Prospectus

Watnall Preschool has been giving children a great start in their education since 1978.

Our vision – then and now – is to deliver outstanding, accessible and caring early years education. We do this by employing highly qualified, friendly and dedicated staff members with passionate, above-and-beyond commitment to excellence.

As a registered early years provider, we care for children from the age of two right up to when they go to school. We’re affiliated to and supported by the Preschool Learning Alliance (PSLA), as well as maintaining close contact with local primary schools – ensuring our thinking and methods align closely with the ever-evolving early years curriculum.

We also receive the local authority’s Nursery Education Grant for 2, 3 and 4 year-olds.

What your child learns at Watnall Preschool will provide strong foundations for the rest of their educational life. Here you’ll find all the activities and opportunities you’d expect in any nursery or nursery school – with a strong focus on early learning, and a higher adult-to-child ratio than the required minimum of 1:8 for over threes and 1:4 for under threes.

Our intakes are in line with the school calendar, but places are available throughout the year so your child can start whenever they’re ready. Just ask!

We always try to accommodate your preferred days, but as we’re a small preschool accepting 20 children per session (16 over 3s and 4 under 3s), we may not be able to offer your first choice of places immediately.

Our highly qualified teaching staff have years of experience working with children – and crucially, many are parents themselves. Ongoing training and development ensures our children are always benefitting from the most up-to-date methods and the highest standard of teaching and care. All children are assigned a ‘key person, who will closely oversee their individual development and wellbeing while they’re at Watnall Preschool.

We operate out of a shared venue – the 20s-built Women’s Institute hall in Watnall Village – which is currently let to us for the following session times. If the opportunity becomes available in future, we hope to extend our service to offer five full school days.

Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays
AM   9.00-12.00pm
PM    12.00-3.00pm

If you’d like your child to ‘double up’ sessions and stay with us for a full day on Mondays, Tuesdays or Thursdays, that’s fine – all we ask is that you prepare a <packed lunch> for them. If your children are attending for the afternoon only, you’re welcome to drop them off at 11.55am and they can join the rest of the children for lunch.

Wednesdays and Fridays (morning only)
AM 9.00am-12.00pm
PM Closed

Watnall Preschool is registered for the Government’s Nursery Education Grant – so from the term after your child turns 3, they’ll be entitled to 15 free hours (five sessions in total) with us.

At the beginning of term, we’ll ask you to complete a form and supply us with a copy of your child’s birth certificate – then we take care of the rest.

Until your child becomes eligible for their five free sessions, we’ll invoice you half-termly at a rate of £9.50 per session. We ask that fees are paid in advance, with a one-off admin fee of £20 (which will also cover your child’s smart red schoolbag). While you’re welcome to take your child out of sessions for term-time holidays or other occasions, we’re sure you will appreciate that we are unable to refund fees.
We accept fees by cash, cheque or direct bank transfer (contact us for our bank details) – just remember to use your child’s initial and surname as the reference.

When your child joins Watnall Preschool, they enter into a safe, richly stimulating environment – with activities and teaching that’s geared to their individual age and stage. We operate in line with the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) curriculum – the early years equivalent of the National Curriculum – which covers children’s education and development from birth to the end of the reception year at school.

The EYFS framework covers:
Personal, social and emotional development
Communication and language
Physical development
Literacy
Mathematics
Understanding the world
Expressive arts and design

Within each area, there are several ‘early learning goals’ for children to work towards and more specific next steps. We deliver a full range of activities and take account of each child’s individual needs when planning our curriculum. We’ll keep you regularly updated on our plans for each half term via our closed Facebook group and half-termly newsletters.

Your child will have a personal development folder, in which their key person will record observations, milestones and pictures tracking their progress. You’re welcome to look at this whenever you wish. We also offer parents a meeting once a year to discuss their child’s progress.

If you’d like to find out more about the EYFS framework, just ask or view the document online here.

Each session is based around a routine. This quickly becomes familiar to your child, helping them to become secure, confident, independent and able to try new things within a known structure.

A typical session falls into three parts, with a break half way through for healthy snacks (provided by us). All we ask is that parents make a £5-per-term donation towards the cost of snacks, as well as baking ingredients… for those days when our children get creative in the kitchen!)

Arrive, find your name tag and peg, and hang up coats and bags
Free play – with different toys and activities (painting, duplo, puzzles, etc) set up around the room for children to engage with as they choose. We’ll include some more structured, adult-led activities in addition.
Circle time – where we bring the children together to sing songs, rhymes, play musical instruments, etc
Snacks (generally milk or water, fruit, carrots and crackers)
Free play
Story time
Home time

As parents ourselves, we know how anxious you can feel leaving your child in a new environment for the first time. That’s why we tailor our settling-in period to each individual child. Some only need their parent or carer with them for one session; some for two or three – while others may need a little longer.

Generally, we would suggest:

An initial visit, which is free.
Arrive for your first visit about half an hour after the start of the session.
If your child is not used to being without you, a gradual separation may be the answer. Talk to your child regularly in the days leading up to their first ‘solo’ session – let them know you’re going to go off home/to work while they have lots of fun with the teachers and other children – then you’ll be back to pick them up at the end!

For their first few sessions without you by their side, let them know you’re off now, remind them you’ll be back to collect them later, say a clear and positive goodbye and (the hard bit) walk straight out of the door. Then try to be the first back through the door at hometime to reassure your child that they’re being picked up at the same time as everybody else.

Remember: Don’t hesitate to call us to find out how your little one is coping on their first day(s). We’ve all been there, we know how it feels and we really don’t mind.

If your child is not dry, please provide them with a bag containing:

Nappies or pull-ups
Wipes
Nappy bags
Change of clothes

We take hygiene extremely seriously, so all our younger children are changed in a designated area away from the playroom.

If your child will be staying at preschool for a full day (9-3pm), we ask you to provide them with a packed lunch in a labelled lunchbox. Unfortunately we don’t have refrigeration facilities for potentially up to 20 lunchboxes, so please include a small ice pack for any items that need to be kept chilled.

At Watnall Preschool, we’re committed to promoting health and wellbeing – and that includes nutrition. For this reason, we’d be grateful if you could support us in providing a healthy, balanced lunch box, not including:

Sweets and chocolate
Food containing nuts (although we appreciate nuts are part of a healthy diet, some children can have an allergic reaction to any contact with nuts.
Fizzy/sugary drinks

While there are currently no government regulations in this area, OFSTED have asked us to provide you with the British Nutrition Foundation’s guidelines for a healthy lunchbox.

Please mark coats and other removable items of clothing clearly with your child’s name. However, in the interests of safeguarding children, we wouldn’t recommend writing their name on the outside of any clothing or bags.

We’ll supply aprons for any very messy activities – but we’d always recommend saving your children’s ‘best’ clothes for non-preschool days!

A loop to help your child hang up their coats is always appreciated – and while dungarees do look very nice, they can make life difficult for everyone when the toilet is urgently needed!

In winter, please include hat, gloves, scarf and coat for your child so they can continue to enjoy fresh air and outdoor play (weather permitting). And just in case, it’s always good to pop a change of clothes in your child’s schoolbag – as well as nappies, pull-ups, wipes and nappy bags if they’re not toilet trained.

If your child is going to be on holiday, sick or absent for any reason, we really need to know for our attendance records – just give us a call or email

enquiries@watnallpreschool.co.uk

Both the Preschool Learning Alliance and Watnall Preschool recognise parents as the first and most important educators of their young children. As such, it’s our aim to support you and make you feel part of what we do here at preschool – as well as giving you the opportunity to see first-hand how your child spends their days with us.

Parent helpers at each session are invaluable to us – and we really depend on you! However, we know that many of you juggle busy home and working lives, so we ask you to help out for just one session per half term if you can (though if you’d like to volunteer for more, please do!).

For this we run a rota system, which we’ll post on the notice board in front of the doors as you enter the building. To give you plenty of time to plan (and swap to a more convenient slot if necessary), we aim to have the new list up two weeks before the end of each term.

Helper duties could include anything from preparing craft materials to watching over an activity, fielding phone calls or washing up. And while you’re with us, you get the pleasure of watching your child at play too – many parents tell us it’s a great insight into how their little one interacts with others and plays when they’re not at home.

We will of course welcome your younger children – though they will be deemed to be in your care rather than that of the staff.

Most members of staff are trained first-aiders, so any minor incidents can be treated at preschool. In an emergency, we’ll contact the parents/guardians and a doctor immediately, so please make sure we have your most up-to-date phone number(s). When you register, we’ll ask you to complete a medical and emergency treatment permission form.

Please let us know if your child has any ongoing conditions such as asthma, diabetes, allergies, etc – or if he/she is on a particular diet.

If your child is ill, please let us know as soon as possible – especially if the illness is infectious – and keep him/her out of preschool to avoid infecting others. In particular, those who have had diarrhoea and/or vomiting should stay at home for 48 hours afterwards and in the event of Chickenpox, for 10 days from the appearance of the first spots. For more on this, please ask to see our Health and Safety policy.

We’re incredibly safety-conscious at preschool and take great care in monitoring the arrival and departure of all our children – particularly since we’re close to a busy main road. One of our safety strategies is to have a member of staff at the door when you arrive at session, as well as a second staff member manning the outside gate where possible. So they can concentrate on supervising children’s movements, please avoid striking up lengthy conversations (though of course, you’re always welcome to talk to them when they’re not on duty!).

We must stress that when arriving at or leaving preschool, it’s your responsibility to close the outside gate if it is unmanned for any reason. We thank you for your cooperation with this important safety precaution.

If the wooden bench is still across the gate when you arrive, please feel free to move it and wait in the yard until session finishes and we open the door at the end of the disabled ramp. We’ll then ask that you collect your child and any artwork, bags, etc.

If someone other than you or another regular carer is collecting your child, please let us know so we can make a record – we’re unable to release children to anyone if we don’t have your express authority.

We’re committed to creating an environment in which children are safe from abuse – and in which any suspicion of abuse is responded to promptly and appropriately. We have a detailed policy on this, and all staff are fully trained in safeguarding.

To protect our long-term budgeting plans, we must ask that if you take your child away from preschool before they would normally go to school, you give us at least half a term’s notice – or pay half a term’s fees in lieu.

The excellent adult-to-child ratio at Watnall Preschool enables us to help all children to progress, at their own rate, in all areas of development.

We’re experienced in working closely with professionals across a range of special needs, and we have a qualified Special Educational Needs Support Coordinator (SENCO) to provide additional support to children with additional needs.

You’ll find our notice boards in the entrance as well as inside the main hall – containing details of any forthcoming events or important information. Please check them regularly, together with our periodic newsletters.

Photography – of day-to-day activities or events and outings – is a great resource for us. We may use images within your child’s development folder, in printed materials or online, or simply for Preschool records. In order to publicise who we are and what we do, we may also invite the press to come along from time to time and children’s pictures may appear in newspapers.

Of course, we want parents to be comfortable with this – so in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998, we’ll ask for your written consent.

As a registered charity, we are a committee-run preschool, with a board of trustees elected at the Annual General Meeting in March each year. The committee is responsible for overseeing the administrative and financial running of the preschool, as well as organising fundraising events such as the Christmas Fayre, etc.

Put simply, without our committee, we cannot exist – so we rely on the generosity of parents and carers who donate their time and skills to help us continue performing at the very highest level. If you’d like to get involved – whether as a general member or in a specific role such as Treasurer or Chair – please let us know and we can give you a feel for what’s involved.

Watnall Preschool’s policies help us make sure that we provide a high quality service to our children and their families, in accordance with the Early Years Foundation Stage Statutory Framework. These are reviewed annually. You’ll find a full folder of our policies in the foyer. And as with every other aspect of our preschool, your suggestions are always very welcome!

We hope you’ll be very happy with our service – but if there’s ever a time where you feel we’ve let you or your child down, we really want to know about it. Please speak to the Supervisor in the first instance – and if he/she isn’t able to resolve the issue, please ask to see our complaints policy.

Since registering with OFSTED, Watnall Preschool has always achieved very good results. We are very proud of this and always strive to maintain – and where possible build upon – the high standards that we’ve worked so hard to put in place.

There have been five OFSTED inspections for Watnall Preschool – most recently in February 2017. All have been very positive, showing that we’re achieving the desired outcomes in all seven key areas of learning.

You can download the full report on OFSTED’s website

In 2017, our inspector said:

“Staff plan activities that follow children’s individual interests and support what they need to learn next.”

“The learning environment is stimulating and organised well. Toys and resources are arranged to enable children to make choices about what they want to do. Children play happily with staff and other children.”

“The manager monitors the educational programmes and children’s progress. This ensures any gaps in their learning are identified and acted on. Effective relationships with other professionals and agencies ensure that children get any additional support they require.”

“Staff treat children with kindness and respect. Children display good levels of confidence and self-esteem and happily seek out staff for comfort and reassurance.”

“Staff use a range of interesting and age-appropriate opportunities to teach all children about other people, places and festivals, such as Chinese New Year. This helps them to develop their understanding of the wider world through meaningful experiences.”

As a registered charity, Watnall Preschool has always held fundraising events to pay for new toys and equipment. This vital source of income helps us to continue providing a high-quality service for all our children – as fees are mostly used up paying for daily overheads like staff wages and rent. This means we need to raise between £3-4,000 a year – no mean feat! So it goes without saying that your support and input is very much appreciated. Our yearly events are listed below:

The Easter Raffle – drawn during our Easter celebrations week. This year’s prizes included a fantastic Easter food hamper, family passes to a wide variety of East Midlands attractions, local theatre tickets and Notts County football tickets.

A Children’s Sponsored Event during our summer term. This is always bags of fun and gets both children and their families involved.

The Christmas Fayre – a fun-packed morning with lots on offer. Visit Santa in his magical grotto, buy delicious cakes, and try your luck in the lucky dip and tombola!

We hold a variety of social events throughout the year for children and their families. It’s wonderful to see everyone taking part and a great way for all of us to get to know each other better – as drop-off and pick-up times are often so busy!

Annual Social Events include:

Our annual Egg Rolling Event – a fantastic start to our Easter celebrations! The format is simple – the children roll hard-boiled eggs down a local hill in Watnall. At the bottom, they’re exchanged for a chocolate egg – which the children usually proceed to devour!

In order to celebrate the Preschool Learning Alliance’s play week, we arrange an annual Teddy Bears’ Picnic in summer. This is usually held in a local park – just bring a picnic, a teddy and get ready to join in with some simple sports!

Our Winter Term culminates with the tear-jerking Christmas Nativity Play (the tears are all on the part of the parents!). Cohme and hear the Christmas story told through the eyes of the donkey – a truly unforgettable experience! At this event, we’ll also draw our Christmas raffle.