Each child has a designated Key Person who is assigned to take a special interest in them during their time at Rockinghorse. This special relationship enables staff to work in close partnership with parents/carers to recognise and develop the individuality of each child and acknowledge their interests and needs. The Key Person will make observation of children’s individual learning interests. These observations will be used to engage strategies and plans to support and enhance the progress and development of each individual child. Account is also taken of information shared by parents/carers via discussion or the ‘My Learning Journey’ Diaries and any information received from other early years’ professionals.
All staff receive regular training in Child Protection and Paediatric First Aid, with lots of our staff being Safeguard Lead Practitioners. We also have two members of staff that are Special Education Needs Co-ordinators, one in the Yearlings room and one in the Foals. Staff are always looking for ways to develop their knowledge further by attending regular training courses.
We have been using Tiny Talk in the nursery for several years and our aim is to encourage parents to use some signs at home. A member of staff has recently attended some Tiny Talk training and will be using the knowledge to display some pictures for ‘sign of the week’ and using more signs during story telling and singing.
Rockinghorse has recently partnered with Nightingales Care Home. The children have the opportunity to share activities with the residents, such as craft and singing. The staff and residents were delighted by the children's carol concert they held for them in December 2018.
There has been lots of interest nationally in this area and the recent channel 4 series ‘Old People’s Home For 4 Year Olds’ was very inspiring. ‘There is no doubt that in the youngest and oldest members of our society we have a hugely valuable and often untapped resource, that when brought together would have a significant impact on the well-being and development of both groups. I really hope the programme inspires more people to organise quality intergenerational care experiences. I know I will certainly be promoting this philosophy in my work.’ – Alistair Bryce-Clegg, Early Years Specialist.
A member of staff has recently completed some training in mini yoga and we will begin to introduce this to the children after the Easter break. We feel that it is an excellent opportunity for the children to take part in some calming physical activity. By incorporating mini yoga into the daily routine we hope to aid the children’s transition from energetic outside play to sitting at the tables at meal times or taking part in quieter activities inside.
Parent partnership is a fundamental value of our ethos at Rockinghorse and we welcome input from parents who feel they have a particular skill that would benefit the children. The children really enjoy sharing time with different people and it encourages them to embrace a wider perspective of the world around them. It also promotes their self-esteem as they recognise the adults sharing experiences and activities with them.
Another unique way in which Rockinghorse promotes parent partnership is through our termly 'Parent Breakfast'. The 'Parent Breakfast' provides the opportunity for parents/carers to meet with their child's Key Person and share observations and assessments over a breakfast of toast, croissants and juices. This has proved extremely popular as it alleviates the pressure, on already busy parents, to attend a parent's evening at a less convenient time. It also enables parents to share breakfast with their child and develop the relationship between Key Person, Parent and Child.
To give the children knowledge and understanding of the wider community the nursery partners with local organisations, including Mattishall Primary School and All Saints Church, during special events such as Easter, Harvest, Remembrance, Christmas and the all important transition from the early years into primary education.
The nursery also receives visits from local emergency services e.g. police, fire and ambulance as well as doctors, nursers and dental hygienists.
We have regular visits from the Norfolk County Council Library Bus. This enables children to select books, story sacks, puzzles and games that are relevant to their interests or activities currently being undertaken within the nursery.
Security is of paramount importance at Rockinghorse and to this end we have a number of robust policies and procedures surrounding this area including:
Safeguarding and Child Protection
Mobile Phone and Social Networking Policy
Collection of Children
Critical Incident Policy
Unwanted Visitor Policy
Staff Code of Professional Conduct
The entrance to the setting is secured by a coded keypad. The building is locked and alarmed when not in use. All policies and procedures can be viewed in full on request.
We are able to accept Tax Free Childcare payments. This scheme is for working families, including the self-employed, in the UK with children under 12 (or under 17 if disabled). For every £8 you pay in, the government will add an extra £2, up to £2,000 per child per year.
We also accept payments from other childcare voucher schemes.
Rockinghorse is able to offer the Free Early Education Entitlement. It is for all families who meet certain national criteria. This entitlement funding is Government funded and is intended to deliver 15 or 30 hours a week (to a maximum per year) of free, high quality, flexible childcare. It is not intended to cover the cost of meals, other consumables, additional hours or optional activities.