Departments: Lower

Pupils in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 are based in our Early Years’ classes – Blue, Orange, and Sky Blue, with children of similar developmental levels and with a very high staff to pupil ratio.

Learning opportunities are provided through a topic based curriculum, taking into account the children’s interests. We provide a wide range of creative and sensory learning activities.

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These promote development across all areas of learning outlined in the Early Years Foundation Stage Framework.

  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development
  • Communication and Language
  • Physical Development
  • Literacy
  • Mathematics
  • Understanding of the World
  • Expressive Arts and Design

Activities are planned inside and outside to develop pupils learning through class topics and individual pupil interests. The class staff are supported by speech and language therapists, physiotherapists and occupational therapists to ensure that each pupil can access activities and develop good communication skills. Communication is central to the whole curriculum and specialist input includes objects of reference, signing, symbols, communication books or communication devices.

Our approach is

  • Play based
  • Practical
  • Flexible
  • Child lead
  • Individualised
  • Sensory
  • Fun

And promotes:

  • Exploration
  • Independence
  • Curiosity
  • Engagement

We keep detailed learning journals to record the children’s progress using observations, photos and videos. Each child has personalised Next Steps that they are working on.

We work very closely with parents and carers to help each child to settle in to, and make the most of, school. Families are invited to special events and there is regular contact through home/school books, phone calls, newsletters and meetings.

St Giles Nursery

St Giles Nursery is based within St Giles School. The nursery is part of the Croydon Local Offer for children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities and has places for 12-part time or 6 full time nursery children aged over two with identified needs under the Croydon commissioning arrangements.


All of the children at St Giles Nursery are likely to have complex medical needs, complex physical disabilities and / or Severe (SLD) or Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulties (PMLD) Learning Difficulties. They are likely to require an Education, Health and Care plan in the future.

Eligible children will be identified directly by the Early Years Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) team as part of their home teaching and support work with families. Following an assessment of the child’s needs to establish eligibility, the team will invite the parents/carers to visit the Nursery in order to decide whether or not they wish to apply for a place for their child.

Once it has been agreed that a child will be taking a nursery place at St Giles, St Giles School will arrange a meeting with parents. They may visit the child in their current setting or at home, as appropriate. A meeting will be held to enable the school to determine the support required in order to best accommodate the child’s presenting needs within the nursery. The school will liaise with relevant professionals, including physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech and language therapy and the special school nursing team, in order to facilitate a smooth admission process for the child and their family.

St Giles School will report back to the Local Authority as to whether the presenting needs can be met and the Local Authority will proceed to offer a place. There are three intakes of pupils a year in September, January and April.

Our Nursery Provision

The nursery is in a separate new single-storey, accessible building shared with another Early Years class. There is a large classroom and smaller room for sensory, individual or small group work. The building has a hygiene room with changing beds and a medical room allocated to the Special School Nursing Team.

There is access over the course of the year to a wide range of facilities at the main school site including the following:  

  • Physiotherapy room
  • Medical rooms for Special School Nursing Hub
  • Hall

An outdoor area currently includes access to:

  • A covered area
  • Raised beds
  • A Forest School area
  • Soft pour wheelchair track with timetabled access to our specialist bikes for wheelchair users and pupils with reduced mobility


Deborah Richards, Head of Lower School, manages the nursery provision and is based in the building. She works closely with Sarah Williams, Nursery Lead and Early Years Educator level 3. Nursery staffing is responsive to pupil numbers and currently includes a full-time teaching assistant with a level 3 diploma in preschool practice a part-time Early Years Educator, a part-time Early Years Assistant, a part-time teaching assistant with specialist early years’ experience and two part-time personal care assistants. Hazel Earl, our Family Support Worker, will support the admissions process.

Staffing needs are reviewed regularly to take account of pupils’ complex needs. Every child will be allocated with a key person who will help your child become familiar with St Giles Nursery and build a relationship with you and your child. You will be introduced to your child’s key worker when they start at St Giles Nursery.


The offer for pupils is 15 hours taken in five hour sessions on three days each week. The nursery opens at 9.45am and closes at 2.45pm.

In exceptional circumstances, some pupils over the age of three, may request an additional 15 hours. Agreement for this to happen will be at the discretion of the local authority and school. The needs of eligible children requiring part-time places will be given priority. Nursery hours for pupils who have been granted extended hours will be agreed individually between the school and parents.


There are three types of early years funding available to parents:

  • 2-Year old – 570 hours,
  • 3 and 4-Year-old – 570 hours,
  • 3 and 4-Year-old – additional 570 hours (extended entitlement).

The criteria for each type of funding is as follows:

  1. 2-year-olds can get free childcare if:
  • They are looked after by a local authority
  • They have an education, health and care (EHC) plan
  • They get Disability Living Allowance
  • They have left care under an adoption order, special guardianship order or a child arrangements order
  • Their parents receive one of the benefits listed on the website below

  1. All 3 to 4-year-olds in England can get 570 free hours per year.
  2. 3 to 4 year olds may be entitled to the extended entitlement if:
  • Their parent works – their parent’s partner’s also works if they have one,
  • The parent(s) earn at least the National Minimum Wage or Living Wagefor 16 hours a week on average – the parents should be  earning at least £139 a week and not more than £100,000 a year,
  • The child lives with the parent
  • The parent (s) are from the UK, EEA or from outside the EEA with a UK residence card that says they can access public funds


Parents can find out more information about their eligibility for each type of funding on the websites below:


The school will need to see evidence of eligibility as follows:

  • For all types of funding we will need evidence of family address and a copy of the child’s birth certificate as proof of his/her date of birth
  • We will additionally need to see a copy of the child’s DLA award letter and eligibility for 2-year-old funding and evidence of eligibility for the 3 and 4-year-old extended entitlement.


Visits to the Nursery

Individual tours of the school are offered to all incoming parents and children.


Nursery Curriculum

All children in the nursery class will follow the national EYFS curriculum guidance. The curriculum is tailored to meet the needs of the individual child. A great emphasis is placed on learning through play as well as focussed activities.