Outstanding Early Years Provision Launched in Shipdham

February 7, 2022

Thomas Bullock Church of England Primary Academy has launched The Ark Nursery to provide much needed places for rising 2, 3-4 years old for Shipdham and the surrounding villages.

Mrs Shannon O’Sullivan: “The Ark is heavily committed and invested in providing outstanding Early Years provisions for all. We are offering places for children aged rising 2’s, 3-4, a provision that is desperately needed in the locality.  Our pupils benefit hugely from being an important part of our wider school and they enjoy regular forest school, music and physical education lessons.”

Mrs Debbie Marjoram, Early Years Lead, Reception teacher said: “The Ark is an exciting new provision being brought into the local community.  We focus on the individual growth of the child as well as giving them the firm foundations as they embark on their early education on their journey to lifelong learning.”

She added: “We work in close partnership with our families, so they are actively engaged and involved in their child’s academic journey.   This is done via videos and photos as well as attending regular parent phonics and early reading and social workshops.”

Oliver said: “The benefits of a school nursery for children and families are many and this is why we have added this type of provision to so many of our schools across DNEAT.  One of the most important factors is how well transition to school works in such a setting by supporting children to become ‘school ready.’”

He added: “Thomas Bullock Church of England Primary Academy is rated as a Good school with a quality EYFS provision that we are pleased to be able to extend out to younger children. We know that children make good progress because adults provide lots of opportunities for them to explore, learn and develop across all areas of learning.”

DNEAT had overwhelming support from the local community, Breckland Council, Shipdham Parish Council and Thomas Bullock Trust to open a school-based nursery in January of this year.

Mrs O’Sullivan said: “We focus on developing confident and independent children who can make informed choices and decisions for themselves, whilst developing a caring, considerate and responsible attitude towards other people and their environment.

She added: “We are delighted that our numbers have continued to increase over the last few years and our pupils are making excellent progress from entry.  Our phonics scores in 2020 were 97% and 2021 was 90% even through the pandemic.  We know that we offer children an excellent and exciting curriculum and our nursery children will thoroughly benefit from joining our school earlier.”

Photos: Sophie Bell-Tye – Class teacher with children from The Arc – Credit Kate Morfoot, Jungle PR Ltd