Monday to Friday during term time (38 weeks):
Early Bird session 8.45am – 9.15am
Morning session 9.15am – 12.15pm
Afternoon session 12.15pm – 3.15pm
Our ‘early bird’ session can be added to a morning or whole day session.
Children can bring a packed lunch to eat between 11.45 and 12.30. Those children attending lunch will have an extended morning or afternoon session of 3.5 hours. Alternatively, children may attend two full sessions including lunch in any one day, giving you the option of continuous care from 9.15 to 3.15 or with the early bird session 8.45 to 3.15.
We are not able to provide lunch – if your child is attending lunch club you should provide a packed lunch. Children staying for lunch enjoy social interaction with friends and adults in a different environment from that of the normal sessions.
Our terms run generally in line with Essex school terms, but there may be slight differences over the course of a year, in line with the allocation of funding.
Each session consists mainly of free play, during which a wide range of toys and activities is provided. Some activities are always available, such as painting, glueing, dough modelling and sand play. Children can see and access all of our resources themselves and are free to ask for other toys during the sessions. During this time children usually have the opportunity to take part in an adult-led activity, which may involve investigating, cooking, printing or modelling from clay, junk or a variety of different materials. We have a well resourced book corner where children can look at books with or without an adult, or where they are free to listen to story tapes.
All the children have the opportunity to play outdoors during each session, usually accessing the secure garden whenever they choose. We provide activities covering all seven areas of learning and development both indoors and outdoors.
We believe that children learn best when they are following their own interests and our staff will most often guide and lead the children’s learning in this context, rather than through adult-initiated activities. However, we also recognise that some children, especially those beginning the transition to school, can benefit from some more structured learning opportunities. To ensure that we provide stimulating activities for each child, according to each individual’s needs, we lead activities with individuals or small groups, focusing on early writing, phonic and number skills. Children are given the opportunity to join adult-led activities, but will never be taken away from play in which they are engrossed.
Our gallery of photos will give you an idea of some of the activities the children have enjoyed recently.
A healthy snack of fruit followed by important carbohydrates in the form of crackers or bread is provided mid-session, along with a drink of water or milk.
Towards the end of each session all the children come together for storytime and perhaps a ring game or singing. We also encourage the development of speaking and listening skills by involving children in ‘show and tell’ activities.
Each child must be signed in and out by their adult, and in addition we have a system which allows each child to register their presence by placing their ‘owl’ name card on the Little Owls tree.