Below is a selection of some of our policies. The full range of policies can be viewed at the nursery.

Admissions

Statement of intent

It is our intention to make Rickmansworth Nursery School accessible to children and families from all sections of the local community.

Aim:

We aim to ensure that all sections of our community have access to the nursery through open, fair and clearly communicated procedures.

Methods

In order to achieve this aim, we operate the following admissions policy.

  • We ensure that the existence of the nursery is advertised in places accessible to all sections of the community.
  • We arrange our waiting list in order of date of registration. In addition our policy may take into account the length of time on the waiting list.

The nursery is open to every family in the community.

  • No more than 24 children may attend the morning session.
  • No more than 18 children may attend the lunch session and afternoon
  • Children are admitted when they reach 2 years and 9 months, dependent upon the availability of space, and readiness of the individual child to stay happily and settled within the group. A child can remain with us until the term before his or her 5th birthday.
  • Due to the school admissions policy of all children starting school in the year that they are 5 most children start with us during the Autumn term. We also offer some places to those children who have a Spring birthday to start during the spring term. Children with a summer birthday are offered available spaces for the September following their 3rd birthday.
  • Children may attend Rickmansworth Nursery School for between 2 and 9 sessions per week, these sessions are 3 hours long. Children are expected to attend a minimum of 2 sessions a week. Less than this does not give enough continuity for a child to settle adequately within the nursery. We recommend that younger children should start with 2 or 3 sessions per week but may increase this when parents and staff feel they are ready and able to benefit from more sessions, subject to availability of places.
  • We welcome children regardless of their gender, special educational needs, disabilities, background, religion, ethnicity or competence in spoken English. We will liaise fully with parents and professionals to ensure that it would be in the child’s best interests to attend the setting
  • Parents/carers are encouraged to visit with their child shortly before admission is due, and should be prepared to stay with their child if necessary for the first session or two. We can also offer a flexible admissions procedure and where appropriate a child may attend for brief periods at first; gradually building up to a full session.
  • Funding is available for children aged 3 and 4years. Children receiving the ‘3 year old funding’ are entitled to 15 hours of funded education. This time is offered flexibly and wherever possible parents can choose their preferred sessions. Any sessions taken beyond the 15 hours will be charged at the current hourly rate. The nursery cannot guarantee additional time beyond the funded entitlement. The 15 funded hours cannot be taken as 5 morning sessions unless a minimum of 3 additional paid hours are taken.
  • If a child is to leave our setting before moving on to school parents must give at least two weeks’ notice of the leaving date in writing. Fees will be payable until that date. (the grant cannot be paid back or taken to another setting once claimed )
  • Our equal opportunities policy is available on request and in the parent’s handbook.

Please note that attendance at Rickmansworth Nursery School does NOT guarantee a place at Rickmansworth Park JMI School.

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Behaviour Management

At Rickmansworth Nursery School the highest standards, in all areas, are expected of everyone who works at or attends the nursery.

It is central to the philosophy of the nursery that staff should be very positive at all times towards the children, towards each other and towards the nursery.

Jane Herman is responsible for Behaviour Management within our nursery and endeavours to ensure this policy is adhered to by staff, children and parents.

Roles and Responsibilities

Staff

  • To lead by example and to give praise for appropriate behaviour
  • To uphold agreed standards of behaviour amongst the children in the nursery
  • To teach the children right from wrong and what is acceptable behaviour within the
  • To reject the behaviour, not the child
  • To apply sanctions fairly, appropriately and consistently using their professional judgement
  • To work with parents to ensure children receive a consistent approach to behaviour issues
  • To offer children directions to modify their behaviour and allow them to make amends in a positive way.
  • To develop the children’s sensitivity to their feelings and the feelings of others

Children

  • To be aware of the nursery rules and to do their best to abide by them
  • To be courteous, well-mannered and respectful of others and their property
  • To try their best in all areas of nursery life

Parents

  • To explain to children what is acceptable behaviour in nursery
  • To help and support children achieve and maintain high standards of behaviour
  • To work with staff to ensure their child receives a consistent approach to behaviour issues
  • To support the nursery by reinforcing the nursery aims

Behaviour management policy in practice

 At Rickmansworth Nursery School we respect each child as an individual in matters of behaviour and discipline and we therefore aim to treat them accordingly.  We will always seek to find ways to praise and reinforce good behaviour. The children will be helped and reminded at all times to understand and maintain the nursery rules.  We have age appropriate ‘golden’ rules, which are regularly explained and modelled to the children.

These are:-

  •  Adults are in charge
  • We look after our toys
  • We help each other
  • We listen to each other
  • We are kind to each other

Where a ‘golden’ rule is not followed and perhaps not understood the child will be reminded of it and shown acceptable ways of behaving by example. They will also be shown how to make amends e.g. saying “sorry” to another child after snatching a toy or tidying up when toys have been left out.  If children repeatedly fail to follow a rule they will still be helped to follow it but may be sat quietly to have some “thinking time”. Children are given adult support to benefit from this thinking time and again are given the opportunity to make amends.

All children are valued and our aim is to encourage self-discipline, personal responsibility   and self-confidence. We therefore do not use any negative comments, threats or physical means to control children’s behaviour.

Physical intervention will only be used to manage a child’s behaviour if it is necessary to prevent personal injury to the child, other children or an adult or in what would be regarded as exceptional circumstances. In any case, the intervention will be recorded and parents will be informed on the same day.

We will not

  • use or threaten corporal punishment
  • use or threaten any punishment which could adversely affect a child’s well-being.

Working with parents

The support and involvement of parents is crucial to maintain the high standards set by the nursery and to provide a consistent approach to their children. Parents will be kept informed of any issues arising with their children.

Parents will always be informed, in confidence, if their child has needed frequent reminders and staff will work with parents to help the child understand the nursery rules. This may include asking the parent to spend time at the nursery during the times his/her child attends.

Any issues arising with other children, members of staff or parents should be discussed in private with the Teacher in Charge. The passing of negative comments about parents, staff or children is not acceptable in any other forum.

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Equality and Diversity

Rickmansworth Nursery recognises that equal opportunity issues permeate all aspects of nursery policy and practice.  We aim to demonstrate through our work that we positively value and respect children of all ethnic origins, racial groups, religions, cultures, linguistic backgrounds and abilities.

We challenge stereotyping, prejudice and racism whenever it occurs and positively encourage children of both sexes to participate in all activities.

Fundamental to the nursery’s values and practice is the principle of sharing the responsibility for the education of children with parents. We strive for effective communication and cooperation.

Rickmansworth Nursery celebrates the cultural diversity of our community and aims to promote a positive social attitude and respect for all. We consider it important to provide a range of experiences and an environment that will instil in the children a positive outlook towards people in our society whom they may see as different from themselves.  We help the children to respect these differences and to value each other.

  • Toys and equipment will be chosen to relate to and reflect the differing needs of children.
  • Displays will show and reflect a positive image towards the world in which we live and promote non- stereotypical images.
  • Books are chosen to relate to the children’s ages and abilities and to reflect the many differing people, cultures and lifestyles there are in our society.
  • The role-play area is changed regularly to reflect different cultures, races and the world around us. Non-stereotypical role-play is encouraged by use of images and costumes.

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Parent partnership

We believe that children benefit most from Early Years education and care, when parents and settings work together in partnership.

Our aim

Our aim is to support parents as their children’s first and most important educators by involving them in their children’s education and in the full life of the setting. We also aim to support parents in their own continuing education and personal development.

Method

In order to fulfil these aims:

  • We are committed to ongoing dialogue with parents to improve our knowledge of the needs of their children and to support their families;
  • We inform parents about how the setting is run and its policies through access to written information and through regular informal communication. We check to ensure parents understand the information that is given to them;
  • We encourage and support parents to play an active part in the governance and management of the setting;
  • Each child is assigned to a key group team; red, green or blue and to a key person within this team. They will help the child to become familiar with the setting and work closely with their parent/carers to ensure their learning and care is tailored to their individual needs. Parents are informed who this practitioner is at the start of each term so that a relationship can be built through discussions and decision making. Parents are shown at the nursery entrance which practitioner will be monitoring their child’s team should the key person be absent.
  • We update parents on a regular basis about their children’s progress;
  • We provide opportunities for parents to learn about the curriculum offered in the setting and about young children’s learning, in the setting and at home
  • We involve parents in the shared record keeping about their children – either formally or informally. We invite parents to add information to their child’s nursery book either by bringing it home or by providing drawings, written information or photographs to the child’s key person. We also ensure parents have access to their children’s developmental records by discussing these at regular meetings or by asking parents to add to them at home.
  • We provide opportunities for parents to contribute their own skills, knowledge and interests to the activities of the setting;
  • We inform parents about relevant conferences, workshops and training;
  • We consult with parents about the times of meetings to avoid excluding anyone;
  • We provide information about opportunities to be involved in the setting in ways that are accessible to parents with basic skills needs, or those for whom English is an additional language;
  • We welcome the contributions of parents, in whatever form these may take;
  • We inform parents of the systems for registering queries, complaints or suggestions and all parents have access to our written complaints procedure.

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Settling In

Statement of intent

We want children to feel safe, stimulated and happy in the nursery and to feel secure and comfortable with all members of staff. We also want parents to have confidence in both their children’s well being and their role as active partners with the nursery staff.

Aim

We aim to make the nursery a welcoming place where children settle quickly and easily because consideration has been given to the individual needs and circumstances of children and their families.

Methods

Before a child starts to attend the nursery…

  • We use a variety of ways to provide parents with information. These include a visit to the nursery, written information in our Welcome Pack and our website and an ‘Introduction and Information Evening’.
  • Near the end of the term before a child is enrolled, we provide opportunities for the child and his/her parents to re-visit the nursery. During these visits parents and children can familiarise themselves with staff and the activities on offer. Parents will be able to talk to staff and observe their child as s/he explores the setting.  A member of the staff team will discuss the process of settling-in with the parents and jointly decide on the best way to help the child to settle into the nursery. This first visit usually takes between 30 minutes and one hour.  If necessary, a further appointment is made for the child to visit the nursery for a short time, and if appropriate, without a parent.
  • We may offer a home visit by the person who will be the child’s key person, to ensure all relevant information about the child can be made known.

When the child starts to attend the nursery…

  • Depending on the particular needs of the child, the parent (or carer) may stay for part or all of the first few sessions, gradually taking time away from their child, increasing this as and when the child is able to cope. We may suggest that the child stays for a shorter time initially and/or arrive and leave at different times so that they may experience the range of activities and routine. For example, it can be very reassuring for children to experience collection time with all the other children having spent a short time away from their parents.
  • Younger children may take longer to settle in, as may children who have not previously spent time away from home. Children who have had a period of absence may also need their parent to be on hand to re-settle them.
  • We judge a child to be settled when they have formed a relationship with their key person; for example the child looks for the key person when he/she arrives, goes to them for comfort, and seems pleased to be with them. The child may also become familiar with where things are and is pleased to see other children and participate in activities.
  • When parents leave, we ask them to say goodbye to their child and explain that they will be coming back, and when. Some children who appear to have settled well into the nursery, without their parents, can still find the time when the parent leaves them quite upsetting. Most children find being left much easier if the parent says goodbye quickly and confidently passes the child to a member of staff.
  • We do not believe that leaving a child to cry will help them to settle any quicker. We believe that a child’s distress will prevent them from learning and gaining the best from nursery. We will always contact the parent if a child is distressed and cannot be quickly distracted and settled. We always attempt to comfort children who display distress for whatever reason.
  • We reserve the right to postpone accepting a child into the nursery without a parent or carer if the child finds it distressing to be left or is finding it difficult to settle into nursery routine.
  • Within the first four to six weeks of starting we discuss and work with the child’s parents to create their child’s record of achievement.

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