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Kylemore Nursery Blog

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How We Learn Title
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Below are details of our How We Learn at Kylemore Nursery School.

If you have any questions which are not answered below feel free to contact us by phone, by email or in person.
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* * * Settling Your Child into Nursery
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* * * Family Groups
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* * * Nursery Times
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* * * Partnership with Parents
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* * * The Nursery Curriculum
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* * * Learning Support
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* * * Music
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* * * Educational Visits
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* * * Child Protection Policy
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* * * Contact Forms
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* * * Equality
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* * * Encouraging Positive Behaviour and Managing Challenging Behaviour
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* * * Clothing
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* * * Buggies and Bikes
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* * * Lost Property
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* * * Nursery School Fund
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* * * Snacks and Food Allergies
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* * * Health
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* * * Road Safety
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* * * Toy and Book Lending
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Settling Your Child into Nursery
The settling in process is a very important time for you and your child. Once a child starts school, the length of the daily attendance is gradually extended over the first four weeks or more. This is to ensure that we establish a good relationship with each individual child.

We accept that this may be inconvenient for some parents but assure you that this is planned carefully to ensure that each child becomes familiar with the new people, new environment and new routines.

Each child is an individual and it may take some children longer to settle than others - we are happy for you to stay as long as s/he requires your presence.

Explain to your child that you will stay with him/her for one hour on the first day and that when you leave on the second day it will only be for a short while. Be patient - if you stay with your child for some time at first there is less chance of problems occurring later.
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Family Groups
All children will belong to a Colour Group as follows:

Morning session Blue

Morning session Red

Afternoon session Yellow

Afternoon session Green

At first all children will wear a badge showing their colour and their name.
Your child will start the day by greeting their own teachers but can then move independently between the indoor and outdoor areas. This allows each child to experience the whole range of activities and have contact with all staff throughout the course of their time in nursery.
Children will return to their own class for a story at the end of the session and you may collect your child from their own room.
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Nursery Times
Morning session 8.45 am - 11.15 am
Afternoon session 12.15 pm - 14.45 pm

Children must be collected from school by an adult (person over 16 years) whose details have previously been included on the Permission to collect form given to our secretary.

Arriving to school:- Our nursery school has a very clear entry system to enable us to keep the children safe. The main doors will be open at 08.40 and at 12.10 - any parents and children arriving before this time are welcome to wait in the entrance hall.

A member of staff will be on duty near the door for 10 minutes, after which time the door will be locked. If you arrive late, please ring the bell and wait, standing in front of the viewfinder where you can clearly be seen until a member of staff is free to admit you.

It is important for your child to make the most of each session so please try to bring him/her on time each day. However, if you are late don't panic; just come along and explain to us - better late than never!

Please bring your child into the room when you arrive.

Collection from school:- At the end of the session, please ensure that you are on time so that your child does not become anxious. When you come to collect your child the door will be released approximately 5 minutes before the end of the session. This will give you time to check your child's folder, collect belongings, talk to the staff etc. The staff also needs time to set out materials for the next session.

It is important that your child comes to school every day. If s/he is frequently absent we will have no alternative but to offer the place to another child.
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Partnership with Parents
As a parent you are the first educator of your child and therefore we believe that partnership with all parents is very important. We particularly value the beginning and end of sessions when an informal word can be shared about the nursery day or things happening at home.

Your help in school is always welcomed - Maybe you have a specific talent or interest that you would like to share with the children - for example: playing a musical instrument, reading a story, gardening, woodwork, toy repairs, sewing etc.

We are always grateful for volunteers. There are many opportunities for vetted parents to become involved- you are welcome come with us on educational visits, or to arrange to help in the nursery during the session. Whatever you have to offer we will appreciate it!

Now that your child is starting nursery school you are automatically a member of our Parents' Group. The meetings will be held at a time that suits most parents. We will plan a programme of social events and speakers on topics that are of interest to you. The Parent's Group also supports the school by fund-raising. We welcome mums and dads and hope that as many people as possible will come along and become involved. It's very worthwhile and good fun!!

When you come to the Parents' Meetings you will be able to talk positively to your child about what you have seen at school. Newsletters will be posted in the pigeon holes regularly to keep you informed about the themes, interest tables and events that are part of our planned programme for the children. It is helpful if you talk to your child about these - you may also like to provide well labelled items to add to our displays.

As partners let us encourage:

Confidence
Conversation
Co-operation
Concentration
Creative thinking
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Competence!!!
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The Nursery Curriculum
"Play is the highest form of learning in early childhood"
Tina Bruce- Learning through Play 2001

The nursery curriculum is based on play. A child's parents are the very first teachers and each child comes to nursery school with a wide variety of experiences upon which the nursery school will build. First hand experiences underpin all aspects of the nursery school and lead to quality learning.

Nursery play experiences are structured, observed and recorded by staff to ensure there is progression. Children learn best through play experiences that are relevant and meaningful to them. We plan activities to stimulate the children and reflect their interests.

We aim to create a rich, stimulating, happy and challenging environment where children will have the opportunity to develop their potential.

We lay great emphasis on learning outdoors and children will experience being outdoors in all seasons and weathers. We believe - if a child is not well enough to go outdoors s/he is not well enough to be in nursery school.

Our planning is guided by the 'Curricular Guidance for Pre-school Education'. This guidance is presented as six areas of learning that will provide a foundation for later achievement.

The six areas are:

1. Personal Social and Emotional Development:
children learning how to be independent, how to work, play and co-operate with each other; how to appreciate and respect self and others

2. Language Development:
children developing competence in language skills - understanding, talking, listening, learning to communicate effectively, learning to become readers and writers

3. Physical Development and Movement:
developing physical control, fitness, mobility, balance awareness of space, manipulative skills

4. The Arts:
developing imagination, ability to express feelings and ideas in a creative way through art, music, drama and appreciation of natural beauty

5. Early Mathematical Experiences:
providing a foundation for numeracy developing through practical ideas, using the language of maths, measuring, estimating, sorting, matching, counting

6. The World around Us:
developing knowledge of how to use tools, computer, tape recorder, camera, how magnets work, how substances can change, exploring light and shadow, forces and energy, developing knowledge of the environment through the seasons, living things, re-cycling, skill development for later learning in history and geography

Our school has a wide range of resources - including staff - to enable us to provide opportunities for all the children to experience all these areas of potential learning. The curriculum will be enhanced and developed further throughout the year by regular visits out of nursery school and visitors who will come in to enrich the children's learning.
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Learning Support
All children have different needs and we aim to cater for these. We work closely with other professionals such as speech therapists, educational psychologists and physiotherapist, depending on the needs of the individual.

Children with special educational needs are welcomed into the nursery school. Settling in and attendance may need to be more gradual in some circumstances: any decision made will be in the best interests of the child. The Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator is Mrs Marian McCouaig.

Once settled into nursery school, the individual needs of all children and the ability of the staff to work effectively with the group are taken into consideration when further decisions are made. We are mindful of the need to maintain the quality of provision for each child in our care.

Where staff feel that there is a concern in relation to any child's development we will request parental consent to involve those professionals who may be concerned for the educational needs and welfare of the individual child.

At all stages parents will be kept informed of any decisions made.
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Music
Research has shown the value of music and learning to keep a steady beat in promoting children's development. We will offer all children regular sessions led by Louise Kelly a qualified and experienced music therapy teacher. She uses music to help children learn to take turns, be patient, vocalise their feelings, express themselves, build self confidence and even manage their anger. Louise says: "Building confidence and self-expression is vital. With regular music sessions children can improve their muscle control and co-ordination. For many children across the groups, the chance to play and to be creative using a wide variety of instruments, is actually something new, something that they haven't had much of a chance to do before."
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Educational Visits
Visits out of school are an extremely important part of our yearly learning programme. We pay visits each term to our Woodland School at the Roe Valley Country Park in Limavady. This is a valuable experience that links with our Eco schools work and provides all the children with a wide range of experiences in a safe yet challenging natural environment. We also visit the Giant's Causeway, beach, farm, firestation and library. To ensure the safety of each child we always ask for volunteers so that we have a ratio of one adult accompanying every two/three children.
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Child Protection Policy
All staff are police checked and we have a Child Protection Policy drawn up by the Staff and the Governors in the light of advice from the Department of Education and the Northern Area Child Protection Committee. This policy is reviewed each year.

The safety and welfare of each child is our paramount responsibility.

When your child starts nursery school you will receive further information about our policy and procedures. A full copy of the policy is available from the school office.

The designated teacher for Child Protection is Mrs Marian McCouaig.
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Contact Forms
Please be sure to fill in any forms included in the 'Welcome Pack'. These are all details that we need to keep in school.

Should any information change eg persons to collect, telephone number or address please make sure that we have complete and up to date details in case of emergency.
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Equality
Our school supports diversity and actively promotes good personal and community relations. Staff foster a positive atmosphere of mutual respect and trust among all those who belong to our school community. The school opposes all forms of racism, prejudice and discrimination. Clear policies and procedures are in place to ensure that all forms of racial harrasment are dealt with promptly, firmly and consistently, as stated in our anti bullying and equality policies and are in line with the relevant NEELB policies and guidance.
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Encouraging Positive Behaviour and Managing Challenging Behaviour
In order for children to feel safe and secure, we believe that children need to have a clear understanding of behaviours that are appropriate and acceptable. The nursery school promotes positive behaviour in an attempt to ensure that all children will develop a caring attitude and become responsible members of society. We consider it important to have consistent staff and parental expectations of behaviour so that children receive the same message from parents at home and from all staff they come in contact with during their time in school.

Corporal punishment is never used. We will not permit children to hit or smack another child.

We encourage children to show respect for each other and during the first term the rules of our school are reinforced during daily sessions and also at group story sessions.

THE GOLDEN RULES
1. We play together
2. We try to be friends with everyone
3. We share
4. We walk indoors
5. We take care of the toys and materials
6. We tidy up our own mess - when we've finished

Please help your child by discussing the rules at home and work with us to ensure that each child is aware of them.
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Clothing
Let your child get messy - old clothes are best for school!
It is quite normal for children to come home a little messy after a busy time at nursery. We do encourage children to wear the aprons provided but not all children are prepared to do so. Painting, sand, mud, clay and water - indoors and outdoors - are all part of the activities that your children will enjoy as well as many more physical activities on our purpose built climbing equipment. For messy play outside we have a supply of nursery school coats, leggings and wellies available.

Please send your child to nursery in comfortable clothes that will allow freedom of movement and enable them to go to the toilet independently. We find they are often so busy in their play that the toilet is left to the last minute...

All children have small bags on their pegs where you must keep a spare set of clothes in case of "accidents" or occasional over-exuberance at the water tray!

Children generally do prefer to wear their own clothes although we do have spares if you forget!

Make sure you write your child's name all items of clothing and shoes - it prevents loss. Please make sure your child's clothing has fastenings s/he can manage. Belts, dungarees, coat strings and braces are dangerous and can cause accidents so avoid these at all costs!
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Sweatshirts
When your child starts these will be available to purchase in Red, Blue, Yellow and Green. The colours are not specifically for any class - you may choose any colour you wish if you choose to purchase.
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Footwear
Children need sensible comfortable shoes for running, climbing and playing. Think "Independence!" Trainers with velcro fasteners are best so that the children will not trip on open laces and can change easily from shoes to wellies for outdoor play. If your child comes in wellies, please bring a pair of slip-on shoes to change into.
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Jewellery
It is dangerous for children to wear jewellery during physical activity. We therefore ask that children do not wear jewellery to nursery school. If ears are pierced, children may wear studs - but this is at parents risk.
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Buggies and bikes
We do not have room to store buggies, children's bikes or scooters etc in the entrance hall so we ask you to leave them outside the building. We suggest that you buy a padlock and chain to secure such items to the fence. The school does not accept responsibility for any lost items.
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Lost Property
All items of clothing and all shoes should be clearly marked with your child's name to prevent loss!.

We leave items of lost property sitting in the Lost Property box in the cloakroom area but named items can be returned to their owner immediately.

If your child does lose something we would ask you to check around the nursery yourself - the nursery school is open plan and often a child does not clearly remember where s/he last used a particular item.
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Nursery School Fund
The school budget is unable to fund extra resources and activities; therefore parental contributions are vital. We ask parents to contribute 3 each week to the nursery school fund. From this fund we will provide a daily snack. Any surplus funds will go towards the cost of many extras that we would not otherwise be able to afford: cooking ingredients, seasonal treats, presents, entertainers who visit the nursery and educational visits. You do get good value for your money!

This is a voluntary contribution and will be collected on a half termly basis. You simply place your money in the envelope and write your child's name and the session attended.

Then, when you get to nursery school your child will be able to post it into the School Fund Box in the classroom. Payments may be made, by cash or cheque, weekly or for the full term - if you prefer. Simply speak to Karen who will arrange to give you the necessary envelopes. She will also keep a record of all accounts and issue receipts.
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Snack and Food Allergies
We have a healthy eating policy. The daily snack is a social occasion and also a learning experience for all children. Independence is fostered with each child selecting their own snack. This usually consists of fruit and milk or water. Surestart provide a small donation each month towards the cost of fruit for the children.

We include cookery activities on a regular basis during the sessions. If your child has any particular allergies please tell us and write the details clearly on the form in your welcome pack as it is important for all staff to be aware of this information.

Please do not send fizzy drinks, crisps or any sweets to school with your child. On educational visit days when your child is required to bring a lunch, please ensure that all of the contents are healthy.
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Health
Tell us if you have any concerns about your child's health. We can liaise with the school doctor, hearing service, health visitors and social workers as necessary.

Please phone and let us know if your child will be absent. Many parents say "S/he wanted to come but s/he wasn't well last night." A child who is ill should not be brought to school but kept in the comfort of home until fully recovered.

There are 2 important reasons for this:
1. Each child should enjoy their time spent in nursery and feel well and fit enough to make the most of it. When children are ill they want and need the care of someone close to them. No matter how caring the school staff, it is not possible to give one sick child the attention s/he needs without neglecting the others.
2. It is essential to prevent the unnecessary spread of infection among the children. This applies to any illness including heavy colds, diarrhoea and tummy upsets.

A list of infectious diseases and incubation periods is displayed on the Parents Noticeboard in the entrance hall.

If your child becomes ill during the session and cannot be comforted we may contact you to arrange early collection. Please ensure that our secretary has been given up-to-date details of people and contact numbers that we may use in event of an emergency occurring in school.
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Administering medicines
As a general rule, our staff are not legally covered to administer any medicines to the children during the day.

The exception to this is
1. in a situation where a child requires adrenaline injection e.g. Epipen
2. where the child has special educational needs and a member of staff is employed to work specifically with the child

We would encourage you to ensure that if your child needs to use an Asthma inhaler s/he is confident to do this with his/her teacher.
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Accidents Procedure
Should a child have an accident or fall ill during the day, they will be cared for by a member of staff who holds a First Aid certificate. Where necessary the parent will be contacted so it is important for you to ensure that all contact names, telephone numbers, addresses etc are kept up to date.

Contact files are held in the office and can be updated with the secretary. Forms to make this easy for you are on display in the entrance hall.

In the event of a child needing hospital care we always try to contact the parent first, but will arrange for the child to be taken directly to hospital for medical attention, contacting you to meet us there.

Minor bumps and scrapes are dealt with immediately by our staff and you will be told about this at the end of the session.
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Headlice
Don't be alarmed if your child picks up head lice. This is something that may happen from time to time and is no reflection on your standards of cleanliness. Check your child's hair regularly - when brushing or shampooing. Do tell the staff of any incidents, but please remember it is your responsibility to keep your child's hair free from headlice. If you find that your child has headlice, please keep him or her at home and treat it immediately, after which s/he may return to school. Thank you.
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Road Safety
Please do not park inside the school grounds. In the interests of safety, the carpark inside the school gates is for staff cars and deliveries only.

When arriving and leaving the school please park with care and consideration for other parents and the local residents.

Do not park on the yellow lines outside the nursery school. This is to ensure the safety of all children. All children arriving and leaving must be accompanied by an authorised adult.
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Toy and Book Lending Service
Our children and parents are fortunate that they may use both our toy and our book lending service. Children will begin to understand how a library works as you introduce them to the idea of returning or bringing something back.

1. TOYS:-
This service is part of the Surestart Initiative and is available to all children who attend our nursery school. It is co-ordinated by a Surestart worker and she welcomes parent volunteers to help. Registration form is included in your 'Welcome Pack'. The school have also added a number of jigsaws and other games to the stock.

Please ensure that any toy that you borrow is complete and in good working order - if this is not the case please write a note in the Surestart Record book to refer the matter to the Surestart team.

2. BOOKS FOR CHILDREN:-
We are very keen for all children to become interested in books and we would like to offer the opportunity to you and your child to choose a book daily that you may share together at home. There is a wide selection of books available. Please sign the school record card as you borrow.

3. BOOKS FOR PARENTS:-
We offer a small but growing selection of books provided both by Surestart and the School that may be of interest to parents - these cover aspects of young children and their needs plus a selection of fiction titles. Please feel free to use them as you wish.

And finally...Some children need a comfort (blanket or soft cuddly toy) in the early days for security. These should be kept in their bag at their peg for safekeeping. Generally other toys are best left at home as they can easily get lost, broken or cause arguments.

There may be questions that you want to ask so please feel free to talk to us. We hope that our nursery school gives all parents an opportunity to meet, make friends and share experiences.

Please remember that the nursery school is not a child-minding service but a place of learning for pre-school children with qualified and experienced teachers and nursery assistants who will be encouraging your child to develop positive attitudes to learning.
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