A child’s day in nursery

Parents

We acknowledge that you as parents are your child’s main educator and carer. We believe that communication between parents/carers and nursery staff is very important to children’s development. We encourage you to talk to us especially to your child’s key person who will help to explain your child’s portfolio which records their development and the next steps in learning. Regardless of how much time your child spends with us, you will always be their main and most important educator, working together is very important and will enable your child to develop to the best of their ability.

Key person.

Every child in nursery is allocated one member of staff as their key person. The key person works closely with each individual child they are responsible for, observing their interests and using these to plan activities specifically for them which encourage learning and development. They will ask you to complete a form about your child and record their planning in your child’s workbook, which is kept in their tray. You are welcome to look at this as often as you’d like. While we do plan individual activities for individual children, all the children are more than welcome to join in with any key person’s activity.

Settling your child into nursery.

Leaving your child can be an upsetting time for both of you. We have a great deal of experience in helping children to settle with us. Most of us have also had experience in leaving our own children with others. This helps us to understand how you and your child feel, and hopefully allows us to help to make the experience as stress-free as possible. We don’t have a set routine for settling children. Every child is an individual and as such our plan changes with each child. We will, with you evaluate how best to settle your child and discuss our plans with you. Regardless of how your child settles please remember the following.

  • Never leave without telling your child you are leaving.
  • If they are upset we find a quick, confident goodbye and telling them you’re just nipping to Tescos and will be back, is the easiest for them to understand.
  • Please be on time (if possible a little early) to collect them, until they are happy to be left. Being the last to leave can be upsetting.
  • Also once you’ve returned leave with your child straight away. This is so they begin to understand that you do return for them and you do go home.
  • If you are upset please tell a member of staff. We want you to feel happy and confident about leaving your child with us. We have several strategies for helping you feel more relaxed, for example ringing you during the session, taking photos of your child for you to see when you return, and taking you into the kitchen so you can watch without being noticed.
  • Some children are happy to be left at first and then get upset after a few sessions. This is quite normal and doesn’t mean anything bad has happened. Usually, it just means that the 1st novelty of nursery has worn off. They do settle again quite quickly.
  • If they are reluctant to come please don’t keep talking about nursery at home. Many parents think they are helping by constantly reminding their little one that they are going back to nursery in x amount of days, in reality, they are giving them longer to worry.
  • Please remember that eventually, all children settle it just takes some a little longer.

Things you need to bring or not bring.

  • You don’t need a bag, we provide these and prefer it if you use ours, they take up less room in our already crowded cloakroom.
  • A full change of named clothes, to be kept in your bag, (all children need a change, in case they get wet in our water tray).
  • Extra underwear and trousers, if your child is being potty trained, named and kept in your bag.
  • Nappies or pull-ups, if you use them, kept in your bag.
  • We provide wipes, nappy bags, cream etc.
  • Please make sure all clothes are named. We’d prefer you to send them in easy fastening clothes, which help independence in the bathroom.
  • Nursery is a messy place! Please don’t send your child in anything you would be upset about getting marked or stained, or in coats and shoes that you don’t want to get dirty in our garden.
  • Winter; we try to play out for some time every day. Please ensure your child has a suitable named coat, hat, gloves and footwear for playing in a garden.
  • Summer; when the weather is hot we require sensible shoes (not flip-flops), a named sun hat and a top that covers shoulders (not vest top or sundress straps). Please put sun cream on your child before they arrive. We will reapply sun cream to children who stay all day
  • Please don’t send your child in jewellery as this could be dangerous. We can’t be responsible for lost or broken jewellery.
  • Dummies, blankets, soft toys and other comforters, if your child usually has a dummy or another comforter at any time during the day, please bring it along. Over time we will encourage them to leave the dummy in our basket and the comforter in their bag or draw, but they are helpful to have at hand.
  • Toys; we would prefer that children don’t bring their own toys to nursery, as this can cause arguments and we can’t guarantee they won’t get lost or broken. They can bring things to show us and toys they need to settle e.g. favourite teddy. We will encourage them to keep them in their bag or tray.
  • Food and drink we would ask that children don’t bring sweets or chewing gum into nursery. If they are eating or drinking when they come into nursery we will ask them to sit at a table, until they have finished, for their own safety.

On arrival.

Please don’t arrive too early. Our door into the cloakroom will be unbolted before 9, 12, 1 and 4 for 10 or so minutes If you need to enter nursery at other times please ring the doorbell. Please ensure the bolt on the gate is always locked! On your way in and out If you need access to nursery without using the steps please speak to a member of staff, who will arrange to have the fire door open for you. Place your child’s coat on their hook (you will be given a picture which relates to your child’s peg, hook, tray and name card as soon as possible)  Depending on your start time please wait for either, the cloakroom door to be opened, the wall/door in the messy room to be moved, or the member of staff to tell you we are ready. When we are ready please help your child to post their name and make sure he/she is marked on the register. At this time you are welcome to pay your fees or talk to staff about your child. Before you leave please make sure your child knows you are going and you will be back.

What we do while you are gone.

We aim to provide a welcoming, caring and nurturing environment. Both inside and outside, where children can settle, gain confidence and develop their independence. The children are encouraged to make full use of our room we have a messy area, role play, physical play, books, games, jigsaws, construction and small world toys plus lots more. We plan the setting around theme or topic, although this is very flexible and will be changed to meet the children’s individual interests. There are usually 4 adults in the room, one who is responsible for the messy area, one for snack, one for the bathroom and one for the role play area. One of these adults will also be responsible for the running of the room during that session. We usually go shopping as often as we can and have other trips around Great Horton including visiting the library with which we have very good links. We play outside, have snack and meals and include several age-related group activities such as carpet time throughout the day.

We follow the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum Framework. As set out by Ofsted

Your child will be learning skills, acquiring new knowledge and demonstrating their understanding through 7 areas of learning and development. Children should mostly develop the 3 prime areas first. These are:

  • Communication and language;
  • Physical development;
  • Personal, social and emotional development.

These prime areas are those most essential for your child’s healthy development and future learning. As children grow, the prime areas will help them to develop skills in 4 specific areas. These are:

  • Literacy;
  • Mathematics;
  • Understanding the world; and
  • Expressive arts and design.

These 7 areas are used to plan your child’s learning and activities. We will make sure that the activities we plan are suited to your child’s unique needs. The curriculum is a little bit like a curriculum in primary and secondary schools, but it’s suitable for very young children, and it’s designed to be really flexible so that we can follow your child’s unique needs and interest Children in the EYFS learn by playing and exploring, being active, and through creative and critical thinking which takes place both indoors and outside.

We receive support from Bradford’s Early Years Education and use the same resources and record keeping as school nurseries and reception classes.

Bathroom.

A member of staff is responsible for the bathroom during the session. Approximately every half hour the adult checks nappies takes children who need to be taken to the bathroom and remind others. Children are given whatever help they need. We aim that they have achieved independence in the bathroom before they leave for school. We have a changing table, potties, toilet seats, normal size toilets and sinks with steps, plus small toilets and sinks. Please discuss with nursery staff what stage your child is at and what help you think your child will need.

Snack and meals

One member of staff is responsible for snack during each session. They with another adult take 4 children shopping to Tesco to buy snack as often as they can. Our snack is always vegetarian, if your child has allergies please tell us so we can avoid these foods. Snack usually consist of some kind of carbohydrate e.g. toast, crackers, bread sticks, pasta, pitta bread etc. and at least 2 pieces of fruit or vegetables we also have yoghurt and cheese and sometimes may have a treat like birthday cake. To drink the children can choose from water or milk. Snack time lasts for about an hour, the children choose when to have snack within this time. We encourage the children to help get the table ready and prepare the snack (with supervision). When the children ask for snack they are asked to wash their hands and repost their name with help if needed. They then sit at the table and, with the adult supervising each child according to ability; they take a cup and plate selecting what they would like. The children are encouraged to help themselves and each other. Snack time is seen as an important activity to help children develop their social skills. Children are never forced to have snack but are encouraged to try. Throughout the whole day, there is water available to drink. We have 2 snack times a day one in the morning and one the afternoon

Lunch

We provide a cold lunch between 11.30 am and 12.30pm (you may send your own packed lunch if you wish). Lunch is free for all children attending between 12 & 1

Breakfast & Tea

We can provide cereal or fruit for children arriving before 9 am and a light tea for children staying after 4 pm if needed

Playing outside.

As we have mentioned before we aim to play outside as often as possible. Please ensure your child has the appropriate outdoor clothes and shoes, and be aware that they probably will get them dirty. Before we play out an adult carries out a safety check of the garden. We have a gate with 3 bolts on it and an adult always standing by it.

Sleeping

Some children may need a nap during the day. We have a quiet area with cushions blankets pushchairs ready for this and work with you to determine if your child needs a nap and for how long.

Special and extra needs / Equality and inclusion.

In nursery we aim to acknowledge and value each child’s individual stage, ability, culture, religion, language and family group. We actively seek to combat sexism and promote equal opportunities for girls & boys, women & men. We have taken regard of the Race Relations Act 2005 and actively seek to promote racial harmony through everything we do, say and provide. We promote equality of opportunity for children with special needs and their families.

  • The named designated person for Special Educational Needs is Fiona
  • The named person responsible for race equality is Saeeda

If you feel now or at a later date that your child has special or extra needs please speak to your key worker, Fiona and or Catherine. We are happy to work alongside other professionals, and where ever physically possible will change our environment and or our routine to ensure that all our children have the best possible access to all our resources. With the relevant paperwork, we are able to administer prescribed medication such as inhalers, creams for skin conditions etc.

Staying with us until reception class.

Many of our children stay at St John’s until they leave for reception class. While it is obviously your choice how long your child stays with us, we would like you to consider the following points.

  • Our Ratio of staff is higher than school nurseries.
  • Good early years qualifications
  • Our staff choose to specialise in early years care and education.
  • Your choice of sessions is wider and more flexible at St John’s.
  • Your child is settled here and knows our routine.
  • Your child’s key person and other staff know and understand him/her.
  • Your child is now in the oldest group of children here.
  • We are happy to work with all schools to ensure a smooth transition into Reception Class