Starting at Nursery
New starters Stay and Play
We are delighted to be able to invite new children to our exclusive stay and play sessions that are specifically for children who will be starting Nursery. These sessions are held every 6 weeks the term before children are due to start with us and are a fantastic opportunity for networks to be established. Parents can meet other new parents, children can meet their new classmates and it is an opportunity for everyone to be introduced to the class teams and Leadership Team. Children can familiarise themselves with the building and the outdoor area and make new friends. The sessions are very informative and include a tour around the school and a chance to speak with the Head.
Each child will be provided with a book bag and CHIP (Children’s Information Pack) which provides photographs of their classroom, their teachers, the different areas of provision, the visual symbol that relates to their coat peg, milk label and self-registration card. It is something concrete for parents to share with children when they talk about starting school and the photographs help children actually see where they will be and the range of exciting things that there are to do.
Families are offered a home visit prior to starting Nursery. This is an opportunity to share information about your child and to ask any questions that you might have. We will complete forms such as ‘All about me’ where you can tell us all the wonderful things about your child, what they like doing, what they might need some help with and any particular interests that they have. This is also an opportunity to tell us about any medical needs, allergies or dietary requirements. This is an opportunity for you to ask any questions that you might have. We are happy to provide paper copies of our Policies.
Children flourish in an environment where they feel safe, secure and valued. Some children settle into nursery very quickly – others can take a little longer. Each child will be treated individually; their emotional maturity and any past experiences will be taken into consideration during this very important time. We always ask you or someone from home to stay with them for the first few sessions. This can be any person that the child is comfortable with. Whilst we provide parents & carers with settling in guidelines, these are just guidelines and can vary between children and their response to a change. The class teams will liaise with parents every day about how children have responded and about any adjustments to the settling in if required.
We recognise that this is enhanced by positive transitions from home to school and we are committed to supporting children and families, paying due regard to children’s social and emotional needs. We believe that children genuinely benefit from mixing with children from a wide variety of backgrounds and culture, differing ages and gender and we try to balances our classes in this way.
Inside and outside
Children love playing outside and learn a great deal from our totally enclosed outdoor environment. They have the chance to not only develop their physical skills but are developing knowledge and understanding across all areas of the curriculum. We make outdoor play available all year round and sometimes this can be very messy! We therefore ask you to send children in clothes that you don’t mind them getting dirty, and are appropriate for the weather. We often say “There’s no such thing as bad weather – only bad clothes.”
We also plan regular visits into the community throughout the year. These can include trips to Hirst Wood where we have the chance to use some Forrest School teaching strategies, Saltaire centre and the local park which provide opportunities for children to be contact with nature and experience seasonal changes such as wind, rain, sunshine and snow.
Children are encouraged to borrow books from our lending library to read at home. The lending library is located in the corridor opposite the kitchen. There is no formal recording system used –take a book, share it at home together, return it and swap it for another. Sharing books with your child is a fantastic way of supporting their learning and we encourage all parents and children to join. When children join us they are provided with a book bag which is ideal for transporting books to and from home.
We do not have a uniform but we would suggest that you avoid putting children into their best clothes for school. Some of our activities are quite messy with materials such as glue, paint, play dough and clay. We are outside for the majority of the day if children choose to be so safe, non-slip shoes such as trainers are ideal for most kinds of weather.
Parents in nursery
Parents are welcome to attend our new starters stay and play sessions to introduce children to the setting and the staff. You may like to become more involved as a volunteer - please speak to a member of staff.
Your child’s progress
Each child will have a Record of Achievement which is a fantastic record of the time that they spend with us. It will contain lots of information such as pieces of work, photographs and observations made by teaching staff. These will show you what your child is learning, how they are developing and what type of experiences they particularly enjoy at school. We would also encourage parents and carers to contribute to this record – please let us know what you are doing at home – such as visits or outings and family celebrations.
Keeping children safe
Around the building there are photographs on visual forms that highlight who are our trained and designated Named Persons. These are the people to speak to should you have any concerns about a child. Please do not carry out investigations yourself.
We also display our Qualified First Aiders. Whilst we aim to keep your child safe in school but we have qualified First Aiders in case of accidents. In case of an emergency we would try to contact you immediately. During our home visits, or whilst settling in, please let us know if your child has particular health needs. We will discuss our Medication Policy with you before your child is admitted.
Complaints and compliments
If you have a complaint please ask in the office for a copy of our Complaints Procedure. We would always encourage you to discuss any concerns – they are important to us and we will always make time to speak with you. We would also like to hear your compliments, so please let us know what you think that we do well. We always welcome feedback and are constantly trying to improve.
We aim to be an inclusive school/centre and discrimination of any kind will not be tolerated. We hope that you will support us in achieving tolerance and a celebration of diversity.