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 – April 2015

The unexpected but very welcomed glorious weather, brought with it lots of opportunity for the Under 5s to play, learn and have fun outdoors. Most of the attention was focused on our back garden, which is slowly starting to come to life after the winter. The children have had lots of fun preparing one of the raised beds ready for planting vegetables, and our new little greenhouse is now full of cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers and other fruit and vegetables. Each child has also planted their own pot of potatoes, which they will then take responsibility for watering and looking after. Over the summer holiday, the children will also be able to continue looking after them at home and enjoying the fruits (or potatoes!) of their labour! Our barrel pond is also water tight and the children had lots of fun filling it with both water and plants. In April, we were also joined for an evening by Jo Chandler, our Early Years Advisory Teacher, who talked to parents about how to support pre-schoolers to learn letters, sounds and the skill of writing. As parents, we’re often eager for our children to be able to write before attending school, however, for a 3 or 4 year old to be achieve this, there is so much more to it than just picking up a pen one day and being taught how to form letters! In order to write, children need to strengthen muscles in their shoulders, arms and hands, have flexible fingers and thumbs and develop the necessary fine motor skills. A child who is made to write before their shoulders,...

Newsletter – March 2015

As Spring is in the air and the daffodils are starting to bloom in the Under 5s garden, the preschool’s young gardeners have been busy! It’s the start of the planting season, and the first activity on the agenda this month was to plant potatoes. Each child had the opportunity to plant their own large tub of potatoes, which they will then water and look after until later in the year when they will be able harvest their very own crop. The children also had fun preparing our large barrel, ready to convert it into a small pond, making it water tight with pebbles and checking for leaks! Ongoing work to the garden has also seen the addition of a mud kitchen for making some lovely mud pies and the children have helped tidy a few areas with the addition of more bark and stones. It’s also been a busy month of occasions, with the children celebrating St David’s Day by making Welsh cakes, and making some lovely cards for Mother Day. With Easter around the corner, themed activities are already in full flow, such as Easter baking and games based on Easter egg counting, which are not only great fun, but educational too! As a community preschool, our dedicated committee are involved in organising a number of events to raise money for the setting and in some cases for other good causes too! This month, the preschool held a very successful tombola and cake sale after school, with the profits being shared by Under 5s and BLISS – the charity for premature babies, which is a cause close...

Newsletter – January 2015

After a hectic December full of Christmas activities, fundraising at the Yatton Keynell market and our own version the nativity, which sadly was minus a poorly Joseph, the children have all now settled back into the preschool routine, full of energy after the Winter break. As is usual at the start of every new term, there were several new starters joining Under 5s and it’s been great time for the children to get to know each other and for the older children to help to settle in the new younger pre-schoolers. There can be a massive difference between a child who has just turned two, and one who is approaching five and starting school, yet it’s always amazing how all the children take care of and help each other, and make lovely friendships irrespective of age. Children often learn best outside, and at this time of year, cold crisp winter days are great for getting the children outside (wrapped up in coats and woolly hats!) and going on nature walks and seeing what the winter season has to offer. That’s not forgetting more rainy days where there is the opportunity for the obligatory jumping in puddles! With more and more parents juggling the preschool run, the school run, work and other commitments too, it’s increasingly important for preschools to offer flexible childcare to suit the needs of as many parents as possible. That’s why, here at Yatton Keynell Under 5s we’re always talking to our current and prospective parents, and adapting our offering and opening times to give the best possible childcare solution. After reopening less than a year...

Newsletter – December 2014

Christmas is always a magical and exciting time of the year for young children and the pre-schoolers at Yatton Keynell Under 5s enjoyed a full month of fun Christmas activities. The children all a whole host of Christmas crafts, including making salt dough decorations, cards and snow globes, whilst playing in the preschools very own Santa’s Grotto! One of the highlights for the children was making make their own individual Christmas puddings, from weighing all the ingredients out, to stirring and spooning the mixture into bowls. The children all had a special treat at the Christmas party, as the staff cooked all the children a Christmas dinner, complete with turkey and all the trimmings…and even sprouts! All the children tucked in and most of them even tried all the vegetables! This was then followed by some party games and Christmas songs. The party ended in the traditional way, with a visit from a very special visitor all dressed in red, who gave each child a little present. The term concluded with a traditional nativity play which the children performed in St Margaret’s Church, Yatton Keynell. be Performing a play with over 20 pre-schoolers is always a challenge for the team, but with lots of practising of the songs, many rehearsals and lots of enthusiastic children, the play to parents and friends was a great success! As we move into January, and whilst the excitement of Christmas is over, there is still set to be lots to enjoy at Under 5s in coming months, with several new starters to the preschool and lots of interesting activities planned. Plus, we will...

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...