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Our sessions are: Morning – 9.00 a.m. to 12.00 p.m. and Afternoon – 12.30 p.m. to 3.30 p.m (Upton Priory Pre-school only).
Both sessions follow a similar format. Following a short group activity on arrival the children are then free to choose activities around the room. Once they settle into our routines, most children begin to explore the different activities on offer and become confident when selecting and organising tools and resources. The children are able to play freely indoors and outside and take part in adult led activities over the course of the session. They are encouraged to become as independent as possible. However the adults in pre-school and nursery are extremely skilled when observing the children and know exactly the right time to step in and offer guidance and support or introduce a new idea that might take their learning a little further. Sometimes they will be invited to join in with an adult led activity. Most children readily join in with these, but the children are never pressurised into doing any activity- just gently encouraged.
Adult led activities usually relate to early phonics development, speaking and listening skills or some aspect of number, shape or space and also provide an opportunity for children to develop their speaking and listening skills and take turns as part of a smaller group. The activities are all play-based involving active learning. They may also include music, movement and song and the children eagerly anticipate them. We regularly read stories and these are central to our curriculum and often become the focus for mini themes and areas for further development of opportunities for learning.
We often join together as a whole nursery for shared activities such as a puppet show, number rhyme, animated story or to sing Happy Birthday to one of our children.
We encourage children to explore their environment and take part in a range of activities outside. We are very lucky and have splash suits and wellies for all the children, but they will still need to wear warm clothing underneath. The splash suits are “oversized” so they can put them on over coats and we will help the children to put them on and take them off if they are needed, usually if we take a “Welly Wander” in the wider school grounds.
We offer “Sticky Kids” and physical development activities in our lower hall. “Sticky Kids” is a programme of music and movement which supports children to develop a range of fine and gross motor skills, join in with rhyming and rhythmic patterns, develop positional language, respond to musical variations and work as part of a team during circle songs. The physical development activities include using our climbing apparatus and games supporting children to work together as part of a team.
There are additional activities which happen over the course of the year – visits from Dental Playbox, firemen, policemen, theatre companies performing and visits from various wildlife experts. We regularly have shared events with our Reception class throughout the whole year which supports children’s transition into school. Where appropriate, we will join events happening in school.
Our primary concern is to create an environment in which your child is safe and happy. We are always keen to hear about the children’s experiences outside pe-school and nursery and will follow up on any areas of interest, so feel free to share these with us. Similarly, please do not hesitate to talk to any member of staff if you have any concern or query.
We do understand that sending your child to pre-school can sometimes be stressful for parents and children and we want to make that period of transition as easy as possible. Your child will be nurtured, supported and encouraged to explore new experiences and build friendships within a happy, positive environment and all their achievements will be valued.