What do I need to bring to the nursery?

Every child is asked to bring their book bag to Nursery School each day.  Children have the opportunity to borrow books and will share books with staff during the day, and will then bring books home to share with you.  A communication diary is kept in your child’s book bag and we will use this to let you know what your child has been doing during the day.  Please do use this if there is anything you would like us to know, or chat to a member of staff in the morning when you drop off your child.

Outdoor playIMG_6716

We are lucky to be surrounded by beautiful countryside in which the children are able to play and learn.  We know that spending time outside is of great benefit to children’s development and we aim to be outside everyday, whatever the weather!

We ask all parents to provide named wellington boots which are kept at Nursery.  In addition to this, please make sure your child has a waterproof coat at all times.  Other items will depend on the seasons, but children will typically need a hat, scarf and gloves in the winter months and a sun hat and sun cream in the summer.

Please make sure all items are clearly named.

Toilet training and nappy changing

We work closely with you to provide a consistent approach to toilet training. We know that accidents will happen, so we ask you to provide plenty of spare clothes to ensure your child remains comfortable at all times.

When a child is in nappies, parents are asked to provide:

  • Nappies
  • Cotton wool or wipes
  • Nappy cream (as required)

What to wear

Nursery School days involve paint, glue, glitter, mud, running, jumping, climbing… the list goes on!  For this reason, please dress your child in clothes which are suitable to play in and which are hard wearing and washable!  We do ask that children wear a Ripe Nursery School jumper or cardigan and polo shirt, as this adds to the sense of belonging to the group.

Our uniform and bookbag can be ordered from www.uniformeasy.com  and there is also the option to order a Ripe Nursery School coat if you wish to.

Moving on to Primary SchoolIMG_6854

Starting at Primary school is a period of time filled with emotions, both for children and parents; we aim to help make the transition to school as smooth as possible. We have links with many of the surrounding primary and independent schools. Once your child is allocated their place at ‘Big School’ we will invite your child’s new teacher to visit the Nursery School and see your child in an environment which is familiar to them. Your child’s Key Worker will share information with your child’s new teacher, such as their abilities, interests and next steps, which the teacher will then be able to use in planning for your child’s start at school.
We know that this transition away from the familiar Nursery School setting and staff can make some children anxious, so we try to encourage children to see this as an exciting time and to talk about anything they are worried about.
We share stories about schools and create displays and role play areas which reflect where the children are going; we use pictures of their teachers and schools as well as jumpers and book bags so that these items become familiar to the children.
If you have any concerns about the transition, please do come in and have a chat.

Top tips for starting school!
Reception teachers will teach many skills to the children in their classes and all of the children will enter school with different starting points. If your child is able to do some of the things listed below it will make their start at school that little bit easier.

• Encourage your child to go to the toilet as independently as possible

• Let your child try on their uniform and PE kit a few times before they start – can they put it on and take it off by themselves?

• Play lots of games where you have to wait for a turn or share toys

• Encourage your child to spot their name, letters in their name and numbers when you are out and about

Below are the dates and times for upcoming open days for entry into Reception in September 2016.  Local state primary schools and independent schools have been included.

Thursday, 22 October 09:30

Thursday, 12 November 14:00

Wednesday, 18 November 09:30

Tuesday, 12 January 2016 14:00

Wednesday 18th November 2pm

Tuesday 1st December 2pm

Thurs 12th Nov, 9.30-10.30am

Wed 18th Nov, 1.30-2.30pm

Wed 25th Nov, 9.30-10.30am

Wed 9th Dec, 6.00-7.00pm

Monday 19th October 9.30-10.30am

Wednesday 18th November 9.30-10.30am

Park Mead
Tel: 01323 844247

St Andrews
Friday 13 November 2015, 9.45am to 12 noon (with the Head talking at 10am)

Saturday 14 November 2015, 9.45am to 12 noon (with the Head talking at 10am)

Tel: 01323 734222

Lewes Old Grammar
Tel: 01273 472634

Skippers Hill
Tel: 01825 830 234

Useful links – learning resources and other information

The Early Years Foundation Stagesets out the National Standards for care and development for children from birth to five years old.

Jolly Phonicsis a fun and interactive way of introducing children to letter sounds which lays the foundations for early reading and writing.  Each sound has an action which accompanies it, as well as a story and a song.  Some children learn better with auditory prompts, others with visual or physical prompts.  Using Jolly Phonics means that we are able to cater for a variety of learning styles.  We have a short phonics session every day and then encourage children to spot letters and talk about their sounds throughout other play activities.

We use Numiconto support children’s mathematical thinking.  It is a multi sensory resource which helps children to understand some abstract mathematical concepts.

The Montessorimethod was developed by Maria Montessori (1870-1952).  The approach is a holistic one which aims to develop the ‘whole child’; it is a hands-on, individualised way of learning, exactly what we aim for at Ripe Nursery School.  Fundamental to the approach is the belief that the years from birth to six are the period when children have the greatest capacity to learn.  We have many Montessori resources which add great value to our activities.

Our uniform can be ordered here: www.uniformeasy.com 

Here are all the policies we operate in order to ensure the progress and safety of your child – please read them all as you will be asked to sign that you agree with these policies when you enrol a child.

The following policies were all reviewed and updated in January 2016


Working in Partnership with Other Agencies

Weather Policy

Valuing Diversity and Promoting Equality

Use of Mobile Phones and Cameras

Transfer of Records to School

The Role of the Key Person and Settling In

Supporting Children with Special Educational Needs

Supervision of Children on Outings and Visits

Student Placements


Risk Assessment

Recording and Reporting of Accidents and Incidents

Recording and Reporting of Accidents and Incidents

Providers Records

Parental Involvement

No Smoking

Nappy Changing

Missing Child

Managing Children who are Sick, Infectious or with Allergies

Making a Complaint

Maintaining Childrens Safety and Security on Premises

Looked After Children

Information Sharing

Induction of Staff Volunteers and Managers

Health and Safety General Standards

Food Hygiene

Food and Drink

First Aid

Fire Safety and Emergency EvacuationEmployment

Confidentiality and Client Access to Records

Childrens rights and entitlements

Childrens Records

Animals in the Setting


Achieving Positive Behaviour

Administering Medicines

Local Offer for children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND)

How does the nursery know if children need extra help and what should I do if I think my child may have special educational needs?

Ripe Nursery School is an inclusive nursery in which all children are supported in reaching their potential. Before your child starts at the nursery, you are invited to bring them to a taster morning, which gives you the opportunity to share any concerns you may have. A questionnaire will be given to you so that staff can find out more information about your child before they start and again gives you the opportunity to raise any concerns you may have.

Once your child starts at the nursery, they will be assigned a key worker who will be your first point of contact. Your child’s key worker observes and supports their learning and will discuss any concerns and ways forward with you. You will also be introduced to the SENCO, and their role will be explained.

As well as an annual parents’ consultation evening, every six weeks you are encouraged to come into nursery for an informal chat and to review your child’s recent progress; this is an ideal opportunity for you and staff to share information and observations. Staff carry out the ‘Two Year Old Check’ which is shared with you, and you are encouraged to share any information from the check that your health visitor makes at this stage. The nursery has a policy for supporting children with special educational needs which is available to parents.

How will nursery staff support my child?

When an individual education plan is implemented, you, your child’s key worker and the SENCO are all involved in setting targets. There will be a timescale in relation to the review of these targets and it will detail ways in which nursery staff will support the child in meeting their targets, as well as suggestions for follow up ideas at home. The key worker will support your child on a regular 1:1 basis and will share progress with you and the SENCO.

We have excellent ratios of staff to pupils, which means that we are able to offer small group support throughout each session where needed. The SENCO will oversee the plan and its implementation. If further specialist support is needed, the SENCO will contact relevant external services. Staff are familiar with using a range of methods to engage and support children, including the use of visual symbols and signing.

How will the curriculum be matched to my child’s needs?

All staff in the nursery are responsible for planning an engaging and exciting range of activities and resources. These are matched to the stages of development of the children. Planning is based on the interests, strengths and ‘Next Steps’ for each child and is therefore carefully matched to supporting each child’s unique development. The environment is set out to encourage independence and to reflect the different ways in which children learn.

How will both you and I know how my child is doing and how will you help me to support my child’s learning?

Learning Journey books are used to document each child’s progress and are matched to the typical stages of development in the early years, using the ‘Development Matters’ documentation. A report of your child’s progress will be shared with you every 6 weeks and staff will suggest ways in which you can support at home, as well as providing information concerning what staff will be doing in the nursery to support your child.

The nursery has an ‘Open Door’ approach and parents are encouraged to share any concerns they may have in an informal way when they drop off or pick up their child. If an education plan is needed, you are invited to be involved in creating and developing this. Staff will keep you informed about progress towards the targets on the education plan and you will be encouraged to review this with your child’s key worker and the SENCO. Each child has a home contact book which is used to share information between home and nursery. Parental involvement in nursery school life is encouraged and staff value the input that parents make.

What support will there be for my child’s overall well-being?

Ripe Nursery School has clear policies for staff on the administration of medicine, changing nappies and provision of personal care. These give details about providing a warm, safe area for changing. Key workers ensure that these times are relaxed, and independence is promoted where possible. When specific medicines are needed, medical advice is sought so that staff ensure correct administration.

The nursery uses a ‘positive behaviour’ approach, which is documented in a policy. This approach acknowledges that children learn and develop best when their personal, social and emotional needs are met and where there are clear and developmentally appropriate expectations for behaviour which the children understand. The nursery supports children in contributing their views by focussing on interests and being aware of events in the child’s life. You are encouraged to share achievements and interests which your child is displaying at home with your key worker.

What specialist services and expertise are available at or accessed by the nursery?

Ripe Nursery School has access to the full range of Local Authority specialist services in education, health and social care. Two members of staff take part in ongoing training for SENCOs. The Principal holds a Specialist Teaching Certificate (Masters level) in ‘Enabling Learning’ (SEND), and completed a dissertation for teacher training focussing on the inclusion of children with speech and language difficulties. SENCOs will make referrals, in consultation with you, to any relevant services which would be able to provide specific support for your child. Staff will also work with health visitors, particularly with regard to the ‘Two Year Old Check’.

What training have the staff supporting children with SEND had, or are having?

We have one fully trained SENCO and another member of staff who is undertaking the training. Both staff members attend local authority training for SENCOs to keep up to date with relevant initiatives and support. One member of staff is trained in the use of Makaton signing, and we propose to have more staff trained in this in the future. One of our staff is a trained teacher who has undertaken further training in SEND (see question 6).

How will my child be included in activities outside the classroom, including school trips?

All children at Ripe Nursery School have access to all activities offered by the school and, where necessary, additional adult support will be available to assist your child at nursery school and on school trips. Parents will be asked to meet with staff to plan appropriate support where necessary, and to share ideas about strategies used at home.

How accessible is the nursery environment?

Hayton Baker Hall, the venue for the Ripe Nursery School, is fully accessible for wheelchairs and has a disabled toilet. There is a parking space close to the entrance which is used for disabled parking. There is a small outside area which is accessible by wheelchair. Visual prompts are used to support children and families who may not have English as a first language or who may have difficulties with reading. Translations of information into other languages are made where necessary.

How will you prepare and support my child to join the nursery, transfer to a newschool or the next stage of education and life?

If your child is moving on to primary school or another setting, a final assessment will be created by their key worker. Staff also meet with staff from the new school, and encourage them to visit the nursery to see your child in an environment in which they are familiar and settled. Information will be shared with the new school about the stage that your child has reached in their development, methods used to support them and suggestions for helping them to settle in their new environment. Staff from the nursery will also visit the new setting with your child to help the transition process, and photo books may be created to familiarise children with the new environment and staff.

How are the nursery’s resources allocated and matched to children’s special educational needs?

Children will be allocated resources based on their individual needs. If, in exceptional circumstances, the nursery considers that a child needs extra resources it can apply to the local authority for more funding. The environment is designed so that all children are included and their interests and needs are reflected in the resources. Specialist toys or equipment are purchased or borrowed where necessary.

How is the decision made about what type and how much support my child will receive?

Your child’s Key Worker will discuss any concerns that they may have with you and following this will arrange to meet with both you and the SENCO, if necessary. An education plan may be created at this point and a decision made about whether or not to involve other services. The plan will detail support needed, staffing and resources, as well as the timing of reviews and details of success criteria. Small steps and achievable targets will be given, which will then be reviewed regularly to assess the impact of any extra support and to inform decisions regarding the possibility of involving external services.

How are parents involved in the nursery? How can I be involved?

Parents are encouraged to share their knowledge of their child’s skills, abilities and interests with the child’s key worker. Our six weekly review provides a good opportunity to do this and staff will use both their own observations of your child and your contribution to plan new, stimulating areas of learning and to devise ‘Next Step’ targets. We welcome parents joining in with activities in the nursery and sharing their own skills and interests. Your child’s key worker will share ideas in relation to your support for your child’s learning at home.

Who can I contact for further information?

Your first point of contact to discuss your child, is their key worker. Kate Fleming is the Principal and is the first point of contact for parents considering sending their child to Ripe Nursery School. Kate is also the Early Years SENCO and is happy to discuss any specific concerns regarding SEND.

This offer is accurate now, but services are regularly reviewed and could change. All information will be updated as soon as possible to reflect any new service offer.

This offer is intended to give you clear, accurate and accessible information.

If you would like to comment on the content of the offer, or make suggestions to improve the information, please email kate@ripenurseryschool.co.uk

Find out more about support for children and young people with special needs and disabilities: www.eastsussex.gov.uk/localoffer