Due to the popularity of Explorers, which became part of the school in September 2017, we have plans to expand the setting in September 2018. In the new academic year, all of our 2, 3 and 4 year olds will be part of one Early Years unit which will consist of two adjoining classrooms. These classrooms will be run by an Early Years teacher and supported by a fully qualified Teaching Assistant and several nursery nurses who will act as key workers for the children in setting. This model will ensure that every child in Explorers has daily teacher led input and time with their key worker to practice and embed skills that have been taught. The activities provided will be planned with a range of ages and stages in mind ensuring every child has the opportunity to flourish and develop at their own pace with the nurture and support of their family, our Explorers staff and the wider school community.
Changes for September 2018
Firstly, we would like to say a huge thank you for the support that you have given our new Explorers setting in the first term and a half of it running as part of the Redbrook Hayes family. The children and staff have been phenomenal as we continue to develop the setting into a learning environment which will provide the best educational and social foundation for our amazing learners. Due to the unprecedented interest in this setting, along with our desire to continue improving, we have made a few changes to how this setting will run next year so that every child is able to realise their limitless possibilities.
From September 2018, the learners in Explorers and our school Nursery will merge together to form an Early Years unit which will provide education for all children aged from 2-4. This setting will be run across our current Nursery and Reception classrooms which have a large, open doorway connecting the two. A teacher will lead the setting and be supported by a team of six qualified and enthusiastic learning mentors and nursery nurses, who will each have a key group. This will ensure that as the setting continues to grow, your child will have the benefit of learning led by an experienced teacher whist still maintaining that close key worker relationship they are used to.
As a result of this change from September 2018, and the changes you may have heard about in the media recently, our admissions process and policy will be different. Rather than this being done through the local authority website as in previous years, if you would like your child to come to Explorers at Redbrook Hayes you will need to apply directly through the school office or with the staff in Explorers.
One of the big benefits of this change is that you do not need to wait until the September after your child is three in order to send them to school in the next academic year. Their universal funding will start the term after their third birthday. This means if your child is three in the Autumn term, they will receive their 15 hours funding in the Spring term and will be able to start school in January after Christmas. This is exciting as it will give your child the potential to attend Explorers for up to five terms which will give them an exceptional start to their learning.
For 3 and 4 year old learners, you will be able to use their 15 hours of funding over five morning sessions or five afternoon sessions. This will ensure a consistent experience for your child, preparing them well for the routines of the following Reception year. It will also mean they will not miss out on any of the curriculum or exciting learning happening in setting.
We also offer places for children in receipt of Think2 (for 2 year olds) and 30 hours funding for 3 and 4 year olds, meaning they can attend Nursery for longer at no cost to you. If you think you may be eligible for this funding, or want to find out about the most recent changes to this, please visit the government website for eligibility criteria or ask one of our staff who will be happy to help.
These changes to admissions create a slight difference in the way we would usually admit children to the setting. As soon as you apply, your child can begin Explorers immediately. However, if the setting is at full capacity, we will begin a waiting list. Once a space becomes available, this waiting list will be consulted in line with our admissions criteria to decide who will receive the place. Details of the admission criteria can be found on our website.
We understand that this is a big change from our usual system, but hope that this will be in the best interests of as many families as possible. However, if you are unsure about this in any way or require clarification, please do not hesitate to contact us.
To hear about these exciting changes in further detail and to visit the Explorers setting for next year, we warmly invite you to drop in to one of our open events detailed on the flyer attached. These are running on Wednesday 14th March 5.30 – 6.30pm and Thursday 15th March 1.00-3.15pm. There will be members of our Explorers team, current Early Years teaching staff and members of Senior Leadership available to talk to during these drop in sessions who will be more than happy to answer any questions and share the plans with you!
As always, we are keen to expand our school and welcome new families into our Redbrook family. If you think this may be of interest to your friends or family members, please share these dates and information with them, and do not hesitate to contact us if we can help in any way.
We look forward to sharing the start of your child’s inspiring learning adventure, and thank you for your ongoing support.