The Pre-School Day
We have a wide range of activities on offer to keep even the most active and inquisitive child busy and interested. Some activities are always on offer, such as playing in the sand pit, investigating the water play area, going to the quiet area for a book, playing with play-dough or playing ‘house' in the dressing up corner.
Other activities are organised by the staff specially for each day. These include various art and craft activities, puzzles and games, props for imaginative play, games, dance and exercises led by the staff, or talks from interesting people who come to visit us, such as a Policewoman, Fireman or Road Safety Officer.
Activities are themed around a different topic for each half term, to help children concentrate on particular skills, or to learn more about the world around them. Previous topics have included 'Near and Far' and 'Springtime'. In addition, each week has a letter or colour, and children are encouraged to bring in objects to 'show and tell' that are related to that week's theme.
The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) is the stage of children’s development from birth to the end of their first (Reception) year in school. All settings such as Pre-Schools, Holiday Clubs, After School Clubs and Schools which take children of this age follow the EYFS Framework. The EYFS Framework describes how early years practitioners should work with children and their families to support their development and learning. It describes how your child should be kept safe and cared for and how all concerned can make sure that your child achieves the most that they can in their earliest years of life.
The EYFS Framework is based on four important principles.
- Every child is a unique child, who is constantly learning and can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured
- Children learn to be strong and independent through positive relationships
- Children learn and develop well in enabling environments, in which their experiences respond to their individual needs and there is a strong partnership between practitioners and parents and/or carers
- Children develop and learn in different ways and at different rates. The framework covers the education and care of all children in early years provision, including children with special educational needs and disabilities.
For more information about the EYFS please have a look at our Parents Guide to the EYFS, contact us or have a word with a member of staff.
Each session includes time for outdoor and indoor play, group time, snack time, and directed activities. However, it is also important for children to learn by following their own interests and discovering things for themselves, so all sessions also include lots of time for free play, and for the children to choose their own activities.
Each session is structured into short blocks of time to help the children feel safe in an ordered environment, and to make sure every child has a wide range of experiences each day.
For example, a morning session might start with 10 minutes for registration and welcome, followed by 30 minutes of directed activities, 20 minutes of free play, then tidy up, a break and refreshments for 25 minutes, then playing outside for half an hour.
Our afternoon sessions are similarly structured, but provide space for more specialised activities. The children might learn simple words, phrases and songs in French, enjoying dance and yoga activities, or do some basic cookery and make delicious biscuits, cakes, pizzas, and much more.
Links with Corfe Castle Primary School
We are sited next to, and have very strong links with, Corfe Castle Primary School. We share ideas and resources and run some sessions jointly; many of our children go on to attend the school together. We are proud of our close relationship, and believe that our collaborative approach has huge benefits for all of our children.
We go to assembly in the school a number of times a week, then we all do wake and shake together! In the afternoons we sometimes join reception for ICT classes or P.E. lessons, or else they will come into the Pre-School to do some cooking with us.
We have our own outside area when we can ride bikes, play with balls, and do a bit of gardening. But we are also fortunate in being able to use the playground and playing field facilities of Corfe Castle Primary School, so every day will include time for outdoor play, whatever the weather!
What Ofsted Says . . . "Staff effectively assess children's development on entry to the setting and through ongoing observation and assessment. They use this to plan challenging activities to help children move on to the next stage in their development. The programme of activities to promote children's physical development is excellent".
Food and Drink
We think it's very important to eat good food that tastes nice and makes us grow up big and strong. We are very aware that some children may have allergies or special dietary needs, and we always take this into consideration.
We have snack time in every session. The children usually have a few pieces of fruit and a small biscuit washed down with milk or water. The children choose their own snack and then take it in turns to help themselves to their drinks. They learn all about politeness and sharing without even knowing it!
Snack are not funded by the Pre-School fees, so a donation envelope is sent out termly.
There is always a jug of water and clean cups available for the children to help themselves to a drink whenever they are thirsty.
We do a lot of cooking with the children at Pre-School. Our building has a specially design kitchen area which allows us to easily cook with the children. We make Owl Cakes, mini Dorset Apples Cakes, Cheese and Pumpkin Scones and lots, lots more. We usually eat what we cook at snack time, but sometimes there's enough to take some home as well.
Children bring a packed lunch and drink with them for Lunch Time.