Our Kindergarten team is led by a qualified early years teacher supported by another graduate and other staff with qualifications in early years.
We recommend that children who attend a minimum of three morning sessions when they first start. They then build this up to every morning and can also add afternoon sessions when they are ready. Parents can offset their child’s Early Years Entitlement (15 hours) in the morning sessions only. See fees sheet for more details.
Children have water available to them at all times. At snack times they have a choice of water, dairy milk and non-dairy milk. They have fruit every day and another snack which they help prepare chosen from home-made bread, rice cakes, muesli, smoothies, oat cakes and bread sticks. Children are involved in preparing and serving all snacks. Snacks are served in the Infant House Dining Room and children use glasses and serve their own drinks from china jugs. Children in the Kindergarten bring their own packed lunch. There is healthy eating guidance which is in the Parents Information Guide. (See Useful Information page). There is a chart on the wall in the welcome area which lists any food products used in the kindergarten in either snack time, cooking activities or play activities. Parents whose child’s have any allergies are advised to check this to ensure their child doesn’t come into contact with anything which may cause a reaction.
The Early Years Foundation Stage sets standards for the learning, development and care of children from birth to 5 years old. All schools and Ofsted-registered early years providers must follow the EYFS, including childminders, preschools, nurseries and school reception classes. The EYFS is divided into two areas, Prime areas, which begin to develop quickly in response to relationships and experiences, and run through and support learning in all other areas. The Prime areas are:
Personal, Social and Emotional Development: Making relationships, Self-confidence and self-awareness, Managing feelings and behaviour.
Communication and Language: Listening and attention, Understanding, Speaking.
Physical Development: Moving and handling, Health and self-care.
The Specific Areas include essential skills and knowledge for children to participate successfully in society. They grow out of the Prime areas and provide important contexts for learning.
- Literacy: Reading, Writing.
- Mathematics: Numbers, Shape, space and measure.
- Understanding the World: People and communities, The world, Technology.
- Expressive Arts and Design: Exploring and using media and materials, Being imaginative.
To find out more about the EYFS please click here
Every child has their own special “key person” whose job it is to make sure the children in their group are happy, feeling safe and making excellent progress. They meet with parents regularly and are always available for a “quick chat” if you have messages to pass on or are concerned about anything.
When children are due to start kindergarten a member of the kindergarten team will arrange to visit the child at home to get to know them. When they start in kindergarten the staff do a series of observations which help them understand how the children are settling, their well-being, their interests and their learning style. We also have meetings with parents soon after children have started to share knowledge about the child.
We have years of experience of settling children into kindergarten and understand that every child’s needs are different. For this reason we don’t have a set way of doing things but will talk to you to decide what will work best for your child before their first day.
Kindergarten parents are always welcome to come in to see children’s work and share their Learning Journeys at the end of a session. The children enjoy organising special events such as tea parties or exhibitions of work to show their parents. We also invite parents in for special celebrations and festivals quite regularly.
At the end of the EYFS – in the summer term of the reception year in school – teachers complete an assessment which is known as the EYFS Profile. This assessment is carried out by the Sycamore Class teacher and is based on what they, and other staff caring for your child, have observed over a period of time.
These records go with the child into Year One.
Download these ideas sheets for ways to support your child at home
Parents info about EYFS
Helping your kindergarten child with maths
Children can arrive from 8am. They are free to choose activities until 9.30am when they gather together for “Candle Time”. This is a quiet reflective time when children listen to music, take part in guided meditations, mindfulness activities etc. After candle time there is “free flow” activity time where children can choose to play inside or outside in either self-chosen child-led activities or take part in an adult led or supported group activity. During the morning there will be groups for snack time but children are largely allowed lots of time to “wallow” in their play uninterrupted. Lunchtime is from 12.15pm to 1.15pm after which morning children go home and children staying for the afternoon take part in arrange of activities both inside and out. These include outdoor play, yoga, music and movement and free play. On Friday mornings the kindergarten go off to the wildlife area to take part in Forest School activities. The kindergarten day ends at 3.15pm.
We understand that occasionally parents can get held up and arrive late. We ask that you ring the school office and let us know you are on your way if you are going to be late. The Late Collection Policy is on the Policy page with more information about what would happen if no-one arrives to collect a child.
We supervise children very carefully at all times. There is a policy for the procedure to be followed should a child go missing on or off-site. This can be found in the policy section of the website.
When your child starts at Kindergarten they will be appointed a key person. This is usually the person who will do a home visit before they start. The key person groups are displayed in the welcome area. The key person’s role is to support you and your child during the settling in process as well as be the person who keeps your child’s records and holds regular meetings with you to discuss how your child is getting on at school.
We have an experienced SENCO who works with the Kindergarten teachers to ensure that children identified with any SEN or other difficulties or disabilities are fully supported within the setting. See our page on SEN for more details.