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Starting at Ferrars Nursery

The Academy is responsible for allocating all Nursery places (see our Admissions page for more information).

You will need to complete a Nursery Registration Form at our school office. If you need help completing this, then please do ask. Alternatively you can download the form which can be found in our Useful Forms section, complete it at home and bring it into the office with you.

If your child is not old enough to start our Nursery yet

We will contact you nearer the time for further documents and let you know the date of our Nursery Open Day in March.  In the meantime, please keep updated with our events and look out for our Summer Fete which you and your family are welcome to attend.  If your child does not already attend a pre-school or childcare provision then why not come and join us at Bright Beginnings our Stay & Play session, more details on this can be found on our Community page.                                                             

If your child is ready to start our Nursery now

You will need to provide us with your documents as requested to complete the registration process. Your child cannot start school until this information has been received.

The Family Worker, Marie Jennings will telephone you to arrange a home visit as part of our Admissions procedure.  Staff will meet your child in their home environment and will have the opportunity to speak with you on a one-to-one basis.

Your child will start Nursery as soon as the home visit has been completed, this can often be on the same day if your child is in the Afternoon session. There is no settling in period. Please don’t worry if your child gets upset, this will pass. Staff are experts at dealing with this and children often settle quickly once you have left.

Please encourage your child to be ready to start Nursery by reading our ‘Is your child Nursery ready’ guide for parents below.

If your child is due to start our Nursery in the September (Autumn Term)

You will receive an offer letter from the Academy after the Easter break which will state your child’s session time. You will need to contact the school to confirm that you still want the place for your child. This is co-ordinated by Mrs Johnston in the school office who deals with all our new admissions.

The Academy holds a Nursery Open Day in March which all prospective parents are invited to attend with their child. This is open to the community to attend also.

Following your confirmation reply, we will send you a letter inviting you to attend a New Parents Information Meeting in the summer term [June], this is also co-ordinated by Mrs Johnston.

At the New Parents Meeting you will meet key staff members and find out more about the Academy including the curriculum, daily routine, expectations and how you can be involved in your child’s school life. There will also be the opportunity to ask questions. You will also be given a welcome pack, within this will be the date of your home visit. As part of our Admissions procedure staff will meet your child in their home environment and will have the opportunity to speak with you on a one-to-one basis. Home visits are co-ordinated by our Family Worker, Marie Jennings and take place at the start of the Autumn Term in September.

The Nursery has a Taster Day for all new starters in September which parents/carers must attend and stay with their child. This gives your child time to explore the Nursery and for Nursery staff to begin to get to know your child. Parents/carers can help their child find the toilet, encourage them to use it and access all the areas and activities in the Nursery. It is an opportunity for parents to see the Nursery and talk to staff.  You can stay for as little or long as you like.

Please help your child get ‘Nursery Ready’ by reading the following guidance:

Starting Nursery is a big change in your child’s life. We want them to feel happy and confident when they join us at Ferrars.  In order to feel happy at Nursery children need to know they can do things for themselves. They have to get used to being one of many and staff are not always able to be with your child all the time. It’s much easier to settle a child into Nursery if they have already learnt certain key skills at home. This parent-friendly guide will help you understand what skills your child needs, and how to support your child develop these skills.

At The Ferrars Academy our expectations are that your child should have the following skills when starting Nursery:

  • Able to go to the toilet on their own, wiping themselves and handwashing
  • Able to get undressed, and dressed independently
  • Able to use a tissue to blow their nose
  • Recognise their name
  • Follow simple instructions
  • Able to tell an adult if they need any kind of help
  • Sit quietly and concentrate on a task
  • Be familiar with books and enjoy a story
  • Know some colours and shapes
  • Sing songs and nursery rhymes

Answer simple questions when asked

What does a ‘Nursery Ready’ child look like?

A Nursery ready child should...

1. Have good social skills – maintain eye contact, turn take, say please and thank you.

2. Be able to cope emotionally when separated from parents/carer

3. Be relatively independent in their own personal care

4. Have a curiosity about the world around them and a desire to learn

5. Be confident and have a willingness to try new things

Help your child get ‘Nursery Ready’

Attend our Bright Beginnings Stay & Play sessions to give your child a head start before they join Nursery.  Give your child the opportunity to play with other children so that they can learn to share and take turns, develop their social skills, make some friends and follow a simple routine. 

Look at the Academy’s prospectus or website together and talk about the pictures. Help your child develop independence and a ‘believe you can’ attitude by giving them a few everyday responsibilities for example they could lay the table, feed a pet or put their own laundry away.

Toilet Training. If your child is not fully toilet trained and you would like some support, then why not come to our next Toilet Training workshop. For further information and dates contact the Family Worker on 01582 573641

Talk with your child.  Turn off the television, ipads/tablets, mobile phones and give your child your full attention.  Encourage conversation and develop your child’s language skills. Talk about what you can see and hear when you walk down the street. This will help them with their communication and understand new words.

It is vital that we can understand your child’s needs. Please teach them to use words rather than pointing when they need something. 

This could relate to:

• asking for a drink

• going to the toilet

• needing help with coats or shoes

• wanting to do an activity etc

When your child points at something they want at home, say the words to them and encourage them to say them back to you. Practise this often and they will soon be using words rather than pointing.

Encourage your child to ask for things as this will show you that your child has the ability to ask for the toilet or something they might need from a teacher when they are at Nursery.

Read with your child. The single most helpful thing you can do to help secure your child’s educational chances is to read to them every day. Use picture books at home to practise storytelling.  Lots of reading together at home helps children achieve well in literacy in school.

Play some fun listening and doing games to help with following instructions. ‘Simon says’ or ‘Can you find?’ games are great for this.

Sing simple songs and rhymes with your child.  This will help them develop speech, learn sounds and meaning to words and recall language developing memory and listening skills.

Provide daily physical activity and give your child experiences of real life.  Take them to the beach, park, forest, let them splash in puddles, climb trees, play in the snow, rain and mud.

Encourage your child to ‘mark-make’ and practise pencil control by drawing and colouring.                    

Count with your child.  Count the number of steps as you go up and down.  Sing counting songs that go up and backwards, children always enjoy the ‘blast off’ part of these songs when you reach zero.

Children start Nursery with a wide range of abilities. Staff will help your child progress at their own level.

Establishing New Routines

Make sure your child sleeps well during the week and has a structured bedtime routine so that they are ready to join in at nursery. Bath time and stories instead of TV and tablet games all help children to wind down before bedtime. Phase out any naps and introduce a longer day before the school term starts as this should help with the transition. The Family Worker is happy to help with sleep routines and holds regular parenting workshops, so please ask if you would like support.


Practising the Nursery morning routine, including getting dressed and giving your child enough time to eat breakfast before you need to leave home. If your child attends the afternoon session make sure they have enough time to finish their lunch and are not late or rushed. Practise the Nursery run so that you’re both prepared for the journey. Nutritious meals and plenty of sleep will help your child to concentrate, learn and thrive at Nursery. Establish a good routine weeks leading up to your child starting Nursery. Get your child ready for their new routine by changing their mealtimes to fit in with the Nursery session. Changing routines after your child starts Nursery may lead to more confusion.


If you have arranged childcare before or after school, talk this through with your child. If the childcare arrangement is new, try a settling-in period with the childminder before the school term starts.

Guide to support your child develop self-care and independence

Get your child to master these self-care skills before they start Nursery and make life for them a little easier!  Let your child do things for themselves even if it takes a little bit longer!

Do not use a bottle, spouted cup or dummy if your child still uses one.

If your child has a favourite security toy, blanket or comforter, get them used to being without it during the day.

Do not use a pushchair or carry your child to Nursery. Allow your child to walk, always holding your hand to keep them safe. This will strengthen their muscles and develop their gross motor skills. Your child will need to be used to walking to go on visits and adventures! Allow your child to have opportunities to be looked after by someone else. This will help them learn to separate from you, even if it is only for an hour. They will learn that when you go, you will always return. It will make it easier for them when they start Nursery.

Encourage them to explore new environments and interact with new people.

Show your child how to hold and look at a book properly. Use this opportunity to talk to your child about nursery and what they are looking forward to the most.

Teach your child to recognise their name.

Going to the toilet / Hand washing

Support your child in getting to the toilet on time, allow them to wipe themselves using toilet paper rather than toilet wipes. Get them to flush the toilet after use. Visit lots of different toilets and talk about the different way they flush. Practise turning taps on and off and drying hands with paper towels.

If you have a different phrase for going to the toilet introduce your child to the following phrase:  “Go to the toilet”. It will make settling in at Nursery easier.

Talk to your child about the importance of washing their hands with soap and water, especially after going to the toilet and before eating.

Dressing & Undressing

Allow your child to practise putting on and taking off their own coat and clothes including socks and tights. Practise putting their uniform on and off at home. Show your child how to put their shoes on the right feet and managing the fastenings. Teach them what goes on first when they get dressed. This will help them when they have to do it by themselves in preparation for P.E lessons.


Teach them the tricks like showing them the label goes at the back and the logo for jumpers at the front, holding cuffs to stop sleeves riding up, and wrinkling tights to put toes in first.  Avoid fiddly fastenings and opt for elasticated waists and velcro fastenings for young children. Teach your child to recognise their own coat by putting a small key ring on the end of the zip to help them, as children often have the same colour or type of coat.

Drinking from a cup and straw / eating independently

Your child will be drinking water or milk from a cup at snack time or will drink a carton using a straw during their lunch. Please help them to practise this at home. They will also have fruit at snack time so let them eat independently with supervision.

Children who are having a packed lunch will need to be able to recognise their own lunch box/bag. They need to be able to open their own lunch boxes as well as any containers and packets inside. Practise giving your child a packed lunch at home to develop their confidence in unwrapping and opening things including the box. Encourage your child to have good manners. 

Using a tissue

Introduce your child to ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’.  Catch the sneeze or runny nose in a tissue and get your child to put it in the bin straight away themselves, then go and wash their hands to kill the germs. 

Tidying up

Get your child into good habits by teaching them to hang their coat up, putting their toys away, helping you to clear the table etc. This will prepare them for doing these things naturally at Nursery.


With a little preparation & encouragement most children will settle into school life with ease.

If you have any worries about your child starting Nursery, please let us know.