First Day at School
If you feel that your child needs more help to settle in for the first few days, please talk to the staff to arrange this. If you have any questions for any member of staff, please could you make an appointment for a mutually convenient time, as staff will be busy setting up the rooms at the beginning of the day. Obviously if it is something which might affect your child during the day, please let a member of staff know upon arrival. The first day at nursery is not only a big day for our children but also for us as parents too, where we see our sons & daughters reach their next milestone. We’ve all been there so here are a few tips to help you on that first day.
The staff are warm and welcoming and will reassure you that ‘they’ll be all right’ if you leave your child upset, but they really will be. It’s not long before they find the toys and (sorry!) forget about you worrying at home.
We now have 4 rooms for the children these are Snowdrops, Sweet peas and Peach, those going onto school the following September are in Apple Room.
During their first week every child is given a book bag, and every session a new book to read at home. Check this bag and the notebook for notes. Your child takes their book bag into the nursery each session, and at home time it needs collecting from the box in the foyer.
That favourite teddy, doll or toy can visit too – but remember to label it and take it home!!!
Don’t forget to label all their nursery uniform and also provide a labelled bag to keep change of clothes in. This might sound obvious but still children come in with unnamed items. Other items to label also shoes including wellies, hats, coats, rain jackets and sun cream and comforters ie blankets and any toys or teddies.
There are forms for a company called My tag on the back wall of the nursery who do print labels for clothing and stickers to use on any item. Other mums have used them and they have been great and they even guarantee their labels do not come off in the wash or the dishwasher!!
If you have any questions, no matter how small or silly you might feel they are, ASK. There are always a number of parents around at drop off and pick up times to talk to – and the staff always make the time to chat to parents.
What is a typical Day at Garden Cottage Nursery like?
The timetable for both rooms is very similar however, they are flexible so that we can make the most of unexpected events. We learn through play and have a lot of fun in the process!
8:00am – Breakfast Club
8:30am – The school day begins with ‘Free Play’
Children can choose from a range of activities such as puzzles, artwork, drawing, games etc.
This is a time when the children practice, days of the week, Spanish, numbers etc. and also talk about what they have been doing away from the setting.
Roll on Snack Time, Outside and Inside activities
The children have access to milk, water, fruit (a donation from parents is always gratefully received) and a biscuit, throughout the session and can choose when to have this. They are encouraged to find their own named place-mats, sit at the table and pass the plates around, and when finished they wash up their own dishes and cups. The children choose what they would like to do both inside and outside and these activities are available throughout the day, along with music and movement.
11.45-1:00pm – Lunchtime
(Lunchtime for children staying all day)
11.45am – Music and Movement Story & News Time
(Morning children only)
12.30pm – Lunchtime
Lunchtime for those children going at 1.30pm and also for those children attending for the afternoon session. For those children only involved in the morning session, they go through for story time, songs and the chance to tell their news.
12:30pm – The morning session ends/The afternoon session begins
1:30pm – End of session
Those children involved in the morning session only but staying for lunch are collected.
1.45pm Roll on Snack Time, Outside and Inside activities
(Same as morning session).
The children have access to milk, water, fruit (a donation from parents is always greatfully received) and a biscuit, through out the session and can choose when to have this. They are encouraged to find their own named place-mats, sit at the table and pass the plates around, and when finished they wash up their own dishes and cups. The children choose what they would like to do both inside and outside and these activities are available throughout the day, along with music and movement. The children are encouraged to participate in the various activities that are on offer to them.
4.15pm – Teatime begins
4:30pm – The afternoon session ends
Tea time for those children staying until 6:00pm
6:00pm – Evening session ends
What should I do when dropping off my child?
There are few things that you need to know when dropping off your child for the first time.
Please enter via the Highden Drive. If entering via the main School drive and dropping off at Little Windlesham or the Windlesham House School then please drive slowly as there may be children playing.
The nursery does have its own car park facility for dropping off and collecting only. Please park carefully, as farm vehicles will need to pass.
All parents and their children should enter via the main entrance and ring the doorbell; if you are late you will be asked (a sign will be placed over the doorbell) to enter via the gate at the side of the nursery, a doorbell can be found next to the wooden gate.
- Find your child’s allocated peg for his/her coat.
- Wellies go in the slot below.
- Changing bag goes in plastic box in the centre of the entrance hall/cloakroom (a note is left in the bag when nappies are changed).
- Ring the doorbell and someone will open the door and greet you and your child and then you can take your child through into the room.
- Take your child’s’ book bag with you and help your child put it in the box by the door.
- For peach room, once you have settled your child and said goodbye you go back out the way you came in apple room parents leave via the wooden side gate.
NB If the notice is up which asks you to use the other doorbell by the side gate, don’t worry you are not late! It is used if the doorbell ringing is disturbing the children already in the room. In this instance please ring the bell by the side gate (to the right of the nursery as you face it) and a member of staff will open the gate and show you through Apple Room into Peach Room. After goodbyes you will normally leave by the normal exit through to the entrance hall/cloakroom.
What is the Garden Cottage Nursery Uniform?
We request that all of the children wear the Garden Cottage Nursery uniform.
Autumn and Spring Terms:
White Polo Shirt*
Plain navy tracksuit bottoms (can be purchased from local stores)
White Polo Shirt*
Plain navy shorts/navy tracksuit bottoms (can be purchased from local stores)
Blue and white checked dresses.
*The white polo shirts and navy sweatshirts can be purchased through the Nursery office.
All these can be obtained at a cost of:
Garden Cottage Nursery Polo t-shirt – new £5.00
Garden Cottage Nursery Sweatshirt – new £10.00
PLEASE ENSURE ALL YOUR CHILD’S UNIFORM AND BELONGINGS ARE CLEARLY AND PERMANENTLY NAMED
This reduces the risk of items being lost and also encourages children to recognise their own name. We will write on unlabelled items with a permanent marker!!
Will my child settle into the Nursery?
On the whole, children settle into the nursery very quickly. Should your child take a little longer, we welcome parents at our sessions until they feel that their child has settled. If you do have any queries about anything concerning starting school, please see Kerry or Jane.
What should I bring to school?
You should bring the following items to school.
Reading Folder (supplied by the Nursery)
Coat, hat, wellies (all LABELLED). We go out in all weathers so please ensure your child has appropriate clothing.
Sun hat, cream (LABELLED) in the Summer Term.
Changing Bag (if applicable – LABELLED). Potties are provided. When potty training, please also ensure that adequate changes of clothing are provided, as accidents may be frequent.
please note that we do have a nursery suncream scheme where by paying a small fee your child will be able to use the nursery suncream(factor 50) and therefore you do not need to provide your own.
The label company MYTAG have order forms hanging on the notice board in the front entrance, please free to take one.
What should I do when collecting my child?
Parents/Guardians collecting children from the Nursery should wait in the Entrance Hall unless otherwise directed. Please refrain from ringing the doorbell at lunchtime as this can upset some of the children.
If you or your assigned person are not going to be collecting your child, a member of staff will ask you to fill in the collection book. If it is arranged while your child is at the Nursery, please phone the office and give a password for the person picking up.
If picking up at 12.30 you will normally wait in the entrance hall/cloakroom and at 12.30 a member of staff will open the inner door and start handing over children to the parents who are waiting.
Remember to collect coat/wellies and changing bag etc.
Also your child’s book bag will be in a plastic box labelled with the name of the room.
If collecting at 1.30pm after lunch, or 4.30pm or 6pm you will normally ring the same bell unless the notice is up directing you to the side gate.
Remember to check the notice board to see what activities/events are coming up and also check the white board to see what the children have been doing that day and what they have had to eat at snack/lunch time.
Please note that the Parent/Guardian is responsible for the welfare of the child when leaving the front entrance. It is requested that children do not play in the playground as this disrupts those who are staying.
Upon exit, those wishing to go south onto the A24 (towards Worthing) may drive slowly through the grounds of Windlesham House School and adhere to all traffic notices as children are playing.
What happens when my child moves from Peach into Apple room?
At the start of a new term there may be occasion where the named pegs in the main entrance may need to be reshuffled. This is due to new starters and children who have left. Please check where your child’s named peg is and make them aware of this.
Apple Room children are still free to go in the Peach Room to visit during the day. So if your child is unsure or nervous at the beginning of term in Apple room please reassure them they can ask a member of staff if it’s ok.
Can we take holidays during term time?
Whilst we do not approve of children taking holidays during the school term, we recognise that occasionally you may have to go on holiday during this time. Please let Jane or Kerry know well in advance if you are planning to do so. Garden Cottage Nursery regrets that it is unable to refund fees in these circumstances.
Do you take the children on outings?
We aim to take the children on outings to various places of interest such as regular visits to the farm, woods and surrounding grounds. We also invite professionals into the Nursery, depending upon the topic we are studying. Parents/Guardians will be informed before hand and forms may need to be filled in. Parents/Guardians may be asked to make a contribution towards the cost of the outing and will be informed accordingly.
What should I do if my child is ill/missing school?
If your child is ill, please keep them at home and contact Jane or Kerry on 01903 877718 as soon as possible. Please telephone the office on the first day of absence. If you are aware that your child will not be attending for reasons other than illness we requset that you let us know in writing in advance.
If your child has an illness that requires medication short-term or long term then please could you hand these to jane or kerry and fill in necessary forms.
Following an illness please make sure that your child has fully recovered before returning to nursery. We request that there is a good clear 48 hours following any sickness. Please could you make sure that all forms including the medical forms have been signed they can be found in the form section of this web-site.
Should your child become ill during their time at nursery, we will contact you. If your child has a temperature we will give them calpol (assuming that you have given permission for us to do so)
please inform the office of any changes to address as soon as possible and make sure that emergency contact numbers are up-to-date.
Can I help out in the nursery?
Parent helpers are always welcome in the Nursery. It makes a significant difference to the range of experiences available to the children. You will need to complete a DBS Discloure form which is available from the office if you are attending on a regular basis.
Can I attend the school’s activities?
There are a number of activities for children and parents at Garden Cottage nursery, they’re great fun and it’s wonderful to have parents involvement. You’re welcome even if they’re at a time you don’t usually attend. Details of the activities are included in the newsletter, which is provided to each parent and a short term plan for each room is on the notice board in the front entrance.
At Garden Cottage Nursery we like to extend into the community to support charities, whether local or national, with the children themselves being involved. we do this in different ways – for example dressing up, performing, parents evening summer fairs etc. we also encourage children in the performing arts and every year we have Christmas Nativities and summer concerts. This is especially good for the childrens confidence and self-esteem.
The GCN website is a useful source of information on the nursery and other general parenting information.
Do you have an Ofsted Inspection Report?
Download the Ofsted report
How to obtain funding? And pay using childcare vouchers.
Parents who wish their children to receive Government funding MUST send in a copy of their child’s birth certificate, along with a completed funding form (to be found on the registration forms part of this website), without which funding will be refused. We offer funding all year round and term time this needs to be discussed with Jane before Starting so you have the best option given we also accept Childcare vouchers. You can find the registration forms here.
What is your policy regarding behaviour and discipline?
At Garden Cottage Nursery we seek to establish a loving environment upholding values such as friendship, mutual respect, trust, openness, forgiveness, understanding, support, self-discipline and good manners. In cases of undesirable behaviour, a child will be given help in a positive manner which will encourage them to overcome such behaviour.any iccident that occures involving your child will be recorded and passed on, you will be notified and kept informed of the matter in line with our Confidentiality Policy. All parents/carers will be fully involved.
Do you have an Equal Opportunities policy?
We at Garden Cottage Nursery recognise that all individuals are unique and have different needs. Planning for learning takes account of equal opportunities by promoting all forms of diversity within long term and short term plans. When we do this, we consider the diversity of your society, not just the population represented at Garden Cottage Nursery. Such planning contributes to the process of ongoing evaluation by having a proactive view of how we shall implement aspects of equal opportunities within the curriculum.
Equal Opportunities for girls and boys is promoted by the general environment of the Nursery which includes displays, the actions of staff with regard to language and learning and the use of appropriate resources. We acknowledge that there are boys and girls represented at the Nursery, but that access to learning activities is not dependent upon a particular gender.We encourage children to explore in a positive way the differences and diversity of people by ensuring that positive images are reflected in posters, books, artefacts, toys, dolls and models. This includes materials which explore social experiences such as bereavement, separation, starting school and disability.We monitor our practice relating to standards for child care and education and are visited by assessors. Full time staff will have their practice monitored by external agencies such as Social Services and Ofsted. We attend training and have access to resources to increase our knowledge of diverse cultures. We monitor equipment purchased to assist learning and consider if such materials reflect a multi-cultural and multi-faith society. (Photographic and curriculum evidence of activities presented to children to celebrate diversity is available at Garden Cottage Nursery). Most importantly, we monitor the reaction of children to the activities presented and adjust our approach when it is felt necessary to emphasise particular features that promote equal opportunity.Garden Cottage Nursery follows the Code of Practice for Children with Special Education Needs (SEN). The Nursery endeavours to identify children with special needs and supports parents in locating appropriate individuals and agencies for support. Our method of observation, record keeping and assessment, which operates in conjunction with parents, enables us to monitor children’s needs and progress on an individual basis.
Where are your policy documents and information?
Garden Cottage Nursery policy documents and information are available in the blue file in the Entrance Hall. There is also a parent’s notice board in the Front Entrance Hall with up-to-date information and planning.
What is the progression through the nursery and transition to school?
When starting at Garden Cottage Nursery 2-3 year old Children initially will be in Peach room and progress into Apple room when they are 3-4 year olds. Here they are preparing for school, please see the attached policy for new setting/school transitions.
What is the complaints procedure?
If for any reason parents are not happy that the Nursery is meeting the National Standards for Day Care, please contact Jane or Kerry. Alternatively, ring or write to the Regulator: Ofsted (03001231231).
What should I do if the weather is really bad?
If there is doubt that the Nursery might be closed because of adverse weather please look at the County Council Website www.westsussex.gov.uk from 7.45am, or call the nursery on 01903 877718.
What reports do you provide?
We assess the children continuously throughout the year to assess how they are progressing and to inform us what the next step in their learning should be. There is a parent consultation in the Autumn Term for Apple Room children, and in the Spring Term for Peach Room children. A written report will be sent at the end of the school year. However, if you have any concerns about your child’s progress please speak to either Kerry or Jane.
There is a Parents Educational Evening, which is a good opportunity for you to meet other parents and to discuss any concerns and ideas that you may have with the staff.
Every year, we hold parent meetings to advise on and discuss further schooling. Here we would go through the Development Records and inform you as to how your child is progressing. We STRONGLY encourage parents to attend these meetings.
Any parent who has a problem, personal or relevant to their child, must feel free to come and discuss it with Jane at any time – her door is always open.
If there is any further information you require, please ask a member of staff or speak to Jane or Kerry
What is the curriculum at the Garden Cottage Nursery?
The aim of Garden Cottage Nursery it to produce a well-rounded and happy child that can make an easy transition into school life. We are very lucky to be able to take advantage of the facilities at Windlesham House School. The children will also benefit from Music and Foreign Languages each week.
Children will follow the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum:
This is structured into the following four distinct but complimentary themes:
A Unique Child, recognises that children are competent learners from birth the staff will encourage them to be resilient, confident and self-assured.
Positive Relationships, encouraging children to be strong and independent from a base of loving and secure relationships with parents and key workers.
Enabling Environments, the environment plays a key role in supporting and extending children’s development and learning.
Learning and Development, recognises that children develop and learn in different ways and at different rates, and that all areas of learning and development are equally important and inter-connected.
The statutory learning goals are expectations for most children to achieve by the end of the EYFS and can be broken down in to six main areas of development and learning:
Personal, Social, and Emotional Development
Communication and Language
Knowledge and Understanding of the World
Expressive Art and Design
Planning will take place by observing the children, then using what we have learnt to inform our planning for that child’s next steps. We do have a calendar of activities and celebrations that take place throughout the year and these will be introduced by staff, however if you would like your child to talk about any festival or celebration then please feel free to inform the staff so that we are able to include this is our daily plan.
We will be using the Ten Town, Jolly Phonics Sound Schemes and several reading schemes. This does not mean, however, that these will be the only schemes used as we hope to develop individuals who can fit easily into school life anywhere. Children are encouraged to develop a love of reading and you can support your child by reading with them regularly. They will bring home 2 types of reading book. The first the children choose from the Nursery library and the second is a reading book that is appropriate for their current reading level when we feel they have developed and are ready. In the very early days, reading will involve telling a story using the pictures.
They will have a Reading Folder in which these books will be put, along with a reading diary and any information we need to communicate with you. This will be treated as a two-way method of communication between ourselves and the parents.
Are there any other little things that I need to know?
There are always a few questions that need answering, if there is anything we haven’t covered just ask us and we’ll add it here.
Any pieces of artwork your child has created will be put in the slot above the coat hook so remember to check this regularly.
In summer you have a choice of providing your own sun cream or paying a small fee for GCN to use their own.
The newly formed Parents Committee meet regularly each term and welcome any new members or even if you just have suggestions or new ideas you want to share. We also help organise and run various events throughout the year and would welcome anyone who simply wants to help at the odd event.