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Our Nursery Provision

Starting Nursery is an important milestone for all children and parents.

At Victoria we aim to ensure that your child’s start in Nursery is an exciting and memorable experience. Some children are keen to start and are immediately confident in their new setting, however others may take longer to settle. We support all our new Nursery children to grow in confidence at their own pace so they will feel safe and happy at school.

Our purpose-built Nursery building opened in 2007 and consists of two classroom spaces. The spaces complement each other and are divided into different zones to meet the requirements of the Early Years curriculum. We also have an amazing outdoor area, again split into zones to cover different aspects of the curriculum.

Our school offers up to 32.5 hours of Nursery provision (plus before- and after-school care) with a variety of options from which parents can choose. All children should attend every day with the core offer (15 hours) being a morning session, free to all families. Some parents will be entitled to up to 30 hours of free provision with the option of paying for additional hours.

We hope that all our pupils have a great start to their time at school and are ready for their next stage at the end of Nursery. The majority of Nursery children move on to our Reception classes where the ethos, aims and values remain the same.

Victoria is no ordinary school: we’re an inclusive family where everyone matters; where we explore and go deeper in learning; where every day is extraordinary.

Join us and flourish in learning and love.

Caroline Crozier
Head of School

Admissions and options

Children should start Nursery in the September before their 4th birthday. To apply for a place, parents and carers should visit our website. Dates for applications are published on the website and are strictly followed.

Our Nursery teacher will work closely with you and your child during the transition between home and Nursery. She will be the first point of call for sharing information about your child.

Children will be introduced to the nursery teacher before they start nursery, where they will spend time together getting to know each other and finding out what the children enjoy.

The school follows the statutory requirements with regards to staff to pupil ratios. As a school our Nursery is led by a teacher with Qualified Teacher Status and supported by a team of teaching assistants.

Options

All children are entitled to the universal offer of 15 hours a week free provision which runs each day as a morning session from 8:30-11:30am. We call this our ‘core offer’ which covers the full requirements of the curriculum.

Parents can choose additional hours (from 1 to 17.5 per week) on top of this core offer. Pupils of some working parents may be entitled to a further 15 hours a week of free provision via the government’s 30-hour scheme; other parents can pay for this provision.

Those parents/carers who are entitled to 30 hours free childcare and require all day, every day or specific days will be accommodated. Please note, however, that these sessions can only be changed termly.

I am eligible for 30-hours

I am NOT eligible for 30-hours
Core offer

Morning Only

(15hrs)

08:30 - 11:30
This is free. The school receives funding for your child from the local authority.
This is free. The school receives funding for your child from the local authority.
1

Morning including lunch club

08:30-12:30
This is free. The school draws down 1 hour per day from funding for your child from your government account.
The first 15 hours are free (see above) and you can pay for an additional 5 hours.
2

Working towards a 30-hour week

 

This package is bespoke

 

This is free. The school draws down funding for your child from your government account for additional hours. This could be anywhere between 1 hour to all 14 hours additional per week.
Parents can do any hours between 15 (morning) hours and the full 30 free hours per week (See below). Contact the office to discuss your requirements and our range of flexible options.
The first 15 hours are free (see above) and you can pay for the additional 1-14 hours.
Parents can do any hours between 15 (morning) hours and the full 30 hours per week (See below). Contact the office to discuss your requirements and our range of flexible options.
3

30-hour Week

(30hrs)

 

08:30-15:00 (4 days) and 08:30-12:30 (1 day)

This is free. The school draws down funding for your child from your government account.

 

At Victoria, 30 hours free childcare at Victoria equates to: every morning until 11:30am, four days until 3:00pm and the fifth day until 12:30. You can pay for one afternoon (see option 5).
The first 15 hours are free (see above) and you can pay for an additional 15 hours.
4

Full Week

(32.5hrs)

08:30 - 15:00
The first 30 hours are free (see above). The school draws down funding for your child from your government account. You can pay for an additional 2.5 hours per week.

The first 15 hours are free (see above) and you can pay for an additional 17.5 hours.

Wrap around care options – paid by all

Parents can also pay for before- and after-school care from 7:30am-6:00pm.

A

Breakfast club

07:30 - 08:30
Gold Key Breakfast club run our breakfast provision in the Dining Room at Victoria School. They escort children to the nursery and hand them over to the Nursery staff.
B

After school club

15:30-18:00
Run by Victoria School staff in the Dining Room at Victoria School. Nursery staff escort children from the nursery and hand them over to our after school club staff.

Eligibility for 30 hours

You can usually get 30 hours free childcare if you (and your partner, if you have one) are:

  • in work - or getting parental leave, sick leave or annual leave

  • each earning at least the National Minimum Wage or Living Wage for 16 hours a week - this is £125.28 if you’re over 25

This earnings limit doesn’t apply if you’re self-employed and started your business less than 12 months ago. You are not eligible if:

  • your child doesn’t usually live with you

  • the child is your foster child

  • either you or your partner have a taxable income over £100,000

  • you are from outside the EEA and your UK residence card says you can’t access public funds

If you, or your partner, are on maternity, paternity or adoption leave, or you're unable to work because you are disabled or having caring responsibilities, you could still be eligible.

To see if you qualify visit www.childcarechoices.gov.uk and look for the 30-hours Free Childcare section. If you qualify, you can apply online and you will be given a code, which you give to us and we draw down the funding for your child.

Fees

Where parents do not qualify for the 30 hours scheme, they can pay for additional hours. The fees are paid directly to the school via an online account, which will be set up for you. Terms and Conditions will apply when a parent is paying for additional hours. These are available here.

If you have childcare vouchers or use the government tax-free childcare scheme, we can accept these as payment.

Getting started

To help with transition into Nursery, we offer:

Setting visits

In the summer term before starting at Victoria Nursery, the teacher will visit the children in their current setting. During this visit, she will have time to chat with their key worker and spend time with the children in a setting where they feel comfortable and relaxed. This visit will give the children the opportunity to begin a relationship with the Nursery teacher which will provide them with a familiar friendly face when they visit the Nursery.

Nursery visit

Children will have the opportunity to visit the Nursery with an accompanying adult during the summer term where they can explore the setting, meet the Nursery team and some of the other children who will be starting alongside them in September. During this visit, the adults will have a short introductory meeting with the teacher where they will have the opportunity to ask any questions they may have.

Home visits

Home visits are offered during the beginning of the autumn term for any parent or child who would like one. The Nursery teacher and another member of the Nursery team would visit you at home and would spend time chatting with you and your child and answering any questions you may have.

Postcards

The children will receive a postcard home during the summer holiday from the Nursery team welcoming them to Victoria school Nursery.

Settling in

Every child is unique and some children will settle quickly, while others take longer. The aim of Nursery staff is to ensure your child feels happy, safe and secure without you. On your child’s first day, a parent is encouraged to come into the Nursery to help with the settling in. The children start in small groups with the children who they met on their visit in the summer term. When the child is comfortable and happy, parents are welcome to leave their child for the rest of that session. We recognise some children will still need more time to settle and we aim to work with you to ensure your child settles well. For children who do find it hard to settle, the Nursery team will work alongside you to help the transition go smoothly. We aim for all of our children to be happy and settled with a happy and confident parent.

Moving forward

At the beginning of each session staff are always available for you to pass on quick messages or ask questions. However, if you need a more private moment, or need to speak to us at length you can make an appointment to see the Nursery teacher. Alternatively, parents may use Tapestry, our online learning journal, to communicate with her.

A Typical Day in Nursery 

8:20-8:30 Children arrive
8:20-8:45 Busy Fingers, Self-registration and Fine Motor interventions
8:45-9:05

Wake and shake

Adult input (when appropriate)
9:05-9:20 Adult-led activities
9:20-9:30 Morning snack
9:40-11:00

Free flow activities in classroom and outside area

Adult-led speaking and listening sessions 
11:00-11:30 Phonics/Story time/mindfulness/class assembly
11:30 Morning nursery (15 hour) children go home
11:30-12:30 Lunch time and activities
12:30 Lunch club children go home
12:30-12:45 Carpet activities
12:45-1:15 Adult-led activities
1:15-2:20 Free flow activities in classroom and outside area
2:20-2:30 Afternoon snack
2:30-2:50 Tidy up and story time
2:50-3:00 Children go home

Lunch

Children who are staying for lunch should bring a packed lunch. The children eat in small groups with the assistance of staff.

Inside the classroom

Our Nursery has a large, open plan classroom space set up with a variety of resources to deliver the seven areas of learning.

Learning zones include:

  • Sand area

  • Water area

  • Creative area

  • Role play

  • Reading area

  • Writing area

  • Construction area

  • Busy fingers

  • Investigation area

  • Music area

  • Malleable area

Children are welcomed at drop-off each day. When children enter Nursery there is always a full range of activities for them to access. This ensures they have a settled start to the day. These activities are carefully planned to support children’s individual learning goals. 

During the day children will have free-flow access, indoors and out. This ensures children have access to all of the facilities across Nursery and they work with the whole team.

Let’s go outside

We have a large outside space that has been carefully designed to help promote curiosity and challenge children physically. 

There are endless opportunities for exploration and for children to use their imagination.
Within the Nursery, children ‘free flow’ into the outside area throughout the day.

There is a large canopy where activities on a smaller scale are also available for children to engage in and all children are carefully monitored to ensure they access a full range of learning activities. Children will always have favourite themes and activities and the staff work hard to ensure children can access a full range of learning activities, both inside and outside the classroom.

Early Years Curriculum

At Victoria we follow the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum. This is set out in seven areas of learning, and aims to give children a broad and balanced curriculum:

Personal, Social and Emotional Development 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.

Communication and Language 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.

Physical Development 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

Literacy involves sharing stories together, retelling them using puppets, learning songs and rhymes, exploring different ways of making marks and talking about what they have produced.

Mathematics involves providing children with opportunities to develop and improve their skills in counting, understanding and using numbers and to describe shapes, patterns and having opportunities to explore capacity, weight and length.

Understanding the World involves guiding 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 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 and technology.

The curriculum states that these areas should be delivered through planned and purposeful play. We ensure that each day we carefully think about what the children need and what they are interested in and plan appropriate activities to ensure children are supported and challenged.

Throughout the day children also access focus activities, which are carefully planned to meet individual children’s needs.Throughout the day all adults observe and interacting with children; they use their observations to help support their assessments of the children. Parents are able to access this from home and contribute their own observations, which helps to provide us with a full picture of your child.

Over the year, there will be parent consultations and opportunities to attend different events eg sports day, nativity performance and can arrange to speak to the Nursery teacher at any point to discuss their child’s progress etc. 

Welfare

Children’s welfare

We believe that children learn best when they are healthy, safe and secure, when their individual needs are met and when they have positive relationships with adults caring for them. For this reason, the relationship between staff and home is key to enabling an increased awareness of your child’s individual needs. To ensure your child’s safety the garden gates will be padlocked shortly after the beginning of each session. If you find the gate locked please use the main school entrance and a member of staff will take your child to Nursery.

It is vital we know who is collecting your child from Nursery. Please let us know if someone different is coming and preferably introduce them to us, as we never let a child go with an unknown person. Nursery children must be brought to and collected from Nursery by a responsible adult. At the end of each session a member of Nursery staff will open the door and will call out individual children’s names when parents/carers arrive. In this way we can ensure that your child leaves safely with you.

The Nursery follows the school’s safeguarding policy. In addition to a designated safeguarding leader, all members of staff receive regular safeguarding training, to ensure they keep abreast of any changes and are confident in the delivery of policy and procedures.

What should a child try to do for him/herself?

Starting Nursery means your child will begin to be more independent and to look after him/herself. At Victoria we recognise that children develop at different rates and adults will always support your child. However, there are many ways in which parents can help to build their child’s confidence and independence.

Children should be encouraged to:

  • Put on their coat

  • Put on their shoes and fasten them (slip-on shoes or Velcro fastenings will give that extra bit of independence)

  • Use and flush the toilet themselves

  • Wash and dry their hands

  • Use a tissue to wipe their nose

  • Cover their mouths when coughing or sneezing

  • Ask for help politely when they find something difficult

At Victoria we encourage independence from an early age. We hope that Nursery children will be out of nappies (including pull-ups) unless there is an additional need. Staff are happy to support parents with strategies and advice if these are needed.

Other Information

Inclusion

We are an inclusive Nursery and cater for children with a wide variety of needs. We work closely with outside agencies, who help and advise us to ensure that we meet the needs of all pupils. We also have a Special Needs Co-ordinator working at the school, who offers advice and strategies to ensure all pupils are safe, happy and making progress.

Attendance

It is expected that children attend Nursery five days a week for their allocated hours, this is to ensure they get access to the full curriculum, which is planned over five days. However, if your child is unwell then please contact the office and let us know.

If your child has a minor accident we will inform you with an accident form at the end of the session. If your child should bang their head, school policy states we will phone parents and that a ‘bumped head’ note will be sent home. If your child becomes ill or has a more serious injury, they will be looked after by someone qualified in first aid and you will be contacted.

Clothing

There is a simple uniform available for Nursery children but this is not compulsory. Our uniform is a navy blue jumper or cardigan, blue polo shirt (both with the school logo), navy blue jogging bottoms, grey shorts or skirt and black shoes (ideally with a Velcro fastening). If your child does not wear uniform to school then please ensure that you send them to Nursery in practical clothing that helps facilitate independence in toileting, for example, jogging bottoms. To make life easier for your child to use the toilet independently, we feel it is best to put on clothes that are easy to manage and that belts are avoided if possible. Please do not send them to Nursery in any special clothing as the children will engage in a variety of messy play activities and will also be playing outside, so clothing may get wet and muddy.

We ask parents to send in a change of clothes for their child in a labelled bag, with all items named. This is kept in a box under their peg. We do have additional spare clothes to change your child into where needed.

In the summer, please provide your child with appropriate clothing and a sunhat. As your child will be climbing and running no open-toe sandals are allowed in Nursery. We ask parents to take responsibility for applying a sunscreen to all exposed areas of children’s skin before Nursery on sunny days.

Snacks

During each session the children have the opportunity to choose a healthy snack consisting of milk or water and fruit or vegetables. Children are encouraged to do this by staff.

Behaviour

Our standards of behaviour are based upon the importance of personal safety and wellbeing and the moral values of kindness and respect for all. During the first few weeks of term, rules and behavioural expectations are discussed with the children, so that they are fully aware of the expectations of the setting. We have a positive approach to behaviour management, where children are praised for their good behaviour and reminded of behavioural expectations if they are not meeting them.

The Nursery team feed back to parents about any concerns or any exceptionally good behaviour as appropriate. We aim to build positive relationships with parents through close, continued and purposeful liaison in order to support each child to make positive choices about their behaviour. We believe that a consistent approach promotes positive behaviour, as it provides children with clear boundaries and a safe secure environment in order that they can, where necessary, modify their behaviour. Please see the school behaviour policy here for more details.

Transition to Reception 

In the summer term children start visiting Reception as part of the transition process. They will have the opportunity to visit the classrooms and use the outside provision. We also have an evening meeting early in September, when parents will have the opportunity to meet their child’s teacher and see their new classroom.

Policies

As our Nursery is part of Victoria School, all the policies in place for the school or Castle Federation apply to the Nursery.

 

Victoria Church of England Infant and Nursery School is a happy, nurturing learning community committed to providing rich, memorable and fun learning experiences both inside and outside the classroom.

We look forward to welcoming you and your child into our inclusive school family.