Our dedicated pre-school class is called Dolphin. The rooms are on the first floor of the building and provide the children with 4 different rooms, including their own Dining Room, Numeracy and Literacy Room with an ICT area, a Messy Play room with sand and water and a writing area, and construction area. We also have a Role Play Room with a quiet area and lots of books. All the rooms are light, colourful and welcoming, with an encouraging atmosphere. Children participate in small group activities at a stage appropriate to their development. Our programme includes both free-play and adult directed activities, supporting and encouraging your child through every developmental stage with activities that address all their needs in readiness for joining School.
Activities we participate in:
Numbers and calculating – Stimulating activities to encourage skills in mathematics and an understanding of numeracy
Writing, Phonics and Foreign Language Skills – Starting to develop writing techniques, sounding and recognising our letters through our Phonics and introducing foreign languages, using visuals and games. Art, Craft and Messy Area – Here the children engage in art activities using paint, paper, clay and playdough, and create wonderful models, or dabble in sand and water play. Role Play Area - This is a special space where children have the opportunity to dress up and engage in imagination-stretching role play. This corner is re-invented regularly to fit in with the current theme that is running throughout the nursery. Waterplay – Playing with coloured water and different water activities, is always fun in our water tray. Music - The children frequently enjoy lively, fun-filled music time together – playing instruments and singing along to music in the room. ICT – The children are very familiar with computers and by this age it is usually no surprise that they can freely operate a computer and really enjoy playing pre-school educational games and other teaching tools. They also have the opportunity to explore programmable toys, radios and cameras. Outside play, the gardens -We use our gardens a great deal, using the outside as much as we can for lesson time, painting, drawing and exploring our outside world. We play with the sand-tray, trampoline, tricycles, ride-ons and more. We also have a smooth surface playground where the children can again ride bicycles and cars, wheel dolls prams, play hop-scotch, draw on the chalk-boards and exploring the play house – this area helps us in wet weather too.
The grown-ups and how we help – Our pre-school is supervised by qualified and well-trained staff, who provide stimulating and interesting activities, relevant to the developmental needs of each child and support them throughout their day.
Throughout the year, all staff are offered opportunities for personal and professional development, allowing them to update their knowledge continuously. Practical courses such as First Aid and Food Safety are also undertaken regularly.
Our personal “Key Person” system ensures that your child is assigned to a carer who is responsible for:
At the end of the nursery day, a member of our team will report to you on the activities and adventures your pre-schooler has enjoyed during their day.
Settling in Sessions - We support and encourage flexible settling-in sessions. We offer a free session to give your child a taster of how much fun pre-school can be. If you’re ready to join our pre-school, we invite you and your child back for a settling-in session to enable child to meet their key person get acquainted. We like parents to feel involved and included in Nursery life, as we understand that your child is your most precious treasure. This time also offers opportunity for you to share with us anything you feel would ease the settling in process.
Daily Diary - Our children have a Daily Diary sheet which is written by our staff – detailing all the sleeps, nappies/toileting, snacks and meals that your child has enjoyed. These sheets are to be taken home. Staff also provide a verbal hand-over at the end of their session to keep you up-to-date with your child’s experiences and learning. We also have a whiteboard in the entrance that details what the children have been doing.
Learning Journey – The children follow a curriculum loosely based around topics like ‘food’, ‘light and dark’ &‘people who help us’. We celebrate all languages, religions and special days throughout the year. All our children and babies have a Learning Journey. This scrapbook follows your child through nursery, containing samples of artwork, photos and observations which is always available for you to look at on a daily basis and given to you as a memento of your child’s time with us when they leave. We also welcome parental input with information from you about things your child has done and family experiences.
Your child’s personal belongings – Dolphin children have their own named coat pegs and baskets. Coats and baskets are located in the hallway. They also have a named drawer on the dolphin landing. The children are encouraged to put little pieces of artwork or cooking goodies into their drawer, so remember to check at the end of your child’s session. We encourage the children to tidy up after themselves and find their own coats, boots/shoes and belongings when going outside to play.
Self Registration – Dolphin children are encouraged to find their own name on the self registration board every morning and afternoon.
Kitchen – Meals offering nutritional balance for the under 5’s is vital. Our menus consist of familiar meals that you would serve to your family at home – all cooked by our in-house cook. We are proud of our newly top rated 5* kitchen and food – we are included in the new online rating scheme set up by the Uttlesford Environmental Health Department and by nature of our business, hygiene is paramount and a reassurance to our parents. The menu rotates on a four weekly basis, so that the children all experience the different dishes. We try to capture the children’s food imagination by having lots of variety and involving them as much as possible at meal times. Choosing foods and cutlery, pouring drinks and cutting up food (dependant on ability) – our team are there to encourage the children to taste foods and expand their food horizons. We cater for all allergies and dietary requirements. If you have a particular dietary requirement, just speak to us and we will happily put together a menu that suits your child’s needs.
Slippers - We like children to have a set of indoor and outdoor shoes. Please provide your child with a pair of slippers or other suitable indoor shoes. You can leave these at nursery or take them home each time
Wellington Boots - Please provide a pair of named Wellington Boots for your child in the wetter months. Dont worry if you forget....we have many spare boots here, so no one will ever miss out.
Spare Clothes - Please provide us with a spare set of clothes for your child in case they need changing. Even if they are fully potty trained, over exuberant water or sand play can lead to a change of clothes.
Water Bottles - We do have fresh water available at all times, ensuring that cups and pouring jugs are accessible at all times.
If your child is ill - We ask that you do not bring them to nursery. Please ring us and let us know you will not be attending and if you need any advice, we will gladly offer an opinion.
We hope you and your family enjoy your time at Freedom. Please ask any questions you may have of us all, we are happy to help. Best wishes, Jules & Kath and all the Freedom Team
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