A typical session

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When your child arrives in the morning, they are welcomed by one of our team and are able to choose from a number of activities. These would typically include:

  • role play in our playloft. Our playloft is a two-storey model house complete with kitchen, washing machine, cooker and upstairs a large play area. We adapt it to fit current learning themes (e.g. turning it into a shop or a castle);
  • building with construction toys such as Duplo and Lego;
  • using modelling clay, dough, crayons or paints;
  • playing with floor toys, for example, trains, cars, farm animals or the dolls’ house;
  • doing jigsaw puzzles;
  • looking at stories in our cosy ‘book corner’;
  • playing with water, sand, pasta or rice;
  • using technology, including our interactive white board, computers, camera and microscope; and
  • cooking.

Play is free flow during this time; the children choose whether to play indoors or outdoors and are able to move between the two whenever they wish. During the free play, we have a rolling snack time where the children can come and help themselves to a healthy snack and milk or water. They are encouraged to find their own name card and match it to their plate and cup before preparing their own food.

After this, we encourage the children to help us during ‘tidy up time’ before sitting down together with our team for the register, songs, rhymes, letters and sounds. We set aside time for the children to share their news with the group and we love it when they bring in photos and objects from home to highlight what they have been up to.

This is usually followed by some physical activity aimed at developing children’s co-ordination and gross motor skills. This could be music and movement, throwing and catching, playing on ride-on toys or with the parachute, or practising getting changed for P.E in the school hall or on the playing fields. At lunch time, the children help to set the table and then sit down with our team to enjoy their meal together. We think this encourages both their social skills and their table manners!

During the sessions, each child’s interests are observed by their dedicated key worker and all staff get together to create a continuous daily plan for each child to enhance those interests. Every child has a Learning Journey, a folder where their progress and next steps are recorded. Staff use iConnect software on iPads to record observations and track development milestones. Learning Journeys are always available for parents to view and discuss with their child’s key worker.

At Flying Start we actively promote healthy eating and physical activity (HEPA). We have a focus on tackling childhood obesity and promoting good oral hygiene. This is reflected in the equipment we have available to encourage activity, the way in which we encourage structured and unstructured physical activity during pre-school sessions, the training of our staff and our approach to food and oral hygiene. Julie Stevens is the designated member of staff who is responsible for ensuring the health and well-being of all young children and their families.

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Children take an active role in many well-planned learning experiences. Staff extend children's learning well... Staff promptly identify and address any emerging gaps in progress through effective observation and tracking. Children develop good communication, listening and speaking skills. Staff promote this well in many ways, such as constant interaction, talking about what children are doing and good questioning techniques. Children solve problems independently and staff encourage them to think for themselves.” Ofsted, 2015.