About our Pre-school

On arrival at Pre-School the register of attendance is filled in at the door and the children go straight into open play, this play may be indoors or outdoors. During this period the children are encouraged to develop their social skills and creative ideas in some of the following ways:

Craft Activities

The children use recycled materials such as egg boxes, cardboard, material, yoghurt cartons, milk bottle tops, etc. to create their own artwork. There are always paints, crayons and felt-tip pens available for creating patterns or shapes and to learn the manipulative skills essential for writing.

Construction Play

Playing with Lego, Stickle bricks, wooden blocks and other building toys, children can construct creatively and become skilled with their hands. Jigsaw, threading and shape sorters develop co-ordination skills. Using these toys, children learn a great deal about size, number, length, height and comparison.

Pretend/Role Play

Children love to dress up and pretend to be someone else. Some of the things that will help this play to develop are cups and saucers, cardboard boxes, dressing up clothes, hats, and handbags. A section is devoted to a well-equipped role play area that can be a home corner, a shop and other facilities, which vary from term to term. Here, the children can develop their imaginative play, language skills and co-operate with each other.

Book Corner

Books and stories help to develop the imagination and extend the children’s experience of the world. They can bring tremendous pleasure and can expand other play activities. Books with stories and pictures they understand and enjoy are available to look at and handle, and for adults to read and talk about. Enjoying books, in this way, will encourage them to develop a love of language and help them to learn to read more easily.

Natural Materials

Children love playing with natural materials such as water, wood, sand, clay and play dough. Handling them, children learn what such materials can do and how they behave, e.g. dry sand will pour and wet sand will mould. We use scales and rulers to show differences in materials. We also encourage the children to look at the world about them during nature walks, planting seeds and making pictures/models from the things they collect.

After approximately an hour & 15 mins

The children are encouraged to help tidy up ready to sing songs and rhymes or on alternate days have a focus teaching activity. These games and activities have real value as well as being good fun. They are a good way to express companionship within the group and help develop the skills required to express themselves.

The children are then invited to wash their hands before sitting down to a healthy snack eg. fruit and pitta bread, a drink of milk or water.

Physical Play

After snacks, time is set aside for active and physical outdoor play using trikes, climbing frame, balls, hoops, spinning cones or going to the park.

Finally, the children settle down to have a story read to them by a member of staff before collecting their work and waiting for their parent/carer to arrive.

The Process rather than the Product

Your child probably won't bring a great number of finished products home. We believe that the children are at a stage where the 'process' of doing things (looking, finding, feeling, investigating) is more important than the product. Their 'work' or the process of their work might look messy and probably won't look like anything recognisable to you but to your child it will be very meaningful and it is an essential part of their development. If the adults at playgroup do it for them or prepare things for them to assemble they may get fleeting pleasure from the response they get from other people but the children know whether it is their own work or not and there is very little value in such bogus creations.

We prefer the messy and meaningful to the neat but pointless. It can be quite difficult to know how to receive such offerings so as a good rule of thumb just say what you see. "You've used a lot of blue paint in your picture" or "You've stuck the buttons on to the box" for example rather than "What is it?" or "It looks like a robot". If your child intends it to represent something they will tell you but don't assume that this is the case.

Often an enormous amount of effort and therefore satisfaction will have gone into a part of the process which is unseen in the finished thing. That bit of masking tape precariously attached to a couple of pieces of paper is very easy to overlook but may have required the mastering of a whole new range of skills to be achieved without help and is quite possibly a source of immense pride.

Record of progress

The progress of children is monitored by staff in line with the revised Early Years Foundation Stage 2012 Development Matters.

These areas of learning are as follows:

Three prime areas:

  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development
  • Communication and Language Development
  • Physical Development

Four specific areas:

  • Literacy Development
  • Mathematical Development
  • Understanding of the World
  • Expressive Arts and Design

A copy of our Oftsed report can be found by clicking here.(This will open a new window)