Our degree led preschool is housed in the former Ramillies School buildings, which have been remodelled to provide a warm and welcoming, stimulating environment where we teach and care for our older 2 year olds and 3 and 4 year olds. As well as full day care, we also offer a package to those over 3, of 5 preschool sessions a week 9am to 3pm, term time only (39 weeks) or all year round, which can be subsidised with the Government 15 or 30 hour funding.
The building is entered via a large cloakroom where children store their belongings and change into their indoor shoes. They then make their way up the stairs to enter the department to be greeted by practitioners and where they self-register on our welcome board before heading off to play.
Our Preschool department comprises a series of rooms, each with a distinct feel. Two large playrooms offer opportunities for children to construct with small and large construction equipment, investigate displays, play with small world toys, use our interactive whiteboard to play educational games or for guided internet research or take part in sensory activities. There is also a small gathering room used for small group or one to one activities as well as for gathering the whole group together to celebrate birthdays and achievements, to introduce topics with the help of the whiteboard, to have a good singsong or to do small group adult led activities.
Around the corner is a beautiful library where children can of course enjoy a huge range of books, both fiction and non fiction, use the computers, play games, take part in Letters and Sounds Groups and tell their own versions of stories using story sacks and baskets and puppets.
Finally our large creative room offers opportunities for painting, collage, model making, playdough, and exploring other sensory materials. Adjacent to the art room is the toilet room with 4 child size toilets and sinks to encourage independence. Linking the rooms at this end of the building is a Mark making corridor where children can practise large scale drawing and writing on our large black board, white board, or to use magnets on the magnetic board.
Our Preschool children also spend a lot of time outdoors, using the large well equipped garden, visiting the field or going on local walks. The routine in the Preschool Department is a balance of child initiated and adult led activities and play. Children have plenty of opportunity to explore the rooms and the exciting range of activities on offer, but there are pause points during the day where children take part in adult led activities either in a large group such as for physical activities including yoga, or small groups. Most core learning activities happen between 9am and 3pm so can be enjoyed by those attending the short day, and ensuring they benefit from all our learning activities such as Mark making (early writing), Maths, Letters and Sounds, talking time, dough gym, science and nature activities and of course music and art.