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Novar Nursery - any experience?

(21 Posts)
PlumHoolie Fri 04-May-12 22:51:50

I'm interested in sending my child there, but I don't know any parents who have children already there...

If you have experience of Novar, what do you think of it?

cartblanche Fri 04-May-12 23:26:33

Personally, for my DS, not good. Excellent HMIE reports though. Parents of girls seemed to have a different experience but I know quite a few parents of boys who had quite negative experiences. There also seemed to be a different experience between children in Unit 1 who went half days and Unit 2 who went full days (Unit 2 seemed more positive). There were some lovely nursery teachers there but also some not-so experienced ones. I also found there was a real space issue - too many children crammed in and not enough management or engagement of energetic children. I was cross when they sent a load of children off on a trip when the inspector was scheduled to come in - it gave quite a different impression of just how "busy" the main rooms could be. Also often in the morning he wasn't acknowledged on arrival which I thought was sad.

I was forever filling in "incident" forms (their paperwork can't be faulted) for my DS to record when he had been involved in tussles, accidents etc. I was disturbed at the amount of times he received scratches and injuries that weren't witnessed by any member of staff.

My 3 year old once missed out on outdoor play because he struggled to get his outdoor shoes on in time - I only learnt this when he told me some days later and when I spoke to the Headteacher about it she confirmed this was the case. Apparently this was to encourage him to learn - if I had been told about this at the time I would have obviously have practised at home but this was not communicated to me.

It's not a nursery you can just drop in and visit either - read into that what you wish.

Like I say, some lovely individual staff, but on the whole a rather severe atmosphere that I regret putting my DS into. He moved onto a different nursery with just as many children but with wonderful, creative staff that had oodles of experience, who engaged the children and where there was genuine warmth. The Head Teacher was friendly and kind and her personality permeated the establishment in a very positive way. He blossomed.

Hope that helps smile

PlumHoolie Fri 04-May-12 23:52:10

Very interesting indeed, thanks cartblanche. Which nurseries would you say were more welcoming?

cartblanche Sat 05-May-12 00:26:08

I've heard great things about Treasure Trove at Anniesland College and the building itself is brilliantly thought out. There are a certain amount of places for non-staff/students and it has partnership funding.

I know that many of the staff at the nursery in the Park at Kelvingrove (don't know its proper name - sorry!) are brilliant because they were at the nursery that my DS went to after Novar. Don't have any experience of this new establishment though but am sure someone else on this board will.

All I would say is go with your gut feeling. I remember pouring over the HMIE reports when I really should have just gone on the gut feeling I got there. Some of the best places prioritise the children over crossing the i's and dotting the t's and that's the way I think it should be.

giraffesCantDonateBoneMarrow Sat 05-May-12 01:14:28

I like it, staff great and helpful. Head teacher is interesting. <doesn't want to be sued! PM me if you want!!> But staff are good, friendly and they do lots of good activities. Lots of outdoor play.

Not had a problem. Have been to lots of nurseries and worked in some myself and get an overall positive feeling from this one.

Agree they very keen on incident forms for minor things but would rather this than the other way.

giraffesCantDonateBoneMarrow Sat 05-May-12 01:15:20

Have worked in Mulberybush in Yorkhill and really like dit, that was a good few years ago though.

giraffesCantDonateBoneMarrow Sat 05-May-12 01:19:24

No can't drop in and visit - but would say that was more due to the head teacher than staff.

I don't like careshare from my experience of working in them so wouldnt reccomend any of their branches personally.

cartblanche Sat 05-May-12 21:17:31

Just out of curiosity giraffesCDBM did you send a DS or DD to Novar (or both?!) Feel free to tell me to mind me own if you wish grin

And Who/What is Careshare BTW?

Have also heard good firsthand reports of Mulberry Bush but a bit too far away for us.

I agree the outdoor space at Novar is great although that lovely climbing frame at the side behind the fence seemed to be for the exclusive use of Unit 2. I was in on a day when they did some ball games in the cloakroom area (weather was bad) and it seemed very cramped and unfit for purpose.

giraffesCantDonateBoneMarrow Sun 06-May-12 03:06:52

I am a nanny and take a child there smile

Have been to lots of nurseries through this and haven't had any care related issues at all. I really like the staff in the rooms with the children and that is saying something I am very fussy wink

giraffesCantDonateBoneMarrow Sun 06-May-12 03:07:46

Oh and sorry yes she is a she. But have lots of friends who are Mums there of boys and they are happy too.

cartblanche Sun 06-May-12 07:20:25

Thanks giraffes. There is an elephant in the room when talking about Novar isn't there?! (realises it sounds like we're on safari doesn't it, giraffes, elephants grin)

It was a few years ago that my DS was there admittedly. I'm wondering whether the fundamental "philosophy" of the place has changed? An acquaintance is sending her DS there soon and I've been very honest with her about my own experience - I'm really hoping he'll have a happy time there.

giraffesCantDonateBoneMarrow Sun 06-May-12 08:20:36

Tell your friend never to leave her bag in the car!

cartblanche Sun 06-May-12 16:35:30

Or tie her bike to the nursery railings apparently!

tigrmum Fri 11-May-12 11:24:56

My experience was very similar to carteblanche. It was also a boy.

PlumHoolie Mon 14-May-12 00:16:32

Thanks tigrmum. If you don't mind me asking, was your experience a recent one? Did you end up changing nurseries? I understand if you don't want to say.

Also thanks again to cartblanche and Giraffes

WentworthMillerMad Sat 19-May-12 08:55:35

Who mrs bonkers?
It's a good nursery and let's face it, if the location fits then it's a huge advantage. It's v small and crowded and the head teacher was v v cross with me for applying to the private schools. So much so that she threw a ref request in the bin! Where did her kids go? You guessed it!

We moved and my DD2 went to Belhaven which I preferred 100%, including being walking distance.

CatPower Mon 21-May-12 23:28:51

My DS went to Novar for a year (the year before his preschool year, if that makes sense). He was in the half-day class and really enjoyed himself, the teachers were attentive and friendly and happy to discuss things at length if we had any queries etc.

The headteacher was a whole different story, but I'm sure other ex-Novar Mums get the jist.

PlumHoolie Tue 22-May-12 17:19:33

Thanks everyone. thanks All very interesting!

Always keen to know more... if anyone else has experience they'd like to share.

tigrmum Thu 24-May-12 23:07:34

Sorry have not logged on for a while. My DS went there a few years ago. We didn't change nursery but had a few serious conversations about it. Decided in the end not to disrupt him as he had a couple of friends there.

I think the staff are good, and some excellent but I never really liked the overall atmosphere of the place. (I think there is a common denominator or maybe just that elephant...grin)

I have younger children and don't think I will be applying for a place there for them.

jomirule Sun 06-Oct-13 22:43:34

One year on, I would just like to say that Novar Nursery has a new headteacher (since January 2013) and with this the entire atmophere in the nursery has changed. It is a lovely place to be in now: staff on first name term with each other and parents, no units anymore, only key groups. All children can play where they want to and with who they chse to. Heateacher is very apprachable and you can visit any time. Our daughter had been there under the od management, we as parents totally disliked the management (never the staff) but she loved it. Thought twice about sending our son there this year but were so positively surprised by all the changes. He started in August and we can only recommend the nursery! Thought it would be helpful to update this discussion in case anyone else is thinking about sending their child here as the reputation of the former headteacher is still out there.

Thunderspuds Mon 29-Apr-19 10:03:29

I'm adding to this thread as it still comes up when you do a search for Novar Nursery, and it's one of the only things that does.

I've had two daughters go to Novar and it's been amazing. The staff are fantastic. New Head Teacher is brilliant, so PLEASE do not listen to anyone whose child may have gone there a decade or so ago and wasn't keen because of the Head. My youngest DD is 3 and was v. shy, nervous and timid before going to Novar. Within a year she's just come out of her shell and blossomed. I honestly can't say enough good things about it. The kids are outside as much as possible. Staff are highly experienced and brilliant. It's a lovely friendly, welcoming, calm environment. If anyone wants to PM me please go ahead. Like the above poster I wanted to update the discussion as it's based on a reputation of the former Headteacher from years ago.

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