We know that children thrive when there is a clear routine and structure although in pre-school, there is inevitably a great deal of flexibility as we’re sure you will have experienced with your little one! Despite every day being different depending on what the children are interested in both on the morning and from the day before, we do have a structure of the day to ensure children feel safe and confident.
Whether children are 2, 3 or 4, they have a huge thirst for knowledge of the world around them. You may hear the constant ‘why?’ questions or find that they are fascinated by the smallest object – we LOVE that innate curiosity! Children may appear to be ‘playing’ in pre-school but the learning is invaluable. Playing in the sandpit will involve weighing, directional language, negotiating with others, holding equipment and using it safely. Laying a table in the role play kitchen or flying a space rocket through the galaxy in the role play area, children will be ‘playing’ but learning how to interact with others and playing with sounds as well as developing social skills or perhaps understanding of number. This is our bread and butter, it’s just what we do with a great staff making sense of children’s experiences and knowing their next steps well.
We have access to the school’s extensive facilities; outdoor softfill play area, woodlands, polytunnel, amphitheatre, pond and wildlife area, playground, trim trail and adventure playground not to mention a library, quiet spaces and modern technology. With all of this, we can’t fail but to engage with it and be led by the children’s interests in these areas. Staff look carefully at the activities and areas that children choose to play in or with and then build on this both within the session and on a session to session and day to day basis. Children learn best when they’re driving the learning forwards, even if, to the outside world, it looks like a LOT of fun!!
We do have a ‘topic’ or focus which children have shown an interest in which is sometimes stimulated by a book they’ve read or something they’ve seen in their outside environment perhaps. These topics change weekly, fortnightly, monthly or termly depending on children’s interest levels. Recent topics have included Chinese new year, vets and space. We use the information parents give us through Busy Bee time or on Tapestry to inform our topics. Our vets topic for example, was inspired by Jimmy whose mummy had posted a picture of him on Tapestry enjoying his breakfast eggs that he’d just collected from his chickens that morning! This spiralled into rabbits, guinea pigs, fish and chickens visiting pre-school and the children setting up a mini vet surgery in our role play area. Brilliant!!
|08:50||Children arrive and register – they choose their lunch and begin activities|
|09:10||Freeflow learning through play indoors and outdoors. During the morning children will access small groups for social development and phonics groups when they are nearer school age.|
|10:30||Children help set up for snack. We all have snack together to encourage our social, communication and language skills.|
|12:00||Lunch begins. Hot lunch is brought over from the school kitchen or packed lunches from home.|
|12:30||This is generally the time that lunch finishes and the children quickly become immersed back in learning and play of their choice.|
|14:30||Tidy up and snack time|
|14:45||We generally spend the last 15 mins singing, dancing and having lots of fun together so we finish the day with a smile!|
|15:00||Pick up time.|