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Plans for New Nursery Class at Goathland School

Goathland Primary School is proposing to create a new Nursery class for children aged 3 and over.

The Governing Body of Goathland CP School has asked the Local Authority to propose lowering of the age range of their school from 4-11 to 3-11 in order to offer education for 3 year old children.

The county council has agreed to publish the required statutory notices to enable local people to have their say.

Councillor Patrick Mulligan is the authorities Executive Member for Education

The school says that :

"Early Years staff would work together to provide an excellent environment for a young child’s development in Base 1. The Nursery class will be led by a qualified Early Years teacher, and a suitably qualified and experienced teaching assistant to support the learning and development of the 3 and 4 year olds.

It would be similar to what is currently available in the existing reception class in school. There will be high quality play-based provision including role play, sand, water, construction, reading, mark making, and outside play. The learning environment will be equipped with suitable furniture, equipment and resources for 3 and 4 year olds. There will be free flow between the indoor and outdoor areas offering children the choice of activities and allowing them to engage in learning which is relevant and appropriate to their age and stage of development. They will be supported by knowledgeable and appropriately trained adults who are in tune with each child’s individual needs."

Goathland School is proposing that the new ‘early years’ class will provide up to 12 places each morning initially, but the school will consider extending this across the full day subject to demand for the service.

Attendance in Nursery does not provide priority for admission to the Reception year.

The school says it will utilise the classroom which already accommodates the youngest pupils within the school and is therefore already appropriate for an early year’s classroom.

Patrick Mulligan says expanding the schools age range will help make it more sustainable in the long term.

The Governing Body of Goathland Community Primary School consulted the local community on their proposal in November, ten responses were received.

Nine of the responses supported the proposal and one opposed it. These were made up of six responses from parents of pupils, three from parents of prospective pupils and one from the local Parish Council.

The majority of responses were in support of the proposal. Positive responses referred to benefits such as creating a seamless transition between Nursery and Reception early years education, convenience for parents and opportunity to promote learning at a younger age. Several responses also thought that the proposal would benefit the school by increasing the number on roll.

The one objection to the proposal stated that the school should not proceed with the proposal but should focus on their existing age range and that the proposal could negatively affect existing childcare providers. No existing local providers, however, responded to the consultation, despite been consulted.

The County Council' Executive Committee agreed to publish statutory proposals and notices on 21 January. The proposals would be published on the County Council’s website and the statutory notice would be published in a local newspaper and displayed at the main entrance to the school. This would provide four weeks for any further representations to be made to the Local Authority by 18 February.

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