HETTYPreschoolHoole, Chester

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New Starters

As you are aware, at HETTY we are bound by national directives and guidance issued by the Department of Education. Any change to the plans for reopening on the week beginning 2nd of September will be communicated to parents at the earliest opportunity via this web page, so do please keep checking back periodically.

 

Welcome to HETTY Preschool

Here at HETTY we consider ourselves to be a family and we are so pleased that you have chosen to put your child in our care and join our family at HETTY. Thank you.

Obviously we won’t be able to have our usual parents’ evening for new starters because of Covid-19. This would have been the evening where you would meet the HETTY team and ask any questions. Instead, we have compiled this information page which we hope will be of use to you.

We believe that every child is a complete individual and so for that reason, we don’t enforce a particular settling in strategy. Some children will come in through the door and never look back, some will refuse to step foot through the door on the first day, but most will be somewhere in between. We listen to your opinions, after all you know your children better than we do! You might think it’s better to stay with them for a while each day and gradually leave them for longer at a time, or you might just drop them at the door and go. We will work with you as parents to ensure the smoothest possible transition for your child. We do usually encourage parents/carers to come into the setting to help with settling your children in,  hopefully we will be able to continue  this arrangement as in previous years, but this will obviously be led by Government guidance.

We are proud of the high ratio of adults to children at HETTY. This ensures individual attention to the needs and development of each child.

We aim to ensure that each child:

• is in a safe, happy and stimulating environment;

• is given generous care and attention,

• has the chance to join with other children and adults to live, play, work and learn together

• is helped to take forward his/her learning and development by being encouraged to build on what he/she already knows and can do;

Please watch this video including words from Mrs Denise Bowes (our manager), Mrs Sue Noden (our deputy manager) and Mrs Su Chester (our teacher). We have also included a short film from the keyworkers in each group so you can put a face to a name, and a quick tour of the setting so you and your children can familiarise yourselves. Hopefully this video will put you at ease and explain all you need to know both practically and educationally.

Here are a few pointers to remember:

–          All clothes, bags, lunch boxes, wellies, etc. should be named

–          If your child is still in nappies, please send spares in their bag each day and also a packet of wipes.

–          Please make sure we know each day if you require a hot lunch ordering from school at the cost of £2.50

–          If your child is bringing their own packed lunch, don’t worry about a drink or spoons for yoghurts, etc – we can provide them.

–          We really don’t mind what you put in their lunch boxes, we would rather they eat something so don’t worry if all your child eats is marmalade sandwiches and crisps – just send it in!

–          Let us know if your child has any particular interests so we can incorporate them into our planning.

–          Likewise, if you as parents have any particular skills (juggling, lion taming, musical instrument playing, etc) or an interesting job (police, nurse, optician, clown) then please do let us know so we can invite you in some time to show us! (We were joking about the lion taming – the risk assessment would be horrendous to write for that!!!)

–          At HETTY Preschool we operate an open door policy where we encourage you to pop into the office for a chat at any time if you have any concerns  – we are currently awaiting Government guidance as to whether this will be possible, we do hope it will!

It would be really useful if you could send a named bag in with your child each day. This should contain a change of clothes, sun cream when hot (labelled with child’s name) and nappies and wipes (if needed). Please do check the bags each night as we will put any letters home or craft creations of the day inside it.

 

The following is information in a bit more detail:

General Information – All children will be assigned to a group: Percy Group, Fergus Group, Gordon Group or Edward Group. Within that group, each child will have their own key worker. Along with the preschool management team, the keyworker will help support you and your child in the HETTY environment and answer any questions you may have. The keyworker will be your main point of contact for any matters concerning your child’s well-being, development, health and behaviour, however you can of course speak to Mrs Bowes (manager), Mrs Chester (teacher) or Mrs Noden (deputy manager) at any time too. All staff are continually making observations of your child’s development and learning and sharing these with your child’s keyworker and teacher to enable planning for next steps for development. The keyworker will share your child’s progress with you and plan how to support your child in reaching their full potential. All observations are kept in individual ‘learning journeys’ which you are welcome to see at any time. We also encourage you to write your own post it notes to include in the learning journey, for example if your child has slept in their own bed, had a special trip somewhere, learnt how to use the toilet, etc.

Starting at HETTY – We want your child to feel happy and safe with us. To make sure that this is the case, the HETTY team will work with you to decide on how to help your child to settle into the setting. When your child first starts HETTY, it can be a very daunting experience especially if they are not used to being away from home. At HETTY Preschool the staff hope to put the children at ease right from the start. Normally we would say for you to ‘feel free to accompany your child into the setting, or you may wish to say goodbye at the door. You are welcome to stay until you feel that your child is ready to be left.’ However, once again we are awaiting government guidance on whether this will be allowed because of Covid-19. Parents will always be contacted if the child becomes very distressed or unwell. You know your child best, so do feel free to discuss any concerns with a member of staff. The first few weeks are about settling in and making friends, with the other children and the staff, and getting used to a basic routine. Children will not be allowed to leave with anyone other than those on the registration form. If a person other than those noted on the registration form should be required to collect your child, let a member of staff know, with a full description of the person collecting. Please be prompt when collecting your child as it can be very distressing for the child to see everyone else leaving, however if you are unavoidably delayed please do not worry. Try to contact us to let us know. We will reassure your child and look after them until you arrive.

Outdoor Learning – We are really fortunate to have the use of an exciting outdoor learning environment that we share with Hoole Primary School. We make full use of this area and go outside in all weathers encouraging the children to become creative, confident and independent learners. We ask that children bring with them a coat and wellies for the wet weather and sun protection and a hat for the warmer weather.

Health – Please do not send your child to nursery if they are unwell. If your child has had sickness or diarrhoea, they must be 48 hours clear before returning to HETTY. Please do ring us to let us know if your child will not be attending HETTY because of illness. If your child becomes unwell during the day we will contact you on the numbers you have provided on the registration form so please do make sure they are up to date. Please inform HETTY as soon as possible, if your child has something contagious e.g. chicken pox; all information will be treated with discretion. If you need advice regarding how soon your child should return to HETTY following an illness, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Dress Code – HETTY does not have a uniform for the children. We do stress though that children at HETTY will get messy through play! Paint, mud, glue, sand and plenty of other things are such an important part of our play and so for this reason we ask that you don’t send your children in wearing their best clothes! We do provide aprons for messy play, but often children still get messy and so old clothes are much more suitable for the HETTY environment. It would be great if you could provide a change of clothes for your child, fully labelled, which can be left in their bag at HETTY in case of accidents.                                                                                              We find that Velcro shoes and pull up trousers are easier for your child. We encourage children to gain the skills that help them to be independent and to look after themselves. These include taking themselves to the toilet and taking off, and putting on, outdoor clothes. Clothing that is easy for them to manage will help them to do this.

Policies – All the HETTY policies are available to view online on the website  HETTY Preschool Policies 

Learning and Development– We follow the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) guidelines.

The EYFS is split into 7 areas:

3 Prime Areas • communication and language • physical development • personal, social and emotional development;

4 Specific Areas • literacy; • mathematics; • understanding the world • expressive arts and design.

Please click on this link and scroll down to the various areas to see how your children will access the EYFS at HETTY

What we teach at HETTY 

Daily session – Each session starts within the key groups where we have ‘Hello time’ with the group keyworkers and children. We then go in to free play where children have access to a range of activities throughout the morning/afternoon. There are opportunities for the children to take part in adult-led small and large group activities which introduce them to new experiences and help them to gain new skills, as well as helping them to learn to work with others. There is a group snack time in both the morning and afternoon sessions (usually fruit, milk/water)

Snacks – The setting encourages snack times and lunch time to be a social time at which children sit together. We plan snacks that provide the children with healthy and nutritious food. We offer fruit, milk or water and sometimes breadsticks, dry cereal or perhaps birthday cake if a child had brought one in to share. Please do tell us about your child’s dietary needs or allergies. Fresh drinking water is available at all times throughout the day.

Packed Lunches – Children who stay from 11.45 – 12.45 for lunch club can bring a packed lunch and a drink in a labelled lunch box. If your child’s fruit is cherries, grapes or cherry tomatoes, please ensure that they are chopped up and de-stoned. To ensure that food in the lunch box stays fresh and cool, especially in warmer weather, we suggest putting a small freezer ice pack inside. Alternatively, you can ask us to order a ‘hot lunch’ at the cost of £2.50 each day from the school kitchen, or a mixture of each throughout the week. Just make sure we know each day what lunch your child is having.

Sun cream – In sunny weather, please ensure that you have applied sun cream to your child before they attend HETTY. We will reapply your sun cream at lunch time if your child is staying for the whole day. In hot sunny weather, please ensure that your child comes to HETTY with a named sun hat.

 

We hope you have found the information above useful. If you do have any questions, no matter how trivial they may seem, then please do contact us either by phone 01244 500908, or by email hettymanager@hooleceprimary.cheshire.sch.uk

 

We’re really looking forward to getting to know your children and welcoming them into our HETTY family! ☺

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