Pre-school vs. Nursery class(8 Posts)
Dd1 is at a pre-school atm but if I want her to start nursery class (attached to intended primary school) in Sept 2012 then I need to apply now, or she can stay at the pre school next year. What's the difference?
I don't know what a nursery class is? Is that the same as reception? Or just a pre-school attached to a primary?
One big difference is the adult/child ratio. Typically a school nursery will have a teacher plus one assistant - a pre-school will usually have one adult to 6 children (depends on the age of the children). Some parents choose nursery classes because they do not pay and some pre-schools are not funded. I would advise you to check if attending the school nursery automatically means your child can join Reception - this is not always the case. At the end of the day it depends on whether you think your child is ready to move on and you like the nursery or whether you think another year in pre-school would help improve your child's confidence. There is often not a lot of difference in what they do as both follow the Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum.
Just to add to the above, we moved from a preschool (which was funded) to a nursery attached to a pre-prep (which as from this year is not funded). I debated a lot about it. I think for my dc it is the right move, but it is entirely dependent on the child in question. In our case, there are 14 children now to 3 teachers/nursery nurses now.
Your child can stay in either and it will not make any difference, just go with what you feel is better for them. Going to the nursery class makes no difference when it comes to applying for a school place, you still have to go through the same application process.
Check your LA website for how to apply- we had to apply in feb for a place this september. My DD was in a preschool and I was very undecided so applied for both. I went to look round the nursery class but even though it was lovely I thought it was too formal and structured for 3 year olds so decided to keep DD at preschool for another year. For her it was the right decision, she is very settled and happy.
i think very much depends on the child, I was concerned about less adults to children (are 3 adults for the 26 children in my daughters nursery class at school), but I felt my daughter had outgrown the pre-school, she had been there since 2.5 years (for a year) and it was great for socialisation, learning to share, but i felt another year there she would get bored as alot of the children her age were moving to the nursery class (although not all), but there would be more younger ones. She is loving the nursery class it is a bit more structured, they do things like join the rest of the infants for assembly on special occassions (Harvest today and they sang a song - she was very excited!), they have had a theatre company in and they watched a show with the infants and had a drumming workshop - there are more structured activities (although they dont have to do them and can still play, all very child led - also they have free flow outside with the reception classes, as she will (fingers crossed) go to this school next year, it has been great for her as now knows the buildings/children/other teachers etc! Was def the right decision for us as she is pretty confident and Independant... I am not sure we will do the same for my son as he seems to be a much quieter/shy child, will just see how he goes see if we think he is ready! Maybe ask the current pre-school as i asked ours and they advised she was ready for the nursery class!
Thanks all, I spoke to her keyworker and she said she thinks DD1 would be fine at the school nursery but to have a look at two potentials first to get a better idea of what they're like. Made enquiries today and have tours booked, first one being Friday. I'm taking all three LOs with but will watch DD1 closely, will just tell her we're going to see what a big nursery looks like (she stubbornly refers to her current setting as playgroup thanks to Peppa Pig) so no pressure on her
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