
- A polo shirt
- Grey, black or navy skirt, trousers (or “joggers/sweatpants” if your child finds these easier to manage in a hurry!).
- Sensible shoes (suitable for outdoor/sand/water/messy/active play).
- During the summer term red and white checked gingham dresses are often worn)
Please name all items of clothing that your child may take off, including shoes (many children often have the same shoes). Badges or zip tags are often helpful on coats to help children identify their own coat.