Build dens, ask questions and become creative thinkers...
A thirst for learning, little sponges just soaking up the world around them
Pre School Room (3-5 years)
Our pre-schoolers love to…
Build dens, ask questions and become creative thinkers. Their final stage of nursery is about preparing children for their next big adventure… school.
With the pre-school years being quite a fast and furious development phase, bug hunts, hide and seek, asking questions and make-believe are just some of the things that are at the top of our children's agenda during the day. With an increased interest in playing with one another, re-enacting experiences and boosts in confidence our children are raring to go.
We tailor our day around our children's interests and development needs; not forgetting those spontaneous moments. When the first snowflakes fall we are out with hats and coats not forgetting the sledges, hot chocolate afterwards in the outside classroom and on some occasions a camp fire to toast marshmallows. Whether we are outside creating a fairy garden or a den amongst the fir trees for our super heros we foster and endevour to enhance every child's interest.
We place a great emphasis on the role of the Key Person. Each child has two key people, providing support, comfort and security - ensuring we have close and warm relationships with our children is our priority. This enables us to provide only the best care, faciliting great personal learning opportunities too. By using regular communications, we estalish good relationships with all our families.
Communication is both verbal and via email providing daily and weekly updates as well as spontaneous photos; we want all of our families to recognise the value in experiences rather than an end product (a painting can be easily sent home but dressing up as spiderman and hiding in the trees with binocculas can sometimes only be caught on camera and a picture often tells a wonderful story).
Gabbi - learning how to use a drill in a woodwork activity.
Social skills are of high importance to us, we help our children to cooperate, share and care about each other and the world around us. For example Derek the guinea pig is our resident pet, the children care for him daily and he plays an active role in family life at weekends. You can sometimes find us out in the community, with clip boards, cameras and pencils; searching for house numbers, counting buses and visiting the village bakery.
Our children have responsibilities, they use a self registration system when they arrive providing them with a sense of belonging, they set up activities for the day and get resources ready such as the paint for the art easel and glue for the creation station. There are learning opportunities at every turn, from role play, baking, clay modelling, blocks, maths and language through to ICT and an outdoor Muddy Kitchen.
Meal times are a valued part of the day, our children help set up the tables, self serve and our older pre-schoolers are often found helping our younger children to pour their water and use a knife and folk. The discussions around the dinner table provides us with opportunities to talk about hygiene, hand washing and healthy food groups.
Outdoor play is crucial for our children, you often find them on the playground whizzing around on balance bikes or on the field. Sand, construction zones and trampolining are just some of the areas we enjoy. Exercise, fresh air and running off energy helps us bring a balance to our day. Our children are more effective in their play, eat well and sometimes still enjoy an afternoon nap in the cosy cave - we believe their's nothing better than seeing a red cheeked, fresh little face!
Some of the areas in our Pre-school
Clay - Manipulating a piece of clay develops the child’s large and small muscles. Clay play fosters eye-hand coordination. Soft clay is receptive and responsive to all kinds of emotional expression. Clay is so fascinating that some children work for long periods without any adult motivation to maintain their interest. It can be a great way to extend the attention span of some children.
Loose Parts - Are materials and resources that have no pre-planned use; they can be natural or synthetic, they can be moved, combined with other resources, lined up, deconstructed and constructed again. You don’t need to go out and buy anything fancy, but instead allow children to use the continuous provision in a flexible way, with the space and time needed for them to play, explore and be creative.
We talked about consequences and respect for resources. We discuss regulary that these items are special and to be looked after. The children take pride in handling these precious treasures with care.
Our day is flexible yet brings elements of structure and challenge. Practitioners plan activities using current interests taken from observations and conversations with the children - therefore our children gain new knowledge through the planned experiences linked to events, seasons and celebrations. We recently enjoyed a visit from Mrs Patel, who came and introduced the children to Henna paint following their family's celebration of Divali.
For those children that require extra support, we go the extra mile in ensuring they get it. Whether that be with communication or becoming toilet trainied, our team, environment, partnership with parents and perepetetic specialists are geared up to assist the child ensuring they remain engaged, settled and happy.
Our wish for all of our children is that they leave Handkerchief Day Nursery with confidence, a thirst for learning and most importantly great self esteem. We recognise life skills need to be embebbed early to ensure children can cope with and manage change, conflict and friendships and are thereby able to comply with the wishes of others.
Question: Can my child sleep during the day in pre-school?
Yes we have quiet areas in pre-school where they can have a sleep or a rest.
Question: Will my child still have access to the outdoors even if it rains?
Yes, the weather does not dictate what we do outside. We are out in all weathers and ask parents to provide waterproofs, wellies and when the sun is out a sun hat.
Question: If my child is struggling with toileting what should I do?
Talk to your child’s key person and they can support you and your child in overcoming this. We have many strategies that we can try that will encourage your child to use the toilet successfully.
Question: Will my child have access to a letters and sounds programme?
Yes, the nursery uses the National Strategies Letters and Sounds Publication to plan fun interactive letters and sounds sessions. These short sessions take place daily in group time and will build up vital skills they will need ready for school.
Question: How will you get my child ready for school?
Here at Handkerchief Day Nursery we believe that each child is individual and will develop new skills at different rates. Getting ready for school is about helping the children to become independent in many different ways - washing hands, putting on shoes and coat, listening to a story, following simple instructions, using a knife and fork or opening their yoghurt pot. For more information on this please see our Starting School leaflet.