Kingsley opens at 7.30am. In the morning sessions children are able to have breakfast and have a short time to catch up and play with their friends before school. Each week we provide notices for the children that will help with their growth and development for example road safety or stranger danger. When it is time to walk to school the children are taken down in small groups with a staff member and the younger children are encouraged to hold hands with the staff member. Once on the playground the staff will stay with your child until they enter school. For junior aged children over 8 years of age and after a review and consultation with both child and parent we will allow them to walk to school independently.
Middle of the day
When we talk about the ‘middle of the day’, we are referring to the times between 9.00am and 3.00pm. This is when the infant and junior children are at school and we have three to four year olds in our care. It might be the case that the children we look after are with us for wraparound to the local school nursery. By this, we mean that we look after them in the opposite session to school e.g. a child may attend nursery school in the morning and then we collect after lunch or vice versa. However, we also care for some children who are three but are not due to attend nursery until the following September. These children are sometimes Grant Funded and we are their primary source of education until the next academic year. During the middle of the day we offer a continuous provision although there are certain routines in place. We have a shared time at the start of the morning and afternoon sessions. We provide snack and lunch time meals. We also provide a planned curriculum activity and a physical session. However, we aim to provide an environment where the choices of the children are paramount and children are not pressured into doing activities which they do not want to do. These are explained in more detail below.
At the beginning of each session, we offer a shared time in which staff and children come together. Within shared time the register will be taken and each child is responsible for putting up their name card onto the ‘daily board’. We encourage the children to think about the day, date, month and weather within this time. If a child or staff member is celebrating a Birthday, we will acknowledge it at this time by singing ‘Happy Birthday’ and presenting them with a card. After register has been taken, the children and staff will participate in a shared time activity. This may include singing, using musical instruments or having a discussion about an upcoming theme or festival. As per our Equal Opportunities Policy, we endeavour to celebrate a selection of festival and a variety of religions and cultures throughout the year. Also within our shared time session, we use this opportunity to listen to the children’s views and actively promote discussion as to which toys and activities they would like to do and encourage children to independently access the toys.
As mentioned earlier, we provide a planned curriculum activity that is guided by the Early Years Foundation Stage. We plan loosely to our theme of the week and give the children the opportunity to participate and lead their play at all times.
Regular ‘free play’ observations are carried out on each child in order for us to establish each child’s current interest. These observations are kept in an individual file which are maintained by the staff and parents of that child. The files are reviewed regularly and monitored against the EYFS goals so that we can support each child’s individual development. Following the reviews, all staff work alongside each other to plan exciting and stimulating activities based on each child’s individual interests. As explained earlier, a child is never pressured into participating and staff will adapt and change activities if necessary whilst respecting each child’s unique profile and ability. Staff members known as ‘play partners’ during these hours will support a lot of the children’s free play and will encourage children to extend and widen their knowledge through their play. This also concerns our ‘home corner’ where varieties of different role play are carried out according to the theme of that week.
During the middle of the day session, we offer an indoor/outdoor ethos of learning. This is so that we provide a rich and varied environment that each child feels comfortable in. We believe that being outdoors can have a positive impact on each child’s wellbeing as it offers opportunities for the children to learn in different ways and on a different scale to indoors. Outdoors also enables children to come into contact first hand with the natural world. We believe encouraging outdoor free-play offers children chances to explore and use their senses to become physically exuberant. Indoor play is also encouraged as we believe it offers a safe yet challenging environment for children. Children often use indoors as a type of “Second home” with toys like role-play, a “snuggly area”. According to each child’s preference, we are able to adapt activities between the indoor and outdoor environments if possible.
Physical activities are offered on a daily basis these are a variety of indoor and outdoor activities which are subject to change according to the children’s needs on that day. (For example, parachute, scyrogym -an assault course with balance beams which can be set up differently each time it is used, or music and movement)
Letters and Sounds
What is ‘Letters and Sounds?’
Letters and Sounds is a national strategy that aims to develop children’s speaking and listening skills through a variety of stimulating and challenging activities. The Letters and Sounds framework is split into six phases and each phase contains seven aspects that must be achieved before a child moves onto the next phase. Letters and Sounds is designed to assist children’s language development and listening abilities over an extended period of time throughout their school years.
What sort of Letters and Sounds activities do we do?
We do a variety of Letters and Sounds activities so that children are enabled to meet each aspect effectively. These include listening walks and sound lotto games to promote children’s listening skills and awareness of sounds in the environment, musical instrument activities to promote speaking and listening skills through the use of instrumental sounds and action songs to develop awareness of sounds and rhythms.
How often do we do Letters and Sounds?
Letters and Sounds activities are carried out as part of our Communication and Language (‘CL’) session at the end of both the morning and afternoon middle of the day session. We also continue this throughout the holiday play schemes through group activities with a wide age range of children.
Can I help my child develop these Letters and Sounds activities at home?
Yes! All Letter and Sounds activities are easy to do and use limited resources – therefore, they can easily be carried out at home with your child. In addition to this, activities such as environmental walks can be carried out whilst you are out and about by asking your child to describe the different sounds they can hear. If you would like any further information to take home regarding Letters and Sounds, please do not hesitate to speak to one of our full time team who will be happy to provide you with assistance.
Snack time and Lunch
Children will also be offered snack during the morning and afternoon. As we promote healthy eating and living, these snacks will be breadsticks, crackers, fruit or biscuit and are varied daily. All children and staff are asked to be proactive in being healthy whilst at Kingsley. We aim to make lunchtimes a sociable event where the staff and children sit down and eat together. Again we promote healthy living and therefore if a child has hot lunches with us, we endeavour to provide healthy, well balanced, nutritious meals. You will be informed of all meals the children eat through their diaries and our web page.
It is also worth mentioning that each child in the Foundation stage will have a designated ‘key worker’. This will be a staff member who is of importance to your child and will act as a link between home and Kingsley. Whilst at Kingsley, your child’s keyworker will oversee your child’s care including their welfare and education. They will monitor these throughout the year and will provide the opportunities for your child to learn and be challenged. Parents are also encouraged to take an active part in their children’s education at Kingsley. Each child receives a diary which is sent out electronically daily. This diary is a good opportunity for parents, staff and that child’s key worker to communicate with each other.
In after school the children will be collected from school by a designated staff member and accompanied back to Kingsley. Once a junior aged child turns eight a discussion will take place between parents, staff and children to agree that they are allowed to walk back to Kingsley unaccompanied. If your child would like to take part in one of the after school clubs at Dorridge school a staff member will be available to do a later collection. Once all the children have returned there will be a notices session in which we will discuss our topic for the week e.g. road safety. Children are then able to choose what they would like to do, we believe that the children have been directed during the school day so we try to ensure that they have a free choice of the many activities, toys and games which they take part in while at Kingsley. We make as much use of the large outside play area as is possible, depending on the weather and the number of children attending. An area is provided for the older children in which they have more age appropriate toys and games and there is also an area in which they can complete their homework. Each week we also try to provide an art and craft activity for the children to participate in if they choose to do so. We try to keep the evening as free as possible and make it a home like environment. Kingsley also can provide tea at a cost (see fee’s in prospectus tab for current prices) for any child who attends although a range of healthy snacks are provided throughout the evening. The children at Kingsley are expected to help with the running of the session and are expected to clear up the toys once they have finished playing with them. A reward system is in place to encourage good behaviour and being kind to each other. All staff are able to reward the child with a star on our door and certificate for the child to take home with them.