Gracelands is a Birmingham Local Authority Maintained Nursery School offering high quality early education to young children. We are an inclusive, child-centred Nursery offering places to 2, 3 and 4 year olds.
Our staff team includes specialist Early Years teachers and experienced teaching assistants, as well as a range of external partners.
We are one of 27 Birmingham Local Authority Maintained Nursery Schools which promote quality and excellence for our youngest children in Birmingham.
Children access their Early Education Entitlement of 15 hours provision per week attending mornings, afternoons or blocked days. Eligible working parents are able to access 30 hours provision per week. The Nursery School is popular and the number of children on roll continues to rise.
How your child learns
Gracelands is a child-centred nursery, which means that children spend much of their day engaged in self-directed learning. The majority of the day is free-flow, meaning children choose to engage in a range of different activities, indoors and outdoors. Children engage in activities independently and with their friends, as well as taking part in adult facilitated activities that are planned from children's interests and developmental needs.
We believe that at this young age children learn best through a play-based curriculum, with support from our experienced staff team who engage with children in their play to support social interaction, language development and further learning opportunities.
Some key attributes we seek to develop in children include self-confidence, problem solving and independence.
Each child and family has a named key person. This offers the opportunity for a special relationship to develop. The key person builds a close relationship by acting as a companion for the child and being mindful to the needs of the child during each day. The key person acts as a champion for child and parent. Sharing information and creating opportunities to talk with parents builds trust and partnership. Settling-in is a crucial time.
Each child and family is unique. Before starting Nursery we offer home visits. We have new children starting every term. We work together to support the settling process. When parents feel comfortable in the setting it helps their children to settle. During the summer term we work closely with neighbouring primary schools to offer smooth transitions to Reception. Children leave with excellent primary school readiness.
Rhythm of the day
We create rhythm in the Nursery through our daily routine. The day begins with meeting and greeting by the key person. A group time with the key person takes place on entry to meet and plan learning (breathing in) (15 minutes). This is followed by a period of child-initiated play indoors and outdoors (breathing out and exploring the world) (90 minutes). There is a group time at the end of the session to share food, reflect, share stories and singing (breathing in) (15 minutes).
Rhythm also comes through personal care routines. Nappy changing, changing clothes, washing, eating, quiet/resting/sleeping times are learning and development times for children. Children experience the seasons and feel connected to nature and its lifecycle. There is a planned yearly timetable for looking after the garden and visits to parks. There are unplanned spontaneous experiences connected to the weather. Children participate in real experiences like shopping, gardening, cooking and caring for living creatures and plants
Food and nutrition
We're passionate about fresh, healthy food that tastes great. The right nutrients can affect everyone's mood, behaviour, health, growth and even their ability to concentrate. Encouraging a well-balanced diet establishes healthy eating now and for the future. We offer hot meals that are brought onto site by specialist caterers in education establishments. The children also have access to a morning snack of fruit with water available throughout the day. The children grow some of our food in the garden.
The governing body plays a key role in overseeing the practice and ethos of the school. They provide challenge and support to the Executive Head Teacher and leadership team. If you would like to be involved please ask at reception.
At Gracelands we track children's learning and development termly, seeking to ensure that children make good or better progress and continue to be stimulated and challenged by their nursery experiences. This information is shared with families at termly reviews. We also use this data to identify curriculum development priorities.
Working with parents
We value parental input very highly. We are always looking for parents to join our governing body which is a way to be involved in the direction that Gracelands takes moving forwards.
Each term parents meet with their child's key person and contribute to identifying 'next steps' for their child's learning and development. We encourage families to share children's learning experiences from home through the Tapestry documentation tool.