Small and Caring

Zig Zags is a small, flexible Pre-school and Nursery catering for up to 16 children.

The Nursery is located in Bradiford, an attractive village community on the outskirts of Barnstaple.  The area has the benefit of the countryside close by and easy access to the town.

Zig Zags is owned and managed by two experienced, qualified teachers who have lived and worked in the area for many years and have a commitment to providing quality early years education and childcare.

The Nursery benefits from its size and offers a small, caring family environment where children are encouraged to play and learn through a variety of creative and stimulating activities that are planned using the Early Years Foundation Stage Standards.  Opportunities for independent and co-operative learning are encouraged in safe, secure surroundings where children can develop their understanding and potential.



Registered Person/Partner: Sue Kemp Qualified Teacher

Executive Manager/Partner: Sandra Barnett Qualified Teacher

Daily Manager: Bev Taylor

Daily Manager: Charlotte Barber

Assistants: Charlotte Filer and Kayleigh Nott


Play and Learn Sessions

Play and Learn sessions are planned around weekly themes linked to the areas of learning outlined in the Early Years Foundation Stage Guidance.  Stories, pictures, artefacts and objects of interest are all used to inspire and motivate in order that each child can develop his/her potential.  Staff guide children to make their own choices and decisions about Play and Learn opportunities which include free play as well as themed learning activities.  Play activities for all children are carefully matched to the appropriate developmental stage for each child.

Relationships and Self Esteem

All children are valued as individuals.  Positive role models are presented by staff in order to encourage children to explore ideas and try new activities in order to build their confidence.  Staff provide reassurance, encouragement and praise in order that learning can take place at a level appropriate for each child.  Children are encouraged to appreciate the feelings of others and behave in a considerate way.  Circle Time activities are planned to encourage:

  • Co-operation and respect
  • An understanding of right and wrong
  • The ability to make appropriate choices


Language, Literacy and Mathematical Thinking

The Nursery provides a wide range of Language and Mathematical activities which are incorporated into the weekly themes.  Aspects of counting, measure, shape and space, problem solving and reasoning are explored on a regular basis.  Children are taught number rhymes, counting songs and staff use a range of mathematical vocabulary to introduce and develop different concepts.  Stories are an essential part of each day and children are encouraged to listen and respond appropriately.  As children develop there is a wide range of opportunities for mark making and writing.  Speaking and Listening activities are included each day and early reading skills are developed through the use of picture books.  Fiction, non-fiction, poetry and rhymes are all available.

Creative and Physical Development

All activities are based on relevant first hand experiences.  Creativity is at the heart of all learning in the Nursery and children are given daily opportunities to explore their world in a creative and meaningful way through art, role play, music, movement and singing.  The outside environment is also regularly used as a creative learning and physical space.

Knowledge and Understanding of the World

Themes are planned to introduce the children to the Wider World and the culture that they live in.  Knowledge of past times, other cultures and beliefs are explored and discussed through stories, artefacts and pictures.  There are daily opportunities to design and made and do as well as explore and investigate aspects of the world around us.

Planning and Recording Play and Learn Activities

Staff plan on a weekly basis in preparation for the following week.  Planning is linked to the areas of learning detailed in the Early Years Foundation Stage Guidance for 0 – 5 year olds.  Curriculum plans are available in the Nursery for parents/carers to see.

Samples of children’s work are kept in an Individual Record Book which is taken home when completed or when the child leaves.

Staff make regular assessments related to aspects of Learning and Play.  These are recorded and kept in individual folders which are available for parents to see at any time.  Assessments are also used for planning the next learning step.


Role of Staff

The Management Group ensures that all Nursery Staff:

Encourage children to be confident, independent and develop their self-esteem.
Select resources and first hand experiences which enable the provision of Play and Learn activities to  encourage children to build on their natural curiosity as learners, develop their language and mathematical thinking, use their imagination and creativity and develop social relationships.
Build positive relationships with children and their parents/carers so that there is a shared understanding of individual needs and home circumstances.
Listen and value what children say, in relation to their learning and establish high expectations of what can be achieved.
Observe and record what children do and use their observations to inform planning for the next steps.
Organise resources so that they are readily accessible to children.
Provide opportunities for children to be active, inside and outdoors, with both structures and free play activities as well as time for relaxation.
Understand their roll and responsibilities in order that the Nursery can provide the best possible opportunities for the children.


The Nursery is divided into 4 areas:

1.    Activity Room – for imaginative free play

2.    Play and Learn Room – themed activities

3.    Quiet Room – sleep, rest, relaxation, stories, books

4.    Outside Space – creative and physical learning

Our Day

8.30 a.m.    Welcome -  free choice and play

9.30 a.m.    Choice Time for Play and Learn plus Themed Activity

10.40 a.m.   Snack

11.00 a.m.   Choice Time for Play and Learn

12.00 p.m.   Lunch – Free Choice and play

1.00 p.m.    Choice Time for Play and Learn plus Themed Activity

2.25 p.m.    Snack

2.45 p.m.    Choice Time for Play and Learn

3.30 p.m.     Twilight care

5.00 p.m.    Nursery Closes


The Nursery is committed to providing a wide range of suitable equipment in order to meet the developmental needs of all children.

This includes toys and play equipment that promotes development in the following areas:

Intellectual        Social         Emotional
Spiritual            Cultural       Physical
Sensory            Language    Mathematical Thinking

Regular use is made of natural materials, e.g. sand, water, stones, shells and bark as well as recycled materials such as cardboard boxes, paper, plastic containers

Books are used each day to:
Develop an understanding of our language, extend ideas, introduce and reinforce key principles, develop new concepts,develop understanding of the world and ENJOY.

There is a wide range of fiction, non-fiction, poetry and rhymes which are available for children to freely enjoy for pleasure.  This collection is changed regularly to maintain interest.

Books, toys and play materials are selected in order to promote positive images of gender, race, culture and disability with a view to promoting equality of opportunity.

Toys and equipment are checked regularly for breakages and cleanliness.  Broken and damaged items are thrown away and replaced.

Furniture is chosen to meet the appropriate requirements of children and adults and is regularly checked for safety, comfort and suitability.


To ensure that the Play and Learn environment is safe the following procedures are followed:


Installation and servicing certificates are issued for all appliances by approved contractors.
Electrical Appliances are regularly inspected.
All appliances are protected/guarded as necessary.
All appliances are checked by employees before use and any faults are reported and logged in the Log Book.


All visitors sign the Visitors Book on entering and leaving the premises.

Registers are marked each session to record the arrival and departure of children and staff.
There is an external bell and internal lock on the front door.
The entrance gate to the site is kept bolted shut at all times.


On registration an informal meeting is held with all parents/carers.
This meeting informs the Nursery of the following confidential information:
•    Who has legal access to a child
•    Permission for other adults to collect a child
•    Confirmation of all contact names, addresses and telephone numbers
•    Information about Special Needs and requirements
•    Any other relevant information including assessment of child's needs in relation to EYFS areas of learning.


All children are cared for by 2 members of staff.
If a child is not collected within 30 minutes of the agreed time the Nursery follows the procedure set out below:
•    Telephone the named parent/carer
•    Telephone other parent if known
•    Telephone emergency contact number
•    If this occurs within Session Time care is provided for up to 1 hour
•    After 1 hour the Nursery will contact
•    Social Services – Duty Officer or the Police
•    If this occurs after the Nursery has closed care will be provided for 30 minutes .


If a child is missing the following procedure is followed in any situation:
•    Gather all children and staff together
•    Take Register
•    1 Staff member searches area
•    If child not located – named parent/care and Emergency Services are contacted
•    Report is written
•    Report is sent to OFSTED with an action plan.


In the event of a fire:

The Fire Whistle is blown immediately by the person discovering the fire.
1 member of staff immediately telephones Emergency Services and checks that everybody has vacated the premises.
1 member of staff ensures that all children stop their activities and then collects the register.
The children form an orderly line and are led outside by a member of staff to stand in the parking place opposite the Nursery where the register is taken.
As soon as all staff are outside the children are escorted to a position of safety in Windsor Road.
Nobody must enter the building until everything has been checked by fire officers.
Fire Practices happen each term.

Any Emergency
In the event of an emergency (e.g. gas leak or flood) the Fire Procedures above are followed.

In the event of an emergency that requires the children to be kept safely inside:
Emergency Services are called immediately
Activities continue as normal in order to maintain an orderly atmosphere
Parents/Carers are contacted.

Safety off Site – Outings
Parents are asked to fill in a standard permission form for regular outings within the locality.

A risk assessment is made prior to the outing and the outing is then planned accordingly.

Parents/carers are given full details of the visit.

All parents/carers must complete a consent form.

The Nursery always takes:
Mobile Phone
Contact Numbers of Parents/Carers
First Aid Kit.


Accidents to Children

All accidents are recorded on an Accident Form and signed by a member of staff.

Parents/Carers are notified.

Parents/Carers are shown the Accident Form and asked to sign it.

Information on each child is kept confidential.

Staff wear gloves when dealing with accidents.

Details of Emergency Procedures can be found in the Emergency Action Policy.

Staff respect the cultural and religious beliefs of parents in relation to Medical Treatment.

The Nursery will notify OFSTED and The Health & Safety Executive in the event of any serious or critical injuries.

Accident Forms are reviewed on a termly basis in order to identify any trends or recurring causes of injury.






Sick Children

The Management Group ensures that the guidelines detailed by Public Health England are followed.

OFSTED will be contacted in the event of notifiable diseases.

Sick children are given the opportunity to rest in the quiet room.  Parents/Carers are notified and asked to collect their children as soon as possible at the discretion of the staff.

All parents are notified of any infectious diseases when appropriate.

Following registration all parents are required to inform the Nursery of any medical needs or regular medication as necessary.  These needs are recorded and if necessary a Health Plan will be put in place.

Control of Substances Hazardous to Health – COSHH

All cleaning products and hazardous substances are stored in a bolted cupboard.

Kitchen cupboards are secured with child locks.


The Nursery operates a Non-Smoking Policy at all times.




The Nursery Management ensures that the agreed standard for cleanliness is maintained in all areas of practice.
This includes:
Daily cleaning routine for the play area, toilets and kitchen
Weekly checks on sand or other material trays
Weekly checks on toys, furnishings and play clothes.

The Nursery Management ensures that food is stored and handled in line with Environmental Health Standards.
Staff are expected to carry out checks on a daily basis and complete the Safer food, Better Business diary.

All staff are expected to follow the hygiene practices as detailed :

using disposable tissues and wipes, cleaning surfaces between activities,
checking toilets regularly, using protective clothing such as disposable gloves and apron,
the safe storage of rubbish such as nappies sealed in a bag and bins with lids,
changing nappies and undergarments when soiled or wet,
washing hands before meals, after using the toilet and after handling animals and their equipment and providing spare sets of clothes.

Staff can raise children’s awareness of good hygiene practices and healthy living by teaching them about the importance of:
hand washing,
cleaning teeth,
nose wiping and disposal of the tissue,
the spread of infection through coughing and sneezing,
using the toilet correctly,
cultural influences on children’s hygiene.


When animals are  on the premises a common sense approach to managing them is followed:
1 supervising children when handling and caring for animals
2 encouraging children to wash their hands after handling animals and their equipment
3 considering other factors which may affect having animals on the premises, such as religious  beliefs, allergies or anxiety
4 informing parents about animals being on the premises.

Procedures for hygiene practices are included in the Staff Induction Process.
Staff regularly include issues relating to Healthy Living in the Curriculum Plans to encourage children to follow the agreed routines.


Parents/Carers must complete a Medicine Permission Form if they require the Nursery to administer any medication.  Only medication that is prescribed by a doctor will be administered.
Staff check details of dosage and expiry date before administering the medication.

Confidential details of the medication and dosage are kept on each child’s Medicine Form.
Medicine is kept in the First Aid cupboard except antibiotics which are stored in a fridge.

Parents are asked to provide named asthma inhalers if required and complete a Medicine Permission Form.

Parents of children requiring specific medication, e.g. asthma or diabetes are asked to complete a Health Plan detailing specific needs.

A First Aid Box is kept on the premises at all times.

A small travelling First Aid Kit is kept for off-site use.

The First Aid Box is checked and restocked on a regular basis.

First Aid training is available for all staff and updated as necessary.


The Nursery is committed to providing healthy food and drink options.

On registration all Parent/Carers are asked to advise the Nursery of any special dietary requirements.

Details of any special requirements relating to known medical needs, cultural and religious requirements plus any specific food preferences or allergies are recorded.

The Nursery provides a range of healthy snacks and drinks
Food includes:
•    Toast                        •    Dried fruit               •    Salad and raw vegetables
•    Plain biscuits             •    Sandwiches             •    Small cakes
•    Sliced fresh fruit       •    Bread and butter    •    Water
•    Milk

All perishable food is stored as recommended by Environmental Health.

The Nursery provides appropriate utensils for food and drink.  A high standard of cleanliness is maintained at all times.

Mealtimes are an important part of the daily routine.  Children are encouraged to sit at the table and use cutlery as appropriate.

Food handling procedures are monitored on a regular basis.


All members of the Nursery are treated in a way that values their diversity and individuality

Adults and children are treated with respect and their contributions to the group are equally valued.

The rights of both the group and the individuals within it are respected in order to create a fair and supportive environment in which to work, learn and play.

Opportunities are equally available to all members of the Nursery regardless of:
Religious belief,  Cultural background,  Disability,  Gender and Home Language                

Aspects of diversity are explored and celebrated through circle time and as part of the weekly themed Play and Learn sessions.

There are planned opportunities to explore concepts linked to
Respect, and
Self esteem.
These are also dealt with informally as the need arises.

There are daily Play and Learn opportunities to meet the needs of individual children who come from a wide range of family backgrounds.  Toys, games and activities are provided to meet these requirements and give children opportunities to grow and develop at a rate which reflects their individuality.


The Nursery recognises that every child is an individual with his/her own specific needs and rights.

The individuality of each child is respected and his/her contributions to the group are equally valued.

The Nursery is committed to working in partnership with Parents/Carers and relevant support agencies such as Health visitors, Nursery Plus staff, Pre-School Advisory Personnel and Speech Therapists, in order that the needs of each child can be met in a way that is appropriate for that individual.

As far as is reasonable, facilities, including adaptations and improvements, for accessibility are considered at all times in order that children and adults with disabilities can have their needs accommodated.

All applications for admission to the Nursery are considered equally.

The Nursery will need to be informed at the time of registration of any specific needs.  On registration arrangements are made for the child to be included in a way that is appropriate for his/her needs and in line with Nursery Policies.  Specific details are recorded on an Individual Plan.

The Nursery has a Special Educational  Needs & Disabilities Co-ordinator whose job it is to make sure that the Nursery complies with all legislation and that all relevant aspects of the Code of Practice are fulfilled.

All individual matters relating to SEND are treated in strictest confidence.

The Nursery also recognises that  some adults may also have specific requirements.   Arrangements are made to fulfil these requirements wherever possible.

Role Of the Special Educational Needs & Disabilities Co-ordinator [SENCO]

The staffing structure of the Nursery includes a SENCO who ensures that the Nursery complies with the Special Needs Code of Practice.


To ensure that the Nursery is fully inclusive in its practice with regard to both children and adults.

To ensure that the Nursery accommodates the needs of all children and adults including those relating to:
•    Physical needs                •    Emotional needs      •    Behavioural needs

•    Learning needs               •    Ethnicity                  •    Disability

•    Special abilities and talents                                        English as an Additional Language

To ensure that the physical environment, given the constraints of the building, is suitably adapted and equipped to meet the requirements of any child or adult.

To encourage an understanding of all specific needs within the Nursery by ensuring that all planning for Play and Learn accommodates the development of:
•    Confidence                         •    Independence       •    Positive self image
•    Understanding of others      •    Tolerance

To ensure that a Risk Assessment is undertaken to accommodate any specific needs.

To ensure that Nursery Staff respect the privacy of the individual in matters relating to intimate care.

To attend training relevant training to ensure all staff are kept up to date.

To ensure appropriate staffing.

To ensure Individual Plans are in place.

To seek advice from relevant external agencies.

On admission to the Nursery all children are allocated a Key Person.


Key Person
On admission each child is assigned to a Key Person who has a specific responsibility for that child.  The Key Person takes special responsibility for that child.

Each child is treated as an individual within the group setting and his/her contributions are equally valued.


There is an expectation that all children and adults treat each other with respect.  Staff are expected to model the agreed standards of behaviour at all times.  Children are encouraged to act in a responsible way, to respect themselves and the rights of others.

Each child is encouraged to behave in a way that is appropriate for his/her developmental stage through positive reinforcement, praise and encouragement.

Staff work alongside each child to develop values such as tolerance, respect and self worth.  Children are encouraged to become independent, make decisions and value others.


If at any time a member of staff considers a child’s behaviour to be inappropriate the staff member, as a general rule, will endeavour to refocus a child’s attention.  The physical and emotional needs of each child are paramount on all occasions. Incidents involving physical intervention are recorded.

All actions that are hurtful to others are discussed in a meaningful way either individually or during circle time.  Any issues that cannot be resolved during the daily session are discussed with Parents/Carers as soon as possible.

Children will be encouraged to apologise to others and act appropriately to their friends and may on occasions have some time out from group activities.


If a child is unsettled for any reason the Nursery will discuss this with Parents/Carers during a review appointment in order that an Individual Plan can be drawn up to meet the child’s needs.  Parents/Carers will be invited to ongoing review meetings in order that the best outcome can be achieved.  The Nursery will endeavour to support the child through all stages of the process.


The Nursery aims to work in partnership with all parents in order to provide a safe, caring and stimulating environment in which children can learn and play.

The opinions of Parents are valued and their views shared before amendments to policy and practice that will directly affect them.

Parents are welcome to drop into the Nursery at any time as long as this does not upset their child.

Parents are kept informed through:
Regular Newsletters which include information on curriculum themes

Daily Diaries

Open Days to discuss their child's progress.

Samples of children’s work are kept in an Individual Record Book which is taken home when the child leaves and is available for parents to look at whenever they visit the Nursery.

Staff make regular assessments on specific areas of learning.  These are kept in individual folders as part of their Learning Journeys and are available for Parents.

Confidential information on each child, including admission forms and medical forms are kept in an individual file which is kept in a locked cabinet only available for staff and the Parents/Carers of the individual child.

Parents are informed either personally or through their emergency contact if there is any concern about the well being of the child.

All Nursery policies are available to parents.


The opinions of parents about the service the Nursery offers are welcomed. Parents are invited to pass on their opinions by talking to a member of staff who will bring the matters raised to the Nursery Partners.  Relevant issues are discussed at Staff Meetings.

Parents who have any issues or concerns they would like to raise are invited to make an appointment with the member of the Management Group in order that the matter can be resolved as soon as possible.

Formal complaints should be put in writing to the Management Group.  The complaint and any subsequent meetings and the outcomes will all be recorded. All written complaints will be investigated and the parents will be notified of the outcome of the investigation within 28 days.  If this matter is unresolved Parents may take the matter to OFSTED (Telephone: 0300 1231231).

Complaint forms are available from the Nursery and should be completed before a meeting is held.



We welcome students, visitors and helpers to the Nursery.

All visitors must sign the Visitors Book on entering and leaving the Nursery premises and read our Internet/Mobile Phone/Camera Policy.

All regular visitors have DBS clearance.

We invite all visitors to take part in the daily routines of the Nursery.


Zig Zags – The Nursery caters for up to 16 children, Monday to Friday, 8.30 a.m. – 5.00 p.m. for 49 weeks of the year.

Children can:
Stay until the term after their 5th birthday or when they are going to start school
Attend as many sessions as requested as long as there is space available
Visit for up to two free taster sessions prior to their admission.

Booking Sessions and Registration
All regular sessions should be booked on a termly basis.
The Nursery can cater for ‘drop in’ casual sessions when there are vacancies on our admission roll.
The Nursery operates and Equal Opportunities Policy in which all children are valued equally.
The Nursery must be informed at the time of booking of any specific needs so that arrangements can be made for the child to be included in a way that is appropriate for his/her needs and in line with the Nursery’s policy.

There is a £20 non returnable fee required for registration.

The Nursery should be informed one month in advance of any holidays.

Parents/Carers will be invoiced for payments one month in advance.

The Nursery can accept employers’ Nursery Vouchers.

4 weeks notice must be given prior to a child leaving or alternatively, on request Parents/Carers can be billed for 4 weeks and their child can leave immediately.

The following information will be collected on registration:
Custody or care arrangements
Special Educational Needs & Disabilities
Special dietary requirements
Specific arrangements for child collection
Any other relevant information including assessment of child's in relation to EYFS areas of learning.
Medical needs
Emergency contacts
Consent for photography, application of suncream and local walks.

The Nursery will be closed for:

1 week at Christmas,  and 2 weeks in the summer.
All bank holidays

Settling In
The Nursery endeavours to provide the best opportunities for each child.  However, if a child is unsettled for any reason the Nursery will discuss this with Parents/Carers during a review appointment in order that an Individual Plan can be drawn up to meet the child’s needs.  Parents/Carers will be invited to ongoing review meetings in order that the best outcome can be achieved.  The Nursery will endeavour to support the child through all stages of the process.


Named Proprietor and Safeguarding Designated  Officer[SDO] are on the Safeguarding Notice board in the kitchen. The full Safeguarding policy is available on request at the Nursery.

The Nursery has a commitment to ensure that the welfare, safety and protection of children are given the highest priority.
All staff have had an enhanced Criminal Record Bureau or DBS check.

All staff are expected to act in a professional manner at all times following agreed procedures.

Staff who have concerns about the welfare, safety or protection of a child have a responsibility to report their concern to the SDO as above.
Concerns could be:
Significant changes in a child’s behaviour
Unexplained bruising or marks
Comments made by a child which could give cause for concern
A child’s general well being deteriorates

In the first instance, any matters concerning child protection will be discussed by the SDO and relevant staff as a confidential item.  Information will be shared with other staff if appropriate.

The SDO will give due consideration to matters raised and will make a decision to further action.

Action could include the following:
Informing Parents/Carers if appropriate

Informing the Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub [MASH].

Records will always be kept by the SDO.

Staff attend training in order to update their knowledge.  The Named Proprietor and SDO keep people informed of any changes in procedure of legislation.

Parents are kept updated with relevant information through the Notice Board in the kitchen.

This policy and training opportunities are reviewed annually by the Management Group.

Allegations Against Staff
Any allegation against a member of staff must be reported to the SDO or Named Proprietor who will follow the appropriate safeguarding procedures as stated in the full version of our Safeguarding Policy.

The full Safe guarding policy is available at the Nursery on request.

An  Internet/Mobile Phone/Camera Policy is also available at the Nursery.



All information given by Parents/Carers is treated in confidence.

Information needing to be shared among staff is treated as confidential.


Records relating to each individual child are retained until the child is 21.

Records are always available for inspection.


All staff will follow agreed Nursery Policies and Procedures.

Relationships with children and families will be conducted in a professional manner.

All staff will fulfil their responsibilities and duties as stated in their job descriptions.

Any training needs will be identified during staff appraisal.