At Elham Pre-School, no two days are ever the same! We rotate our resources and activities daily so that the children are always able to explore new and exciting ways to discover and grow. Children at Elham Pre-School have lots of fun learning through play.
EYFS (Early Years Foundation Stage)
We follow the EYFS curriculum. All of our activities are designed to promote the prime and specific areas of the EYFS learning and development goals. We structure our day to achieve a balance of child-initiated play and adult led activities. If you would like to know more about the EYFS, please click here.
Each child has a learning journal, which is completed by their key worker. Tailored to every individual child, the learning journal records each stage of development in accordance with the EYFS goals. It includes photos of the child doing specific activities, examples of their learning achievements and any comments and observations noted by their key worker. Parents are encouraged to meet with their child’s key worker at the end of each full term to discuss their child’s progression in relation to the EYFS goals. Parents are welcome to see their child’s learning journal at any time.
In order to maximise what the children do each day and to structure each session, we broadly follow the timetable outlined below – although as you will appreciate, we embrace a degree of flexibility given the age of the children in our care.
9:00 Welcome children – Parents and guardians settle their children into pre-school.
9:10 Registration – Children are split into two groups: Badgers (children who will be going to school in the next intake) and Hedgehogs (the younger ones). Children use and learn Makaton signing at registration to spell their name and basic words like ‘hello’. We discuss the theme for the day and reinforce the Elham Pre-School Rules (eg be kind to each other and look after one another). The younger children will have a story during this time as well. If any of the children have brought an item to pre-school, they have an opportunity to ‘show and tell’. A ‘helper’ for the day is also chosen in rotation and the children sing the ‘You are Special’ song to them. Helpers have special responsibilities for the day, such as helping to prepare the refreshments for snack time. They also are given a sticker.
9:20 Child-initiated free play (indoors and outdoors) – Children have the option to do a range of activities in different zones of our large hall and outdoor area. These include using arts and crafts materials, role-play areas and costumes, and small world toys (eg doll’s house, pirate ship, fort), in addition to our extensive range of physical equipment (eg mini trampoline, climbing frame, tandem trike, scooters and other ride-on vehicles).
9:45 Snack time – Children wash their hands and choose their snacks. We also encourage children to be independent by enabling them to pour their own drinks. We provide a variety of different fruits, crackers and breadsticks, with a choice of milk or water to drink. We can accommodate special dietary requirements on request.
10:30 Adult led planned activity – This can include a variety of activities, including cooking and science experiments. Often, this period is spent making something specifically related to a particular date in the calendar.
10:45 Outdoor play – Outside we provide a variety of activities and games such as a sandpit, water play, slide, trampoline, bikes, ball games, looking for treasure from a map they have made etc. We sometimes plant seeds in our garden and our mud kitchen is also very popular!
11:15 Key worker time – Whilst the other children and staff enjoy continuous outdoor or free play, a member of staff spends time with individual children doing activities appropriate to their learning journal as described above.
11:35 Tidy up time – We encourage children to be involved in tidying up, as it promotes shared responsibility.
11:45 Circle time – A going home circle (with story and songs) is created for those leaving at 12pm.
12:00 Lunchtime – Children staying for lunch sit down with staff to eat their lunch and chat together. This is a very sociable time.
12:30 Quiet time – We encourage calm activities such as books and jigsaws immediately following lunch.
12:45 Child-initiated free play
The afternoon session follows a similar structure to the morning.
15:00 – Home time – An LCD screen is on display at pick up times that shows photos of the children doing the day’s activities. This helps parents to see exactly what their child has been doing at pre- school and the children enjoy the opportunity to point themselves out in the pictures, showing parents what they did and sharing their stories and tales of the day’s activities.
We also enjoy special days at Elham Pre-School such as our annual Sports Day and Nativity Play. The Nativity is our main fundraiser of the year and we host a variety of stalls and a big raffle for everyone to enjoy. We also host a Christmas party for the children, when Father Christmas pays a surprise visit. On the last day of the summer term, we also throw a leavers’ party.