We believe that each child is unique and will develop at their own pace. With that in mind, we support each individual child with their learning and progression rather than planning for the room as a whole. Wherever possible, we plan ‘In the Moment’ for the children to ensure that the opportunities that they are being given are relevant to their interests at that time.
The learning environment is key to providing the children with a sense of security, belonging and effective learning. Our environments are engaging and enhanced with age-appropriate resources and activities to meet individual needs. Room audits are carried out and reviewed on a termly basis to ensure that the effectiveness of the provision is maintained.
At Riverside, we strongly believe that all children have the same essential needs for the support of their growth and development. These include being loved, nurtured, feeling safe and secure and having opportunities for learning through continuous play opportunities. Play for young children is important. It involves learning through their senses and can be encouraged and enhanced where adults and peers play too. Play is fundamental in helping children learn about themselves and to enable them to relate to others and the world around them.
Learning and play in natural environments is promoted as an essential part of our provision both indoors and outdoors. We encourage the use of more natural materials and resources and are lucky enough to be able to provide a separate vegetable garden for our children to learn more about the world around them.
In the early years, the majority of a child’s learning and development is done through play-based activities. The children will also be learning about routine, developing early maths and literacy skills, learning about the world around them and learning social skills.
Children begin to learn by doing things for themselves, by exploring and investigating, by watching and listening, talking and discussing, creating and communicating – in other words, playing! Play is a child’s ‘work’ and playing hard is very tiring! Play can also be very messy as your child will be exploring and learning both indoors and outdoors with a range of activities including sand, water, paint, mud, cornflour and so on! You can be sure to expect some dirty clothes by the end of the day – dirty clothes are a sign of a fun day! By creating an environment that acts as the ‘third practitioner’ we are focussing on embedding and protecting the innate skills of the children. The environment becomes the practitioners ‘buddy’ that supports us to nurture the children that we are lucky enough to care for on a daily basis.
Working in partnership with parents/carers is vital for effective holistic learning and development for the children. This is achieved by building relationships with the child and their family through the keyworker system. The ‘key person’ will aid and support the child’s learning and development by helping to challenge the child but not push them beyond their capabilities.
Children’s racial, cultural, religious and linguistic backgrounds are respected and supported through all planning, resources and activities. Our inclusive play policy also ensures that children with special educational needs and disabilities are offered the same experiences as the other children, but in a way that has been tailored to them.
The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) is a curriculum that we follow throughout our Nursery. We interpret the curriculum in a variety of ways, using the Birth to Five Matters as our tracking tool to help us monitor that the children are developing within the appropriate age range and when and how we need to support their learning.
We follow elements of the Curiosity Approach which is a wonderous ethos that focuses on encouraging the children’s curiosity in the early years. This approach brings together various elements that promote inquisitive moments for young children, making learning fun and magical and igniting a passion and excitement in practitioners in a setting that is filled with beautiful play spaces for our children.
We also take aspects of the Reggio Emilia approach which is used alongside the EYFS and shares many of the same principles. The Reggio approach to early years education puts children in the driver’s seat and sees them as curious individuals with the power and potential to develop and learn from their environment and the relationships they build with others. Children are viewed as having unlimited potential and being eager to interact with and contribute to the world. This means learning is driven by the child who takes an active role in co-constructing their own knowledge and gives the child control over the direction of the curriculum. This encourages self-expression, communication, teamwork thinking and problem-solving in the child. The learning process is considered to be of much higher importance than the final product and teachers create in-depth projects based on information from parents and observation as well as the interests of children.
To maintain our high standard of childcare, the nursery practitioners regularly update and expand on their own knowledge through training, some of which is mandatory, and some is personal choice dependent on their area of interest. All of our staff hold a relevant childcare qualification, paediatric first aid, safeguarding and basic food hygiene. These are updated as required.
We take our responsibility in protecting and safeguarding the children very seriously. As a setting, we have a dedicated safeguarding lead (DSL), and a secondary safeguarding lead should the DSL be absent. We also give high priority to the Health and Safety of the children within all areas of the setting.
As a setting, we are committed to providing a safe, high-quality learning environment for the children in our care, supported by a well-qualified and experienced team of staff who continuously strive to be the best practitioners that they can be.
Our baby suite is registered to cater for 18 babies between the ages of 3 months and 2 years. The ratio one member of staff: three babies. Our aim is to provide a relaxed and homely environment to ensure that the transition between home and nursery is as easy and smooth as possible for both you and your baby. Within the baby suite team, we have a senior member of staff who is responsible for ensuring that planning is completed, good teamwork exists, the room runs smoothly and efficiently, and the needs of the children are adhered to. The rest of the team is made up of 7 other practitioners, some of whom work full time and some that are part time. The staff are all qualified at various levels from level 3 up to Level 6. We also have an apprentice in the baby suite who is not counted within the ratios but is a great ‘extra pair of hands’ as they learn.
Keyworker – Every child is allocated a keyworker before they start with us at Riverside. The Keyworker is responsible for forming the first relationship between you, your baby and ourselves, and will be the first point of contact for any communication between us. Your keyworker will keep you up to date with your child’s learning and development at our termly parent’s evenings.
When starting at Riverside Nursery, we initially offer two settling in sessions. The first session is where you will be welcomed into the baby suite to meet your allocated keyworker, the rest of the team and discuss your child’s routine and individual needs. From this induction, you will receive enrolment forms, a learning journey pack, and any other documents to ensure we have as much information as possible before your child’s first day. The second session is generally an independent play visit to see how your child takes to the hand over process, to start building a bond with their keyworker, and familiarise themselves with the room. If we feel that any additional visits are required, these will be arranged accordingly.
In the baby suite, we have a separate milk and food preparation kitchen where we will follow your babies own feeding routine taking into consideration any allergies or dietary requirements. When the time approaches for ‘weaning’, please speak to your baby’s keyworker so that we can ensure that we follow your specific requirements. Details of your child’s day at nursery including meals, sleeps and nappy changes are all documented through an online app that we use called ‘ParentZone’.
You can also communicate directly with your keyworker through this app. Your child’s individual learning stories are also completed and then uploaded to the app. These generally consist of video clips, photographs, and assessments. This enables us to ‘track’ the children’s development alongside the curriculum ensuring that we are planning activities at the appropriate level for each individual child. It also means that we can easily identify any areas that may require additional resources, support, or staff training.
Within the baby suite we have a range of continuous provision that keeps the babies very busy and stimulated.
Comfortable provision – We have dens, tepees, nests, cushions, rugs and throws to help the children feel comfortable and settled. These are also places that the children can ‘snuggle in’ and have some quiet time. Some of the babies sleep in the cots provided, but some may choose to sleep on the sleep mats or cosy nests. You just need to let us know what you think your baby would prefer.
Imaginative provision – This includes a domestic role play kitchen and some ‘real-life’ resources such as kettles, pots, pans, role play food, dolls, phones, and cleaning equipment similar to a home set up, with the intent of the babies imitating what they see or do at home.
Exploratory – We have a lot of open ended and natural resources to encourage early exploration. The babies have many opportunities to take part in exploratory play to enhance their senses. There is also a lot of messy play activities available for your child to explore a variety of media such as paint, gloop, gellibath, sand, water and shaving foam. The list is endless! We also provide heuristic play which will increase your baby’s imagination and development. Our care celebrates the fact that from birth, children need to develop whilst learning through interaction and exploration in the world around them.
Small world/construction – This is set up in accordance with individual interests at the time or may be linked to experiences from home. This may include, dinosaurs, farm, sea life, and vehicles such as cars, garage, and trains. These are normally set up to be inviting with a variety of media to explore such as bark, soil, grass, gloop, or water play.
Physical – This consists of a nice open space for children to practice their movements from rolling, crawling, cruising, and walking. There is also sturdy low-level furniture for the babies to start pulling themselves up to stand and cruise. We have a wooden bridge for balancing and walking on different surfaces, a hide and slide, trikes, ball pit, lock and chain boards and mark making tools.
Outdoors – We access the outdoors on a regular basis even in the baby suite. Outside there is a wide range of physical activities available from ride along bikes, balls, climbing frame and slides. We also have a calming area that is within a natural wigwam and a messy mud kitchen to explore senses and imagination.
To aid early communication and help improve early speech and language skills, we have implemented ‘Talk first sessions’ within the baby suite. Julia and Dexter (the puppet) visit us every Friday morning for a baby ‘sign and rhyme’ session. professionals
There are so many activities that your baby will take part in throughout their time in the baby suite and any achievements they make are recorded on ‘parent zone app’ for you to see. From their first day at Riverside right through until they leave us to go to school, this special journey is then saved onto a USB stick so that you have it to look back on forever.
Once your baby approaches 2 years old (sometimes a little before, sometimes a little after – depending on their stage of development), the time will come for them to move into Lower Riverside. You will be introduced to your baby’s new keyworker and a thorough transition will be carried out. We always encourage parents to be involved in this. All information from the baby suite will be passed on to the staff in Lower Riverside to aid this smooth transition.
In Lower Riverside, we employ two senior practitioner who oversee the running of the room each day. We also employ 4 other full and part time practitioners who will care for your child. The ratio in Lower Riverside is one member of staff: four children. Every member of staff in Lower Riverside has a recognised childcare qualification at Level 3 or higher.
In Lower Riverside, the practitioners continue to promote learning and development ‘In the moment’ by using the children’s individual interests. Toilet training is generally introduced in Lower Riverside in preparation for when the children move into Upper Riverside. Lower Riverside have shared access to a bathroom which has low level toilets and sinks, a nappy changing unit and a variety of potties. If, and when your child is ready for toilet training, please speak to your child’s keyworker to enable us to work alongside you during the process. Good personal hygiene and cleanliness are promoted at all times within the bathroom.
The nursery day is structured but flexible in Lower Riverside in order for us to meet the individual needs of each child. Continuous provision takes place throughout the day, both indoors and outdoors. The children also have free access to the outdoors throughout the day. Continuous provision describes the different provision areas which are available for your children to use every day. Within each of these areas of provision there should be a core range of resources that children can use all the time. These areas reflect the prime and specific areas and are enhanced ‘In the moment’ throughout the day to make an impact on the children’s learning.
The continuous provision areas within Lower Riverside are construction and small world area, malleable, mark making, investigation/tinkering, cosy/story area, role play area, workshop area and sand and water. Our outdoor area is accessible at all times throughout continuous provision. We advise that a puddle suit and wellingtons are kept at nursery. Within our outdoor area, we have opportunities to develop gross motor skills on the bikes and climbing frames. We have a mud kitchen, digging area and sensory garden. We also have calming spaces outside with dens and wigwams. Within Lower Riverside, we have a gate that leads down the nature trail to our growing garden and swimming facilities. Our growing garden is a wonderful place which encourages development through many aspects of the Birth to 5 matters framework. The children observe how caring for our plants helps them grow into fresh fruit and vegetables which we can then bring back to nursery for our amazing cook to use in our meals.
Just like the Baby Suite and to help improve speech and language skills, Lower Riverside also participate in ‘Talk first sessions’. Julia and Dexter (the puppet) visit us every Friday morning for the ‘sign and rhyme’ session. professionals
Whilst in Lower Riverside, the children are encouraged to socialise with the other children and experience play within small groups as well as exploring and investigating new friendships. This will encourage their circle of friends and contacts to become wider.
Once your child approaches 3 years old (sometimes a little before, sometimes a little after – depending on their stage of development), they will move to Upper Riverside. The children will have visits into the new room and a transition will be done between the relevant practitioners to ensure that all of the information about your child has been passed on.
In Upper Riverside, the children will continue to build on the skills that they have gained in Lower Riverside, but they will also develop new skills through exploration and investigation in order to increase independence in a safe and stimulating environment. The room has a designated senior practitioner who oversees the running of the room. We also employ 6 other full and part time practitioners. The ratio in Upper Riverside is one member of staff to eight children.
As in Lower Riverside, Upper Riverside has the same areas of continuous provision which are enhanced ‘In the moment’ in accordance with the children’s interests. The children will investigate the world around them and they will have the opportunity to choose the activities that they would prefer to take part in. Play experiences may be either indoors or outdoors as dictated by your child. For outdoor play, we ask that you provide suitable outdoor clothing – this may be a raincoat, wellies, hat, gloves and scarf or sun hat and sun cream!
Within Upper Riverside, we take part in extra curriculum activities such as sports and swimming. Sports takes place on Friday afternoons with Jake. These lessons aim to encourage basic skills and physical development, as well teaching the children about sharing, taking turns and working as part of a Team. The sessions culminate in a sports day for our school leavers in the summer term – which parents are welcome to attend.
Once in Upper Riverside (and fully toilet trained), the children are able to access swimming lessons in the pool located in the building behind the nursery – ‘Splash @ Riverside’ (at an additional cost). This is a great opportunity for your child to build their confidence and develop independent swimming skills through structured swimming lessons. Our practitioners take the children along the nature path around to the pool and get them changed – the lesson is then taken by a qualified swimming instructor. The instructors follow the National Plan for Teaching Swimming (NPTS) and the Kellogg’s Award Scheme which is designed to encourage the children through every stage of learning to swim. The children work towards Duckling levels one to five. These improve water confidence and introduce water awareness and basic swimming techniques. The emphasis is on structured play, games and swimming exercises to build confidence and gain a good body position in the water.
EYT (Early years Teacher)
PARTNERSHIP AS PARENTS
At Riverside Nursery, careful consideration and research go into planning our menus which are rotated on a 4-weekly basis, taking into account children’s individual dietary requirements, allergies and cultural needs. The menus are also reviewed in summer and winter to ensure that we are able to incorporate local seasonal produce into our meals and snacks.
We employ a full-time qualified cook and two qualified kitchen assistants to prepare and produce healthy, home cooked meals and snacks. We are proud to say that at Riverside, we have 5-star food hygiene rating.
We only use high quality meat, fish and fruit and vegetables which are all sourced from local suppliers. The control of additives and preservatives will be paramount.
A scheduled snack time takes place mid-morning, with choices of toast, crumpets, fruit bagels. Fresh drinking water is available at all times. We do NOT provide juice/cordial.
Whilst we understand that each individual child will have their own preferences, they will still be encouraged to partake in the full and varied diet that we offer. The social aspect of mealtimes will be emphasised, with staff sitting at the tables with children in small groups in order to encourage conversation. The sharing of refreshments plays an important in the social life of the children as well as reinforcing an understanding of healthy eating. The children will eat together in an area where table manners are always encouraged through staff supervision.
Before your child starts with us at Riverside, you will be given the opportunity to discuss their dietary needs including any allergies and the appropriate arrangements required for us to meet your child’s needs. We pay huge attention to the dietary rules of religious groups and provide meals in accordance with their beliefs.
A sample menu is available on request or viewed within the office.
Sports – Friday afternoon (UPPER) Talk first – Friday morning 9.30am (LOWER) 10am (BABIES)
At Riverside Nursery, we consider the safety of your child to be our first priority. As well as maintaining a very high staff to child ratio, there are a number of effective safety features that we have put into practise.
ALL of our staff have a positive ‘Enhanced’ DBS disclosure obtained before their employment at Riverside commences.
A deposit of £100.00 (for part time places) or £200.00 (for full time places) is required to book a place at Riverside Nursery. This is held as a retainer on your account until:
1 – Your child leaves the Nursery to go to school and your account has been paid in full; or
2 – You cancel your child’s place at Riverside, providing 4 weeks’ notice (in writing/email) and your account has been paid in full.
If a Nursery place is cancelled before the child’s start date, the deposit will be forfeited (as agreed in the deposit agreement form that you sign at the time of booking).
Our minimum booking requirement is 2 full days per week. We do not offer half day sessions.
Our nursery policy is that fees are to be paid at the beginning of the month for the month ahead or on your child’s first day of attendance each week.
Ideally, fees will be paid by standing order, but we do accept debit/credit card payments and cheques (made payable to ‘Riverside Nursery’). We try not to take cash payments to limit the amount of cash on the premises. The nursery also accepts payment through various childcare voucher companies provided through parent’s employers.
Full fees are payable for any holidays or absence due to sickness and for all bank holidays. The nursery is open for 51 weeks of the year. We close at 2.00pm on Christmas Eve for 1 week and all bank holidays. We do NOT charge for Christmas week.