Welcome to our Early Years section. Some information is available elsewhere on the website but information specific to Early Years is on this page.
- You can find an overview of our Early Years provision in the School Life section
- School term dates are available on our Term Dates page
- Start and finish times are available on The School Day page
- Funding and fees information is on our Fees page
- Staff working hours, qualifications and responsibilities are on display in the entrance foyer to Early Years
- Absence and illness information is on our Absence page
- Early Years uniform requirements are on our Uniform page
- All useful policies for parents are on our Policies page
Role of the key person
We assign all our children with key person. Their main role is to ensure your child feels safe and cared for in our Early Years, and to work in partnership with you. They will also plan activities to help your child’s individual development and progress, and keep you informed about their experiences whilst in our care. If you have any questions or concerns about your child, please speak to your child's key person. Should you have any concerns about the key person allocated to your child, please talk to the Head of Early Years (Mrs Blakey), or Deputies (Mrs Pearson / Mrs Cooper).
Your child’s key person will:
- Be available for you to talk to at the end of a session, by phone or during an arranged appointment if necessary.
- Be responsible for making observations of your child and assessing your child’s progress through the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS). They will work with other staff to plan for your child’s learning and development.
- Liaise with you over your child’s Learning Journey as necessary.
- Write an end of year report or a leaving report if the key child leaves the setting before the end of the academic year.
You are very welcome to add things to your child’s Learning Journey online about significant moments in your child’s learning and development that have happened at home (for example, photos of drawings or models, or examples of how they have mastered a new skill, shown depth of understanding or used new vocabulary). We currently use Tapestry as our online Learning Journey platform and new parents will receive further information about how to access their child’s account once their child starts.
Arrivals and departures
- To satisfy legal requirements, all children must be collected by their parents at the end of a session, unless another adult has been authorised to do so. Please inform Early Years staff of any person, other than yourselves as parents, who is likely to bring or collect your child using the Child Collection Authorisation Form that we can provide.
- If at any time in the future you wish to add names to your list, please let us know by email and your list can be updated.
- In an emergency, a parent can inform the school office by telephone of alternative collection arrangements for the end of the day.
- Parents who wish to collect their child before a session ends should notify staff by email in advance, explaining the reason. In an emergency, parents can contact the school office by phone.
- If your child is being brought to school by somebody else, please make sure that there is an adult responsible for their safety and supervision at all times until Early Years opens at 8.50am.
- The playground is only supervised by Primary staff for Primary pupils from 8.30 to 8.45am for Year 1 pupils and above, and is not suitable, safe or supervised for younger children.
- In an emergency, where an authorised adult is unable to be present to supervise your child as above due to unforeseen circumstances, please inform the Early Years staff so that the child can be taken in earlier from the Early Years foyer. Please note this is for emergency situations only, to ensure your child is safe and appropriately supervised.
- Please note that it is the parents’ responsibility to ensure suitable arrangements are in place for the supervision of their children both before the start and at the end of the school day.
Snack time, packed lunches and oral health
The Early Years Framework has an emphasis on the importance of oral health in young children. We provide your child with tooth-friendly snacks and drinks. We try to make sure there is an element of choice for snacks, eg children can choose milk or water to drink, and a list of the kinds of snacks served in Early Years is displayed in the foyer. Some examples of the tooth-friendly food on offer are: apples, bananas, cucumber, carrots, rice cakes, cereal and pitta bread. Do let us know if you have any other good ideas for healthy snacks we could serve which your child would like eating.
If your child is attending Lunch Club, they will need to bring their own packed lunch and drink (no sugary drinks please – including smoothies and milkshakes). We would appreciate you providing them with a healthy lunch, including at least one piece of fruit. Please try to avoid items high in sugar (give no more than one at most) - and no sweets or lollipops please. If your child has grapes or cherry tomatoes, we would request you quarter these to reduce the hazard of choking. Please DO NOT send your child in with nuts, as Early Years is a nut-free zone. If you would like some good ideas for healthy packed lunches, please visit the following website:
We recognise the importance of children’s access to outdoor play in a natural setting where children can have first-hand experience of God’s amazing creation through the seasons. We use the outdoor learning area on the school site and children will need to bring outdoor clothes and welly boots.
School trips and special events
A few times a year we try to arrange a trip outside the setting or a special event in the setting itself. This is often related to the topic we are learning about. Where we can, we invite all the children, their parents and sometimes younger siblings to come and join us. Some of the places we have visited in the past are: The Cotswold Wildlife Park, Farmer Gow’s, the local fire station and Witney Library. We also aim to visit nearby Merryfield House in New Yatt Road (a nursing home for the elderly) 2-3 times a year. In the summer term, Reception take part in a Sports Day with Key Stage One and Prize Giving with Primary children. We recognise the importance of these occasions as times when children and their families and the staff team can have fun learning and playing together.
Please provide your child with a named water bottle so that they can always have access to a drink when needed. This will need to be taken home at the end of each session. This applies all through the school.
Outdoor clothing and change of clothes
Please make sure your child has a (named) waterproof coat with a hood and wellington boots at school for outdoor play. Please could they also keep a change of clothes in a bag on their peg in the foyer area at all times.
When the weather is hot, parents are responsible for applying sun cream before the start of the school day and for providing their own sun cream (labelled with child’s name please) for use in school if they wish staff to support children in re-applying this at the start of the afternoon. Children will be required to wear a hat in hot weather. Whilst we do have some spares, we do recommend children have their own hat if at all possible.
Please note, if your child has been prescribed an inhaler for use at home, a second inhaler will need to be prescribed by your GP for use in school and you will need to fill out one of our ‘Administration of Medicine’ forms. Should your child need to have an inhaler or other medication in school, please pass these to your child’s key person for safe keeping. Medication should not be left in bags on pegs in the foyer area.
Toys from home
Other than comfort toys where necessary, please do not encourage children to bring in toys from home, as these can be easily lost or broken. Comfort toys can be kept in their drawer or book bag for times in the day when they are needed. Hopefully, as children become more settled, they will be able to manage without them.
Children from Nursery usually join our Reception, however, we do need you to apply and assess all applications in line with our admissions policy criteria. Most families apply for Reception when they complete the online application form for Nursery so you don't need to do anything else. Our Registrar will contact you if you have not completed an application for Reception. We will inform you whether the application is successful after 15th January.
- What to expect in the Early Years Foundation Stage: a guide for parents
- To access the Oxford Owl website and Floppy’s Phonics:
- Go to www.oxfordowl.co.uk
- Click on the ‘Log in’ link (top right) and click on ‘Parents’
- Type in the class name and password which can be found in your child’s Phonics Folder
- Oxfordshire County Council’s Road Safety team’s child pedestrian safety guidance
- Community Dental Service information
- Care for the Family courses
- Being ready for school
- For inspiration about books and helping your child with reading, look at the Book Trust
- Hungry Little Minds
- Words for Life (part of the National Literacy Trust)
- Oxfordshire’s ’50 things to do before you are 5’ (there is also an App you can download). This initiative aims to help parents provide life-changing, fun, low or no-cost experiences for their family, indoors and outdoors, and is a great way to support young children’s development.