St. Patrick’s & St. Brigid’s
      Primary School
       Nursery Unit

     Guidance for Parents


Dear Parent
We wish to extend to you and your child/children a very warm welcome to
St. Patrick‟s & St. Brigid‟s Nursery Unit.
An active partnership between home and school is a vital factor in endeavouring to ensure your child
gains maximum benefit from his/her year in nursery.
As a staff we strive to provide a rich and meaningful range of activities designed to stimulate and
develop our children. Play will form an important element in your child‟s life in the coming year and all
of our staff are fully qualified and trained to further develop your child through the medium of play.
The Nursery Unit also promotes each child‟s personal development and we will always act in the best
interest of your child.
It is our sincere hope that your child will have a happy and productive time in a purposeful environment
linked closely to home.
Yours sincerely

E. Magee                                      A. Laverty
Principal                                     Nursery Teacher-In – Charge

                             THE NURSERY CLASS TEAM
Mrs. A. Laverty is the Nursery Teacher, assisted by Mrs. M. Watterson and Mrs M Mc Faul
Mrs. A. Laverty is responsible for the day-to-day running of the unit. Concerns or queries should be
addressed to Mrs. A. Laverty in the first instance or the Principal, Mr. E. Magee, for queries of a more
general nature.

                           GENERAL POLICY STATEMENT
The Board of Governors and staff of St. Patrick‟s & St. Brigid‟s Nursery Unit believe that nursery
education is a very valuable and important experience for all children. We see it as being
complementary to the love and care already experienced by the child at home. Therefore it is our aim to
share positively with parents in providing the opportunity for each child to develop his/her full potential
in every aspect of growth. This will be achieved by providing him/her with a wide range of experiences
and activities, which are broadly based and appropriate to the needs of the individual child.
By providing a safe, secure, interesting and challenging learning environment for all children in our
care, we hope to encourage each child to become an independent, self-confident and happy person.
We see the development and maintenance of a close partnership with you the parents as playing an
extremely important part in helping us achieve our aim.
                                    THE NURSERY CLASS
“There is no place at this stage for the introduction of formal schooling in the sense of an established
body of knowledge to be acquired or a set of skills to be mastered.”
                                                 Nursery Education Guidelines “The Curriculum”
                                     THE     SCHOOL DAY                               NICC
                                     MORNING SESSION
                        9.00 a.m.                            Morning Session begins
                                                                  Snack Time
                       11.30 a.m.                            Morning Session finishes
                                    AFTERNOON SESSION
                       12.20 p.m.                           Afternoon Session begins
                                                                   Snack Time
                       2.50 p.m.                            Afternoon Session finishes
Parents or an adult representative should bring children to school in the morning and collect the child at
the end of the session.
It is very important these times are observed.
Please try and bring your child on time - good habits begin in nursery!! However, if you are late still
bring your child along and explain to us. Better late than never!
Each child must be brought right into the room and handed over to a member of staff by a responsible
adult. NEVER leave a child to come in by him or herself. It is also very important that a responsible
adult collects your child promptly at the end of each session. Young children get very worried when
mum or dad are not there at home time. This may put them off coming to school.
There may be occasions when you are delayed and we would appreciate a phone call as soon as
possible. We will do our best to reassure your child should this occur.
Our Nursery promotes a „Healthy Eating‟ policy. Part of the daily routine will involve a snack-time.
Milk will be provided free of charge. „Dalriada Sure Start‟ also provide our children with a selection of
free fruit.
                                    UNIFORM CLOTHING
Children in Nursery wear a uniform, adapted from the main school uniform and takes into account the
practical nature of the Nursery day.
Boys and Girls:
     Navy Tracksuit Bottoms
     Green Polo T-shirt (available from school office)
     Navy Sweatshirt or jumper (available from school office)
In summer time the tracksuit bottoms may be changed for navy shorts or any practical outfit.
Nursery Polo-Shirts and Sweatshirts are available to be purchased from the school office.
Polo Shirts @ £ 7.00 and Sweatshirts @ £8.00.
A warm coat is essential in Nursery since the children will have the opportunity to play outside
everyday. If your child is not well enough to play outside, then this often a good indication that they are
not well enough to be in school.
A complete change of clothes must be left at school. This is in case your child would happen to be sick
or have a little accident! In the event of a mishap a plastic bag with the soiled clothes will be left on
your child‟s peg for collection. The clothes should be replaced when your child subsequently returns to
                                          THE FIRST DAY
Your child will start Nursery Class on an arranged date.
We want to get to know you and your child so we will phase children in gradually over several weeks.
At first they stay for one hour and gradually the time is increased.
For the first day a parent (or other adult) will be able to stay part of the session.
The “settling in” time does mean a few weeks of inconvenience for parents. Your patience and support
at this stage will be very important to your child and greatly appreciated by the staff of the Nursery.
On subsequent days you may stay with your child until they are happily settled at an activity. This time
will gradually be reduced giving your child more independence in integrating into the day. There is no
set timetable for this and each child will vary. Suggestions and advice will be given by Mrs. Laverty.
Your child may bring a favourite toy to school with him/her. It is often helpful to have a familiar
„friend‟ in a new environment. To avoid complications with other pupils, this will be placed in a safe
visible place in the classroom until home time.
During the first few weeks your child will become familiar with the staff and surroundings. Each child
is an individual and it may take some children longer to settle in than others - we will be happy for you
to stay as long as he/she requires your presence.

                           CHILD PROTECTION TEACHERS
Our appointed Child Protection teachers are:
        1. Mr. E. Magee (Principal) Child Protection Teacher
        2. Mrs. A. Laverty (Nursery) Deputy Child Protection Teacher (Nursery)
They are available should you have concerns regarding the welfare and „protection‟ of pupils at our
nursery. Obviously, all teachers and staff are aware of child protection issues. Staff will respond using
well-defined school procedures to „concerns‟ raised by a child or adult. A Child Protection Policy will
be distributed to parents. Additional copies are available on your request.

The Nursery co-operates fully with statutory agencies involved in child protection. If a child reflects
any cause for concern, the Nursery will follow procedures set down by these statutory agencies,
including the referral of concerns about children. At all times the Nursery will act in the best interest of
the child.
We want all our children to feel happy and content and are aware of the importance of good
relationships between parents, staff and children in providing an atmosphere where mutual respect can
The basic rules are:
Inside the building all children are encouraged to walk.
We will encourage children to respect each other and therefore will not allow them to hit, kick, bite or
hurt each other if we can prevent it.
It is the policy in our school that children who misbehave will be talked to in a positive manner and
given reasons why their actions are unacceptable. The principal and staff will consult parents in the
event of any particularly serious problem arising with a specific child.

                                     KEEPING RECORDS
We keep records of your child‟s work, which is always available on request.

                                    PARENTS MEETINGS
Mrs Laverty will meet with parents shortly after your child starts nursery to discuss “the settling in”
period and any concerns or worries you may have.
She will also we meet with the parents at the end of the year to discuss pre school transition forms
which will be forwarded to the relevant primary school.
Informal meetings are held throughout the year at the request of parents/teacher when necessary.

                                     THE CURRICULUM
The child centred Nursery Curriculum provides a varied programme of progressive play situations,
carefully planned and evaluated by qualified teachers and nursery assistants.
Your child will learn through play in a carefully organised environment. At this stage, play is a child‟s
work and should not be undervalued.
Play activities will occur indoors and outdoors and provision is made for each child to enjoy activities in
the following areas:
Creativity - junk modelling, painting, drawing, sticking, cutting
Imaginative - home, hospital, shop, café, etc.
Physical Activity - climbing, balancing, cycling, digging etc.
Construction - building with a variety of materials, wood, plastic, duplo, lego, mobilo
Table Activities - matching and sorting games, jig saws etc.
Group Activities - Stories, radio and tapes, sound games, music, singing etc.
Floor Play - garages, dolls house, farm etc.
                         CHILDREN WITH SPECIAL NEEDS
Parents are encouraged to inform the Nursery Unit at an early stage if their child has any educational
The special educational needs of most children are met quite adequately within the Nursery setting.
Other children may have needs which require specialist advice, intervention or support.
Some children may have been identified prior to entry into Nursery Unit as having learning difficulties,
which are likely to affect their learning development. For a number of other children with special
education needs, this identification will occur after they have commenced nursery and parents will be
involved at an early stage.
If the child‟s difficulties are severe or complex, the N.E.E.L.B. may decide to carry out a full assessment
involving all the agencies concerned. In these cases, parents will be consulted and informed throughout
the procedure. Parents will be asked to take an active role in the progress of the educational programme
and any statement of their child‟s needs which may be subsequently proposed by the N.E.E.L.B.

If your child is ill he/she should not be brought to school but kept in the comfort and security of home
until fully recovered. There are two important reasons for this.
Each child should enjoy their time spent in the 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
staff. It is not possible to give one sick child the attention he/she needs without neglecting the others.
It is important to prevent the unnecessary spread of infection among the other children. This applies to
any illness including heavy colds, diarrhoea and stomach upsets.
Please ensure that the Nursery has a contact number, which we may use in case of an emergency
occurring in school. If you change your number in the course of the year please let the Nursery know.
If your child is unable to attend the Nursery Unit on a given day please ring and let us know.

                                     LENDING LIBRARY
A selection of books, story and literacy sacks will be available in the school for the children to borrow,
which you and your child are welcome to borrow at any time.
It encourages your child to take a special interest in books as they select the story themselves and it also
provides an ideal opportunity for you to talk with your child about the story.
Please sign the school record as you borrow an item.
Perhaps you could volunteer to act as librarian at the beginning or end of each session? Please let us
know, as help will be appreciated.
                                 HOW CAN YOU HELP US?

In the interest of your child and every child‟s safety we request that parents/carers and taxi‟s do not
drive into the school grounds to park, deliver or collect children. The parking bays and turning bay
outside the Nursery door are strictly for the use of staff and disability parking only.

We will always be grateful for volunteers to help with various jobs - sewing, library duty, school
outings, gardening etc.
At the end of each session there may be some things your child has made and wants to bring home.
Please take an interest in these creations. To some it may appear to be a mess of paint, some scribbles
or a few odd boxes glued together but to your child its special, their Masterpiece!!
Remember it‟s the process of making something that‟s important and not the end product.
Read stories to your child, talk, question and listen.
Help him/her to participate in any interest or colour displays by bringing something from home.
Encourage confidence, co-operation, conversation and competence at all times and in all things!!
Tissues: It would be appreciated if each parent would bring along a box of tissues on your child‟s first
day. It is nearly impossible to keep up with the demand for tissues, especially over the winter months!

                                         NURSERY FUND
We operate a Nursery Fund whereby, through parental contributions, we are able to provide all the
children with a mid-session snack. Snacks range from crackers, to toast, to a variety of fruit
(Free Fruit provided by Sure Start and Free Milk provided by the N.E.E.L.B.)
The nursery fund is £1.50 per week- This is a voluntary donation.
The Nursery fund is also used for running repairs to equipment, buying of second hand toys, on going
art and craft equipment, parties and entertainment, baking ingredients and other incidental items.

As the children are provided with a snack – sweets or any other edible products should not be brought to

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