"If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales." - Albert Einstein
From our classroom setting based at Downsview Community Primary School, Westview Playgroup offers 'learn through play' education for children from the age of 2 up to school age.
Our team of practitioners are kind and caring and use their experience and knowledge to support the developmental and educational needs of the children.
In a safe, happy, stimulating and nurturing environment, the children are encouraged to have a positive 'have a go' attitude, so that they can develop the confidence, self-esteem and skills that will equip them for future learning.
We acknowledge and respect every child's unique and special talents.
We respect their diversity and strive to create an environment that nurtures a feeling of belonging, stability, consistency and caring so that each individual will flourish and is given the opportunity to reach their full potential.
We follow the Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum and plan activities to reflect this.
We offer a healthy and nutritious snack each session, fresh fruit, milk and water is always available.
Children can enjoy 'Lunch Club' each day with children bringing in their packed lunch from home or ordering the dinner of the day from the schools kitchen.
We do not hold an open day, parents and children are instead invited to drop in during a session. This enables us to give you individual attention and you will get a better feel for our group when we are in full flow.
The Process rather than the Product
Your child may not bring a great number of finished products home. We believe that the children are at a stage where the 'process' of doing things (looking, finding, feeling, investigating) is more important than the product. Their 'work' or the process of their work might look messy and possibly won't look like anything recognisable to you, but to your child it will be very meaningful and it is an essential part of their development.
Often an enormous amount of effort and therefore satisfaction will have gone into a part of the process which is unseen in the end result.
A Typical Day
On arrival at Playgroup the children collect their photo/name from the caterpillar and sit in the circle. The register of attendance is then filled in with the children placing their photo/name onto ‘Spot the dog’. The children then have a story read to them and we all sing our day song. Next we go into open play with our continuous provision, our practitioners are themselves part of this provision. This play may be indoors or outdoors. During this period there is also an adult guided/focus activity where the practitioners support the children to strengthen and deepen their current learning and development. The children’s own interests are taken into account when planning this activity.
Our continuous provision includes:
The children use recycled materials such as egg boxes, cardboard, material, yoghurt cartons, milk bottle tops, etc. to create their own artwork.
There are always paints, crayons and felt-tip pens available for creating pictures, patterns or shapes and to learn the manipulative skills essential for writing.
Playing with Lego, Stickle bricks, wooden blocks and other building toys, children can construct creatively and become skilled with their hands. Jigsaw puzzles, threading and shape sorters develop co-ordination skills. Using these toys, children learn a great deal about size, number, length, height and comparison.
Children love to dress up and pretend to be someone else. Some of the things that will help this play to develop are cups and saucers, cardboard boxes, dressing up clothes, hats, and handbags. A section is devoted to a well-equipped role play area that can be a home corner, a shop and other facilities, which vary from term to term. Here, the children can develop their imaginative play, language skills and co-operate with each other.
Books and stories help to develop the imagination and extend the children’s experience of the world. They can bring tremendous pleasure and can expand other play activities. Books with stories and pictures they understand and enjoy are available to look at and handle, and for adults to read and talk about. Enjoying books, in this way, will encourage them to develop a love of language and help them to learn to read more easily.
Children love playing with natural materials such as water, wood, sand, clay and play dough. Handling them, children learn what such materials can do and how they behave, e.g. dry sand will pour and wet sand can be moulded. We use scales and rulers to show differences in materials. We also encourage the children to look at the world about them during nature walks, planting seeds and making pictures/models from the things they collect.
After approximately an hour & 20 minutes
The children are encouraged to help tidy up ready to sing songs and rhymes. We then split the children into two groups and alternate them with one group having snack while the others have a short, focus teaching game or activity. These games and activities have real value as well as being good fun. They are a good way to express companionship within the group and help develop the skills required to express themselves.
The children are invited to wash their hands before sitting down to a healthy snack eg. fruit and pitta/bread sticks, a drink of milk or water.
After snacks, time is set aside for active and physical outdoor play in our large garden, using trikes, climbing frames, balls, hoops, bucket stilts, playing in the large sandpit or going to the school field or playground.
Finally, the children not staying for lunch, collect their coats/bags and any work they have done before sitting at a table to wait for their parent/carer to arrive.
All children staying for lunch/afternoon session and any new arrivals, collect their photo/name and sit in the circle for afternoon registration. Lunch Club runs from 12 till 1pm and then the session is repeated but with a shorter amount of open play and a different adult guided/focus activity.