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Frequently Asked Questions

Here we have included some additional information and documents that we hope will answer some common questions that parents and carers have asked over the years!  Please contact the Nursery School office if you can’t find what you are looking for in this section.

 

It is our responsibility to ensure that all children registered at Nursery School are safe.  For this reason, we will always contact you if your child has an unexplained absence.

If your child is not able to come to Nursery School, please contact us to let us know, either by telephone 01635 41296 or an email to the office on office@victoriapark.w-berks.sch.uk.  It’s helpful if you can do this before your the start of your child’s session so that we can let their Teacher know in advance.

If you are unsure whether your child should come to Nursery, please telephone us so that we can offer advice but if your child is unwell he/she is really better off being kept at home.

If you arrive late, please come into Nursery School through the office so that we can add your child to the register.  Similarly, if you want to collect before the end of the session, come to the office so that your child can be signed out.

Our admissions policy states that if a child has a great deal of unexplained absence, we cannot guarantee that their place will be held for them.

Staff at Nursery School are trained to support children with asthma or similar respiratory conditions.  Please let your child’s Key Person know if your child has asthma, and if an inhaler has been prescribed so that we know the symptoms to look for.  It’s useful to ask your GP for an additional spacer and inhaler so that a spare can be kept in our medical cupboard.

Staff have been trained to use the 3 common brands of adrenaline pen.  If your child has an allergy that may require the use of an adrenaline pen, please let us know so that their Key Person can discuss with you how best we can provide support.

Please note that whilst we are as vigilant as possible, it is your responsibility to ensure that medications kept in Nursery School are up to date.

We will try to accommodate all requests for regular or ad hoc additional sessions that you wish to pay for (see our charges section for up to date costs).  These are subject to the sessions being available and are reviewed each term when we have new children joining us.  You are also welcome to book extra breakfast, lunch or tea clubs if spaces are available.

Please note that all additional sessions must be paid for in advance.

There are lots of common infectious diseases which your child will invariably have at some time, perhaps whilst they are at Nursery School.  Please let us know as soon as you suspect an infection, or have a diagnosis, so that we can inform other parents.  We can also advise you about the minimum exclusion periods.

Ear, nose and throat infections are very common in young children, but ear infections in particular should not be treated lightly as ears can so easily be damaged permanently if infections are not treated.  They are also very painful and children need to be at home.

In the case of “tummy upsets” NHS guidance states that children must stay at home for at least 48 hours after the last incidence of sickness or diarrhoea to prevent it spreading to others.

Young children have lots of falls and trips because they are growing and this affects their balance (vestibular system) and their body mapping (proprioceptive system).  All minor accidents are dealt with and documented in the class incident book which you will be asked to sign at pick-up.  In the unlikely event of a more serious injury, or a head injury, you will be contacted by telephone so that you are aware of the situation.

Our staff have undertaken the 12 hour Paediatric First Aid course which includes CPR.

Copies of these forms are available in the Nursery School office if you do not have facilities to print at home.

Holiday Notification Form

Administration of Medicine

Breakfast, Lunch and Tea Club Request

Change of Session Request

We do not have facilities to provide hot meals at Nursery School, so parents and carers are asked to provide a packed lunch for children who stay to Lunch Club.

During the morning and afternoon sessions, our snack table is open where we provide water, milk and a selection of vegetables, fruits and sometimes small sandwiches.  All food provided is vegetarian and we keep a record next to the snack table of food allergies and intolerances.

At Nursery School, we serve drinks in open cups and children are expected to sit at the table while they eat and drink.

We think it’s really important that children get to spend time outdoors in the fresh air all year round.  Our garden is open during most of the Nursery School session and parents are asked to provide clothing suitable to go out in all weathers.

Our aim is to work in partnership with parents and carers, since we are mindful that you are your child’s first, and most important, educators.

Each term, we have a Rhyme Challenge where you are asked to support your child to learn 5 songs or nursery rhymes.  Families are then invited to a performance of the rhymes towards the end of term!

We always welcome the involvement of families who often support us with reading stories in our library or helping children at the snack table.  Families have also supported us with celebrations of festivals from their own heritage such as Diwali, Chinese New Year or Christmas.

The Friends of Victoria Park is our fund-raising organisation and is a charity separate from the Nursery School.  Parents are very welcome to volunteer as Trustees of the charity and to help us to organise events. Please speak to your child’s Key Person if you would like to get involved.

As a state maintained school, we have a Governing Body, which has 2 places for parent governors.  If this is something that would interest you, please let us know.

Headlice is a problem in all schools and is getting worse because lice are becoming resistant to the treatments available.  Luckily, we seem to be affected less at Nursery School that at local primary schools, but it’s still worth checking regularly to keep infestations under control.  It’s best to check your child’s hair at least once a week and if you find any signs of headlice (eggs or live lice) treat the whole family.

We have a holiday form available in the office and in the conservatory for you to let us know about planned family holidays – please speak to your child’s Teacher for more information.

Our admissions policy states that where holidays are planned to be in excess of 4 weeks, we are unable to guarantee that your child’s place will be held for them.

We use an online Learning Journal called Tapestry which is held on a secure server.  You can have online access to your child’s account by providing us with an email address.

We include a short “settling in” report on Tapestry so that you know what your child had done during the first couple of weeks at Nursery School.  We then record “wow” moments when we have seen new learning.  Once a term, a child has a “focus week” and longer and more detailed observations will take place.  You will have the opportunity to review this week of observations with your child’s Key Person.

You are able to upload your own observations onto Tapestry and we’ve found that children really enjoy sharing their activities from home with adults at Nursery School as well as with their friends.

When they start at Nursery School, your child will be allocated a Key Person who will be the main person responsible for maintaining records of your child’s activities and progress.  You will meet your child’s Key Person at the home visit we make before starting at Nursery School.  During the school year, you will have time to have short meetings to catch up on how your child is progressing.

If staffing or class changes mean that your child gets a new Key Person, you will have the chance to meet them for a settling in meeting within a few weeks of the new term starting.

Our staff have a great deal of experience with teaching children who do not speak English as their home language.  Children react in different ways, some developing good fluency within a short time with others preferring to sit and listen before speaking themselves.  A fully proficient level of fluency may take up to 3 years, whilst it takes up to 7 years for a child to be fully bilingual.

The most important thing you can do is to continue to speak your home language with your child so that they learn to speak it fluently.  Having a good grasp of one language makes learning a second one much easier.

We are happy to administer prescribed medication and ask that you complete a permission form to give us the correct instructions.  It’s very important that you give the medication to your child’s Key Person so that it can be stored safely.

We are not able to administer over-the-counter medications such as Calpol.  If you think your child needs a dose of such medication, they are probably not well enough to be at Nursery School.

Please note that whilst staff are as vigilant as possible, it is your responsibility to ensure that medications kept in Nursery School are up to date.

We have facilities in Nursery School for nappy changing, and we ask you to supply your own nappies if your child still wears then when they start with us.  We also have a storage area for nappy cream – please name the container and hand it to your child’s key person so that it can be safely stored.  Please ensure your child starts their nursery school session in a clean, dry nappy.

Teachers and Nursery Nurses are happy to offer advice about how you can help your child to use the toilet and will work together with you to support your child.  Unless your child has a special educational need or disability, we would expect them to be using the toilet during the day by around the time of their 3rd birthday.  We can call on the support of Health Visitors from the Family Hub if we think additional advice is needed.

Nursery School is often the first time that children have had to share toys and adults’ time and is also possibly the first time they have been with a group of other children.  A lot of our time is spent supporting children to develop their personal, social and emotional skills.

We have a positive approach to behaviour management, always reflecting the age of the children and our understanding of child development.

Victoria Park Nursery School & Family Hub takes seriously its responsibility to protect and safeguard the welfare of children in its care.  We have in place policies and procedures that safeguard and promote the welfare of children who come to Nursery School.  Staff here are all responsible for identifying children who may be at risk from abuse or neglect.  You can find out more by reading our Child Protection Policy below.

Child-Protection-and-Safeguarding-Policy-2016

Our staff at Victoria Park are experienced and well qualified.  Mrs Griffiths, one of our Co-Headteachers, is a Specialist Leader in Education which is a recognition of her expertise in Early Years teaching.  Mrs Morgan, our other Co-Headteacher has qualified for the National SENCo Award and PGCert SENCo.

Our teachers have MA, BEd, BA or BSc qualifications, postgraduate teaching qualifications and Qualified Teacher Status.  Our Nursery Nurses either have NNEBs or an equivalent level 3 qualification.

Several of our Learning Support Assistants also have level 3 qualifications, and the remainder have many years’ work experience.

As a Nursery School we are able to provide excellent quality ongoing training for our staff, often supported by Early Excellence, one of the UK’s leaders in early years training.

In our Ladybirds group we have 1 staff member for every 4 children.

In Garden, Pond and Woods groups, we have 1 Teacher and 1 Nursery Nurse for a maximum group size of 26 children.  Each group also has a Learning Support Assistant allocated to it.