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  • Church Hill Nursery School
  • Low Hall Nursery School
  • Church Hill Nursery School
  • Low Hall Nursery School

Equality and Diversity

We are an inclusive organisation and welcome children and their families from all backgrounds, all faiths and none, and from all cultures. We do not discriminate against anyone including those with protected characteristics: age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation. This school is all about people; everyone is valued and is included fully.

Our staff follow and put into practice national and borough policies and guidelines on equality in education, support for disability and special needs, moral and religious education and child protection and safeguarding.

We aim to provide every child the encouragement and opportunity:

  • To develop and build on earlier learning.
  • To be active, enthusiastic, thoughtful and responsive.
  • To experience new learning through a planned curriculum which covers appropriate aspects of language, social, cultural, moral, emotional, cognitive, mathematical, scientific, creative and physical development both indoors and outdoors.
  • To take part in all activities, which are organised to take into account different languages, cultural experiences, backgrounds, beliefs and abilities.
  • To progress in all ways, by using our professional knowledge to assess the educational achievements of young children.
  • To feel happy and safe in a caring environment.

There is always more to do. Our Equalities Objectives for 2018 to 2022 and the action we have taken this last year for Church Hill and Low Hall are:

1. Increase our families’ use of the opportunities that living in London presents:

The academic year 19-20 was a challenging year. We started the year planning trips for children and creative reactions to what they experienced on return to nursery as part of our whole school INSET. These trips were focused on local amenities and museums throughout London. We focused particularly on children from lower income families to ensure that their cultural capital opportunities were carefully planned. We also provided training for Early Years settings in Waltham Forest through the borough’s Systems Led Training on Cultural Capital to share our good practice. However from February onward this became very challenging due to COVID restrictions.

We also invited practitioners to work with our children at our nursery schools, such as a local Forest School practitioner and a yoga instructor. We used our EYPP money to pay for these activities and also provided free travel for families joining us on trips if they needed support.

We celebrated the diversity of London through our international day, dressing up in clothes special to us and eating celebration foods made by our families.

2. Work to make all parents ‘school-ready’.

We have individual children seen by the local speech and language therapist and educational psychologist if they have developmental delay. Some children were diverted to Wood Street Health Authority. We shared the children’s development with local Primary schools remotely this year. We did more in-depth meetings with the schools for the families who are likely to need more support over the phone.

We did remote transition meetings for some children with SEND or children with Early Help, Child in need, Child Protection or Looked After Children support. We also worked on raising the aspirations that some parents have for their child, particularly the children who were on EYPP or had previously been in the 2 year old provision. We encouraged them to bring the children to the drop-in speech and language therapy group until February. We worked with many parents and to ensure that they brought their child to nursery every day and on time so as to develop those crucial habits early on in a child’s school career. We gave support to individual parents who had limited experience of primary schools and who may have experienced serious bullying in their school time and were afraid for their children. In addition we supported parents in applying for either a good or outstanding school for their child.

We used Class Dojo during the lockdown period to support families with home learning. We made play our focus, and supported families to help their child to become school ready through play-based phonics and practical activities so that children were ready for school, even though they were not attending nursery. We remained open for children of key workers and vulnerable children, initially at two local primaries schools and then in the summer term, opening small bubbles for those children who were going up to Primary School. For many of our families this was a very challenging time. We made links with a local school and took food parcels to families who indicated that they needed help. For some families we also applied to food banks on their behalf. We understood that over this period for children to be school ready, we needed to support families in new ways ensuring all children were safe. We made a number of Early Help referrals during this period for families with emerging needs.

3. Increase and improve how we listen to parents and feed back to them what we learn from listening.

We have an initial chat with parents and feedback relevant things about the child to the larger staff group, the same applies when we meet the parents after 1 term and at the end of the child’s time at nursery.

If a request is made to speak to a senior member of staff we will get back to them at least within 24 hours, and usually quicker. We will listen to parents’ concerns and views and if necessary change school policy. We try to listen carefully to parents and allow them a private space so they can speak in confidence if necessary. We respond to parental surveys and visiting day surveys and reflect on the parents views at SLT and staff meetings.

This was and remains a focus on our School Development Plan for 2019-20 (extended to 20-21). Over the lockdown we developed our remote learning thorough a platform called Class Dojo. Practitioners shared play activities, read stories, sang songs and even walked their dog on shared videos. Teachers also did live sessions on zoom links to invite children to treasure hunts, phonics and Tales Toolkit sessions. Families fed back: “During the pandemic they were absolutely amazing and uploaded recording of the teachers doing phonics and reading stories which made a huge difference for us to have these resources to rely on.”… “Staff put in a huge effort over lockdown to stay connected to the kids and provide activities and communication.”… “An example of how much they care - during lockdown in early 2020, Low Hall invested in an online learning platform for parents and children. Every day staff sent videos to us of activity ideas, phonics lessons, singing and all sorts of fun stuff!” We used this platform to engage families in home learning and feedback what their own child was doing through videos and photographs. We also made a leavers’ video for each school, based on the WF Chit-Chat, Pitter-Pat model to celebrate our leaving children. You can watch these videos here:

https://www.fans.waltham.sch.uk/news/?pid=30&nid=5&storyid=155

https://www.fans.waltham.sch.uk/news/?pid=30&nid=4&storyid=156

You can rea what we did in the academic year 2018-19 by clicking here.

Church Hill's Equalities Objectives 2014 to 2018

1. To ensure that the positive ethos of equality and respect of the Children’s Centre and Nursery School is embedded further by developing:

  • a Parents’ Charter which will set out how we expect all adults to behave on the premises, and what will happen if anyone does not abide by this;

2016: Our Parents’ Charter has been developed through consultation with governors, staff, parents and other users of the settings. It is displayed in all our settings, on our website and facebook page. We plan to extend this objective to find other ways to capture our parents’ voices.

2017: We have organised meetings during our March 2017 Listening Week at Low Hall and Church Hill for parents to share their views on everything about our schools, and to help us revitalise the Parents’ Charter now that the Children’s Centre is no longer part of our organisation.

  • a Bullying and Harassment Policy which will be included in the Staff Handbook and discussed as part of our Induction process for staff and volunteers.

2016: We now have a Bullying and Harassment Policy in our Staff Handbook. We held a workshop on this at our all-staff training day in January 2015, and it is used as part of our Induction process for staff and volunteers. We shall be reviewing the policy and procedure as part of our work to form common policies with our new colleagues and Low Hall and Walthamstow West.

2017: The Bullying and Harrassment Policy is now embedded in the practice of both schools.

2. To increase the involvement of fathers and male carers in the Children’s Centre and Nursery School by:

  • recruiting male volunteers;

2016: More than a third of the volunteers at our Summer Fair were dads.

2017: Many of the volunteers at our Spring Fair were dads, and a dad came into Nursery to teach the children African Drumming.

  • promoting events such as ‘Bring a Dad to Nursery’ widely;

2016: Our latest Bring a Dad to Nursery Day was held on 3rd July 2015. 10 male carers came along, and participated in activities with the children.

2017: 4 dads and 3 grandads attended Bring a Dad to Nursery Day in Summer 2016.

  • through delivering a new group with a focus on fathers and their partners;

2016: Our Football for Fathers group has now been running for more than 12 months, and has built steadily. We now have 14 families who attend on a weekly basis. The children and adults are trained by professional coaches, after which they share a healthy snack and have an informal discussion of the parenting issues that the grown-ups face on the day.

2017: We ran our Football for Fathers group for about 2 years. It built to having 14 families attending on a weekly basis. The children and adults were trained by professional coaches, after which they shared a healthy snack and had an informal discussion of the parenting issues that the grown-ups faced on the day. This group was closed when responsibility for organising Children’s Centre activities moved away from Church Hill and Low Hall.

  • targeted publicity for male-focused workshops and for all events involving dads.

2016: Rather than using targeted publicity materials, Key People talk on a one-to-one basis with male carers when we have an event such as Bring a Dad to Nursery Day.

We also have two new male staff members: one Teacher, who works at Church Hill and supports the early years pupil premium children at Church Hill and Low Hall for one day each week; and one Early Years Professional working for Church Hill 2-year old provision and Low Hall teatime provision.

2017: Rather than using targeted publicity materials, Key People talk on a one-to-one basis with male carers when we have an event such as Bring a Dad to Nursery Day.

We have also increased our number of male staff members: we have a trainee Teacher and an Early Years practitioner who both work at Church Hill, Woodbury Road site; and an Early Years Practitioner working for Church Hill 2-year old provision and Low Hall teatime provision.

3. To gather, analyse and evaluate data on different groups e.g. SEND, gender and ethnicity, including attendance data. To develop actions to address any imbalances we find.

2016: We are now in the 3rd year of doing analysis of blind data on SEND, gender and ethnicity. Analysis of children’s attainment and progress is contained in the annual Assessment Report which will be presented to the Children’s Learning and Development Committee meeting in November 2015. We use this analysis to develop the curriculum to suit the needs of our children better and to narrow the achievement gap.

We use our regular analysis of attendance data and holiday permission forms to understand better the reasons why parents take children out of nursery. Approaching parents with better understanding of their needs helps us develop good relationships, and this helps us to help them develop the habit of regular attendance.

2017: We are now in the 4th year of doing analysis of blind data on SEND, gender and ethnicity. Analysis of children’s attainment and progress is contained in the annual Assessment Report which will be presented to the Children’s Learning and Development Committee meeting in November 2016. We use this analysis to develop the curriculum to suit the needs of our children better and to narrow the achievement gap.

We use our regular analysis of attendance data and holiday permission forms to understand better the reasons why parents take children out of nursery. Approaching parents with better understanding of their needs helps us develop good relationships, and this helps us to help them develop the habit of regular attendance.

Low Hall's Equalities Objectives 2016 to 2018

  1. To ensure that the positive ethos of equality and respect of the Children’s centre and Nursery School is embedded further we will develop a Parent’s Charter which will set out how we expect all adults to behave on the premises, and what will happen if anyone does not abide by this.

2016: Our Parents’ Charter has been developed through consultation with governors, staff, parents and other users of the settings. It is displayed in all our settings, and on our website. We plan to extend this objective to find other ways to capture our parents’ voices.
2017: We have organised meetings during our March 2017 Listening Week at Low Hall and Church Hill for parents to share their views on everything about our schools, and to help us revitalise the Parents’ Charter now that the Children’s Centre is no longer part of our organisation.

2. To develop our learning about the new communities in the local area and increase the involvement of these community users in the Children’s centre and Nursery School by:

  • Involving current staff from less well represented communities in a wider range of activities such interpreting messages from parents
    2016: We make the most of the variety of languages that our talented staff can speak to help us have more meaningful conversations with our parents.
    2017: We are continuing to use the skills of our talented staff at every opportunity.
  •  Promoting a wide range of cultural backgrounds at an annual International Day
    2016: Our International Day saw staff and children dress up in costumes or colours that represented their cultural heritage. Parents came in and read stories to the children from around the world. They also brought in contributions of food from around the world for children and parents to taste. A steel band spent the day at the nursery and the children enjoyed listening to the music and dancing. Every child was also able to have a go at playing the steel pans.
    2017: Once more our International Day saw staff and children dress up in costumes or colours that represented their cultural heritage. Parents came in and read stories to the children from around the world. They also brought in contributions of food from around the world for children and parents to taste. A steel band spent the day at the nursery and the children enjoyed listening to the music and dancing. Every child was also able to have a go at playing the steel pans.
  • Recruiting volunteers from a wider range of communities which represent people living in the local area
    2016: Parents come with us on trips so that we have a safe number of adults. 11 parents volunteer on a regular basis across Walthamstow East and Walthamstow West Children’s Centres. They have all been interviewed and had a proper induction.
    2017: In addition to helping out regularly on school trips, 2 parents volunteered in Nursery throughout the Autumn Term 2016.
  • Ensuring that food on offer is more culturally diverse
    2016: Our new chef means that the variety of food on offer has improved enormously. It is a very healthy and culturally diverse menu.
    2017: The chef is still making tasty, healthy and diverse food. This is revised regularly to take account of new advice on healthy eating.

3. To increase the involvement of local women and their under 5s in sport, for example, developing Family Football sessions to include women and their children

2016: We signpost mothers to the local women-only sports sessions available at Walthamstow Leisure Centre.
2017: Following staff changes in our office we will put renewed effort into doing this.

Working with Parents and Carers
We have recently put together a ‘Grown ups’ Charter’ based on suggestions from parents, carers and staff from both schools and children’s centres. The charter is displayed in the schools. Please see below.

Grown ups charter 2017

Please also see the For parents section of this website for more detailed information about our aims, how we can work together, and our parent guidelines for the Safety and Protection of your child during their time with us.