Preschool Room: 3 – 5 years
Preschool is the final stage in your child’s journey at Explorers, and one in which we prepare children for the transition to school. Here we build upon the skills your child has developed so far, engendering confidence and independence as they move towards taking the next big step.
The Learning Environment: Inside
Preschool Room consists of a large, open plan area, two adjoining rooms, a dedicated cloakroom and free-flow access to toilet and hand-washing facilities.
The main room is host to a well-stocked construction area that has a range of building materials, allowing children to experiment with size and shape whilst constructing for a range of purposes.
We also have a tool bench complete with real tools, wood and natural items for children to design and create with. The tool bench is supervised at all times with our experienced staff knowing when to support and when children can take a little risk, challenge themselves and have a go at tasks independently.
Our messy area is an ideal space in which children can develop their fine motor skills. Children can freely explore, experimenting with colours and marks as they mix their own paints, choosing which tools will work best to suit their needs. Children also enjoy spending time at the playdough station, developing an understanding of quantity as they follow a recipe to create their own dough. Through squashing and manipulating the playdough, children develop the muscles in their hands, building up early writing skills.
We have a wonderful home corner where children use real objects to inform their role play, becoming involved in one another’s play, building stories and sequences whilst forming friendships.
Adjoining the main area, there is an additional large room where children have their daily registration and participate in group time. We also have a cosy area where we share stories and take a well-deserved rest if needed!
The Learning Environment: Outside
Children have free-flow access to a dedicated, enclosed garden. This space offers large tyres and equipment to create obstacle courses, which supports the development of gross motor skills and physical confidence. Our outside space is also equipped with:
- A well-stocked mud kitchen with running taps
- A walk-in sandpit
- A construction area with shovels, real bricks, gravel and wheel barrows
We also have a large space with soft artificial grass, perfect for small world experiences, ball games, potion making, mark-making and whatever else sparks your child’s curiosity that day!
The Hidden Curriculum
The hidden curriculum in Preschool is full of activities to develop confidence and independence, preparing children for school and instilling life skills.
In the morning, children are encouraged and supported in a self-service breakfast and rolling snack. Lunch and tea are served in the dining room, which is a wonderful social occasion during which children are taught to use a knife and fork and pour their own drinks.
The practitioners in Preschool are skilled and creative in what they do. Play is always led by the children, with our practitioners supporting and incorporating skills from the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) framework, tailoring activities to each child’s individual needs and targets.
As part of the curriculum, Preschool offer Forest School sessions where children learn to make and cook on an open fire, build dens and use tools. Preschool children also gain invaluable experiences around the farm and surrounding area, learning how to care for the animals, experience the changing seasons and observe all of the important jobs farmers do.
Beyond the Curriculum
At Explorers, children are offered a range of experiences beyond the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) framework, such as:
- Off-site visits
- Cookery lessons
- Spanish lessons from Lingotots
- Horse riding lessons
- Swimming lessons (with plans in place to build our very own pool on site!)
Preparing for School
In Preschool, we have a morning and afternoon registration, which is followed by group time. During group time, children work in smaller groups to focus on developing a range of skills that are aimed at closing gaps and creating challenge.
After group time is over, the children have free-flow access to the large garden space. The children spend hours engaged in high levels of play supported by our skilled practitioners, with a focus on encouraging independence and cultivating curiosity.
Explorers has excellent links with surrounding schools, and we work together to make the transition period as smooth and successful as possible for all children and their families.