"Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning, but for children play is serious learning. Play is really the work of childhood". Fred Rodgers
Our Toddler unit cares for children from 3 months to approximately 2 years old. The ratio for our under 2's is 1 member of staff to 3 children. We cater to each individual child's requirements with food, sleep and daily routine.
As the children develop socially and emotionally we encourage children to become part of the same routine allowing them to learn from each other and share experiences together.
The Toddler unit comprises of three play-rooms to allow flexibility of activities for a range of development levels based on the needs of the children. They have access to the physical room, several outside areas and are taken for walks around our village.
Staff will liaise with you and our cook to ensure appropriate food is provided for every stage of development.
Our experienced staff are aware that leaving your child for the first time may be a difficult process, so we ensure you have plenty of opportunities for visits prior to starting.
Your child's key person will take the time to fill in a questionnaire about your child's needs, likes, dislikes, routine and development levels within the guidelines of the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum (EYFS). This allows us to plan for your child and ensure they have access to resources that will both interest and stimulate them.
When your child is developmentally ready at approximately 2 years old your child will move up to our Strider Unit. This is a busy and vibrant room where the children start to become more independent. The ratio for our 2 to 3-year-olds is 1 member of staff to 4 children.
The children are encouraged to join in with small group activities such as story time and simple circle games.
The Strider Unit comprises of two large play-rooms which have dedicated areas arranged to make the most out of the space and provide the children with many areas to explore and develop in the seven areas of the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum (EYFS).
At meal times the children sit at a table with a small group of peers and a member of staff who encourages the children to use forks and spoons independently and drink from open top cups.
The staff will work with you to encourage your child to begin toilet training when ready, they will gain a widening vocabulary and are introduced to early literacy and numeracy in a more directed way as well as providing a variety of opportunities for physical play within the Strider play-rooms, the Physical room and outside in several spacious garden areas.
On reaching their next development stage around 3 years of age the children move to Preschool. The ratio is 1 senior member of staff to 13 children, however, we generally work to the ratio of 1 member of staff to 8 children.
Preschool was purpose built and is open-plan with its own outdoor area, which has been arranged so to make it an extension of our indoor space allowing free flow from one environment to the next (although the children do have access to all our outside areas throughout the day).
We ensure the children have lots of opportunities to develop within the seven areas of learning from the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum (EYFS). Throughout the day multiple play-based activities focusing on the children's current interests are located around the room to make your child's day fun and informative.
When arriving in preschool for their session the children are encouraged to recognise and find their own name-tag to hang on a chosen peg with their bag and coat. They will partake in circle times where we take the register, look at the daily calendar, discuss what the children would like to learn, show and tell achievements or special times in their lives, read stories, play focused games and sing songs.
Importantly we help the children to grow independence by challenging them in all areas and allowing them to take risks and explore in a fun and safe environment. We believe it is important for the children's learning and development to try new and challenging things whether that be putting on their own coats, cutting up their own food, or filling up their own water bottles (of course we are always on hand and happy to help, but a little motto we have in preschool is "you try it first").
Upon leaving preschool we aim for the children to have a basic knowledge of numbers, writing, reading, early science and ICT abilities and the independence, social skills and enthusiasm for learning to thrive in the future.