Welcome to Acorns Pre-school
What are the aims of your pre-school?
To provide high quality childcare and education. To be a place where learning is stimulating and takes place through play; where children are kept safe, respected and cherished as individuals, and treated with kindness, patience and courtesy; where children acquire skills for life and find learning and education fun, where we work in accordance with the EYFS.
Can you tell me how your pre-school is run and regulated?
Our pre-school is part of a teacher led Early Years Unit, with a Pre-school Leader and Reception class teacher working closely together on planning and resourcing a stimulating, safe, challenging learning environment. The Pre-school operates within the Early years Unit and benefits from use of the school grounds. We are always pleased to welcome new children and involve parents. We are inspected by OFSTED and our report is available online and by request. For more details on admission criteria please see our admissions policy or ask a member of staff to explain.
How can I find out more about your curriculum?
We run according to the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) the statutory guidance for development, learning and care in all Early Years Settings. We have information about the principles and practice of the EYFS displayed around the setting and our planning is also on display, just ask a member of staff if you would like to know anything more about this.
How many staff do you have at a session?
We have at least two staff members at each session – the Early Years leader, pre-school leader and Higher Level Teaching assistant. We also welcome trainee childcare practitioners. We all work together as a unit so the pre-school children benefit from lots of teacher input and interaction.
How will I know which staff will be looking after my child and when can I talk to them?
Each child has a key person who will take particular responsibility for them while they are in our Early Years Unit. You will be introduced to them on your first day and they will work with your child regularly and get to know them really well. Your child can, however go to any of the adults for comfort or help with anything. The leader is always available at the beginning and end of sessions to talk to you. We welcome parents into the classroom at the beginning of each day to settle the children. We aim to be available to you and your child during this time. If you need to meet with us at a different we will do our best to accommodate this.
Do you keep records of the children’s progress?
We use a secure online system called; TAPESTRY and this will be explained to you soon after your child starts. Throughout your child’s time in the Early Years Unit they will be available for you to see, to share with your child and contribute to yourselves. When your child leaves the Early Years Unit this will be given to you to keep. The information in them will be used to inform a report which will be developed and agreed with you and your child to help school to continue to support their progress towards reaching the Early Learning Goals at the end of the Reception year.
What if my child has some additional needs?
We welcome all children and their families and give all children the opportunity to learn and develop in our setting in line with Every Child Matters. However, it is very helpful if you are able to tell us as much as possible about your child’s needs so that we can make suitable provision for them. If you have any worries about your child’s development, please feel free to talk confidentially to the Early Years leader or Pre-school leader.
Do the children have a snack during the session?
There is milk, water, and fruit available every day along with a variety of other healthy choices. The children are encouraged to sit with the group at snack time, as this is a sociable time, full of laughter and positive interaction. Water is available at all times.
My child’s first language is not English. Is that a problem?
Not at all. It will help them if you can teach us a few key words in their home language but we use signs, gestures, images and demonstrations so we will aim to ensure your child can participate in everything while they are learning to understand and speak English.
Most children qualify for the Early Years Entitlement soon after their third birthday. This covers up to 15 hours of preschool education per week for 38 weeks a year. We also offer 30hrs funding to all eligible parents, please speak to the school office if you think you may be eligible and our administrator will explain the system to you. If you do pay fees these are £11 per session. Once sessions have been booked for the half term you are obliged to pay for them. If you wish to reduce, increase or change your hours please inform the office and these may be altered for the following half term. This is to ensure that we have the correct staff ratios and provision in place.
We have very thorough policies and procedures to protect the children but if your child has had an accident it will be recorded in the accident book. One copy will be given to you when you collect them.
Children cannot enjoy preschool if they are unwell so please feel free to keep them at home until you feel they are well enough to return. We ask that if they have had vomiting or diarrhoea that you keep them off for 48 hours after the last ‘episode’. If your child is unwell please phone the school ASAP to let us know not to expect your child.
If your child needs to have any medication whilst in preschool you will need to fill in and sign a form at the office so we are sure we have all the correct information. We are only able to give your child medication that has been prescribed by a doctor. Ask the office if you need to know more about this.
Photographs and Videos
We regularly take photos of the children to record special achievements and progress. You will be asked if you are happy to consent to this but you can of course decline if you prefer. These photos may also be used on our website. We are happy for you to take photographs of special occasions or events at preschool but we respectfully ask you only to photograph your own child and not to post any photos in which other children are identifiable on social media etc.
We believe that parents are children’s first educators. Talking with staff and your child about their learning is important and exciting. You might also like to share a talent with the children, let us know if you can. As a small school we are always looking for help in a variety of ways including school trips and welly walks.
Outline of a typical day
8:55 am Morning session: Starts with self registration and a free choice session in which the children decide where and what to do in the main class room. Staff will be very happy to help you to settle your child if needed, please do not hesitate to ask. The staff will be available on the door if you need to discuss anything at this time too. Phonics: Children join together for sound activities, singing, making sounds, playing instruments, recognising sounds and letters- sounds. We also have story time too. This is a time when we again encourage the children to focus and listen to the adult and to other children as well as to participate. Child initiated play and focus activities: Which staff support children to develop their learning by choosing from the activities/areas available and then to explore either on their own, with a friend, in a group with or without an adult. During this time staff will be carrying out observations which are then used to plan the next learning steps for the children. Staff may work with individuals or small groups on planned or spontaneous activities during this period. Tidy up time: We encourage children to care for equipment at all times but towards the end of this session staff and children will tidy up together. 10.30 am Snack time: Children are provided with a healthy snack and drink of milk or water. This is a social time and children and staff sit together. During this time children have an opportunity to learn about food, aspects of healthy lifestyle and to develop their language and social skills. 12.00 pm Morning session ends 12.15 pm Lunch time and Afternoon session includes lunch: We sit in the hall with the whole school for lunch on our own table (menus are available from school office). Children can bring their own packed lunch or order a school dinner. Staff sit and eat their lunch with the children, this is a fun and social time. This session, like the morning ones will be a balance of; indoor and outdoor play and learning, quiet time, child initiated learning and small group work. It will finish with tidying up and then a whole group activity usually a story or singing. 3:15 pm Afternoon session ends: We will dismiss the children via the front entrance.