Benefits of Outdoor Play for young children

Did you know that half of children surveyed in 2008 could not tell the difference between a wasp and a bee? According to the National Trust, ‘Nature Deficit Disorder’ is common in today’s device-dependent age and it’s clear that children aren’t playing outside as much as they should.

There are two fundamental reasons why outdoor play is critical for young children. Firstly, many of the developmental tasks that children must achieve—exploring, risk-taking, fine and gross motor development and the absorption of vast amounts of basic knowledge—can be most effectively learned through outdoor play. Secondly, modern culture is taking outdoor play away from young children through excessive TV and computer use and academic standards that push and stretch our children taking time away from outdoor play.

Here at Norman Court we are blessed with the kind of space children dream of. Hills to roll down, woodland to explore, fields to run through and trees to climb. Utilising our unique location and setting we are able to offer adventures to remember, a chance to discover your inner explorer and create unforgettable memories and experiences.

So, to promote Norman Courts belief in outdoor play and activities, we’ve compiled a list of benefits for your child.


Children above the age of one require 10 milligrams of vitamin D per day. The biggest source of vitamin D during March and September can be found outside. This means that whilst playing outdoors, your child can absorb all the nutrients they need from direct sunlight.

Additionally, outdoor play is proven to improve mental health and encourage children to exercise more freely in a non-restrictive way.


Children need lots of opportunities outside to develop basic social skills and social competencies: pushing each other on the swing, pulling a wagon carrying another child, playing together in the sand, and so on. Clearly, physical play, constructive play, and sociodramatic play also involve social play, especially if the equipment encourages the engagement of more than one child. Projects such as gardening, observing the weather in a separate science area, and having a picnic can be—and should be—social activities.



At the end of the day, your child’s primary concern is having as much fun as possible. Being cooped up inside all day doesn’t provide your child with fresh air, extensive exercise or the freedom to socialise and interact with nature.

That’s why we believe in incorporating outdoor play, activities and education into our nursery curriculum. At Norman Court we have 46 acres for the children to play out in safely so they can explore the world and wildlife around them. Why not contact us on 01980 322322 or email to find out more.


Montessori Day Nursery in Salisbury & Hampshire


 What’s on offer at T Club & our Holiday Clubs

At Norman Court School we recognise and appreciate the busy lifestyles of modern families. As a means to try and help families with expensive childcare costs and to create greater flexibility for parents, our school has developed an extended service of wraparound care for all pupils in our charge. This runs both term-time and during the holiday periods from 8am to 6pm each week day. This is staffed on the whole by our own school support staff and supervisors.

Our wraparound care “rocks” according to the children who attend. Jack who attends our T- Club, which runs after school each day says ‘ It’s Awesome’. There are a whole range of activities on offer and every week day after school we have clubs running. This term some of the activities we have on offer are as follows:

  • Monday – Cooking
  • Tuesday – Kids Get Fit
  • Wednesday – Cricket
  • Thursday – Arts & Crafts
  • Friday – TBC

As well as T Club we also have a holiday club, which runs every holiday. It ran throughout the whole summer from 8-6pm each day with the children playing all manner of games and having fun (no matter what the weather was doing!). Everyone really got stuck in making, creating, climbing, gardening, painting, building and, of course, playing.

James our club manager says ‘ It is wonderful that we have been able to take advantage of all our facilities in order to give the children some fun experiences as well as help parents to provide a safe and nurturing environment during the holiday periods. We even welcomed external children in who wanted to have a fun time with their Norman Court friends or family. This new academic year, we move on with more exciting plans, some new clubs and plenty more fun to be had.

By offering wraparound childcare, Norman Court School can best utilise its purpose-built premises to help our parents work or attend training. We give our parents peace of mind, knowing their children are in a safe, familiar and convenient environment.   We offer pupils education, as well as high-quality, flexible and affordable childcare, in one inclusive setting.

The T-Club and holiday club are open to all children in the local area and we even offer a bus service too. To find out more about Norman Court School our programme of wrap around care please contact us on 01980 322322 or email

Sending your child to nursery is one of the biggest steps you will have to make as a parent. It can be a very sensitive time, but nursery can have a positive and long-term impact on children’s capabilities, progress and social development. Many parents feel guilty about leaving their children in nurseries however a study carried out by the University of London, and published in summer 2013, found that children who had spent three years or more in nursery education could advance their academic attainment by up to a year over those whose parents kept them at home until the age of five. Here are some of the benefits of sending your child to Nursery:

Nursery prepares your child for school

A nursery environment prepares your child for their school years. It is the stepping-stone needed to enjoy a smooth transition from being at home full time, to at school with children their own age. Nursery also helps children attain the social skills they need to build relationships with others and thrive in the school environment.

Improves social skills:

Children love being around other children and nursery is the perfect place for them to socialise. Learning to participate in activities and play co-operatively with others will greatly improve their social skills and give them confidence. Toddlers get a lot out of being with other children. Nothing that you can do can make up for the excitement that other children provide. Developing these social skills is of great importance and is likely to result in children being much happier when starting school.

Knowledge of the Nursery Staff

One often under-utilised resource is the vast knowledge the Nursery staff have. Many have trained for years to work with children. Nursery practitioners witness the behaviour of our children from a completely different perspective and through experience can be relied upon to offer advice and opinion on their development of our children.

Gives children a sense of independence

Nursery is probably the first time your child will be away from you for any length of time. Whilst this is a big step for you both, you have to remember that it will actually be really good for your child to spend a little time away from you. It will give them a sense of independence and allow them the opportunity to make other relationships, which is incredibly important to their well-being.

Parents benefit too……

And let’s not forget the advantages for the parent. Having your child in a playgroup or nursery – even if it is only a few hours a week – gives you some valuable time to yourself. Parents feel more relaxed after having a break from their children, which can only be a good thing for parent and child.

Norman Court Montessori is a fantastic setting but please don’t just take my word for it, come and see yourself. Our Nursery is open 51 weeks per year from 8am – 6pm. For more information or to book a showaround please call 01980 322 322 or email

Nursery Manager Milly Pearson is pleased to announce that due to continued success and popularity we are looking for Nursery Nurses and Assistants.

To help allay any fears you might have about your child starting school I have pulled together a checklist of five useful points which may help with the move to ‘big’ school.

  1. Prepare your child for primary school. Tell your child what to expect from school but don’t oversell it. Most children like school and have great fun however you must also warn them gently that they may get tired and if they have any problems or feel sad they should tell their teacher. If possible, meet your child’s Reception teacher. Read your child bedtime stories in which the characters are starting school, such as Busy School by Melanie Joyce.
  2. Visit the school with your child before they start so it’s not an unfamiliar environment on their first day. If your child hasn’t been to the school’s nursery and doesn’t have siblings at the school, make sure he or she sees the school before starting so they know what to expect. Many schools do set up ‘taster’ sessions for the new September intake: don’t worry, they won’t start grading your child’s reading level or anything; it’s just a little look-and-play in the classroom, so your child doesn’t have to walk into a totally unfamiliar room on their very first day.
  3. Teach your children ‘life skills’. At school, children need to do things for themselves that you may have been doing for them at home – in fact, most parents do a shocking amount for their children at home. Realistically, teachers can’t change every child into their PE kit so, ideally, you should teach your child to get dressed and undressed before they start school. Every little bit of independence helps.
  4. Recognising Letters and Numbers. Given the fact that the children will be embarking on a phonics reading programme almost immediately, it’s helpful if your child is already familiar with the alphabet. The same applies to maths and the numbers one to 20. There are lots of excellent alphabet and number books, such as Alphabet and Counting by Alison Jay and ABC by Quentin Blake.
  5. School sitting. When your child starts school, they will have to sit still or at least remain seated for short periods of time. This can be a lot harder for boys than girls. Calm time spent with your child playing games, doing jigsaw puzzles or just drawing and painting helps.

Reception Taster Morning

Wednesday 1st March 2017 – 9.30am-11.30am

We would like to invite your preschoolers to spend the morning in Reception on Wednesday 1st March from 9.30am – 11.30am.

There will be a range of activities for them to take part in. Your children will enjoy exploring our stimulating and engaging environment, will take part in a Kodaly music workshop and delve into the forest to discover the challenging learning opportunities it holds.

From 11.30am – 12.30pm parents are invited to join our specialist staff team for coffee and a chat.

Please email to book your place



Since the 2-year-old future king started preschool at Westacre Montessori in Norfolk, more people than ever are interested in the Montessori approach to education, so what is a Montessori education?

The Montessori Method

Norman Court Montessori aims to make the child’s first experience of school happy and stimulating.

The Montessori Method provides education for life and each child is considered as an individual. Our aim is to encourage the child’s natural development, as well as introducing social behaviour and good manners.

Our approach is child-centred, and the child is respected within the school’s special environment. Children are encouraged to develop and broaden their educational experiences in a caring and gentle atmosphere. This enables the child’s first steps in education to be enjoyable and inspiring.

The key components of the Montessori Method are the special qualities of the environment and the teacher.

The Montessori Curriculum is made up of core areas:

  • Practical Life/Skills for Everyday Living (Personal, Social and Emotional Development) 
  • Sensorial(Physical Development & Mathematics) 
  •  Mathematics(Mathematics) 
  • Communication, Language and Literacy(Communication and Language & Literacy) 
  •  Cultural(Understanding the World)  
  • Creative Development(Expressive Arts and Design) 
  • Physical Development(Physical Development)

These areas are supplemented with activities such as dance, music, French, mini gym, cookery and art and craft.

The Universal Characteristics of Childhood

  • All children want to learn, to investigate and find out. They enjoy active learning where they are involved as much as possible.
  • From birth to six years children have Absorbent Minds.
  • The qualities of early experiences influence self-construction and personality development.
  • Children pass through Sensitive Periods, which are periods of intense sensibility to a certain area of development or concept forming, for example, walking, writing and reading.

With these characteristics in mind, we encourage children to cultivate their own personality and individuality, as well as allowing natural development.

Norman Court is delighted to launch their new specialist Montessori Day Nursery website Our specialist approach and apparatus assist in the delivery of the highest quality education for the young child. We lay down foundations for future development and concentrate on every aspect of development, thus educating the whole child. Children learn to balance responsibility with freedom of choice. The emphasis is on self-discipline, self-esteem and co-operation.

Children foster a love for learning and develop at their own individual pace.

If you are interested in finding out more about us, please do not hesitate to contact us on 01980 322 322 or email