Ashdown Lodge Handbook 2024 | Woodhouse Grove School

Ashdown Lodge Handbook 2024

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Ashdown Lodge Handbook

At Ashdown Lodge, we have created an online Nursery handbook that will provide you with all the information on the day-to-day environment and key procedures within our setting. We appreciate that there is a lot of information below so you may find it useful to 'favourite' this page so you can return to it as and when required.

If you require any further information, please contact myself or a member of the team.

Miss Samiie Hargreaves
Nursery Manager

School Life 

School Hours

Ashdown Lodge opens its doors at 7.30am for before school care and breakfast, children requiring breakfast should arrive before 8am. Curriculum activities in the classroom begin at 8.30am and continue until 3.30 pm. After school care is available up to 6pm, with a light tea being served at 4.30pm in Ashdown Lodge.

All parents and carers collecting children at any time must report to a member of staff at Ashdown Lodge upon arrival. Parents can collect any time from 3.30pm up until 6.00pm. A security device is attached to the main door and the bell should be rung to gain admission. Parents should let staff know of any changes to the ‘usual’ person collecting their child. Filling in a ‘collection/tea’ form at the beginning of each week helps us with this process too (see Appendix). Please ensure you always lock the gate behind you.

In the event of bad weather parents may wish to collect their children earlier. NB: School tries to remains open throughout bad weather (e.g snow); however, we leave it up to parents to decide whether it is safe to travel to school and early collection is permissible.

EMERGENCY CONTACT: School Office – 0113 250 2811


Children remain in Ashdown Lodge for lunch and this is served as a family style lunch. The staff who work with the children in the classrooms eat alongside them and monitor and help them across lunch time. Healthy snacks and milk/water are provided in the mornings and afternoons. We endeavour to make sure children have access to the recommended amounts of dairy, fruit and vegetables each day.

It is essential that any details relating to allergies or dietary requirements are on your child’s medical information form and that a care plan is completed and held in school for children with allergies. For those children with more complex dietary needs, a meeting may be necessary to discuss this further with the Catering Manager and Nursery Manager.

Our menu is on a three-week cycle and is published on the website. A hot/sandwich tea is available at 4.30pm and is served in Ashdown Lodge, supervised by Ashdown staff. Meal times are promoted as social times where we encourage good table manners and small group discussions, especially about which foods are healthy and good for us.
Water is always available throughout the day, but we encourage children to bring in their own named water bottles as well, these are sent home every night for washing.

All parents will have the opportunity to discuss individual child’s eating habits during their settling in visit.

We are a nut aware school – no nuts are served in any dishes or snacks. Due to allergies and dietary requirements within school we no longer allow parents to bring in any food/drink from home.

Year Groups & Places

Children can attend their chosen weekly sessions in 2 different ways; term time or 51 week places. Although the number of children decreases in the holiday periods, the provision and standards remain the same. We endeavour to offer places during non-term time if required but these are subject to availability and strict staffing ratios. Requests should be made to Miss Hargreaves at
Please note that there are two training days when we are closed in September, we close between Christmas and New Year and on the last day of the school academic year (in July) we close at 12 noon.

Term dates are available on our website and through link at the bottom of this page.

Pre-Nursery: Children can start in Pre-Nursery from their 2nd birthday, children in this room are 2 years old.

Nursery: Children move into this room from Pre-Nursery when they are rising 3s. The children in this room are 2 and 3 years old.

Pre-School: Children move into this room from Nursery. The children in this room are 3 and 4 years old. Depending on the child’s date of birth, they may join this room in their final academic year before Reception.


Tapestry is on online application (app) showing your child’s achievements and progress during his/her time with us. It is updated regularly and is available to you electronically. You are able to look at your child’s profile and to add comments, photos, quotes of your own. The profile includes observations and photos of your child engaged in play and activities from when they arrive at school until they leave at the end of the Reception. As part of the joining information you will also receive a consent form which will need to be completed prior to the email link from Tapestry being sent.

An important part of the EYFS Profile is your knowledge about your child’s learning and development, so do let us know about what your child does with you: such as how confident your child is in writing their name, reading and talking about a favourite book, speaking to people your child is not so familiar with or their understanding of numbers. Also, what interests your child has, do they seem sporty or creative, do they enjoy climbing, swimming, playing with other children etc.

All of the information collected is used to judge how your child is doing in the 7 areas of learning and development and if your child needs any extra support in any area. It also helps us to plan activities that are of interest to your child thus making their experiences more meaningful. We also report on and consider how your child learns; do they test their own ideas, challenge themselves, consider things carefully or just ‘jump in’ etc.

Trips and Visits

Trips and visits are a vital part of our curriculum and are used to allow your child to experience things first hand. They are all none compulsory and a full risk assessment is carried out before every visit. These really enhance your child’s learning as they provide first hand experiences that cannot always be replicated in school. Trips are usually short (morning or afternoon) and local. We use a reputable coach company with coaches fitted with seat belts and we will always send out an e-mail requesting your permission. We may also use our own school mini-buses. Examples of trips are Hesketh Farm Park with Pre-School.

Trips are now arranged online via our new Evolve system requesting permission, up to date medical information and online payment. Please ask in school if you require any further clarification.

Absence & Medical

If your child is absent for any reason, please telephone (0113 2502811) or e-mail the school at on the first day of any absence, and every day thereafter. You do not need to talk to the child’s teacher, leaving a message with the office staff is sufficient, the office is open from 8.00 am daily. If a message has not been received for any children absent the school office will telephone home, in line with our Safeguarding Policy. Advance information is required if you are planning to take a holiday in term time.

If you need to take your child to the Doctor, Dentist, Hospital etc. in school time please collect your child from school (or advise us if your child has an early morning appointment and is going to be late).

Prescribed medicines* and over the counter prescribed medication can be administered at school with written consent. Paracetamol based medicine Please hand in all medicines to a member of staff, never leave them in your child’s bag. If your child requires regular medication this can also be stored in school and we will talk to you about your child’s individual needs. A member of staff will give a child their medicine and a written record will be placed in their book bag for your reference.
All medication should be clearly marked with the child's name and instructions for use. Please notify us of any changes to your child’s health, long or short term. We will do our best to remember to administer medicines, such as antibiotics, but we cannot guarantee this. We cannot give medicines containing aspirin unless they have been prescribed by a doctor.

We will apply suncream to your child should the need arise (with prior consent from yourself) or where possible we ask that you apply the ‘whole day’ variety at home before they come to school. We will apply plasters but only if you have given permission on the medical sheet that you will fill in when your child starts school. Please check that we have remembered to put the medicine back in your child’s bag at the end of each day.

*prescription medicines should be left in the named original box/packaging. School will provide Calpol to limit the transportation of medicines around school.

Ashdown Bronte Association

The Ashdown Bronte Association is the parent teacher association for Bronte House school. All parents and/or Guardians of pupils attending the School and all staff shall be eligible for membership of the Association together with any other person with an interest in the School.
The objective of the Association is to support the school in the enrichment of the school life and support the well-being of the of the pupils who attend it.
The ABA :
· works to develop the relationships between staff, parents, pupils and others associated with the school
· we work to support and promote the school community
· undertakes fundraising activities such as organising discos, fairs and raffles to provide extra facilities for school lead education and welfare projects.
For further details please email

Collection & Departure

Ashdown opens at 7:30am and closes at 6pm. Please Park in the lower car park and ensure children are accompanied on the path to Ashdown.

You can collect your child from their classroom door at Ashdown Lodge and escort him/her to the car park. On arrival you will always be met by a member of staff who will sign your child out. Please do not send a sibling under the age of 14 to collect your child. If anyone different comes to collect your child without prior notification, we will phone you before letting your child leave.

Please make sure children are supervised around the school site. Ashdown children are not allowed on the climbing equipment in Bronte’s playground as it’s too big and unsuitable for them. If, for reasons of disability, any parent is unable to use the bottom car park please contact the school office. Please do not park outside the school or in the staff car park without prior permission. This is to ensure the safety of the children who will be present in these areas during collection and drop-off times.

There may be some changes to these routines on certain nights such as when Parent Consultations are being held in the classrooms or sports hall.

Caring for Your Child 

Care & Welfare

We will ask you personally about your child’s particular needs on their settling visit. We have beds available if your child requires a nap, adhering to our Safe Sleeping Policy. If your child is still wearing nappies, please bring them into school. Comforters such as special toys can be sent into school, but please be aware that these may occasionally be misplaced or lost.

The playground is enclosed and has a locked gate as its only point of access. Doors remain locked, please ring the bell for entry. Parents will not be allowed in, only on your child’s settling visit or for pre-arranged meetings.

Child Protection and Safeguarding

Your child’s welfare is our primary concern. We have child protection (safeguarding) procedures in place that require us to report any physical intervention by any adult on any child. We may, on occasion, have to ask you about a ‘mark’ on your child, or about something he/she has said that is unusual. The designated Safeguarding Lead at Ashdown Lodge is Miss Hargreaves and Mrs Chatterton at Brontë House. Please talk to them or any member of staff about any matters concerned with this. The safety of your child is paramount to us and we have various security and safety procedures and arrangements in place. These procedures will become apparent from the very beginning of your time with us, from the forms you fill in to the everyday routines that we have in place. Please talk to us if you have any worries or concerns about this matter. Other safeguarding leads in the school are Miss Pearson, Mrs Simpson, Miss Broscombe and Mrs Riley.

Key Person

Your child is assigned a ‘key person’ as soon as they start at Ashdown Lodge. The ‘key person’ will be an effective and reflective practitioner who tunes into your child and their individual needs in order to provide a secure base from which to explore and learn. Speak to your child’s ‘key person’ or teacher as often as you can so you know what your child has been doing at school.

A ‘key person’ is there to: -

• Be responsible for your child’s development & learning and keeping records to share with you
• To recognise (and act upon) individual needs by getting to know you and your child well
• Be a first point of contact for you
• Develop a close emotional relationship and help your child to become settled, happy and feel safe
• Offer reassurance and comfort and to be sensitive to your child’s individual needs
• Notice changes in behaviour and be responsive to this

Sharing Information and other service around your child

It is necessary for us to build up a clear picture of your child and his/her individual needs, as soon as your child starts their time with us. To allow us to do this quickly, please bring in any information that you might have from any previous child care providers (if your child has attended another setting). If you have any worries or concerns of your own, or from your child's Two year check with the Health Visitor, please let us know about these too. You should also let us know if your child is working with any other services, such as speech and language. Your child’s Two Year Educational Check may have been carried out at their previous setting, if so please provide us with this.

Progress Checks at 2 Years

The guidance dictates that we assess your child as near to being two years old as possible. This assessment is designed to work hand in hand with any health checks that your child has had, details of which are usually found in the red medical book that you received when your child was born. If the two year-old development check has already been carried out by a previous nursery it would be helpful for us to see a copy (the previous setting will not automatically send a copy to us). If a check has not already been undertaken we will complete one within your child’s first 6-8 weeks with us. We will keep you informed and ask for your input at each stage of this assessment. You will receive a copy of the final assessment and we will be able to discuss it further. We will not share this information with another setting without your permission. This developmental check is completed to ensure that any gaps in development are identified early so measures can be put in place to fill these gaps should there be a need and to give you an idea of your child’s next steps in learning.

You may find it useful or beneficial to share the contents of this check with other professionals such as health visitors (who can use it as part of their health and development review).

Special Needs & Disabilities

We operate an inclusive policy where all children are valued, and where possible, their needs are met. Reasonable adjustments may be made to accommodate a child with any specific additional or physical needs. Parents should always inform us if their child has any additional needs, such as wearing glasses or is visiting a speech and language therapist, or if you have any general worries about your child’s development. You should let us know of any other agencies that are involved with your child (such as a paediatrician or occupational therapist) or if your child attends another nursery. In school, we can access help from the Local Authority whilst they are in Nursery to support children with any Special Educational Needs or Disabilities. The designated Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator will work closely with anyone else who is involved with your child to ensure the best outcomes.

Intimate Care

Intimate care can be defined as care tasks of an intimate nature, associated with bodily functions, bodily products and personal hygiene, which demand direct or indirect contact with, or exposure of, the parts of the body. Intimate will be carried out by your child's key worker where possible, or a member of staff who knows your child well. Your consent will be required on this matter prior to your child starting school. It is a good idea to keep a few spare clothes in your child’s bag. If you require any further information, please see our appendix (page 30) on intimate care procedures in the EYFS.

Key information 

Home School Links - Parent's as Partners

Many parents ask us how they can help with their child’s learning. All the fun activities that you do with your child at home are important in supporting their learning and development, and have a long lasting effect on your child’s learning as they progress through school. The development of your child’s language plays an incredibly important part in their development, explaining things to your children, sharing books, singing rhymes all lay down strong foundations for good communication skills. During your time with us we will help your child to learn things such as putting their own coat and shoes on. It really helps us and your child if you practice these life skills at home too.

We believe that contact between home and school is crucial. Staff are readily available on a daily basis to discuss routines, your child or any other matters. Tapestry is the most effective way to share information so please check this daily. Library books, known as ‘contact books’ are available for you to borrow and share with your child. Parents can also maintain contact with staff via the child’s book bag which should be brought to school daily.

When your child first starts with us, we will ask you to complete a sheet which tells us about what your child can and cannot yet do. Please return this to school as soon as possible. You should also receive a pack containing other useful information that you might need.

If you feel that your child needs help in any area, please let us know. Formal parent consultations are held regularly in all classes but we do operate an ‘open door’ policy and encourage discussion about your child and any school matters whenever necessary or required.

There is a fortnightly bulletin sent out to your e-mail address. You may also occasionally be contacted via a text message.

Please notify us immediately of any changes to your address, emergency or mobile telephone numbers or legal changes to parental responsibility.

Guide to the Foundation Stage Framework

This is a very important stage in your child’s development as it helps your child get ready for school as well as preparing them for their future learning and successes. From when your child is born up until the age of 5, their early years’ experience should be happy, active, exciting, fun and secure; whilst supporting their development, wellbeing and learning needs.

Young children are powerful learners who learn quickly. It is proven that a child’s experiences at this crucial stage has a major impact on their future life chances. They make sense of their environment and their experiences through play. Children are naturally drawn to play and it is recognised as being important for their wellbeing and development. There are many forms of play, all of which help children to learn, become confident learners and develop skills for the future. Some play is child initiated and adults may enhance and support children’s learning, some play is highly structured and adult directed. Both of these offer purposeful experiences for the child. Children should be stretched but not pushed beyond their capabilities, so they can enjoy their learning. Through this they will grow in confidence and will be more likely to reach their full potential. We provide a stimulating environment full of resources to enable children to investigate and explore in a purposeful way.

Parents also play a crucial role in helping their children to learn. We, as school and parents, need to work closely to ensure continuity between experiences at home and those at school and will try to advise you of next steps in learning through parents meetings and the e-profile (Tapestry) along with notes in their book bag.

The EYFS Framework consists of 7 areas of Learning & Development:-

3 Prime Areas
• Personal Social & Emotional Development
• Physical Development
• Communication & Language

4 Specific Areas
• Expressive Art & Design
• Literacy
• Mathematics
• Understanding the World

Plus 3 Characteristics of Effective Learning (How children learn)
• Playing & Exploring in their environment
• Active Learning, Involvement & Concentration
• Critical Thinking & Problem Solving

All children develop at different rates and have different interests. The ten areas listed above all interlink and are taught through a range of stimulating activities. Our staff teach and support your child and will make sure that the activities they plan are suited to your child’s unique needs. The children are encouraged to investigate and explore as well as learn to be respectful and caring towards others. We also take into account the different ways children learn and use a variety of teaching techniques to suit different learning styles.

More information can be found in ‘Areas of Learning & Development’ in the Appendix.

Much thought has been given to making sure that your child is as safe as possible. Within the Early Years is the EYFS statutory guidance that we must follow such as; staff ratios, administering medicines, procedures and risk assessments. There will be various forms that we will ask you to complete about such matters. You should hand a collection time/tea form in to the class teacher every week. (see Appendix)

You will find displays around our school showing in more detail the type of activities that the children participate in. Most of our teaching is based around topics which may change from year to year based on that particular group of children’s interest and/or topical events. Parents will receive a copy of the half termly topic review via your child’s book bag. Detailed planning is a available on request.

Outdoor play is an important part of our curriculum and your child should always come in suitable shoes, coats etc (named). They should bring hats, scarves, gloves, sunhats etc as appropriate. Children may also partake in trips; we will always ask for your written permission for this. All trips are optional. Please ensure your child has a pair of named wellington boots in school at all times for use when it rains.

We are a Methodist school and uphold Christian values. The School Chaplain visits the older children regularly, often telling stories with a moral. We explore and celebrate other cultures and religions as part of our curriculum.

Behaviour & Rewards

Supporting children in the development of their social behaviour is an important part of our curriculum. We model considerate, friendly and positive behaviour and expect pupils to behave sensibly, and with consideration for others, at all times. Staff make every effort to solve problems with pupils in a sensitive and caring way. We encourage positive behaviour by rewarding the children with stickers and praise.

Behaviour is linked to self-regulation which is a big part of our curriculum. In school, we do lots of group work and play games specifically designed to help children understand their emotions and master self control.

We depend upon your input and support in all aspects of behaviour. The school behaviour policy is available on our website or on request from the school office.


Places in Ashdown are fully flexible across the week and the day. It is only when children enter Reception that they are expected to be full time. Government funding is available from the term after your child turns two until the term after they turn five. This may be the universal 15 hours funding or, depending on your circumstances, may be up to a full 30 hours funding that you are entitled to. Parents can access their FEEE at a maximum of two sites in one day. A site refers to the postcode of the setting. It is your decision about how the funding is allocated between the providers.

Please ask in school for more details.

Important Links 

Uniform – List and Images

Staff in Ashdown Lodge 

Policies and Procedures


Important Downloads 



Where To Go For More Information








MISSING CHILD POLICY & PROCEDURE when not collected on time