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Welcome to Rainbows

We understand how important the early years are for children’s growth and development. At Swingate we aim to provide a safe, inviting and nurturing environment to enable children to develop a love of learning which they will carry for a lifetime. Our environment is colourful, stimulating and continuously changing to spark children’s enthusiasm, interest and to show them that no two days are the same.

Our staff are committed to developing children’s understanding of the world around them, develop empathy and kindness towards people they meet regardless of religion, size, ability, gender, culture, age, sex, or disability as well as foster independence to be risk-takers and forward thinkers. At Rainbows nursery, we endeavour to support every child in our care to ensure that they achieve their best, focusing on them as individuals to develop their own strengths, passions and interests and facilitate this by planning fun activities that makes them curious and eager to learn more.

We want our children to be proud of their abilities and celebrate their achievements. We want them to be resilient when they fail but to have self-belief and confidence to try again and gradually think for themselves to make their own decisions in the future.

At Rainbows, we want all children to be happy and safe while they are with us, and we know that this is something we provide on a daily basis. We are dedicated to providing a good quality Early Years education with our caring and passionate team of teachers and staff, so our children can excel and achieve their full potential to have the best start in life.

We aim to provide a quality educational experience for children aged 3+. Our nursery is nurturing, high-quality and supports the transition into school especially for those who are wanting their children to continue with us as they start school into Reception.

During the morning session children are given a healthy snack of cereal or toast and in the afternoon, milk and fruit is provided for snack time. This is a really important time of the day for the children. They are encouraged to serve themselves independently, understanding the importance of hygiene as well as developing their speaking and listening skills and table manners when having snack with their peers.

Our Rainbows Nursery children are a big part of school. They enjoy visiting our school library and take part with whole school events such as charity days, dress up days as well as celebrations like World Book Day.

Parents are able to choose from a morning or afternoon session or full day session (subject to availability).

  • Morning sessions: 9:00am - 12:00pm
  • Afternoon sessions: 12:00pm - 3:00pm.
  • Full day 9:00am - 3:00pm.
  • Monday - Friday Term Time Only

We offer both 15 and 30 hour free funded sessions, but parents are able to pay for further sessions at a cost of £15 per session.

Children who stay all day will be required to bring in a healthy packed lunch.


Swingate Nursery is a part of the Foundation provision for 3 – 5 year olds.


  • We offer high quality care and education for children from 3 years of age and follow the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum.
  • We work in partnership with parents to help children learn and develop.
  • We add to the life and well-being of our local community.
  • We offer children and their parents a service which promotes equality and values diversity.
  • We follow Development Matters for the Foundation Stage, which covers Personal, Social and Emotional Development, Physical Development and Communication and Language (Prime Areas) and Literacy, Mathematics, Understanding the World and Expressive Arts and Design (Specific Areas).

At Swingate Nursery our children will be:

  • In a safe and stimulating environment and have access to our outside areas across our Early Years.
  • Given good care and attention.
  • Given the chance to socialise with other children and adults to play, work and learn together.
  • Encouraged to take forward her/his learning and development by building on what she/he already knows and can do.
  • Given the chance to establish the basis of reading and writing through well chosen stories, songs, rhymes and games and access the outside equipment, learning resources and environment as well as our school library.
  • Encouraged to create positive habits of listening, sharing and concentration and take pride in their achievements as well as learn how to share and care for others.
  • In an environment which sees you as a partner in helping your child to learn and develop.
  • In an environment in which parents/carers help to shape the service it offers.
  • Encouraged to enjoy and achieve their full potential.
  • Given the opportunity to attend forest school, visit our library full of exciting literature and take part in extra-curricular activities which take place in the wider school.
  • Supported in transition into our Reception if they were to continue with us.
  • Set up a profile on Tapestry where we will document all of their learning and progress throughout their time in the nursery.

Swingate Nursery

  • We provide funded places for both 15 hours and 30 hours (for those eligible).
  • We offer the following sessions, Monday - Friday term time only.

Morning session: 9:00am – 12:00pm

Afternoon session: 12:00pm – 3:00pm

Full day: 9:00am – 3:00pm

  • We aim to be as flexible as possible and will do our best to work with you to try and accommodate the sessions/days that you require. If you are not eligible for 30 hours funded childcare but require more than 15 hours you are able to pay for more sessions at a cost of £15 for 3-hour session.   This money will be payable in advance.

Working together for our children

Swingate Nursery has well qualified and experienced staff. All Nursery Practitioners are Level 3 qualified. Staff across our EYFS are also Paediatric First Aid Training.

This helps us to:

  • Give time and attention to each child.
  • Talk with the children about their interests and activities.
  • Help children to experience and benefit from the activities we provide. 
  • Allow the children to be adventurous and explore in a safe environment teaching them to take age appropriate risks.
  • Offer a provision of care that allows for the needs of the individuals.
  • Plan and teach exciting and engaging lessons accordingly to the children’s strengths and needs.
  • Support children with transition into school.
  • Teach children key skills and provide them with the foundations they need to succeed in school.
  • Take part in phonics sessions appropriate to their ability and development.

All of the staff see themselves as co-workers with you in providing care and education for your child. 

There are many ways in which parents take part in making the Nursery a welcoming and stimulating place for children, such as:

  • Meeting with the Nursery Lead Practitioner prior to their child starting with us to allow us to get to know your child as quickly as possible to support their transition into the Nursery.
  • Exchanging knowledge about their children’s needs, activities, interests and progress with the staff.
  • Adding any home learning or activities into their pink ‘wow’ books and onto Tapestry.
  • Sharing their library/reading books with them at home.
  • Sharing their own special interests with the children.
  • Helping to look after the equipment and materials used in the children’s play activities.
  • Taking part in events and informal discussions about the activities and curriculum provided by the Nursery.
  • Building friendships with other parents at our open sessions.
  • Attending any family sessions, workshops and parent meetings we provide.
  • Take part in our Twitter platform to share positive news and achievements.

Medication and First Aid

Staff are not permitted to give any form of medication to children.  However, children with asthma will be allowed to leave an inhaler with staff. The school office needs to be informed so a form can be completed and signed.

We will contact parents if a child is distressed or needs medical attention.  We always err on the side of caution, so do not be alarmed if you receive a call.

All Nursery Practitioners are qualified in Paediatric First Aid.

Timetable and routines

Swingate Nursery believes that care and education are equally important in the experience which we offer children.  The routines and activities that make up the Nursery sessions enable children to work through the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum.

The various activities undertaken by the children enable them to feel that they are valued members of the Nursery.  It helps them to gain from the social experience of being part of a group and provides them with opportunities to learn and value learning. It is essential that your child is on time for the session.

The Session

The Nursery organises its sessions so that the children can choose from a wide variety of activities which will enable them to build up their ability to work through a task to its completion. The children are also supported and encouraged to take part in adult-led (small and large group) activities which

introduce them to new experiences and help them to gain new skills, as well as helping them to learn to work with others.

The Nursery has outdoor facilities (which are totally secure) including bikes, climbing equipment etc. which contribute to children’s health, physical development and their knowledge of the world around them. The children have the opportunity and are encouraged to take part in child-initiated and adult-led activities.

Dropping off and collecting

Morning sessions (9:00 am – 12:00 pm)

You will be able to drop your child off at the gate to the Nursery. To ensure we don’t have a bottle neck at the door entrance, children are encouraged to walk into the Nursery with the Nursery Practitioners.  We have found this helps them settle as they can be tearful at the door at the start of the term.  Please ensure you are at the gate for 9:00am as any latecomers will have to enter through the school office which can be unsettling for children.  At the end of the morning session (12:00 pm) the Nursery adults walk the children to the entrance of the KS1 playground for you to collect. You will be able to wait on the slope for them to arrive.

Afternoon sessions (12:00 pm – 3:00 pm)

You will drop off your child at the entrance to the KS1 playground. Please wait for the Nursery Practitioner to dismiss all of the morning children first. Please ensure you are at the gate for 12:00pm as any latecomers will have to enter through the school office which can be unsettling for children. 

Collecting at 3:00pm

If you are collecting your child at 3:00pm, you will collect your child from the Nursery door.

Please make sure the Nursery Practitioners knows who is collecting your child at the end of the day. If there will be someone different collecting, please speak to the Nursery staff at drop off or ring the school office to inform them of any changes. If we are unsure who is collecting, we will not let the children go until we have spoken to you.

Uniform and Jewellery

From September 2023 we are introducing a new uniform for children in Rainbows Nursery. Children in Rainbows Nursery are expected to wear the school Nursery uniform.

Rainbows Nursery uniform consists of a purple round neck school jumper, white polo neck t-shirt, black or grey trousers, shorts or skirt, black shoes or trainers and white or black socks. Blue school summer dresses are also allowed in the warmer weather.

School uniform can be ordered online from Uniformbase or by visiting their shop in Railway Street, Chatham, Kent.  There are also many shops and supermarkets who sell school polo neck t-shirts and trouser/skirts at competitive prices.

School uniform plays a key role in promoting pride, self-confidence, and a feeling of belonging within the school setting. These factors contribute to students' wellbeing, removing the additional pressures of deciding what to wear and added stress of meeting the expectations of their peers. We want our Nursery children to feel part of the wider school as this is where their Swingate journey starts.

The Nursery provides aprons for the children when they play with messy activities.

The Nursery encourages children to gain the skills which help them to be independent and look after themselves. These include taking themselves to the toilet and washing hands. School uniform is Clothing which is easy for them to manage. All clothing and shoes must be labelled with your child’s name.  Children should bring spare clothing (underwear, t-shirt, trousers) in case they need it.   Please could we ask that you use a drawstring bag which can be hung on their peg and ensure your child’s name is clearly marked.  We try and make the most of our outdoor area and therefore it is essential that children have a raincoat and a pair of wellie boots in school if it is raining.

For safety reasons, and in line with Medway directives, children are not permitted to wear jewellery in the Nursery. 


The Nursery staff make snack time a social time at which children and adults eat together. In the morning sessions this usually consists of toast, fruit or cereal.  In the afternoon we aim to provide a variety of fruit, crackers, bread sticks. Snacks vary depending on the season and learning in the nursery. Children can bring in their own fruit if they wish. We also encourage children to bring in a bottle of water with their name on. However, all children will have access to milk and water.  If your child has any food allergies it is important you advise the Nursery Lead Practitioner prior to your child starting.

For those parents who require a full day session, you will be required to send your child in with a healthy packed lunch. We are unable to provide lunch. Occasionally when children do not finish all of their lunch at lunch time, they are offered this during afternoon snack time also.


The Nursery policy for children using the toilet is that the child must tell a member of staff if they wish to go to the toilet, and a member of staff (DBS checked) will take the child if required. If a child has an accident, the child will be treated with sympathy and understanding.  We encourage all children to be toilet trained before starting nursery however if your child still needs assistance a care plan will be completed before they start.  You will be given an opportunity to discuss this at your child’s interview. The Nursery has lots of spare underwear if children need it but children prefer to wear their own and so ask that you put some spare underwear in their bag.


As the Nursery is part of the school, all school policies apply to the Nursery and are available to view on the school website         

Special needs

The Nursery works to the requirements of the 1993 Education Act and The Special Educational Needs Code of Practice (2000). The school’s Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator is Mrs Natalie Butler.

We recognise children learn and develop at different rates. We recognise and put in place support for children if it is required.

Child Protection

Because of day to day contact with children, schools are particularly well placed to observe outward signs of abuse, changes in behaviour or failure to develop.  Parents should be aware therefore, that where it appears to a member of the school staff that a child may have been abused, the school is required, as part of the local child protection procedures to report their concerns to the Social Services Department immediately. The Designated Safeguarding Lead for Swingate is Mr Wignell.


Regular newsletters are produced for the whole school to let parents know of meetings and events. These are emailed out and put on the school website.

Planned themes for the next half term are sent out with ways that parents can help at home along with a timetable of events for the term and any workshops.

The Nursery as part of the Foundation Stage Unit

The Nursery is a separate unit from the Foundation Stage 2 classes. There will be some opportunities for nursery children to mix with Foundation Stage 2 class children and vice versa.  We feel that this is an excellent way of working as some very young children may be ready to access some of the activities on offer in our Year R outside area.

Children will be monitored carefully and moved onto the most suitable activities during structured time, but all children in the Nursery will have many opportunities throughout the session when they are able to choose activities for themselves and this is important for their development. For young children play is the vehicle by which they learn. 

Throughout the time that your child is in the Nursery and the Foundation Stage 2 class, they will follow the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum. By the time they reach Year 1 they are ready, or almost ready to access the National Curriculum.

We work hard to ensure parents and children are happy and enjoy school.  We have an open-door policy so that if you have any worries or problems, you can come in to speak to a member of staff.

  • Mrs Davies is our Early Years Foundation Stage Lead and Deputy Head of School.
  • Mrs Randall is our Nursery Lead Practitioner.
  • Mrs Smith, Miss Gray and Mrs Fairclough are our Nursery Practitioners.
  • Mr Wignell is our Head of School and the school’s Designated Safeguarding Lead responsible for child protection.