Thank you for your interest in the school.
This prospectus is intended to give you some detailed information but it is really best to come and see the school for yourself. You are welcome to ring and make an appointment, please do not register until you have made an appointment to see the school or until your baby is born. The school was started by Mrs Dimpfl in 1976. From 1980 -1993 we were situated in Ifield Road but in September 1993 we moved to Park Walk and became the Tadpoles Nursery School.
Communication With Parents
The school adopts an 'open door' policy towards parents/guardians. We try to work closely with them to help the child's development and we encourage parents/guardians involvement. We hope that parents/guardians will attend open days, sports days and concerts etc, which take place each term and we also hope that they are able to volunteer to help with outings, swimming and with other aspects of their child's/children's class.
Parents are encouraged to come and spend time with us in their child’s/children’s class when they can, however, we understand that this can be difficult to organize especially for working parents and so we have a designated ‘Father’s Fortnight’ and ‘Mother’s Fortnight’ which fall each year either side of Father’s Day and Mother’s Day. We find this very successful and both parents and children love their time together in their classrooms. We have regular newsletters to keep parents/guardians informed of activities and projects of work in which the children are involved.
The children receive a written report once a year. Their progress is carefully monitored and we build up a foundation stage profile/learning journal for every child through observation and planning. These profiles are available on request to the parents/guardians at any time of the child's time with us. The files are passed on to the next school.
We have a Parents/Guardians Association in the school. The Parents Association is formed to help promote positive relations between the school and the parents/guardians. All parents are members of the Parents/Guardians Association but certain parents (hopefully one from each group/class) will represent them on the committee.
There are always 20 qualified staff with the children - 2 with E.Y.P.S (Early Years Professional Status and 4 with Early Years Degrees). We also have 6 qualified teaching assistants. We are very lucky to have some male staff members, which helps the dynamics in the school. We always have enough permanent staff so that we do not have to rely on and use ‘supply’ staff. Mrs Dimpfl has a wide range of teaching experience and is very much involved with other aspects of education within the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. She teaches most days and is available to answer any questions and discuss any problems that may arise. Claire teaches a specialist music class each week and ensures that she teaches the ‘Lily-pads’, ‘Dragonflies’ and ‘Mayflies’ classes in small groups so that she gets to know each child as an individual. She is happy to give help and advice on future schools for all of the children in her care.
What We have
- Three class rooms
- A large hall
- An outdoor class room (in our garden)
- A water room (in our garden)
- A garden with fruit trees, flower and vegetable beds, a greenhouse & meadow
- A pond (in a locked and gated enclosure)
- Indoor, heated, learning pool (just across the playground)
- Large playground
- An 'industrial' kitchen
- Two sets of child-sized award winning lavatories
- A disabled lavatory and shower and baby changing facilities
Children also learn
- Early years music
- Early years football
- Speech and language
- Play Therapy
The School Day
All morning place admissions lists for Autumn 2018 are closed. We have no afternoon sessions on a Friday. Our school day begins at 09:30 and the morning sessions end at 12:30 (08.45 - 09:05 – 12:30 for those entitled to the M.F.E - Minimum Funding Entitlement). The afternoon sessions are from 13:30 until 15:30. The staff arrive at the school at 08:30.
When the children first arrive at school, they hang their coats and bags on named pegs. In wet weather we ask children to bring a change of shoes and in hot weather, a sun-hat. They wear red and white checked aprons as a uniform and there is also a school shoe bag available for storing their spare shoes, clothes etc. The apron and bag are £25.00 for the set and are available from the school. A waterproof all-in-one is also available from the school for £20.00.
The children begin the morning in their groups, for the register with their key worker and class teachers. We then have 'circle time' (a morning assembly) for the older children in the hall (this is usually taken by Claire) and the younger children have a separate 'circle time' in their own classrooms. During 'circle time' we talk about plans for the day and any topics that we are covering. The children then go back to their class teachers, in their groups, where they will have a teacher led activity and after that, they have free choice for child lead activities.
We set out the room so that there are always interesting corners for the children, including books, painting and drawing. We have an outside classroom to aid the children's knowledge and understanding of the world, which we try to use everyday with each group/class. We use both the garden and playground everyday - whatever the weather. We plant flowers and vegetables in the garden and monitor their growth, when the vegetables are ready, we use them for cooking (and for our 'break') in our school kitchen, so that the children gain a greater knowledge of where our 'healthy' foods come from. We are a silver award winning healthy school currently working towards our gold award.
The children have 'break' with their class teachers (times differ depending on the class/group) and they are encouraged to help tidy and put away equipment before break. They are then encouraged to wash their hands. Break consists of water, milk and fruit or raw vegetables and a form of carbohydrate such as a rice/corn cake or bread stick, which the children and the parents/guardians provide, each day, for the whole group.
When children remain all day, they bring a packed lunch (we give parents/guardians a list of advisable, healthy options). The children sit at properly laid tables in groups of 6, this social time forms a very important part of independent development. All children have use of the playground for play every day. Each morning, either before or after play we include stories and songs. One day each week is spent at Forest School – the children will spend the whole session in our Forest School area and will return to school just before the end of the session where they will have a little bonfire in our fire pit and toast marshmallows, bake potatoes or roast corn on the cob.
We go on frequent trips with the children and have recently been to Battersea Zoo, the London Aquarium, the Ecology Centre in Holland Park, the Natural History Museum and the Chelsea Theatre, a Boat Trip on the river, The Physic Garden, Kensignton Roof Gardens. We also have a farm that comes to the school once a year, a piper who comes on Burns Day, visits from The Junk Orchestra, Theatre Tots, the African Drummers and have even had a visit from The Household Cavalry.
We follow the curriculum for the Early Years Foundation Stage goals, as recommended to us by O.F.S.T.E.D. These are: Personal, Social and Emotional Development, Physical Development, Communication and Language, Literacy, Mathematics, Understanding the World and Expressive Arts and Design; Creative and Physical Development.
We teach reading with the use of synthetic phonics and Problem Solving, Reasoning and Numeracy takes place everyday, all around us. Please note that each child is an individual and will learn at their own pace. We need to ensure that each child has a secure foundation and scaffolding on which to base their learning. We use topic-based projects to reinforce all areas of the curriculum. In Communication, Language and Literacy we teach all children letters and early readers will have begun a reading scheme before leaving us. We have a phonic, in-house, hand illustrated card and CD pack, which is available from the school at £25.00.
In 'mathematics' they will understand numbers 1 – 10 (and in some cases 1 – 20) and have begun simple addition and subtraction. Each child is taught individually and is allowed to develop at its own pace.
"Let children be children. A skilled five year old grows from a busy four year old, a curious three year old, an adventurous two year old a cuddled one year old and a communicative baby". We aim to give the children a happy, settled and structured environment in which to work and play. The desire is to develop the individuality of each child and we hope that all children will leave us ready to become independent learners.
The fees are currently £3300.00 for 5 mornings per week, per term.
Each term is approximately 12.666 weeks long. Fees are payable half a term in advance for the first term and there after by the last day of the previous term.
A fee of £25.00 per day is charged for late fees. The fee for 4 afternoons is currently £2300.00 - we do not currently have afternoon school on Fridays.
A registration fee of £150.00 is required (this is non-refundable).
Upon acceptance of the place a deposit of £950.00 is paid and is
held by the nursery until your child leaves to go on to their ‘big
The deposit will be refunded just after August 31st of their last school year. Interest is not paid on this deposit.
Should parents withdraw their application to the school the deposit will not be refunded.
If a full-term’s written notice is not given of this withdrawal then a full-terms fees will be charged.
Should you wish to withdraw your child from Tadpoles before the natural time that they would leave to go on to ‘big school’ – the year that they turn 5 and go into reception, the deposit will not be refunded. If a full term’s written notice is not given a full term’s fees will be charged – notice is not inclusive of holidays.
Please ensure that receipt of your notice has been acknowledged by the school office. Notice must be received by the following dates for the notice to be applicable for the forthcoming term:
- Leaving Date end of Autumn Term: Notice must be given prior to 1st week of Summer Term
- Leaving Date end of Spring Term: Notice must be given prior to 1st week of Autumn Term
- Leaving Date end of Summer Term: Notice must be given prior to 1st week of Spring Term
- We are regularly inspected by O.F.S.T.E.D.
- We have a Q A (quality assured award) from E E L (Effective Early Learning).
- We accept Minimum Funding Entitlement (MFE).
- We accept child-carevouchers (Care-4; Accor: Busy Bee etc).
- We offer ten places for children who are entitled to the additional 15 hours of funding (30 hour entitlement)
When children leave us they go to a variety of local schools, both Independent and State/Maintained. We stress that it is vital for children to be put down early for independent schools as there are long waiting lists. We are always happy to advise. Children are often expected to have an assessment, this helps them to see if a child is a suitable fit for their school. I am happy to say that we have a high success rate. Children who have recently left us have gone to the following schools – in no particular order;
- The Lycee Francaise (co-ed)
- Cameron House (co-ed)
- Falkner House Girls
- Falkner House Boys
- Hill House (co-ed)
- Kensington Prep (girls)
- Thomas' Day Schools (co-ed) – Battersea, Fulham, Kensington etc
- Queens Gate School (girls)
- Glendower School (girls)
- Garden House School (separate boys school & girls school)
- Knightsbridge School (co-ed)
- Eaton Square School (co-ed)
- Eaton House (boys)
- Fulham Prep (co-ed)
- Abingdon House (co-ed for children with minor learning difficulties)
- Hawkesdown House
- The Hurlingham School (co-ed)
- Newton Prep
- Francis Holland, Sloane Square (girls)
- Westminster Catherdral Choir School Pre Prep (boys)
- The Hampshire School
- Parsons Breen Prep School
- St Barnabas and St Philips (C of E)
- Bousfield Primary
- St Mary Abbots (C of E)
- Christchurch (C of E)
- Our Lady of Victories (RC)
- The Servite School (RC)
If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to call us 0207 352 9757
It is our intention to make our setting accessible to children and families from the local community.
Children are admitted to the school on a "first come, first served basis". The only exceptions to this are:
- Siblings – these are first on the list but please note that they need to be registered as soon as possible as once the places are distributed we cannot make exceptions for siblings.
- People who have opted to take afternoon places where no morning places have been available, the first five children on the list will be given morning places from the following September.
- We will look at those children who live closest to the school. It is not good for children to be travelling across London to nursery and it is very bad for their relationships with their peers in the school if they do not live locally.
- There will sometimes be space for older children (3+) when places for 2 ½ year olds are unavailable as the small classroom places are limited.
- Very special circumstances at the discretion of all the staff.
We aim to run a full nursery programme with a course, which runs from 2 ½ - 5 years. If your child comes at 2 ½ we do not expect it to be removed at 3 years to go to a school or another nursery, which takes children from 3 years. A playgroup would be more suitable for this. (Please see our deposit policy if you are considering only sending your child to us from 2 ½ to 3 years).