Kindergarten comprises of the whole top floor of the Westside building – including two separate classrooms and the interlinking Activity Room for craftwork and café-style snack.
Kindergarten is led by highly qualified practitioners (including three Qualified Teachers), supported by calm and caring Qualified staff and Apprentices who provide a wide variety of play-based educational tasks and activities to challenge each individual child, and prepare them for their transition to school.
We believe in the importance of children learning through play-based opportunities which reflect their interests leading through to some more structured tasks as we seek to develop their pre-reading, writing and number skills.
MOVING TO THE KINDERGARTEN: What is new?
UNIFORM: All children are provided with a jumper or cardigan and a polo shirt as uniform which they are requested to wear every day – this is SO exciting for little ones, and really helps them to differentiate themselves as the ‘big children’ of Nursery, whilst providing a simple transitional step to the ‘uniforms’ they may wear at School.
SHOES: Kindergarten children wear their shoes in Class but are invited to bring their wellies, especially in the cold and wet weather. We spend lots of time outdoors so please remember to bring a warm coat with them together with named hats, gloves/mittens and scarves when it is very cold.
FIELD SCHOOL: Kindergarten children enjoy daily trips to the Field, to extend and support their learning in the great outdoors. We are fortunate to have both Liz and Anne as Forest School Level Three practitioners, to truly develop the children’s understanding of the world around them.
SPECIAL SUITCASE: Kindergarten children are encouraged to bring in SMALL items of interest to place in the Special Suitcase for Show and Tell at ‘Circle Time.’ However, the items do need to be small enough to fit in their book bag so they will need help to make this judgment!
EXTRA SPECIAL ACTIVITIES: Children in their pre-school year take part in a range of specialist activities, which along with music, singing and cookery opportunities seeks to extend their experiences and opportunities. These include Spanish. Rugby, Yoga, Drama, Field & Forest Schools, as well as a weekly visit from our Artist in Residence.
PHYSICAL DEVELOPMENT: As the Kindergarten children enjoy regular PE and sporting classes, each child is expected to bring their own PE kit, comprising of a white t-shirt, navy/black shorts, white ankle socks and black pumps/daps. Please can you ensure all items of clothing are named and kept at Nursery in a drawstring bag. They will be sent home for washing from time to time.
PHONICS SESSIONS: At the start of the Spring term we introduce our ‘Sound of the Week,’ whereby we focus on a weekly letter, and invite children to bring an object beginning with this letter sound to place onto the Sound Tray for us to talk about during our daily Phonics Sessions. We follow the Letters and Sounds Programme and introduce Jolly Phonics Stories and Songs.
MATHEMATICS: We use the Boo Zoo Maths Programme which introduces the children to all the mathematical concepts within the EYFS in a fun, informative and interesting way, enabling us to vary the levels tackled to meet the different stages of development and understanding of each of the children.
OUTINGS: In order to extend the children’s experiences we organise outings to different places which have in the past included The Forest of Dean, The Wye Valley Butterfly Zoo, Ross Garden Store and the Ross Library. We ensure outings take place on different days of the week so that all children attend at least one.
PROMOTING INDEPENDENCE: During the course of this year, we will be quietly preparing for your child for school. All the basic skills of being able to share, take turns, tolerate each other and respond as part of a class will make a big difference and help them to settle. Independence is another great skill, being able to get dressed and undressed on their own, put on their own coats and shoes etc
SPECIAL EVENTS: Kindergarten children take part in – and lead – lots of Special Events during the year, including Harvest and the Christmas Nativity, together with Spring Concerts and Displays, Open Weeks and Sports Days, which we hope you will be able to attend.
QUIET TIME: All children enjoy a period of Quiet Time after Lunch. However, if you feel your child would benefit from a daytime nap then please just let us know and we will arrange for them to use the Quiet Room for a comfortable sleep, providing them with everything they need to meet their individual needs.
TRANSITION TO SCHOOL: Once you find out which School your child will attend when they leave Nursery, we begin the process of ensuring they have the smoothest transition possible. Reception Teachers are invited to the Nursery to meet with their new cohorts, and a Starting School Display board is created. We create Transition to School checks which are then shared with the child’s Reception Teacher.