Within our setting we provide high quality Childcare and Nursery education for children aged 2 - 4 years. We have provision for care before and after school hours as well for children aged 2 to 8 years. The Nursery closes for 5 staff training days throughout the academic year. These are in line with Portsdown Primary School Inset days
We have highly trained and experienced staff, including trained teachers, Nursery Nurses and Classroom Nursery Assistants. Sometimes we support Childcare and Teaching students in their training to work in nurseries and schools.
Children are organised into groups:
Caterpillars Group – for children aged 2-3
Butterflies Pre-school Group - for children aged 3-4
For children aged 2-3 there is at least one adult to every 4 children.
For children aged 3-4 there is one adult to every 8 children.
Adult child ratios in the Nursery are planned in accordance with Government guidelines and are always increased if children are taken on trips out of Nursery.
The children work in small groups for group work with Teachers or Key Persons and join together for self initiated play.
The Nursery has an Early Years Professional teacher who leads the planning and organisation of the curriculum and care. She is supported by a deputy manager, three room leaders and a team of qualified nursery nurses and nursery assistants. The Nursery is supported by Portsdown Primary School Inclusion Manager and SENCO as well as the school Welfare Team.
Children are allocated a Key Person who is responsible for planning and managing their care and learning.
Staff names and photos are displayed in each room.
Prior to working in Nursery all staff and students are checked by the DBS for their suitability for working with children. If visitors or Parents attend nursery they are always supervised by a member of staff and not left alone with children.
All visitors are expected to sign in and out of the building.
We recognise that you have played a very important role in your child's learning and development.
We hope that as your child prepares to start Portsdown Nursery you will continue your crucial role in helping and supporting your child in nursery.
We want your child to settle happily and confidently and for you to feel a partner in your child's education and development.
We feel it is vital that you tell us all about your child and we will spend time with you in your home and at Nursery before your child starts so you can tell us about your child’s routines, interests, likes, dislikes, health and development.
We know that you will feel more confident in entrusting your child with us if you are informed as to what your child is doing, will need and how you can support your child in settling.
Our handbook and website aim to answer questions Parents have asked us in the past about children starting Nursery.
We are constantly trying to improve our practise so if there is anything you feel Parents would find useful to have information on, please let us know.
At Portsdown Nursery we aim to keep you informed about:
The Environment and organisation
Your child's progress and development
Your child's routine
With whom your child is working
Policies and procedures of Portsdown Nursery
Who you can talk to if you have a concern
When your child begins Nursery he/she will have a Key Person, providing a familiar face with whom your child and the whole family can build a trusting relationship.
The Key Person supports the child and family to settle in. They are responsible for monitoring your child's progress, planning and preparing activities to support your child's development and learning.
Your child's Key Person will liaise with you on a daily basis and share information with you about your child. This Person may change as your child progresses through the Nursery, but transitions are always introduced gradually and supported.
The Nursery is surrounded by safe and enclosed outside areas which are landscaped with grass, safety play surfaces, and tarmac. This provides opportunity for taking learning and development outside.
The environment outside includes:
a range of bikes and trucks for a specifically designed roadway
a huge walk in sand pit and smaller sand pits
role play areas
hills for running and climbing,
a large adventure playground,
construction apparatus for building
quiet garden areas
opportunities for planting and growing produce
safe shaded area for toddler play
baby safe area for non-movers
music and sound exploration
opportunities to develop number and awareness of shape and measure
opportunities to develop mark making, drawing and writing with a range of resources
areas in which children can explore and combine materials such as mud kitchen
The Nursery environment is organised into areas which allow children to learn through play inside and outside. The areas are clearly organised and labelled to enable children to learn where things are so that they can independently access resources for themselves and learn to tidy them away.
The areas are bright, attractive and stimulating displaying children’s current activities, pictures and words to support learning, models and photographs which are relevant to the children. We encourage children to feel that what they do is valued and we display a range of their work. Through providing first-hand experience, pictures, artefacts, photographs, resources and activities we aim to provide a rich and stimulating environment, in which children feel secure and cannot help but play, explore and learn.
In Caterpillars and Butterflies the children work in groups with a Key Person as well as have opportunity to learn and play freely in the environment with the support of all the adults working with them.
Nursery staff work closely with children to develop positive attitudes to learning through play across a broad and balanced curriculum. In personal, social and emotional development children learn to be independent, work alongside and to play with other children, to take turns, share and listen with others. They are encouraged to be confident to talk with peers and adults, to say how they feel and do things for themselves. They learn about the daily routine and how to manage their feelings and behaviour. In health and self care children are encouraged to develop understanding of how their bodies work and how to be independent in care of themselves..
The children have daily access to the inside and outside environment where there is opportunity to explore a range of experiences for learning including:-
Communication and Language -listening, distinguishing sounds, understanding and talking
Literacy- looking at books and finding out how they work and developing enjoyment in books, mark making, writing, role play, rhymes
Maths - numbers, shapes, measures
Knowledge and understanding - Investigative play - texture play e.g.- sand/water/mud/playdough, finding out about the environment and the world through exploration and observing, ICT, gardening
Physical Development - moving individually and in a group in different ways and with increasing control, using wheeled toys, exploring construction equipment, small games equipment-e.g. ball play climbing, balancing and tunnelling play, den building, opportunities for holding and using large and small equipment for making marks and joining materials.
Creative development - role play, messy play, painting, construction, malleable materials, music and sound.
In addition facilities are provided for:
Cooking, snacks and meals and sleeping if children require a sleep in the day.
Portsdown Nursery provides high quality childcare and education, which builds upon and extends children's development and understanding, to provide a foundation for future learning and achievement.
The Nursery curriculum is based on the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) curriculum published by the government. You can find information about the curriculum as well helpful advice on www.foundationyears.org.uk a website from pregnancy to children aged 5.
Through rich experiences and a wide range of learning situations, children's interaction with people and exploration of the world around them is developed in a safe and secure environment. As children grow and change they are supported and provided with opportunities to enable them to become socially aware, to communicate and learn about their world.
Children's learning is developed through well- planned play, which is enjoyable and challenging.
Continual assessment of children enables adults to plan appropriate opportunities to encourage individual and groups of children to play, talk, observe, plan, question, experiment, explore, repeat and reflect to develop their understanding and growth. Nursery staff liaise closely with families to share and discuss observations and assessments of children’s development and plan for their next steps in learning.
Children are encouraged to follow a daily routine to help them feel secure in the fact that they know what is happening next. Young children have differing needs and may need more time with certain activities or experiences. The routines can be flexible in timing to flow with individual needs.
If children need to sleep during the day we are able to offer provision in a quiet area. Children sleep in beds or buggies dependent upon parental request. All Nursery bedding is washed after use. Children are closely monitored at 10 minute intervals when sleeping. A written record is kept of their sleeping pattern and checks made. Where possible we will try to follow your routines and requests with regard to sleeping.
The Nursery offers nappy changing and toilet training facilities. Your child's Key Person will work with you to establish your routines at home and will liaise with you about how your child is progressing in this personal skill.
Nappies are changed throughout the session with the child's individual needs and routines in mind. The time between nappy changes will not exceed three hours before checking or changing. Nappy changes are recorded on record sheets to inform parents on a daily basis.
We encourage children to be as self sufficient as possible and we positively encourage children to wash their hands after toilet or nappy change.
Nappies, wipes and changes of clothing must be provided by parents.
We have facility to provide snacks. Hot lunch time meals can be ordered for children aged two years and over during term time. Hot lunch meals are cooked in Portsdown Primary School kitchens. All meals must be ordered and paid for by 9.30 am on day of attendance. Fees are available on request. Special diets and allergies can be catered for.
Children may bring a packed lunch. We encourage parents to ensure they provide a healthy lunch and avoid sweets, crisps, juice and fizzy drinks which can include a high number of colourings and additives known to affect moods, behaviour and healthy teeth development. We can heat food for children under the age of two, but do not have facility in Nursery to do this for children aged two and above. We follow Portsdown Primary School's policy for food and drink.
We promote healthy eating and drinking and encourage children to try a range of healthy foods for snacks and milk or water to drink. Children have access to water at all times. Children are not permitted to have juice to drink at snack time. Snacks are prepared in the nursery class base kitchen areas.