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 enahce 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 opporuntiies 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).

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. We are often out in the community, with clip boards, cameras and pencils; searching for house numbers, counting buses or completing their shopping at the Co-op. Also, we have made bread at the villiage bakery and most recently we enjoyed a visit from the local postman - who was able to take all of our letters to Santa.

'Show and tell' sessions are a wonderful way in which our children share with each other something thats important to them, whether that be the arrival of a new baby sister or a recent trip to Mexico to swim with the dolphins. Our children are given time and support to talk about their lives.

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 discusisons 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

Cosy Dream Cave - A lightweight wooden cave covered in voile and fairy lights, filled with soft cushions ensures our children have a quiet place to rest, relax and sleep should they wish. Here they spend time looking at books, talking to friends, playing games, sharing in each other achievements as well as Family Key Group time.

Creation Station - Packed full of paints, materials, clay, pens, chalks, buttons, cones and much more. Our children can make what they want, when they want - expressing themselves through creations. A favourite being clay aliens with big goggly eyes (a follow on activity from the story 'Aliens Love Underpants').

Kofe the Chimpanzee - Kofe joined the pre-school a few years ago and promotes 'Speak with Confidence'. With good speaking and listening skills being at the heart of the learning process. Kofe helps, encourages and supports our children to play games and take part in activities which are centred around the development of speaking.

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.

Pre-School Q&A

Question: Can my child sleep during the day in pre-school?

Answer: 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?

Answer: Yes, the weather does not dictate what we do outside. We are out in all weathers and ask parents to provide waterproofs, willies and when the sun is out a sun hat.

Question: If my child is struggling with toileting what should I do?

Answer: 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?

Answer: 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?

Answer: 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 <a href="">Starting School leaflet</a>.