We welcome you to our pre-school and invite you to come and visit us with a view to your child attending our friendly group.
Our aim is
- To enhance the development and education of individual children under statutory school age in a caring and safe environment.
- To provide a secure and stimulating environment enabling the children to access a curriculum based on the early learning goals, helping them to achieve their full potential.
- To work within a framework which ensures equal opportunities for both children and their families, ensuring ‘inclusion’ at every level.
- To provide age/stage related activities and resources that will encourage the child’s development, promoting their independence and confidence through their own choices.
- To encourage the children to value and respect each other.
- To promote development within the framework of the ‘Every Child Matters’ outcomes; staying safe, being healthy, enjoying and achieving, making a positive contribution and achieving economic well being.
For a young child beginning their first few weeks at pre-school, we aim to provide a warm and welcoming atmosphere. We hope a stable friendly environment will encourage them in finding their initial independence and self-confidence.
We encourage parents to come along with their children to help them settle before the child’s starting date. It is a good opportunity to get to know you as well as letting your child begin the settling in process knowing that you are safely nearby. It also enables you to see what activities are available for the children during a session.
On a day when you feel happy to leave them with us, a few tears may be shed but they rarely last more than a few minutes. A child will usually settle quicker if you leave when you have said goodbye. Our hope is that they will enjoy their time with us and will soon make friends. We will always telephone you if we feel there is a genuine problem.
We offer a wide range of activities, indoors as well as outdoors, including painting, cooking, playdough, sand and water play, role play, collage, construction toys, mark making, pre-math’s and pre-science experiences, bikes, trikes and many more. Through all these activities they will experience taking turns with others, resolving differences, group conversation and learning to share and work together enabling the children to develop their social skills. Individual activities and small group work is planned with each child’s interests taken into account.
We offer a rolling snack time for the children to decide when they would like to have a drink and something to eat. We encourage a quiet time to look at books and to partake in general conversation, stories, songs and games. Later in the morning the children are involved in the communal activity of tiding up.
Within St. Michael’s pre-school all children are supported in developing their potential at their own pace, by means of developmentally appropriate play activities. With adult support, we offer a curriculum based on the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) themes and commitments
- A Unique Child
- Positive Relationships
- Enabling Environment
- Learning and Development
Based on this and the ‘Characteristics of Effective Learning’ we work within the EYFS Framework with the following areas of learning:
Communication and Language
In both small and large groups, children are encouraged to extend their vocabulary and fluency by talking and listening and by hearing and responding to stories, songs and rhymes. Children are helped to understand that written symbols carry meaning and to be aware of the purpose of print. The book corner gives every child the opportunity and encouragement to become familiar with books, ability to handle them correctly and become aware of their uses both for reference and as a source of stories and pictures. We actively involve families by operating a library system so that children can choose a book with a parent or carer, borrowing it for one or more days to enjoy together at home.
Many activities are planned to explore ‘mark making’ resources. Gross motor skills and coordination are the building blocks for any pre writing experiences. Some of our activities encourage the children to use both hands, helping them to make a decision on their preference of hand.
Personal, Social and Emotional Development
Within a nurturing environment children are individually supported in confidence, independence and self-respect. They are encouraged to work and concentrate independently and also to take part in the life of the group, sharing and cooperating with other children and adults. Through activities, conversation and practical experiences they learn acceptable ways to express their own feelings gaining a sense of well-being. All children are given the opportunity when appropriate to take responsibility for themselves and also for the group its members and its property.
Through practical experiences, all children become familiar with sorting, matching, ordering, sequencing and counting activities, which form the basis for early maths. As they use their problem solving skills children are assisted to learn and use the appropriate vocabulary. Our designated area for early maths encourages the children to identify objects by shape, position, size, volume and number. Songs, games, puzzles and picture books help children become aware of number sequence.
Understanding the World
A safe and stimulating environment allows children to explore and experiment with a range of natural and manufactured materials. They learn to observe the features of objects and substances, recognising differences, patterns and similarities and to share and record their findings. Children are assisted in exploring and understanding the environment both within the group, using indoors and outside and also in the wider community. Planned visits to the church, school and in our surrounding countryside support a growing knowledge of the community. Visitors to the preschool include ‘Crocy’ who arrives with Sue to chat about healthy teeth and gums, the fire engine and crew from our local depot who encourage the children to explore the engine and use hoses. A range of safe and well maintained equipment enables children to extend their technological understanding using simple tools and techniques as appropriate to achieve their intentions and to solve problems. ICT equipment allows the children to build on existing know how. Simple programmes can be used independently or with adult support.
A range of equipment and opportunities allow children to develop their confidence and enjoyment in the use and development of their own bodily skills. A very high level of adult supervision enables children to safely create and meet physical challenges, developing increasing skill and control in moving, climbing and balancing. At the same time children are supported in the development of the fine motor skills required to use pens and pencils and to handle small objects with increasing control and precision.
Expressive Art and Design
Children are encouraged to use a wide range of resources in order to express their own ideas and feelings and to construct their individual response to experience in two or three dimensions. Art equipment including paint, glue, crayons, charcoal, chalk and pencils as well as natural and discarded resources provides for open ended exploration of colour, shape and texture also for the development of skills in painting, drawing and collage. Children join in with and respond to music and stories and there are many opportunities for imaginative role-play, both individually and as part of a group.
The main body of staff have enjoyed working as a team for many years. We have at least four members of staff working each day. Seven staff in total, allowing staff cover for training, illness etc. All staff have a criminal records bureau (CRB) check, first aid certificate and further staff training is encouraged. All the staff have attained level 2 or 3 of an Early Years, Pre-school Diploma or Children’s Workforce qualification. One member has achieved a Foundation Degree in Early Years (level 5). We do have an Early Years Teacher (level 6) who has achieved a BA (Hons) Degree in Early Years. Please see the staff profile. All staff on induction are given a copy of the group policies, these are re visited frequently at staff meetings to ensure all staff become involved in changes due to legislation and the groups reflective practice.
Training is planned for individual staff needs. All staff are supportive in covering hours and sessions to enable each other to access courses and workshops. At times we have been able to access training as a group . We are supported by a S.I.P setting improvement partner who has delivered bespoke workshops. Network meetings are held frequently in our area so that we can chat, liaise and train with other professionals.
The Role of Parents
We recognise that parents are the first most important educators of their young children. Our pre-school aims to support parents in every way that we can. It is paramount that we work in partnership with parents/carers and outside agencies to ensure a child has the confidence to develop their full potential. We value the parent/carer input in their child’s ‘learning journey’ folders.
Creating a Smooth Transition to the next setting is paramount to sustaining and developing your child’s self confidence. Arriving at the playground on the first day of school even makes parents and carers nervous so using the links we have with our local primary schools we can help the children to become familiar with a new environment and the adults who will eventually be working with them.
All the schools into which we feed arrange induction days and story times. Reception teachers and supporting staff visit the children in their pre-school setting, playing and chatting to them in familiar surroundings, gleaning information which they then find invaluable when meeting the children again in the classroom.
Regular visits are carried out by the registering body, Ofsted, to inspect the 'care' and the 'curriculum'. Ofsted reports usually include ‘actions’ for the setting to address. St Michaels’ Pre-school puts together a Setting Improvement Plan (SIP) which is then evidenced each time we update our Self Evaluation Form (SEF). Ofsted access this online prior to future inspections.
Ofsted would be involved if there were concerns of a child being at risk or where there is a possible breach of registration requirements. An investigation would follow any concerns raised.
We believe that most complaints are made constructively and can be sorted out in the early stage. We also believe that it is in the best interest of the pre-school and parents that complaints should be taken seriously and dealt with fairly and in a way which respects confidentiality.
Ofsted complaints line is 0300 123 4666
Ofsted reports for this setting can be found at
Our sessions begin at 9am each morning and we ask you not to leave your child before that time. The sessions finish at 12pm.
If you need to speak to a member of staff, then please feel free to do so either before or after pre-school session. Or if you prefer, telephone/email either the Manager or Deputy Manager.
Our fees are £13.50 per session as of September 2015, which is payable on your child’s first session of the week. You may pay on a weekly, half term or full-term basis (fees are updated annually).
The ‘free entitlement’ is accessible the term following a child’s third birthday. We are registered under the Free for Two scheme for families who qualify. The Early Years Pupil Premium (EYPP) is available to 3 and 4 year olds using a similar criteria.
We do ask for prompt payment but please talk to us if there are any difficulties.
If you wish to withdraw your child from pre-school, payment is still required in full for that half term. Payment is also required for a child’s absence due to sickness or holidays. However fees for children who are hospitalised will be waived. Action to reclaim non-payment of fees will be pursued when necessary.
It is important for parents to advise the staff of any health problems and all information will be held in confidence. These include any infection illnesses, which may affect other children and staff. Please allow full recovery before returning them to pre-school.
In the event of diarrhoea and/or sickness please allow 48 clear hours before your child returns to pre-school as advised by the local health authority and with a thoughtful approach towards the other children and staff.
In order to feel free to explore and experiment with all kind of materials, including many messy ones, it is best to send your child dressed in clothes which are easily washable or are not too new.
We do have t-shirts, sweatshirts printed with our pre-school logo for any one who wishes to purchase. Please see notice board for full details.
It is a good for children to practice new skills, which will make them independent. Simple clothing which they can handle themselves will enable them to go to the toilet when they want to and to put on and take off their outdoor clothing without being too dependent on other peoples help. As we access outside play everyday we ask you to provide appropriate foot wear and clothing. ie wellington boots on wet days.
If you need any further information and you feel that you would like your child to attend St Michael’s Pre-school please feel free to come in and see us or email/call us.
We look forward to seeing you in the future.