We provide two private and friendly Nursery Schools, located within the grounds of the Holmes Chapel Primary School and Hermitage Primary School, Cheshire and cater for children from 2 years.
Our ‘Twinkles’ are our 2 and 3yr old children and our ‘Stars and Sunbeams’ are pre-schooler’s who all make the transition to school at the end of the academic year. Each room is designed to create a stimulating, age appropriate environment for the children, and our two fabulous outdoor areas, where we spend a lot of time, provide extended learning opportunities.
Working in partnership with parents is our driving force to help us design and deliver our service. We are a fully inclusive nursery and understand that every family has different circumstances, challenges and needs, this is why we offer parents flexibility and support when it is needed. Happy Days Club and Nursery School offers high quality child-care that we are proud of!
Our experienced staff are mature and caring and as we are small settings, we work very closely as a team. Some of us have worked together for over 15 years which ensures continuity for the children. We use a Key Worker system whereby a member of staff is responsible for their Key Children. They observe, assess and plan for the individual child working closely with parents. Vulnerable children are identified and their individual needs are met.
The business is solely owned by Helen Hall who is a Montessori Teacher and has over 30 years experience working with children. Working very closely with her teams of staff at both settings, Helen plays a very active role in Leadership and Management.
Both settings have an Office Manager/Administrator, Jenny Mitchell at Hermitage Drive and Debbie Lyons at Jubilee walk, who are responsible for the administration of the settings.
Ruth Sargeant (Accounts Manager) is based at Jubilee Walk but deals with families attending at both Happy Days sites. Our Jubilee Walk site is managed by Helen Hall and her Deputy Managers are Janet Flavell and Stephanie Barber, and our Hermitage Drive site is managed by Vicki Baskeyfield.
9am — 12pm
9am — 3pm
8am — 6pm
Each child is treated as an individual. Staff take into account information given by parents as a starting point to understand what the child already knows, (Getting to Know Me booklet). Two year old progress checks are completed by staff, parental input is added and these are jointly signed by the Key Worker and parent. This is given to the child’s health visitor. Formative assessments are ongoing. As well as verbally sharing assessments, we use our daily planning sheets and children’s evidence of activities. Parents also contribute to formative assessments, verbally, on a daily basis. A Reading Record book is also sent home, detailing conversations between Key Person and child as they read together during the session. Parents are encouraged to continue reading with their child at home.
Staff take part in ‘weekly catch up’ meetings with team members where they take into account every child’s individual aims and then create small cohort groups or work 1:1 to cover these aims. This is also a time for staff to come together to discuss with others any concerns they may have regarding any child or the environment to ensure the children’s health and well being is taken into account. Following this the manager and deputies meet to discuss any SEN or additional needs or changes to the setting, whether inside or outside, which may have arisen from these meetings. These weekly ‘catch up’ meetings ensure that key persons are always monitoring and evaluating children’s learning and development and can deal with any additional needs as soon as possible. Any concerns are shared with parents.
Some children may attend more than one setting. We ensure that we share information with other settings and any information that we receive is used to further inform planning and the child’s development.
For some children the next steps may involve the key person targeting a specific area of development and planning additional opportunities for the child to have experiences designed to support the area of learning and development identified. This would then be reviewed to see how the child has progressed and whether or not additional steps need to be taken to support the child’s progress and development. We encourage parental involvement as we are very aware that children often demonstrate different strengths at home!
For other children the next step may also include developing a Targeted Learning Plan where specific aims are developed with parents to support the child’s development. We may also discuss with parents whether it would be appropriate to refer their child to other services such as speech and language therapy, this would require parental consent. Another next step may be to ask the local authority SEN Inclusion Teacher to visit the child in the setting to provide some additional advice and guidance to practitioners to support them in meeting the needs of the child. This visit is called a ‘Request for Guidance’ and can only be undertaken with parental consent.
Teaching and Learning Part 1 – Practitioners and Practice
The setting works within the framework of the EYFS. The rooms are resourced with age appropriate, safe resources and address the needs of the individual child. Practitioners use Development Matters and the Statutory Guidance for the EYFS to plan provision and activities for the children in their care. The EYFS identifies three prime areas of learning and development and four specific areas of learning and development.
Staff observe children in all areas of development in different ways and expertly build on what ‘they already know and can do’, recognising that children develop at different paces.
Activities and provision are adapted to suit the children’s individual needs. Practitioners differentiate the activities to meet the needs of the children in their key group. For some children a greater level of differentiation is required because they have additional or special educational needs. Practitioners are sensitive to the developmental needs of the children in their care and when they are differentiating activities and provision they have this in mind so that all children are able to access the setting in a way that is appropriate to their needs.
All children have a key person. It is the role of the key person to liaise closely with the child’s parents. It is also the role of the key worker to help parents to develop ways in which they can support their child’s learning at home. Children have an on-line Learning Journey in which all their achievements and ‘Wow!’ moments are recorded. We encourage parents to contribute to their child’s Learning Journey by logging on to Learning Book with their unique reference number, enabling them to become involved in the development and planning of activities for their child.
We are a small setting and get to know our parents very well through chatting and sharing information on a daily basis. We celebrate their child’s achievements and support further development at home with weekly letters. We have a Golden Bear that goes home with a child from each room. The bears are given to reinforce positive behaviour and we invite parents to write in their diary to let us know what they have been up to when they visit a child’s home.
Parents are able to speak to their child’s key worker or the manager/deputy manager at any time if they would like further information or advice about supporting learning at home. Children express their preferences on a daily basis and this is taken into account by the child’s key worker and included in their individual planning.
Teaching and Learning Part 2 – Resources
Children are provided with resources that are developmentally appropriate. We ensure that the resources available are appropriate so that children who are developing more slowly or more quickly can access resources suitable to their stage of learning and development. Our observations and planning help to identify which resources will support the child’s learning and development.
After initial registration the parents and child are invited to our two ‘stay and play’ sessions. This is approximately for one hour and a half allowing the child to become familiar with the setting and the staff and the parents are given extensive information about the setting and the EYFS. During the second stay and play session we encourage parents to leave their child for a short time, but don’t insist on this. Parents are asked to complete an ‘all about me’ sheet and a ‘Getting to know you Questionnaire’ giving the staff information about the child to help the transition and future planning.
We have an ‘Open Door’ policy and parents are welcome to ‘pop in’ at any time or contact us by phone if they want any information about their child. Parents are also given a ‘Healthy Lunch Box’ leaflet together with lunch box ideas and we have a Healthy Eating policy. Children are given lots of praise and encouragement and are given stickers to promote confidence.
We allow the child to settle in and during this time parents are encouraged to share any information from home, be it about the family, a family pet, favourite things etc. Staff continually talk with parents informally on a regular basis. Children may bring in a comforter to help them settle. If a child is finding it hard to settle, we work with the parent to come up with a different strategy. The child’s Key Worker will arrange a home visit to play at your child’s house, or arrange a visit to the park with the child and his/her carer to build on the Key Worker relationship. If a child has requirements that are not available we will make any reasonable adjustments necessary to accommodate them.
Transition from Twinkles into Stars and Sunbeams
As the children move from the Twinkle room to become a Star or Sunbeam, our staff spends time ‘handing over’ to the child’s next Key Worker. We plan sessions for the children to visit the Stars and Sunbeams room, not only to get to know the staff (who they are already familiar with), but to become familiar with their new surroundings. Parents are introduced to their child’s new Key Worker before the end of the year.
We have a ‘Come and See’ evening at the beginning of the Spring Term which is a time for parents to look at our resources and speak to your child’s Key Worker should they wish. For working parents it’s not always easy to spend time at ‘drop off’, so this is an opportunity for both parents to get a first-hand insight into what their child gets up to whilst he/she is with us!
Transition to School
At Happy Days the transition to school is totally seamless for the children due to our wonderful locations. Children are prepared for their transition to reception class or other Early Year’s settings in a variety of ways. We encourage independence within our setting to make the transition to school easier, e.g. putting on their own coats, shoes, dealing with their own personal hygiene etc. Staff from other settings or schools are invited to come and meet the child in our setting, when we share the child’s learning journey with them and generally have a chat. We complete a transition document which is given to the new setting giving information about the child, their developmental tracker, information or comments from the parents. We plan PE sessions prior to their transition and encourage children to get changed into their PE kit! We offer a variety of activities and stories to support their transition.
We have recently introduced the ‘Teddy’s getting Ready’ programme. Our transition bear, Ted, helps children problem solve and build the resilience they need to cope with the transition to school. He shares his stories with them about his time in the Reception Class and asks for their help to solve problems that he faced on his last visit. He is ready with the reception teacher to meet the children on their first day!