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Frequently Asked Questions

  • Absence

    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 selecting option 1 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.

  • Asthma and Allergies

    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.

  • Booking Extra Sessions

    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.

  • British Values

     The Government defines British values as 

    Rule of law
    Individual liberty
    Mutual respect and tolerance

    At Victoria Park Nursery School & Family Hub we promote British Values by recognising that such values are intrinsic within the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum (2021) which we adhere to.

    At Victoria Park Nursery School & Family Hub we see British Values in the following ways:

    – Enabling children to understand the value and ability to take turns (democracy) for example by sharing resources and expressing their thoughts/opinions/feelings.
    – Enabling children to respect each other and understand right from wrong (rule of law) for example children knowing that we use words and not force if we disagree with others.
    – Enabling children to make choices and recognise some choices may be different to others (individual liberty) for example children valuing and respecting choices made by their peers.
    – Enabling children to respect and value others (mutual respect and tolerance), for example recognising and valuing children’s different play and reinforcing that play is open to everyone; learning that some cultures may be different to others but equally should be respected.

  • Childhood Illnesses

    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.

  • Data Protection and GDPR

    You can see the Nursery School’s privacy notice for parents and carers in our Policies section of the website.

    This link to Tapestry explains how your child’s online Learning Journal is covered by the new data protection laws.

  • First Aid

    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 and you will be given a copy at pick-up time.  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.  We will provide additional guidance if your child has had a head injury.

    All our classroom staff have undertaken the 12 hour Paediatric First Aid course which includes CPR.

  • Forms to Print out at Home

    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

  • Food at Nursery School

    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.  In common with other schools, due to the possibility of severe allergic reactions, we have a “no nuts” policy.  Please make sure that you child’s lunchbox does not contain nut butters, or any nuts in packaged items.

    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.

  • Fresh Air and Outdoor Play

    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 all of the Nursery School session and parents are asked to provide clothing suitable to go out in all weathers.

  • Involving Families in Nursery School

    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, Eid, 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 govenors.  We advertise vacancies in our school newsletter and via Tapestry.

  • Headlice

    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.

  • Holidays

    We have a holiday form we ask you to complete for you to let us know about planned family holidays – please speak to your child’s Teacher for more information.  During the Covid-19 pandemic, we are monitoring the destinations of holidays so that we can give accurate advice regarding any required self-isolation upon your return.

    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.  If you are planning a holiday shortly after your child’s planned start date at nursery, we will usually recommend that you delay entry until after your return.

  • Keeping you Informed of Progress

    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.

  • Key Person

    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.

  • Learning English

    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 have staff in school who can support families in several European and Indian languages - let us know if you need help.

  • Medication

    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.

  • Nappies and using the Toilet

    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.

  • Positive Behaviour Management

    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.

  • Safeguarding and Child Protection

    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 in the Policies section of our website.  A list of our Designated Safeguarding Leads is in the staff section.

  • Tapestry Help

    We will get you connected with Tapestry as soon as possible after your child starts at Nursery School.  An email will be sent to the main email account that you included on your child’s registration form.  Sometimes the emails go into the spam or junk folders.  If you have any problems, please call into the office as it’s usually quite simple to sort things out.

    You can download an android or ios app for Tapestry free in your app store, or access it via the web at https://tapestryjournal.com.

    If you need some support with our online Tapestry learning journal, this link will take you to some tutorials.

  • Staff Qualifications

    Our staff at Victoria Park are experienced and well qualified.  Mrs Griffiths, our Assistant Headteacher, is a Specialist Leader in Education which is a recognition of her expertise in Early Years teaching.  Mrs Morgan, our 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 other Key Staff 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 or via our contacts in local Universities.

  • Ratios of Staff to Children

    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.

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