The pre-school in nursery is for children aged 3 to 5 years. Children of this age are entitled to receive free nursery education, available as a Government grant.
Children will be engaged in practical, stimulating activities to encourage speaking and listening skills and early writing and numeracy development. Through this environment children are encouraged to develop the four Themes of the Early Years Foundation Stage of:
- A unique child
- Positive relationships
- Enabling environments
- Learning and development.
Activities are offered which include role play, creative and constructive play, sand, water and malleable play, baking, music and drama. Computer skills begin to develop and children are encouraged to participate in investigative and exploratory activities.
The ball pool and soft play area are also enjoyed by children in this age group. Children have access to outdoor play twice a day; activities for outdoor play are planned to develop manipulative and motor skills, physical control, co-ordination, mobility, balance, spatial awareness and co-operation.
The four Themes of the Early Years Foundation Stage "express important principles underpinning effective practice in the care, development and learning of young children." (The Early Years Foundation Stage, Department for Education and Skills). The four Principles are:
- "Every child is a competent learner from birth who can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured."
- "Children learn to be strong and independent from a base of loving and secure relationships with parents and/or a key person."
- "The environment plays a key role in supporting and extending children's development and learning."
- "Children develop and learn in different ways and at different rates and all areas of Learning and Development are equally important and inter-connected." (The Early Years Foundation Stage, Department for Education and Skills).
Planning is carried out weekly based on the assessment of staff observations of children's activities and follows the Early Years Foundation Stage guidelines.
The aim of the pre-school team is to enable children to move from nursery to school with confidence, having encouraged children to acquire both independence and knowledge through well-planned play and learning activities, both indoors and outdoors.