Hamilton Pre-School April 2024 intake
To provide a safe caring environment which promotes children’s individuality.
Our environment is a place where children can explore, investigate, show curiosity, use their imagination seek a challenge and become independent thinkers.
Socialising with adult’s and children from a wide range of cultures free from discrimination. We nurture self confidence, self esteem and encourage independence with lots of praise and encouragement.
As pedagogies we aim to provide and support the best learning experiences following the EYFS that helps children’s knowledge, physical, emotional, intellectual and creative development. We are a believer that children learn through play using a range of materials and natural resources for the children to explore and grow their imagination for which we truly embrace. We also provide planned adult led activities which are adjusted to meet each child’s needs.
We embrace the family unit and we will provide a continuity of care with parents and carers. Hamilton’s philosophy and policy is OUR DOOR IS ALWAYS OPEN. We work with families and outside agencies to provide the best care and support for children with additional needs.
We are a family at Hamilton’s and staff are supported at all times through supervision and appraisal to develop their individual child care and knowledge via courses that are available. Our staff support each other at all times.
We are committed to operate within the standards of both children’s act 1989/2004 and the requirements set by Ofsted governed by national standards for sessional care.
We provide the government funded hours only for all three year olds. All children are entitled to 15 hours a week and the 30 hours a week. (for working parents) we are a term time only setting.
OUR OBJECTIVES IS TO PROVIDE THE MEANS FOR CHILDREN TO BE CONFIDENT AND HAVE THE SOCIAL SKILLS WHEN MOVING ONTO A NEW SCHOOL/SETTING.
SOME OF THE FUN THINGS WE ALL DO AT HAMILTON’S.
Forest school sessions enable our children to explore, investigate, take risk and discover in a natural nurturing woodland environment, embracing the sight’s, sounds and smells the forest has to offer.
Our children are given the opportunity to complete small achievable tasks that help boost confidence and self esteem. There by enabling them to be confident and independent thinkers.
We love to explore our local woodlands and we have a big adventure on our travels to the woods. We teach the children about staying safe and road safety, we take advantage of our journey to our woods to support children’s maths language and development. We sing songs and follow the child’s lead.
Wet weather gear is provided but wellington boots are not. Please leave a pair at pre-school at all times. All children and staff must wear a hive viz through out forest school time. In the warmer weather children must wear long jogging pants, leggings and closed in shoes.
We always inform parents the day before when their child will be attending. But there are also times we may just decide to go.
WE RARELY ATTEND FOREST SCHOOL IN THE WINTER TIME (NOVEMBER TO FEBRUARY INCLUDED) THIS DEPENDS ON HOW BAD A WINTER WE ARE HAVING.
The children get amazing opportunities to use real tools in creating fun wooden crafts. We also support the children to create bird feeder’s for our outside environment. Children are always supervised and they must wear safety goggles.
SPORTS TIME WITH GRASS ROOTS.
We have an outside agency that come to the setting twice a week that teaches the children to be part of a range of sporting activities. They learn how to do gymnastics, rugby, football, to name a few.
Once a week the children attend yoga with the ladies in the school hub. They follow a early years yoga program. We always finish yoga time with a mindful cooldown where children lye quietly reflecting back on their day.
Hamilton’s is all about healthy living and the children get the opportunities to make fresh healthy food to take home.
Early years focus on oral health, to support the children with this the children will brush their teeth after having lunch. We provide the toothbrushes and fluoride toothpaste.
OTHER OUTSIDE AGENCIES
The children love having visitors and depending on our themes we have agencies come in. The Dome comes to us yearly and we explore our world, Zoolab brings a wide range of animals, just to name a few.
PLAY AND STAY DAYS WITH OUR FAMILIES
We embrace family time and extend this into our setting with parent/grandparents play and stay, this is a lovely time for the children to share all the amazing fun things they are doing at pre-school. This happens a few times through out the school year.
CELEBRATIONS/DRESSING UP DAYS
We like to end some of our terms with special all together times. Christmas we have singing and party time, Easter we have bonnets and party time, and end of school year fun.
We love expressing ourselves through dress up and these are held around 3 times a year one of these are WHO IS OUR HERO (no action hero’s) this can be doctors, vets etc. We also have Julia Donaldson dress up time. We cover all different celebrations from around the world.
FAMILY SHARING TIME
We embrace parents to share their jobs, interest with the children by coming into the setting at any time. We also displays photo and information of parents in their work place.
We support children when they wish to bring something in to show. We always just say not too big. This can also help children with confidence when coming into the setting, especially when they first start.
We hold parent time 3 times a year. Parent time is 1 to 1 with your child’s key person and are usually held after 3pm. But if you ever have any concerns or if we have concerns do not wait till parent time we have an open door policy and you can see us at any time. If we would like to see you we will arrange a time convenient for you.
We believe teaching children at this age about looking after our planet is the stepping stone for the future. All children take part in recycling with separate recycling bins. We look at our oceans, and sea life. We use as much natural resources in the setting and working towards being as plastic free as we can. We do not have plastic dolls houses, garages as this limits the children’s imagination we provide natural resources e.g. cardboard boxes, bricks, wooden blocks which supports children’s imagination to create the most amazing items.
The majority of our arts and crafts are non toxic and biodegradable. Our focus also covers exploring the rainforest, Antarctic and our solar system.
CREATING AMAZING ENVIRONMENT
Taken from the children’s interest we create amazing environments. We also create an environment linked to our favourite author. Outside environment also changes linked to seasons and celebrations
HOW A SESSION IS RUN
Children like routine and rules. When the children start we all come together and we vote on the rules of the setting, all children are involved in making the pre-school rules and we all must follow our rules. Children are put into groups and have a key person. We have 4 groups. Our groups are named after trees.
We open the doors at 8.55am and welcome every one into the setting. Parents/carers bring their child in and go to their child’s area where their key person is waiting. The pre-school doors get shut by 9.10am. Once all the children are in their key person welcomes them with our hello song using makaton signs which the children join in. The children are asked how they feel, why thy feel like that, they sing the days of the week song, talk about the weather, whats happening that day all with visual aids, and we always practice our phonics. After hello time the children then have Free flow play they can play inside or outside and the staff are there to support and observe. We believe that children learn through play and provide a long free play time. This supports children’s personal and social skills as they are interacting with all children and all staff. Children can access their own resources and staff observe and support extending their ideas/imagination. During free play the child’s key person will do an adult led activity with a few of her children. 11.15am is come together time. This is a time that many fun activities will be shared this can be singing, story time, dancing, talk time etc.
At 11.40 we start getting ready for lunch time and support children who go home at 12 noon. After lunch and teeth have been brushed and sang our hello song to welcome the afternoon children that arrived at 12.30 we have free play. At 2.20 its tidy up time and all must help to tidy up at 2.30pm we have come together time for mindfulness where children relax with soft breathing and we reflect on the day. 2.45pm back to our areas for goodbye time and get ready for the children leaving us at 3pm. Once the 3pm children have left the children staying to 3.30 to 5pm sit with an adult for fun activities.
LATE STAY FROM 3.30 TO 5PM
Children that stay later will have a story, take part in arts and crafts and small group games. Late stay will also have a snack this can range from raisons, toast or fruit.
Starts at 8am the children that attend will have a choice of healthy cereals, scrambled egg, baked beans, toast, yogurt, fruit. They will also have a choice of milk to drink or water.
We stop serving breakfast at 8.20am so that the children have finished for when we open the door for the start of the day 8.55am. If you are in receipt of the 30 hours you may use an hour from your funded hours and pay for the food provided. If its as an extra then you pay for the hour. ( rates are in your welcome pack)
We offer a range of pick up times after 3.30pm with last pick up at 5pm. If using part of your 30 hours funding payment for snack will just be required. If using as an extra cost will be £3.50 per 30 minutes.
WHAT IS THE EYFS
The Early years foundation stage (EYFS) is a statutory framework all ofsted early years settings must follow.
The EYFS seeks to provide:
QUALITY AND CONSISTENCY in all early years settings so that every child makes good progress and no child gets left out.
A SECURE FOUNDATION through planning for the learning development of each individual child and PARTNERSHIP WORKING between practitioners and with parents/carers.
EQUALITY OF OPPORTUNITIES and anti-discrimination practice, ensuring that every child is included and supported.
There are 7 areas of learning.
3 PRIME AREAS:
COMMUNICATION AND LANGUAGE
PERSONAL, SOCIAL AND EMOTIONAL
4 SPECIFIC AREAS:
UNDERSTANDING OF THE WORLD
TO FIND OUT MORE REGARDING THE EYFS PLEASE GO TO EYFS PAGE OR BIRTHTO5MATTERS.ORG.
ON LINE JOURNALS
Our on line journals is a form of communication between your child’s key person and parents/carers. We share wonderful observations of your child which includes photographs and videos. It also shows parents/carers how your child is developing following the EYFS and able to see your child’s learning journey.
On line journals is also a good forum for parents/carers to share family time with their child’s key person and then they support your child in sharing this with their group.
You will have your very own log in details which is unique to you. No other family will be able to see your child’s observations unless they are group observations. The only persons able to see will be yourselves, key person and manager.
You will be set up before your child starts and your child’s key person will have a welcome message, will read a lovely story and a little activity they would like your child to do and bring in on their first day at pre-school.
We will hold a GETTING TO KNOW OUR ONLINE JOURNALS meeting once the children have started with us, which will help families get the best out of it.
All children will have their very own water bottle which is provided for them. This will have their photograph on it and is left in their area for them to access it through out the day. All children are supported to drink water and all staff ensure the bottles are topped up at all times.
We provide a wide range of healthy snacks which is available through out the day. Children help prepare the snacks and is frequently topped up. We have free flow snack so no child is disturbed during their play. Children can then access snack when they are ready. We like to support our local shops and we have our fruit and vegetables delivered weekly from our local greengrocer. Our snack ranges from fruit and vegetables to cereal, rice cakes, olives, cheese crackers to name a few.
Every child is entitled to a third of a pint of milk each day. We found that we were throwing away opened milk cartoons due to the children not wanting to drink much of it therefore the children take their milk home with them at the end of each day.
Children are offered a hot healthy meal. We work with Little Kitchens based locally in Totterdown who provide early years healthy locally sourced produce following national guidelines. More information is available in the welcome pack or on request.
After lunch the children will then brush their teeth. We provide their own toothbrush, cup and toothpaste. This supports children’s understanding of oral health and the importance of how different foods can effect their teeth if they do not take care of them.
Children love to wear the Milton Penguin uniform. The uniform is a polo shirt, jumper/cardigan. Uniforms are purchased straight from the retailer. (Information on how to order is in the welcome pack)Take a look in the photo section on this website to view our uniform. A set will be available for you to look at and to check out the sizing.
For the bottom part of the uniform children need to wear, black joggers or leggings. In the warmer months children can wear elasticated waist shorts and green check summer school dresses. Foot wear children need to leave a pair of plimsoles (Velcro black daps) as they change into these when they arrive at pre-school and when they are leaving they will change back into their shoes they wore in. Wellington boots need to be left at the setting at all times. The children wear their wellingtons when going to the forest and outside in the garden when the weather is bad. Please leave spare clothes (bottom parts) in the setting at all times. PLEASE MAKE SURE ALL CHILDREN’S CLOTHING ARE LABELLED WITH THEIR NAME. Hamiltons provide every child with a wellington bag that stays on their very own peg in the entrance and a summer baseball hat that is left in their very own draw in their area as all children need to wear a hat in the warmer weather when in the garden.
Please leave a spare bottom set of clothing in their bags including pants and socks.
GOING TO THE FOREST
When we go to the forest children will wear wet weather gear that is provided by the setting, they will also wear their wellingtons. In the warmer weather the children must wear long sleeves and long bottoms. All children and adults will also wear a high vis jacket.
OUTINGS TO OUR LOCAL AREA
Children will wear there coat and a high vis. If the weather is warm they will wear their jumper and a high vis.
NO CHILDREN’S NAMES WILL BE VISIBLE ON ANY OF THE CLOTHING WHEN OUT OF THE SETTING.
Summer trip children must wear school uniform. Parent help will be needed.
Hamilton’s really focus on saving our environment and we absolutely love the outdoors so we have named our groups after trees and these are the trees we have explored at forest school.
OAK GROUP: KEY PERSON: CHERYL
The oak tree is the majesty of the woods, the old English oak holds special place in our culture and history. It supports more life then any other tree species in the uk supplying many birds with an important food source. Squirrels and badgers feed on its acorns in the autumn. Even its fallen leaves support Biodiversity.
MAPLE GROUP: KEY PERSON: CLAIRE
The maple is a pollution fighter. The field maple is a sturdy broadleaf which supports caterpillars, aphids and all their predators, all while resisting air pollution. The flowers provide nectar and pollen for bees. The sap of the maple can be used to make maple syrup.
ELM GROUP: KEY PERSON: DEBBIE
The Elm tree was once known for its lofty heights, but is now common in hedgerows. The English Elm was likely introduced by our Bronze Age ancestors. Many birds and some small mammals eat elm seeds and the leaves provide food for caterpillars and moths.
WILLOW GROUP: KEY PERSON: NATALIE
The Willow white is a huge sweeping tree and is a typical weeping willow. It can be found near riverside and the leaves drape in the water where it feeds and shelters native wildlife. Caterpillars and Moths feed on the willow. The Catkins are an important source of early nectar and pollen for Bees and other insects. The branches make good nesting for birds.
Please take a look under staff on our website to meet the staff.
FORMS OF COMMUNICATION
TEXTING/TELEPHONE 07398990180/EMAIL: email@example.com
You will be able to text anytime 7 days a week. (Weekends/holidays you may not get a response straight way but the phone is checked over the weekend and holiday) telephone from 7.45 to 5pm Monday to Friday. Unless an emergency during weekends and school holidays. If we do not answer we will ring back. email will be answered within that day unless on weekend or on school holidays where a response will be within a couple of days unless notified regarding unable to respond due to being closed. But as soon as emails will be checked a reply will be sent.
All forms of communication to parents will be sent via parent app. Newsletters, information that needs to be shared, individual letters, bills, unforeseen circumstances just to name a few. If you have the app and turn on notifications you will be informed by a mark on the front of the app to let you know you need to read something.
We have an open door policy please come and have a chat at any time if you have any concerns or questions our door is always open to speak to either your childs key person or the manager.
PARENT WHATS APP
We set up a whats app chat for all parents only whilst your child is with us. You will be set up before your child starts with us so that all parents/carers can start a chat going and arrange play dates for your child. It is a great app for parents to support each other. This has worked really well and was brought in as soon as Covid started. The manager is the only person that will be on the chat but will only answer any questions if parents are unable to answer them. You can also use Whats app to contact the manager.
ARRIVING AND PICKING UP
Please arrive on time as late pick ups can be upsetting for your child. If you are going to be late dropping off or picking up please text or ring us so we can let your child know to reassure them.
Unfortunately we do sometimes have to impose charges for lateness. If it happens a few times then a fee will be charged after the 3rd occasion.
After 10 minutes: £7.00
Then £5.00 every 5 minutes after.
After 10 minutes and your child has not been collected we will contact parent/carer. If we are unable to get an answer or after 5 minutes you have not returned our call we will contact the next people on the contact form.
If we are unable to to contact any one and we have not heard back from any one and 45 minutes have passed we will then contact police/social services.
In your all about me book that you will have received/or will receive on your visit there is a section for you to inform us of any allergies, illness or medication your child has or take. This is very important that you fill this section out if your child has any of these. If it’s medication that your child has to take we will need to have a copy of any information you have, it needs to be a doctor/hospital prescribed medication. We will then need a signed letter with the full instructions of what we need to do. We like to keep their medication here which will be locked away.(your doctor will prescribe one for us) At the end of each day your childs key person will get you to sign a form which will show you the time/ quantity and date that we administered the medication.
If your child has prescribed antibiotics depending on the illness children may return after 2/3 days taking it or they cannot return until they have finished the course.
If your child suffers with eczema we will apply creams, we follow the above as on going illness.
Children’s Allergies/illness will be displayed in a private area only for staff to see and is visual at all times for us to be constantly aware.
If your child is ill please inform us that they will not be in. If your child becomes ill whilst with us we will contact you. If there is no answer we will then contact the next person on your list that we have from you. (This is in your ALL ABOUT ME BOOK). If your child has a sickness bug they must stay off from pre-school and cannot return until 48 hours after the last time they have been sick/diarrhoea.
WE WILL NOT ADMINISTER CALPOL/PARACETAMOL OR ANY NON PRESCRIBED MEDICATION.
All children must wear sun protection in the warmer weather.we recommend the highest sun factor that are all day (apply once only.) Please apply before your child starts pre-school.
If you supply us with suntan lotion (this will stay in the setting) and you have not applied the all day lotion we will reapply after lunch. We will only apply sun-lotion if you have signed the consent form.
If your child has their ears pierced they must only wear stud type earrings. No necklaces, bangles, rings or watches are to be worn.