Age 3-5 years
Preschool is a large free-flowing unit run by a team of five full-time staff and one part-time staff. We split the children into four key groups and each child is introduced to their key-person when they are settling.
The children have free-flow sessions throughout the day giving them the opportunity to develop at their own level and in their areas of interest, but all activities they engage with are carefully planned and scaffold by staff to ensure the children are developing and learning through their play.
We also operate two focused activity times during the day. This provides staff and children with the opportunity to work in a small group on learning or developing a particular skill. This also allows us to ensure that children are addressing all areas of the curriculum including those important aspects which help get them ready for school. Focused activities will include circle times to discuss and learn about feelings, phonics sessions which are the skills underpinning reading and writing, numeracy activities which enable children to develop their early mathematical understanding etc.
In Pre-school our biggest drive is to promote the independence necessary for your child to be ready to go to “big school”. As part of this the children are expected, for both breakfast and tea, to help themselves to food by accessing our cafe. Lunchtime still remains a sit down meal where the children are served and we use this time to promote manners and use of cutlery.
Toileting is also as independent as possible and although adults are on hand to assist the children we do try very hard to encourage them to become independent in personal hygiene, again in readiness for school.
At lunchtime we still allow children who need/want a sleep or rest to have quiet time away from the other children. We use sleep mats and blankets and this is the only time during the day children are encouraged to use muslin’s, teddies, comforters and dummies. Each child’s individual needs are catered for and we record whether they have had a sleep on our sleep board for parents to check when they pick up.
Children all have their own peg and tray for them to keep their personal items and any artwork they do throughout the day.
The children have frequent access to the garden. We will go out sun, rain or snow! So wellies, raincoats and warm winter coats are ideal for bad weather and we do ask for sun cream and hats in the summer. The children have constant access to water to drink and are offered milk at breakfast and tea.
The children have the opportunity to join in with weekly French and drama sessions led by qualified teachers.
When its time for the children to leave us for 'Big school' we hold a Graduation ceremony to celebrate their time with us and to say farewell. The children wear the gowns and mortar boards and come on stage to collect their certificate and achievement books while the staff say a few special words to the parents and grandparents who sit in the audience with their tissues!