A security key pad entry system is at the entrance to ensure access by authorised persons only. We require notification of who is authorised to collect your child from nursery.  Under no circumstances will a child be allowed to leave the premises unless it is with a previously identified, authorised person who know your child’s password.

Introductory Sessions

Before your child begins full days or sessions at nursery we would recommend that you and your child visit on several occasions for short introductory sessions.  You are encouraged to stay with your child until he or she settles after which time we would suggest that you leave for short periods until both you and your child are relaxed and comfortable in the nursery setting.  No charge is made for the introductory sessions.

Children learn very quickly that nursery is a fun, friendly place to be therefore the settling-in period is rarely as difficult as you might imagine it to be.

Daily Updates

Welcome to Famly | Famly

When your child is in nursery you will receive a daily update on our learning journal detailing your child’s eating and sleeping patterns, fluid intake, toileting progress and information about the activities your child has participated in that day.  The nursery staff will, of course discuss your child’s day with you, however the learning journals are a useful reference when at home.  Staff will upload pictures here too and we encourage parents to share achievements from home with us through your child’s online journal.

Sleep Times

Your child can use a cot, rocking chair or a small bed for their sleep times.  Each child has their own bed linen and are calmly settled for their sleep by the nursery staff.  Children are monitored by the staff throughout their sleep time.

Care Plans

Each child in the nursery,  will receive three monthly care plans from your child’s key worker.  This sets out what your child has been working on while at nursery and what they will move onto.  The staff will have some targets to work towards and these are discussed with parents.  Staff value parents contributions to these care plans.

Activity Planning

The nursery staff plan activities in advance in the Pre-school Room to cover all 5 areas of the Curriculum Framework which ensures each child receives a broad, balanced range of activities.  These plans are flexible and respond to your child’s individual interests and developmental stage.

Planning for children under 3 years old is less structured and responsive to each child’s needs and abilities.

Tooth Brushing

All children brush their teeth on a daily basis after snack and/or lunch.  Your child will be provided with their own toothbrush and toothpaste.  Please let the Manager know in writing if you would prefer your child did not brush their teeth while in nursery.


For the health and well being of all children attending nursery, your child should not come to nursery if they are suffering from an infectious illness.

If your child suffers from a non-infectious illness or an allergy we will endeavour to accommodate any special requirements they may have.


Parental permission is required for all medication to be administered.  Staff will ask parents to complete a medicine form on the day the medicine has to be administered.  Long term medications can also be administered.

Promoting Positive Behaviour

Positive behaviour is promoted through praise and encouragement from the nursery staff.  Children receive little attention for negative behaviour, therefore they quickly realise that the positive behaviour will be rewarded.

Our staff will keep you fully informed if your child requires support in this area at any time.  If a pattern of behaviour causing more concern develops, we will discuss this with you and agree steps to move forward in the best interests of your child .

Additional Needs

If your child requires extra support for any reason, either on a temporary or permanent basis, we will make every effort to provide this support.  The nursery staff are experienced at working closely with parents and other professionals such as Health Visitors, Speech and Language Therapists to help your child reach their full potential.

What do I Bring?

Depending on our child’s age and stage of development you will need to provide:  formula or breast milk, nappies, soft indoor shoes, suitable outdoor clothing and a change of clothes.  If your child has a comfort toy, blanket or a dummy you should also bring these to nursery.

Clothing and Personal Property

Your child will be involved in messy activities at nursery and although the staff will encourage them to wear aprons whenever possible, we would advise that your child does not wear ‘good’ clothes to nursery as accidents can happen. It is helpful if you mark all your child’s belongings with their name as it can be difficult for our nursery staff to locate unnamed items.

We would also recommend that your child does not bring toys from home as they do become upset if items become mislaid or broken.  Favourite books and comfort toys are of course always welcome.

South Ayrshire Council Education Department

Alphabet Yard works in partnership with South Ayrshire Council Education Department to provide the pre-school curriculum for children aged 3 to 5 years.  Our Early Years Development Teacher visits the nursery regularly to offer support to the nursery staff and children.

The nursery conducts a thorough on-going self evaluation audit including parent’s, staff and children’s questionnaires.  A development plan is then sent to the Education Department annually detailing the audit and the action plans for the coming year.

Transition to Primary 1

Our nursery staff are aware of the important step a child takes when beginning Primary School therefore we ensure that each child is supported in this transition.

A developmental report is completed by our staff for your child’s Primary 1 teacher.  You will be given a copy of the report to read and comment on prior to your child’s school receiving it.

Our staff will support children and parents where possible in their transition to Primary 1.

Parents Events

Parents Events are held throughout the year for all children in the nursery.  Although the nursery staff are available on a daily basis, this gives you the opportunity to discuss your child’s progress in a relaxed atmosphere on an individual basis. This is done through charity events, stay and play, coffee mornings/evenings, open evenings etc.

Nativity Play

Each Christmas the children in the Bumblebee Room will perform a Carol Concert for their families.  Christmas is always an exciting time for children and they enjoy the opportunity to perform all their Christmas songs.


A graduation party  is held each summer for all the children moving on to Primary School. This is a very proud day for everyone, although it can be emotional.




Our Vision – We have a clear vision of what we want to achieve at Alphabet Yard:

  • To provide a safe, happy, caring and stimulating environment for your child
  • To enable all children to develop their capabilities as successful learners, confident individuals, responsible citizens and effective contributors to society.
  • For all children to be safe, healthy, achieving, nurtured, active, respected, responsible and included in our early years setting.
  • A place to learn, develop and grow: “happy healthy children”

Our Values

Together we will:

  • Respect and look after each other and the world around us.
  • Create a challenging, engaging and responsive environment.
  • Provide a safe, supportive and inclusive community where we value everyone.
  • Build on the strengths, interests and aspirations of all.
  • Promote equal opportunities, respect diversity and value the special contribution everyone can make
  • Actively encourage and promote health and wellbeing.

Our Aims

  • Provide a service that meets the needs of the children and families using our service.
  • Celebrate the talents of each child, providing a flexible approach to meet their individual needs.
  • To provide a curriculum consistent with National and local Authority guidelines, which is broad, balanced, coherent and progressive and promotes the use of play in every child’s learning. With our children under three years we work with the Pre-Birth to Three Curriculum and for our children over three years we work with Curriculum for Excellence. We aim to enable our children to become: – Confident Individuals, Responsible Citizens, Effective Contributors, and Successful Learners.
  • Promote an inclusive and welcoming atmosphere, where parent’s views on and involvement in their child’s learning and development is encouraged and valued.
  • Promote an ethos of equality that includes, respect and values all members of the nursery.
  • Provide a good range of natural resources to effectively support the implementation of the curriculum.
  • Promote good teamwork and strong staff base, with staff working together to provide the best possible service.
  • Identifying and providing effective early support to children who are at risk of poor outcomes – Early Intervention.
  • To share the Centre Improvement Plan with staff, parents, children and other partners who work with the school by publishing it on our website and sharing through our FAMLY app.
  • The management team along with practitioners will monitor, review and adapt where appropriate our school improvement plan monthly. This will be by collecting evidence of working towards and achieving outcomes.  Management and staff will work collaboratively to monitor the success of the Plan through auditing linked to the HGIOELC quality indicators.

   The nursery improvement plan is based upon evidence which has been gathered from the following source: –

  • Children’s Individual Learning Journals
  • Centre Policy and Procedure
  • Monitoring of teaching and learning, attainment, and achievement throughout the year
  • Audit of previous improvement plan
  • Minutes of meetings
  • Training Plan and training evaluations
  • Staff reflection diaries
  • Consultations/Questionnaire from all service users
  • Formal and informal observation of nursery practice
  • Care Inspectorate / Education Scotland
  • Visits from SAC
  • Participation and home link opportunities
  • Learning walls, playroom displays
  • Consultation and feedback from partners Speech and Language, Educational Psychologist, Speech and Language
  • Surveys
  • Parents discussions outdoors and online
  • Management Learning walks
  • Staff participation
  • Informal feedback from parent’s conversations, emails and thankyou cards
  • Communication through our Famly app with all service users and staff.

How Good is our Early Learning and Childcare document has been used to inform the 2022-2023 School Improvement Plan. Account has also been taken of Local and National Priorities in relation to closing the attainment gap in Literacy and Numeracy, Health and Wellbeing.

What is our capacity for continuous improvement 2022-2023
This session our focused quality indicators are:


2.2 Curriculum

2.3 Learning, Teaching and Assessment

3.2 Securing Children’s Progress

3.1 Ensuring wellbeing, equality and inclusion

1.1 Self-evaluation for self-improvement

2.7 Partnerships

3.3 Developing creativity and skills for life and learning

1.2 Leadership of learning

1.3 Leadership of change

1.5 Management of resources to promote equity

2.4 Personalised support

2.5 Family Learning

Priority 1: Improvement in attainment – particularly in Literacy, closing the attainment gap
NIF Priorities 1  


Improvement in attainment, particularly in literacy



Quality Indicators:

2.2 Curriculum


2.3 Learning, Teaching and Assessment

3.2 Securing Children’s Progress

3.3 Developing creativity and skills for life and learning

2.7 Partnerships

1.1 Self-evaluation for self-improvement

1.2 Leadership of Learning

1.5 Management of resources to promote equity.

2.4 Personalised Support

NIF Drivers: Assessment of children’s progress


Parental engagement

Teacher Professionalism

Local Improvement Plan: Closing the gap in outcomes between the most deprived and least deprived children and young people



What Outcomes Do We Want To Achieve? How Will We Achieve This?


 (Intervention Strategies)

Lead Person Start and Finish Dates How Will We Measure Impact On Children and Young People?


(Include Where Possible Current Measure and Target)

Improve children’s outcomes in communication and language, closing the attainment gap

Continue to offer on-line CPLP opportunities, to further develop staff skills, knowledge and understanding


· Parental Involvement training

·  Phonological awareness – Having Fun with Language

Staff will assess and plan using the experiences, and outcomes and RtA, along with developmental milestones to ensure children are making the best progress in their learning.

Staff will assess and track children against experiences and outcomes, and the updated milestones to record progression.  This will indicate to staff which children need individual support or challenge in literacy.

Continue to develop phonological awareness through the use of books, songs and rhymes within the centre in play situations and in partnership with parents.

Staff will develop a clear understanding of children’s early literacy skills.  This will enable them to use their personal knowledge and understanding to ensure early intervention is given to children who require it.

Through the use of effective questioning staff will build on and extend children’s thinking.

Creating a rich stimulating literacy filled outdoor environment using the playground/classroom and Beach School.  creating spaces and professional practice that encourages conversation, cooperative play, and imagination in children.  Offering a range of materials that offer opportunities for mark making, reading stories, using letters, and developing phonological awareness

Continue to monitor and track children’s progress with a focus on children in SIMD 1 & 2.

Gail & Chloe


All staff

Chloe, Lindsay, Laurie, Hayley

Chloe, Lindsay, Laurie

Sharon, and       All Staff

Chloe, Gail




August 2022 – August 2023

Review Dates:

December 2022

March 2023

August 2022 – August 2023

Review Dates:

October 2022

March 2023






Measure impact by increasing the overall % of children achieving milestones in literacy.


Baseline measure of children achieving all C&L milestones are 0% in June 2020/21.

Current Measures of children achieving all C&L milestones in June 2021/22 are 50%.

We aim to increase attainment to 70% by June 2023.

Monitoring of the playroom will evidence……

literacy observations are key moments and in events in children’s development.

Staff using their skills to question children’s learning effectively and extend their learning.

Monitoring of profiles show clear links with planning and children are making good progress in key areas of their learning in particular literacy.

Children are making progression over time which is evident through profiles, planning and tracking meetings

What Outcomes Do We Want To Achieve? How Will We Achieve This?


        (Intervention Strategies)

Lead Person Start and Finish Dates How Will We Measure Impact On Children and Young People?


(Include Where Possible current Measure and Target)




Improve children’s outcomes in maths and numeracy closing the attainment gap

Provide exciting and engaging adult led numeracy learning experiences that all children can access throughout the day.  These should offer support, challenge and problem solving to individual children’s needs.


Through assessments and tracking of children’s learning using Early Level Maths experiences and outcomes, milestones and quality observations, staff will identify children who require challenge or additional support.  Relevant paperwork can be put in place. This will inform the weekly plan and should include breadth and depth of learning.

Continue to monitor and track children’s progress with a focus on children in SIMD 1 & 2.

Creating a rich stimulating numeracy filled indoors and outdoors environment using the playground/classroom and Beach School.  creating spaces and professional practice that encourages learning about and counting numbers.  Offering a range of materials that offer opportunities for subitising, measuring, using mathematical language and shapes.  This will support development and attainment in numeracy skills.

Through the use of effective questioning staff will build on and extend children’s thinking.

Encourage children to solve problem on a regular basis by offering a range of resources that will encourage children to think creatively and solve problems in numeracy and everyday life.



Chloe & Gail

Key Workers

Sharon & all staff


Sharon and All Staff

All Staff



August 2022 – August 2023





Review Dates:

January 2023






Review Dates:

March 2023

Review Dates:

January 2023

Review Dates:

December 2023

Review Dates:

December 2023

Increase in % of children achieving all M&N milestones by June 2023.

Baseline measure of children achieving all M&N milestones are 35% in 2020/21.

Current Measures of children achieving all C&L milestones in 2021/22 are 50%.

We aim to increase attainment to 70% by June 2023.

Monitoring by management will evidence that….

Children will have an increased confidence in participating in maths and numeracy in a stimulating environment.

Staff using the skills tracker to assess and track children will identify children’s individual needs.

Children’s observations are key moments and in events in children’s development.

Children are making progression over time which is evident through profiles, planning and tracking meetings.

Monitoring of profiles show clear links with planning and children are making good progress in key areas of their learning in particular numeracy.

Priority 3:  Improvement in attainment, Improve children’s outcomes in Children’s Health and Wellbeing
NIF Priorities:  


Improvement in children and young people’s health and wellbeing



Quality Indicators:

1.3 Leadership of change


3.1 Ensuring Wellbeing Quality and Inclusion

2.7 Partnerships

1.5 Management of resources to promote equity

2.5 Family Learning

1.2 Leadership of learning

2.4 Personalised support

2.2 Curriculum (Padagogy and play)

NIF Drivers: School Leadership


School improvement

Parental engagement

Placing Human Rights of every child at the centre of education

Local Improvement Plan: Grow well, live well, age well
What Outcomes Do We Want To Achieve? How Will We Achieve This?


 (Intervention Strategies)

Lead Person Start and Finish Dates How Will We Measure Impact On Children and Young People?


(Include Where Possible Current Measure and Target)



Improve children’s outcomes in health and wellbeing

Family Engagement will be encouraged through trying to establish a parent group.  Staff will invite parents to become involved through curricular planning, transitions, celebrating achievements and social meetings.  This can be done through open evenings to see the nursery and meet the staff, Christmas events, charity events etc.


Staff will continue to develop partnerships with parents which encourages mutual respect that will positively contribute to a nurturing experience in our setting, leading to good outcomes for both the child and the family. Making parents feel welcome in our setting is an important first step in this process, creating a firm foundation on which to build.

Staff’s understanding of pedagogy and helping children to learn.  Children learn through curiosity and a mixture of play, adult modelling, guided learning, watching peers and direct teaching in an environment which is child and interest led.  Staff should move away from themed events and be led more by the children. All staff contribute to the planning based on the interests of the children.  Read about “The Curiosity Approach” for creating and enabling a well-planned environment where children can make progress in their learning.

Staff will undertake high quality CLPL and personal research to develop a better understanding of a developmentally appropriate play-based pedagogy.

Staff reflect on their understanding of play-based learning to provide a suitable range of experiences for each child.

Staff will support children’s individual needs.  Management will liaise with appropriate professional services to seek advice and training to minimise the barriers for learning.  Management will support staff to complete the appropriate paperwork to support ASN children’s progression.

· Support Plans

· STINT paperwork

· RFA paperwork

Staff will be supporting children who have English as an additional language.  The environment will be inclusive of the language these children speak.  Staff will ensure these children are inclusive in the daily routine and environment.

Children’s Rights – We want to recognise, respect and promote children’s rights. These include rights to be treated fairly, to be heard and to be as healthy as possible.
Our vision is to have children’s rights embedded in nursery and within children’s daily lives.
Parents and families, all play a critical role in helping children understand and experience their rights.

We aim to ensure that children know their rights, as set out in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC).

Sharon & All Staff

Sharon, Chloe, Gail

All Staff

Sharon, Gail, Chloe

Sharon, Chloe, Gail

All staff


All Staff

August 2022 – August 2023


Review Dates:

December 2022

March 2023

Review Dates:

February 2022

Review Dates:

December 2023

Review Dates:

February 2023

May 2023

Review Dates:

March 2023

Increase in % of children achieving all H&W milestones by June 2023.


Baseline measure of children achieving all H&W milestones are 65% in 2020/21.

Current Measures of children achieving all H&W milestones in 2021/22 are up to 92%.

We aim to increase attainment to 95% by June 2023.

Monitoring by management will evidence that….

Family engagement within the nursery and parental involvement in children’s care and learning needs will have a positive impact on children self-esteem and confidence. Families will feel respected in the nurturing environment and children will feel valued when staff follow their interests.

Children are making progression over time which is evident through profiles, planning and tracking meetings

Staff will use the Leuven scale to observe children’s emotional wellbeing and involvement.

Monitoring by management will evidence that….

Children will have an increased knowledge of what their rights are and what this means.


Introduction By Head of Centre

Our Vision, Values and Aims have been developed with involvement from staff, children and parents/carers in July 2021.

Our Vision

We have a clear vision of what we want to achieve at Alphabet Yard:

  • Offer children and their families a safe, supportive and happy environment where everyone is well known and valued as the individual they are, and the center is a home from home for children.
  • Encourage each child to be independent and develop a sense of responsibility for themselves and to respect others.
  • Provide a stimulating and challenging range of activities both indoors, outdoors and within our local environment.
  • Further develop a positive attitude and confidence to learning that will support each child with their transition to school and in their future life.
  • Ultimately to enable all children to develop their capabilities as successful learners, confident individuals, responsible citizens, and effective contributors to society.


Together we will ensure:

  • HAPPINESS AND WELLBEING – showing kindness and support through dealing with the impact of COVID-19.
  • ENGAGEMENT – being involved, responsive, interested, and interesting
  • RESPECT – promoting a culture of tolerance, inclusion, diversity, equality, fairness, and opportunity
  • COMMUNICATION – listening to children and families, being genuine, open, honest, and sincere.  Sharing information with families in relation to COVID-19 procedures.
  • ACHIEVEMENT – staff engagement and interactions are of the highest quality, with high expectations, encouragement to aim high
  • INTEGRITY – means doing the right thing, even when no one else is watching
  • PARTNERSHIP AND CARE – being reflective and learning from parents as partners, developing strong nurturing relationships
  • CHALLENGING – testing staff, children and those around us, not accepting the status quo
  • COMMITMENT TO EXCELLENCE – developing skills for learning, life, and work


At Alphabet Yard, we believe that every day is a learning day, and that learning is all around us. As well as being a place of learning, we pride ourselves on ensuring that all children are coming in to a loving, caring environment where they are valued and listened to. We also involve children and parents in trying to continually improve.

At Alphabet Yard, we aim:

  • to provide a safe, happy, caring, stimulating and secure environment for our children where everyone feels valued, included, and respected.
  • to engage our children in the highest-quality teaching and learning and to raise attainment for all.
  • to create a nursery which feels like home and to provide an extended family environment.
  • to develop a shared vision for the future of Alphabet Yard.
  • to foster high-quality leadership at all levels.
  • to work in partnership with other agencies and our communities to promote the welfare of our children.
  • to work together with parents as partners to improve learning and care as well as to support families though the impact of COVID.
  • to reflect on our work and fulfil our learning potential.
  • to value and empower our children and staff by recognising and celebrating successes and achievements.
  • to promote well-being and respect.
  • to develop a culture of ambition and achievement.
  • to equip our children with skills for learning, life, and work, ready to actively grasp and follow their dreams in the future.

Context of the early years centre

Alphabet Yard Early Years Centre is in Ayr town centre. The nursery is situated in a conservation area.

Alphabet Yard was established in November 2003 and delivers a day care service from the town center of Ayr.  The nursery is privately owned by Elaine Buchanan who holds a BA in Marketing & Communication and a PGCE Primary Teaching and established the business in 2003.

The centre is registered by the Care Inspectorate for 59 children and delivers high quality early learning and childcare for children from birth to five years.  The nursery is open 51 weeks of the year and closes over Christmas and New Year. We operate between the hours of 8.00 a.m. and 6.00 p.m. Monday to Friday, offering fulltime, part time or sessional daycare.  The nursery works in direct partnership with South Ayrshire Council delivering 1140 hours per year of funded early learning and childcare for children aged 3-5 years and eligible 2 year olds.

Our centre comprises of our outdoor play area, four large playrooms, an outdoor classroom, parents’ room, main office and our kitchen.  All employees are carefully selected and the rigorous recruitment procedures we have in place are followed. All staff have PVG and are registered with SSSC.  The Manager Sharon Meldrum has over 20 years’ experience as a manager in residential settings for children aged to 16 years, with many differing needs.  Sharon is in her second year working towards her management PDA in Childhood Practice. 

Within Alphabet Yard, Getting it Right for Every Child is embedded across the centre. We ensure that transitions for all children and parents/carers are supported. 

The nursery accesses the resources we have in our local community, trips to the local shops, visits and borrowing books from the library (bookbug sessions), visits to the beach and river walks. The nursery also sponsors a local football team.  Glenburn Miners Welfare 2012’s.

As part of the government priority to raise attainment, we place self-evaluation and monitoring at the heart of our centre. All staff and service users play a vital part to ensure self-evaluation reflects the key strengths and next steps that have been identified through this process.

Within Alphabet Yard we have established a culture of collaborative approaches to highly affective partnership working with families.  Our welcoming environment ensures that parents/carers feel valued, empowered, and encouraged to play an active role in the life of the centre.  Our families contributed to our fund raising for a local homeless charity – Wheels in Motion.  Staff, children, and parents donated food, warm clothes, and shoes.  Working in partnership with parents has been challenging through COVID restrictions, but the staff have worked through the challenges to establish alternative approaches to retain positive relationships and we are now beginning to see our parents in the nursery environment, face to face.

Communication has improved via our new FAMLY app which parents can interact with and have given very positive feedback on.  This has been our main way of communicating with parents about COVID-19 guidance and restrictions in relation to their childcare.  Parents are informed of what children are learning and of any special events which are take place daily, along with observations of their child’s learning.  Staff can share pictures of our seasonal parties, Christmas songs, our visit from Santa, the 3-5 children’s visit to “The Paper Cave” local exhibition. Children can use the Ipads and the FAMLY app to communicate with their parents/carers during their nursery day.

What key outcomes have we achieved?


Service Priority: 1

Improve children’s outcomes in Communication and Language.

NIF Priority: –


Improvement in attainment particularly in literacy closing the attainment gap.

Links to HGIOELC


3.2 Securing children’s progress

2.2 Curriculum

2.3 Learning, Teaching & Assessment

2.7 Partnerships

Progress and Impact:

There has been an entirely new 3-5 staff team since March 2022.  The team have become well established and support each other and the children.  They are all working hard to learn about CfE, RtA and link the planning through floor books.  Staff have received some in-house training from the peripatetic teacher and the nursery owner. This involved using talking tubs, mind maps and introducing floor books to the new team. Phonics and rhyme training took place to incorporate this into the daily routine for children.  The senior practitioner has involved other staff and the children in planning using talking tubs and PLODS from the children.  The floor books are beginning to show that children have ownership of their own ideas and learning intentions.

Continued progress has been made in our literacy work. Weekly team meetings have enabled staff to collate and discuss children’s progress to assess progression of learning and track their development on our FAMLY app.  There was progress by some children with their understanding of syllables are were able to clap the syllables of some words.  Through the opportunities for mark making, quite a few children were able to write the letters in their names and most could recognise their own names.

Staff have focused on the developmental milestones and worked closely with the SAC peripatetic teacher to ensure all 3.-5 staff have a good understanding of the milestone and how to get the best outcomes for our children. Staff were taking literacy outdoors, where our outdoor classroom has been a great asset.  There is a reading area in the outdoor classroom and children are keen to “read” their own stories, as well as listening to and acting out stories using the natural resources around them. This has engaged children in reading, who would not go to the library indoors.

Phonological awareness has been a particular focus, where some improvements are evident, although this will continue to be an area of development next session.  Staff are using “The Have Fun with Language” resource book to support them introducing this to the children.

The recorded data of our children achieving all C&L Milestones was measured at 50% in June 2022 which an increase by 50% from last year.  Staff training on phonological aware had a positive impact on this milestones for pre school children.  This increased to 92% of children achieving this.

Next Steps:

The nursery Manager, 3-5 Senior and 2 practitioners will attend Milestone Training held by SAC to take them through the new refreshed milestones.  This will ensure that children’s achievements of literacy milestones are recorded accurately, this will help build staff confidence when planning for literacy and what skills children must have.

The outdoor classroom and Beach School will continue to be developed to take literacy outdoors.  Creating a rich stimulus of the outdoor environment, we will look at creating spaces and professional practice that encourages conversation, cooperative play and imagination in children. 

Staff will create partnerships with parents to establish an understanding that supporting literacy at home helps with a child’s involvement in early literacy.  This is directly connected to academic achievement. Children need parents to be their reading role models which will begin to support children’s early literacy skills.

Phonics will continue to be a priority for the new staff team to embed in their everyday practice.

The owner and manager is attending online ELC Improvement Programme run by the Care Inspectorate.  The aim for our nursery has been on children’s profiles and ensuring observations about children are of key moments/events “WOW” moments which will make the profiles more personal and show each child’s journey in literacy.

Service Priority: 2

Improvement in attainment, Improve children’s outcomes in Maths and Numeracy


NIF Priority:-


Improvement in attainment, improve children’s outcomes in maths and numeracy.

Links to HGIOELC


3.2 Securing children’s progress

2.2 Curriculum

2.3 Learning, Teaching & Assessment

1.1 Self-evaluation for self improvement

Progress and Impact:

Progress has been made with Maths and Numeracy.  The change in the staff team has resulted in more support required in gaining some knowledge in CfE maths and numeracy for the 3-5’s.   Staff took part in training about Realising the Ambition there was a focus on maths and numeracy and how RTA can be used and why it is important.  Supporting planning and providing MNU experiences for the children and how maths and numeracy can be found everywhere.  Staff now have a better understanding of “being me” and how to plan for an individual child.  Loose Parts training helped staff identify that the loose parts area can be used for maths and numeracy – counting, sorting, and matching.

There are weekly team meetings to engage in professional dialogue and reflective discussion on staff’s own practice and share knowledge and understanding of different math skills.  Through starting to engage with children using talking tubs and floor books different maths and numeracy focuses arise from children’s PLODS.

Through staff focusing on the developmental milestones, all children achieved an understanding of subitising from focused activities and other learning experiences e.g. candles on the cake in the home corner, dots on pebbles in the loose parts area etc. Through our milestone evidence we can see that children are becoming more confident when using numbers, by counting on from 0 or another number, knowing “how many” is the last number I counted to and are able to touch items and count consistently. 

The recorded data of our children achieving all M&N Milestones was measured at 50% in June 2022, this was an improvement of 15% from June 2021.  100% of children achieved “I can use positional language” and  “I can talk about more or less to compare quantities”.

Next Steps:

Staff attending milestone training to go through the refreshed milestones to be achieved by children next session.  This will give practitioners an understanding of what expectations of children’s achievements should be to meet individual milestones.

The outdoor classroom, playground and Beach School will be used more often as an everyday learning environment.  This will enable children to participate in many different learning opportunities over all the curricular areas (including math and numeracy).

Staff have become more confident planning and providing loose parts play.  This should be further extended for children within maths and numeracy. This will create richer environments that excite and spark curiosity and child lead opportunities to invent, construct, evaluate and modify their constructions and ideas through play. There will be a focus on “subitising” as this has been a difficult concept for children.  Staff will offer lots of different opportunities for children to use subitising using loose parts indoor and outdoors.  This will build children’s confidence in recognising dot patterns and numbers.

Parents will be invited back into the nursery for “Stay and Play” dates.  Staff will consult with parents about other ways to involve them in their children’s learning and the life of the nursery.  This will have a positive impact on our relationships with parents and their children’s experiences.

The Butterfly Room staff (2-3 years) are engaging in the EYC Improvement Programme through the nurseries in-house training from management.  Their aim is for staff to research ways to make learning about early maths and numeracy more fun and engaging for children through new experiences and through the children’s interest.  This will engage children to participate in learning activities which meet their interests.

Service Priority: 3

Improvement in attainment, particularly in children’s health and wellbeing

NIF Priority: –


Closing the attainment gap between the most and least disadvantaged children

Links to HGIOELC

QI: –

5.1 Children’s H&W are supported and safeguard through Covid-19

1.3 Leadership of change

3.1 Ensuring Wellbeing Quality and Inclusion

2.7 Partnerships

Progress and Impact:

Within our centre we place wellbeing at the heart of everything we do. Our approach to getting it right for every child focuses on knowing them well and having positive warm relationships. All staff continue to embed the nurturing principles within all aspects of practice to support children’s mental, physical, and emotional wellbeing ensuring that our children feel safe, healthy, included, respected, responsible, and active.

Staff have developed an environment that is sensory rich, where individual children’s physical and emotional needs are met and where children can thrive leading to high quality learning outcomes. Children of all ages have daily access to our outdoor area offering challenge and enjoyment.

Children with staff continue to attend Beach school weekly, this helps develop our children’s creativity and imagination and supporting real life play opportunities in a natural environment.

On a daily basis staff use our FAMLY app, which is an interactive communication between the nursery and parents/carers.  This has had extremely positive feedback from parents/carers.  Staff post weekly dairies about each age group, pictures of outings, children taking part in learning experiences, lunch and personal care information, children’s achievements, and updates about events etc.  Parents and key workers can privately message each other with any information that needs communicated. Children can use this app to communicate with their parents while in nursery and share their experiences.

Staff continue to update children’s learning journals through the FAMLY app and this helps to make professional judgements about their children’s progress. Most children are making good progress and developing their social, emotional, physical, and cognitive skills very well.

The recorded data of our children achieving all H&W Milestones was measured at 92% in June 2022, this was an increase of 27% from June 2021.  Staff have tracked children’s learning in H&W and recorded observations on the online journals.  The aim is to increase this to 95% this year.

Next Steps:

The nursery will offer more parental involvement events next session now that restrictions have eased.  These will include “Stay and Play”, parents open events, parents’ meetings, fund raising events, Christmas carol concert, home links via FAMLY for parents to engage with their children at home.  The nursery will send a survey to parents/carers for their ideas to be more involved in the life of the nursery. 

The Ladybird Senior Practitioner worked with the Owner to update the nursery care plans to ensure these are informative for parents and share relevant and useful information.  These also ask for parental suggestions and contributions about their child’s learning and personal changes of information.  These new care plans were rolled out throughout the nursery and are shared with parents on our FAMLY app.  These detailed plans give parents a record of their child’s achievements and an opportunity to be involved in their child’s nursery life.

The outdoor classroom in our garden will continue to enable children to be outside more frequently and for longer during all weather.  Staff are working to establish a cross curricular (including health and wellbeing) learning environment within the outdoor classroom and across the entire playground.

Staff will continue to embed loose parts play, which will be linked to health and wellbeing.  Large loose parts outside will create richer environments that excite and spark curiosity and child lead opportunities to invent, construct, evaluate and modify their constructions and ideas through play.

The nursery has re-introduced parent/carer visits to meet staff and see the playrooms before their child starts.  There are also indoor settle visits in place to support children’s transitions into the nursery.  Staff support transitions, including parental involvement when children move onto the next age playroom. 

We have changed to in person staff and management meetings to provide all staff with the opportunity to discuss any issues or concerns they have and for management to update all staff with relevant information.

         Evaluation Summary

Quality Indicator

Service Self Evaluation

(Please add 3 or 4 evaluative statements linked to the themes)

Evaluation (Include recent HMI / Care Inspectorate evaluations)



Leadership of change •Developing a shared vision, values and aims relevant to the school and its community



















Strategic planning for continuous improvement
















Implementing improvement and change


We have a clear focused vision, values and aims.  These were refreshed last year involving all stakeholders. Our vision focuses on creativity and outdoor learning.

All staff are involved in leadership of change and we continue in the next session to build on their confidence to be involved in changes with our setting as a whole and their own playrooms.

We have a manageable CIP in place.  There are three priorities within our CIP, although the impact of Covid has had an impact on our progress over the past year.

In our key priorities such as literacy we can demonstrate some improvement in phonics.  The CIP is monitored by staff and management and we can demonstrate the measure of improvement.

The full staff team know our children, families and our local community very well.  This has a positive impact for all services users to feel nurtured and safe.  It supports children’s transitions and when staff have to cover in different rooms due to holidays and absences.

We have used survey monkey to engage and consult with parents/carers.  The survey asked questions for parents to comment on the care and education of their children.  We received 27 responses. The results showed that most parents

 were very satisfied in the care, education and communication of their children in all areas except for 1 parent who was unsatisfied with the communication while their child was at nursery and 1 parent said they would not recommend us.

Staff questionnaires were also used through survey monkey and was completed by 7 staff.  This showed that staff mostly felt supported and listened to within the setting, given opportunities to take part in CPD opportunities, and there was good communication with management.  Staff felt included in decisions and they worked well as a team within the playrooms.  It was mentioned that some staff found it challenging having to cover other rooms when there are staff shortages due to holidays and sickness.  The centre has since recruited a number of new practitioners to join the team.  Some staff also felt that their efforts were not always acknowledged.  This was discussed at a SNP meeting about introducing a staff reward scheme.  This is on the agenda for our whole staff meeting in September.   

Overall, in terms of leadership of change we are satisfactory.

CI Grades


Care & Support 4


Environment 4


Staffing 4


Management & Leadership 5


Q.I Grades



 2.3 Learning, Teaching and Assessment


Learning and engagement














Quality of interactions













Effective use of assessment



























Planning, tracking and monitoring



The nursery ethos is to ensure that staff, children, and families establish positive relationships.  All children feel safe, secure and valued.  Children have fun in our environment and come in happy and settled.  Across the nursery there are strong relationships between staff and children.  Due to Covid restrictions we have not had parents in the nursery over the past year.

In our nursery we want be nurturing to all, we will smile, go to child level to speak, address parents by name and give parents our time support whenever required.  We will continue to develop nurture across the setting which will be a priority in our SIP. Staff will continue to support children to talk about their learning and discussing their online profiles.  Children will continue to be involved in changes happening within their setting.  Management will support staff to achieve best outcomes for children.

Children enjoy and benefit from an appropriate play based pedagody.  Staff are working towards a good knowledge of pedagody.

Digital learning has improved with installing our large interactive board in our 3-5 room.  There are still further developments to be made in this area.

Children have access throughout the day to outdoor learning within our playground, outdoor classroom, beach, parks and walks in our local community.  Staff can still further develop children’s opportunities for learning outdoors.

We have some examples of good practice and quality experiences, with support staff work to allow all children to experience high quality experiences.

In our setting staff know our children and families very well.  We make use of assessment information, observations, tracking and developmental milestones information. Staff are evaluating how they write observations and will ensure these are key moments in children’s individual learning.  Staff discuss children’s learning and achievements to support their planning and achieving milestones. Management will continue to support and monitor staff’s evaluations of children’s learning.

As part of our Covid recovery we have had a focus on literacy, numeracy and health and wellbeing.  Looking forwards the management will have termly meetings with staff to discuss individual children’s learning, look at profiles to ensure these are personal and show “wow” learning moments.  Staff from all ages have collaborated to update our Care Plans which now written in details about individual children and askes for parental contributions.

Staff use our FAMLY app to track and monitor the curriculum. Management and staff build strong relationships with the parents of children who have individual needs and we link with our partners in health to ensure staff have the support and knowledge of the individual child’s needs.

Overall in terms of learning, teaching and assessment we are satisfactory.


3.1 Ensuring wellbeing, equity and inclusion      









Fulfilment of statutory duties















Inclusion and equality



Staff have prioritised children as part of our Covid recovery.  As a result of Covid we have improved access to outdoor play, more time spent outdoors, communications with our families, engaged with more staff training online, tried to support our families where possible.  Staff encourage children to display positive behaviour at nursery and involve children in developing their own behaviour policy. 

Care Plans are written for children 28 days after they start in the centre.  After this each child receives a care plan each term.  Staff will undertake “Rights of the Child” training next session to develop a greater understanding and implement this in our settings planning.  All staff receive annual Child Protection update training, and the setting Manager is the child protection co-ordinator.  Most staff have first aid training, and we plan to arrange training for our new practitioners without it.

All staff are aware of GDPR and their duties of protections of confidential information.

A few of our children have barriers to learning with their speech and language.  Staff seek training to support children with individual barriers to learning.  These children are well supported, and plans are put in place and regularly evaluated.

Over in terms of ensuring wellbeing, equity, and inclusion we are good.


 3.2 Securing children’s progress


 •Progress in communication, early language, mathematics, health, and wellbeing

















•Children’s progress over time







Overall quality of children’s achievement








Ensuring equity for

all children


Children are achieving appropriately in communication and language.  They are learning to listen, talk clearly and confidently, curious to explore early writing and enjoy “reading” and listening to familiar stories e.g. fairy tales.  50% of pre-school children have achieved all 10 communication and language milestones.  This is an improvement of 50% from last year.  92% have achieved 8 or more milestones.   

Children are achieving appropriately in maths and numeracy.  They are learning to talk about more and less to compare quantities, touch, and items accurately, use language of measurement and comparison during play activities, recognise and describe 2D and 3D shapes and use positional language.  50% of pre school children achieved all 10 milestones. This is a 15% improvement from last year.  92% achieved 8 or more milestones.

Most children are achieving all Health and Wellbeing milestones.  They are learning to cope with new and everyday situations, aware of expectations of behaviour and following rules, they can share and co-operate with others while persevering and completing tasks.  Children are aware of their own health through foods and taking part in running, jumping, and balancing.  Children engage in daily physical activity and display fine motor skills.  92% of pre-school children achieved all 10 milestones.  This is a 27% improvement from last year.  100% achieved 8 or more milestones.

Staff are gaining better understanding when using data and we are working on ensuring our CfE milestone data is accurate.  It is important that staff are confident to make their own judgement assessments of children’s learning and support will be given to staff for this.  Our children are from all different SIMD areas.

The staff celebrate children’s achievements out with the centre in the wider world.  These are shared on our communication Famly app by parents.  Staff will continue to work on communicating home learning activities for parents to engage with children at home and share back in the centre.  Removing the barriers to learning has helped and will continue to help next session, children with individual plans.

Engaging with parents has been positive on children’s learning and confidence, although we plan to develop this further.  Children can talk about achievements from the wider world that have been shared on FAMLY and from our parental questionnaire’s parents feel they know about their child’s learning.

Most of our children are making good progress, this can be seen through our milestone data and observing children engaging in their play within our playrooms and outdoor area.

Staff will work on challenging children throughout the curriculum.  This will be achieved by introducing termly tracking meetings to monitor children’s progress.


What are the key priorities for improvement in 2021/22

 Priority 1: Improvement in attainment –Language and Numeracy, closing the attainment gap

Priority 2: Improvement in attainment –Health and Wellbeing – closing the attainment gap

Priority 3: Placing the human rights and needs of every child and young person at the centre of education

 What is the capacity for improvement?

We will continue working to close the attainment gap through delivery of a high-quality service to all our children and families.  Improving outcomes for all children and young people. We will focus on the Rights of the Child and raise the profile of this.  We will continue to raise attainment in health and wellbeing, literacy, and numeracy across the centre, through home learning for parental interactions and through individual care plans.  Staff will continue to offer outdoor learning for children throughout the day, this is challenging for staff as we do not have free flow access to the outdoors.  Staff work together to plan ways around this challenge.  We will work with staff to ensure there is an understanding of how to record children’s achievements and updated milestones.  The 3-5 team will all attend milestone training to help support this.  The setting also has the challenge of retaining our experienced staff, our 3-5 staff team has changed during the past year and management are working hard to support this transition with new staff, who are eager and willing to learn.  Our centre improvement plan will continue to address the needs of our centre whilst reflecting on national and local priorities.