The Pre-School is set in the Early Years Foundation Stage Kindergarten at St Matthews School. The Pre-School is run by a committee that aims to provide Early Years care and play-based education from 24 months until school entry.
Pre-School places are funded for 15 hours from the term after a child’s third birthday, or 30 hours if parents/carers meet the funding criteria. Nursery places for 15 hours of free entitlement are available for children from the term after their second birthday, when parents/carers meet the criteria to access a two year old funded place. Fees apply to lunches and unfunded 2, 3, 4 year old places as well as access to more than the 15 hours of entitlement.
The Pre-School follows the learning framework from the Early Years Foundation Stage with three prime areas and four specific areas.
These are the three prime areas:
Personal, Social and Emotional Development
Communication and Language
Literacy, Mathematics, Understanding the World, and Expressive Arts and Design are the specific areas of learning including essential skills and knowledge for children to participate successfully in society.
Your child’s development will be recorded in their own personal on-line Tapestry learning journey and reflected on at a parents'/carers' meetings with your child’s Key Workers as a permanent record of their achievements that parents/carers contribute to and download at the end of their child's Early Years nursery education. With parental permission, the online Learning Journey can be passed on to the Reception classes that use the same media.
Every child is assigned Key Workers who ensure your child’s needs are catered for with regard to settling into the setting and beyond, so parents/carers are encouraged to inform your child’s Key Workers about your child’s health and well-being at the beginning of the session or appointments can be made for the end of the day to update as needed with your Key Workers whose role is to support the child and family.
Your Child's day at
The Pre-School operates for four days a week from 8.45 am until 3.15 pm during term time and half day on Friday’s until 1.00 pm. The sessions start at 8.45 am, 9.00 am or 12.00 pm as agreed by parents/carers and the setting; parents/carers can choose to send their child for the full day until 3.15 pm or half day sessions.
A fruit snack is provided during the morning session. A nursery lunch can be added on to the session or children can bring a packed lunch. St. Matthew’s C of E School has its own catering establishment and provides nutritious lunches for the nursery as well as catering for children with food allergies.
The setting uses Simon Nicholson’s loose part theory to enhance children’s cognitive learning. We focus on natural materials rather than plastic objects, such as wood, metal, shells and fir cones, where one object can stand for another in the child’s imagination. The use of this theory also impacts on children’s ability to negotiate and problem solve that heightens respect for others. We further expand thinking skills using a philosophy for children session with the Pre-Reception children. The setting has weekly visits to either the Tarn, Forest or Beach school, on Friday's. Children will need appropriate outdoor clothing and footwear, as well as, a packed lunch. Parents/carers bring and collect the children from the Tarn, Forest or Beach school and are welcome to join us at these weekly events.
During the session, we have a nursery routine with adult-led activities and child-initiated activities that they choose as a part of the continuous provision of how we use space and equipment in the setting.