King’s Castle is situated in the Tuckton area of Bournemouth and so is ideal for children coming from Littledown, Southbourne, Christchurch, Boscombe and surrounding areas.
The school consists of a large converted house and a purpose-built nursery ensuring that the children have plenty of space and allowing us to offer different classroom areas for different age groups. The nursery is well-maintained with bright, spacious and fresh rooms! There is a car-park for drop-off and collection.
Our playground and indoor areas have been designed to offer different zones for learning through play. Our facilities are very flexible so that we provide new and fresh activities on a regular basis to reflect the seasons, local and world events and the children’s interests.
Our day includes a carefully planned mix of adult-led activities, child-initiated activities and free-flow sessions. This ensures that children can enjoy all areas of the nursery and playground and also have the freedom to choose their own activities.
The nursery has 3 distinct areas each named after a Dorset Castle: Highcliffe, Christchurch and Lulworth.
- Highcliffe is for babies aged approximately 3 months to 2 years.
- Christchurch is for toddlers aged approximately 2 to 3 years.
- Lulworth is for children aged approximately 3 to 5 years.
Please note that each child is assessed individually before moving to the next area and the ages above are only a general guideline. Some children may move earlier and some may move later. Many ‘room moves’ also take place during the summer when our older children leave for primary school. Children who are almost ready to “move up” will be gently introduced to the ‘next room’ and will have some weeks when they spend some sessions in their current room and have some introductory sessions in the next room. For some activities, we may mix children of different rooms and different ages. For example, some of our older children love reading to the younger children and many of our younger children enjoy spending time with the ‘big children.’
Highcliffe Baby Unit (for children aged approximately 3 months to 2 years)
Our baby unit has been specially designed for our youngest children to give a feeling of warmth and security combined with a selection of carefully chosen toys and activities. In addition to the main baby room, the baby unit also offers a calm sleep room, a changing room and a separate activity room for messy play and arts and crafts.
Christchurch Toddler Room (for children aged approximately 2-3 years)
This is a warm, inviting space with 2 main classroom areas, a separate sleep room and a separate nappy changing area. The main classroom is divided into several activity areas including a cosy book corner, cookery corner and an art area. There is plenty of space for music and movement. Montessori activities are gradually introduced helping the children to develop their concentration and cognitive skills. The children in Christchurch have their own covered outdoor space with outdoor learning activities and they also have access to the main garden at playtimes.
Lulworth Montessori pre-school (for children aged approximately 3– 5 years)
By this age, our children are following the full Montessori curriculum and we offer separate classrooms or learning areas for the main areas of the Montessori Curriculum:
- Practical Life room
- Sensorial room
- Language and literacy area
- Mathematics area
- Cultural room
- Pre-school classroom with more advanced activities to help children with their transition to big school. ‘School readiness’ activities include learning to get changed (mastering buttons, shoes, zips, etc), having taster PE lessons, lots more activities using numbers, letters and practical life and a few more activities which involve ‘sitting still’!
- We do not generally try and teach the children to ‘read and write’ but if your child is showing interest in reading and writing, we have lots of suitable activities in Lulworth to encourage this and to ensure that they have a fun and positive start to reading and writing.
In all areas of the nursery, the activities available are changed periodically to provide fresh experiences and challenges for the children.
The nursery garden
We encourage our children to spend as much time as possible outside in the fresh air and we foster a love of outdoor exploration and fun. Our fully-enclosed garden gives children plenty of space to run around as well as offering educational activities. There is a covered area to allow outside activities in the winter too. In addition to the main garden, the babies and toddlers have their own covered outdoor area just outside the Christchurch classroom.
King’s Castle garden features:
- Our famous ‘Kings Castle’ – perfect for climbing and role-play.
- Wooden playhouse – perfect for story-telling and chatting to friends
- Covered outside classroom – for structured learning activities
- A large digging pit – great for getting mucky and bug-hunts
- Planting area – great for budding gardeners
- Bug hotel and lots of outdoor games including balls, hoops, balance beam, etc.
Typical outdoor activities can include:
- Water play
- Outdoor arts and crafts
- Jumping and balancing challenges
- Bugs and mud
- Balls and bouncing
- Sand table
- Garden games
- Outdoor theatre
- Chalk wall
- Outdoor snacks
- Weather station
Our playground and outdoor activities change with the seasons and with current topics and events to ensure a world of discovery and exploration.
Baby room: offers 5 free settle in sessions, each for 1 hour. Usually arranged for the 2 weeks prior to start date. The first trial will be a stay and play session where we will ask the parent to complete some forms so we can learn a bit more about their child and the family. The following settles we will encourage the parent to leave for a small length of time, once their child is settled and then increase the amount of time they leave in each session after.
Toddler room and Pre-School: offers 2 free settle in sessions, usually arranged for the week prior to start date. The first is for an hour and is a stay and play session where we ask the parent to complete some forms so we can learn a bit more about the child and the family. The second session is for an hour and a half and we encourage the parent to leave the child when they are settled or drop them off at the door. More can be arranged if needed.
When the children travel through the rooms they also have pre-arranged settle in sessions for each room and the transition is very gradual.
Transition to school
The nursery has very good links with all the schools in the area. Leading up to starting school, the child’s key worker will have a meeting with the school or a telephone appointment to discuss the child and their levels of learning, so the school will know more about the children before they start. We have lots of preschool children who feed into the majority of schools in the area, so there is a good chance each child will go off to school with some friends from nursery.
If you would like your child to stay for lunch they can bring in their own packed lunch or they can have a hot lunch from the nursery. Hot lunches provided by ‘Honest Meals’ (include link…http://honestmealspoole.com/nursery-meals/). Lunches can cater to any allergy, preference or intolerance. Hot lunches are an optional extra and prices depend on preferences. Please note, we are a NUT FREE nursery.