About The Barn
Click the heading to go straight to the relevant section, or scroll down the page to find out more about The Barn.
Where is The Barn?
Several years ago, one of our parents visiting for the first time described The Barn as "an urban myth". The mother had heard lots about The Barn from friends and neighbours, but did not know where it was, despite living only a few miles away! Happily, we now have Google Maps.
Starting at The Barn
Children come to The Barn from the age of approximately 2 years 6 months to five years of age.
All children and families are different and the decision as to when your child starts nursery school is very much a personal one. We always suggest that parents visit a number of different settings before making any commitment and we would be delighted to show you what outstanding childcare and education looks like for young children.
Sessions and Options
At The Barn, children can do morning sessions, afternoon sessions and whole days. A session is 3 hours long, a whole day is 6 hours.
In our Explorers' room, home of our rising three-year-olds, we run sessions every morning and afternoon, with the exception of Thursday afternoons unless pre-arranged.
All children joining our Explorers' room do a minimum of two sessions a week/6 hours, on different days, to allow us time to get to know them and build up a relationship.
Each term, parents have an opportunity to review their child's sessions. We do try to accommodate all session requests, but this may not always be possible due to the popularity of certain days/sessions. There is usually greater flexibility at the beginning of the autumn term when the numbers of children in the Explorers are lower, and less choice of days/sessions in the summer term when we have completed our intake for the year.
When children move through to the Discoverers’ room, home of our rising four-year-olds, parents have another opportunity to choose days/sessions for their child.
In our Discoverers' room, we run sessions every morning and afternoon, Monday to Friday. All Discoverers children do a minimum of two full days a week (12 hours) and can do up to five days a week (30 hours).
Start and Finish Times
The session times are:
9.00 am - 12 noon
9.00 am - 1.00 pm ( + lunch club)
9.00 am - 3.00 pm
12 noon - 3.00 pm
12.30 pm - 3.00 pm (no lunch )
All places are offered, subjected to availability.
Early Bird and Late Stay Clubs
Early bird club starts are at 8.30 am, and 8.45 am for Explorers children and 8.30 am, 8.45 am and 9.00 am for Discoverers children. This facility allows parents to quickly drop their children off before the start of the session.
Late stay club runs until 3.30 pm, but this facility is currently suspended.
Children who are staying all day or arriving for an afternoon session will bring a lunch box to The Barn. The toys are tidied away at the end of the morning session and all the teachers and children all sit down together to have lunch.
We offer children attending a morning session the opportunity to stay and have lunch and a play for an extra hour. Lunch club might be of interest to parents who do not feel that their child is ready for a whole day, but would like to gradually build up time. Alternatively, it might just be convenient to have the extra hour before pick up.
The lunch club facility can be used on a casual ad-hoc basis or can be a regular feature. And if you would like to join your child for lunch and share the experience, you would be most welcome.
Little Explorers Induction Programme
At The Barn, we believe that your child’s first experience of nursery school should be a very special time. Our Little Explorers sessions are part of a carefully designed programme for all our new children. For six weeks, a parent and/or carer accompanies your child, and together, you and the rest of the group get to know your key person, meet our staff and become familiar with our routines. These sessions are very informal and friendly and are an excellent way to meet some of the other children and parents. At the end of the programme, all children child will take the next steps on their learning journey when they join the children in the Explorers room.
Through the school year, we have phased intakes for new starters, based on the child’s date of birth, as set out below:
A child born on or between 1st September – 31st December will do Little Explorers in the autumn term
A child born on or between 1st January – 31st March will do Little Explorers in the autumn term or spring term.
A child born on or between 1st April and 31st August will do Little Explorers in the spring or summer terms.
Parents are offered a choice of options with different start dates and times for our Our Little Explorers sessions.
Starting nursery school is a big step for every child, and we want to make your family's experience of The Barn work for you. If you feel that your child is not ready to start in the timescales that we have set out, then please do talk to us.
For young children, routine is reassuring. At The Barn, our routine is always the same, but the children, staff, activities and themes all change.
As part of our routine, the children enjoy a gathering at the beginning and end of a session in their respective groups. Teachers lead age-appropriate activities that might involve listening to or taking part in a story, singing a rhyme or song, playing a group game or making music with the instruments. Children will often be invited to share experiences and reflect on their day. Snack time happens between 10 am and 11 am and lunch starts at midday. After lunch, all the children have a short quiet time before going to play outside.
At different times during the week, the children take part in our special Barn Activities. These include Rainbow time, small circle activities, Activate, relaxation, music, and movement, Write Dance, gross motor skills, gardening, science investigations, cooking, and German language experiences.
The Key Person and Your Child
Each child at nursery school has a ‘key person’ – a named member of staff with whom the child and the parents have regular contact.
Each key person has special responsibility for working with a small number of children, giving them the reassurance to help them feel secure and cared for, and building relationships with you, the parents. The key person will also talk to you to make sure that the particular needs of your child are being met appropriately, and that records of development and progress are shared.
Children's Learning and Development
Our provision for children's learning and development at The Barn is guided by the Early Years Foundation Stage framework (EYFS). The EYFS, produced by the Department for Education, is the statutory framework for the early education and care of children from birth until 31 August following their fifth birthday.
There are four themes set out in the EYFS and these inform and shape all areas of our practice at The Barn:
every child is unique, who is constantly learning and can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured
children learn to be strong and independent through positive relationships
children learn and develop well in enabling environments, in which their experiences respond to their individual needs and there is a strong partnership between practitioners and parents and/or carers; and
children develop and learn in different ways and at different rates.
The EYFS identifies 7 areas of learning, Prime and Specific, and our curriculum is carefully designed to support the children in making best progress in all areas.
The Prime areas begin to develop quickly in response to relationships and experiences, and run through and support learning in all other areas. The prime areas continue to be fundamental throughout the EYFS:
communication and language
personal, social, and emotional development
The Specific areas include essential skills and knowledge. They grow out of the prime areas, and provide important contexts for learning:
understanding the world
expressive arts and design
The Barn uses the EYFS practice guidance to plan and provide a play-based curriculum that promotes exciting and fun learning experiences and opportunities that help children to discover themselves and experience the awe and wonder of the world in which they live. The play activities are designed to help children to make progress in each of the areas of learning and development, and we have a balance between child led and adult lguided activities. We know that children learn best through exploration, experimentation, and discovery, building on their experiences. Our Barn approach draws on all forms of pedagogy and educational systems, including Montessori, Reggio and Forest School, and we are always looking for inspiration and new ideas as we think about different ways to make the curriculum interesting and engaging for all the children.
Children with Special Education Needs and Disabilities (SEND)
All children develop and make progress at different rates and at some time during their time at nursery school, many young children will need some extra support so that they can move forward in a particular area, such as separating from their parents; sharing; turn-taking; toileting; eating; play skills and tantrums. This is to be expected and we are well practised in supporting the children and working closely with their parents to provide consistency and ensure that every child can thrive in our setting.
Our teachers also have considerable experience and knowledge of working with children who have special needs that require regular support, targeted planning and specialist input. The list is wide-ranging and include:
Speech and language delays and disorders
English as an Additional Language
Learning and developmental delays
Click below to go to the Hampshire Services for Young Children website for more information about our Special Educational Needs and Disabilities local offer.
Funded Early Years Childcare
At The Barn, we accept children with Early Years Education funding (EYE funding):
Two-Year-Old funding - for eligible two-year-olds;
15 hours universal funding - available from the term following the child's third birthday;
30 hours childcare - for eligible three-year-olds from the term following the child's third birthday.
Click below to go to the Government's Childcare Choices website for more information about your funding options.
If you have any questions or would like to discuss funding, please do not hesitate to contact us and we will be pleased to help.
Fees are payable in respect of:
Little Explorer sessions
sessions that are not eligible for EYE funding;
weekly Barn Charge for all children in receipt of EYE funding;
early bird and late stay club
Click the link below to see for full details:
Policies and Procedures
The Barn operates in accordance with our written policies and procedures, covering all aspects of working practice. The Barn’s policies help us to make sure that the service we provide is a high-quality one and that being a member of The Barn is an enjoyable and beneficial experience for each child and his/her parents.
Click the button to see our policies and procedures listing. A printed set of policies is available in the Discoverers’ room, for parents to read. If you would like an electronic copy of a policy, please call in to/contact the office.
All policies are reviewed on an annual basis.
Come and Visit The Barn
We hope that these pages have given you some useful information about The Barn.
All parents want the very best start for their children and choosing your child's first 'school' is an important decision. We warmly invite you to contact us to arrange a visit to The Barn to see for yourself what an outstanding nursery school can offer your child and your family.
How to Register Your Child
Parents wanting to send their children to The Barn Nursery School are asked to complete an online Registration Form, using the button below. There is a registration fee of £50 for the first child and £25 for sibling(s) and payment details are set out at the top of the form. The fee is non-refundable if the child's registration is later withdrawn.
On receipt of the Registration Form and fee, we will email our confirmation of registration and a place for your child will be reserved.