The Kindergarten was opened October 2000 and incorporates bright, multi-functional, and well equipped rooms. We have a garden with safety surfacing that affords a safe and friendly environment for the children.
The children in the nursery are divided between 4 units. We have a small homely kitchen, two changing areas, and separate toileting for older children. The rooms are large enough for free flowing and structured activities, and as well as this, each room accommodates a range of activities, such as music and movement, and Tai Chi.
ROOM 1 saplings room accommodates up to six children, and is situated at the far end of the building, which comprises a large room and a smaller adjacent space for the children to explore, and play safely. It is both a cosy and stimulating environment with a variety of activities carried out for the children to enjoy. We provide cots, and beds with individual blankets for the children's comfort, and added to the large room there is an area for preparing milk and light snacks.
The routines are flexible and are adapted to accommodate each child's needs. Through the key worker system, each child receives the support they need, to help them to develop with reassurance and confidence. In time, strong bonds are formed between child and key worker.
ROOM 2 is situated in the middle of the building and comprises one large room with a separate toileting area and patio doors leading to the outside area.
Children come to the Kindergarten with some experience upon which to draw and they continue to develop the skills they need. It is the task of the Nursery Practitioners to extend the learning of each child. A wide variety of activities are provided for the children with the emphasis on learning through play and exploration. Life skills develop whilst they are playing and exploring their environment. Children who require a sleep during the day can do so in the quiet areas where beds, cushions and blankets are provided.
Development and the Early Years Foundation Stage form part of preparation for school. However, we take care that children are not pressured since we believe that learning should be fun. Children have absorbent minds and have a natural curiosity and enthusiasm, all of which we seek to encourage.
ROOM 3 is situated just inside the entrance of the Kindergarten and is used mainly for small group sessions like story time. The room has a communication, language and literacy area and a homely feel quiet area with patio windows which lead into the garden.
Room 4 is situated to the left of the entrance lobby. This is one large area with doors leading off into the garden. It has a separate toileting area and also a small kitchen area for cooking activities with the children. This room is used for the older children in the holiday clubs but is also used in term time for focused group work. We also use this room for coffee mornings. If you would like more information regarding our coffee morning please contact Katie Pryke.
All rooms access the garden, and part of this area has a canopied roofing so we can use it in all weathers. We use the garden as an extension to our teaching areas, and do a variety of activities outside, such as having teddy bear picnics. We have recently received a small amount of funding to make improvements within our garden area. This
includes a development of an outside summer house and also a sensory area for the children to explore. We also have an allotment area which is on the nursery premises. The children have worked alongside staff and parents to develop this area. We go to the allotment regularly each week to maintain our produce which the children have grown from seeds in the nursery garden. We then use this produce within our daily cooking at Mulberry.
The Kindergarten has been divided into two developmental rooms. Six months to two years, and two years to five years. Children move from Room 1 into Room 2 based on their individual needs and readiness. Some children may move later and some earlier, as early as eighteen months. Their development is monitored by their key worker and is discussed with parents. It is a seamless progression where staff liaise closely with parents and their child to facilitate a smooth transition.