WELCOME To St Philips Pre-School, Westbrook

St Philips Pre-School is a friendly and caring pre-school in the heart of our community which offers a stimulating environment in which children learn whilst having fun.

St Philips playgroup was established in 1988 and later registered with OFSTED as a pre-school in 2000, achieving ‘Outstanding’ status in November 2015.  We are open term time only in line with our local school.

Our setting aims to:

  • Provide high quality care and education for children below statutory school age;
  • Work in partnership with parents and other settings/ child-minders to help children to learn and develop in line with our ‘Inclusion Matters’ promise;
  • Add to the life and well-being of the local community;
  • Offer children and their parents a service that promotes equality and values diversity;
  • Promote children’s right to be strong, resilient and listened to by creating an environment in our setting that encourages children to develop a positive self-image, which includes their heritage arising from their colour and ethnicity, their languages spoken at home, their religious beliefs, cultural traditions and home background.

We aim to ensure that each child:

  • Is in a safe and stimulating environment
  • Is given generous care and attention because of our ratio of qualified staff to children
  • Every child has a key person: this person has special responsibilities for working with a small number of children, giving them the reassurance to feel safe and cared for and building relationships with their parents
  • Has the chance to join with other children and adults to live, play, work and learn together
  • Is helped to take forward her/his learning and development by being helped to build on what she/he already knows and can do
  • Is in a setting that sees parents as partners in helping each child to learn and develop
  • Is in a setting in which parents help to shape the service it offers

Our approach to

Learning through play

Play helps young children to learn and develop through doing and talking, which research has shown to be the means by which young children learn to think. 

Our setting uses the Statutory Framework for Early Years Foundation Stage to plan and provide a range of play activities which help children to make progress in each of the areas of learning and development. In some of these activities children decide how they will use the activity and, in others, an adult takes the lead in helping the children to take part in the activity.

In all activities information from the practice guidance to the Early Years Foundation Stage has been used to decide what equipment to provide and how to provide it. 


We assess how young children are learning and developing by observing them frequently. We use information that we gain from observations, as well as from photographs, to document their progress and where this may be leading them. We believe that parents know their children best and we ask them to contribute to assessment by sharing information about what their children like to do at home and how they as parents are supporting development. 

We make formative and summative assessment of children’s achievement based on our ongoing development records. These form part of children’s records of achievement. We undertake these assessments at regular intervals as well as times of transition, such as when a child moves into a different group or when they go on to school.

Our setting uses the Statutory Framework for Early Years Foundation Stage to plan and provide a range of play activities which help children to make progress in each of the areas of learning and development. In some of these activities children decide how they will use the activity and, in others, an adult takes the lead in helping the children to take part in the activity.

In all activities information from the practice guidance to the Early Years Foundation Stage has been used to decide what equipment to provide and how to provide it. 

The Areas of Development and Learning comprise:

Prime areas
  • Communication and language
  • Physical development
  • Personal, social and emotional development
Specific areas
  • Literacy
  • Mathematics
  • Understanding the world
  • Expressive art and design


Session Times (for half day children)

Monday-Friday 8.45am-11.45am, 12.15pm-3.15pm


Session Times (for full day children)

Monday-Friday 8.45am-2.45pm with the option to stay until 3.15pm (for an additional £3 fee)

We offer both 15 and 30 hour funded places for eligible parents. There is a charge for healthy snack depending on the number of sessions taken for the year which will include a choice of fresh fruit or vegetables, toast, crackers, yogurts, milk or water.  We ask parents to provide children with a named bottle filled with fresh water for their session.

Your child will also be given a new pre-school book-bag in September when they start, which is included in the cost.  If this needs to be replaced, book bags may be purchased for £5.00. 

We offer a lunch club to those children taking 2 sessions in one day. Your child will bring a healthy packed lunch (no nuts or nut products) and will be supervised for 30 minutes between sessions.  This service is charged at £3.00 per day which is payable per half term in advance.


We have our own uniform of purple sweatshirts and T-shirts embroidered and printed with the pre-school logo.  These can be purchased from pre-school at the new starters open day. 

Although uniform is not compulsory, the majority of the children love to wear it!

We provide protective clothing for the children when they play with messy activities such as water and paints.   We suggest children wear clothes suitable for pre-school activities and with a coat for outdoor play. 

Children will need a sun hat for the summer months. Spare clothes may be brought in their school bag for each session and children who are not toilet trained need to bring in their own nappies and wipes.  We do have spare clothes if needed. 

We encourage children to gain the skills that help them to be independent and look after themselves. These include taking themselves to the toilet and taking off, and putting on, outdoor clothes. Clothing that is easy for them to manage will help them to do this.

Example of our Pre-school Day

8:45am/12:15pm – Welcome, finding names & register on the carpet

9:00am/12:30pm – Adult-led carpet activity, e.g. Circle time, listening games or a numeracy or literacy activity

9:15am/12:45pm – Child-initiated play, children’s choice from a wide range of activities both inside and out whilst adults help and observe

10:00am/1:30pm – From this point onwards the children will be invited to come together to share a healthy snack and a chat, and then play again!

11:15am/2:45pm – Tidy-up time.  Then to the carpet for a story or singing

11:40am/3:10pm – Coats on and home time!

We want your child to feel happy and safe with us. Before your child starts they can visit during a session, allowing them to become familiar with the surroundings. When your child first starts, the staff will work with each parent to help their child settle as quickly as possible.  Within the first couple of weeks we arrange a short meeting where the manager will inform you of a number of procedures and will issue you with a home-school diary.  You will also be able to ask any questions and share any concerns you may have.

Parents are regarded as members of our setting who have full participatory rights. These include a right to be:

  • valued and respected
  • kept informed
  • consulted
  • involved
  • included at all levels

At St Philips Pre-school we have an open door policy and like parents to feel they can call in at any time.  We also use other forms of communication such as email, home/ school diary, parent coffee mornings, parent’s suggestion box and fundraising events.

How parents take part in the setting

Our setting recognises parents as the first and most important educators of their children. All of the staff see themselves as partners with parents in providing care and education for their child. There are many ways in which parents take part in making the setting a welcoming and stimulating place for children and parents, such as:

  • exchanging knowledge about their children's needs, activities, interests and progress with the staff;
  • sharing their own special interests with the children;
  • helping to provide, make and look after the equipment and materials used in the children's play activities;
  • being part of the management of the setting;
  • taking part in events and informal discussions about the activities and curriculum provided by the setting;
  • building friendships with other parents in the setting.
  • joining in community activities in which the setting takes part; and
The management of our setting

Along with our manager, St Philips Pre-school is managed by a parent/carer committee, whose members are elected by the parents of the children who attend the setting. The Committee work in close co-operation with the staff and is responsible for managing the setting’s finances, employing staff, instating and reviewing policies and fundraising.

The Pre-school holds an Annual General Meeting, which is open to the parents of all of the children who attend the setting. It is our shared forum for looking back over the previous year’s activities and shaping the coming year’s plan. At the AGM, the committee is elected and members serve for a minimum of one year.  Without a committee the pre-school is unable to operate.  Each year a chairperson, treasurer and secretary must be elected. If you are interested in taking an active role on our committee and helping to run our pre-school, please advise a member of staff.

Safeguarding- a shared responsibility

Our setting has a duty under the law to help safeguard children against suspected or actual ‘significant harm’. Our employment practices ensure children are protected against the likelihood of abuse in our settings. We have clear policies and procedures for managing complaints or allegations against a member of staff or another child within the setting.

Our way of working with children and their parents ensures we are aware of any problems that may emerge and can offer support, including referral to appropriate agencies when necessary, to help families in difficulty.   At St Philips Pre-school we operate a password system for the safe collection of children. Please also be aware that we are unable to release a child to anyone under the age of 16 years.

Additional needs

As part of the setting’s policy to make sure that its provision meets the needs of each individual child and is fully inclusive, we take account of any additional needs your child may have.

A full copy of the setting’s policies and procedures are available for you to see at the pre-school. The setting’s policies help us to make sure that the service provided by the setting is a high quality one and that being a member of the setting is an enjoyable and beneficial experience for each child and her/his parents. The staff and parents of the setting work together to adopt the policies and everyone has the opportunity to take part in the annual review of the policies.

The policies most useful to parents are:
  1. Parental involvement policy-working in partnership with parents and other agencies.
  2. Health & safety policy-keeping children and staff healthy. This policy includes exclusion periods for illnesses. For your information, children should be kept at home for 48 hours after sickness/ diarrhoea has ceased. A full list is included in the main policy document.
  3. Medication policy- We have a policy on administering prescribed medicines to support individual children with medical needs.
  4. Nappy changing policy- Pre-school does not exclude any child who may, for any reason, not yet be toilet trained and who may still be wearing nappies or equivalent.
  5. Uncollected child policy- In the event that a child is not collected by an authorised adult at the end of a session/day, the Pre-school puts into practice agreed procedures
  6. Missing child policy-in the setting and on outings, the procedures followed.
  7. Late collection policy- A charge of £2.50 for every 5 minutes (pro rata) for late collection after the end of session (after 11.45am/ 3.15pm) will be billed unless in emergency circumstances at managers discretion. Please note the pre-school telephone number.
  8. Safeguarding policy- Our prime responsibility is the welfare and well-being of all children in our care.
  9. Behaviour management policy- We aim to work towards a situation in which children can develop self-discipline and self-esteem in an atmosphere of mutual respect and encouragement.
  10. Food and drink policy- As part of promoting the good health of the children, pre-school ensures that snacks and drinks provided to the children are healthy, balanced and meet the children’s individual dietary needs
  11. Risk assessment policy- We make sure our setting is a safe and healthy place for children, parents, staff and volunteers by assessing and minimising the hazards and risks to enable the children to thrive in a healthy and safe environment
  12. Accident/ incident policy- We follow the guidelines of the Reporting Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences (RIDDOR) for the reporting of accidents and incidents.
  13. Mobile phone & internet policy- Due to recent serious case reviews, we have a strict policy in place stating staff must not use mobile phones equipped with cameras during pre-school hours. Staff will not share any comments/information relating to any pre-school issues via the internet or any other social network sites.
  14. Mobile phone & internet policy-parents- We ask that parents do not use their mobile phones on the premises for the safety of the children. On occasion when permission has been given for parents to take photographs, such as Christmas concerts, etc., we ask that parents use consideration if they are uploading images of their own child to social networking sites, that no other child is included in that image.
  15. Policy on alcohol/other substances- Preschool places high importance on ensuring that staff and other adults working with children are suitable to do so. If, upon collection of a child, the staff believes a parent/carer is under the influence of alcohol or drugs and unable to care for the child responsibly, the child will remain in the care of the pre-school until an emergency contact arrives.

If you have any questions regarding this document or anything relating to Pre-school, please don’t hesitate to telephone, e-mail or call in to see the staff.