Starting Nursery

The Nursery children have their own specific classroom and outdoor area and share the larger outdoor playground and Forest Learning area with
the reception class. The nursery classroom has space for children to be creative and messy, engage in role play activities, build using construction materials and have a cosy story area. Daily learning sessions are led by our experienced Early Years team, under the leadership of Mrs Biggs (Early Years Leader). The nursery children also benefit from the extensive indoor and outdoor facilities the school has to offer and regularly using the field for walks, library for specific story times and the PE Barn for indoor active sessions.


All children have the opportunity to attend nursery for either 15 or 30 hours with free funded government provision. This could be a combination of mornings, afternoons, or whole days, depending on the availability of spaces.

Parents also have the option to top up their child’s 15 funded hours by paying for additional sessions of nursery provision. The hourly rate for additional sessions is £5.75 per hour; £17.25 for a 3 hour session and £34.50 for a 6 hour session. These additional hours are dependent on availability of spaces within the nursery. Nursery parents can also pay for an extra 30 minutes
of nursery provision at the end of a usual nursery day. This would mean a nursery child could be collected at 3.20pm instead of 2.50pm, which is the same finishing time as the main school.

Before applying for a place at the nursery please log onto the Suffolk government website, to gain all the funding information and details on how to receive your funding ‘code’.

Nursery times

Morning hours: 8.50am-11.50am. Children will be given a fruit snack during the morning but will need to bring their own water bottles.

Afternoon hours: 11.50am-2.50pm. Afternoon children will need to bring a water bottle and packed lunch or a school dinner can be purchased for £2.60.

The Nursery Milk Scheme entitles registered childcare settings to claim one free drink of milk (meaning a 189ml portion of heat-treated cow’s milk) each day for children under the age of 5 who attend for two or more hours a day. We can provide whole or semi-skimmed pasteurised cows’ milk.

School lunches

Our school lunch provider, Innovate, offer a range of meals including a hot meal or a cold lunch meal. Specific dietary needs can be catered for. School dinner menu choices can be found on the Innovate website. Children can swap between a home packed lunch or school dinners.

Please note that all school dinners must be pre-booked on the Innovate website a week in advance. Please see more information about how to register with Innovate, included in this
admission pack.

Toilet Training

Children do not need to be toilet trained to attend the nursery but this is an important life skill for them to acquire and if your child is not toilet trained, our Early Years staff will support and work with children and families to achieve this.


We encourage our nursery children to learn and explore in a creative manner and this may mean your child might use a variety of media including paint, gloop, mud and chalks. These can sometimes be messy and although we do provide aprons for children it is recommended that children do not wear ‘best clothes’ for nursery.

Please ensure all your child’s personal items are clearly named.

More Information

For more information about how the children learn, including our outdoor learning area in the forest, please download the ‘Starting Nursery’ guide below.

Learning at Nursery

In the Nursery we follow the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage, and our curriculum is designed to support children to develop the three Characteristics of Effective Teaching and Learning:
• Creating and thinking critically
• Active learning
• Playing and exploring

Learning through Play

The learning in the nursery is based around play and playful activities. We recognise that play is a crucial part of a child’s early development. Playing helps young children’s brains to develop and for their language and communication skills to mature. As young children play and explore, they extend their experiences and develop a ‘have a go’ attitude.

The nursery provides opportunities for our children to engage in both adult led and
self- initiated learning; and Nursery staff deliver an exciting and challenging curriculum based on our observations of children’s which builds on their prior knowledge, interests and

Learning Environment
We have created an environment in which children are provided with a range of rich, meaningful experiences, in which they can explore, think creatively, and be actively engaged in their learning.

We provide a secure and safe learning environment indoors and outdoors where children are supported by adults to explore, grow, learn, and develop important life skills.

Outdoor Play and Forest Learning

Outdoor play is an important part of our Early Years curriculum and children can have the opportunity to use the outdoor space throughout the day. We advise parents to dress their children appropriately for all weathers, rain or shine. We do have wellies for children to borrow but your child may choose to bring their own wellies to nursery.

Nursery children will have numerous opportunities throughout the school week to engage in learning in our Early Years Forest Area. Forest Learning focuses on exploring the outdoor environment and to learn using activities that are child centred and child led. The children will take part in learning tasks which support them to take care of themselves and others, take risks safely, and take responsibility.

In our Forest Learning sessions natural resources are used to stimulate imagination, creativity, and investigation. Research has shown that outdoor forest learning has a powerful positive effect on children’s confidence, self-esteem and independence as well as increasing physical and social skills.

Home and School Partnership

At Howard Community Academy we recognise that parents play a vital role in your child’s learning and development. Your child will benefit greatly from your involvement at home, and we value any support you can give.

You will receive regular ‘observations’ of your child’s learning via Tapestry, our online learning Journey program. We hope that you will also contribute to your child’s Tapestry Learning Journey and send us observations of the learning and activities you complete with your child at home. To support your child’s literacy and communication skills your child will bring home from
nursery a Story or Rhyme pack. This will contain a well known rhyme or story with additional resources for you to share and enjoy with your child at home.

Our half-termly Story and Rhyme Time Sessions, supporting this learning, and are led by
Early Years staff with parents being invited to attend. These fun sessions give parents the opportunity to join in with stories, songs and rhymes alongside their child and find out
more about what the children have been learning about in nursery.

If you have any questions or concerns about your child’s learning or progress, then please do speak to a member of the Early Year’s team.

We would like all parents and carers to access their child’s record using the ‘My Child at
School’ web portal and mobile app – MCAS.  This system is the main platform used in all communications with you on all school matters. It is important that everyone uses this system to access key information about their child’s learning experience. The MCAS app will support your child’s learning by allowing us to keep you informed, message you and allow you to receive information from the academy about your child’s behaviour, progress and attainment, and other announcements.

The mobile app, which is available for both IOS and Android devices, allows us to contact you without the cost of each message and so also helps to protect academy finances.

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