Oxford Brookes University Nursery provides childcare for the staff and students of the university. The Discoverers’ Room (2-5’s) is also open to external children. The nursery is open from 8.30am to 5.25pm with the possibility of booking extended sessions between 8am to 5.55pm. We operate on Monday to Friday for 47 weeks of the year.
The Nursery is registered to provide full day care for 60 children aged from 4 months to under 8 years, although we currently take a maximum of 54 children on any one session. We group the children between two rooms depending on their age.
The Explorers’ Room caters for 12 children between 4 months and 2 years. The staff ratio in this room is 1:3. Four qualified Nursery Nurses work alongside a Lunchtime Assistant.
The Discoverers’ Room caters for up to 42 children between 2 years to 5 years. The staff ratio is 1:4 for the 2-3’s and 1:8 for the over 3’s. Seven qualified Nursery Nurses work alongside two Nursery Assistants (also qualified to level 3).
We employ an additional full-time Nursery Assistant who is supernumerary who can cover staff absence due to holiday or sickness. Additional contingency arrangements include the manager and deputy roles being supernumerary and having a bank of regular cover staff. Should the unlikely situation arise where, through unforeseen circumstances, there were not enough staff available for work on a particular day to cover our ratios, parents would be asked to wait with their children until the appropriate cover had been arranged.
The Nursery Chef plans and provides a wholesome balanced diet in the fully equipped nursery kitchen. The daily menu includes a fully cooked lunch and mid-morning and afternoon snack. Special diets and allergies are also catered for. Fresh drinking water is always available.
The Key Person Approach
In each room we operate a Key Person Approach, whereby each child is allocated a particular member of staff to be their ‘special person’ with whom they can build a closer relationship. The key person is the main person responsible for the child’s well being on a daily basis and for providing their ‘intimate care’. They will also be the main person to share information with the parent. Each key person also has a ‘buddy’, who will be able to take over the care should the key person be away.
Planning of Activities
The staff plan for the children’s learning using the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS). The EYFS continues into school until the end of the Foundation Year (rising 6’s).
The framework is grouped into four themes:
- A Unique Child – every child is a competent learner from birth who can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured.
- Positive Relationships – children learn to be strong and independent from a base of loving and secure relationships with parents and/or a key person.
- Enabling Environments – the environment plays a key role in supporting and extending children’s development and learning.
- Learning and Development – children develop and learn in different ways and at different rates and all areas of Learning and Development are equally important and inter-connected.
These themes underpin effective practice and guide the staff in the delivery of the EYFS. Meeting the individual needs of all children and delivering personalised learning and care lie at the heart of the EYFS. Staff individually plan for their key children based on observations of what they enjoy, their stage of development and previous experiences.
All progress is recorded in each child’s Foundation Stage Profile along with supporting evidence under seven areas of learning:
- Personal, Social and Emotional Development
- Communication and Language
- Physical Development
- Understanding of the World
- Expressive Arts and Design
We also have regard to the ‘Characteristics of Effective Learning’ (Playing & Exploring, Active Learning and Creating & Thinking Critically). Some of our activities are planned to facilitate these characteristics by ensuring there are opportunities for open-ended play, exploration, problem solving and creativity. This type of planning values the process of learning rather that the end result.
We value parents own observations on their children’s progress and encourage them to share ‘wow moments’ with us which helps to create a holistic view of the child. A school report will be forwarded onto the appropriate school when each child leaves the nursery and the additional supporting evidence is given to the parents to keep.
All children are given as much freedom of choice as possible to encourage autonomous learning, develop independence and a rich learning environment.
Staff Training and Development
All staff have an individual training and development programme which is discussed at their annual Personal Development Review. Individual objectives are set in order to develop practices and procedures and maintain a highly motivated and valued staff team. Performance is regularly reviewed throughout the year during 1:1 supervision sessions and the interim PDR.
Along with attending many individual courses, the nursery also operates three full staff training days each year. These are also good team building exercises and help us to develop new skills and evaluate as a team our nursery practices and policies. Discussion and reflection on practice also regularly takes place during room and full staff meetings.
Policies and Procedures
The Nursery has a full list of policies and procedures that are available to parents and which are reviewed annually.
Each room have their own information packs which are given to parents when their child joins the nursery. All relevant records on the children are kept on file and any general information is regularly shared and discussed with the parents.
The Operational Plan was reviewed in November 2021.