Our Preschool in Chandlers Ford is called The Pips (Play in Perfect Surroundings). Children move through into our preschool the term after their third birthday.
The children in the preschool self-register in the morning by finding their name and displaying it on our registration board. Each child’s name is displayed on a cardboard piece of fruit, categorised according to their age.
The Pips operates a free flow play environment. This means that each child decides where they wish to play and is able to move from one area to the next as they please. By placing the decision-making powers with the child, each child is fully engaged with the activity in hand and consequently learns more than if the decision had been made by an adult.
The operation of a free-flow system often raises a number of questions with parents: What if my child never wants to play outside?; how do you know my child is developing their writing skills?; what about numeracy?
The challenge of operating a free flow system takes dedicated and well trained staff who understand the children’s needs fully. In all our areas of play there are opportunities for the children to practice and expand on all their key skills.
For example, at our preschool in Chandlers Ford we have a well equipped home corner. In this area, a child may make a shopping list, set the table and be encouraged to count out the plates, cups etc. or dress up and explore their creative side.
The sand pit can be turned into a writing surface, the water tray can be used to explore shapes and sizes through the introduction of various sized containers and funnels and role play is an excellent mechanism for children to practice their communication and problem solving skills.
Through close observations of a child’s play, we can move activities which are favoured by a child from inside to outside to encourage them to use our outside space.
Before we start activity time, each child spends time with their key person. This time is used in a number of different ways – a game could be played (to encourage taking turns) or a topic could be discussed (such as what the children did at the weekend). This time enables the children to really get to know and bond with their key person.
The Pips also have an art gallery where the children can choose to display their work. Any work which is not chosen to be displayed is taken home for the family to enjoy.
Our staff keep learning journeys for each child through an online programme called Tapestry. Tapestry enables us to post observations of what your child is doing at nursery in real time and also enables parents and your child’s other loved ones to comment on these observations, as well as to upload photos and videos from home.
The transition from our nursery into the Pips is planned well in advance and each child will have a number of visits to the preschool before they move across.
Although the nursery and the preschool unit are all in one building, the move to the Pips is a big step for a lot of children and we make sure each child feels secure and happy about the transition before it takes place.
Parents are able to order a selection of Mulberry Corner uniform tops for their children to wear whilst at nursery. The uniform is completely optional but we have found that many parents like to send their children to nursery in uniform as it is great preparation for school and it prevents their home clothes from getting covered in paint! Please click on this link for further information about uniform.
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