Handbook 2019 - 2020

An Introduction to St Peter’s Nursery School

Hello and a warm welcome to St Peter’s Nursery School; we hope you and your little one will have a happy time here and make lots of lovely friends. We are a small nursery school but we have HUGE amounts of fun. St Peter’s children are happy, confident learners who feel emotionally secure and have a positive self-image; this is thanks to our wonderful team of fully qualified practitioners who work hard to provide a happy, caring and secure environment which encourages our children to grow physically, creatively and spiritually. To help you and your child settle in quickly to St Peter’s we have compiled this handbook.

Term Times

We follow the local schools’ term dates of a 38 week year. We split these into three terms:

Autumn Term:

Wednesday 4 September -  Thursday 19 December 2019

Half Term: 21 – 25  October 2019

 Spring Term

Tuesday 7 January – Friday 3 April  2020

Half Term: 17 – 21 February 2020

Summer Term

Tuesday 21  April – Friday 17 July 2020

Half term: 25 May – 29 May 2020


May we kindly request that you arrive promptly for the start of the session as we like the children to be settled before we start our teacher-led activities. Equally, please be prompt to pick up your child at the end of the session – the teachers need a lunch break to fortify themselves  before the afternoon begins; we also reconvene at 4.00pm to evaluate the day, tidy up and prepare for the following sessions. If a child is repeatedly picked up late, we may seek advice from Family Services.

Our hours are:

Caterpillars Group (2 – 3 year olds)

9.00am – 12.00 noon

Butterflies Group (3 – 4 year olds)

9.00am – 12.15pm (or 3.00pm if staying for a full day)

Bumblebees (2 Year Olds)

1.00 – 4.00pm

 Lunch Bunch Pick-up 1.00pm



Once enrolled at St Peter’s, we expect regular attendance; children thrive on routine and if sessions are missed, it could impact negatively on your child. If your child is absent for more than a week, without prior agreement with the Head, then St Peter’s Nursery reserves the right to terminate your contract with immediate effect and your place will be offered to a child on our Waiting List.


The courtesy of kings - and queens! Please make sure you drop off promptly at the start of session (9am or 1pm). Latecomers sometimes find it hard to integrate themselves into a group that is already busy at play. And although we do not follow a rigid timetable, we do find that because the children are more receptive first thing in the morning, we will plan our teacher-led activities to coincide with their body clocks.


If your child is unwell and cannot attend nursery, please telephone or email to let us know as soon as you can. The Head will endeavour to ring all non-arrivals to ensure they are safe. If we cannot reach you we may have to contact Family Services.

0207 243 2617   tracey@stpetersnottinghill.org.uk

If your child has vomited or had diarrhoea please do not return until they have been free of symptoms for 48 hours. 

Settling In

As every child is an individual, settling in will be different for every family. Some children settle straightaway, others take a little longer. It can be a daunting prospect leaving your child for the first time, but remain positive! Our staff have a great deal of experience in supporting new arrivals – both children and their parents! Here are a few tips to make the first days a little easier.

©       Make sure your child has had a good night’s sleep and a nourishing breakfast

©       Stay until your child has engaged with a little playmate or has become interested in an activity

©       Establish a “good-bye” routine using special phrases or actions, such as see you later alligator; one more kiss;  wave bye-bye

©       Say goodbye warmly and quickly and leave – it’s like taking off a sticking plaster, the longer you take, the more painful it is!

©       Don’t call your child back once you have said goodbye

©       Bring along your child’s comforter if they have one. Alternatively, bring a little photograph of you and/or home; this can be useful to bring out and chat about if your child becomes tearful during the session

©       NEVER SLIP AWAY WITHOUT SAYING GOODBYE – it is essential that your child is assured you will return later

Of course, you are welcome to stay as long as it takes for your child to settle, within reason. Lots of parents pop next door to the Farm Girl Café for a “calming herbal tea” so that they are not too far away. Sadly, we cannot guarantee a discount!

Some children settle quickly, only to become tearful the second week. Do not worry; this is quite normal and usually they are back to their happy selves fairly soon.

We will always call you if your child becomes overly distressed

What to Wear

We love messy play! We have sand, water and paint out every day, so your little one is going to get mucky at some point, despite our best efforts to get them into a smock, so please, do not send them in their best clothes.  We sell St Peter’s T shirts and sweat shirts  - £5 and £10 respectively - which are easy to pop into the washing machine. Makes getting dressed in the mornings so much easier! It is a good idea to bring in a spare set of clothing – NAMED please! – as some children would prefer to change into their own clothes should their original outfit gets wet/grubby. 

No dungarees, braces, belts or tight trousers – difficult to undo if a loo emergency arises! Velcro fastening shoes are preferable to buckles or laces.

Please make sure your child wears wellies on wet days as we always visit the gardens regardless of the weather

What to Bring

©       Red Book

©       A set of named spare clothing – pants, top, trousers/skirt, tights

©       Nappies, wipes and cream, if your child is not yet toilet trained. These can be kept on your child’s coat peg.

©       While we would prefer your child’s toys remain at home, it may be an idea to pack either their comforter or a photograph of you/your home, so that we can sit and look at it together should they become sad.

©       Any speciality milk. We offer whole cows’ milk to the children at snack time, but if you child prefers soya or goats milk then may we kindly ask that you supply your own. .

©       Packed Lunch if your child is staying for the whole day – please see some ideas here: https://realfood.tesco.com/recipes/collections/kids-lunchbox-recipes.html


 Otherwise, a sandwich, piece of fruit and a yoghurt will suffice. Children need calories to sustain themselves for a full day and the simpler the better.


What NOT to bring!

©       Snacks  – we provide the children with a selection of fruit and milk, or water in the morning and afternoon

©       Nuts and Seeds– please no nuts or seeds in packed lunches

©       Sweets, chocolate, biscuits, cake etc - unless of course, it is your child’s birthday and we will want to celebrate!

©       Toys;  they often go astray, leading to tears!

©       ANYTHING expensive or of sentimental value – St Peter’s Nursery cannot be held responsible should valuable items go missing or get broken.

Open Door Policy

We pride ourselves in building close and trusting relationships with our St Peter’s families, striving to make the nursery a place where children and families feel they belong and are valued. We place a great deal of importance on open communication and welcome and appreciate your comments, so please feel free to let us know what we are doing right, and what we are not! 

If you are unhappy or concerned about anything, at any time, please come and discuss with the Head;  I am at the door at arrival and pick up and am always happy to speak with parents and either sort out on the spot, or arrange a convenient time to discuss more complex issues. Likewise, your child’s key person will always appreciate a quick update on anything that may impact on your child’s behaviour that day, such as a sleepless night, no breakfast, squabble with a sibling, or indeed if they have achieved some goal, such as staying in their own bed or going to the loo by themselves; we always like to recognise and celebrate success!

However, please remember our teachers are responsible for many other children in the nursery, so please do not overload them at the start of the session – again, I will be happy to arrange a time later in the day to discuss any concerns.

Safeguarding Children Policy

A copy of our extensive Policy and Procedure for Safeguarding Children is pinned to our main noticeboard in the foyer. We take the welfare and safety of all of our children at St Peter’s very seriously indeed and are committed to protecting all children from harm. All members of staff have undergone scrupulous suitability checks and hold Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service certificates. Furthermore, they have all received specialist training in safeguarding children and are aware of the signs of abuse and how to deal with it.

The Designated Safeguarding Lead is the Head, Tracey Lloyd

Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead is Deputy Head, Luke Rosher

If you have any concerns at all about the safety and wellbeing of any child attending St Peter’s or about a member of St Peter’s staff, please speak to Tracey Lloyd in the first instance, and in her absence, Luke Rosher. If your concern is about Tracey Lloyd, please contact the Chair of the Nursery Management Committee, Reverend Pat Allerton. (pat@stpetersnottinghill.org.uk). All conversations will be confidential.

Given the layout of our nursery, no member of staff can be left alone with a child; they are always within ear and eyeshot. We make use of a Modesty Screen in the main rooms to change wet pants for older children, while our nappy changing area is located in the children’s loo. This area is visible from the office.

While we host many students studying for their childcare degrees, they are forbidden from performing intimate care duties. These students are a valuable help to us and we enjoy helping them with their studies, but they are not counted in our adult:child ratios, which already surpass the government’s recommendation.

We take photographs of children on a daily basis which are used to illustrate their Learning Journals. The photographs are taken on either the nursery’s cameras and downloaded onto nursery computers or the nursery’s iPads (which remain on nursery premises). Images are deleted once they have been printed. Staff never take photographs on their mobile phones.

There may be occasions when you may want to photograph/video your child, such as at our nativity concert or an event at Church. Please try to be sensitive and not ! include other children. The resulting images are for your personal use only and must not be uploaded onto any social media such as facebook, Twitter, Instagram.

Parents as Partners

We know that you as parents, know your children best of all and as such we like to work with you to ensure your little one has the best experience here at St Peter’s. We will arrange an initial Home Visit during the settling in period, where we can get to know your child better, along with a follow up visit within the first term to discuss progress. We will schedule a meeting with you around the first half term so we can talk about how your little one is settling . This is a good time to celebrate your child’s achievements, but also offers an opportunity to discuss any concerns you may have about your child’s development.

Our electronic Learning App, Blossom, is a wonderful way to stay updated on your child’s development. You will be invited to join this secure platform which will give you access to your child’s progress here at St Peter’s. Aside from a set of lovely photographs illustrating you little one’s day, we provide written observations of their learning and development. Through our daily interactions with the children we keep a keen eye on how well they are progressing through the Early Foundation Stage Curriculum and plan activities to meet their needs and interests. This ongoing assessment is regularly updated on Blossom. We also like to hear what the children have been up to outside their time at St Peter’s and encourage you to add your own pictures and observations to Blossom too!

We are always happy to have parents - and grandparents - come in and help us! If you want to come in and read a story; lead an art session; cook; play an instrument; sing; talk about your job or hobbies, then please let us know!

We also welcome all families and nannies to stay for our Wednesday and Thursday Praise and Worship sessions which start at 9.00am. These are led by Rosemary and Cait, and the children listen to – or act out – a bible story and sing some songs. We finish with our Nursery Prayer which is the second verse of “Away in a Manger”.

We have a thriving Parents’ Committee and all parents are welcome to join. The aim is to foster close relationships between parents, staff and those in the community associated with the nursery, as well as raising funds and organising social events, such as coffee mornings, Cake Sales and our Bring and Share Lunches. 

Our Parent Representative attends the termly meetings of the Nursery Management Committee.

St Peter’s Nursery Prayer

Be near me Lord Jesus

I ask you to stay

Close by me forever

And love me I pray

Bless all the dear children

In Your tender care

And fit us for Heaven

To live with You there