Welcome to Nursery!
Welcome to Nursery 2015
Your child will soon begin school life in our Nursery Class and we hope that it will be a happy and rewarding time for both parents and children; the beginning of a strong partnership with Wallsend St Peter’s C of E Primary School. Starting Nursery is a special time for you and your child and we will try very hard to make sure that your child always feels welcome, happy, secure and valued. We have put together this booklet to explain a little bit about Nursery life and we hope you will find it useful.
In the Foundation Stage, we aim to give every child the opportunity to experience the very best possible start to school life. We also want to ensure that they are given solid and secure foundations on which future learning can build; to enable them to flourish through their school years and beyond. Each child begins the Foundation Stage with very different levels of skill and experiences and as individual children they have different talents and needs. Our main aim is to ensure that the needs of every child are met and the potential of each child is fulfilled. At Wallsend St Peter’s C of E. Primary School, every child matters and no child is ever left behind.
At Wallsend St Peter’s, the principles which guide our work are grouped under 4 themes:
~ Every child is a competent learner from birth who can be resilient, capable, confident and self assured (A Unique Child)
~ Children learn to be strong and independent from a base of loving and secure relationships with parents and a key person (Positive Relationships)
~ The environment plays a key role in supporting and extending children’s development and learning (Enabling Environments)
~ Children develop and learn in different ways and at different rates and all areas of learning and development are equally important and interconnected (Learning and Development)
We work hard to provide a secure environment, using a wide variety of activities which will interest and stimulate your child in their physical, emotional, intellectual and social development. We will ensure that their rights, needs and interests are our paramount concern. We will provide an educational programme to meet their needs irrespective of race, gender, faith or ability. We will promote positive attitudes to diversity and differences within all our children, helping them value different aspects of their own and other people’s lives.
It is fundamental to our ethos that our children are listened to and respected and that their families feel included, safe and respected. We acknowledge and recognise the importance of you as parents/carers as your child’s first educators and we will work hard to develop strong partnerships. We recognise that your involvement is crucial and look forward to working in partnership with you.
Our Nursery class will have up to 26 children in the morning session and up to 26 children in the afternoon session. The Nursery and Reception Class at Wallsend St Peter’s make up a part of what is known as the ‘Early Years Foundation Stage Unit’ (or EYFS Unit). The EYFS staff all work together, sharing a vision, so that children are able to experience continuity in all aspects of their education from the beginning of school life. Staff work and plan closely together, sharing ideas, resources and expertise to ensure continuity throughout the Foundation Stage. Nursery and Reception staff exchange visits regularly to maintain relationships and really get to know all of the children.
08:45 – 11:45 a.m. Morning Nursery
12:30 – 3:30 p.m. Afternoon Nursery
We do ask that you pick up your child on time. Please remember that five minutes late to a three year old can feel like a whole morning or afternoon.
The EYFS Curriculum
Your child will begin his/her Nursery year by working on a range of practical, play based activities both indoors and outdoors, across the curriculum. There are different areas of learning which are all important and interconnected. Three areas are particularly crucial for igniting children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning and for building their capacity to learn, form relationships and thrive. These three areas are known as the prime areas and are:
~ Communication and language
~ Physical development
~ Personal, social and emotional development
The school must also seek to support children in four specific areas through which the three prime areas are strengthened and applied. The specific areas are:
~ Understanding the world
~ Expressive arts and design
Staff in Nursery will consider the individual needs, interests and stage of development of each child and use this information to plan challenging and enjoyable experiences in all areas of learning and development. We will strongly focus on the three prime areas which are the basis of successful learning in the other four specific areas. The three prime areas reflect the key skills and capacities all children need to develop and learn effectively and become ready for Reception Class. The balance will shift towards a more equal focus on all areas of learning as children grow in confidence and ability within the three prime areas.
All areas are delivered through planned purposeful play with a balance of adult led and child initiated activities. One experience may provide the opportunity to develop skills, knowledge and concepts across several areas. Teaching and learning in the Nursery is carefully planned and structured to meet individual needs. We plan as a team to give children a range of experiences and opportunities to make choices and decisions, to work individually or in groups to explore the learning environment. An important aspect of the Nursery is to help the children to become independent learners and to be able to make choices. The classroom is organised to reflect the seven areas of learning and resources and equipment to each area of learning are accessible to all children. Each day the children have the opportunity to paint, draw, write, read, take part in maths activities, do puzzles, use construction equipment, explore and experiment with sand and water, sing, take part in imaginative play etc. The learning environment encompasses both the indoor and outdoor space. We would therefore ask that your child comes suitably dressed for outdoor play in all weathers. Your child will need an outdoor coat with them everyday and a pair of Wellingtons is essential. Theses can be left at Nursery.
The Prime Areas
Communication and Language Development
This involves giving children opportunities to experience a rich language environment; to develop their confidence and skills in expressing themselves and to speak and listen in a range of situations.
This involves providing opportunities for young children to be active and interactive and to develop their coordination, control and movement. Children must also be helped to understand the importance of physical activity and to make healthy choices in relation to food.
Personal, Social and Emotional Development
This involves helping children to develop a positive sense of themselves and others; to form positive relationships and develop respect for others; to develop social skills and learn how to manage their feelings; to understand appropriate behaviour in groups and to have confidence in their own abilities.
The Specific Areas
This involves encouraging children to link sounds to letters and to begin to read and write. Children must have access to a range of reading material to ignite their interest.
This involves providing children with opportunities to develop and improve their skills in counting, understanding and using numbers, calculating simple addition and subtraction problems and describing shapes and spaces.
Understanding the World
This involves helping children to make sense of their physical world and their community through opportunities to explore, observe and find out about people, places, technology and the environment.
Expressive Arts and Design
This involves enabling children to explore and play with a wide range of media and materials, as well as providing opportunities and encouragement for sharing their thoughts, ideas and feelings through a variety of activities in art, music, movement, dance, role play and design technology.
Assessment and Reporting
Assessment plays an important part in helping parents, carers and staff to recognise children’s progress, understand their needs and to plan activities and support. Ongoing assessment is an integral part of the learning and development process. It involves staff observing children to understand their level of achievement, interests and learning styles and to then shape learning experiences for each child reflecting those observations.
Nursery staff are always happy to discuss progress in all 7 areas of learning. A written report will be given at the end of the Summer term.
Each child has a personal file- their learning journey- when they enter Nursery. Our Learning Journeys provide good quality information about the children in our care. You and your child will be asked to contribute to this along with any other adult who works with the child. The aim is to provide a holistic picture where everyone involved with the child contributes to their story about the growth and developments they have made.
Please feel free to speak to staff at any time during your child’s time in Nursery, especially if you have any worries or concerns.
As we now also operate a tracking system from the EYFS there is the opportunity to email in various photo’s / activites that your child has taken part in outside of school hours. The tracker allows us to focus on the needs of your child and works as a formal record of progess. The data for your child is stored on a school IT system for which we will request your consent.
A Typical Session
Parents bring their child into Nursery. The children will then register themselves and are able to choose from a wide range of resources/activities both indoors and outdoors. During the session there will be adult led group times for ‘Letters and Sounds’ and story time. There will also be a healthy snack time.
Staff work hard to ensure that the individual needs of all our children are met. Wherever appropriate, Early Years staff work closely with other professional practitioners e.g. Community Health, Language and Communication team, I Can, Social Services etc to identify needs and provide support and the best possible early intervention opportunities. Similarly, early identification of those children who are gifted and talented helps staff plan appropriate challenges. If you have any concerns at all about your child’s development, please let us know.
Home School Partnerships
At Wallsend St Peter’s we welcome parents and carers. We work very hard to develop strong partnerships between parents, staff and children. Through the provision of a caring, relaxed, happy and secure environment, we aim to build on the foundations already laid at home. Children learn more effectively when parents and school work together.
Your child will receive a Learning Journey booklet which is a book which travels as a link between home and school. Parents and children can contribute to this book to show developments and progress in different areas of learning and to show what children have been doing at home. We have Foundation Stage activity days once per term in which parents/carers/family members can come into school for half a day to join in with seasonal activities. We have a weekly ‘You and Me Time’ for parents/carers to come and share an activity with the children at the beginning of a session.
Staff are always available at the end of the day; happy to listen if there is anything to discuss or are concerned about. We welcome being kept up to date about your child’s well being.
Safeguarding our children
To ensure the safety of our children, all members of our staff and volunteers who work with or have unsupervised access to the children have had suitable checks. The Nursery environment is risk assessed regularly and gates are locked once the session has begun. If for any reason, you arrive late please report to the school office.
Before Starting Nursery
We aim to give your child a happy and confident start to Nursery. It would also be helpful if you could fill in the booklet about your child before starting Nursery. This is another way in which staff can get to know your child. There are many practical ways in which you can help your child before starting Nursery. These include:
~ Talking to your child in a positive way about school in general and what to expect
~ Helping your child to become more independent in activities such as dressing, going to the toilet, hand-washing etc
~ Making sure that your child knows what his/her clothing etc looks like and making sure it is clearly named
There will be opportunities planned for children to have a visit to Nursery before they begin so they can familiarize themselves with staff, children and surroundings. You will receive a home visit before your child begins Nursery.
Beginning and End of the day
Please help your child to be as independent as possible. Let them hang up their coat and register themselves; they will soon feel very grown up! In order to ensure the children’s safety, a member of staff always remains on the door until all the children are safe and inside. At the end of the day, the door will be opened and children will be handed over to their parents one by one. Again, a member of staff will remain on the door until every child has left safely. We ask that parents/carers are prompt when picking up their children as they can become easily distressed if parents/carers are late. For your child’s safety, please let staff know if someone different is picking up your child from school.
If your Child is Unwell
Please let us know if your child is unwell and will not be attending school. A telephone message can be taken by the school office and passed on to Nursery staff. It is usual for children to pick up common childhood illnesses whilst in Nursery as they come into close contact with others, sometimes for the first time. If we work together, we can avoid infections spreading. Please do not send your child to school if they are suffering from any kind of infectious disease. We also ask that you encourage good hand washing at home so that children bring this good practice into school.
If your child has sickness or diarrhoea, please make sure that he/she has been clear for 48 hours before they return to school.
In the event of an accident or illness at school, we will always try to get in touch with parents/carers as soon as possible. Please keep your emergency contact list as up to date as possible. If we are unable to contact anyone on the emergency list, in the event of an accident, your child would then be escorted, in an ambulance by a member of staff to North Tyneside General Hospital. The school would continue to make contact with you.
We have a protocol in place for children with severe allergy syndromes e.g. nut allergies who may need medical intervention whilst in school. Please let us know if this applies to your child.
Health and Safety and Accidents
The school is covered by the Health and Safety Act 1974. A detailed Health and Safety Policy is in place and available for parents to read. All First Aid staff in school are fully Paediatric trained. During all break periods, there is always adequate supervision of the children in the form of teaching staff and non-teaching assistants on duty. If your child needs to have minor first aid at school, a staff member will inform you at the end of the day; they may also be given an accident slip depending on the nature of the accident. If your child falls and bumps their head/face badly or if there is any accident that we are concerned about, you will be telephoned as soon as possible. Please let us know if your child is allergic to plasters.
Medication in School
In order to ensure the safety of all children, we do not store or administer medicine in school, unless there is a direct or specific request by the doctor or other health professional to do so. Most medicines can be given by parents, before and after school and at bedtimes. In those rare circumstances when medicine must be administered in school, it should be in its original container and clearly labelled with the child’s name and correct dosage. Only prescribed medicines not ‘over the counter’ medication can be administered. Medication should be handed in to the school office and they will ask you to sign a request form. This signature will deemed parental consent to administer medication to a named child. Please NEVER send your child to school with medicines or ‘cough sweets’ in their own bags.
We do recognise that some of our children require long term special medical care and we have protocols in place to support their needs. If this applies to your child, please speak to a member of staff so that a care-plan can be put in place to properly support your child.
Asthma, Allergies and Dietary Requirements
You will be asked to inform school if your child suffers from asthma, however mild the condition. We keep a register of all sufferers and need to know what treatment your child currently has. Please keep us up to date with any changes in medication. Reliever inhalers are kept within easy access of the children in their classrooms. Parents are asked to check their child’s inhaler regularly and clearly mark them with your child’s name and class.
Children with diabetes or food intolerance will be carefully monitored whilst a pupil at St Peter’s. All staff know what to do should a child suffer from an anaphylactic reaction. The school has secure medical points to keep spare injector pens should an emergency arise.
For health and safety reasons, no jewellery should be worn for school. It is not school policy to permit wearing earrings in school as they can be a serious source of injury to a child, especially in play or sports. If you choose to have your child’s ears pierced, please do so at the beginning on the summer holidays so that they can be removed for term time.
Milk and Snacks
Milk is available for those children who would like it. We also ask that children bring a bottle of water (not juice) in a named water bottle to school every day. Through the ‘Fruit to School’ scheme, all Nursery children are given a piece of fruit which we have at ‘snack time.’ Please let us know of any intolerance to certain fruits.
Although we do have aprons for ‘messy activities,’ accidents can happen so please do not bring children into Nursery in their best clothes. Old and worn is great! It is also helpful if children can manage clothes by themselves e.g. no awkward buttons etc.
We ask that:
~ A warm coat or jacket should always be provided as outdoor play is always available in all weathers!
~ A hat and gloves in cold weather
~ Suitable sunscreen and a hat when the weather is hot
~ A pair of Wellingtons-we love to jump in puddles and go in the garden when it’s muddy!
~ No jewellery is worn at school
PLEASE PUT NAMES IN EVERYTHING!
A Final Word
If you have any questions, problems or worries, we are here to help. We look forward to a positive partnership with your family at Wallsend St. Peter’s Nursery. Our main aim is that your child is happy and confident in school, enjoys his or her learning experiences and fulfils his or her potential.
Thank you – we look forward to meeting your child!
Early Years Team
Early Years Leader