Welcome to Portsdown Nursery



  • Within our setting we  provide high quality Childcare and Nursery education for children aged 2 – 4 years. 
  • The Nursery closes for 5 staff training days throughout the academic year,  in line with Portsdown Primary School Inset days.
  • We have highly trained and experienced staff, including trained teachers, Nursery Nurses and Classroom Nursery Assistants.



 Children are organised into groups, 


Caterpillars Nursery Class – for children aged 2 – 3 years



     Butterflies Pre – school Nursery Class – for children aged 3 – 4 years


  • For children aged 2-3 years there is at least one adult to every 4 children.
  • For children aged 3-4 years there is one adult to every 8 children.
  • Adult child ratios in the Nursery are planned in accordance with Government guidelines and are always increased if children are taken on trips out of Nursery. 
  • Children work in small groups for group work with Teachers or Key Persons and join together in their classes for self initiated play.



  • The Nursery has an Early Years Teacher who leads the planning and organisation of the nursery. She is supported by two deputy managers and a team of qualified nursery nurses and nursery assistants. The Nursery is supported by Portsdown Primary School’s Inclusion Manager and SENCO for children’s additional needs, the school Welfare Team and an Early Years Professional teacher to support the early years curriculum.
  • Children are allocated a Key Person who is responsible for planning and managing their care and learning.
  • Staff names and photos are displayed in each room.
  • Prior to working in Nursery all staff and students are checked by the DBS for their suitability for working with children. If visitors or parents attend nursery they are always supervised by a member of staff and not left alone with children.
  • All visitors are expected to sign in and out of the building.



  • We recognise you have played a very important role in your child’s learning and development.
  • We hope as your child prepares to start Portsdown Nursery you will continue your crucial role in helping and supporting your child in nursery.
  • We want your child to settle happily and confidently and for you to feel a partner in your child’s education and development.
  • We feel it is vital that you tell us all about your child and we will spend time with you in your home and at Nursery before your child starts so you can tell us about your child’s routines, interests, likes, dislikes, health and development.
  • We know you will feel more confident in entrusting your child with us if you are informed as to what your child is doing, will need in nursery and how you can support your child settling.
  • Our website, handbook and leaflets aim to answer questions parents have asked us in the past about children starting Nursery.
  • We constantly try to improve our practice, so if there is any information you feel parents would find useful,  please let us know.

At Portsdown Nursery we aim to keep you informed about:

  • The environment and organisation
  • The curriculum
  • Your child’s progress and development
  • Your child’s routine
  • With whom your child is working
  • Policies and procedures of Portsdown Nursery
  • Who you can talk to if you have a concern



  • When your child begins Nursery he/she will have a Key Person, providing a familiar face with whom your child and the whole family can build a trusting relationship.
  • The Key Person supports the child and family to settle in. They are responsible for monitoring your child’s progress, planning and preparing activities to support your child’s development and learning.
  • Your child’s Key Person will liaise with you on a daily basis and share information with you about your child. Your child’s Key Person may change as your child progresses through the Nursery, but transitions are always introduced gradually and supported.



The Nursery classrooms are surrounded by safe and enclosed outside areas which are landscaped with grass, safety play surfaces, and tarmac. This provides opportunity for taking learning and development outside.                        

The Nursery environment includes:

  • a range of bikes and trucks for a specifically designed roadway
  • sand, water and mud kitchen play for exploring and combining materials 
  • role play areas and small world areas
  • hills for running and climbing
  • large adventure climbing apparatus with safe surfacing
  • construction apparatus for building
  • opportunities for exploring and using ICT equipment
  • opportunities for planting, growing and harvesting produce
  • safe shaded areas for all weather protection
  • music and sound exploration                                                
  • reading dens
  • opportunities to develop number and awareness of shape and measure
  • opportunities to develop mark making, drawing and writing with a range of resources
  • opportunities for exploration and investigation
  • opportunities to explore media and materials  e.g. paint, malleable materials, glue
  • The Nursery environment indoor and outdoors is organised into areas which allow children to learn through play.
  • Areas are clearly organised and labelled to enable children to learn where things are so they can independently access resources for themselves and learn to tidy them away.
  • We promote health and safety at all times through modelling and interactions with children.
  • Areas are bright, attractive and stimulating, displaying children’s current activities, pictures, photographs and words. We encourage children to feel that what they do is valued and we display a range of their work.
  • Through providing first-hand experience, pictures, artifacts, photographs, resources and activities we  provide a rich and stimulating environment, in which children feel safe secure and cannot help but play, explore and learn.



  • In Caterpillars and Butterflies children work in groups with a Key Person as well as having opportunity to learn and play following their own interests in the environment with adults supporting and working alongside.
  • Nursery staff work closely with children to develop positive attitudes to learning through play across a broad and balanced curriculum. 
  • Children learn to be independent, work alongside and to play with other children, to take turns, share and listen with others.
  • With adults working along side them children are encouraged to explore, investigate, think creatively and problem solve.
  • Children are  encouraged to be confident to talk with peers and adults, to say how they feel and do things for themselves.
  • Children have daily access to the inside and outside environment where there is opportunity to explore a range of experiences for learning including:-

Communication and Language

  • Developing listening and attention skills; learning to distinguish between sounds; joining in with and learning rhymes and songs; Developing understanding and talking, through broadening  vocabulary, and using longer and more complex sentences, as well as responding to and asking questions.

Personal, Social and Emotional Development 

  • Helping children develop confidence and independence as they play and explore; learning to follow the daily routine and understand rules and expectations for appropriate behaviour; understanding  their own feelings and developing respect for others.

Physical Development

  • Encouraging confidence in exploring different ways of   moving individually and in a group  with increasing control e.g. using  wheeled toys,      exploring  construction equipment, small games equipment e.g. ball play climbing, balancing and tunneling play, den building; Supporting children to explore opportunities for holding and using large and small equipment for making marks and joining materials. Encouraging  understanding of how their bodies work developing  independence in self-care.


  • Encouraging interest in looking at and talking about books; learning how to use and handle books; developing enjoyment in listening to stories and reading. Supporting children joining in and remembering rhymes. Developing interest in mark making and writing so they give meaning to the marks they make.


  • Encouraging enjoyment, understanding and awareness of numbers and counting through practical activities rhymes and  real experiences. Exploring and talking about shapes and measures. Opportunities for problem solving.

Knowledge and understanding

  • Investigative play – texture play e.g.- sand/water/mud/playdough. Finding out and exploring the environment and the world through their senses. Talking about their observations and asking questions. Using and exploring ICT. Talking about people and the community.

Creative development

  • Role and imaginary play, exploring materials and media in messy play, painting, construction and malleable materials, exploring and responding to music and sounds.

In addition facilities are provided for:

  • Cooking, snacks and meals and sleeping if children require a sleep in the day.


  • Portsdown Nursery provides high quality childcare and education, which builds upon and extends children’s development and understanding, to provide a foundation for future learning and achievement.
  • The Nursery curriculum is based on the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) curriculum published by the government. You can find information about the curriculum as well helpful advice on www.foundationyears.org.uk a website from pregnancy to children aged 5.
  • Through rich experiences and a wide range of learning situations, children’s interaction with people and exploration of the world around them is developed in a safe and secure environment. As children grow and change they are supported and provided with opportunities to enable them to become socially aware, to communicate and learn about their world.
  • Children’s learning is developed through well- planned play, which is enjoyable and challenging.
  • Continual assessment of children enables adults to plan appropriate opportunities to encourage individual and groups of children to play, talk, observe, plan, question, experiment, explore, repeat and reflect to develop their understanding and growth. Nursery staff liaise closely with families to share and discuss observations and assessments of children’s development and plan for their next steps in learning.


  • Children are encouraged to follow a daily routine to help them feel secure in the fact that they know what is happening next.
  • Young children have differing needs and may need more time with certain activities or experiences. The routines can be flexible in timing to flow with individual needs.


  • If children need to sleep during the day we are able to offer provision in a quiet area.
  • Children sleep in beds or buggies dependent upon parental request.
  • All Nursery bedding is washed after use.
  • Children are closely monitored at 10 minute intervals when sleeping.
  • A written record is kept of their sleeping pattern and checks made.
  • Where possible we will try to follow your routines and requests with regard to sleeping.
  • Children do not sleep with bottles or drinks.


  • The Nursery offers nappy changing and toilet training facilities. Your child’s Key Person will work with you to establish your routines you use at home and will liaise with you about how your child is progressing in this personal skill.
  • Nappies are changed throughout the session with the child’s individual needs and routines in mind. Nursery staff will liaise with parents daily as to when child was changed before entry to nursery. The time between nappy changes will not exceed three hours before checking or changing.
  • Nappy changes are recorded on record sheets to inform parents on a daily basis.
  • We encourage children to be as self – sufficient as possible and we positively encourage children to wash their hands after toilet or nappy change.
  • Nappies, wipes and changes of clothing must be provided by parents.


  • We follow Portsdown Primary School’s policy for food and drink. 
  • We have facility to provide snacks. 
  • Healthy snacks are prepared in the nursery class base kitchen areas.
  • We promote healthy eating and drinking and encourage children to try a range of healthy foods for snacks and milk or water to drink.
  • Children have access to water at all times. 
  • Children are not permitted to have juice to drink at snack time.
  • Hot lunch time meals can be ordered for children during term time. 
  • Hot lunch meals are cooked in Portsdown Primary School kitchens.
  • All meals must be ordered and paid for by 9.15 a.m. on day of attendance. Fees are available on request. Special diets and allergies can be catered for.
  • Children may bring a packed lunch.  We encourage parents to ensure they provide a healthy lunch and avoid sweets, crisps, juice and fizzy drinks which can include a high number of colourings and additives known to affect moods, behaviour and healthy teeth development.
  • We cannot reheat packed lunch meals.



  • As Nursery staff assess and track children’s development they can identify if children are experiencing any difficulties in their development and plan appropriate strategies to support them. If Staff have concerns about a child’s progress they will discuss the matter with parents/carers at the earliest possible occasion.
  • At this stage the Nursery Manager would discuss the concerns with the schools Inclusion Manager who would advise on the appropriate action to support the child, family and staff.
  • Sometimes it is necessary to involve other agencies such as a Speech and Language therapist, behaviour support advisor, or the Child Development Team for further advice and support.
  • If a child is identified as having Special Educational Needs (SEN) they may need an Individual Education Plan (IEP) to ensure that they receive experiences and activities that will support their development.
  • If you are aware that your child has special educational needs, prior to starting at Portsdown Nursery, it is important that you discuss this with us so that we can take steps to plan appropriate provision with you for your child.



  • We do not discriminate against anyone on grounds of sex, race, colour, religion, nationality, or ethnic origins.
  • We ensure that all children have equal access to the full range of Education opportunities provided in Nursery.
  • We promote positive social attitudes and encourage children to have respect for all. We try to ensure that all children are treated fairly, equally and with respect.
  • We try to promote awareness of cultural diversity through ensuring that materials and resources used reflect a positive image of Ethnic minority groups.
  • Any incidents of prejudice or racism are challenged and serious incidents recorded and drawn to the attention of the Headteacher.


  • The Nursery follows Portsdown Primary School behaviour policy. The statements below summarise how we apply the policy in the Nursery.
  • Adults working in nursery encourage a positive and friendly atmosphere, praising children’s achievements and positive behaviour.
  • Children are helped to behave appropriately through adults modelling appropriate behaviour and interaction.
  • At Portsdown Nursery we accentuate the positive rather than the negative.
  • With our youngest children we talk about and model the behaviour, praise appropriate behaviour and use distraction to focus children’s attention.
  • When conflicts occur, adults help children to resolve them through talking and modelling appropriate behaviour, then praising the child’s co-­operation. We try to ‘catch the child being good‘ (making appropriate behaviour choice) and praise the behaviour e.g. ‘I like the way you are walking now’
  • If a child displays inappropriate behaviours they are given a warning using the language of ‘choice’.
  • If the behaviour continues the child has time away from group, but within close vicinity of the group. Sand timers are used as a visual aid for the concept of time.
  • After, time is taken with the child, to reflect on their behaviour and explain how they should behave.
  • All adults model and encourage appropriate behaviour through visual stimulus and objects.
  • Visual rules, agreed with children, are displayed and used for all children to access Nursery rules and expectations. 
  • If there are continued incidents of challenging behaviour, we monitor the incidents to see when they are occurring and try to identify the reasons why.
  • From this point we may put an individual plan in place or make adjustments to the situations to support positive behaviour development.
  • We work closely with parents/carers to support with any behaviour concerns. 
  • In discussion with parents we may involve the school inclusion manager or external agencies who can offer further advice and support.


  • Portsdown Nursery follows Portsdown Primary School Safeguarding Policy. The statements below summarise how we safeguard children in the Nursery. Procedures comply with all relevant legislation and are available to parents and carers during the child’s settling in period and during opening times.
  • Portsdown Nursery believes that children have the right to be completely secure from both the fear and reality of abuse, and we are committed to protecting all the children in our care from harm. 
  • As carers of young children, we have a duty to report any concerns in relation to the welfare of those children in our care, to Social Care or other relevant agencies. 
  • At all times, the safety, protection and interests of children comes first and we will endeavor where possible to liaise with and support parents/carers throughout any course of action that is necessary.
  • Portsdown Primary School and Early Years has appointed members of staff as the Safeguarding Officers. These Officers have suitable experience, training and expertise, and are responsible for liaising with social care and any other appropriate agencies in the event there are concerns raised about a child in our care.
  • Safeguarding is paramount. All staff are trained to safeguard children. We operate policies to ensure the safety of children in the environment indoors and outdoors. 
  • All Parents and children in our school and nursery are able to talk to any member of staff to share concerns or talk about situations which are giving them worries. The staff will listen to the parent or child, take their worries seriously and share the information with the safeguarding lead.


  • When child enters Portsdown Nursery a Learning Journey is started which records their development, interests at home and school. 
  • The Learning Journey provides Portsdown Nursery staff with observations of a child’s interests, activities and experiences from which they can assess a child’s development to plan for future learning.
  • Parents/carers are welcome to contribute to this record with photos and anecdotes about their child’s development at home.
  • We value parental observations and aim to develop a partnership with parents/carers so there is a two – way flow of information about the child’s development.
  • We meet with parent/carers at least once a term to discuss the learning journey of the child’s development but parents are welcome to view their child’s learning journey more regularly if they wish to do so.


  • Portsdown Nursery has the highest regard for the safety of children.
  • Sometimes children are poorly in Nursery and Portsdown staff may need to contact parents/carers quickly so the child can be collected and taken home.  
  • It is therefore very important parents/carers inform the Nursery immediately if any contact numbers change.
  • At all times, particularly if parents/carers are not at home, they should ensure there is someone who could collect the child in an emergency.
  • When a child starts Portsdown Nursery it is essential that parents/carer record on the admission form who is permitted to collect the child in an emergency.
  • Portsdown Nursery will not allow children to be collected by someone who is not known or named on the child’s records unless  previous consent has been issued by the parent/carer.
  • Parent/carers must inform Portsdown Nursery staff when leaving a child at the start of a Nursery session if anyone different is to collect the child.



  • In the event of an emergency, where persons named on the admission form are unable to collect a child, Portsdown Nursery requests that a password is recorded and only known to those persons and named contacts.
  • Nursery staff are informed of the password, which is kept securely.
  • This password is  then given by the parent/carer to the person  delegated to collect the child. The delegated person presents this word when requested on collection of the child.
  • The delegated person must show identification so Portsdown Nursery staff can check it with the additional information parent/carer has given to Nursery about the person collecting.
  • Only then will the child be released.
  • If there are any concerns raised Portsdown Nursery staff would contact the parent/carer by telephone.

Please be aware –

  • No child will be handed to an unidentified individual without password and identification.
  • If Staff are in any doubt, they will not release the child.
  • We do not permit children to be collected by anyone who is under the age of 16.



  • Children learn every day. We aim for children to make maximum progress so their skills and development are age appropriate or better on entry to school.
  • Continuous attendance at nursery supports children’s learning and development in all areas of the curriculum as well as develops good habits of attendance in preparation for school.
  • Please try to support your child’s learning and development by only keeping your child away from nursery if they are unwell.
  • If your child is absent we request you telephone Portsdown School Office on the first session of absence.
  • You must inform the School Office prior to the event, if you intend to request permission to take the child out of nursery for any reason.
  • We request you do not collect your child early without giving prior notice or unless it is a serious emergency.
  • Please do not keep your children home from nursery for birthdays, relatives visiting or shopping.
  • If you have booked childcare sessions we cannot refund money for absence. You will be expected to pay for attendance if your child does not attend when ill or for other reasons. (Please see policy for childcare fees).
  • If your child does not attend booked sessions on a regular basis we will talk with you about this as it is inconsistent for the child and stops other children taking up a place at the Nursery.
  • Persistent poor attendance may result in your child’s nursery place being stopped.



  • If your child is booked for a session, please try to ensure that your child attends at the start of the session.
  • It is unsettling for the children if they walk in and activities have already started and Nursery staff may not be free to talk with you about your child.
  • Sometimes circumstances may happen, making lateness unavoidable. In these circumstances, please do not keep your child at home. We would rather see them late than not at all.
  • Late collection of children from Nursery will incur a fee for every 15 minutes after their booked time. (Please see Policy for childcare fees)


  • If your child needs to take medicine during the Nursery sessions we ask you to complete a form detailing medicine dose, time and reason.
  • You will need to sign a statement giving your permission for Staff to administer the medication.
  • Prescription medicines must be in their original container with original label from the pharmacy. This must state child’s name, date of expiry of medication, dosage given.
  • Should your child require medication twice a day – please if possible, arrange times so medication can be administered at home.



  • When your child begins at Nursery it is important you inform us of any medical conditions, allergies, physical or learning needs your child has.
  • This will help us to provide care and curriculum with consideration to children’s needs.
  • We do not want to put your child into any difficult or stressful situations.
  • If we know a child has an allergy, for example to eggs, we will ensure that precautions are taken to accommodate this. We will need to discuss with you, procedures to be taken if an allergic reaction was to occur.
  • If you have a worry about your child, however small, for example with speech or hearing, it is important you tell us so that we can observe and assess the situation or refer to other professionals who can help and advise.
  • If we have a concern about your child’s progress we will talk to you about it so we can work in partnership to support your child.


  • Young children playing outside do have accidents. These might be minor bumps and bruises, but occasionally more serious.
  • If your child has an accident we will inform you and we will make a record of the accident which we request that you sign.
  • If a child receives a bump on the head we will phone you and tell you what has happened so you may come and check your child for yourself and decide if they need to go home or remain in Nursery. 
  • It is therefore very important that we always have your up to date emergency contact phone numbers.
  • If your child is poorly we will phone you to arrange for your child to be collected.
  • If your child has been sick in the night please keep them at home. They should remain at home until 48 hours after the symptoms have cleared and should be eating normally. If this procedure is followed it will help to minimise the risk of bugs and viruses being passed through the Nursery.
  • Children who are unwell are often tearful and do not want to leave you. We do not want them to become overly distressed as it unsettles them, so if you think they are unwell it is better to keep them at home.
  • Sometimes, however, children may say they have a tummy ache or feel sick and you are unsure. In these instances it is probably better to bring them in. We will phone you if they become unwell.


  • If your child has had a bump or accident however small at home, it is important you tell us, so we are aware of any care or attention they may need.
  • Staff complete an existing injuries form with you so everyone is informed about the situation and can care for your child.



  • We welcome Parents/Carers in the nursery to share your child’s learning and play and how we are developing the curriculum to support their learning and development.
  • We provide opportunities for you to come and work alongside your child’s key person to support specific skills development through play.
  • Portsdown Nursery is committed to providing opportunities for parents to visit nursery on a regular basis to join in with curriculum activities with their children. This allows parents to discover and support their children in learning and development through the Early Years curriculum.
  • Sometimes we have volunteers working in the nursery on a regular basis. OFSTED requirements necessitate that all volunteers are police checked by the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check prior to helping. Under no circumstances are volunteers or trainee staff left unsupervised with children.
  • If you are interested in supporting in the nursery or wanting to find out more about the nursery curriculum, please talk in the first instance to your child’s key person.