Online learning journals

We’re really pleased to be able to move to online learning journals, thanks to a generous grant from Chippenham Area Board. All children attending Bybrook Pre-school have their own personal Learning Journal which is effective as a two way communication between preschool and parents with both parties contributing to the document to improve outcomes for the child. This document is a collection of observations narratives photos and milestones which tracks each childs progress and achievements during their time at preschool and is updated on a regular basis. Not only is a statutory requirement of the OFSTED Early Years Foundation Stage EYFS it informs parents on their childrens progress and milestones giving them a real insight into their childs life at preschool. Until now the learning journals at Bybrook Pre-school were in paper format which had a number of limitations. They were time consuming for staff to complete as observations are often made on a number of children at once which then are transferred to their paper journals. Photos required printing which meant comments were either not made at the time or spaces left in learning journals to add photos once received and therefore keeping the journals accurate and up to date can be difficult. Additionally ongoing costs were accrued due to photo printing and photocopying. As learning journals are retained in setting parents have little opportunity to look at and contribute to their childs progress particularly working parents or those who do not regularly take or pick their child up from pre-school. Our reasearch has shown that moving to an online journal increases the engagement of parents with the preschool and input into the childrens preschool journey. Parents can...

Newsletter – November 2014

At Yatton Keynell Under 5s, many of the activities reflect seasons and themes and therefore Bonfire Night and Remembrance Day both featured heavily in November. The children used their imagination and creative skills to make some lovely Bonfire and Firework pictures using black paper and coloured chalks. The pre-schoolers also learnt about keeping themselves safe around fireworks and bonfires, which also extended into awareness of fire safety. To mark Remembrance Day, all the children contributed to a fantastic craft poppy picture, which once complete was displayed at the church in Yatton Keynell. At 11am on 11th November, all the children to part in a one minute silence. Keeping a room full of 2, 3 and 4 year olds still and quiet for any period of time can be challenging, and therefore we are really proud of the children for all observing the minutes silence and understanding its importance. One popular activity at Under 5s this month which is often a favourite, is making items out of balsa wood – after all, most pre-schoolers like hammering and building things! This is a great activity for encouraging children to use their imagination and fine motor skills, whilst adding some (fully supervised!) risk to their learning and development and showing them the correct and safe way to use tools. As we move into December with all the fun and excitement that that entails, the team are already making preparations. The Christmas nativity is one of the highlights for any preschool parents, but for the staff and children it requires lots of practising and learning of Christmas songs to make sure everything goes...

Newsletter – October 2014

At Under 5s, our preschool days are full of hands on experiences, providing the children with an exciting environment to grow, learn and develop friendships. And, this month was no different! Harvest was a key theme in October that really captured the interest of the children and led to a whole host of activities. There was a lot of interest in fruit and vegetables, including counting and matching vegetables, our very own muddy field with hidden vegetables for the children to dig and the opportunity to look at the differences between different types of produce in relation to size, shape, colour and weight. One highlight of the month was a visit from Tracie Philpott, who came to speak to the children about harvest and the process of planting, growing and harvesting corn, then making the flour and then bread. This was then followed by the children drawing pictures of their favourite foods, which then ranged from pizza and cake to marmite sandwiches! Following this, the children all had the opportunity to make their own bread, which all the children found fascinating! They loved weighing the ingredients mixing it all together and most of all watching the bread rise in the bowl. The resultant rolls that the children then formed may have been slightly misshapen, but tasted really good! Despite some rain, there was still an opportunity for the pre-schoolers to spend lots of time outside, and one of their favourite activities was to collect seasonal leaves and pinecones and then make a collage with their finds. Alongside harvest, the children have also had lots of fun with their favourite...

Newsletter – September 2014

At Yatton Keynell Under 5s, it’s great to be back after the long Summer holidays. The children are all refreshed and excited, with lots of stories of where they’ve been on holiday and activities they have enjoyed. This month, the children have been settling down back into preschool life, getting to know each other again and meeting the new starters to Under 5s. The children have been discussing on a daily basis how to keep safe and be happy at pre-school and have also set their own ‘Golden Rules’ for this coming academic year. In order to promote positive behaviour, the preschool has a new tree, which the children have called a ‘plum tree’. Each time a child displays some positive behaviour, whether it is sharing or being nice to a friend or persevering with a new skill, there are rewarded with their own plum for the tree. Following an ‘All about me’ theme, the children have also been making a ‘my favourite things’ book, which has helped to develop their language and communication and is a lovely memento for parents. It has also helped the children to learn to follow instruction, and also with their fine motor skills when holding a pencil correctly. The pre-schoolers have also enjoyed some body mapping, where their bodies were drawn around whilst lying on the ground. Some of the children wanted to take this further and decorate them and in doing this they used some wonderful mathematical language in terms of bigger, taller, longer and shorter. The Autumn is always a great time of the year, for the children to get excited...

Newsletter – August 2014

As Yatton Keynell Under 5s returns after the long summer holidays, there is much to look forward to for the term ahead. As the older children all left the preschool to move onto school at the end of July, the dynamic of the setting changes this month, as the once younger children are now the eldest! With lots of new young 2 and 3 year old children starting, it’s a time for the staff and children to all spend some time getting to know each other and ensuring all the new children settle in. This term always lends itself so well to themed activities, such as the Autumn and Harvest. With the preschool’s own garden and the wide open spaces in the surrounding fields, the children will be able to enjoy the changing seasons up close as the weeks go by. Children always learn, develop and benefit most from activities which interest and engage them. That’s why at Under 5s, alongside general themes such as the autumn, activities can change on a weekly or even daily basis which reflects the current interests of the children. So one day the preschool can be filled with superheroes and firemen, the next it can be animals and dragons! Toddlers is also be returning after the Summer break, with lots of exciting plans for the year ahead. The group which runs on Fridays, 1.30 – 3.00 is open to parents and children from birth to school age and features with lots of activities, a craft table and singing session. There’s always a healthy snack and drink for the children and most importantly, coffee...