Aims of Tadpoles:
Provide a safe, caring environment where children can explore, learn and be positively challenged during their most formative years. with interested and interesting adults, who are sensitive to the needs of young children.
Provide high quality care and education for Early Years children.
Work in partnership with parents and other professionals to help children learn and develop to reach their full potential.
Prepare each child to be as confident and independent as possible so that they are integrated into their chosen school and community.
To promote the development of the individual, yet encourage her/him to co-operate as a member of a larger group
To make the transition from home to the Early Years to full-time school as smooth and problem free as possible
Offer children and their families a service that promotes equality and values diversity.
Brent Knoll Tadpoles Pre-school is based in Brent Knoll Village (originally called Frog Island) and serves Brent Knoll and the surrounding areas offering both a preschool and a breakfast / after school for the local primary school.
A Child’s learning:
Children participate in a range of activities and experiences which take into account their interests and value their achievements and which develop their physical, intellectual, emotional and social abilities.
As a team, we try to provide a stimulating and happy environment where the children can play together in harmony. We hope that you will feel part of the team.
Children develop and learn faster in the first five years than at any other time, so it is vital that they have the opportunity to explore, make discoveries, share experiences and learn and practice basic skills.
A child's play is their work. As a child gets older their play becomes involved and complicated.
Many children gain confidence by watching and children's play patterns are all different. The activities we offer are exciting, stimulating, fun and of course, educational.
Since September 2008 all OFSTED registered premises caring for young children have been required to adhere to the EYFS- Early Years Foundation Stage, document. It covers a child’s progress from birth to the end of the academic year in which they have their fifth birthday. It ensures that children learn and develop well and are kept healthy and safe. It promotes teaching and learning to ensure children are ready for school and gives children the broad range of knowledge and skills that provide the right foundation for good future progress through school and life.
All schools and Ofsted-registered early years’ providers must follow the EYFS, including child-minders, preschools, nurseries and school reception classes. The EYFS states “Every child deserves the best possible start in life and support to fulfil their potential. A child’s experience in the early years has a major impact on their future life chances.” The EYFS principles are grouped into four distinct but complimentary themes
A Unique Child, this recognises that every child is a competent learner from birth who can be resilient, capable confident and self-assured. This focuses around development, inclusion and health and ell being.
Positive Relationships, this describes how children learn to be strong and independent from a base of loving and secure relationships with parents and / or a key worker. This focuses on respect, partnership with parents, supporting learning and the role of the key person.
Enabling Environments, this explains that the environment plays a key role in supporting and extending children’s development and learning.
Learning & Development. recognises that children develop and learn in different ways and at different rates. We have equipped the Pre School with quality resources, carefully matched to a young child's needs and developmental stages, adding constantly to extend the stimulating, learning environment for children ranging in ages from two to eleven years. There is a different range of resources in each area of the Pre School to encompass the areas of learning: Early years learning concentrates on 7 areas split between prime and specific areas of learning as defined in the EYFS.
The prime areas of learning are:
communication and language
personal, social and emotional development
The specific areas of learning are:
understanding the world
expressive arts and design
Communication and language development involves giving children opportunities to experience a rich language environment; to develop their confidence and skills in expressing themselves; and to speak and listen in a range of situations.
Literacy development involves encouraging children to link sounds and letters and to begin to read and write. Children must be given access to a wide range of reading materials (books, poems, and other written materials) to ignite their interest.
We provide plenty of opportunities for imaginative play, e.g. home corner, shop, show and tell, to help children come to terms with the world around them, interact and explore emotions in a safe and secure setting. Shared reading with an adult using a 'Big Book' is an important part of our language work.
Children have opportunities to share books and to listen to stories, to write together and with adults to explore how our language works, learning about the world and themselves.
Physical development involves providing opportunities for young children to be active and interactive; and to develop their co-ordination, control, and movement. Children must also be helped to understand the importance of physical activity, and to make healthy choices in relation to food.
Children have access to outdoor wheeled toys, play equipment, large construction items and found materials, so they may learn to cooperate and build, lift and carry, so developing gross motor skills. We regard outdoor play as an integral part of our curriculum.
Children sew, thread, draw, cut, use Play dough and paint, children also have weekly baking. These refine their motor skills.
We also go on at least one weekly planned walk or outing in the local vicinity as well as visiting the school and local park. This is in addition to spontaneous walks.
Personal, social and emotional development involves helping children to develop a positive sense of themselves, and others; to form positive relationships and develop respect for others; to develop social skills and learn how to manage their feelings; to understand appropriate behaviour in groups; and to have confidence in their own abilities.
Snack is provided for the children mid-session. Children sit at a table. They are encouraged to be as independent as possible, spreading, cutting, sharing, washing up etc., and an adult sits with them to encourage this and makes sure manners are remembered!
Snack also offers access to other cultures foods trying simple foods from a variety of places and children have weekly baking
We sing songs and rhymes, listen to music, talk about feelings and our experiences, dance, go on visits, have visitors, share birthdays etc. Being part of a group is important, making friends and negotiating disputes and feeling positive about yourself are all important skills
Mathematics involves providing children with opportunities to develop and improve their skills in counting, understanding and using numbers, calculating simple addition and subtraction problems; and to describe shapes, spaces, and measures.
We have a range of equipment, such as puzzles, games, construction sets, building blocks, dominoes, sorting equipment, threading. We spend time with the children explaining, questioning, singing number songs and sharing their play to extend their mathematical concepts of size, shape, colour, space, measure, pattern and early number.
Understanding the world involves guiding children to make sense of their physical world and their community through opportunities to explore, observe and find out about people, places, technology and the environment.
Raw material play - sand, water, clay, soil etc., is an important area in the Pre School, where children can explore the properties of materials using their senses and a range of tools.
We are developing a nature garden outside and have Preschool pets and plants, which the children can watch, develop and care for.
We also actively encourage recycling and the reuse of any materials. We are always grateful for any packaging that can be used for modelling.
Expressive arts and design involves enabling children to explore and play with a wide range of media and materials, as well as providing opportunities and encouragement for sharing their thoughts, ideas and feelings through a variety of activities in art, music, movement, dance, role-play, and design and technology.
We have a baking session at least once a week and encourage the children to not only make cakes and breads but their own lunches e.g. pizzas and quiches.
Children are encouraged to paint, draw, use scissors, make models, imagine and pretend. We hope to give the children the skills to help express what they see, imagine and feel, as well as enjoy all aspects of making art. Creativity is vital in all areas of the curriculum and central to the needs of the child.
All activities are carefully planned, assessed and evaluated. We hold regular planning meetings to discuss how best to meet the children's needs and draw up schemes of work based on our themes. We consider how best to ensure equality of opportunity for all children, to encompass ethnically diverse communities.
Children are admitted when they reach the age of 2 years
If you would like a place at Tadpoles, please contact Cathy Hurley to discuss your requirements.
01278 769126 or 078130 78130 for a registration form.
Tadpoles is open Monday to Friday. (Term time only) Session times:
Breakfast Club: 7.30am – 9am (School age children)
Preschool : 7.30am – 6pm with Lunch 12noon – 1pm and Tea 4.15pm
After School Club: 3.15pm – 6pm (School age children)
Preschool sessions can be booked for either morning, afternoon or all day, with the inclusion of lunch and / or tea.
Breakfast club includes cereals, toast, muffins, crumpets, fruit loaf, fresh fruit and drinks.
Snack time provides the children with milk and fresh fruit. Often there is the opportunity to sample exotic fruits, freshly made popcorn, banana bread or dried fruit.
Home cooked two course lunches and tea are provided (prepared by our resident chef), with a choice for those that either dislike the meal or ate at lunch. Specific dietary needs and preferences can be catered for, please (fill in the section on the registration form or speak to your key worker). Fresh fruit is always available and water is freely available at all times from the cooler. Children have an individual placemat which they decorate before we laminate it, which teaches them the position of cutlery and encourages good table manners.
Please let us know if your child is ill - a verbal message or telephone call is appreciated to explain an absence; 07813078130 OR 01278 769126. It is important that we have an up to date contact number and any relevant medical information i.e. food allergies, asthma, eczema, epilepsy etc., which may require special consideration. Please send a written note for planned absences such as holidays.
Fees must be paid termly in advance, unless a payment plan is agreed with Cathy Hurley prior to due date. Four school-term weeks’ notice is required for reduction/cancellation of session and must be discussed with staff or by letter. All ages are charged at £4 .20 per hour. Pre School children are entitled to a set number of Governments funded hours per term the term after their third birthday. A leaflet explaining the funding is available.
The amount of hours varies from term to term and at present is; 210 for Autumn, 165 for Spring, 195 for Summer. A copy of their birth certificate must be sent to County Hall at the following address, in order to access this entitlement. Alternatively I can send a copy on your behalf.
Early Years Entitlements Team,
Somerset TA1 4DY
Telephone 01823 410151
Parents must sign a claim declaration form each year in order to access these hours. You are able to share hours with other providers. Parents of school age children please note that invoices are timed from 3.15pm as this is when school hands over to Tadpoles.
Meals are charged at £2.50 for lunch and/ or tea. We will try to accommodate your child wishing to attend any clubs normal school Parents must ensure they have checked with Tadpoles staff that their child can be collected (with regard to child to adult ratios) and normal fees will apply.
Should you need to use the setting in an emergency please contact both Tadpoles and school. You may be eligible to claim Working Family Tax Credit for any of the hours at Tadpoles, quoting our OFSTED registration number; EY357670. We also accept payment via work payment schemes such as Busy Bees, & Edenred
The role of parents / carers
We regard parents/carers as valued partners. They are encouraged to visit the Pre-School prior to their child's admission.
We believe it is vital that parents should have the opportunity to tell us about their child and to learn something about our Pre-School and what we are trying to achieve.
To help ease the transition from home to Pre-School, we arrange to meet before the child begins preschool.
During the term before your child is due to start, you and your child will be invited to spend a few sessions with us at Tadpoles, to participate in and observe routines, the learning environment and the Pre-School in action.
Parents as Partners:
We value parents as their child's first educator and all parents are encouraged to be Parent Helpers. We believe an effective partnership between home and Pre School is of great value.
We endeavour to keep you fully informed about Pre-School Life. A newsletter is sent home at the end of each half term with information and dates about the forthcoming half term. It also includes the themes to be covered. Please encourage your child to bring in some item or verbal information relating to either the week specific theme or the theme that runs throughout the half term.
Children will also have a book bag with a home link book in it. This will contain information and suggestions as to how you can expand on areas covered. Each child will be able to choose a library book which they can look at with you. Please be patient if your child wishes to keep the same book for several days. Many like to hear the same story until they (and you) are word perfect! We also hold outings, skittle evenings and fundraising events to which all the family are invited.
Many friendships start between parents as well as children who have started in Pre School. It is a great way of getting to know people, especially if you are new to the area. Children do not have to be toilet trained before starting and we will work with parents at whatever stage your child has reached to help them gain this skill.
Dummies and bottles are strongly discouraged at the setting as they prevent the child from talking and making relationships as well as posing the concern of another child using them or the item getting lost. Likewise special toys, blankets etc can cause great distress at the end of the day if lost; leaving in the bed/ car seat/ book bag is a much safer option, although we do understand the need for something of comfort during settling in and so a balanced approach is required.
Special Educational Needs
Part of our policy is to ensure that what we provide meets the need of each child, therefore we take account of any special needs a child may have when we plan our activities. The Pre School works to the requirements of the 1993 Education Act and the 2000 Special Needs Code of Practice. Our Special Needs Co-ordinator is; Helen Key
The Preschool runs a Key Person system. This means that each member of staff has a group of children for whom s/he is particularly responsible. Your child’s Key Person will be the person who works with you to ensure that what we provide is right for your child’s particular needs and interests. When your child starts the Preschool their Key Person will help him/her settle, and throughout their time their Key Person will help them to benefit from all the activities we do.
All children will get messy despite our efforts to ensure that aprons are worn. Please dress your child in suitable clothing and footwear. (Flip flops are too dangerous to be worn)
They will also need suitable outdoor clothing at all times and on walk days, must have boots and coat. (Cow pats and stinging nettles are unavoidable hazards of the countryside.)
Children will also need a hat and sunscreen during the summer months. (Please try to apply some protection before they arrive. Remember to label boots and sunscreen..
Children attending Breakfast Club will be escorted to school just before 9am. Pre Schoolers can be brought up to Tadpoles by the same staff. Similarly children can be brought to school at 3pm prior to collection of those children using the After School Club. Please inform staff and complete permission slip should you wish to use this service.
It cannot be stressed too strongly that parents must park considerately and safely. You are welcome to use the hard standing area at Tadpoles.
Good discipline is based on relationships and easily understood rules. We encourage the children to be self-disciplined and teach them the skills to negotiate disputes and talk about the reasons for our rules.
In the Pre-School we try to:
be kind and share
walk when indoors and be sensible, to keep us safe
talk in quiet voices so everyone can be heard and listen
keep our hands and feet to ourselves
sit for circle times
What is a parent helper?
A Parent Helper is any Parent or guardian that can spare some time to help us with different activities.
How much time will it take and how often will I be expected to come?
As much time as you are able to offer, from an hour to a whole morning
What would I be expected to do?
Nothing you didn't feel comfortable with. You could help with anything that is part of a normal session - cooking, art/craft, playing games, reading stories or joining us on one of our weekly walks (much more fun than the gym). If you have any particular talents you would like to bring to the Pre-School, please see Cathy
Parent Helpers on Pre School visits:
Parents giving their time and helping with transport (a quick telephone call to your insurance company to check if you are covered), make visits to the local community possible. Being out on a visit is a position of responsibility. You will be asked to 'look after' up to three other children and they will be told to keep with their adult. Small groups ensure the safety of our children when we go out but also that the children receive maximum benefit from the experience. We hope you will enjoy yourself too!
If you have any concerns or queries, do not hesitate to contact Pre-School staff. Also, please inform us of any changes in your child's life, so we can be sensitive to their needs.
The aim of the Pre-School class is to provide a safe, structured, happy environment where children will develop a sense of achievement and confidence through their learning.
We strive to be a flexible, approachable family run setting who expect children to treat others and be treated with respect and friendship, to achieve to their maximum and to enjoy their time here.
Our planning for each week, plus an overview of the half term themes, is displayed on the parent's notice board, so you may be involved with our work.
We look forward to working with you and your child at Tadpoles Pre-School