Apr 24, 2008 - Parenting, Random    No Comments

St. Johns on the Hill vs. St. Johns at the Racecourse: Nurseries – A Comparison

Monday 21st of April

St Johns on the Hill, an independent school in Chepstow.

Impressions of St. Johns on the Hill, Glouscester, England. Nursery

A very impressive, new purpose built building housing the nursery in a huge open plan ‘hall’.  The different age group settings, Butterflies (12 weeks – 12 months), Caterpillars (1-2 years), Ladybirds (2-3 years) and Busy Bees (3-4 years) were separated by knee-high latched picket fences. The nursery areas included a sensory room and a soft play room.

What I liked about it:

‘A curriculum’ – an outline of learning topics.
Although at this nursery, this seemed more academic than ‘hands-on’ experiential.

Lots of books, drawing, writing and play material at accesible heights.

Dislikes – none too major, but….

Several staff seemed to be temporary – but this was not mentioned or pointed out.
We were introduced to the staff but were not told their names; although they seemed friendly enough.
Child-staff ratio did not seem to be consistently maintained.

The children seemed content (not necessarily happy) although the 30 minutes or so we were there – the time appeared to be very structured.

Different responses by Jan Harvey wrt to availability.

At first, told oh in september you can have any day any time you want.
And later when asked about application procedure, it became you’ll have to submit the application form and you’ll go on the waiting list and I’ll just go down it and tick them off.

When asked how long she had been at the nursery,  she fobbed of the question with a ‘Oh a very long time, 120 years!’

Impressions of St. Johns on the Racecourse, Chepstow, Wales. Nursery

The racecourse nursery had a lovely manager who ws very helpful and forthcoming with information. Even telling us which days she had available in September. The nursery itself was rather disappointing in comparison. it was small and rather old. And seemed quite messy.

Interestingly, there were very different approaches to the education – Hill emphasising formal learning with a folder of ‘curriculum’ etc while Racecourse was mainly ‘ learn through play’ no actual teaching or writing etc. I think this difference stems mainly from the fact that they are in different countries with different learning priorities!

Apart from a couple of questions wrt to funding (cross border) and time slots, we are likely to put Georgia down for Hill although i’m not too keen on the manager, i’m going on the idea that it’s her key worker or the actual nursery workers who will be more involved in her care and they all seem friendly enough.

© 2008, Li-ling. All rights reserved.

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