Preparing your child for their first years at school
Bucknell Pre-school registered in 1986 and is on the Early Years Register and we welcome children from age 2 years. Bucknell Pre-school takes place in a specially converted room in St Mary’s primary school.
Children have access during free-play to a covered outside area. We welcome children from age 2 years. We offer 15 hours funded education for 3 and 4 year olds. The work of children is play so we plan for activities to be fun and also stimulating to nourish in the children a lifelong love of learning. Underpinning everything else, we aim to build the children’s self-confidence so that they will want to keep on trying if they later hit an obstacle in their education. It is open during term times on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 9:00am until 3:15pm. Children attend for a variety of sessions.
All of Pre-school staff hold appropriate Early Years qualifications at level 3.
Pre-school helps enormously with a child’s introduction to school life as there are strong links between the Key Stage 1 class and the Early Years staff. Children who have been regular pre-school members usually make a smooth, easy transition into the main school.
Bucknell Pre-school curriculum is based on the revised EYFS guidelines:
There are 7 areas of learning and development:
The 3 prime areas:
▲ Communication and language
▲ Personal, social and emotional
And then there are also 4 specific areas:
△ Understanding the world
△ Expressive arts and design
Ofsted Report (summary)
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This provision is good
• Children feel safe and secure within the setting. Staff provide a caring environment for children to enjoy familiar routines.
• Staff are confident in extending children's independence as they encourage children to manage their own personal needs and choose their activities throughout the session.
• Strong relationships in place with external agencies and the local school foster effective bonds which contribute to children's learning.
It is not yet outstanding because
• The self-evaluation process does not consistently take into account the views from others to help further identify areas for improvement.
• There is scope to improve children's access to resources that reflect equality and diversity to support their understanding of the wider world.
PancakesFor Shrove Tuesday we made pancakes in Pre-school, some to eat and some for pancake races. The children loved this and wanted to race again and again.
Easter bonnetsBefore the Easter holiday each child took home a bonnet to decorate for a competition then at the start of the summer term, in April they brought their creations back. Each bonnet was completely different. Pictured are 2 of the winning entries.
The Green ManIn May the children acted out the traditional local tale about the Green Man battling the Ice Queen over whether winter would remain or summer would come. Luckily the right person won and the Green Man vanquished the Ice Queen and so summer has come!In May a Japanese visitor to Bucknell gave us some typical Japanese snacks to try. The children were not impressed with the savoury snacks but they enjoyed the green tea-flavoured KitKat.
AllotmentsIn Spring it was time to cultivate our 2 beds in the school allotment again. We weeded and dug, and planted potatoes, lettuce, carrots, peas and beans then the children carefully watered them.
CaterpillarsIn June our batch of tiny caterpillars arrived. We observed them eating and growing and noticed when they had formed chrysalides. We waited patiently and all of them hatched out into Painted Lady butterflies. We kept them in their habitat in the Pre-school room for 1 week then we took them outside to a flower bed to release them.At the end of June Reverend Annie Ballard visited us in Pre-school. She brought some Union flags for the children to wave and taught us a new song to sing.
EggsIn July the children were curious about eggs and which animals hatched out of eggs. They came in 1 morning and there was a nest of “dinosaur eggs”. The children discussed what might be inside then worked out how to open them up. They used the toy hammers and saws and showed great determination and managed to reveal small plastic dinosaurs.
Elderflower cordialIn July the elder bushes were in flower and in Forest school the children helped to make elderflower cordial. They really enjoyed the making and the drinking of this.In the beginning of July after Sports Day Lizzie Williams who was volunteering in school as part of her work experience, brought in her violin to play some tunes for the children. The children were entranced. They love music: listening to it, singing, playing percussion instruments and dancing to it.
Moving onAt the end of July we said Goodbye to 9 of our pupils who will be starting in Reception in St Mary’s school in September. To mark this event we had a party with snack to eat and musical games to play and a parcel to pass and unwrap. To finish we had a graduation ceremony and the leavers were presented with a certificate and a present each.
New Resources 2016We bought some paint sticks to try out. The children loved them as the colours were intense and they gave the children much more control in making pictures.We bought a big strong trolley to move big loads around outside. Our children are very strong and determined and are confident that they can move it themselves and of course they keep on trying until they succeed.We now have a new painted wooden table outside with a shelf underneath to store tool boxes fully stocked with different sorts of writing materials: pads and postcards, pencils, rubbers and sharpeners, pretty ball point pens, felt tips and sparkly pens. The children love working outside and they are very keen on trying to write.
Garage visitChildren, parents and staff of the Pre-school had a very pleasant morning walking around the village for our sponsored walk and we stopped at the Sitwell for refreshment on our way back.
Growing vegetables 10th May 2015The Pre-school have 2 raised beds in the school allotment. We have planted potatoes, carrots, peas and herbs. We also anticipate a good crop of blackcurrants and blueberries this year. The children have already been enjoying the strawberries
Sports Day 6th June 2015The Pre-school children took part in school Sports day running 2 races with energy and enthusiasm. The children love running from exuberance and just for the joy of it.
Fishing in the River Redlake 29th June 2015
We are based in the middle of beautiful countryside and we like to get outside as often as we can. The children are fascinated by the fish in the river. We went for a walk one afternoon with wellies, a bucket and fishing nets. We didn't manage to catch any fish but had an enjoyable time.In June we went on a trip to the Small Breeds and Owl Centre. The children loved buying the bags of food and feeding the sheep and goats. They enjoyed looking at the miniature horses, the alpacas, chinchillas etc and were in awe at seeing the owls up close.In October we dressed up for Halloween, children and staff as well. We played amusing games outside such as dipping for chocolate and the blindfold game What’s in the Slime (/jelly)?In November we thought about Remembrance day and the children made pictures of poppies.At the end of our Christmas party the children performed a traditional Nativity play for their families. The children did very well despite there being a very big audience.
New Resources 2015We moved into our dedicated Pre-school room in March 2015. Our next project is our outside area. We have recently obtained a "water wall" to attach pipes and funnels to. The children have a lot of fun experimenting with water.In August we bought a new and bright pink ride-on tractor ready for the children coming back in September. This has been very popular as many of the children are keen on tractors.
End of year report for 2014Pre-school finished off the winter term with a party. The children prepared the food for it: making sandwiches and decorating cakes. We played traditional games: Pass the Parcel, Musical Bumps, Musical Statues. The highlight of the afternoon was a visit from Santa taking time from his busy schedule to give each of the children a little present. He stopped to say hello to the children of St Mary's school too.
Over the Christmas holiday work will begin on the conversion of the old school kitchen into a dedicated Pre-school room. Once the work is finished and the room is ready for us to move in the committee will discuss how we can extend our opening hours.
Monday 23rd June 2014 Ray's Farm, Bridgnorth
Pre-school children, staff and parents went on a trip to Ray's Farm, near Bridgnorth. It was a lovely day: the weather was beautiful, all the children were well-behaved and there was a lot to see and enjoy. The children liked looking at the owls and pigs and small animals and feeding the goats and sheep. They loved the ride-on toys and the ball pool in the barn. The children impressed everyone by how well they walked along the woodland trail; they managed nearly the whole 1½ miles