Welcome to Riverside Nursery School. While we love to show families around our preschool, sometimes it's not possible. Here are some photos and videos of a typical set up (minus the children!). We have also compiled a list of 'Frequently Asked Questions' that parents viewing the preschool ask. If you can't find an answer to your question, please contact us, we'd be happy to help.
We are a pack-away preschool based in Great Amwell Scout Hut. The hall is used by Scout and Guide groups most evenings.
Families and visitors arrive at the main entrance, ring the doorbell and wait to be let in, all doors are kept locked at all times. Once staff have welcomed them in, visitors are asked to confirm their identity and sign our visitors book. They will be reminded of some of our safeguarding procedures. The corridor has doors leading to our office and meeting room, the kitchen, toilets, and main hall.
The large open plan hall allows us to be very flexible. We change the toys and resources weekly, sometimes more often depending on the children's interests. we can vary the layout to allow for specific games or activities to take place. It is also large enough that we can have outdoor toys inside if the weather is particulary bad.
At the back of the main hall there are double doors leading out to our large grassy garden. The large field is secure all the way around, We section it off with temporary fencing that allows us to contain the children and keep them safe. In the summer time the eclosed garden area is made as large as possible as we find the children prefer to spend most of their time out here.
The children can go in and out as they please, we have adults in all areas to look after and play games with the children. As with inside, we change the toys and resources available weekly. The garden is open all year around, except in very heavy rain or hot sunshine.
We also have access to the woods behind the preschool and make use of this when we can.
Is is like school?
No, though the children learn and develop lots while they are here. The children learn through play. The staff plan a variety of activities for the children each week. Some are available continually during the session, the children can move between the activities as they choose. There will also be some adult led activities. Each adult will plan a game or activity to help meet the development needs of their key children and will encourage all of their children to have a go. However all of the children are welcome to join in any activity that they wish to.
We do have some structure and routine during the day, we start the day with the register, we say hello to all of the children, perhaps share news, or have a story. The children are then free to play. Adults will also offer their planned activities. We have snack time half way through the session. Towards then end of the session, children are encouraged to hlpe tidy up, then we sit for story time or singing, or we may play a game.
Do the children play outside?
Yes. The doors are open during the day, we have staff inside and outside, the children are free to go in and out as they please. The only time we may close the garden would be due to extreme weather e.g. heavy rain or very hot days, or when it would be unsafe for the children to be outside, e.g. if the grass or hedges are due to be cut. Even on these days we can usually manage to get out for part of the day.
Does my child need to be potty trained before they start?
No. We accept children from age 2, most children start at Riverside in nappies. When you decide to begin toilet training, we will work with you using whatever method you are using at home. We can offer advice and support if needed.
Who will look after my child?
All children are assigned a Key Person, and adult who is responsible for tracking your child's progress, for planning activities specifically for your child, and who will really get to know and build a relationship with your child. However, all members of staff get to know all the children well and all of the children are welcome to join in any activity with any adult. In short, we all look after all of the children, but your child's Key Person will know them best
What does it cost?
Briefly, we charge for each 3 hour morning and afternoon session, and for lunch and breakfast clubs. Funded parents are charged for snack (which is not covered by funding) and for any sessions in addition to their funded hours. The most up todate information can be found on our Fees page
When are you open?
We are open during term time, generally following Hertfordshire County Council term dates. You can find our term dates here
During term time, we are open all day Monday to Thursday, and half a day on Fridays. For exact time, click here
We were graded as 'GOOD' by Ofsted in March 2022
Areas suggested for improvement were actioned immediately.
Read the report here.
We rely on word of mouth to let other parents know about us. We appreciate all feedback and use it to make our preschool even better for your children.