“I have nothing but praise for Harcourt pre-school. In contrast to nurseries we had used before, the continuity of care and genuine interest in child development was very apparent, within a homely environment. Wonderful imaginative, child-led play with lots of opportunity for being outdoors and trips to link the real world with educational opportunities. Forest school, the autumn walk, teddy bear picnic and Christmas nativity were highlights in the calender. The kindness and patience of staff never ceased to amaze me. Harcourt has done wonders for my shy and home loving boys whose vocabulary was limited to a couple of words on arrival. They have been very happy, and emerged with confidence and social skills that have equipped them well for their onward journey to school.”
The Mason Family
“My daughter has just finished a magical year at Harcourt preschool and I can’t imagine anywhere having prepared her better for starting school next term. The staff at Harcourt go above and beyond the role of preschool teachers both on an emotional level and on an educational level. The breadth of learning and experiences is incredible from hatching chicks and butterflies to lovely trips to the local bakery, library and forest school. On an emotional and supportive level the staff are second to none and they instilled so much confidence in my daughter and enhanced her social skills. Harcourt is a truly special preschool and we feel incredibly lucky to have been a part of it as parents.”
Louise & Henry Thornhill
“Harcourt Preschool has been a wonderful experience for all three of my children over the past seven years. Whenever we walk into the main room, the different play areas look so inviting and inspiring. The children can’t wait to start playing, and I want to linger for a while to take in all the wonderful opportunities and creative ideas for play and learning.
The experience my children have all had has been of an environment where they flourish with creative and special experiences to nuture this. Special experiences that stick in my mind are the milk bottle igloo, weekly Forest School in the garden as well as the downstairs discos and puppet shows. But that’s just a snapshot of the endless inspired ideas that Harcourt Preschool have.
“The team are dedicated to nuturing the children and are always so warm and welcoming to my children and my family, with time to talk and listen to any concerns I may have about my child.
Coming to Harcourt Preschool doesn’t end there. A wonderful community is there for the family, with gardening sessions, parents reading stories and talking to the children about their professions and sporting interests. My best memories are of the children’s plays that are made so special and feel like a real community event with opportunity to spend time with other families and carers before and afterwards. The Harcourt Disco is a highlight of all my children’s year with a chance to mix with friends and families of Harcourt past and present.
“I cannot say enough to say what a special place Harcourt has been for our family. In fact it has always felt like leaving my children with family only better.”
“My son has thrived at Harcourt Pre-school – making strong friendships and having memorable experiences. The staff provide an amazing, varied environment, despite being a compact setting. They are very creative in their use of the space and often change the way it is used depending on the activity. The children are engaged in a variety of ways and the involvement of parents to enhance learning is positively encouraged. I have found Harcourt Pre-school to be a very welcoming place and always felt able to speak to staff if I had any concerns. By observing how staff are with other children I was always reassured that they are a warm, professional team, inspiring and encouraging all children. The children are able to engage with the community and environment around them by going for number walks, bakery and library trips, using the outside garden, nature walks on the Downs and wonderful Forest school adventures in Leigh Woods.
“It is a homely environment where the staff show genuine care for all children. My son’s key worker built a deep relationship with him recognising his strengths and weaknesses and would tailor activities to challenge and encourage him.
“I found the use of ‘Tapestry’, an online learning journal, incredibly useful. Not only did it give a sense of what my child was doing, it illustrated the variety in his day, but also clearly shows the level of detail that the staff are able to observe and record. ‘Tapestry’ enables the whole family to see what life is like at Harcourt and would prompt us all to discuss the activities. It is a very real window into their world and I feel very lucky that he had been able to experience such a unique preschool.”
“Our son started at Harcourt in September 2016, two months after we moved city to Bristol and had a new baby daughter at the same time. It was a lot of change for him but we both feel that his year at Harcourt has been the best thing that could have happened for him. It is clear the staff are highly qualified and experienced; the level of childcare and professionalism immediately felt worlds apart from previous experiences.
“Our son has thrived at Harcourt; despite being naturally shy he has always been happy to attend and often talks about the teachers and the friends he has made. It’s very reassuring that he’ll be starting school with friends that he has already made at pre school. The teachers have gone to extra efforts to prepare him for school; following one of the visits to ‘big school’ he now has a laminated photo card with his reception teacher and class room that he can look at over the summer.
“We’ve been very happy with everything the dedicated staff have done for our son and we look forward to sending our daughter to Harcourt in the future.”
Jenny & Mike Bobroff