We focus on personal, social and emotional development from our first point of contact with parents. Forging early and strong partnerships ensure a two way flow of information between nursery and home, which means critical information, is shared about the child’s achievements and interests in both the home and nursery environments. When children move to another room or on to school, we ensure smooth transitions, we allow the children choice through the nursery, so the children are familiar with all the rooms in the setting. Often when they have grown out of one room, they initiate the move themselves, which we actively encouraged. If the children are not happy to do this, the existing keyperson visit the next room with the child and new keypersons visit the child’s previous room. At each point of transition, parents and new keypersons review the transition process, update paperwork and meet to get to know each other. This also updates information on a child’s achievements and interests and what makes them special.
Our environment is crucial to offering appropriate challenges through planned, purposeful play.
We also make sure all areas of the early years foundation stage are covered and regularly reviewed.
Other than the rooms - we have the basement which is used for various reasons, it is primarily the dining area for the children to eat and socialise. We also use it for science groups and cooking activities as well as breakfast time for the children who arrive at 8am.
The menus are covered over 3 weeks rotation and are available on our website. The keyperson will communicate with families through Famly about what your child has eaten, if this is what families have specifically asked for. We can tailor our menu to meet specific needs of the children such as allergies, religious persuasion and we have participated in the Islington Healthy Early Years project which we have successfully completed.
Children also brush their teeth after their main meal at nursery, with adults promoting good standards of teeth brushing, using songs, MAKATON signs and actions.
Meal times are relaxing, social and fun times for the children where we all chat to each other, discuss the food we are eating and promote healthy lifestyles.
The children have free access to the garden at all times in any weather, this includes snow and rain. We ask that the children wear appropriate clothes to enable this. For example, we ask for 3 layers of clothes in the winter, with wellies in the rain. The play experience in all the weathers gives deeper levels of learning following the child’s own interests, not dictated by time slots. The garden is also a very planned environment to enable the children to develop their own interests, it is quite different from the indoors, in that we have a mini beast area for the children to explore as well as extra large construction areas to investigate with tyres and crates, this all encourages a type of play not available indoors. The safe and secure outdoor environment allows children to develop a sense of space and spatial awareness as well as the natural environment, growing plants and seeing the world around them allowing them time to ask questions, have discussions, observe and make suggestions.
As well as the keypeople who are invested in particular children, we also have support staff who work in all the rooms and support where required, they build up relationships with all of the children and can slot into any environment as required. We do not use agency staff, only Highbury Nursery staff. All Practitioners learn to tune into the individual children and learn to understand their prompts and cues, even the youngest children will communicate if they want to go to the garden, go back inside etc.
Snack time is flexible and available when the children choose to eat and is set up on our natural wooden table, the children are encouraged to organise their own snacks, pouring drinks and choosing snacks. An adult will always be present ensuring safety and supporting the children’s independence. Independence is also encouraged when children are taking off and putting on their coats and hanging up their coats themselves. The back bathroom is fully accessible, to enable the children who are toilet training and toilet trained their own independence with self care with adults available throughout the garden area.
Our sensory area support those children that can sometimes find nursery life difficult, too noisy, too busy. This allows the child some breathing space with a preferred adult and often with a chosen friend. It has sensory products and equipment that supports relaxation and calm with soft lighting, textures and an overall cosy feel.
Our Behaviour Management Policy works on consistency of the staff. All Practitioners promote positive behaviour, build on the social journey of the children, supporting the child, role modelling, talking through issues together and possible remedies to specific situations. The children are all encouraged to talk to and listen to each other with independence and confidence adapted to their age and stage of development.