Children can start Nursery in the school term following their 3rd birthday. Coming to our nursery setting will allow your child to develop their social skills and begin to make new friends in a safe, educational, play based setting which is run by qualified professionals. This is an important stage as it supports your child to develop and gain the skills needed for future learning including basic counting/number recognition, enjoyment of stories, phonics, social skills and physical developmental play.
Orchard Nursery is both part time and full time. We have 40 full-time and 24 part-time places available in each class. If all the full-time places are not taken up, additional part-time places will be offered. If there are still vacancies remaining, parents with part-time places can ask to top up the part-time entitlement to a full-time place for which there will be a charge.
Where there are more applications than places available, the following criteria will be used to decide which children will be allocated places:
- If the child is ‘Looked After’
A Looked After Child is a child who is in the care of the local authority. (see section 22 of Children Act 1989). Children in public care are a disadvantaged group who have very low average levels of attainment, often related to frequent changes of school because their care placements change. These children are given top priority in our oversubscription criteria.
- If the child has a sibling in the school
A sibling is the brother or sister (children must have the same mother and father) of a child who is already on roll at the school, and will not have left the school by
the time the sibling starts, a step/half brother or sister (same mother
or father (half) as the child attending the school, or children who are living at the same address due to a new relationship but are not blood related (step). or a child who is living as part of the family by reason of a court order, or a child who has been placed with foster carers at that address as a result of being looked after by the local authority. If a child lives with parents with shared responsibility, the address at which the child has spent the most days in the past school year will be taken into account.
Children for whom it is the nearest community school, measured by the shortest walking on council pavements. (The length of the journey between the child’s home and the school by private car or public transport is not taken into account).
In exceptional cases, a Headteacher, in consultation with the Governors, may admit children because they have professionally supported educational, medical or social needs that the school is especially able to meet, even though they would not otherwise qualify for admission. Letters from an appropriate professional (eg doctor, social worker) must support these applications although these will not always be conclusive.
In the event of a tie break situation where two or more children meet the criteria as stated above, the distance from the public footpath directly outside the front door of the child’s address, to the gates of the school’s main entrance on Holcroft Road.