We would like to welcome both you and your child to Bell Day Pre-school. We hope that the following information will be useful to you, but if you have any further questions, please feel free to talk to any of our staff. Our pre-school is located at the Lord Butler Leisure Centre which is a five-minute walk from our main nursery building. Here the children have free-flow access to an outdoor area. We ensure that the children’s environment is one that will optimize learning and encourage independence. Our pre-school room is solely for children starting school the following September. All activities and learning opportunities are designed to help children prepare for school. We accommodate up to 28 children per session and we work whenever possible to a ratio 1 adult to 6 children.
We have a team of very experienced practitioners. Lily is our Room manager who has just finished a Foundation Degree in Early Years, Play Work and Education. She is supported by Sophie, her Deputy, and a dedicated team of enthusiastic educators. The team is well established and have a great work ethic, building positive relationships with the children. The team includes - Laura, Abi, Denise, Holly, Alex and Yvonne, all of whom have worked in the pre-school for over 12 months.
Every half term you will be provided with a 'home learning letter', dictating what we will be exploring with your child and things you can do to support their learning at home. Each week, Lily will post on Famly the plan for the following week to help prepare the children over the weekend break and so you are aware of what your child will need on their pre-school days. Lily is often posting activity ideas on Famly for you to use at home and post in your child's journal so we can see what you have been up to.
Each day is made up of periods of free play and more structured play, both indoors and outside in our garden. During each session there is at least one adult led activity, as well as messy play, painting, craft work, play-dough, drawing, puzzles and construction. In the playroom the children can choose from a wide selection of activities, including dressing up, the home corner, small world play, mathematical toys and the I.C.T area.
In the morning and afternoon the children are involved in a focus group activity time where they all join in with enjoyable activities as they learn a variety of early reading and mathematical skills and action songs, as well as enjoying stories and playing musical instruments. This is when your child’s key person will set aside time do focus activities for the children for their next steps and to encourage the children to get the most out of all learning opportunities.
Outdoor Learning and Forest School
Our outdoor area can be accessed throughout the day as we use this for free-flow ensuring the children can learn both indoors and outdoors according to their learning style. Forest School has become a key part of the children's development, each week the same children attend for a period of 6 weeks to build their holistic development.
Arts & Crafts
Our art area offers many different tools and resources that the children can select and use in a way that captures their imaginations.
Or role-play area encourages children to play alongside their friends to create a space they can explore new concepts or role -play using their own life experiences. We have a home corner for the children to express their imagination alongside a baby area for caring and looking after the dolls.
We spend time each week exploring new songs, new musical instruments and encourages us to experiment in moving to music. Our transitional times are led through song, encouraging the children to join in with tidying, lining up and making a circle.
We are very lucky to have the opportunity to offer swimming lessons to all children, in collaboration with the leisure centre. More information on this can be given to you when you visit us. Unfortunately due to the COVID-19 situation, this is currently not happening but we are hoping to restart as soon as possible.
Our work throughout the year is play based and is planned around each child’s interest and preferred way of learning. We are regularly changing the theme around what the children are interested in. More details about this will be sent to you through our online communication app 'Famly. This will be set up for you when you come for your first visits.
The Education Grant
Every child is eligible for the Education Grant from the term after their 3rd birthday. The grant can be claimed for 15 hours a week, for 38 weeks of the year. the money is paid directly to us. Nursery fees are worked out on a 12 equal payment basis taking into consideration discounts and the Education Grant. If your child will be leaving during the summer your fees will be calculated up until the end of July, then the final payment in August will be at the normal nursery rate. This is because children leave at intervals throughout July and August and working out the fees becomes rather complicated! All fees are payable in advance,
We enjoy inviting parents in for special events such as Mother’s/Father’s Day, Nativity plays, Sports days and other times. We love parents coming in to share a special skill that they have or to share experiences unique to their culture. Again, with the current situation we are trying our best to incorporate all of these lovely events through zoom.
Each child in pre-school participates in self-registration and finding their name for their bag hole. This supports their recognition of their name and letters. It also gives them sense of belonging by having specific areas for their items to be safe whilst in pre-school.
As a room we love to get out and about on learning adventures. We often venture out to Bridge End Gardens, The Market, The Museum and Herberts Farm. We also venture further a field at times visiting places such as Willows Farm or Shepreth Wildlife Park.
On a Thursday Morning the Children visit Katherine Semar for a P.E session. The children enjoy learning new skills, co-operative play, balancing and climbing and much much more.
Preparation for school Transition
Our aim for children who leave us for school is that they are confident, curious and ready to learn even more! We encourage our pre-schoolers to be independent and able to communicate with adults and their friends. We do our best to make sure that by the time the children start school they have good pencil control (and hopefully write their own name) can recognise numbers, at least up to 10 and count to this confidently. Have a love of books and recognise some sounds, to name just a few of the skills in which we feel are important for their future progress. In Pre-School we do our best to help the children to have as much fun as possible, as we believe that as a result of this they will gain in confidence and will want to learn.