Headington Quarry Foundation Stage School is a non-denominational state school, which also houses St. Andrew’s Church of England. Primary School Reception Class. We offer universally funded education places for 15 hours per week over 5 days. We also offer some extended entitlement (30 hours ) places over 5 days, according to our admissions policy. These places can be supplemented by paid wraparound daycare from 8.00-6.00 each day and during the school holidays.
The school was originally in Beech Road in Headington and moved to the William Kimber site in 1958. In July 2003 we were fortunate to be able to move into our current, much larger site.
Please see Local Authority Nursery Schools admission policy in the Policies section.
We offer universally funded education places of 15 hours over 5 days per week, term – time only for 25 morning and 25 afternoon children. From September 2017, we have started offering 30 extended entitlement places for 30 hours per week. These places may be added to by paid wraparound daycare from 8.00-6.00 each day and during the school holidays.
The school accepts children aged 3-5 years, admitting children in the term after their third birthday.
If you would like your child to attend Headington Quarry Foundation Stage School, you should register his/her name on the Admission Waiting List as soon as possible after he/she is two years old by contacting the school office.
We follow the Local Authority advised Nursery School’s admissions’ policy (see link above). We prioritise local children and those with special educational needs, social needs and other Local Authority agreed criteria. Children and families at Headington Quarry School are from a very wide range of social, cultural, economic, linguistic and racial backgrounds. The children include those who may have special educational needs. We respect and value this diversity and much of our curriculum springs from this richness. We believe that all children should grow up together learning to enjoy a nd accept other people’s differences.
Parents will need to apply separately for a Primary School place in the academic year in which your child turns 4 years old , in order for your child to begin Primary school (F1/ Reception Class) in the academic year in which they turn 5 year. Oxfordshire County Council will send application information to parents in the autumn term.
We aim to give children at least three terms here before they go to Primary school –this gives children a good opportunity to make relationships with adults and children, to become established members of the school community and to have plenty of time to build on their learning.
If you require further information e.g. on age of entry for your child to school, call
- Oxfordshire County Council’s Early Years Information Line on 01865-815630
- Oxfordshire’s Children’s Information Service 882288
Parents are their child’s first educators and we believe that parents and staff are partners in children’s education and close home/school links are vital. We have an “open door” policy, so that parents can spend time with their children while they are here. We send regular newsletters so that parents are kept informed about all that is going on.
Please let us know if you have any concerns, large or small, about your children’s progress or happiness. Staff are available briefly at the beginning of each session but it is usually easier to talk to your child’s key person at the end of the session. Either the key person or the headteacher will always try to be available on the same day on which you wish to speak to them
Parents/ Carers in the school
You are most welcome to spend time in School with your child, and it is helpful for all the children if we have extra adults to get involved with them in their play. We usually find that it works best if you come in after your child’s first term, so that they are securely established on their own before your visits.
You may like to stay and do a specific job, e.g. cooking, helping with woodwork, etc. We always need extra people to read books to children in the book-corner. If you would like to do this please talk to your child’s group leader. (Grandparents, Aunts or Uncles are welcome too!). Please let us know your skills, enthusiasms and talents- more or less any interest will be something children will enjoy sharing.
If you are happy to help on a regular basis you will be very welcome. We will need to obtain Disclosure and Barring Service clearance for you if you are helping regularly.
Parent support at home
Ways to support your child at home include:
- Talking to and listening to them
- Sharing activities you both enjoy
- Sharing activities you both enjoy
- Playing with him/her
- Supporting young children’s early reading and phonics: http://www.oxfordowl.co.uk/home/reading-owl/expert-help/what-is-synthetic-phonics
- How to help your child with phonics: Parents-Leaflet-First-steps
- Internet Safety for Children: https://www.thinkuknow.co.uk/
- Games to play together:Play free Phase 1 and Phase 2 phonics games together http://www.phonicsplay.co.uk/freeIndex.htmPlay free number games together http://www.maths-games.org/counting-games.html
- Supporting young children’s language and literacy: http://www.wordsforlife.org.uk/
- What to expect when document- https://www.foundationyears.org.uk/files/2015/03/4Children_ParentsGuide_2015_WEB.pdf
- Letting your child help you with your activities such as shopping, cooking and thereby developing their ‘apprenticeship’ skills.
- Watching some appropriate programmes on the television with your child and talking about them
- Participating in school life
Due to covid-19 and our risk assessments. The children this year are in pods with their key people. There is also a staggered start and finish time to minimise the amount of people around the school building.
When children start school they join a group of children with a Key Person who is specifically trained to work with young children. The children remain with the same Key Person during their time in the Nursery to support their emotional security and to help staff get to know families better.
At the beginning of each session the children join their Key Person for registration and a short group-time session. The Key Person then explains the activities available for that day and talks to the children about what they could do.
There is always a variety of activities on offer to cover all seven areas of the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum. The large outdoor area is as important a classroom as the inside area, and children are encouraged to try activities from all areas of the curriculum outside as well as in and the children have access to indoor and outdoor activities most of the time .
Towards the end of the session, children help to tidy up and then rejoin their Key Group for story, singing, music or discussion.
We follow Oxfordshire school term dates and have 5 In-service training days for staff (INSET days) during the year. These are determined on an annual basis and you will receive prior notice of term dates.
8.30 a.m. – 11.30 a.m. (ladybirds and caterpillars)
8.45- Dragonflies and grasshoppers
9.00-Butterflies and bumble bees
Key Group times for 20minutes after the session starts.
Session finishes at 11.30 with a singing and story-time.
12.30 p.m. – 3.30 p.m.
Key Group times from 12.30pm – 12.50pm
Session finishes at 2.45/3.00/3.30 with a singing and story-time
Every child deserves the best possible start in life and the support that enables them to fulfil their potential. Children develop quickly in the early years and a child’s experiences between birth and age five have a major impact on their future life chances. A secure, safe and happy childhood is important in its own right. Good parenting and high quality early learning together provide the foundation children need to make the most of their abilities and talents as they grow up.
At Headington Quarry Foundation Stage School we follow the the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) curriculum which sets the standards that all early years providers must meet to ensure that children learn and develop well and are kept healthy and safe. It promotes teaching and learning to ensure children’s ‘school readiness’ and gives children the broad range of knowledge and skills that provide the right foundation for good future progress through school and life.
There are seven areas of learning and development that must shape educational programmes in early years settings. All areas of learning and development are important and inter-connected.Three areas are particularly important for building a foundation for igniting children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, forming relationships and thriving.
These are the prime areas:
We also support children in four specific areas, through which the three prime areas are strengthened and applied. The specific areas are:
Communication and language
The development of children’s spoken language underpins all seven areas of learning and development. Children’s back-and-forth interactions from an early age form the foundations for language and cognitive development. The number and quality of the conversations they have with adults and peers throughout the day in a language-rich environment is crucial. By commenting on what children are interested in or doing, and echoing back what they say with new vocabulary added, practitioners will build children’s language effectively. Reading frequently to children, and engaging them actively in stories, non-fiction, rhymes and poems, and then providing them with extensive opportunities to use and embed new words in a range of contexts, will give children the opportunity to thrive. Through conversation, story-telling and role play, where children share their ideas with support and modelling from their teacher, and sensitive questioning that invites them to elaborate, children become comfortable using a rich range of vocabulary and language structures.
From the EYFS statutory framework, 2021
Physical activity is vital in children’s all-round development, enabling them to pursue happy, healthy and active lives. Gross and fine motor experiences develop incrementally throughout early childhood, starting with sensory explorations and the development of a child’s strength, co-ordination and positional awareness through tummy time, crawling and play movement with both objects and adults. By creating games and providing opportunities for play both indoors and outdoors, adults can support children to develop their core strength, stability, balance, spatial awareness, co-ordination and agility. Gross motor skills provide the foundation for developing healthy bodies and social and emotional well-being. Fine motor control and precision helps with hand-eye co-ordination, which is later linked to early literacy. Repeated and varied opportunities to explore and play with small world activities, puzzles, arts and crafts and the practice of using small tools, with feedback and support from adults, allow children to develop proficiency, control and confidence.
From the EYFS statutory framework, 2021
Personal, social and emotional development
Children’s personal, social and emotional development (PSED) is crucial for children to lead healthy and happy lives, and is fundamental to their cognitive development. Underpinning their personal development are the important attachments that shape their social world. Strong, warm and supportive relationships with adults enable children to learn how to understand their own feelings and those of others. Children should be supported to manage emotions, develop a positive sense of self, set themselves simple goals, have confidence in their own abilities, to persist and wait for what they want and direct attention as necessary. Through adult modelling and guidance, they will learn how to look after their bodies, including healthy eating, and manage personal needs independently. Through supported interaction with other children, they learn how to make good friendships, co-operate and resolve conflicts peaceably. These attributes will provide a secure platform from which children can achieve at school and in later life.
It is crucial for children to develop a life-long love of reading. Reading consists of two dimensions: language comprehension and word reading. Language comprehension (necessary for both reading and writing) starts from birth. It only develops when adults talk with children about the world around them and the books (stories and non-fiction) they read with them, and enjoy rhymes, poems and songs together. Skilled word reading, taught later, involves both the speedy working out of the pronunciation of unfamiliar printed words (decoding) and the speedy recognition of familiar printed words. Writing involves transcription (spelling and handwriting) and composition (articulating ideas and structuring them in speech, before writing).
From the EYFS statutory framework, 2021
Developing a strong grounding in number is essential so that all children develop the necessary building blocks to excel mathematically. Children should be able to count confidently, develop a deep understanding of the numbers to 10, the relationships between them and the patterns within those numbers. By providing frequent and varied opportunities to build and apply this understanding – such as using manipulatives, including small pebbles and tens frames for organising counting – children will develop a secure base of knowledge and vocabulary from which mastery of mathematics is built. In addition, it is important that the curriculum includes rich opportunities for children to develop their spatial reasoning skills across all areas of mathematics including shape, space and measures. It is important that children develop positive attitudes and interests in mathematics, look for patterns and relationships, spot connections, ‘have a go’, talk to adults and peers about what they notice and not be afraid to make mistakes.
From the EYFS statutory framework, 2021
Understanding the world
Understanding the world involves guiding children to make sense of their physical world and their community. The frequency and range of children’s personal experiences increases their knowledge and sense of the world around them – from visiting parks, libraries and museums to meeting important members of society such as police officers, nurses and firefighters. In addition, listening to a broad selection of stories, non-fiction, rhymes and poems will foster their understanding of our culturally, socially, technologically and ecologically diverse world. As well as building important knowledge, this extends their familiarity with words that support understanding across domains. Enriching and widening children’s vocabulary will support later reading comprehension.
Expressive arts and design
The development of children’s artistic and cultural awareness supports their imagination and creativity. It is important that children have regular opportunities to engage with the arts, enabling them to explore and play with a wide range of media and materials. The quality and variety of what children see, hear and participate in is crucial for developing their understanding, self-expression, vocabulary and ability to communicate through the arts. The frequency, repetition and depth of their experiences are fundamental to their progress in interpreting and appreciating what they hear, respond to and observe.
From the EYFS statutory framework, 2021
Parents, together with your child’s Key Person, complete a form when children make an initial visit to school. This gives an opportunity to explain about each child’s interests and talents and anything which parents feel might be a concern. We also offer a home visit prior to your child starting school. This enables your child to get to meet their key person in a safe and secure place for them before they start at nursery.
During their time in school, each child’s key person keeps detailed observational profiles on the children in their groups and contribute to records on all children. They also have regular discussions with parents to check that their impressions of children’s progress are borne out by parents’ observations. Close observation of children enables teachers to plan appropriately for their next steps.
When your child leaves the Nursery you will receive a report summarising his/her achievements in all areas of the curriculum. You will also receive a learning journey, which will be a summary of the observations that staff have made of the milestones and experiences of your child during their time at Headington Quarry .
A profile/report for each child will be forwarded to the next school/setting which your child will attend.
We are a welcoming and inclusive school.
Governors, staff and families are committed to working together to provide a high quality approach to education and care for young children. We believe every child matters and strive to provide rich experiences that support each child’s unique development.
Our school is special because:
each child is known, valued and respected.
we plan experiences which stimulate children to wonder about the world and to think creatively
varied, enticing environments encourage independent, exploratory learning through play
experienced and knowledgeable staff are life-long learners and are committed to developing excellent practice based on early childhood principles
staff observe children closely in order to support, extend and scaffold learning based upon strengths and interests
community groups and school events help to build strong relationships with families and the wider Headington area
Self Regulation approach
The school aims to create a positive atmosphere based on shared values, where all members of the school, children, families and staff, feel valued and work together to achieve good relationships and high standards of behaviour.
Children’s behaviour often stems from their feelings and we try to understand the reason for a child’s behaviour in order to support their emotional and social needs.
We believe that children cannot be made to behave better by being made to feel less good about themselves, so we focus on their behaviour, not their personalities. Within a framework of children’s rights and our principle of listening to their concerns, we also know that children appreciate routines and positive expectations and feel safer when they know that adults are in charge of the situation and there to help resolve the situation.
We work with parents in order to share the rationale of our boundaries and expectations so that parents can support their child as necessary.
We aim to develop children’s self-control as they learn appropriate levels of behaviour and help them manage their emotions. We support each child’s social development by empowering them to become assertive and confident by offering strategies to deal with others.
All staff agree that children need to feel safe; that reasonable boundaries on behaviour will be put in place. Children are expected to follow reasonable adult requests and to treat each other and property with respect.
We will seek external advice and support from the school educational psychologist and behaviour support team or other external agencies as necessary.
Positive behaviour we expect from children
· To treat other people kindly
· To respect other people –to share things with them and listen to them to treat resources and environment carefully
· To help each other
· To be as independent as their age and stage allows
Negative or dangerous behaviour we discourage
· Hurting each other verbally or physically
· Ignoring adults
· Interrupting other children’s play
· Misuse of resources and the environment
HQFSS has an integrated OFSTED inspection for daycare and the Nursery school on a regular basis. In December 2018 we were inspected and the report is now available to view on the OFSTED website.
We were rated as Outstanding at our last inspection. Here are some quotes from the report:
‘Your school gives children a superb start to their education’.
‘Every day brings new surprises and challenge’
Staff are dedicated to providing the very best standard of education’.
‘Staff provide irresistible invitations to write’.