Early Years

Nursery and Early Years at Rosewood

Children are welcome to join our Nursery classes from 2 years of age, and may be placed here at Rosewood by either Southampton or Hampshire Local Authorities. (If you have a child who is under 3 you might also be interested in our Sensory Stay and Play sessions which are outlined in a separate page of this website). Nursery children attend part time, and full time places are offered in Year R. We currently have 2 classes which are exclusively for Nursery children, (Butterflies and Bumblebees) and 1 class for our Year R learners (Ladybirds) However, this may vary depending on the particular needs of the learners in school. Each class is led by a teacher with a team of learning assistants. Typically there are 6 learners in a class with a team of 4-6 adults supporting them.


We work closely with families, and have a genuine open door policy. We welcome visits from families who are considering Rosewood as an Early Years setting for their child, so that we can show you our facilities, share something of our ethos and begin to get to know your child and their needs. Transition into school is done carefully, ensuring that it goes smoothly both for the child and the family. There is no expectation that families will leave their child in our care until they feel completely confident to do so. We want to gain from your expertise and understanding of your child and their individual needs. Family members are always welcome to come and spend time in school informally, and we keep in regular touch to make sure all is going well.


Multidisciplinary working

We are fortunate to have a large multidisciplinary team on site here at Rosewood, and we work closely together alongside families and a wider professional team to ensure that children’s individual therapy, medical and learning needs are met seamlessly throughout the school day. We have a nursing team on site, as well as Physiotherapists, Occupational therapists and a Speech and Language therapist.

We also have very close links with Community Paediatricians who hold their clinics in school and are readily accessible for advice between clinic sessions. Orthotics clinics and feeding clinics with the dietician can happen in school too. Some additional medical clinics such as orthopaedics or neurology may also happen here, for those children who need them. We hope to make these appointments less stressful for families by reducing visits to hospital and enabling children to just come along from class when everyone is ready for them.

For children who have visual or hearing impairments we are supported by specialist advisory teachers who visit the school.


Our Early Years approach

Children’s well-being is paramount, so a Key Person will be paired with your child from their class team. The Key Person helps to settle children into their early school days and remains a special anchor for children during their time in Early Years. They will also be a special ‘point of reference’ for families and usually build close bonds with them.

We follow all the principles of the national Early Years Foundation Stage, so children are learning in a playful and enriching environment. We make regular use of our outside areas and also bring a wide variety of experiences into school for our children to encounter. We also make regular use of the school’s specialist resource areas, which include a hydrotherapy pool, a floor level trampoline, a multisensory room and an Enrichment room where there are a myriad of responsive sound and light experiences to explore.

We recognise the value of adults in supporting the learning of children with complex needs, and we have a highly skilled and experienced team of teachers and assistants supporting learners in Early Years. Developing the communication skills of children is a priority for us, and the high staff ratio enables us to make the most of every interaction, taking time to observe and respond to each child. We are currently involved in a project which is supporting us to develop our musical interaction skills with learners too.

We also like to help children to develop some control over their world, by responding to their communications about their likes and dislikes or their preferences, by setting up environments which are responsive to their movements, and by making use of technology such as switches, touch sensitive screens or the interactive ‘magic carpet’.

Children in Early Years are assessed using the school’s own ImPACTs document, which helps us identify very closely the abilities of each child, and enables us to support their learning journey in very specific and individually tailored ways. We also look very closely at how children are using their vision and hearing in order to help them make the most sense of the sensory information they receive. We will start the process of applying for an EHCP (Education, Health and Care Plan) for children during their Nursery days, so that this is well established prior to them entering Year R. It’s a complex process but we will walk and talk you through it when the time comes.

Meal times are important and children follow carefully designed programmes to support the development of their eating and drinking skills in school. Every child has a lunchtime partner to themselves for this part of the day. For those learners who are currently non-oral special programmes are devised to ensure oral health and to continue to develop their oral skills.

Please don’t hesitate to contact school if we can give you any further information about our Early Years provision here at Rosewood –we would love to chat with you and support you as you make important decisions about what is best for your child at this important stage of their lives.