More about The Barn

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.

​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 for the Explorers’ room (rising 3's) 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 )
*places offered, subjected to availability, to children in their first term at The Barn

The session times for the Discoverers’ (rising 4's) room are:

9.15 am - 12.15 pm 
9.00 am - 1.15pm (+ lunch club)
9.15 am - 3.15 pm 
12.15 pm - 3.15 pm (no lunch)

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 for both Explorers and Discoverers children.



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. 

Lunch club

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. 


Our Routines

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 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 the parents to provide consistency.

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:

  • Medical needs such as diabetes; cystic fibrosis and hearing impairment. 

  • Physical needs 

  • Behaviour management

  • 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:

  • Registration fee

  • Little Explorer sessions

  • sessions that are not eligible for EYE funding;

  • weekly Activities 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 call or email the office 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

To secure a place for your child at The Barn Nursery School, parents are asked to complete an online registration form. Click below to open the link.

On receipt of the registration form and fee, we will email our confirmation of registration.