Rockwood Nursery School

we love to learn and learn to love

  • Sensory Garden
    Sensory Garden
  • Stories Alive!
    Stories Alive!
  • Squirrel Room
    Squirrel Room
  • Sensory Garden
    Sensory Garden
  • Stories Alive!
    Stories Alive!
  • Squirrel Room
    Squirrel Room
  • Stories Alive!
    Stories Alive!
  • Sensory Garden
    Sensory Garden
  • Sensory Garden
    Sensory Garden
  • Stories Alive!
    Stories Alive!
  • Sensory Garden
    Sensory Garden
  • Squirrel Room
    Squirrel Room
  • Sensory Garden
    Sensory Garden
  • ICT Development
    ICT Development
  • Stories Alive!
    Stories Alive!
  • Stories Alive!
    Stories Alive!
  • Rockwood Building
    Rockwood Building
  • Stories Alive!
    Stories Alive!
  • Squirrel Room
    Squirrel Room
  • Snail Fun
    Snail Fun

Our Image of the Child

At Rockwood, the families, governors, staff and children decided that our school ethos was underpinned by our Image of the Child.  This means that we work together to support each child to be:

  • Confident - a child at Rockwood will feel confident and valued by staff who praise and support them, listening and showing interest in what they want to say, encouraging them to strive further and to try harder and have a go, self-scaffold their learning and take risks to challenge themselves.
  • Creative - a child at Rockwood will be encouraged to be creative by offering a variety of mediums, such as, role play, storytelling, and open-ended resources to develop creative thinking and to stimulate their imagination
  • Curious - a child at Rockwood will learn to be curious about the world around them supported by the rich, vibrant and stimulating learning opportunities that are provided starting from their interests; they will learn to question and explore to extend their knowledge through continuous provision and adult led activities that excite and enthuse children in both the indoors and outdoors area.
  • Independent - a child at Rockwood will be guided, scaffolded and praised on their journey to become a successful, independent communicator no matter what their starting point is. They are encouraged to develop a ‘Have a go’ attitude, to take risks and push themselves out of their comfort zones. The children are encouraged to make their own choices for learning,  work at their own ability level and the staff challenge them when necessary to extend their learning by scaffolding their learning, building on what they know / can do, and questioning them appropriately to make them think deeper and learn more about what they are working on.
  • Loved - a child at Rockwood will feel loved because staff will take time to listen and value their ability to communicate in any way that they can (through Makaton, gesture, expression and words.  Staff will support them by modelling and extending their learning, offering strong, warm and supportive relationships with adults.
  • Motivated - a child at Rockwood will feel motivated to have a “have a go” attitude because the staff follow the children’s interests and support and praise them. We celebrate children’s learning and share their achievements with their parents.
  • Resilient (added during Covid 19) - a child at Rockwood will have a “have a go” attitude and the confidence to make mistakes but to continue to learn in a supportive and safe environment. Supporting children to manage their emotions, make their own decisions for learning and to resolve conflicts peacefully.

The Building - safe, secure and inclusive

Image of main buildingThe building stands in extensive grounds with lawns, trees, play dens, balance beams to the front and a new, all weather play area, to the rear, providing a range of safe, challenging experiences for the children valuing indoor and outdoor play equally.

 

The building itself is secured by the original high walls and security gates, additional fencing where required and a buzzer/intercom system linked to the Office for access into the site and building.  Safety gates are implemented where required (mainly upstairs) and secure fire doors are installed throughout the building.  The ramped reception area provides wheelchair access to the building providing a fully inclusive environment, and disabled changing room and toilet facilities are also available.

 

The nursery is based on the ground floor and is easily accessible from the roadway. Ceilings have been lowered with a floating roof to aid with sound acoustics and strip lighting has been implemented for visual needs.

 

There are six main rooms within the building on two floors and an additional Hedghog building and log cabin. The building stands in extensive grounds with lawns, trees, play dens, balance beams, sand box, fixed climbing frames with slides to the front, and a purpose built extensive play area with tunnels, climbing challenges, stage and construction area to one side and a sensory yard and garden to the other side.  We have an excellent Forest School on site, which is run by our forest school leaders.

Image of roomRockwood caters for a maximum of 70, 3 year old and 40, 2 year old children per session.  The classroom bases for Squirrels, Owls and Hedgehog have access to small, child sized sinks to enable the children to manage their own hand washing needs when required. All furniture is free standing so can be rearranged to make space for specialist equipment. The furniture consists of infant sized wooded chairs and tables. Low level tables are also available for children who work on the floor.  Resources for the children to access are displayed and stored on open, child height units so they can access them independently, making their own choices for learning.

Boxes and shelves storing the resources are clearly labelled with pictures and words so are easily identified. The sand/water tray is child height and can be adjusted accordingly. Each room has accessible interactive whiteboards.  Cameras, laptops and tablets can also be accessed by the children where appropriate. Resources are age appropriate and are organised into areas of continuous provision.   

Each group is led by a Qualified Teacher and supported by an experienced team of staff including Higher Level Teaching Assistants (HLTAs) and Early Years Educators. The staff have many years’ experience, working with early years’ children with a range of needs. Staffing qualifications range from Qualified Teachers, HLTAs, TA3s and we support childcare trainees like apprentices.  All children are allocated a keyperson who will be their main ‘buddy’ and contact point for the family while they are at Rockwood.  The TA’s have a supporting teacher to work with to ensure each child progresses to their full potential. The Senior Teacher is also the SENDCo.

The Hedgehog Room is the base for our younger children from 2 years old. The Squirrel and Owl Rooms support our older children from 3-4 years old.

The staff at Rockwood Nursery are fully qualified and experienced in the education and care of pre-school children, and have worked with children expressing a wide range of individual and specific needs over the years.  We ensure Teaching and Learning is at the forefront of what we do on a daily basis.  Children come to us to learn through fun, inclusive activities based on independent choice, accessible Continuous Provision and adult led learning supported by our system of ‘planning in the moment’ for your child’s development. All rooms are set up to support the Early Years' Foundation Stage curriculum and encourage the Characteristics of Effective Learning.  This means there are continuous provision opportunities and enhancement to excite the budding artist, architect or explorer such as Painting, Mark Making area, Workshop area, Music area, Construction, Small World, ICT, Water, Sand area, Malleable area for playdough and other sensory activities, Role Play and Story area.  We have additional rooms upstairs which provide a nurture room and a parent training/meeting room.

All children are regularly tracked and their educational development monitored by staff throughout their sessions.  We plan ‘in the moment’ and encourage your child to develop and extend their learning through adding enhancements and identifying any needs. Assessments to track children’s progress are added to our Target Tracker system termly. Any children working significantly above or below age expected levels based on these assessment outcomes will be placed on the Nursery SEND register, following parental permission and will receive additional intervention work based around their additional needs.

Additional Targeted Learning Plans (TLP’s) for the children placed on the SEND register are written either as a group Provision map plan or as individual Target Plan to break down these national targets further, to ensure all children achieve their full potential at Rockwood Nursery School. These interventions may be carried out internally by the experienced staff within the nursery or externally by relevant professionals e.g. Speech and Language therapists, occupational therapists etc. This is reflected in our inclusion policy which can be found on our website.

Each room has a cloakroom with pigeon holes, where children can leave their own coats and lunch boxes at the beginning of each session.  The pigeon holes are labelled and is where pictures, notes and the child's book with information about changing and incidents is kept. Parents/carers are encouraged to check this area every day for updates, information, newsletters and their child's latest fabulous creative work!  We ask every parent to provide outdoor coats, overtrousers and wellies for children to explore the full outdoor area.  We do also ask that you provide a sun hat or wooly hat and gloves when appropriate for our lovely Lancashire weather! If a family are struggling to source these, we do have a small number to share with our families as needed.

All group rooms have accessible bathroom areas with plenty of facilities. The children are encouraged to bring changes of clothing in case of accidents and school provide small change bags for a nominal fee if required.

'I’m delighted – they learn so much here. I travel for miles to get her into Rockwood’ parent quote in Ofsted report (October 2014)

The Outside Areas

The outdoor environment consists of extensive mature grounds with lawns, trees, play dens, and an extensive play area containing balance beams, fixed climbing frames, tunnel, sensory path way, large construction area and stage. We also have a sensory garden, funded several years ago with support from Awards for All.  This has a reading den, sensory exploration areas and a wonderful sensory planted area.

These areas are used for continuous provision and, as for indoors, are then enhanced with additional resources. These enrich the children’s learning experiences based on their interests and educational needs at the time to encourage exploration and play.  We have an amazing Forest School in the front garden and specific activities are provided there, led by our Forest School staff.  The area is secured and children have access to a changing base and shelter. 

As part of their sensory experiences the children do get muddy!!!!

Forest School

Forest School is seen as an important part of the curriculum at Rockwood Nursery School, we focus around the individual child, enabling all children to reach their full potential socially, emotionally and academically during their time with us.

An integral part of the Forest School experience is that the children will explore in the forest in all weathers. With the exception of very high winds and thunder storms, please assume that your child will be outside when they take part in Forest School. To help achieve this we ask that you provide your child with a waterproof coat and trousers. We ask you to supply wellingtons or walking boots and on sunny days, a sun hat and sun cream; on colder days layers of warm clothing. Please bear in mind your child will get muddy as we operate Forest School all year round.

We have a range of risk assessments and policies in place which you are welcome to read and are available on the school website and in the office. Please complete the consent form in the pack provided so that your child can attend Forest School. If you have any questions please ask staff for further details.

Our Forest School was opened by our local MP in 2017, Julie Cooper and there are photos on this site of the event. It offers our specially designed and developing forest school area in the front garden for all children to visit and have special activities, run by our forest school leaders Catherine Graham and Clare Fay.    Be prepared to have lots of fun!  --- Forest School ---