Our curriculum is based on the requirements of the Revised Early Years Foundation Stage (Department for Education, March 2017) which sets the standards for Learning, Development and Care for children from birth to five.
How my child will be learning?
Your child will be learning skills, acquiring new knowledge and demonstrating their understanding through 7 areas of learning and development.
Children should mostly develop the 3 prime areas first that are essential for your child’s healthy development and future learning. These are:
- Communication and language
- Physical development
- Personal, social and emotional development
As children grow, the prime areas will help them to develop skills in 4 specific areas. These are:
- Understanding the world
- Expressive arts and design.
These 7 areas are used to plan your child’s learning and activities. The professionals teaching and supporting your child will make sure that the activities are suited to your child’s unique needs. Children in the EYFS learn by playing and exploring, being active, and through creative and critical thinking which takes place both indoors and outside (DfE, 2014).
When your child is between 2 and 3 years old, your child’s key person will give you a written summary of how your child is progressing against the 3 prime areas of learning:
- communication and language;
- physical development; and
- personal, social and emotional development.
This is called the progress check at age 2. This check will highlight areas where your child is progressing well and any area they might need some extra help or support. You might find it useful to share the information from the check with other professionals such as health visitors (who can use it as part of the health and development review).
(A detailed curriculum for each of these areas is available on request)
Please visit www.foundationyears.org for more information.
Parents Page: http://www.foundationyears.org.uk/parents/
Pre-school at school vs Pre School at Chalfont St Giles Pre School Playgroup
So you finally get your child settled into the perfect playgroup.
They make friends, they love the staff, it’s close to home and work, you feel confident that they’re happy. The situation couldn’t be better.
But then they get a bit older and other mums start talking about pre-school and your mind turns to primary school.
Now you have questions and a whole new dilemma.
“What is pre-school?”
“Does my child have to move now?”
“How is pre-school different?”
“What do I need to do to make sure my child has the best start to school?”
There’s a lot of confusion around pre-school so below is a complete guide to what it is, why it matters, and why it might not be the upheaval you’re dreading.
Pre-school at school vs staying with us – everything you need to know
Most children begin school at the start of the school year in which they turn five, so when your child is three you may begin researching local primary schools and making your application.
Many primary schools also offer pre-school education for children aged 3-4 years, and may suggest you move your child there before you make your school application. But is this right for your child? Let’s explore your options.
What’s the difference between a private pre-school and a school’s?
Private settings (like CSG Pre School Playgroup) and pre-schools attached to schools both follow the same Early Years Foundation Stage guidelines which impact on the learning, development and care of children from birth to five years.
However, there are differences.
Private settings run their pre-school sessions based on the individual interests and needs of each child. The staff continuously observe each child and then offer educational activities that help them progress and succeed.
In contrast, school pre-schools follow topic-led teaching that might not be of interest to your child – and if they’re not interested, they’re less likely to get involved and enjoy learning.
What about funding and availability of childcare?
Private settings and schools both receive funding for 15 hours a week for children aged 3-4.
However, schools often provide morning or afternoon sessions only – you won’t be able to pay for extra hours. So if you work all day, you’ll need to find someone to pick your child up at lunchtime (or use our pick up service)
What about the staff ratios?
When children are aged between 3-5 years, schools are required to have just one adult per 13 children. That could mean there are 26 children with only two adults!
In many private settings, including CSG Pre School Playgroup, the ratio is one adult to every eight children – that’s almost twice as many qualified adults as most schools which gives your child a more personalised and nurturing experience.
But the school said mychild needs to move now to make friends before they start reception class?
Have you ever been to a parent and toddler group and by the time you leave, your little one is firm friends with another child? It doesn’t take long for children to build strong relationships.
Children are naturally friendly and curious – they will approach their peers and make friends with ease. Do not be put under pressure and made to feel guilty about keeping your child at a private pre-school where they are already happy and confident there.
Will my child lose their place at the school if I don’t move them?
The school doesn’t make the decision about who is accepted into the reception year – that decision is made at the Local Authority level.
There have been cases where a parent has moved their child to a pre-school (under pressure from the school to secure a reception place) only to discover that they don’t then get a place at that school.
Just because a child attends a school nursery doesn’t guarantee them a place at that school, so make the decision based on what’s best for your child.
What about having a key person?
At a nursery pre-school, your child will be paired with a qualified adult of their choosing – someone they naturally connect and feel comfortable with. This person will become your contact throughout their time at the nursery, including into the pre-school.
At school, no such scheme is in place – and with only one adult for every 13 children, it’s almost impossible to give that personal level of attention.
So what are the benefits of my child staying at CSG Pre School Playgroup?
Your child is settled:
Settling your child into nursery is a stressful time for both of you – being able to drop them off at nursery and leave them smiling and waving is the biggest relief for a parent. So why put yourself and your child through the stress of an unnecessary move to another pre-school?
Nursery staff are fully qualified:
Over 50% of staff are fully qualified in ‘early years’ and understand the importance of the EYFS ethos of learning through play. All staff are working towards a qualification.
Questions to ask before deciding between a schools’s pre-school and CSG Pre School Playgroup
- What is the staff to children ratio?
- Will my child get help going to the toilet if needed?
- What if a child has a toileting accident? Who will help them? How many staff will be left with the other children during that time?
- What early year’s qualifications and training do the staff have?
- Are pre-school staff trained in first aid?
- Does thesetting have a suitable environment, resources and equipment for three- and four-year-old children?
What our parents say
I chose to keep my child at CSG Pre School Playgroup because:
- it was his first ever experience away from home and he only started after Easter In 2019.
- most of the space was outside, so I knew the children would spend most the time outdoors rather than in a classroom all day.
- the trips to the woods once a week appealed to me lots!
- I was never in a rush to get my child into a school setting, as I think they have the rest of their childhood for all that
- I think the key things at this age are playing, building relationships with other adults and children, stories and imagination!
- I didn’t want my child attending school 5 days on the trot
- the adult to child ratio was smaller
My daughter started attending sessions at CSG Playgroup when she was nearly 3. I was so pleased that she settled in well at the setting and was so well looked after. The staff were so attentive and got to know her well as an individual and really supported her with the transition to her first childcare setting, which was a very big change for her and she was nervous. So when she was old enough to potentially move to a school pre-school setting, I didn’t have any doubt that I wanted her to stay at CSG Playgroup. She was so comfortable there and I felt very able to trust the staff to take care of her. It was a huge relief to know that she could rely on the staff to provide her reassurance and comfort if she needed them. It was important to me to maintain the continuity of the setting she had been attending as she was very sensitive to change. I also loved that every time she attended I could look at photos of her day on the app and read notes about her development. I knew that a lot of the friends she was making at Playgroup would attend the local school along with her, which would be a great comfort to her when starting school in the future.
If your child is settled and happy at CSG Pre School Playgroup, you don’t need to move them to a pre-school at a local primary school. They will receive good education and care from qualified staff in a suitable environment at their current pre-school.
CSG Pre School Playgroup employs qualified early years teachers to help get children school-ready in its pre-school, so they start reception confident and happy. Listen to your instincts and go with your gut. Pre-school needn’t be an upheaval but a natural part of their early year’s education at nursery.