St. Peter's Early Years Phase: Nursery
St Peter's School has a 30 place Nursery class that is part of our school's Early Years Phase. If you are interested in your child attending our Nursery and would like to arrange a visit, please contact our school secretary.
All children are entitled to up to 30 hours’ free Nursery education each week during school term-time, from the beginning of the school year (September) in which they turn four.
Our Nursery and Reception classes work closely together as an Early Years Phase. This helps to ensure a smooth transition if children move into the main school at the end of Nursery.
While most children in our Nursery join our Reception class, transfer is not automatic or guaranteed. Parents must ensure they complete a school registration form available from the school secretary, which should be returned to the relevant catchment school. Reception places are allocated by the Education Department according to their admissions policy.
Meet our Nursery Team
Mrs Fiona Brady: Deputy DSL, Early Years Phase Leader Nursery teacher and key worker for the Lion group.
Miss Pia Young: Nursery Officer and key worker for the Zebra group.
Mrs Linda Walters: Nursery Officer and key worker for the Giraffe group.
Mrs Linda Sartin: Lunchtime Supervisor and Learning Support Assistant
We also often have students from Highlands training in our Nursery, and sometimes we have other adults covering for staff during training or staff absence.
Parents are offered the opportunity for staff to make an informal home visit, in September before the start of term when their child starts in Nursery. This provides an opportunity for staff and children to meet in a relaxed and familiar setting, helping to build positive relationships from the offset.
Home visits are not compulsory; however feedback from parents has been overwhelmingly positive, so we strongly recommend parents take up this opportunity.
Children are given staggered start dates which begin after all home visits are completed. Children are introduced to Nursery in small groups, enabling them to have the maximum time possible with an adult on their first day, for settling in and adjusting to the new routines.
Parents are encouraged to leave their child after a short settling in time on their first day. Staff will always phone parents if necessary, and parents are always welcome to call and check how a child has settled.
Partnership with Parents
Parents are their child's first teachers; our school motto, "Together we hold the keys to success," demonstrates how we aim to work in partnership with parents to have the best possible impact on each child's development and learning. We encourage a two-way conversation between staff and parents for sharing the trials and tribulations along each child’s individual learning journey.
We encourage open and honest communication and ask that parents share any relevant information about their child on a daily basis. Likewise, staff will try to ensure parents are fully informed about significant events from their child's day. There are always staff on hand to chat to parents at the beginning and end of the day, or appointments can be made for more in-depth conversations.
Parents are kept informed about their child's learning through a newsletter each term, outlining the new skills the children will be learning, trips and important dates for the term ahead. There is a white board in the welcome area with daily updates for parents, and regular newsletters are sent home from Nursery and the main school to keep parents up to date with events and activities. Letters are usually sent electronically, but paper copies are also available if required.
We welcome parental support with trips and for special events. For further information, please see our section, 'Involving Parents'.
Uniform is not compulsory in Nursery, although a red T-shirt and sweatshirt are available to purchase from JSSK if parents wish their child to wear them. We ask that children wear practical clothes, so they can move about and experience everything on offer and that encourage independence when going to the toilet.
Aprons and waterproof suits are provided for messy activities, but being young and curious, children inevitably will explore and get messy at some time, so we ask parents not to dress their child in their best clothes!
A Day at Nursery
From September the morning session will begin at 8.45am. A member of staff will open the door to greet the children. Children are encouraged to do their morning jobs independently, such as hanging up their coats, putting away their lunch and checking in their name.
At drop-off time, parents are encouraged to spend time with their child playing at an activity or reading a story. It is also an opportunity for speaking to a member of staff to share any relevant information and socialise with other parents.
Children and staff gather together on the carpet at about 9.15am every morning to say good morning to each other and find out about what will be happening that day. They then split up into key worker groups for activities such as singing, stories, counting games and circle time. The children spend time with their own key worker group every day to build relationships and develop confidence in skills, such as speaking and listening.
The children usually have the rest of the morning to play, explore and learn in a range of different activities both inside and outside. These activities are mainly child-led where staff plan, ‘In the moment,’ to meet their individual interests and needs. There are some adult-directed activities, where new skills are taught.
During the morning session the children have the opportunity to go to the snack table for a drink and a nutritious snack. They pour their own milk or water and can choose what they would like on their plate. On Friday it is treat day. Parents are asked to inform staff of any dietary needs or allergies.
At the end of the morning everyone tidies up and staff and children come together for story and singing or another activity, such as instruments, before lunch. Every child brings their own packed lunch in a clearly named lunch box. Water is provided in individual bottles.
After lunch, the children have the afternoon to continue with a range of activities. After tidying up at around 2.20pm, they gather together for a story before getting ready for home.
Hometime is at 2.45pm Children are handed over to their parents by a member of staff at the end of the school day.
For further information about routines and expectations in Nursery please call to speak to one of the Nursery Team.
St Peter’s Early Years Curriculum
Our Aim is that all of our children:
- Are happy and feel safe and secure.
- Develop independence, confidence, perseverance and resilience.
- Develop their creative thinking and problem solving
- Feel valued and listened to.
- Develop an awareness of the ‘cultural capital,’ of our setting and respect for others.
- Develop an understanding of emotions and how to regulate them.
- Have freedom to explore their interests to enable them to make sense of the world in which they live
- Develop the skills to take turns and work collaboratively.
- Are physically confident and will take risks.
- Develop a love of books and language.
- Develop their imagination.
- Are equipped with a range of skills they can use in their play and learning including the basic skills needed to read, write, and explore numbers and number problems.
- Become a community that has a love of learning and achieves the best possible outcomes.
How will we achieve this?
- Celebrating that every child in our care is a unique, individual.
- Building up a relationship with each child so they feel safe and secure and ensuring their pastoral and developmental needs are met.
- Building on each child’s ideas, interests and needs, responding to them in different ways to enable us to support each child’s learning and development.
- Developing a close relationship between practitioners and parents so we can work in partnership to support each child achieve the best possible outcomes.
- Provide an environment that motivates, supports and challenges.
- Teaching children a range of skills through both child initiated and adult led activities. Where possible, these skills are related to the children’s interests, so they are developed within a meaningful context. This makes learning fun and relevant, giving many opportunities for independent learning.
- In Nursery, children learn and develop their social skills, communication skills, gross and fine motor skills. In Reception children have daily literacy, numeracy and phonics sessions as well as opportunities to follow their interests
- Interacting with each child, ‘in the moment,’ to support, encourage and move their learning forward.
- We share information with parents daily on our message boards and through termly newsletters.
- Every child is a focus child each term. These focus child forms are shared with the parents at the end of their focus week.
- Our floor books are a celebration of the learning that takes place in St Peter’s Early Years Phase.