Your Child at Snowy’s
Here at Snowy’s your child’s welfare and learning form the heart of everything we do. We ensure we offer a warm and welcoming setting with a team of fully qualified staff who have a real rapport with the children.
Children need to feel a sense of security when they are away from their parents and we strive to ensure that all children feel happy, relaxed and safe. We encourage them to feel confident to develop good relationships with the adults caring for them and with the other children in the group.
We provide a wide range of appropriate learning materials and stimulating, high-quality toys and activities, indoors and outdoors. We also ensure that children have a varied and healthy diet, fresh air, exercise, rest and play, contributing to their physical, emotional and educational development.
We understand that children develop at their own pace. Every child is recognised and treated as an individual, working within the Early Years framework and national standards, and we work closely with parents to provide a level of care that meets the high standards you’d expect for your child.
We would be delighted to arrange a visit for you to meet our staff and see Snowy’s for yourself. We will also send you a Welcome Pack when you express an interest in Snowy’s, which includes an overview of our Nursery and Pre-school.
Around a month before your child’s start date, we will send you three documents:
The Information Pack includes important information about Snowy’s, and we ask that you read it and keep it for future reference.
The Registration Form must be completed with information about your child and their needs before they start at Snowy’s.
We also provide an “All About Me” booklet, which we ask you to complete before attending, to indicate your child’s interests and stage of development. This will enable staff to devise activities specific to your child’s abilities and development needs.
We will arrange an appointment for you to meet your child’s key person and discuss the contents of these forms, roughly one week before the start date.
We will ask whether your child has any allergies, dietary requirements, or additional needs to make sure that they are safe and comfortable at Snowy’s. Details of allergies and dietary needs will be discussed with all staff before your child starts, and will be placed near the snack area where staff can see them.
If your child has additional needs, these will be discussed with the manager who is the SENCO (Special Educational Needs Coordinator) to determine what needs to be put in place for your child to thrive. If necessary, a support plan will be put in place with the SENCO and your child’s key person.
We want your child to feel happy and safe at Snowy’s with us, and our friendly, caring and well-trained staff will do everything they can to make your child quickly feel at home. As part of our settling in process, we will meet your child and you before they start, to get to know your child and family before we care for him/her.
Before your child starts
We will arrange a time for you and your child to come in to Snowy’s shortly before their start date. Please do bring your child with you for this meeting, so that they can join in with the session for 30 minutes or so. This gives us the opportunity to get to know you and your child, and also means that on your child’s first day they will already recognise our classrooms and see familiar faces.
During this initial meeting you will meet your child’s Key Person, who will be responsible for helping them through their early days at Snowy’s. They will go through your documentation with you; in particular, your child’s “All About Me” booklet, which helps us quickly learn about their likes and dislikes, favourite activities and the important people in their life, amongst many other things.
The first time your child separates from you can be an unsettling experience – for you as well as your child. At Snowy’s, our sympathetic, well-trained and experienced staff can help to make the process as smooth as possible. The settling in period is rarely as difficult as you imagine it to be and children quickly learn that Snowy’s is a happy, friendly place to be.
Staff will work with you to decide on how to help your child to settle into Snowy’s as easily as possible. We welcome and will accommodate any individual requirements upon settling in, and you may stay with your child for as long as you wish until you feel that your child is settled. Some children may settle almost immediately, others may require several sessions before they are comfortable being left, and we are happy to work with you to ensure the best approach for your child.
The first day
On your child’s first day, please bring with you:
- a change of clothes
- a named water bottle, containing water (only)
- wellies, in a plastic bag, if required – these can be taken home daily
- nappies and wipes, if required
- packed lunch, if staying for lunch club
All parents and children should wait by the Snowy’s entrance until the session is about to begin (8.45am for the morning session, or 12.15pm for the afternoon session). Once a member of staff opens the main gates, parents should take their children to their classroom.
How Snowy’s provide for development and learning
Children start to learn about the world around them from the moment they are born. The care and education offered by Snowy’s helps children to continue to do this by providing every child with interesting activities that are appropriate for their age and stage of development.
We engage in “Learning by Play”, which is the most effective way to help young children to learn and develop, through doing and talking. We assess how well our children are developing by frequent observations (formally and informally), through which staff can assess the level of development that each child has reached and specific areas that could be introduced next. We believe that parents know their children best and we ask them to contribute to their assessment by sharing information about what their children like to do at home and how they as parents are supporting development.
Snowy’s keeps records for each child, which we call our Learning Stories. These are packed with photos, comments, observations and achievements from your child’s time at Snowy’s, together with an indication of your child’s “next steps”. For example, your child’s Learning Story may show that he or she could recognise the first letter of their name. The next step for your child could be to see whether they can start to write that letter. We welcome your input on your child’s Learning Story, which is available for you to view at any time.
Early Years Foundation Stage
Like all Nurseries, Snowy’s must deliver a national curriculum. We do this in an imaginative way, meeting the specific needs of each child, making each session fun and exciting.
The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) learning and development requirements include 3 elements:
The Early Learning Goals – the knowledge, skills and understanding which young children should have acquired by the end of the academic year in which they reach the age of 5.
The Educational Programmes – the matters, skills and processes which are required to be taught to young children.
The Assessment Arrangements – the arrangements for assessing young children to ascertain their achievements.
There are seven areas covered by the early learning goals and educational program, split into Prime Areas and Specific Areas.
Personal, social and emotional development – making relationships, self-confidence and self-awareness, managing feelings and behaviour
Physical development – moving and handling, health and self care
Communication and language – listening and attention, understanding and speaking
Literacy – reading and writing
Mathematics – numbers, shapes space and measure
Understanding the world – people and communities, the world, technology
Expressive arts and design – exploring using media and materials, being imaginative
For more information on the Early Years Foundation Stage, please speak to your child’s key person, or click here to access the Early Years Framework on the Foundation Years website.
Partnership with Parents
Parents have a strong input into how Snowy’s is run. We welcome parents’ comments and they are regularly consulted.
A more formal review of progress takes place twice a year. During a one-to-one meeting, your child’s records (which are available at any time) can be discussed in detail. In addition, Snowy’s has a large notice board and termly newsletters to keep you up to date.
We ask parents to help us make Snowy’s run smoothly, such as following our security guidelines with respect to admitting unknown people into Snowy’s and keeping us informed about any allergies or special diets your child may have. We are obliged to follow the local authority’s guidelines on admitting children with infectious diseases and we would ask that you respect the official quarantine period.
Preparation for school
We understand that the move to primary school is a big step for children and at Snowy’s we do everything we can to make that transition as smooth as possible. In the pre-school room, during the final year before children start school, we gradually introduce some of the routines that are used in primary school. By the summer term, we will have registration time, where the children answer when their name is called, and practice sitting with their arms and legs crossed. After registration, we have news time and the children practice listening to others and putting their hands up when they want to say something. We have group time and circle time to learn to work in groups on particular activities.
Most of our children go onto Brundall School and for that reason, we maintain links with the school and its teachers. As we are located next door but one, we are able to make regular visits throughout a child’s time at Snowy’s. For children who will be going to other local schools, we will arrange meetings to help ease their transition to school too.
The reception teachers from Brundall Primary School visit Snowy’s during the summer term, read the children stories and work with Snowy’s staff to help prepare the children for the move to school. We make several visits to the school during the year, during which we play in the playground and spend time in the reception classroom with the reception children and teachers. This allows the children to become familiar with the school, and the reception teachers get to know the children, which all helps ease the children’s transition to ‘big school’.
We also provide transition forms for the teachers, which provide details of what each child has achieved during their time at Snowy’s, their likes and dislikes, and any information on how the reception teachers can help each child settle at school.
If a child needs additional help at school, the manager will arrange a transition meeting with the parents, teacher, and anyone else involved with the child.
In the rare event of you moving from the area/otherwise withdrawing your child from Snowy’s, we require a notice period of 4 weeks to be given. Failure to give Snowy’s 4 weeks notice may result in a charge for these sessions.