Good Day Nursery's in Clifton(22 Posts)
Just wondering if anyone can help me with info about the Day Nursery's in Clifton. We are moving to Bristol from Australia next year and I am looking to put my 4 year old and 2 year old into Nursery school part time. Does anyone know if Mornington House, Amberley House, Clifton Tots, Mama Bears or Pooh Corner are any good? It is really tricky to put their names down and pay deposits etc without actually knowing if the places are any good! Some have very snazzy websites and others don't have anything on the internet at all.
Thanks in anticipation.
DS1 is at Mornington House and I can't recommend them enough. They're small and very friendly and really welcoming and homey. DS1 has been there since he was 9 months (he's 3 now) and loves it.
They have very low staff turnover and some of the staff are older ladies, so not just young whippersnappers. They have two gardens, one for toddlers and one for babies, with loads of toys, and do things like cooking and messy play and arts and crafts and exercise and dressing up etc etc.
Long waiting list though and they're not the cheapest.
For the 4 yo as well they have an excellent nursery school teacher who does pre-school stuff with the older ones in the mornings - all learning through play though, not too structured.
Do you know Bristol at all? And where in Oz are you moving from?
DSD went to Mama Bears until she started school and loved it. All the staff were fantastic and really seemed to care about the children.
They also have a ball pit room which was a big hit.
Thanks for your reply. Mornington House is on the top of my list but I am having trouble getting in contact with them. I have sent numerous emails but haven't had a response yet. Will try to call them soon but tricky with the time difference etc. We are moving from Melbourne. Initially for 12 months but will see how things go. We are keen to live in Clifton but don't know much about Bristol. I will probably try to send my son school and have heard that St John's in Clifton is very good so will try our luck getting him a spot there.
St Johns is amazing, my DDs and DSD go there, what year group would you need for DS?
Happy to hear that St Johns is as good as I have been told. My son would be in reception and would start in Feb 2010
Sorry to hear you're having trouble getting in touch with them - ringing is probably easier if you can manage it, although I imagine it's tricky and expensive! The management company actually owns three nurseries in Bristol, but I never have any contact with them, only with the nursery manager who is absolutely lovely.
Clifton is beautiful, but it is the most expensive area of Bristol. If you can't find what you want there, you could also try Redland or Westbury Park, all very close to Clifton and a little more reasonable.
I hear good things about St Johns too, but DS1 is only 3 so we don't know much about primaries. Westbury Park primary is at the end of our road and seems to have a good reputation. Have you checked out the league tables for Bristol primaries? you can access them through the BBC website here
We spent a few months in Melbourne when we travelled around the world a few years ago and loved it, you must be sorry to leave
Is that when you are moving over here? The school is horribly over-subscribed, I know that there is a waiting list as long as my arm of people who haven't been offered a place for this school year starting in September 09.
Sorry, not to discourage, I hope you can get a place sorted
Thanks guys for your responses. We will be sad to leave Melbourne as it is so fantastic but we are excited about getting to Bristol and doing all things British!!! Thanks bratnav for letting me know about St Johns. I am not very confident about getting a place but will give it a try. Perhpas someone will have left by the time we arrive in Feb. Things are done a bit differently here and the school year runs from Jan to December with the big holidays over Christmas where the kids have 2 months off over summer and start the next school year in Jan. Thanks Whatfresheggisthis for Mornington house info. I will call them this week to make contact. Perhaps I will see you there at some stage.
Just look for the chubby one with all the DDs and a pram, probably the only non yummy mummy at the place
Pam is the school secretary there, she is lovely. Justin Hoye is the head and is fantastic.
my daughter aged 4.5 goes to Pooh Corner & my son aged 2 is due to start soon. Would recommend altho know they are busy at mo so if you need to , recommend you put name down asap. The nursery has a large garden (by redland/ clifton standards) & they are good at getting kids out at least once a day which was something i liked when I looked round. they also have a qualified reception class teacher who works 2 days a week with the older kids and sets up various activities for rest of week when she is not there. They do not follow a strict structured programme like other pre schools cos believe strongly that until age of 5 children should only learn thro play, they do however follow same curriculum as others who do follow more structured, sitting down learning type thing if you see what i mean ! My daughter is due to start st john's in sept & so I'm pleased to read the glowing reports which confirm my impressions on looking round & yes Justin Hoye (the head) came across extremley well. anyway, good luck with the move !!
Thanks babyblackbird. It's great about Pooh Corner. I have already put the kids names down there. I am really glad to hear about the program etc as my son will be 4.5 when he starts there (if??) and will need a lot of stimulation as he has been used to going to pre school(kindergarten) here in Australia.
I used to work at Amberley Hall and all I can say is AVOID!
It sounds like you've found something, but if not I can really recommend Art Raft Piglets Nursery. My son's been there for 2 years and has really flourished. Strong focus on play and creativity and not too much National Curriculum (in my mind there's plenty of time for that later!)
All the staff are really lovely.
One of the best nurseries in that area is The Red House in Westbury Park - with the added bonus that they run an after school club for local schools if you end up in one of them (they are all good)
We looked for nurseries for DS about two years ago so bear in mind, things may have changed since then, however we found:
I visited Pooh Corner while looking for nurseries with DS and I did not like it at all. One of the nursery staff actually left a toddler in the toilet to answer the door to us and so the toddler didn't finish properly and then was running around the hall way half naked - we could have been anyone at the door and a my friend, who is an experienced nursery nurse, said this was not a good thing to do as children should not be left while learning to toilet train/respecting childs privacy etc
Then we looked around at the children outside during play time - some of the staff looked really bored pushing the children around, not engaged at all
The whole place didn't look very clean, was very dated - old wooden stair gates, toys didn't look clean, I didn't see much example of activities that the children do, photos of outings, messy play etc like they do in DS nursery now to create a sense of belonging
The baby changing station was in the same room as one of the baby toilets, which again my friend said wasn't very good for toilet training.
At meal times, I saw the children being fed lunch and it was on paper plates - this does not teach good manners, is wasteful and again, my friend was horrified by this
The baby sleep room was at the time downstairs in the basement, very cramped and intercom looked very old...didn't seem to be many staff going past, aside from the regular checks. I cringed at the thought of DS being alsleep in there and perhaps crying and not being able to be seen quickly enough
The parking there is also very bad which will make drop ups/pick ups very stressful. I think its a case of people thinking that because its in Redland, it must be good - but both DH and I were not impressed in the slightest. Good website and info, but imo, the money goes on that rather than back into the nursery..although in fairness, it may have changed since then. Check the ofsted report and see
Mornington House - I did like this nursery and the staff seemed so much more engaged with the children, lots of activites and staff were very knowledgable. We were there before lunch and the cook was making a lovely looking shepherds pie and they put a lot of emphasis on good quality food etc. The kitchen is very small though and is in the same room as the office, although it didn't seem to affect the food being produced. Parking is also pretty difficult but its on a lot of bus routes with accessible buses so that's a plus
What decided it for me, was that the baby area was only separated from the main nursery area by a curtain and I didn't feel DS would have got quality nap time. There are no separate rooms as such - the areas flow from one to another, which is good in terms of supervision, but its very noisy and distracting
I hope this helps a bit?
Hollyoz, did you get this sorted in the end?
Holly Oz, Did you end up sending your child to any of the suggested nurseries? I am also from Melbourne and will be moving to Bristol in July. Would love any advice possible.... Thanks x
Thi she is an eight year old zombie thread. You would be better to start a new one.
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