We work with the Early Years Foundation Stage, which is from birth to reception class at five years old. It covers seven area’s of learning which are split into 3 Prime Areas, Communication and Language, Physical Development and Personal, Social and Emotional Development. The activities provided help your child achieve confidence and prepare them for the challenges of their first main school.
Art and Craft Table Activities
The art trolley contains paper and other materials such as, glue, paint, junk modeling etc. In this area we also have a large container which contains junk modelling materials.
We offer the children paint mixing facilities, using powder paint. This really helps with their colour recognition, what different colours they can mix and also their hand/eye co-ordination.
The trolley enables the children to choose what they would like to do, and what materials they would like to use, and combine together to make their creations. This area is usually supervised by a staff member .
There are hooks with aprons hanging next to the art tables for the children to access and try to put on and hang back up themselves. This area enables the children to create and experiment with different material, and also to help them develop self help skills like washing their hands and putting on an apron.
We do have adult initiated activities on this table particularly when making cards for different occasions, also at Christmas time.
Writing and Drawing Table
The children have access to pens, pencils, stencils, stampers and many other resources. The children can again choose their equipment and paper freely and have a non cluttered table to work on. The pens are all sorted into coloured pots to enable the children to learn their colours and put them back in the correct pots. Any finished pictures can then be put in their trays ready to be taken home.
This area is used a lot by the children especially when we add different resources like old birthday and Christmas cards which they can cut up, post it notes, sellotape and envelopes. The children also like to write letters, or draw pictures, which they can put into envelopes and post into the pre-school letterbox.
Play Dough, Messy Table
This table will usually contain play dough with a range of different cutters, rolling pins and other tools. It can also be used for shaving foam, jelly, baked beans, mashed potato and dried pasta. This table is situated in the main play room. The children can experiment with the messy play, like making patterns in the shaving foam or spooning baked beans into a jug. They can also make models and cut shapes with the play dough. It is good for the children to socialise and communicate with each other, as well as encouraging sensory play.
Sand and Water
When outside children are situated on the rubber matting area or astro turf. Staff are on hand to supervise the children and help them when needed. In the sand we have different equipment for pouring, shoveling and digging. The water tray has boxes with different toys which can be used in the water. We sometimes colour the water and add bubbles, and sometimes the children like to wash the dolls clothes and hang them up to dry.
All these messy play activities provide the children with room to explore experiment, share and take turns. All these activities have aprons to protect the children’s clothing. We always have all these activities out in a session, whether they are indoors or outside.
These toys are used on a large mat in the quiet area. This large area enables the children to play with cars and garages, fisher price village, dolls house, and the duplo trains and track. The children can really use their imagination on this mat to create situations they may have seen or even experiences they have encountered.
Home Corner/Role Play
This area is moved around the main play area in different corners to create a changed environment for the children. The home corner consists of an area with a play house and a kitchen area which contains a cooker, fridge, washing machine, sink and microwave.
The area is usually changed from week to week to reflect our planning, in the past we have had a clothes shop, travel agent, airport, shops, puppet show and anything else the children wish to create. This area offers a rich environment for children to develop in all areas. The ideas for this area will generally come from the children themselves, we use their ideas and creativity by observing them and then writing them down for future planning.
We have a dressing up trolley which is in the main play room. The trolley contains different dressing up outfits, including dress from other cultures. This area encourages the children to use their self help skills, like taking off shoes and pulling clothes on and off. It also allows them to role play with their friends and creates different environments and make believe scenarios. The clothes are regularly washed and are changed every few weeks.
We have a cupboard which contains different musical instruments from around the world, song books and nursery rhymes. The musical instruments can be used both indoors and outdoors. It encourages them to make sounds and even create role play situations. We also have a CD player which the children can use themselves, changing the CD’s, and listening to different kinds of music.
Construction and Maths
There is a large space for the children to construct and build using the different equipment. This consists of things like wooden building blocks and large mechano. We also have a trolley which contains small construction such as stickle bricks, mobilo, and small coloured building blocks. We also have number and colour cards and different shaped building blocks. This area enables the children to extend their creativity on to the floor using a mixture of small and large construction.
We have a range of mathematical equipment such as measuring scales, colour puzzles, mathematical computer games, counting games, number tiles and shape sorting. We also have a magnetic board with number magnets and white board markers.
This area if inside is situated right in the middle of the room on blue crash mats, and is also in the large outside play area at all times, in a variety of different equipment. In this area we have things like a large wooden climbing frame, rockers, balancing steps, bikes, trikes and scooters. This area is safe for the children to get their physical exercise, to climb and jump, balance and use their whole bodies.
They are protected by the large blue mats which surround the area and prevent the children from hurting themselves. The physical activities outside are either on the grass or the rubber matting area. The area is very extensive and allows the children plenty of room to move around freely and play racing and chasing games.
The computer offers the children a wide variety of educational computer programmes, appropriate to their different levels of development. This area is continually monitored so that all children have a turn if they want to, and do not play for a long period of time. We also have internet access which has parental controls.
Book and Puzzle Corner
This is located in the quiet area. It is an area with a mat, cushions, book boxes and puzzles. This area allows the children to have a quiet sit down and either look at a book or perhaps do a puzzle on the floor. We have a wide range of books for the children to choose from and also a wide range of puzzles. This area enables the children to learn how to look after and handle books, and also about returning the books and puzzles to their appropriate places. Some children may come to this area just to have a quiet sit down and watch what’s going on around them. We regularly change the books in the book boxes, and also the puzzles.
Sewing and Threading Table
This activity will enable the children to us their hand eye coordination as well as their creative side. The children have large blunt needles to work with, and have a choice of different materials to either thread, to make necklaces, or sew using thread and different materials on offer. We use coloured pasta, buttons and beads. Sometimes the children will also use paper and wool to make watches and bracelets.
These tables are situated in the main play area near to the washing up sink, so the children can wash up their own bowls and cups. Our snack system allows the children to help themselves to a snack and to gain skills such as pouring milk, and knowing how much to pour for a drink. The children can also learn about what is good for them and how to eat properly.
This area will always be supervised by a member of staff who can help the children when needed, monitor their progress and use lots of language and questions to help with their development and learning of new skills. The children may also be involved with preparing the snack with a staff member.
Children can freely come to the snack table where we offer milk and water to drink as well as different kinds of snacks which will vary on a rota system. We also offer a snack in the afternoon following the same routine. We do have a snack menu which is added to when we have new snack ideas. When a child comes for their snack, they take their name off the board, with help, which helps us monitor which children have not yet had a snack. We will encourage all children to visit the snack table, however if they really do not want to then we will try to encourage them to have a drink. We offer children a healthy and balanced snack both in the mornings and afternoons. We also like the children to try different foods which they may not necessarily have at home. Sometimes we will have tasting and touching sessions where we get the children to feel and describe the texture of things, and also how they taste.
We encourage all children to use the free access to the outdoor area throughout the sessions both morning and afternoon, once safety checks have been completed. This also follows through to the before and after school clubs.
Outdoors we offer sand and water play. We have a drawing table when the weather is fine, with a selection of paper, pens, colouring pencils, scissors sellotape etc. This play is always extended as and when the children initiate it. As an example we have in the past been asked by the children if they can make kites, so the relevant materials are brought outside for the children to use.
We have lots of bikes, scooters and tractors and a climbing frame. We have a basket ball net and balls, hoops, ribbons, coloured shape stepping stones and three large play houses. We have a large astro turf area where we have football goals, benches and a gazebo when the weather is hot.
We also have an area where we have an allotment, this will be used all year round for planting. We also have a free digging area so the children can use the digging tools. We also have a wildlife area and a compost bin for recycling our garden and food waste.
We have a wide range of outdoor equipment which is kept in the shed, which we can rotate, so that the children can gain different skills and have fun in an outdoor environment. We do ask parents to provide their child with a pair of wellies so they can access the outside area in all weather. It is also a good idea to provide them with a rain coat, as we do let the children play outside if it is raining or snowing moderately.
The children will gain many skills and experiences when playing outside, so it plays a very big part of the curriculum we offer the children whilst they are at pre-school. The environment in which they play is very safe, secure and well staffed at all times.
We have a large canopy area to the rear of the building allowing outdoor play all year round. We also have a tarmac area at the front of the building allowing the children to ride the bikes and cars with plenty of room.
We do ask parents to pack their child a healthy packed lunch, so we can be consistent in the setting all the way through the day with offering healthy food. We ask for lunch boxes and water bottles to be named, and cold packs used in hot weather. The lunch boxes are put into a lunch trolley when the children arrive. We don’t allow the children to have sweets or fizzy drinks in their lunches. We may have children with allergies so some foods may not be allowed in lunches.