St. Patrick’s & St. Brigid’s Primary School and Nursery Unit Guidance for Parents 2011/2012 WELCOME 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 school. PLEASE WRITE YOUR CHILD’S NAME ON ALL ITEMS OF CLOTHING 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. DISCIPLINE 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 flourish. 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 needs. 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. HEALTH 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? Parking 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 school.
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