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. During this time, children can choose when they would like to stop for a snack and a drink, which are available throughout the morning. Each child brings in their own fresh fruit or vegetables for snack time and has the option to drink either water or milk.


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).


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. During the session, there may also be group activities happening which 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 we aim to develop skills and understanding within that topic.


At the end of each session we come together for stories and songs. We have a bank of stories that we use throughout the year to encourage children’s enjoyment of and familiarity with books as well as to develop their budding literacy skills.