Independent day school
for girls 3 - 18 and boys 3 - 11
with boarding for girls from 9

Nursery and Reception

Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)

In the Early Years Foundation Stage our boys and girls age 3-5 in Nursery and Reception are valued as unique individuals who develop and learn in individual ways and at varying rates. All children deserve the best possible start in life and we are very proud of the fact that in our last Ofsted inspection our Early Years department was graded “Outstanding” in every single area of learning.  Our latest inspection (2016) was by the Independent Schools Inspectorate, which does not have Ofsted-style gradings; however it reported: “Pupils make excellent progress in the EYFS because of effective teaching and tracking of individual pupils….most pupils reach or exceed the Early Learning Goals before the end of the stage, going on to focus on Year 1 work while still in the setting.”

A child who is happy, safe and secure in their environment will have a firm foundation for future academic, social and emotional success – and providing that experience is at the heart of everything we do at HOHS.  With deliberately small classes,  your child’s teacher is able to work with him or her individually every day and carefully consider individual needs, interests and stage of development. The teachers use this information to plan a tailored, challenging and enjoyable experience for your child across all the areas of learning and development.

The Nursery Class

If you prefer your child to experience real learning within a caring, nurturing environment from the start, our nursery could be the perfect choice for your  family.  Small classes mean that your son or daughter will enjoy individual attention from experienced, inspirational qualified teachers and develop early skills in literacy and numeracy – though the children themselves only know that they are having fun with exciting activities!

Our nursery and early years classes are situated in a purpose-built,  separate, secure area of the school, with excellent facilities both indoors and out and a warm, happy atmosphere.  However, there are also supervised opportunities for interaction between our older girls and the little ones: we believe this benefits everyone and is part of what makes our school a unique community!

When can your child  join?

Our nursery children can join us at any point from their third birthday and HOHS is registered to receive the Department for Education’s Early Years Funding Grants. This entitles three and four year olds who attend our Nursery and Reception classes to receive 15 hours of free early years’ education per week for 38 weeks of the year.  The grant is available from the term after your child’s third birthday and can be paid for up to five terms, so younger four year olds in our Reception class are also eligible for the grant. For further information please visit Fees and Fee Concessions.

We offer the following nursery class sessions:

  • Full Day – 8.30am – 4.00pm
  • Morning Session – 8.30am – 12.30pm
  • Afternoon Session – 12.30pm – 4.00pm

We do ask that pupils attend a minimum of six sessions per week. This could be, for example, three full days or four mornings plus a full day, or two afternoons and two full days. Children who attend day and afternoon sessions can also stay for our after-school clubs from 3.00pm – 4.00pm at no additional charge, however you may collect your child  from 3.00pm.

For further information about session costs please visit fees or contact Mrs Eastwood, Business Manager, on 01603 810390.

Learn more about our admissions process.

The Reception Class

Our reception class gives our young pupils the very best next step after nursery – whether they are moving on from our own nursery or starting with us for the first time. With our small class sizes ensuring individual attention, lesson time and play time combine to take your child on an exciting journey of educational discovery.

Girls and boys in our EYFS classes quickly develop self-confidence, respect for others and the social skills that are so vital for their future. The key skills of reading, writing and numeracy are developed in a stimulating environment designed to build on children’s natural enthusiasm for learning and inquisitiveness.

Breadth of opportunity is also important, so they begin to study a modern foreign language and make full use of the school facilities, such as our indoor heated swimming pool and sports hall.

Learn more about our Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum.

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