First Steps Nursery has seven bright, colourful spacious individual designed rooms which are dedicated to each age group. Each room provides a visually stimulating atmosphere which encourages children to explore their environment around them. Our highly trained enthusiastic staff encourage various opportunities for play and exploration relating to each age group taking into account the EYFS and each child’s individual needs and abilities. Our rooms are inviting, comfortable and an ideal place for your child to learn and play.
Our pre school rooms have a variety of stimulating outdoor underwater themed play areas of which the first has an adventure climbing frame, with tunnels, rope bridge and slides. The second area has a 30ft pirate ship, with life-size pirates and continuing the underwater theme with Tinkerbell and Peter Pan characters. The third play area is undercover with soft safety flooring with a variety of play equipment which can be used when the weather is bad or just as an extra area. The fourth is our planting area with Bill and Ben the flower pot men as characters and colourful flowers on the wall to encourage children’s imagination and love of growing their own vegetables. This area incorporates two planting areas where the children can explore, plant and learn about nature and the outdoors.
Our team of staff is dedicated and passionate about child care and all staff demonstrates an excellent level of care and affection for the children and a commitment to continually improve their practice. The highly reflective environment allows the nursery to make continuous improvements.
Safeguarding is given a high priority within our nursery; we have thorough recruitment procedures in place to further safeguard children. Also the knowledge of the management team and staff in relation to safeguarding ensures that all children are kept safe within our nursery. All staff are CRB checked and a high number of staff have paediatric first-aid-training, some of which have additional training to help keep children safe and support them appropriately when they do have accidents. Our staff takes part in extra safeguarding and other training courses throughout the year to further their knowledge and experience equipping them to be the best that they can be.
First Steps Nursery uses a specialist key person system that supports your child with their own individual key worker as children learn to be strong and independent through positive relationships. This system ensures that your child has someone who will closely monitor their progress, well-being and safety when within the nursery. The key person will be someone who your child can form a trusting bond with and feel secure with. The key person will make sure that their children are meeting their age related targets and goals in line with standards and the EYFS and offers continuity of care.
There are seven areas of learning and development that shape the educational programmes within our nursery. Three areas are particularly crucial for igniting children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, and for building their capacity to learn, form relationship and thrive. These three areas, the prime areas are: communication and language, physical development and personal, social and emotional development. Each area of learning and development is implemented through planned, purposeful play and a mix of adult-led and child-initiated activity. Our practitioners respond to each child’s emerging needs and interests, guiding their development through warm, positive interaction.
We continually assess children through observation. The observations explain all about children such as their needs, what they are interested in and what they can do. The observations are analysed by your child’s key worker and achievements are highlighted or their need for further support. We aim to involve parents and guardians as part of the ongoing observations and assessment process as parental involvement is beneficial to children’s learning and development of self esteem. We believe that children benefit most from early year’s education and care when parents and settings work together in partnership. Our aim is to support parents as their child’s first and most important educators by involving them in their child’s education and in the full life of nursery.
In our early learning room we have an established and well organised routine, which ensures that children have the opportunity to an excellent variety of activities and experiences, to promote all round development. Our Early Learning Room is a term time only room for children accessing a 15 hour free place using government funding.
Government funding is available to every child the school term after they turn 3 years old. We can offer either:
These places are available for 38 weeks during the year (terms are dictated by nursery). If your child is here for a morning session they get a free hot meal for their lunch. If your child is here for the afternoon session they get a free hot meal for their tea.
Our focus is learning through play, constructing knowledge through doing and discussing their ideas. To make this possible staff provide extensive resources, and opportunities to challenge and expand children’s existing knowledge identified through observations. The nursery routine provides lots of opportunities to introduce and reiterate, counting, colour and shape, name recognition, an awareness of letter and sound, manners, taking turns etc
Within the Early Learning Room we provide the children with experiences and support which helps them to develop a positive sense of themselves, respect for others, social skills and a positive disposition to learn. Children are encouraged to feel free to express their ideas and their feelings such as joy, frustration, fear which helps them develop strategies to cope with new or challenging situations. The children in Early Learning develop their independence and they start to do more for themselves knowing that their special key worker is there for support if needed and the children take personal pleasure in learning new independent skills such as washing their own hands.
We have a vast area of good quality resources for the children which are placed in low cupboards for the children to access throughout the day including duplo, wooden blocks, jigsaws, dressing up, shop, play kitchen, sensory blocks, cars, garages, Happyland, wooden safari animals, zoo animals, dinosaurs, play house, musical instruments, scissors for cutting and sticking, interstars etc. Each resource provides a stimulating activity for your child. For example play cooking in a toy kitchen is a rich source of imaginative play for a child. By copying what they’ve seen at home, and adding in their own unique creative elements, children can use their imagination to understand what really happens when people cook. A truly ‘open-ended’ toy like a kitchen means the sky’s the limit for the childrens imaginative cooking adventures. They can enjoy making pretend meals, create royal feasts or even magic potions! There’s lots of room to play with friends in our play kitchen, so children can build social and communication skills as they grow, and learn to play cook with friends too.
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The main priority is to provide a full and stimulating programme of fun educational activities using The Early Years Foundation Stage, and for the children to learn through their play.
Our Pre School 1 room caters for children from approximately 3 years – 4 years. The environment allows the children to access continuous provision with fully equipped areas which support each area of the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum and further extend children’s learning. These include book area, shop, dressing up, writing area, jigsaws, counting toys, measuring toys, wooden dinosaurs, safari animals, lego, dolls, small world toys such as hospital, fire station, dolls house, interstars, musical instruments plus characters that the children are familiar with from home such as Jake and The Neverland Pirates, Peppa pig, Fireman Sam etc. There is also an ICT area, with programmable toys which provides endless opportunities for both staff and children to support learning.
Children are encouraged to be creative throughout the day and have access to childrens safety scissors, pencils, crayons, chalks. The staff also provide messy play activities throughout the day such as sand; experimenting with the children by slowly adding water, water play to look at floating and sinking or melting with ice cubes or making homemade playdough with the children to develop their imaginations and hand and eye co-ordination.
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Our pre-school room caters for children aged 4-5 years approximately who are preparing to make the transition to primary school. The staff in this room are highly skilled in preparing the children for this change.
This is quite a fast and furious development phase. Children grow in confidence by the day, and become more skilled in so many different areas. They’re physically more able, with fine motor skills developing. Their use of language flourishes and their enquiring minds are keen to know the answers to all life’s mysteries. Like little sponges, they soak up all the information and all the different experiences we can share with them.
In the Pre-school Room, our team plan activities to reflect the Early Years Foundation Stage for the development of pre-school children. There are opportunities to learn at every turn, including early reading and maths skills, mark-making, imaginative play and ICT , which are reinforced through what we call ‘purposeful play’. At this point, we start to introduce a little more structure to the day, along with other activities such as baking (a great way of supporting early maths), water play (to support science). Our aim is to instill and encourage self confidence and a real enjoyment of learning so when they start school, they’re self assured and raring to go.
The room is divided into well-defined “learning areas”, each equipped with resources that focus on a particular area of learning. These include emerging writing, mathematics, reading, information technology, role play, construction and many others. Our role play area includes a shop, small table and chairs, dressing up etc so the children can develop their role play skills and expand their imaginations. One week there may be a doctors surgery the next a hairdressers. The children are given some props and then can create games of their own or with their peers. This area is a great source of fun and learning about the world around them. Our construction area is filled with construction toys including, puzzles, bricks, threading, magnets etc. These can all be accessed by the children at any point in their day, they can decide what they would like to play with.
Evidence from research shows that high quality pre-school provision during the foundation years has a lasting impact on children’s future learning. Both our pre-school rooms provide those “high quality” elements which come together to create a rich learning environment and one in which children’s learning can truly thrive. The well thought out space provides children with beautiful bright and spacious rooms with free-flow access to the outdoors as well as resources, equipment and materials to stimulate and support early learning, creativity and curiosity. By focusing on the children’s own interests and ideas whether this is puddles, dinosaurs, shadows or bear-hunts, learning is based on an emergent, rather than a fixed curriculum. Early literacy skills are well supported by practitioners having a deep understanding of the process children go through in acquiring these skills.
Being able to enjoy an outdoor curriculum, learning about keeping healthy, having links with local primary schools, helping children have a real sense of belonging and supporting them to test their ideas and theories and understanding is a key part of what our pre-schools offer each child.
The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) was introduced in England in September 2008. It is the framework that guides the care and education for children from the age of 0 to the end of their 5th year. It is followed within nursery and will continue to the end of your child’s reception year in main stream school.
Nursery has a legal requirement to pass on information to your chosen school about your child’s development within the seven areas of learning set out in the EYFS. We do this through the observations recorded in each child’s development file and through our discussions with you.
You will have your own worries about your child starting school. These may have come from your own experiences of school or maybe based around fears about how your child is going to make the transition to a school environment. The chance is that when you leave your child on their first day you will be very apprehensive and possibly tearful.
Try not to communicate these fears to your child, either verbally or non-verbally. He/she will have no real idea about school, so a bit of positive talking will go a long way.
However, it is important to be honest. It is not a good idea to ‘overplay’ how wonderful it will be because if it is not, your child will feel he/she has done something wrong. It is much better to say ‘I think you will have a lovely time and we can talk about what you did when I collect you at lunch time/ this afternoon/after lunch’.
Getting new uniform and shoes can be an exciting part of starting school so make this an occasion, not a rushed event with groans about the cost of it all. Share the occasion with family members — granny/ older siblings and… get the tissues ready!
If your child will be having packed lunches, remember to show them how to cope with things like cartons of juice, sandwich wrappers etc. and let them take an active part in choosing the contents of their lunch box. Do not give so much they will not be able to eat it all.
You will be offered one or more school visits. Prepare for these with your child, talking about what will happen and what you will be doing whilst they are visiting (take the teacher’s lead as he or she may want you to leave or be happy for you to stay — they are very experienced with this) and most important of all, when you will be back. Prepare a small but special treat or outing for afterwards, this helps to make the whole experience a positive one.
Do not worry if your child is quiet or uncommunicative to start with, they have a lot of new experiences to deal with and if a cuddle is all that is asked, take your cue from your child.
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Our outside area is a great asset to the nursery. We have a really large secluded space which is ideal to promote our indoor/outdoor flow. We have a large playground area for balls, bikes, wet play and bouncing. Our undercover area allows us to play outside even in the rain.
We provide a rich and varied environment which supports children’s learning and development. This gives children the confidence to explore and learn in secure and safe, yet challenging, in indoor and outdoor spaces. We see outdoors as a classroom in itself and will take the children out in all types of weather. Please make sure they have a coat and outdoor footwear.
Impact absorbent safety surface incorporating underwater theme
During your child’s time in nursery you may notice that we take the children outside as often as possible. We feel this is an important part of their nursery experience for the following reasons:
Outdoor play is vital for the healthy growth and development of all children. The majority of the children within the nursery are placed full time, so it becomes even more important that they should get the opportunity to experience the freedom of being outside in the fresh air during the day. They should engage in energetic activity and experience the sense of well being that it brings.
Outdoor play is an integral part of the curriculum and it enhances the child’s learning. It also helps to develop strong spatial awareness, co-ordination, balance and movement and develops strong muscles, with opportunities to run, push, pull climb and jump.
We endeavour to create an atmosphere where children can learn to take risks in a controlled environment. The children have access to manufactured equipment alongside open ended resources in order to develop their imagination, solve problems and learn about the world around them.
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Our Out of School Club (The Jolly Steppers) works in partnership with our independent school Green Meadow Independent Primary School and other local schools to provide high quality childcare service for children and families after school. We are a fully inclusive setting registered for children aged 4 – 11 years. We collect children from the following schools:
The Jolly Steppers Out of School Club is a play environment and provides exciting and stimulating activities for all ages. We will collect your child from the above schools using either a walking bus system or on our mini bus and bring them back to the club. They’re usually ready for a drink and something to eat after a busy day at school so we provide a healthy home cooked tea for the children, with fruit and a pudding for dessert ensuring that there are plenty of healthy options on offer. We will then keep the children happily entertained with lots of different activities, such as table-hockey, board games, arts and crafts, and outdoor play (they always find some energy from somewhere!). We also plan regular themed activities and special events. If your child would rather get on with their homework, we make sure they have a quiet spot and appropriate support
During school holidays we operate full day care for families who need childcare over these periods as we understand that school holidays can be a real puzzle, but it’s one we’ve solved. Our Holiday Club provide the support you need and give children the chance to take part in a range of exciting programmes and new experiences, such as creative workshops, games, sports, ceramics, drama, dance, art, cookery, photography and media, music and culturally themed weeks. Instead of being cooped up at home with grown ups, they’ll be with children similar to their own age, forging the kind of important friendships that can last a lifetime.
They’re based in a separate building to the nursery, which gives them complete independence from the little ones, so they can relax in their own space and play in their own outside play area which contains a state of the art climbing frame including a climbing wall, rope bridge, slides, rope ladder, tyre swing etc. All of this is surrounded by safety flooring which incorporates counting games such as hop-scotch within it.
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