Westwood Nursery: Your child's experience
Information on the nursery environment and your child's learning experience
The Baby Room takes babies from the age of 6 months old and can accommodate 12 babies.
The Room Leader heads a team of qualified staff and you will be assigned a key person. We try to follow the baby's home routine as much as possible, as it helps to build trust and confidence between child and carer.
The Baby Room team provide a friendly, caring and relaxed environment, providing a variety of games and activities adapted to the child's age, including painting, sticking, water play, sand play and cooking. Direct access to its own secure garden area encourages the babies to explore a different environment, Regular walks on campus and visits to the Forest School area ensure the babies have a full range of experiences. Observations are made and kept in individual records to follow their progress and development.
A separate sleep room provides a number of cots to allow babies to have a nap as and when required. Older babies have a nap on sleep mattresses on the carpeted area in the multi-purpose room within the baby unit. Practitioners monitor sleeping children closely carrying out five minute checks on each child.
The Nursery Room is registered to take children from 18months -3 years old. Staffing depends on the ages of children currently in the room.
one adult to three children for under twos
one adult to four children for over twos
Activities are available during the day to develop the children's experiences in all areas. The children are encouraged to share toys, take toys and tidy up after themselves.
The team provide a friendly, caring and relaxed environment in order to encourage and develop children in our care.
All children will be assigned a keyperson when joining the room who takes the responsibility for planning and monitoring for your child supported by the Room Leader. All planning and observations are displayed on boards in the room for parents to view. We keep parents informed on their child's progress through meetings with the relevant keyperson and regular communication with staff.
Toilet training usually starts when the child is in the Nursery Room and the keyperson will work closely with parents on this. Children should wear clothes which are easy to manage and be provided with plenty of spare clothes and shoes.
The Pre-School Room takes children from the age of three until they start school. Currently in the UK this is the September after their fourth birthday. We ensure children are well rounded, stable, happy individuals when they leave Westwood Nursery to start school with the skills needed to meet the challenges of school life.
There are places for 18 children, with a staff ratio of 1:8. The Room Leader works closely with her highly skilled team of Early Years Educators and Forest School Practitioners to ensure children learn:
The day is structured similar to a reception class within a school with adult led activities, opportunities for independent learning and social group interactions. Outdoor play is considered an important part of the learning schedule and is part of the every day routine. This includes regular trips to the Forest School where learning from the environment extends the Early years Foundation Stage further.
Outdoor learning and play area
The outdoor environment offers rich learning experiences and contributes to children's health, happiness, stimulation and development. The play area is full of wonderful things for children to discover, experiment and explore. Children are encouraged to develop independence skills, improve their decision making and raise their self-esteem though small achievable tasks.
We have an extensive play area which is secure and safe, providing a soft rubberised finish surface with brightly coloured educational graphics. This visually exciting and stimulating area is designed to minimise risk of injury to children. The children's garden also includes a grassed area, slopes, gradients, steps, bushes, plants, a growing area, walls and fences. Children are encouraged to plant fruit, vegetables and flowers. They will experience the whole process of planting, growing, picking, cooking and eating.
The children have the opportunity to use the whole of the university to extend their experiences and are well known faces around the campus. We also have excellent relationships with the estate department and the gardeners who have helped the children develop a Forest School area in conjunction with our Forest Trained practitioner.
Trips and outing
The position of the nursery makes it easy to jump on a bus into town and children enjoy visiting the library, Egg Theatre, Victoria Park, and Zany Zone at the sports centre, but of course the highlight of the outing is the bus journey into town!
We regard meal times and snack times as an important part of our day. Eating represents a social time for children when practitioners help children to adopt healthy eating habits. Special dietary requirements will be catered for.
Mid morning: snack with milk or water
Lunch: two course cooked meal provided by the University kitchens
Mid afternoon: snack with milk or water
Tea: provided by parents, can be cooked (facilities avalable for reheating) or snack (eg sandwich)
Fresh drinking water is available throughout the day. At least one snack provided each day will consist of fruit.
Parents of babies will prior to weaning will be advised by Baby Room staff on food provided.
We are currently participating in the Healthy Early Years Initiative and have gained the Healthy Eating Award.. The aim is to establish good eating practices and behaviours in order to prevent life long conditions such as diabetes, heart disease and cancers. It will also help reduce iron and calcium deficiencies and tooth decay.