Upstairs is the Owls and Owlets Room where the focus is on providing opportunities for the older children's natural curiosity to flourish, and for them to develop a love of learning.
The old hay loft is a large, well equipped and resourced area and, apart from the usual phonics and number sessions and pre-school writing and activity bookwork, there are always lots of exciting activities going on, whether it be construction and building, or small world activities, including farms, zoos, garages or dolls houses. The children love dressing up and we have so many outfits for them to choose from, many of them lending themselves to role play.
During the year there are numerous opportunities for the children to develop their knowledge and interest in the natural world, not least during our Woodland Adventures sessions. In the Spring they will also be able to observe tadpoles growing into frogs, caterpillars into butterflies and listen to baby chicks cheaping inside their eggs, prior to the amazing sight of them bursting out into the world. They will assist with the care of our chickens, quail and guinea pigs, helping to feed them all and collecting the chicken eggs, and they will will plant bulbs and seeds and help with the harvest.
We have the facilities for simple science experiments and for developing the children's IT skills, with cameras, remote controlled cars, ipads and an interactive table, which is a wonderful learning resource. Cooking is a favourite pastime - we are a dab hand at various types of cakes and biscuits and parents have been known to fight over our bread. Our pizzas can be as colorful as a paint palette and our very original Christmas mince pies are a real treat. Sometime we make our own dinner, using vegetables from our garden and apples we have picked from the trees. And the whole time the children are learning the importance of a healthy diet through our "Good Munching Guide".
By the time the children leave, we hope they will be well prepared for school; able to recognise and write their own name, knowing and understanding numbers, and being on the first steps towards reading. We hope they will be confident, independent and sociable young people. We want them to be full of questions, to have lots of interests and to find fun and enjoyment in learning.
To quote from a previous OFSTED Report .....
"Elswick House Nursery School is highly effective in promoting successful outcomes for children in the EYFS".
And from the parent of one of our very recent school leavers .....
" (She) has really thrived at Elswick House. I have loved her telling me about all of the things she has done and the new things she has learned. I have seen a huge change in (her). She is generally more settled, calmer (believe it or not!) and I detect a greater sense of contentment, alongside the exuberant joy she has always had. I believe this is thanks to the rich experiences she has had with you all, and the opportunities for learning you have (provided) to stretch her mind."