Drayton house and Guildford high(10 Posts)
We're currently at Fitzsimmons but are having to change nurseries as they can't accomadate the new days we need. A shame since we're quite happy there although like with all nurseries there are a few things we don't like.
We need somewhere quite close to lanesbourough where ds is going to make drop off easier and have narrowed it down to positive steps and Drayton house.
Just wanted some reviews of what people think of them.
We like both but for different reasons. Positive steps very clean, new manager seems very good and trying to bring new initiatives to the rooms. But does feel a bit soulless and the staff quite young. Drayton house on the other hand has more of a personal touch but we worry of it's too structured and whether especially in the older rooms if they are too small to have much free play. However dd will only be going 2 days a week so will have lots of other time for free play, toddler groups, outdoor activities etc. also a bit worried about a comment made here that Guildford High had mixed things to say about Drayton house as that is where we'd want to try and send dd once she reached the right age.
Have cross posted in education as thought might catch some of the Guildford high mums who might have heard something.
Drayton house is good if you want a very traditional old-fashioned nursery. They send lots to private schools but IMO it is more what you do with your child and if she is going two days a week then you can do bits with her which will help for the assessment nearer the time. My DD got into GHS albeit 15 years ago and she just did the odd morning in nursery. As you say, your DD will have loads of time for play and real 'childhood experiences' if she is just in nursery two days a week... this would make me sway towards drayton. If you were putting her in 5 days a week, I would go for positive steps (this is just gut instinct on what I know and I can't explain why really!)
How old is your DD? A friend said she looked at Drayton House but would only send her DC there from when they are upstairs (age 2.5 I think) as she found the big room for 2 year olds a bit too disciplined and unfriendly for the children's age. She mentioned play seemed quite restricted because of the little rooms. Very caring though and good quality staff. Head is quite old now and hence it remains very traditional.
I don't know much about positive steps I am afraid but it seems to be a big contrast to drayton house.
Don't know if my rambling helps or not- it is a tricky decision despite them being very different nurseries!
Another thing is to consider is whether most of the other children at each nursery are there 5 days a week as your DD may struggle socially or struggle with the routine compared to other DC. If they are all dipping in and out throughout the week then the nursery is likely to be more prepared and open to the inevitable odd tantrum at you leaving or a child taking a bit of time to adjust.
I have a friend at Drayton who is happy with it. I believe the days are quite inflexible though? Children have to do full days and they have to be blocked either at the beginning or end of the week. Can they accommodate what you want?
They can luckily- although I know that with any nursery if my working days change they may not be able to accomadate the new ones. Hopefully till she goes to school my days will be staying the same.
zigzap dd will be nearly 2 when she starts there- we actually didn't chose it when we were looking for nurseries the first time round as didn't like the younger rooms but quite liked from 2 up. Think I'm on the same wavelength as you that if she's only at nursery 2 days a week maybe a structured environment would be good as has the rest of the days to run around freely so to speak. Positive steps does has some educational programmes like nrich, toddler talk and get physical but the staff just seem so young and new. Staff at Drayton are a bit older and been there a whole although guess that can mean they haven't moved with the times and taken on new ideas!
May try and find the comment someone made about ghs saying mixed things about Drayton house and try and pm them to find out more. Not sure if I could even ask Guildford high if they have anything to say about Drayton.
I had two boys at DH, but that was 10 years ago.
DS1 was upstairs and stayed until reception at PD. DS2 was downstairs 1-1.45 yrs. He was very happy but then the nursery head left and replacement not so good, so pulled him out. DS1 liked the structure upstairs and I really considered leaving him there for reception onwards, wish I had now but that is another story!
Look at castle nursery quite a few GHS girls went there. Some years lots of Drayton house girls turn up at GHS and other years none. I know somebody who has just pulled there child out of positive steps. St Hilary's godalming, Glenesk in east horsley also send quite a few to GHS. I would try Drayton House for convenience and see if it works.
Lots go from Drayton to the High school and always have. They even adapted their drop off policy by force of GHS mothers.
However it can offer flexibility and then become more rigid as you get older.
The Uniform is worth considering too.
One of mine went there, and has done well, as have her friends. I know children who have gone on to a wide range of Guildford schools both State and Private.
However, I would also look at the Montissori at the Spike - which wasn't an option in my day.
Thanks for all the responses-really useful.
sixlive which castle nursery out of the three is it? I've seen the one on makenfield rd but didn't seem very clean and got a not sure feeling. The one in the centre of Guildford didn't get a great ofsted report so didn't go visit it.
Obviously only if you don't mind sharing but do you know why they had to pull their daughter out of positive steps?
mummytime thanks will look at the spike. Only problem I can see is the fact they have term times although I suppose I could use the holiday club at Drayton house as cost wise the spike is very economical. The other issue would be that my mum would have to do drop offs and would have to investigate if she's happy to go this & pick up at closing of 4.30 but from website and ofsted report looks like worth a look.
I have a 3 year old son that has been at DH for over a year. I certainly don't consider it too structured for my son. I don't imagine anyone else that I know foes either as they've all had their children there for quite done time. I also have a daughter at GHS and some of her classmates attended DH send enjoyed their time there.
I would suggest that you look at the needs of your child first. If you don't think she'd thrive in an environment that has structure you should look at other options that match her character best.
To be honest I never know what this 'structure' is that folk on here refer to. DH is a nursery that is generally highly regarded by those with children there. The only negative comments I've seen have been from those without children there.
Not every nursery or school will suit every child. Go with your gut feel about what will suit the child best.
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