Early Years Department
Welcome to Early Years
The Early Years Department at Portesbery is called Caterpillar Class. At present this class is
a mixed nursery and reception group (children aged 2-5 years old).
The current staff in Early Years are Adele (Lead Teacher), Emma (Class Teacher), Hannah (Senior Teaching Assistant) and Mary Jane, Keisha and Amy (Teaching Assistants).
We offer a truly bespoke transition for every family. No two families have the same
requirements in the same way no two children are the same, everyone is unique. Therefore
we work very closely with families, previous settings, Portage, Early Help and any other
agencies or professionals to ensure we are fully informed and prepared to design an ideal
transition. We will visit a child in their current setting (if attending a setting) and we will also
attend any meetings and EHCP reviews. We will invite families for a tour of Portesbery to
show you the facilities available, to meet staff and to answer any question you may have.
Once a place is confirmed, either by a Case Worker or Surrey, we will take the next steps to
build a transition timetable. Firstly, we will also come for a home visit which is an excellent
opportunity for families to ask questions and for us to get to really know you all. Secondly,
we will start to plan for your child’s first days at Portesbery. How this looks is entirely over
to you – some families feel it is best for a child to attend for full days from the beginning,
other families prefer to start with shortened days and to stay with their child. We will offer
guidance and support in making these decisions and always ensure your wishes are
We believe, you as parents, are the key person in helping us get to know your child. We will
work with you in regard to settling your child into school. There is no set format– it is very
much led by you and your child's needs as shared above.
We believe that trust is a key to a happy child and your child will be assigned a special key
person to work with them and settle them in. They will establish a good bond with your
child and feedback to you regularly. All our staff are highly trained in a range of strategies
for supporting children to learn.
We believe in starting where your child is at– it is important for us to find out what interests
them and what they like so we can create an environment that is familiar, fun, happy and
safe for them. All our sessions are based in play and we offer a free-flow environment. We
can use a range of personalised strategies to support your child accessing activities and
We believe in happy children and happy parents! Communication is really important to us
and we hope you feel that you can contact us at any time. We will do our best to respond to
you as quickly as we can. There are many different ways to share information including face
to face time with the class teacher, phone calls, emails and your child’s home-school diary.
We also take lots of photos and little videos, which will provide a window into your child’s
day and a lovely record of their time in Early Years.
Please see our video introduction below to see our happy and engaging environment.