School News

Parent Info

Kid's Zone



Nursery Policies


Nursery Curriculum Policies – Introduction 

Emotional, Personal and Social Development Policy 

Communication and Language Policy 

Knowledge and Understanding of the World Policy 

Expressive and Aesthetic Development Policy 

Physical Development and Movement Policy 

Staff Roles and Responsibilities 

Health and Safety Policy 

Confidentiality Policy 

Toileting Policy 

Equal Opportunities Policy 

Additional Support Needs Policy 

Referral Policy 

Admissions to Nursery Policy 

Transition and Settling in Policy 

Behaviour Policy 

Animals in the Nursery Policy 

Comments and Complaints Policy 

Parental Involvement Policy 


The Nursery Curriculum 

Dingwall Primary School Nursery provides a curriculum for children in their pre-school year in line with advice found in the national document “A Curriculum Framework for Children 3 – 5” and local authority guidelines. 

Planned learning experiences are based on the key aspects of children’s learning and development: 

·         Emotional, Personal and Social Development

·         Communication and Language

·         Knowledge and Understanding of the World

·         Expressive and Aesthetic Development

·         Physical Development and Movement


At Dingwall Primary School Nursery we aim to: 

·         Provide opportunities to stimulate interest and imagination

·         Encourage positive attitudes to self and others while developing confidence and self esteem

·         Create opportunities for play

·         Encourage the emotional, social, physical, creative and intellectual development of the children

·         Encourage children to explore the world

·         Provide a safe and stimulating environment in which children feel happy and secure


Staff  communicate values and attitudes to children by what they say and do and by the expectations they set.  Positive relationships among staff, between staff and children and with parents are developed by demonstrating how staff value: 

·         The individual child

·         Equal opportunities and justice

·         Partnerships with parents/carers

·         The importance of community

·         Education as a life-long process


Children learn best when they feel secure and have opportunities for enjoyment.  Children’s learning is consolidated and extended through play, both structured and free. 

Breadth, balance, progression and cohesion are ensured through yearly, termly and weekly planning.  The plans are available for consultation by all staff (Appendix 1 shows blank planning sheets). 

Assessment is carried out through observations.  The findings are recorded and used to inform parents of the children’s progress and staff of appropriate “next steps”. 

Reporting to parents happens informally on a daily basis and formally twice yearly to coincide with the school Parent Contact Evenings.  The focus for this interview is the Next Steps Early Years Profile which is updated throughout the year by nursery staff. 

The Gaelic Medium Nursery 

The Curriculum of the Gaelic Nursery, Communication and Language apart, is the same as that of the Mainstream Nursery in terms of methodology and context.  Language Guidelines for Dingwall Primary School sets out the progression of oral Gaelic language from Nursery through the primary classes (see Appendix 2) as does the Highland Council Language Development Schedule (see Appendix 3). 

The Gaelic Medium Nursery is for most children the beginning of the process of learning a second language and being educated through the medium of that second language throughout their whole primary education.  Children are encouraged from the very beginning to speak to each other and to nursery staff, even if they are only able to express themselves in English.  The children will be immersed in the Gaelic language in a positive and reassuring manner by staff through games, stories, songs and rhymes. 


Developing children’s confidence and a sense of self worth

Staff will provide a welcoming and encouraging environment where each child is valued as an individual, e.g. by welcoming each child individually, by respecting the likes/dislikes of an individual and by discussing and displaying children’s achievements.  Children will be given opportunities at all times to try new experiences and awards will be issued to children on a regular basis.


Staff should make reference to 3 – 5 Curriculum Framework features EPS 1, 4, 5, 8 

Encouraging children to respect others

Staff will provide a positive role model for the children in all areas of the Nursery, through planned and unplanned activities, e.g. during Circle/Together Time, Free Play Time.  Staff will also encourage children to respect property belonging to others, e.g. correct handling of resources and tidying up appropriately.  Classroom practice will be consistent between staff. 

Staff should make reference to 3 – 5 Curriculum Framework features EPS 3,6,7,9 

Helping children to take care of themselves

Staff will provide planned and unplanned opportunities for children to develop a sense of independence e.g. changing for outdoor play, toileting, choosing activities and preparing snack.  Staff should offer each child an appropriate level of support, ensuring that no child is uncomfortable in the environment and equally no child is hindered unnecessarily.   

Staff should make reference to 3 – 5 Curriculum Framework features EPS 1,2,8

Helping children to build positive relationships with others

Staff should be aware of each child’s support needs in building relationships with others.  Staff will provide opportunities which encourage children to play together and build relationships.  Observations will allow staff to be aware of children’s relationships with peers and adults, while helping to keep parents informed.  Staff should be aware that it is important for children in the setting to build relationships with both children and adults.   

Staff should make reference to 3 – 5 Curriculum Framework features EPS 1,3,5,7,9 

Encouraging children to play co-operatively

Staff will provide opportunities and activities to promote co-operative and friendly play.  Adults should demonstrate a positive role model at all times.  Observations will provide feedback regarding the children who require support in playing co-operatively.  Children should be encouraged to play co-operatively with all children and adults in the Nursery, not just those with whom positive relationships have been established. 

Staff should make reference to 3 – 5 Curriculum Framework features EPS 3,6,7



Developing children’s early maths knowledge

Staff will provide opportunities for developing counting skills at planned activities such as Together Time and Snack.  Staff will be aware of the unplanned activities in nursery where counting and awareness of mathematical language may be developed e.g. “Can you give me two more pieces of Lego?” “Which one comes next?”. Number stories, rhymes and songs will be regularly incorporated into Together Time sessions.  Planned and unplanned activities focussing on matching and sorting, using concrete and pictorial resources will be part of the nursery programme e.g. setting the snack table. 

Staff should make reference to 3 – 5 Framework features KU 5,6,7,10,11


Developing children’s understanding of the past as well as the present

Staff will talk with the children about the events in the immediate past such as the weekend, during the holidays and activities recently completed in nursery.  This is in preparation for further development in Primary 1 through the Myself theme. 

Staff should make reference to 3 – 5 Framework features KU 9 


Developing children’s understanding of their environment and the people in it

Staff will provide opportunities for outings in the immediate environment linked to the interests or activities being undertaken in the nursery such as to Tulloch Castle, local woods or the school’s nature area.  Frequent visits to the main school building increase awareness of the school as a community.  Staff at Together Time sessions will promote discussions about community events such as Firework Displays.  Visitors will be invited to nursery with a variety of backgrounds from outside agencies when appropriate.


Staff should make reference to 3 – 5 Framework features KU 2,3 


Introducing children to basic science and develop their investigation skills

Staff will provide sand or water or other materials everyday and resources will be changed regularly to redirect the focus e.g. capacity, forces, floating and sinking.  Experiences will be provided which gives the children an awareness of factors which affect living things.  Natural materials gathered on walks will be displayed for the children to explore using their senses.  Children will be encouraged to contribute their own items to displays. 

Throughout the above, discussion will enhance the children’s understanding of basic science. 

Staff should make reference to 3 – 5 Framework features KU 1,4,8,12,13



Encouraging expression through imaginative play

Role-play will be changed on a regular basis and be determined by children’s interests and choices to build on experiences and also renew challenges.  Dressing up area will also be adapted at this time.  Staff will spend time with the children in the initial stages of a new context to ensure a common understanding of the setting.  Small play construction and puppets will also be made regularly available. 

Staff should make reference to 3 – 5 Framework features EA 3  


Providing opportunities for children to explore and express themselves through a variety of art and craft techniques

Junk modelling, painting, drawing and play dough  will always be available for the children to express themselves freely.  Activities centred round the children’s interest will also be included for these areas.  Staff will also plan weekly art activities promoting the use of different media and the exploration of a variety of techniques. 

Staff should make reference to 3 – 5 Framework features EA 1   

Encouraging children to express themselves through music

Daily singing is built into Together Time sessions.  Musical instruments will be available on a daily basis providing opportunities for children to discover rhythm, exploring and composing and using percussion instruments.  There will also be opportunities for children to listen to a wide range of music and to use this to express themselves through movement.     

Staff should make reference to 3 – 5 Framework features EA 2,4



Developing children’s large physical skills

Regular PE sessions will be built into the weekly timetable and children will be encouraged to move their bodies in a variety of ways using different resources such as large apparatus, balls and skipping ropes.  Outdoor play will also be a regular feature of the nursery curriculum where the children are free to choose from a selection of equipment such as trikes, balls and barrels.  Large building bricks will be provided periodically in nursery and children will be made aware by staff of necessary limitations.  Exercises recommended by Occupational Therapists will also be used on a regular basis to encourage development of spatial awareness, movement and balance. 

Staff should make reference to 3 – 5 Framework features PD 1,2,4,5,6,7


Improving children’s hand-eye co-ordination and their fine motor skills

Weekly manipulative play activities in nursery will encourage the children to develop the above, such as threading, pegboards and Tap Tap.  Jigsaws of varying degrees of difficulties will be changed on a weekly basis to allow children to become familiar and acquire a sense of achievement.  Drawing, gluing, construction and writing activities will be planned for free play and structured tasks.  Weekly visits to the school gym will be timetabled to include activities such as throwing and catching. 

Staff should make reference to 3 – 5 Framework features PD 3,7,

Staff Roles and Responsibilities


Nursery Coordinator Teacher 

Responsible to Head Teacher 

Lead the team of pre-school staff in delivery of the “Curriculum Framework for Children in their Pre-School Year” 

Plan programmes of study as described above. 

Lead the Nursery Staff in developing Curriculum for Excellence

Oversee Assessment 

Report to Parents in both formal and informal ways 

Work with and involve parents in their child's pre-school education 

Manage space. Time and resources in the Nursery setting 

Attend Staff Development events, staff meeting and CPD activities as required by the Head Teacher 

Liaise with staff at transition points – Playgroup to Nursery and Nursery to P1. 

Take responsibility for Health and Safety of staff and pupils in the Nursery 

Maintain children’s personal profiles 

Be a model of good practice to others 

Maintain snack accounts and provide parents with termly snack balances 

Carry out other duties as directed by the Head Teacher. 


Gaelic Nursery Coordinator Teacher 

Work with Nursery Teacher to provide all of the above for children in the Gaelic Medium Nursery

 Nursery Assistant 

Liaise with the Nursery Teacher/Gaelic Nursery Teacher to develop planning, assessment and recording within the nursery setting and implement Nursery curriculum and policies. 

Become familiar with the CfE and its implications to the nursery, i.e. new planning, assessment and observations and work towards the smooth implementation of the CfE in Nursery/Primary 1.   

Attend planning meetings, organise and prepare all materials to be used in the planned activities – Nursery Assistants with help of Auxiliary to be responsible for the setting up of room in which they are to start the day and clear up after activities ready for the next class. 

Undertake observations, assessment and record keeping and ensure that they are kept up to date and transferred to Individual Profiles as per timetable agreed by senior management (at present -  termly). 

Undertake the preparation and recording of children’s achievements (as they happen) in  “My Record of Achievement”  

Undertake relevant training to ensure best practice is maintained.  

Be responsible for delivering of all activities and learning experiences as per the plans – story telling, baking, music, gym, outdoor play and any other planned activities. 

Set up and prepare materials used in nursery activities – art and craft, sand and water, role play, construction (large and small) outdoor play, story telling, baking, excursions. 

Clear up after activities at the end of each session making sure that materials and equipment are well cared for and stored properly. 

Offer support to other members of the nursery team – staff induction training and ongoing training for support of all staff.  

Undertake duties which involve supporting and developing college students on placement. 

Liaise regularly with parents and other agencies when the need arises. 

Attend Liaison meetings with management.  Time back will be agreed by individuals and Nursery Teacher/Gaelic Nursery Teacher. 

Carry out the duties of the Nursery Teacher/Gaelic Nursery Teacher in her/his absence.

 Liaise with parents regularly though the working week and being able for parent “induction” and parent/staff consultative meetings. 

Carry out all duties as directed by the Nursery Teacher/Gaelic Nursery Teacher. 

 Nursery Auxiliary 

Become familiar with the CfE and its implications to the nursery/P1, new planning, assessment and observations. 

Assist in the implementation of the Nursery curriculum and policies. 

Assist the Nursery Assistants in the setting up of the room in which they are to start the day and clear up after activities ready for the next class. 

Assist the Nursery Assistant with the observations, assessment and help record the children’s achievements in their “My Record of Achievements”.  

Undertake relevant training to ensure best practice is maintained.  

Assist in delivering of all activities and learning experiences as per the plans – story telling, baking, music, gym, outdoor play and any other planned activities. 

Assist in the setting up and preparation of materials used in nursery activities – art and craft, sand and water, role play, construction (large and small) outdoor play, story telling, baking, excursions. 

Assist in clearing up after activities at the end of each session making sure that materials and equipment are well cared for and stored properly. 

Offer support to other members of the nursery team. 

Assist parents with enquiries of an informal nature while directing formal enquiries to the Nursery Teacher /Gaelic Nursery Teacher. 

Carry out duties as directed by the Nursery Teacher/Gaelic Nursery Teacher.  

Policy for Health and Safety  

Dingwall Primary School Nursery, like all pre-school groups, is subject to the regulations set out by a number of agencies.  Our policy is to provide and maintain safe and healthy working conditions, equipment and systems of work for all employees, and to provide any information, instructions and training that is needed.  We also accept our responsibility for the health and safety of other people who may be affected by our activities. 


The Head Teacher, Mr Mackenzie, has overall responsibility for the health and safety in the group and for this policy being carried out in the Nursery.  The following are responsible for safety on a day-to-day basis: 

·        Nursery Teacher – Mrs Gibb

·        Nursery Assistants – Mrs. Gordon, Ms Munro, Mrs Cronie

·        Nursery Auxiliaries – Mrs Fraser, Miss Rose, Mrs Mackay, Mrs Macpherson, Mrs Reid


All employees have a responsibility to co-operate in achieving a safe and healthy workplace and to take reasonable care of themselves and others.  Whenever an employee notices a health or safety issue, which they are unable to correct, the Head Teacher must be informed immediately by the Nursery Teacher. 

Child Protection 

From time to time incidents occur within the school setting, which cause concern and could indicate that a pupil is suffering some sort of abuse. 

What is child abuse?

There are 5 categories of abuse:

§         Physical Neglect, including lack of food, untreated medical problems etc

§         Physical Injury, including hitting, kicking, punching etc

§         Emotional abuse, including sarcasm, degrading punishments, threats

§         Sexual Abuse, including pressure from an adult on a child to take part in, or be subjected to, any type of sexual activity

§         Non-Organic Failure to Thrive


What are the signs of abuse?

Staff may become aware of:

§         Unexplained bruising, cuts or burns

§         Loss of weight without medical reason

§         Changes in behaviour

§         Sexually explicit behaviour, inappropriate to age

§         Self-inflicted injury

§         Lack of trust in adults, particularly those close to child


It is important to note that these signs do not automatically mean that the child has been abused.

The role of the adults in the setting 

If a child tells you he/she has been abused, take it seriously

§         Allow him/her to speak without interruption, accepting what is said, but do not investigate

§         Let them know you are glad they have shared this information with you

§         Advise the child that you must pass on the information to one other person 

If you suspect that abuse may have taken place, take action – inform the School Protection Co-ordinator (Mr Mackenzie, Head Teacher) or in his absence another member of the SMT who will take responsibility for further action. 

All staff should be familiar with the Highland Council Education Services Child Protection booklet (yellow cover) which is on display in both rooms. 


For First Aid, the first point of contact for the group is Mrs Gordon.  Further assistance should be requested from Mrs Gillanders or Mrs Docherty, School Administrators and then qualified medical practitioners. 

The Nursery First Aid box is available on the top shelf of the cupboards in both the Green and Yellow Rooms.  Ice packs are available in the freezer in the Green Room.  The appointed person responsible for the first aid box is Mrs Gordon, who should check the contents of the box on a regular basis.   

All accidents should be reported in the first instance to the Nursery Coordinator Teacher  who will then report to Mr Mackenzie.  All accidents will be recorded in the Nursery Accident Book (unofficial record) and in an official accident report form. 

*Please remember that rubber gloves must be worn whenever accidents involving bodily fluids are dealt with.  


General Fire Safety 

In case of fire, the following routing will be followed: 

Children will assemble in a line at the appropriate fire exit (i.e. Main classroom doors or Classroom Emergency Exits depending on where fire is located).  The lead adult in the Yellow Room will collect registers.  Children will be lead by the supervisor of the room outside to the tarmac area of the playground.  Other adults should follow at the end of the line closing all doors behind the children.  When the children are assembled outside, staff will proceed to conduct a headcount, passing on information to the Head Teacher. 

This process will be carried out on a regular basis to consolidate the drill for both children and adults. 

New Members of staff and visitors


The Nursery Teacher is responsible for passing on information about the rules and regulations of the nursery.  This will be done through discussion and the provision of the Nursery Policy Handbook which contains all the necessary information.  (Please see Access details below) 

House Keeping and Premises 


§         All cleaning equipment should be kept in the red boxes on the top shelf of the cupboards in the Green and Yellow rooms.

§         Bleaches and other hazardous chemicals should not be used in the Nursery by staff

§         Children should have access to soap at all times in the soap dispensers located in the Green and Yellow rooms

§         Spills should be mopped up immediately and all children should be informed of areas where spills have occurred.  No other cleaning (i.e. end of day cleaning) should be attempted while the children are in nursery

§         Staff will ensure that every child who goes to the toilet washes their hands

§         Soap will be provided for the children to wash their hands before snack and baking activities

§         Sand will be swept and water mopped on a regular basis during the session to ensure no danger of slipping

§         Spillages of blood, vomit or body fluids should be cleaned up as soon as possible using the cleaning agents provided.

§         Children who need to have clothes changed should do so with appropriate help from an adult.  Dirty clothing will be placed in a tied carrier bag and kept by staff until parents arrive.


Waste Disposal 

Any waste in the nursery will be placed in the bins provided.  It is the responsibility of the cleaning staff and the janitor to deal with the disposal of waste from the bins. 

Safe Storage and use of Equipment 

Nursery resources not in use will be stored in the cupboards in the Green and Yellow rooms.  Under no circumstances should children be in these cupboards (children will be made aware of this).  The children will be encouraged to tidy up at the end of each session in an orderly and safe manner.  Staff will ensure that the classroom does not become untidy to an extent that it is unsafe. 

When staff are working with children at the cooker, the rings at the back of the cooker should always be used.  The children should never be left unattended at the cooker area. 

Unused sockets should be fitted with socket guards. 

Knives and other kitchen equipment are stored in the kitchen units and children should not have access to them unless supervised by a member of staff. Children have access to the crockery cupboard.


Checking of Equipment

Staff who set up resources will check to ensure that they are safe and clean.


The main nursery door will remain locked throughout the session.  It is vital that staff check the door on a regular basis.  At home time the children will be assembled, ready for collection by a parent or known adult (as recorded in the Daily Sign In Register in the red folders).  It is important that parents are made aware that if there are any changes to collection arrangements, staff must be informed.  If staff are at all uncertain, parents will be contacted. Visitors to Nursery will only be able to gain access to the building by ringing the bell. The member of staff who answers the door should make certain that the visitor has an appropriate reason for entering.  Children should be encouraged from the earliest stages not to approach the door when someone has rung the doorbell.


Small outings to the main school or the local area will be sufficiently supported by the nursery staff.  It is important that the children are counted before they leave nursery and that they are in a line.  All parents will be asked to sign a Permission Slip for their child to take part in walks/visits in the locality. 

Outings to further afield should be staffed by a ratio of 1 adult to 2 children, and this should be strictly adhered to.  Parents will be asked to volunteer in such cases.

Before any Nursery outing outwith the school grounds, an Excursion Form and Risk Assessment must be completed and passed to the Head Teacher. 

This policy will be revised annually for any changes felt necessary.

Confidentiality Policy 

All staff should be aware of the importance of confidentiality in the Nursery setting.  There will undoubtedly be times when staff have access to information about pupils or their families in order to provide the quality of education that we strive for.  It is important, however, that this information is used in a professional manner only and never out with the school setting. 


§         Matters of concern about specific children should be discussed in the first instance with the Nursery Teacher who will, in turn, inform the Head Teacher if appropriate.

§         Staff should also be aware of the issues of confidentiality when discussing matters with parents.  Parents should always be addressed, if possible, away from parents of other children even in cases of informal reporting.  Only the Nursery Teacher and Gaelic Nursery Teacher or FT Nursery Assistant and Gaelic Nursery Assistant will have contact with parents in a formal manner.  Parents should always be encouraged to discuss any formal issues that they may have with these staff members

§         Documents relating to children in our care should always be stored in the secure filing cabinet

§         Formal and informal observations of children (e.g. Time sample observations, yellow post-it observations etc) should be stored immediately in the Observation section of the Class Planning Folder and not left in places where they may be viewed in an inappropriate manner.  On their completion, Observation Sheets will be destroyed once observations are transferred to the child’s profile.

§         Under no circumstances should children in the Nursery be discussed with anyone other than the parent or carer.  Staff should avoid being led into situations where parents may wish to discuss other children

§         Staff who may be approached by parents out with the workplace should re-direct enquiries to the school

 Visitors to Nursery 

Visitors to Nursery should be advised by the Nursery Teacher of the importance of this policy and answer any questions that visitors may have. 



We hope that students visiting the Nursery have worthwhile and rewarding experiences and this often means making observations of staff, children and activities. 

Therefore students will be offered advice by the Nursery teacher on how information gathered may be used whilst adhering to this policy.  Students on long-term placements should adhere to the points in the policy above.

Policy for Equal Opportunities


The Nursery aims to develop children’s awareness of the increasing diversity of the society in which we live.  The Nursery’s policy is that children of all backgrounds should be part of our community.


Statements of Principle


§         Discrimination on the basis of colour, culture, origin, gender and ability is unacceptable in the Nursery

§         Each member of staff will contribute towards a happy, caring environment by showing respect and appreciation of each other and individuals

§         An equal opportunities philosophy will be practised by all staff in line with the Highland Council Equal Opportunities Policy



All forms of discrimination should be treated seriously and dealt with appropriately.  It should be explained to the offender why the behaviour is unacceptable.




All pupils have access to the Nursery curriculum.  Staff should be aware that their own expectations affect the achievements and behaviour of each child.




The school’s aim is to provide for all pupils according to their needs, irrespective of gender, ability or ethnic origins.  In selecting curriculum resources, staff aim to present positive images that are non-racist and non-sexist.  Children should be presented with accurate information regarding similarities and differences between cultural groups.


Additional Needs Policy


[The detailed Highland Council Policy Guidance with regard to Additional Support Needs gives full guidance and procedures involved in identifying, planning and supporting children in the Highland Council area who may have Additional Support Needs, which impact on their education. This Policy guidance can be found on the Support for Learner’s website at http://highlandschools-virtualib.org.uk/sfl]


The nursery should identify and plan for each child’s individual learning requirements and to provide appropriate additional support for children with Additional Support Needs in order to allow them to make the best possible progress.


The nursery should aim to promote an atmosphere of encouragement, acceptance and respect for achievements in which all children can thrive.  They should also develop sensitivity to individual needs and a climate of warmth and support in which self-confidence and self-esteem can grow.


  • Existing additional support needs, disabilities or health problems should be identified at enrolment.  Some children with additional needs will already have the support of a pre-school teacher for additional needs.  This service will continue to support and advise families and nursery staff.
  • The nursery should identify any particular learning needs in any areas of learning and develop an effective strategy to meet those needs.
  • The nursery should allow children with additional support needs to fully participate in all the activities by providing additional support, adapting activities and environments and by using specialist equipment as appropriate.
  • The nursery should work together with staff from other agencies (e.g. speech therapists) to provide the best learning opportunities for each individual child.
  • Staff should inform parents of the needs and progress of their child and to work in partnership with them.
  • Staff will continuously monitor each child’s progress in the key areas of the curriculum and will regularly update the record of each child’s development and achievements.
  • Ongoing assessment and recording will be used to aid early identification of any individual needs.
  • There are specialist support agencies whose advice can be requested by nursery staff and families, e.g. Autism Outreach, Vision Service, Pre-School teaching service, IT SEN Service., Psychological Service, Area support staff.


If a child is identified as having additional support needs the following action will be taken:


  • Staff should consult with parents explaining that there is some cause for concern, ascertaining parents’ views and giving them ideas of how they can help at home.
  • Staff will gather information about the child and inform both the head teacher and the appropriate agency, e.g. the school doctor, health visitor or educational psychologist.
  • Staff should keep parents fully informed of any consultations with other agencies.
  • Staff will provide special help, as identified by appropriate professionals, using different resources and methods to better meet the needs of the child.
  • Records will be kept to indicate what has been tried and progress will be reviewed regularly.


Key principles to secure appropriate early education provision for children with additional support needs:


  • All providers should make available on request information about the provision they make for children with additional support needs.  This might range from support for the more routine aspects of developmental delay to the needs of children with significant, low incidence disabilities.
  • In exercising choice and agreeing a placement, both parent and provider should satisfy themselves that appropriate provision can be made for the child’s needs by the provider in question.
  • Where the parent feels that the provider of first choice cannot make satisfactory provision for their child with significant low incidence disabilities, the parent should consider other local authority or commissioned centres in the area that are in a position to do so.
  • The education service will maintain its commitment to children aged 3 to 5 years with additional support needs by making appropriate early education provision within the existing network of nursery or pre-school centres, which have enhanced support capability.
  • Staff will ensure that a Staged Approach to supporting children’s learning is in place, involving and valuing the views of parents.
  • Staff will work with other professional agencies and parents to develop an Individualised Educational Programme (IEP) to collaboratively plan and provide the best possible provision for the child with significant additional support needs.
  • Where a child with a Co-ordinated Support Plan is supported within a local authority centre, the person identified as responsible for the implementation of appropriate provision will be the head teacher and the overall legal responsibility will rest with the local authority. A CSP Co-ordinator will keep an overview of the Plan ensuring that its requirements are in place on an ongoing basis. This may or may not be the Headteacher as the CSP Co-ordinator may represent one of the core services or agencies involved in supporting the child’s access to education.
  • It is important to share information with primary one, arranging visits and preparing the child for their new placement.  An additional support needs transition supplement is available for this purpose. This transition planning should be agreed at least 6 months before transition.
  • If a child has very complex needs requiring building adaptation etc to the receiving school this transition planning will need to begin at least 3 years before entry into school. NHS Highland will notify the education authority of such children so that appropriate assessment, planning and provision can be explored.
  • The importance of continuity of approach and collaborative working with parents should be highlighted for children with additional support needs.

Policy for Referral to Outside Agencies


The Nursery maintains continuing good relations with the Health Visitor who provides a great deal of information regarding the children before they come to Nursery.  This is followed by termly visits to the nursery which allow staff to raise concerns and access information which has been gathered by the Health Service. The Nursery’s first line of referral, in the majority of cases, is to the Health Visitor, in order to track previous history. 

The Nursery also tries to follow the school’s staged referral policy so that children in Nursery with additional needs are assessed in a systematic way fitting in with school policy. In the Nursery there is more day to day contact with parents and this can often allow informal discussion as well as arranged formal meetings.

The following is an outline of the procedures involved in referring children to outside agencies.


Behaviour Referral


Class Teacher               Parent                   Appropriate Action             Yes


 Head Teacher          Parent          Class Teacher            Appropriate Action              Yes



 Referral to outside agencies:(Health Visitor, Educational Psychologist)


Absences Referral 

Class Teacher               Head Teacher             Correspondence with             Appropriate

                                                                        Parents                                    Action?


 Referral to outside agencies:(Health Visitor, School Doctor, Social Services)


Speech and Language Therapy Referral


Class Teacher                Informal Assessment by SLT              Referral Recommended


                                                              Yes                                                   No


Class Teacher must seek permission   from parents before completing a standard  SLT referral form.                                                    
Nursery Staff will continue to monitor and support child  in the nursery.

Referral for Support, Psychology and Occupational Therapy


Class Teacher                   Head Teacher                Consult with Parents           


Referral to Outside Agencies:(Health Visitor, Educational Psychologist, School Doctor, OT)

 Where Head Teacher is referred to this can also be DHT or ASN Teacher.

Policy for Admission to Nursery

 Admissions for nursery take place in March prior to the session starting in August.  Parents are invited to enrol their child for 5 sessions (morning or afternoon) if their child is in his/her pre-school year.  The school uses its own information form which it asks parents to complete (see appendix 5) and parents are issued with a Nursery Handbook.  The Nursery has the capability of accepting 48 children in the morning session with a further 24 English Medium children in the afternoon along with 24 Gaelic Medium children.  At present, allocation for morning and afternoon sessions is on a first come, first served basis at enrolment.  This will be reviewed on the release Highland Council Guidelines on Enrolment. When all enrolment information has been collated, parents will be sent a letter advising them whether their child has been allocated a morning or afternoon place.

Enrolment of children for their pre, pre-school year – mainly 3 year olds – also takes place in February/March each year for admission in August, January or April. This can be for up to 5 sessions each week – morning or afternoon. It is now possible for parents to pay for their 3 year old to attend Nursery before they become eligible for funding. This applies to children born between 1st September and 28 February and is subject to availability of places. The charges for each session will be in line with the current childcare fees as set by Highland Council. Parents are expected to make a commitment for an agreed number of sessions, each week. 3 year old children are invited to an induction session in either June, December or March, depending to their start dates. 

Children will then be invited by letter to the Nursery for a session in June where the staff will gather more information about each child and answer any queries from parents.  (See appendix 6) 

A letter to confirm starting date and time will be issued to the children before the end of the summer term.  Entry will be on a staggered basis over the course of a number of days, with the youngest children and deferred entry children starting first. 

Liaison with local playgroups is ongoing throughout the year, especially in the final term, where nursery staff can build relations with the children and parents.  Playgroup staff complete and send a Highland Council Next Steps Profile for each child. 


The Nursery does not permit gender, race, colour or ability to be used as criteria for admission.  Further information can be found in the Equal Opportunities Policy.

Transition Policy  

“Transitions occur throughout early childhood. They occur at different times as a young child moves from home to an early years setting, from one early years setting to a different one and when a child moves from an early years setting to a primary school.” (A Curriculum Framework for Children 3-5, 1999) 

Our Nursery aims: 

  • To meet the needs of the children and individual parents and carers at times of transition
  • To work in partnership with parents/carers to ensure transitions are effective and successful
  • To gather written information about each child given by parents/carers and children
  • To ensure parents receive useful information about the centre
  • To share the settling in policy with parents/carers
  • To provide opportunities for staff and parents to meet and discuss progress or concerns
  • To raise awareness of and share completed ‘Next Steps’ Transition Document with parents and the next receiving centre
  • To work in partnership with centres attended by and receiving children.
  • To work in partnership with other professionals involved with some children who have additional support needs and who may need enhanced transition arrangements.

As a staff we will: 

  • Ensure parents are notified of transition dates
  • Arrange reciprocal staff visit(s) to the current and receiving setting prior to commencement of child’s placement
  • Gather written information from parents/carers and children to ensure we are well informed about each individual child e.g. enrolment forms, ‘All about me’ forms (sharing likes and dislikes, hobbies, etc.) and permission slips (for outings, photographs, changing clothes etc.) and ensure we follow the Additional Support for Learning transition regulations with regard to children with additional support needs eg timescales.
  • Share information about the centre with parents/carers in the form of centre handbooks/welcome brochures, notice boards, newsletters and through talking with staff
  • Arrange an information session with parents and staff to share information on ‘A Curriculum Framework for Children 3-5’, Next Steps Transition Document, the daily routine of the centre etc.
  • Share our settling in policy with parents/carers.
  • Ensure that we seek and take account of parental/carer views by ensuring they have the opportunity to ask questions, discuss progress and air individual concerns throughout the year, both formally through parent interviews and informally using the centre’s open door policy.
  • Complete the ‘Next Steps’ transition document as appropriate, share this with parents/carers and pass it on to the receiving centre
  • Complete as far as possible, a ‘Next Steps’ document for a child moving between centres during the course of a year and ensure this is passed on to the receiving centre.
  • Arrange a meeting between staff from both centres to exchange information, e.g. transition document, folio of children’s work and any other pertinent information.
  • Endeavour to have regular, effective communication in place where a child attends more than one provision at any one time, to ensure a smooth transition.
  • Work in close partnership with the receiving primary school
  • Ensure we have a clear understanding of the current practice and documentation operating in each centre
  • Be familiar with the way in which the 3 to 5 and the 5 to 14 curriculum fit together.
  • Ensure all staff recognise the holistic nature of children’s learning and development and respect different teaching and learning approaches.
  • Share the philosophy and practice in early education with the primary one setting.

 SETTLING IN POLICY     Dingwall Primary School Nursery

 Settling in is an important stage in the transition between the home and the early education setting.  Care and attention must be given to the needs of the child and also the needs of parents/carers when settling children into the early education environment and routine. 


·        To offer a warm and welcoming environment where children feel valued, happy and secure

·        To recognise and support the individual needs of children and their parents/carers during the settling in period.

·        To work in partnership with parents/carers to settle the child into nursery

 As a staff we will:

·        Arrange visit(s) to the setting for parents/carers prior to the child's placement commencing

·        Carry out an enrolment process to formally introduce and welcome new children and their parents/carers to the setting

·        Gather information from parents/careers about each child prior to placement commencing, e.g. likes, dislikes, favourite play activities, etc

·        Ensure all children and their parents/carers are personally greeted and welcomed when they arrive

·        Offer familiar play activities and experiences to promote self-confidence and esteem

·        Be flexible in response to individual needs e.g. making arrangements for the child to be collected early on the first few days if necessary

·        Deal sensitively with any anxieties children and/or parents/carers may have

·        Invite parents/carers to stay for sufficient time so that the child feels settled and the parent/carer feels comfortable about leaving

·        Liaise with parents /carers and share information about the child

·        Consult with parents/carers when developing strategies to help their child settle into the pre-school setting

 It is the responsibility of the Head of Centre along with the staff to monitor, evaluate and review the above arrangements and to adjust them according to need.

Policy on Animals 

The 3-5 Curriculum Framework requires that we address the statement to “care for living things”.  However animals, birds and fish may carry infection which can be transmitted to humans.  Strict hygiene procedures are therefore required when handling and caring for animals.  Animals of any description should not be kept in the Nursery on a full time basis although there will be opportunities for animals and their owners to visit the Nursery. 

Staff should note the following points: 

·        Parents must be informed before an animal visits in order to establish if a child has an allergy or phobia to a particular animal

·        It is recommended that children should not be allowed to handle animals

·        It is advisable for the children to view the visiting animal from a safe distance e.g. looking through a window to an animal outside

·        Staff should be aware that all species of reptiles may carry salmonella organism, particular care with hygiene must be taken when introducing these animals to Nursery

·        Children must wash their hands thoroughly with soap in warm running water after coming into contact with any animals 

Policy on Behaviour Management 

Children and adults flourish best in an ordered environment in which everyone knows what is expected of them and children are free to develop their play and learning without fear of being hurt or hindered by anyone else. We aim to work towards a situation where children can self-discipline and self-esteem is an atmosphere of mutual respect and encouragement. 

The Nursery should strive to achieve this by: 

·        Rules of the Nursery and behaviour of the children will be agreed and discussed and shared with all newcomers, both children and adults

·        All Nursery staff will ensure that the rules are applied consistently so that the children have the security of knowing what to expect and can build up useful habits of behaviour

·        All adults should try to provide a positive role model for the children with regard to friendliness, care and courtesy

·        Adults in the Nursery will praise and endorse desirable behaviour such as kindness and willingness to behave.  Rewards schemes, such as stickers, are already in place

·        Staff will take positive steps to avoid a situation in which children receive adult attention only in return for unacceptable behaviour. 

When children behave in unacceptable ways: 

·        Physical punishments, such as smacking, will neither be used or threatened

·        Children will never be sent out of the room where they will be unsupervised

·        Techniques intended to single out or humiliate individual children should not be used

·        Children who misbehave will be given one-to-one support in seeing what was wrong and working towards a solution

·        Where appropriate this might be achieved by a period of “time out” with an adult

·        In cases of serious misbehaviour, such as racial or other abuse, the unacceptability of the behaviour and the attitudes will be made clear immediately, but by means of explanation rather than personal blame

·        Adults will not shout in a threatening way

·        Any behaviour problems will be handled in a developmentally appropriate fashion, respecting individual children’s level of understanding and maturity

·        Recurring problems will be tackled by the whole staff in partnership with the child’s parents.  If a problem continues follow the Referral Policy on page 19.

Comments and Complaints Policy

Dingwall Nursery 

We hope that you will enjoy your child’s time at our Nursery and welcome comments or suggestions, which could help us improve the service. 

However, we are aware that difficulties can occur from time to time and if you feel you have reason to complain, then please follow the procedure outlined below. 

Please use the open door policy and feel free to speak to the person in charge of the Nursery, either at the beginning or at the end of the session. If you prefer, an appointment can be made to speak to the Nursery Teacher in private. It will then, in consultation with parents/carers, be decided, if the matter needs to be taken further, in which case, the Depute Head Teacher with responsibility for the Nursery or the Head Teacher will be informed and a meeting arranged. 

From here, if necessary, the matter will be brought to the attention of the Area Education Manager who will decide what next steps should be. Parents will be kept fully informed at each stage and will be invited to any meetings being held. 

Should you feel unable to speak to the person in charge of the Nursery, please make an appointment to speak directly with either the Depute Head Teacher or the Head Teacher. 

Parent/carers are also able to contact the Care Commission directly with a complaint, if they so wish. The local address and telephone number for our centre is:

Care Commission
1st Floor
Castle House
Fairways Business Park

Tel: 01463 227630 

The Care Commission publication “How to use the Care Commission Complaints Procedure” is also available. You will find a copy displayed on our Nursery Noticeboard.

 Policy on Parental Involvment 

Parents are the prime educators of their young children.  The aim of early education is to support and enhance the development of the children in the Nursery.  The Nursery should respect, understand and value that parents make towards their child’s learning and provide support, guidance and encouragement to parents as educators. 

To achieve these aims the Nursery should:

 ·        Parents will be provided with information before their child starts Nursery.  All parents receive a Dingwall Primary School Nursery Handbook at enrolment.

·        Staff will work with parents to build up a picture of the child’s development needs when the child starts Nursery

·        Parents will be made aware of the policies and systems operating at the Nursery.  A copy of the Policy Handbook should be available for parents at all times

·        Parents will be informed on a regular basis about their child’s progress; informally on a daily basis and formally twice yearly to at Parent Contact Meetings

·        Nursery will provide guidance, advice and resources to support home learning e.g. Homework Packs, Literacy, Numeracy and Science Fairs, Information sheets

·        Parents will be kept informed of day-to-day activities in the Nursery (including snack, etc) and further information through the Nursery Noticeboard

·        A copy of the 3-5 Curriculum Framework will be available for parents on the Nursery Noticeboard

·        Parents will be invited to Share-a-session days with their child to observe the daily routine of the Nursery

·        Staff should welcome suggestions and contributions from parents in any form

·        Parents will be provided with written details of their child’s progress


Appendix 1 – Planning Sheets 

Annual Plan for Focused Observation: English Medium 

Emotional, Personal and Social Development


Term 1

Term 2

Term 3

1. I can be confident in new situations.





2. I can look after myself





3. I can follow rules and instructions





4. I can choose activities by myself.





5. I can tell others how I feel and what I like best





6. I can co-operate, take turns and share





7. I like to play with others.





8. I can work on a task until it is finished.





9. I am learning respect for other people and to care for my surroundings.





Knowledge and Understanding of the World





1. I am finding out about different materials by playing with them.





2. I am discovering about people, places and technology around me.





3. I am good at using my senses.





4. I like designing and making things.





5. I am finding out how to care for myself, animals and plants.





6. I like to work out solutions to problems.





Numeracy and Mathematics





1. I can use the signs and charts around me for information, helping me plan and make choices and decisions in my daily life.





2. I am aware of how routines and events in my world link with times and seasons, and have explored ways to record and display these using clocks, calendars and other methods





3. I can match objects and sort using my own and others' criteria, sharing my ideas with others.





4. I can collect objects and ask questions to gather information, organising and displaying my findings in different ways.





5. I have experimented with everyday items as units of measure to investigate and compare sizes and amounts in my environment, sharing my findings with others





6. I have had fun creating a range of symmetrical pictures and patterns using a range of media





7. I have spotted and explored patterns in my own and the wider environment and can copy and create my own patterns





8. I enjoy investigating objects and shapes and can sort, describe and be creative with them





9. I am developing my awareness of how money is used and can recognise and use a range of coins





10. I can share out a group of items by making smaller groups and can split a whole into smaller parts





11. I have explored numbers, understanding that they represent quantities and I can use them to count, create sequences and describe order.





12. I am developing a sense of size and amount by observing, exploring, using and communicating with others about things in the world around me





13. In movement, games and using technology I can use simple directions and describe positions





14. I use practical materials and can 'count on and back' to help me understand addition, subtraction, recording my ideas and solutions in different ways.





Literacy and English





1. I listen and watch for useful information and I use this to make choices or learn new things.





2. As I listen and talk in different situations, I am learning to take turns and am developing my awareness of when to talk and when to listen.





3. As I play and learn, I enjoy exploring interesting materials for writing and different ways of recording my experiences and feelings, ideas and information.





4. I enjoy exploring events and characters in stories and other texts, sharing my thoughts in different ways.





5. As I listen and take part in conversations and discussions, I discover new words and phrases which I use to help me express my ideas, thoughts and feelings.





6. I enjoy exploring and choosing stories and other texts to watch, read or listen to and can share my likes and dislikes.





7. I use signs, books and other texts to find useful or interesting information and I use this to plan, make choices or learn new things.





8. Within real and imaginary situations, I share experiences and feelings, ideas and information in a way that communicates my message.





9. To help me understand stories and other texts, I ask questions and link what I am learning with what I already know.





10. I enjoy exploring events and characters in stories and other texts and I use what I learn to invent my own, sharing these with others in imaginative ways.





11. I enjoy exploring and playing with patterns and sounds of language and can use what I learn





12. I explore sounds, letters and words, discovering how they work together and I can use what I learn to help me as I read and write.





Expressive and Aesthetic Development





1. I can express myself in painting, drawing and modelling.





2. I enjoy singing and making music.





3. I can act out situations using role play and puppets.





4. I enjoy movement and dance.





Physical Development and Movement





1. I enjoy active play indoors and out.





2. I can explore different ways in which I can use my body.





3. I am developing finer movements with my fingers and hands.





4. I can co-operate with others in physical play and games.





5. I can move my body expressively.





6. I can run, jump, skip, balance, throw and catch





7. I understand the importance of safety.





8. I am aware of the importance of health and fitness






Annual Plan for Focused Observation: Gaelic Medium


Emotional, Personal and Social Development


Term 1

Term 2

Term 3

1. I can be confident in new situations.





2. I can look after myself





3. I can follow rules and instructions





4. I can choose activities by myself.





5. I can tell others how I feel and what I like best





6. I can co-operate, take turns and share





7. I like to play with others.





8. I can work on a task until it is finished.





9. I am learning respect for other people and to care for my surroundings.





Knowledge and Understanding of the World





1. I am finding out about different materials by playing with them.





2. I am discovering about people, places and technology around me.





3. I am good at using my senses.





4. I like designing and making things.





5. I am finding out how to care for myself, animals and plants.





6. I like to work out solutions to problems.





Numeracy and Mathematics





1. I can use the signs and charts around me for information, helping me plan and make choices and decisions in my daily life.





2. I am aware of how routines and events in my world link with times and seasons, and have explored ways to record and display these using clocks, calendars and other methods





3. I can match objects and sort using my own and others' criteria, sharing my ideas with others.