1. Do I need to visit Pre-school with my child before they start?

Yes. We find that visiting Pre-school before your child starts helps with transition from home to Pre-school and with settling-in. It gives you both to a chance to look around, play, and meet the staff. A member of staff can also help you complete any forms, such as the ‘Getting to know you’ booklet, so please bring along your child’s red book and a copy of their birth certificate. A visit usually lasts around an hour. Please ring 01491 875036 to arrange a suitable time.

  1. When my child starts am I able to stay at Pre-school to help settle my child?

Yes, the staff encourage you to stay at the session for as long as you think your child needs. Staff will discuss the best settling-in strategy to suit both you and your child on an individual basis.

  1. Does my child need to be potty-trained before they start Pre-school?

No, they are able to come along in nappies. It is asked that you provide nappies, wipes and nappy sacks in your child’s bag in case your child needs to be changed. Any soiled nappies will be placed in a sealed bag and put in your child’s bag for you to take home with you at the end of the session. Please advise the staff if your child is in nappies and also remember that the staff can support and advise you through potty training.

  1. What clothing should my child wear or bring with them?

Children attending Pre-school wear their normal clothes, there is no uniform.

In cold weather, please ensure that your child has a warm hat and mitts or gloves in their coat pockets for when they go outside. Please note that scarves are not allowed at Pre-school for health and safety reasons.

In the summer, sun hats should be brought to Pre-school.

Also, long dresses are often a problem for the child when playing on the climbing frame.

  1. Should I bring in spare clothing for my child?

Yes, it is a good idea to have a change of clothes in a small bag (not a plastic supermarket-type bag) that your child can hang on their peg. The staff will change your child if they get covered in paint or get very wet from the water play, drink spills or even just washing their hands on their own! Spare clothes are also kept at Pre-school should they be needed.

Your child’s bag and coat will be hung on a named peg found within the entrance to Pre-school. As different children attend different sessions, the peg that is labelled with your child’s name will change each session.

  1. Can my child wear wellingtons, crocs or open-toed sandals at Pre-school?

No. Should your child arrive in wellingtons, please ensure that they change into shoes once inside Pre-school – their wellingtons can be left by their peg.

Your child should not come to Pre-school in open-toed sandals or crocs, for health and safety reasons.

  1. Will staff apply sun screen to my child in sunny weather?

No, staff will not apply sun screen. Please ensure your child arrives with sun screen already applied and has a sun hat. It is also a good idea to use an all-day formula and for your child to wear a top with sleeves so they do not have too much skin exposed to the sun.

  1. Do I need to bring in food and drink for my child if they are only attending the session and not lunch club?

Please bring a named flask of water to each session, and put them on the tray near the kitchen, in case your child needs a drink before snack time. Bringing in donations of fruit or a healthy snack, such as breadsticks or rice cakes, is very much appreciated and your child may enjoy handing this to the Supervisor behind the desk at the beginning of the session. These will be Prepared and shared at snack time. Please remember, NO NUTS.

  1. If my child attends lunch club, what type of food should I pack?

Please bring in food that your child usually has for lunch and enjoys eating. Please do not pack sweets and avoid products that contain nuts as these could potentially cause an allergic reaction in other children attending Pre-school. Whilst not wishing to prescribe what you send your child with, here is a suggestion:

  • sandwiches
  • a piece of fruit
  • a healthy snack (cereal bar (NO NUTS), yoghurt – with spoon)
  • Pre-school will offer them water but feel free to pack a drink (not fizzy)

The staff have noted that sometimes children have too much food packed for them and find it difficult to eat it all in the 30 minutes given. Should you wish your child to eat the more healthy items in their lunch boxes, please limit the more tempting things as these may well be eaten first!

Any grapes or cherry tomatoes in your child’s lunch box, should be CUT IN HALF (grapes lengthways) to Prevent choking.

  1. Is my child encouraged to bring toys from home to Pre-school?

Yes, children are asked to bring in toys or other items relating to the weekly topic. At the beginning of each term you will be told the upcoming topics, where each week the Pre-school focuses on a particular theme, sound (a, b, c etc….) and number. Bringing in toys or other items relating to the theme, starting with the weekly ‘sound’ or containing the right number is encouraged. The child then gets a chance at ‘chat time’ to stand up and show everyone what they have brought. The toys should be placed in the coloured cloth bag when your child is given it by their keyworker. At the end of the session, they will be put with the rest of your child’s work for you to take home.

The information on the weekly topic, sound and number is also available on the website.

Children may bring in ‘comforter’ toys to help them settle, but it would be best if these are kept in your child’s bag on the coat hooks until needed. It could be a disaster for the comforter to go missing amongst the many toys at Pre-school! Naming these toys is also recommended!

  1. What is the ‘Parent Helper’ role?

Each term every parent is given a date when they are asked to attend the Pre-school as a ‘Parent Helper’. The date given will be for a session attended by your child and is a nice opportunity to see what your child does at Pre-school, especially after they have been there a while and you are no longer staying with them to help them settle. The children tend to enjoy the fact that their parent is there and are given special tasks to do such as counting the number of children and staff so the correct number of drinks and snacks are prepared. As Parent Helper you generally help the children with jigsaws, games, play-dough, dressing up, putting aprons on for water play and painting as well as helping children work on the computer. You could also help with washing all of the cups and bowls up when the children have finished their snack. If you wish, you are very welcome to read the story at the end of the session.

The child’s mother, father, grandparent or other carer can come along as the Parent Helper. If you are unable to attend the date requested, please just cross out your name on the Parent Helper rota sheet that is pinned to the notice board above the wash basins find a free date that is suitable and just write your name by that date instead. Please then let a member of staff know that you have done this. We also have a sign-up sheet for Forest School helpers – very popular with the dads!

  1. What is a Key Person? Will my child be allocated a key person?

Every child is allocated a key person, who takes a special interest in your child, helps them settle-in, and is responsible for completing your child’s profile according to the Early Years Foundation Stage. Please note that staff work part-time so the key person may not see your child every day. As your child moves sessions, their key person may change to ensure that the allocated person is present at as many of your child’s sessions as possible. There is a list of children for each key person on the notice board in the cloakroom.

The Pre-school operates an ‘open door’ policy that enables parents to speak to any member of staff about their child and any concerns will be passed to your child’s key person. You can ask any member of staff how they felt your child was in a session. However, your child’s key person will have greater knowledge of their overall progress and how they are settling-in.

Please feel free to chat to your child’s key person at any time by catching them at the beginning or the end of the session. They will both be happy to chat with you about your child’s progress and they may ask you to make an appointment so they can spend more time with you. If requested, they can show you your child’s profile.

We are keen to find out what your child’s interests are at home as this helps us plan activities they may be interested in. It is also helpful to know if your child achieves something new at home (e.g. counting to 5, putting on their own coat), please write this down on a wow moment form, date it and give it to your child’s key person. It will be recorded within their profile, which helps to build a picture of what your child is able to achieve.

  1. How can I contact my child’s key person?

You can arrange to speak to your child’s key person by:

  • phone (Tel: 01491 875036); or
  • email supervisors@goringandcleevePreschool.org.uk. Some members of staff do not have email but any messages will be forwarded; or
  • leave a note with the supervisor; or
  • speak to her at the start or end of a session (although this can be a busy time).
  1. Will reports on my child’s progress at Pre-school be provided?

Yes. We will provide reports on your child’s progress at several stages:

Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) Progress report at age 2

Your child’s key person will complete an EYFS progress report at age 2. This report provides feedback on their progress on the prime areas of the EYFS. You will be asked to give input into the report to ensure it is accurate. More information on the report will be provided closer to the time.  If your child attends more than one setting, the setting they spend most of their time at should complete this report.

Summary progress reports

Summary progress reports are provided twice a year, usually in February and July. These can be shared with other settings (nursery or child-minder) your child might attend. You might like to add comments about what your child is doing at home to the report.

There is an exception to the February reporting: children who recently received a progress report at age 2 at the end of the Autumn term will not receive a summary report.

Transition report

Your child’s key person will write a transition report on your child’s progress at Pre-school towards the end of their last term at Pre-school before they leave to start another setting or Primary School. This report, together with your child’s profile, will be forwarded to the new setting or Primary School that they attend.

You are welcome to make an appointment with your key person to discuss any of these reports. Copies of the reports should also be shared with other settings that your child may attend. Please let us have copies of reports you receive from other settings.

Please remember that you can speak to your child’s key person or any member of staff at any time about your child.

  1. How are children disciplined at Pre-school?

Please read our ‘Achieving positive behaviour’ policy (section 7 of the policies, under ‘Managing Behaviour’ – see our website, and there is a hard copy on the notice board just inside the front door). Children need to learn to consider the views and feelings, needs and rights, of others and the impact that their behaviour has on people, places and objects. This is a developmental task that requires support, encouragement, teaching and setting the correct example. To achieve positive and considerate behaviour, we reinforce positive behaviour and support children in rationalising and talking through their conflicts. Acceptable behaviour at Pre-school is explained and reinforced. Staff are required to model the positive behaviours we expect from the children and treat children with respect, fairness, kindness, care and courtesy.

  1. Do you need to know what other settings my child attends?

Yes, it is important that you tell us if your child attend any other setting, such as a nursery or childminder. We share information with other settings to build a more accurate picture of your child. Please tell us if this information changes.

  1. When are the Primary School gates open?

The front school gate is timed to open 5 minutes before the start and end of sessions or the school day (8.40am, 9.15am, 11.45am, 12.45pm and 3.10pm Monday to Thursday, 8.40am and 10.50am on a Friday). If you arrive earlier, please wait for the gate to open. Outside of these hours, please use the buzzer and intercom to request the gate is opened. The green button outside the school office will release the gate when you leave.

The back gate is opened at the start of the day (8.50am and 9.20am drop-off) and then at the end of the school day (3.20pm pick-up). It is locked for the rest of the school day. Please be aware that you are not permitted to drive or park cars in the school driveway unless you are collecting a sick child. Also, please remember that the Pre-school is within the grounds of a school and it is appreciated if you could make as little noise as possible when walking past the classrooms during the school day.

  1. What do I do if my child cannot attend a session?

If your child is not going to attend Pre-school due to illness or any other reason, please could you ring the Pre-school (01491 875036) to let the staff know. Similarly, please let the Pre-school know if you know you are going to be late, as the register closes 10 minutes after the start of a session.

  1. Once my child is attending Pre-school, how do I change the number of sessions and the days that my child attends for the next term?

Normally children only change the sessions they attend at the start of each school term. However, we do our best to accommodate any session change requests.

Half-way through the term, you will be asked to let the Pre-school Administrator (Jean Mitchell) know which sessions and lunch clubs you would like your child to attend for the next term. About 3 weeks or so before the term ends, your child will then be allocated the sessions they can attend for the next term. Should the Administrator not hear from you, it will be presumed that you wish to continue with the same sessions for the next term. Please remember you are not guaranteed to get everything you request, but our Administrator works really hard to try and make sure everyone gets as close to their requests as possible.

Should you know what your session requirements would be for future terms, you can contact Jean Mitchell who will put your child on a waiting list for that particular session in the future. Jean can be contacted at administrator@goringandcleevepreschool.org.uk. It doesn’t matter how far in advance you tell her. Length of time on waiting list for a particular session does get taken into account, so please ensure you let her know.  In terms of how allocation of spaces is made, the order of allocation is as follows:

  • Children with additional needs
  • Funded children in next school year (then length of time on the waiting list for individual sessions)
  • Other funded children (then length of time on the waiting list for individual sessions)
  • Unfunded children (then length of time on the waiting list for individual sessions)

Please note, we are obliged to offer spare places to any funded age child arriving in the area, mid-term. This often affects the number of available places and hence an existing child’s position on the waiting list.

Due to high demand for places, we may not be able to offer children turning 3 during the school year 15 hours (i.e. as soon as they become funded). However, we do aim to offer at least 15 hours to all children in the year before they go on to school. We aim to provide all funded children with at least two sessions (5 hours).

  1. Which sessions can my child attend?

Please refer to the “Sessions, Fees & Registration page”.

  1. Do you offer Ad Hoc sessions?

Yes, Pre-school offers ad hoc session arrangements for funded children already registered at the Pre-school. Please contact the Supervisors and ask if there is room in a session that you need. These sessions are charged at the normal hourly rate.

  1. What is Forest School?

As part of the afternoon sessions, designed specifically for the older Pre-schoolers, in their final year of Preschool before moving on to Primary school, the children will have an opportunity to visit the Forest School. It is part of an Oxfordshire County Council initiative to increase the amount of time children spend learning in the outdoors.

Forest School is a fenced area in a woodland setting where children are able to learn in an outdoor classroom. The normal Foundation Curriculum is followed, but in an exciting outdoor setting. The children travel by minibus and the Pre-school provide waterproofs. There is a qualified Forest School teacher and a high child to adult ratio. It is hoped that all children will attend in half-term blocks throughout the year. We require children to attend at least one other Pre-school session in addition to Forest School.

  1. What should my child wear for PE?

PE kit is a white t-shirt (polo shirt which buttons at the neck) and navy shorts plus black plimsolls with Velcro fastenings. All the kit should be clearly labelled.

  1. What is the best way to contact the Pre-school Administrator?

Jean Mitchell’s e-mail address is administrator@goringandcleevepreschool.org.uk.  When contacting Jean via email, please include a subject line on your message (e.g. Goring Pre-School/Child’s Name), which will mean it is much less likely to go into her spam filter!

Please remember that Jean works on a part-time basis, but you will receive an automated response confirming that she has received your email. She will respond to your query within 3 working days.

  1. How do I pay for my child’s Pre-school sessions?

At the start of each term parents with children not entitled to government funding will be sent a bill by the Pre-school Administrator. The bill will show what sessions you have been charged for and will give instructions on how to pay. The preferred method of payment is direct to the Pre-school bank account (quoting your child’s name) but you can pay by cheque.

Government funding is available for all children attending Pre-school the term after they turn three (currently 15 hours per week with a maximum of 6 hours in any one day). This funding is obtained directly by the Pre-school and you will be asked to fill in a ‘funding form’ at the start of each term saying where and how you are using the hours. This form will be available at Pre-school at the beginning of each term and you will be asked to fill it in when you drop off your child. The government funding can be shared between different Pre-school providers.

  1. Does the Pre-school accept childcare vouchers?

Yes. Please check with the Administrator (Jean Mitchell) as to whether Pre-school is registered with the company that provides the childcare vouchers that your employer use. If they are not, you can register Pre-school with your childcare voucher provider, also letting the Administrator know, and Pre-school will happily accept them.

  1. How do the staff and committee communicate with parents?

A lot of communicating about what is happening in Pre-school is by email, and you will be asked to join the parent distribution list at parents@goringandcleevepreschool.org.uk. This address is strictly for Pre-school only communication. A distribution list has also been set up as an ‘electronic notice board’ where people can ask for sponsorship money, sell and request items etc. at noticeboard@goringandcleevepreschool.org.uk.

It is still important to check the notice boards both outside the Pre-school and above the wash basins by the coat hooks for details of any events that are coming up, sign-up sheets and the date when the next committee meeting will be.

Should you wish to email the committee, this can be done by sending an email to committee@goringandcleevepreschool.org.uk.

  1. How can I become more involved with the Pre-school?

Although the Pre-school works very closely with Goring Primary School, it is a separate charitable organisation. The teaching staff and Administrator are employees, however, the decisions required to run and maintain Pre-school are made by a committee of volunteer parents. Any parent can join the committee, which is formed each year at the AGM held in May.  Your support would be appreciated and you could do as little or as much as you choose.

  1. How many terms are there in each academic year?

For funding purposes, there are 3 terms per year: Autumn, Spring and Summer. Funding forms are completed at the beginning of each term in September, January and April.

However, you might notice on the topic list and newsletter that each half-term is referred to as a ‘term’, giving six terms per academic year. The term dates are listed on our website and are the same as Goring Primary School. Generally, they start:

Autumn term

Term 1 – September

Term 2 – November, ends at Christmas

Spring term

Term 3 – January

Term 4 – February, ends at Easter

Summer term

Term 5 – April

Term 6 – June, ends in July.

  1. When is Pre-school closed? What happens when it snows?

Pre-school is open in line with the Primary School term dates and thus closed during the school holidays.  Our term dates are published on the Pre-school website http://www.goringandcleevePreschool.org.uk.

The Pre-school will also remain closed on other days when Goring Primary School is closed such as inset days. You will be informed in advance about planned closures. Our term dates will take into account school inset days at the start and end of term.

When it snows please check your email as you will be sent a message if Pre-school is closed. You can also check the Goring Primary School website http://www.goring.oxon.sch.uk or Oxfordshire County Council website http://www.oxfordshire.gov.uk/schoolclosures to find out if the primary school is closed. If the Primary School is closed,  Pre-school is also shut. School closures are announced during the breakfast shows on BBC Radio Oxford (95.2 FM), Heart FM (102.6 or 97.4 FM), Glide (107.9 FM), Banbury Sound (107.6 FM) and Jack FM (106.8 FM).  Please listen for Goring Primary School.