Nursery Welcome pack - helpful information about WPA's Nursery
Nursery at Wantage Primary Academy
At WPA, we offer nursery places for children aged 2 (rising threes only - see Nursery admissions policy, 3 and 4. Our curriculum follows the DfE expectations for EYFS (0-5 years); it is planned against 7 areas (3 prime and 4 specific). These seven areas are used to plan your child’s learning and activities.
The Prime Areas:
1. Communication and Language: Involves giving children opportunities to experience a rich language environment; to develop their confidence and skills in expressing themselves; and to speak and listen in a range of situations.
2. Physical development: Involves providing opportunities for young children to be active and interactive; and to develop their co-ordination, control and movement. Children must also be helped to understand the importance of physical activity, and to make healthy choices in relation to food.
3. Personal, social and emotional development:
Involves helping children to develop a positive sense of themselves and to others to form positive relationships and develop respect for others; to develop social skills and learn how to manage their feelings; to understand appropriate behaviour in groups; and to have confidence in their own abilities.
The Specific areas:
4. Literacy: Involves encouraging children to link sounds and letters and to begin to read and write. Children must be given access to a wide range of reading materials (books, poems and other written materials) to ignite their interests.
5. Mathematics: Involves providing children with opportunities to develop and improve their social skills in counting, understanding and using numbers, calculating simple addition and subtraction problems; and to describe shapes, spaces and measures.
6. Understanding the World:
Involves guiding children to make sense of their physical world and their community through opportunities to explore, observe and find out about people, places, technology and the environment.
7. Expressive arts and design: Involves enabling children to explore and play with a wide range of media and materials, as well as providing opportunities and encouragement for sharing their thoughts, ideas and feelings through a variety of activities in art, music, movement, dance, role play and design and technology.
Children at our nursery will learn by playing and exploring, being active and through creative and critical thinking which takes place both indoors and outside.
Our Curriculum Intent for nursery:
For most children, our nursery is the first experience of school education. With this in mind, our overarching intent is to foster a love of learning through investigating first-hand magic and wonder of our world. We aim to offer them opportunities to explore a wide range of interesting and exciting experiences that ignite curiosity and begin a lifelong love of learning.
Our curriculum coverage is part adult led but also based on the children’s interests, making each year bespoke and unique to the children attending our nursery. By following the children’s interests, children are more engaged and inspired, allowing us to meet children’s learning needs and enabling all children to achieve their full potential. At this age, children need a great deal of adult time and attention and our experienced staff give sensitive, appropriate and well-timed support.
For ages 2 and 3/4, we offer a play-based curriculum as it is through play children make sense of their world and engage in deep level learning. Young children have an enormous capacity for intellectual development, they learn by exploring and investigating, watching and listening, talking and discussing, creating and communicating. It is key for children to ‘have a go’, to be able to learn from their mistakes and try again. We develop this ‘Growth Mindset’ early on and encourage children to take part in a range of activities and experiences. Our school’s nursery lays firm foundations for future learning and provides a rich variety of learning situations to enable the all-round development of each child. We are flexible and adapt our interactions for individual children’s needs.
Our curriculum has been designed by qualified teachers. Our teachers work closely with highly skilled and qualified teaching assistants to provide learning opportunities that are exciting and engage awe and wonder into the children's lives and improve the quality of education they receive.
Our curriculum starts with children at the centre of all that we do. Children enter nursery school with varying abilities and experiences, and we recognise that parents know their own child best.
In our school’s nursery, staff skillfully observe children and using their expert knowledge of child development and the characteristics of effective learning they sequence learning to ensure continuity and progression through a well-planned curriculum that is constantly enhanced and enriched, and so that children become reflective and resilient learners.
Our learning environments, both indoor and outdoor, provide a safe place where children can develop, explore and investigate. We provide opportunities where two, three and four-year-old children learn together, whilst also ensuring opportunities to work within their age group alongside supporting staff.
When following the children’s interests, we plan for a range of activities and experiences. Every year we also deliver some pre-planned content such as Autumn, Christmas, nursery rhymes, religious festivals and British traditions. Though the majority of content (what we teach) may change each year depending on the children’s interests how we deliver the curriculum is consistent. The areas of effective learning are embedded into everything we do and staff are skilled in teaching and modelling these characteristics to the children. We also ensure there are activities to match each area, including role play, construction, small world and outdoor play.
In the Summer term prior to children starting Reception, increased planned learning challenges are provided that prepare children for the next stage in education.
The language development of each child is the core element of our curriculum. Good speaking and listening skills are the foundation for all other areas of learning, particularly reading, writing and maths.
Nursery school staff model effective communication with children by commenting, asking open questions, modelling key vocabulary and introducing new words to enable children to become confident communicators. As with the rest of GEMs Wantage Primary Academy, quality texts from books and stories are used as starting points for our learning themes.
Our continuous use of assessment ensures that teaching matches the ability of the children and offers real challenge. Children are assessed on entry and records of progress are regularly updated through observation or planned assessment activities. They are also used to group children, according to ability for certain activities and to identify particularly able children or children with S.E.N. Information is used regularly to track the children’s progress and evaluate next steps for individual and groups of children. Children's achievements are monitored and measured in each child's Learning Journey. Monitoring and evaluation systems will be regularly reviewed and acted upon i.e Planning and Learning Journal scrutinies identify curriculum strengths and areas for improvement so that the Quality of Education is most effective. Teacher and Staff Appraisal systems ensure staff are accountable for our high-quality curriculum
Welcome to WPA’s Nursery
We are so excited to welcome you to Wantage Primary Academy Nursery and look forward to building a partnership with you this year.
The WPA school Motto is ‘Belong, Believe, Achieve’; we bring this into our Nursery each day as we nurture the children in our care and inspire their curiosity. Our nursery is one where the children will be challenged to meet high standards whilst ensuring they have the support to be successful. Our aim is to ensure your child is happy and secure in their new setting, and to provide a range of experiences which will enable each child to develop emotionally, academically, physically, and socially.
Ms Perring – Principal
Miss Williams – Nursery Teacher
Miss Robins – Nursery EYP
Mrs Carey – Nursery EYP
To support your child’s transition into nursery you will be invited to attend a 40 minute stay and play session towards the end of the term before your child starts. Here you can introduce your child to the environment and nursery staff and have a chat with the class teacher.
To prepare your child for nursery it would be beneficial to encourage their independence in daily tasks. We encourage children to independently:
- put on and take off their coats (older children may be ready to do their own zips but some children will still need help with this)
- dress and undress themselves
- use the toilet
- recognise and look after their belongings
- tidy up
- open their food/snacks
If a child is struggling an adult will always be there to support them and model what to do, but often they are very capable of doing these things independently. At home we encourage you to allow your child room to persevere with activities they might find tricky.
Morning sessions run from 8:40am – 11:40am.
Afternoon sessions run from 12:30pm - 3:30pm.
Children and parents line up along the gates at drop off and pick up. The children will be welcomed each day by their class teacher at the nursery entrance gate and will enter the classroom with support from the EYPs (Early Years Practitioners). This transition allows children to independently find their peg and put their things away each morning.
Each day, the class teacher delivers maths and phonics whole class carpet sessions. These are then followed up with a range of small group adult led activities. Sessions end with a story time or whole class discussion related to the current topic. The children also have extended periods each day of continuous provision where they lead their own learning and explore the classroom and garden with their peers. Your child will have the opportunity to take part in boosters and interventions to support their communication and language, fine motor skills, and early phonics and maths skills.
If your child is eligible for 30 hour extended funding you will have provided us with a code. These sessions run from 8:40 – 11:40 and 12:30 – 3:30. You can then also book lunch club for £5. Children bring their own packed lunch and the £5 fee covers the cost of cover care during this lunch period. If you do not wish for your child to stay at lunch, you are welcome to pick them up at 11:40 and drop them back at 12:30. Our office manager will be in touch the half term before your child starts to book you into lunch club.
The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) has a special curriculum specifically designed for young children. It supports your child’s learning and healthy development. Your child will be learning skills, acquiring new knowledge, and demonstrating their understanding through 7 areas of learning and development.
Children should aim to develop the 3 Prime Areas first. These are:
- Communication and language
- Physical development
- Personal, social, and emotional development
These prime areas are those most essential for your child’s healthy development and future learning.
As children progress, the prime areas will help them to develop skills in 4 Specific Areas. These are:
- Understanding the world
- Expressive arts and design
These 7 areas are used to plan your child’s learning and activities. The professionals teaching and supporting your child will make sure that the tasks are suited to your child’s unique needs.
This curriculum is suitable for very young children, and it's designed to be flexible so that staff can follow your child's individual needs and interests. Children in the EYFS learn by playing and exploring, being active, and through creative and critical thinking which takes place both indoors and outside.
We appreciate how important communication is for both parents and teachers, particularly at this early stage of a child’s development. We use an online learning journey called ‘Evidence Me’ to record your child’s learning and track their progress. You will be able to view and comment on their learning as well as contribute about your child’s life outside of Nursery.
We will also send 3 reports home each year and hold parents’ evenings in November, March and July to discuss your child’s transition and progress in nursery.
As a nursery that is part of a school, we will not give you an update on your child’s day each day at pick up. However, we are happy to have a brief chat if you have something you need to let us know and we encourage communication through our 2Simple, Evidence Me App or, for more detailed queries or questions, please contact email@example.com and these will be sent to and responded to by the necessary member of nursery staff. We will always inform you at pick up if your child has had a toileting accident or hurt themselves that day.
As educators we have a responsibility to ensure the safety of the children in our care. If you are unable to collect your child, you must inform the school beforehand. You will need to provide a photo of the person collecting your child and ensure this person has the password you will have set up. This includes childminders, grandparents, and other relatives. At nursery we will only alow a child to leave with an adult, therefore siblings should not be collecting a nursery child.
Please follow the guidance about parking for pick up and drop off. Please do not park in front of the school, including in the cycle lane on the opposite side of the road. This is dangerous and obstructive to pedestrians and cyclists accessing the school as well as posing a genuine risk to our smallest children in nursery.
As a school, we encourage our children to eat a balanced diet and drink plenty of water, so they are fit and ready to learn.
Where possible packed lunches should include:
- A portion of pasta salad, sandwich, bread roll or pitta bread.
- Cooked meat/boiled eggs/vegetables as a filling in a sandwich.
- A portion of fruit and vegetables e.g. carrot/cucumber sticks, cherry tomatoes, apple, banana etc.
- A portion of yoghurt or cheese.
Examples of a balanced packed lunch
Small chocolate bar.
We ask that children wear a basic uniform of school polo shirt with logo and school sweatshirt with logo with your own choice of leg wear. Children should have trainers for indoors and be provided with wellies for outside (these need to be available every day). If you would like your child to wear the full school uniform, they may do so.
Please ensure your child is ready to learn outside throughout the year by providing them with a warm waterproof coat, gloves/mittens, a hat, a scarf, suncream, and a sunhat.
- Long hair must be tied back
- Jewellery must not be worn.
- Your child will need to bring their bag, coat, water bottle and a small snack each day. They may also bring labelled wellies.
- Children must not bring additional home items such as toys, teddies, or blankets.
- Please send spare clothes (including underwear) in your child’s bag each day.
- If your child still wears nappies, please ensure you have shared this with us and provide the nappies, wipes etc.
Please clearly label all clothes and accessories with your child’s name.
- If your child is ill, they must stay at home
- If an adult has symptoms, they must not drop off a child to school
- We have planned for enhanced cleaning arrangements
- Robust hand hygiene will be in place
- We will be engaging actively with NHS Track and Trace
- We will be encouraging social distancing in school wherever possible.
- Anyone who has symptoms should get tested and return results promptly.