We all appreciate it can be daunting for you when your child first starts Preschool alone.
Here at Little Fishes, we aim to ensure that all our children settle in as quickly as possible in our friendly and safe environment, supported to become part of the group, whilst being treated as individuals.
We are open 5 days a week, Monday to Friday and run 3.75 hour sessions from 9:15am to 1pm. This includes 45 minutes for lunch from 12:15-1pm which we feel is an excellent opportunity for the children to socialise with their friends, and get prepared for going to school. Each child must bring their own packed lunch.
As a community Preschool we pride ourselves on being able to offer both flexibility on the numbers of sessions, although we do recommend sessions appropriate for the child’s age and development (further details below) and having a high staff to child ratio ensuring we give the highest level of care and attention to our children.
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*4 sessions is equivalent to 15 hours of RBWM free funding (children are eligible for up to 15hrs of free funding the term after their third birthday)
Our Preschool Environment
Our sessions run from the War Memorial Hall in Furze Platt, which affords a light airy space, with access to a large, enclosed outdoor play area and garden. The Hall is well maintained, bright and open.
Emphasis on Outdoor play
The Early Years Foundation Stage says “Outdoor environments offer children freedom to explore, use their senses, and be physically active and exuberant”. We are fortunate to have a large and secure outdoor area with hard and grassed surfaces where children can play, and we allow children to move freely between indoors and outside both for play and learning activities.
Woodland visit/ Fun days out
We are lucky enough to have access to a Woodland area via a gate at the back of the Preschool garden, thanks to our great relationship with Furze Platt Infant school.
The children walk across the Furze Platt Senior school field to reach the woodland area at the Infant school where they explore the woodland, play games and maybe even “go on a bear hunt”.
The children love their time at the woodland and it’s a fantastic opportunity for the children to talk about the transition to ‘big’ school, whether it’s this school or another.
During the summer term we organise a summer trip with parents to broaden the children’s experience. Over the past few years this has included days out to Braywick Nature reserve and a BCA Zoo tour.
Each session runs with a maximum of 30 children and six staff members, above the stated Ofsted guidelines. We provide this in order to give the very highest standards of care and attention to the children we look after.
Security and safety
The safety and security of your children is utmost in our minds. Little Fishes aims to provide a setting where children are encouraged to be valued, stay safe and be happy. We achieve this by:
- ensuring all our staff and committee members have the appropriate DBS checks. We also have a safe-guarding officer present at any recruitment panels
- ensuring our children are never left unsupervised
- having a password system in place. We will not release your child to anyone if they do not have the password. Children can only be collected by someone over 16 years of age
- locking the front door and gate once parents have dropped off at the start of the session
- completing all relevant risk assessments.
Inclusion/ Special Educational Needs
Little Fishes makes sure that it meets the needs of each individual child and takes account of any special needs a child might have. We are experienced in working in close liaison with professionals across the range of special needs and we have a dedicated Inclusion staff member.
Policies and procedures
Little Fishes Preschool Policies and Procedures follow OFSTED recommendations and reflect national standards as well as our own. All policies and procedures are reviewed regularly. To view all our policies and procedures please look under the Information menu tab
Preparing for ‘Big’ school
Little Fishes has a strong relationship with the local infant/ primary schools, especially Furze Platt infant school as they are our main feeder. The children get to meet the Furze Platt infant school teachers during their woodland visits and so are familiar with faces and the environment.
There are many other things at preschool we can do to help prepare your child for primary or infant school such as
- encouraging the children to hang their coats up
- supporting the children to recognise their names
- encouraging children to wash and dry their own hands after messy play
- using cutlery and pouring their own drinks at snack time
These simple activities help a child develop their confidence and enable the transition to ‘big’ school be a smooth one.