A little bit about Little Learners

Norton Little Learners Welcome Information
Here at Norton Little Learners 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 Norton. Thank you.
We have compiled this welcome 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. If your child has never been away from you before please let us know so we can advise on ways to support the transition before we start the settling in process.
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.
We are a pre-school, so we focus on building skills in transition for your child entering school, we have a structured day involving adult led activities, carpet sessions and early phonics. We are term time only, with the following session times (AM Session 8.45-11.45, PM Session 11.45-2.45pm, all day 8.45-2.45, we do offer the option to extend the day to 3.15pm however this will incur a small charge per day per child)
Here are a few pointers to remember:
  • All clothes, bags, lunch boxes, wellies, etc. should be named
  • Please make sure we know each day if you require a hot lunch ordering from school at the cost of £2.53
  • We are a nut free school. Please do not bring nuts into the school, ensure you check ingredients, avoid things like chicken satay. If your child consumes nuts at breakfast time please ensure their faces and hands are washed to avoid cross contamination.
  • If your child is bringing their own packed lunch, please ensure no nuts, and that grapes, cherry tomatoes etc are chopped appropriately to avoid choking.
  • Other than that, 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 or an interesting job, or hobby then please do let us know so we can invite you in some time to show us!
  • At Norton Little Learners Preschool we operate an open door policy where we encourage you to chat at any time if you have any concerns. Obviously, some times are busier than others so we may have to arrange an appointment/or call you back a bit later on.
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) or other weather appropriate bits and pieces, hat and gloves in winter etc. Wet wipes and nappy sacks are also useful, as accidents happen, or drinks spills, water play mean clothes get wet! We do go outside everyday no matter the weather, so we ask you leave a pair of wellies at school. Please do check the bags each night as we will put any letters home or craft creations of the day inside it.
Starting at NLL– We want your child to feel happy and safe with us. To make sure that this is the case, the pre-school team will work with you to decide on how to help your child to settle into the setting. When your child first starts Little Learners, it can be a very daunting experience especially if they are not used to being away from home. At Little Learners Preschool the staff hope to put the children at ease right from the start. You are welcome to stay until you feel that your child is ready to be left.’ 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 park and field that we share with the Norton Village Community. We make full use of this area and go outside in all weathers encouraging the children to become creative, confident and independent learners.
Health – Please do not send your child to nursery if they are unwell. If your child has had sickness or diarrhoea, they must be at least 2 days clear before returning to preschool. Pre-school staff reserve the right to refuse attendance to children they feel are too unwell to be in setting. The exclusion period for other illnesses can be found on https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/health-protection-in-schools- and-other-childcare-facilities/children-and-young-people-settings-tools-and- resources#exclusion-table. Please do ring us to let us know if your child will not be attending because of illness. Please inform the school office 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 school following an illness, please do not hesitate to contact us. 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.
Dress Code – Norton Little Learners do not have a uniform for the children. We do stress though that children at NLL’s 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 school 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 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.
Daily session – Each session starts with free play where children have access to a range of activities, before we tidy up ready to have story time before snack. The children are encouraged to take a “magic pebble” and use it to vote for their favourite story. Every week we have two focus stories to choose from, however the children are also exposed to and read many different books throughout the day. After group snack (usually fruit/a carb and milk/water) we have play time with the infants on the playground. 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.
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, 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 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 £2.53 each day from the school catering team or a mixture of each throughout the week. Just make sure we know each day what lunch your child is having. There will be a sheet outside the room to order lunches on. We do expect that children will sit at the table and be able to feed themselves before they start at the pre-school.
Dojo- We use Class Dojo as our main method of communication, you can install the app on your phone, each child has a portfolio where we add photos/celebration of achievement. It also has a messaging service which is really handy, please note that staff work from 8.30-3.30 and will not respond immediately to messages sent outside of their working hours.
Sun cream – In sunny weather, please ensure that you have applied sun cream to your child before they attend pre-school. We will reapply the named sun cream from your child’s bag at lunch time if your child is staying for the whole day. In hot sunny weather, please ensure that your child comes to NLL 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 01452 730 531 or kspencer@norton.gloucs.sch.uk We’re really looking forward to getting to know your children and welcoming them into our Norton family!