The broad theme of the curriculum is set every half term and communicated to parents via a newsletter. The themes are subject to change to reflect the children’s interests e.g. if it snows we might bring snow into the setting and introduce the children to animals that live in snowy environments or talk about freezing and thawing. Children are encouraged to bring in named items related to the theme to talk about at discussion time. Every day there will be a focused activity (often related to the theme) which is identified on the whiteboard at the start of the morning. At weekly planning meetings, an aspect of each area of learning is chosen for specific focus. During free play, the staff will evaluate the activity to ensure it meets the needs of all participating children.
SMALL GROUP ACTIVITIES
Letters and Sounds
This is a government initiative designed to help young children develop good literacy skills which in turn will help them to become proficient readers. By using games, songs, rhythm and rhyme, children are introduced to a language rich environment which helps them to develop their speaking and listening skills and their awareness of phonics.
This is a fun way to introduce phonics to young children. In rotation, children are invited to take home Barney Bear overnight and find 3 objects that begin with a given letter sound. The bag’s contents are then used for discussion at the next story session.
Children are invited to participate in small group work focusing on hand writing, numeracy, literacy skills or concentrating on a board game. These activities require the children to concentrate for longer periods and therefore usually involve the older children.
MONITORING YOUR CHILD'S PROGRESS
We recognise that parents are their children’s first and most enduring educators, and the aim of St. Paul’s (Crofton) Pre-School is to work together to promote your children’s development and learning.
At St Paul’s (Crofton) Pre-School each child has a key person who works as part of a team, making observations of your child’s development, comparing it to the developmental norms, and assessing their progress. The staff make high quality observations of a child's achievements. These observations are used to plan future learning experiences and ensure that activities consistently build on the child's existing knowledge and skills, therefore promoting individual development.
The key person also acts as a link between the Pre-school and the home setting, providing feedback to parents/carers and communicating essential information about your child to all staff.
At St Paul’s (Crofton) Pre-School we record the development of all the children and you may ask to see these records at any time. Twice a year we hold meetings with parents/carers where you will have the opportunity to discuss your child’s development on a one to one basis. We also encourage parents/carers to contribute to their child’s developmental records by completing a ‘Sharing Experiences – Learning from home’ form, on which you may record anything you wish to share with us.
ROLE OF PARENTS
At St Paul’s (Crofton) Pre-School we are very keen for parental involvement and offer a voluntary helper rota which is available for parents/carers to volunteer to assist at a session of their choosing. This is a good insight into the daily running of the pre-school and a chance to see some of the many activities we offer both inside the hall and outside in the garden.
We encourage parents to help out at a session once their child is fully settled.
Another area where parents help is required is by becoming a parent representative. This role includes sitting on the Management Committee and attending meetings 4 times a year. The parent representatives also serve refreshments at 3 events throughout the year and are responsible for fund raising.
As you will see from the photographs here, we are delighted to welcome involvement from parents or carers in their chosen vocation. This helps the children to gain an insight into the wider world, promoting learning and development and providing positive role models.
We also welcome any practical help, with the day to day running of the pre- school.
At St Paul’s (Crofton) Pre-School we are always looking at increasing and improving our equipment and by fund raising we are able to do this. Some of the fund raising events that have taken place over the last year are a ladies pamper night, Christmas shop, raffles and our very popular annual trike ride.
Some of the items that were purchased from recent fund raising have included: a planter for the garden, white board wedges, fire stations, magnetic resources and sensory development equipment.