What makes a nursery different? What makes
one nursery better than the next for your child? The choice is a
difficult and often emotional one, made more confusing by the plethora
of advice and opinion available to parents.
At Dolphin we know what makes us different. Our school, a
coeducational, preparatory school for children aged three to thirteen,
offers children the freedom to learn in a number of individual and
Dolphin has been providing a happy and
secure environment for a child’s first steps into education for over
forty years. The atmosphere is exciting, colourful, orderly and
inviting. The children work happily with purpose, care and competence.
flourish in the exceptionally well organised setting”
Our aim is to inspire in the child curiosity, a love of
learning and to build self-esteem through a structured, hands-on,
learning programme. There are different themes for every term,
integrated into which is a long established programme of relevant day
trips and visits.
Welcome To The Dolphin Nursery
Our greatest resource at Dolphin is our highly qualified and
dedicated staff. They are innovative and flexible and enjoy the
challenge of teaching.
benefit from the well qualified and experienced staff who are very caring”
We are delighted with the recent results of our Early Years Audit
from the local authority in Wokingham. The school's Foundation Stage,
incorporating both the Nursery and Reception classes, was recently audited
using the Early Environment Rating Scale ‘ECERS’.
We scored 6.09 out of a
maximum of 7 - the national average is 4.3.
The scale assesses the 3 key needs of children, their health and
safety, how they build positive relationships, and the opportunities provided
for structured learning and learning from experience.
Particular strengths that were highlighted included ‘interaction’,
scoring 6.8 out of 7. This looks at supervision, interactions amongst children
and between staff and children, and discipline.
‘Language and reasoning’ scored 6.75 out of 7.
This includes book
provision, encouraging children to communicate and using language to develop
Not only were we delighted
that the feedback reflects the expertise and commitment of the Foundation
staff, but that it also demonstrates a love of learning which the children are
able to develop as soon as they arrive.
“The quality of teaching and learning is
perceptive to children’s interests”
The Montessori approach adopted in the
Dolphin Nursery is child-centred and all equipment is set out in an
ordered way to enable children to select their own work independently. The
Nursery holds to a Montessori ethos that allows time for
one-to-one with a one of our three trained Montessori teachers and offers time
for child-centred learning throughout parts of each day.
The Montessori method uses the children’s natural curiosity and gives
them the space and time to learn. This aids concentration,
self-motivation and perseverance. High self-esteem is paramount.
curriculum both inside and outside is delivered extremely well and provides
children with exciting learning opportunities”
children must be allowed to make decisions and feel themselves to be
Discussion and listening is also important so that children know that
they are valued and that their opinion is important.
The materials and
equipment they use lead children to attain nationally approved ‘learning
goals’ and paves the way for the National Curriculum and the
Dolphin School learning programme.
"Pupils social awareness is outstanding. Older members of the school play happily with younger ones at break times,
and as part of their week will read to them and listen to reading". School Inspection Report
Outdoor Activity Area
Outdoor Learning Cabin
Nursery have their own
self-contained environment which can be found at the end of the Dolphin
School Rainbow Road!
Their environment is linked to that of the
Reception Class with whom they work very closely.
A purpose built outdoor classroom at the other end of
the school field adds another dimension to their learning and the
children in Nursery also benefit from the close proximity of the senior
They make full use of its facilities, such as the main
hall for gym activities, playing fields and swimming pool during the
summer term. They also enjoy the care and attention of the older
children who sometimes visit Nursery to entertain them or work with them
on specific projects.
use their imagination and are creative in expressing themselves”
Nursery children quickly become relaxed and comfortable
in the school grounds so that the transition to the main school is
natural and smooth.
The Nursery is attached to the main school and therefore
benefits hugely from its resources such as playing fields, climbing frames,
playgrounds, nature trails, minibuses and the swimming pool.
access a broad range of wonderful resources”
Above all it
benefits from the expertise of trained PE, sports, music, judo and languages
teachers, in addition to the existing Nursery staff.
Indeed, all Nursery
children are exposed to an excellent array of 20 or so languages from around
the world in specialist languages lessons that are timetables for every week
with the main schools Head of MFL.
“The quality of the pupils personal development is excellent, and is promoted by exemplary relationships between pupils, and between pupils and staff, including in
Pupils are friendly, polite and courteous, and are valued by staff throughout the school.
They have self-esteem and a good sense of self-worth, fulfilling the school’s aim of developing caring, independent-thinking, confident and well balanced young people.” School Inspection Report
Day trips begin in Nursery at Dolphin. Our
youngest children go on at least two excursions per term. Each visit
will relate to the overall theme for that term.
Day trips continue
throughout a Dolphin career and include such venues as art galleries,
museums, historical sites and theatre experiences.
Almost all costs associated with our day trip programme are included in the fees.
Examples of trips undertaken in a year by Nursery;
Autumn Walk to SouthHill Park
Show at Norden Farm Park
White Waltham Estate – farm and gardens
White Waltham airfield
Henley by train
A working garage
"The school provides an extremely wide range of extra-curricular subjects, for example judo and cooking.
Sport and music are well represented in clubs and activities". School Inspection Report