A typical day at Cold Ash Pre-School for our Staff and children


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Our day begins at 9:15 with everyone going straight outside to the garden. This is to ensure that every child has spent some time outside during the preschool day. This is free choice time when all the children and adults play, learn and talk together. Children have the option to engage in their own learning (which will be observed by staff and facilitated or extended as necessary) or to come and join in with an adult-led activity.


Halfway through the session we have a snack and then continue with free choice learning indoors and outdoors. At the end of the morning we come together for a teaching session (either whole class or in small groups). Teaching sessions will focus on developing skills in phonics, maths, hand strength, understanding and enjoying stories, or music and movement. We also run topic weeks throughout the year, and during those weeks the teaching sessions will develop skills and understanding within that topic.


All adult-led activities are inspired by the children’s interests or next steps in their learning. We also plan for a range of free-choice learning based on what we observe from our time with the children. Staff will follow the children’s lead, offering support, resources and teaching when required.


Free choice time includes a range of activities such as crafts, building, painting, messy play, cooking, role play, water play, computers, exploration, challenges and mark making. During the day children are encouraged to use the garden (whatever the weather!) and parents are asked to provide coats, wellies, woollies and waterproofs (or even, if we’re lucky, sunhats).


Children bring in a piece of fruit or veg each day for snack time. This is prepared by staff and shared with all the children so that each child can choose from and try a range of healthy options. Those staying for lunch bring in a lunch box and staff provide help when required to enable children to access all contents.