Nursery and Reception

A Bootham School education starts at the age of three when we welcome our youngest pupils into our spacious, purpose built Nursery.

The first years of your child’s education will set the foundation for a successful lifetime of learning and our passionate highly qualified staff will nurture and inspire your son and daughter as they set off on their journey.

We also recognise the importance of a close relationship between Nursery and parents, with regular communication between home and school to ensure the happiness and success of our children.

Children are encouraged to learn through play and our small class sizes enable each child to be fully engaged with plenty of opportunities to develop their self-confidence.

Our Quaker ethos encourages even the youngest child to work kindly alongside each other, helping to ensure a caring, tolerant and happy environment for you child.

Facilities are excellent, with light airy classrooms and outdoor play areas. Our school chef is Betty’s trained and all our food is freshly prepared on site daily.

Nursery Vouchers can be used in payment or part-payment of fees while your child is in Nursery or Reception Class. For full details please see the City of York Council Website: years-education-and-childcare.htm and also

For details of the 30 hour child care programme available to York City residents, see and also


Children who have turned 3 years of age can start throughout the academic year. Children who have turned 3 years of age on or before the 31st August of the previous academic year can join us at the start of the autumn term, either for mornings or full days, or a combination of both. 

Occasionally, a child may start at the beginning of the term in which they are due to turn three (rising 3) if this would be appropriate for the child and the school.

Children move into the Reception class in the September after their fourth birthday. This is a full-time class.

The hours of our sessions are:

Mornings: 9 am – 12.00 noon

Full days: 9 am – 3.00 pm

For the Nursery children who are attending the morning session only, lunch is available as an extra. Reception and Nursery children are supervised whilst eating their lunch in the Hall. Many of the EYFS staff eat with the children while others are helping. We feel lunchtimes are an important part of the day, particularly in relation to the children’s social development.

For more information, email or call 01904 655021

Assemblies and Meetings

EYFS children take an active part in the special Easter, Harvest, Christmas and End of Year
assemblies. They also attend the whole-school meeting when appropriate and have their own
assemblies within the classroom.

Even the youngest children are encouraged to behave with kindness and consideration towards each other. They have to learn to look after their own possessions and respect one another’s possessions. We expect them to be honest, helpful and polite, to try their best and to listen to others. We believe in encouraging children to take responsibility for their actions, thereby becoming aware that their behaviour has an effect on those around them. We encourage children to make the right choices and decisions within established boundaries. We praise the children for all their achievements and give rewards in the form of verbal praise, stickers and certificates. Copies of our Behaviour Policy are available on the website or on request from the School Office. This policy outlines the expectations and procedures relating to behaviour in the early years.

Home/School Diary

Every child who joins Bootham Junior School is given a planner. This is one of the methods for communication between parents and the school. We note significant events about which we feel you ought to be aware. We ask you to write down anything relevant which may affect your child’s mood and level of interest in the learning environment.

Keeping in Touch

We appreciate that sending your child to Nursery is a big step and it is understandable that some parents may worry or feel anxious about their child’s well-being and happiness. That is why we invite your child to spend half a day or a full day in the Nursery before he/she joins us. You are always welcome to visit the school to talk to staff about any concerns you may have about your child. Any concerns will always be treated in complete confidence.

We send home regular EYFS newsletters full of recent activities to enable you and your child to discuss things of interest.

As well as thspecific EYFS newsletter; we have a Junior School e-bulletin, regular news on the website and social media posts.  So please follow us on Facebook & Twitter to stay up to date with all our activites.  Furthermore there is also a joint weekly newsletter with the senior school, emailed to parents every Friday, to inform you about activities and special events.

Letters from the school are usually emailed to you or occasionally paper copies are put into your child’s reading bag. There is a section on the school website for parents where information, news and school policies are available to download. You are encouraged to check the website on a regular basis.

Outdoor Learning

Activities within the fenced outdoor area are structured and planned daily. All the children will have access to outdoor activities during the morning and afternoon sessions. There is a balance of teacher-directed and child-initiated learning opportunities. The Outdoor Education area in the grounds, enables the children to explore, play and learn. They are accompanied by their teacher and by an Outdoor Education specialist teacher.  Forest School takes places for EYFS children one morning per week, usually off site.

Parents’ Evenings

Within the first half term of your child starting at Bootham Junior School, we will invite you into school to discuss your child. It is an opportunity for you to share any information with us which you feel may be relevant to your child’s education. Parents’ Evenings take place twice a year.

Parents’ Information Afternoon

All parents of children in EYFS are invited to an informal meeting at the beginning of the autumn term. This gives parents the opportunity to meet the Early Years teachers.


Children are assessed throughout their time in EYFS, through observations, questioning and direct teaching. They are given the opportunity to develop their skills and knowledge through investigation and exploration. A profile of each child’s knowledge is developed using written observations, photographic evidence and examples of children’s work. This ‘Learning Journey’ is available for families to look at and add to throughout the year.  At the end of each academic year a full report is written.


We organise excursions to different places within the local community. These are designed to help the children acquire a basic understanding of the natural world and of the importance of other cultures. The class teacher will inform you of visits that are due to take place over the term. We will send you a letter in advance, telling you about every visit and, if appropriate, its cost and whether it involves an extension to the normal length of the school day. Copies of our policy on Visits for the Early Years Foundation Stage children are available on request.

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