Welcome to the Penguins
We are the Pre-school team:
Alison Richardson – Pre-school Teacher
Nicola Bowyer – Early Years Practitioner
Janet Bowers – Early Years Practitioner
Sue Coulthard – Early Years Practitioner
Michelle Hunter - Early Years Practitioner
Debbie Martin – Early Years Practitioner
Sherree Smart- Early Years Practitioner
Jane Le – Early Years Practitioner
Welcome back Penguins - watch the videos below for a quick look around your classroom and outdoor play area and see who is playing in Penguins today !
As you can see we are all ready to play with the children again and feel very excited to meet some new Penguins who will be joining us very soon.
March 3rd 2021
Good Morning Everyone and welcome to the official last week of Home Learning it will be lovely to see you all in person from Monday. Well done for making it through these past eight weeks we have appreciated all your virtual involvement and interactions. Thank you to those Penguins who have been in regular attendance at Preschool you have all been working hard. Evidence of this can be seen on the Interactive Learning Diary, so please spend time taking a look with your child - they do love to see themselves on screen.
From Monday due to the increase in numbers of children attending the school there will be staggered drop off and pick up times which are as follows:
Penguins - 8.45am - 3.00pm
Robins - 9.00am - 3.10pm
Doves and Swifts - 8.50am - 3.15pm
Kingfishers and Owls - 8.45am - 3.20pm
Swans and Eagles - 8.40am - 3.25pm
If you have children in other year groups please bring your children at the earlier drop off and collect them at the later time. Also, so we do not create unnecessary congestion at the gate, if you would like to say goodbye to your child in the Smooga area (to the left of the entrance) then older children can continue to enter without having to wait. If your child is happy to say goodbye quickly at the gate then this is absolutely fine too. All the staff are looking forward to the safe return of the Penguins and concentrating on the important aspect of Learning through Play with your children. Thank you for your ongoing support.
200 Million Minutes
We are taking part in the 200 Million Minutes Reading Challenge – a global reading initiative from education charity Achievement for All. Beginning on World Book Day (Thursday 4th March 2021) children and young people from early years settings, schools, colleges, parents, carers, libraries, businesses and community groups from around the world will try to collectively read for 200 million minutes! All reading counts towards our minutes: paperbacks, magazines, comics, plays, newspapers, picture books and e-books are all great and it includes independent reading, reading in groups and reading with an adult. Children and young people participating in the 200 Million Minutes Reading Challenge can note their reading time on the bookmarks which will be given out by their class teachers. Best of all, certificates will be awarded for each milestone your child reaches, and the school could even win some prizes too!
For more information please visit https://200millionminutes.org/#about
February 24th 2021
Good Morning Penguins and families and welcome back to those of you joining us once again after half term. We are looking forward to seeing all our Penguins in Pre-school from the 8th March. Please can your children attend the days you originally requested for the Spring term from the 8th - feel free to email Sue if you need to confirm the days. Once all the children have returned and our new children have taken up their places we may be able to offer some extra sessions.
For these last two weeks of Learning from Home work will continue to be added to the website (see boxes above) and short videos of activities to do together will also be recorded on the ILD. Thank you to all of you for taking the time to look at the Interactive Learning Diary it really is a great way to have a peek into Penguins from a safe distance.
This half term we will be using the theme of Spring to introduce your child to different area of learning. We will be looking for signs of Spring in the great outdoors, thinking about the changes in the weather, learning about animals in Spring and finishing with Spring celebrations. With some sunny and warmer weather on the horizon and the promise of better times ahead, may we all begin to feel happier on the inside and smile a little more on the outside. Take care everyone and stay safe and thank you for your patience.
February 10th 2021
Good Morning Everyone - well we have made it to Half Term and what a busy and challenging six weeks. Thank you for choosing to send your children back to Preschool it has been great having almost a full class to teach daily. We are also grateful to those of you learning from home, busy watching the videos we have enjoyed producing and completing the variety of tasks set weekly on the website. Keep sending photos and videos of all that you are learning together. We hope you enjoyed our live Zoom session for those Penguins learning from home - you all looked a little bit older and taller.
So with Half Term fast approaching may we wish you a safe and relaxing week. Enjoy some family fun together, hopefully some good weather will mean we can spend time outdoors, away from those screens seeking all the benefits the natural world has to offer. Make some memories, slow the pace down and appreciate the simple things in life.
February 3rd 2021
Good Morning Everyone as we welcome in another month of Lockdown 2021. We are always delighted to have more Penguins return, we are working hard to ensure the safety of the children and staff at Preschool. All adults in the setting are now completing home testing for Covid twice a week as well as continuing to follow all the existing guidelines with the children and each other. Please do let us know if your child will be rejoining Penguins after half term in order to allow us to plan staffing levels accordingly.
We continue to add daily videos onto the ILD platform for you to watch and join in with your children. Do click on the boxes above to discover more fun activities to do together. Also there is a Reading Challenge to complete during the month of February. For those of you still learning from home you will be receiving a Zoom invite shortly so we can do a live Show and Tell session and catch up with the Penguins we have not seen for a while. We do hope you will come if you are able, ask your child to have something ready to show us - something they have done with you at home, something they want to tell us or maybe a new skill they have mastered in lockdown. They need not speak for too long that way we will be able to have time to listen to all the children currently not returned to Penguins. Remember at this busy time just a few moments of peaceful calm and deep breathing will make a big difference and above all stay positive.
January 25th 2021
Good Morning Everyone and what a lovely snowy weekend it has been for us all - I do hope you managed to get out and enjoy the beautiful landscape covered with a snowy white blanket. We certainly would have had some fun on the field at school making some snow creations but for today Monday the 25th Preschool will be closed along with the main school. Hopefully the road conditions will be safer to travel tomorrow and there may even still be a covering of snow to play in tomorrow. If you do decide to take a walk or build a snow model do send us a picture to the Interactive Learning Diary - we are really enjoying looking at your photographs.
If you are learning from home or need some ideas to support the education of your children, there are short videos for you to watch with your child on the observations section in the Interactive Learning Diary. Before Christmas more videos were produced which you can still access, please do comment and provide feedback as to how we can improve these learning opportunities for you and your child.
We are looking forward to another fun filled week at Preschool, remember to wrap up warm and enjoy the snow while it is still here even us adults become quite excited to see those initial flakes of snow settle - so imagine how it must feel for a child it creates a whole new world of wonder to explore together.
January 13th 2021
Good Morning Everyone - whether you are learning in Preschool or at home we hope you are having a good week. Just to let you know for those Penguins attending Preschool our departure time is now 3.00pm, in order to reduce any congestion at home time we are leaving slightly before the Key Worker children. Our start time remains the same 8.45am, thank you for all being prompt and dropping off the children quickly. We are so impressed how they have all settled back into the routine of Preschool life after the Christmas break and it is lovely to have so many return. For those of you learning from home do check out the observations on the Interactive Diary we have begun to make short videos again with ideas for you to do together at home to help with the children's learning. More fun tasks can be found in the boxes above just one simple task a day will make a difference to the progress of your child.
Please do all stay safe, remember little and often works best with young children and sometimes it is the simple tasks that bring most reward. Use the great outdoors as much as possible, take time to stop and notice the little things. Have fun and use the time to make memories that will last a lot longer than lockdown.
January 6th 2021
Good Morning Parents, Penguins and Carers and welcome back to Preschool. Although the main school is currently closed due to the National Lockdown except for Key worker and vulnerable children, Preschool remains open and will do so for the foreseeable future. Your children can attend on their usual days from 8.45am - 3.15pm, please note the new timings. We will continue to ensure we follow all the guidelines to keep the children and staff safe, so lots of handwashing, good ventilation, extra cleaning of resources and maintaining a Preschool bubble. The adults will follow social distancing rules and wear masks when not in the Penguin classroom. The children will need layers of clothing to stay warm as we have doors and windows open whatever the weather and will be spending time outdoors and January can be very chilly. If you could let us know if your child will not be returning until restrictions ease, that will help us to plan for the next few weeks.
Please do email if you are worried or have questions and we promise to get back to you are soon as we are able - once the Penguins have all finished their day in Preschool. If you have an urgent query you can phone the school office who will pass the message on to a member of staff.
May you all stay healthy and take care of one another during the current situation thank you for your ongoing support.
The Preschool Team
All about the Penguins Class at Sharnbrook Primary
Penguins is the Pre-school class of Sharnbrook Primary. We have our own class room situated in the school, with an enclosed outdoor play area. We provide a safe, stimulating and caring environment that promotes learning through play, using a wide range of resources, and the opportunity for children to develop their social skills as they play alongside and with other children. We accept children from 2 ½ to 4 years.
When your child starts Pre-school it is an important time for both child and parents. We hope that this booklet will explain a little about us and perhaps answer some of the questions you might have. You are always welcome to come and chat to the staff and see what we offer.
The most important people as far as your children are concerned are our staff, who are all dedicated and caring, with a wealth of experience. We have a qualified teacher and 5 Early Years trained staff who hold either a Level 3 or Level 2 qualification, appropriate for the care and development of children, as required by Ofsted.
There is a continual program of staff development to enhance their knowledge and understanding of childcare.
Although all our staff will be involved with the care and development of your child, when they join us they will be allocated one of our staff as a Key Person. This helps your child to form a secure relationship with one person helping them to settle in. Your child’s key Person is responsible for keeping your child’s learning journal up to date, monitoring their progress and communicating with you about their progress and development.
Parents are as much a part of our Pre-school as their children. It is important for you and your child that you play an active part in this exciting phase of his/her life.
You know your child better than anyone and we encourage you to share information with us on their likes, dislikes, special people and friends etc so that we can help your child to settle in. We send home regular newsletters and home school letters so that you are able to contribute to your child’s learning journal with information on events and achievements outside of school.
When your child is due to start Pre-school we will invite you in for a tour of the setting and to familiarise you and your child with staff and routines. We also offer the option of a home visit. This allows us to come and meet your child in a comfortable familiar environment so we can begin to build a relationship with them before they start. If you would like a home visit please indicate this on the relevant part of the registration form.
Activities are planned following the Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum. The emphasis is on PLAY and giving children the freedom and support to investigate with resources both indoors and outdoors.
We are required by Ofsted to keep certain records about each child, including observations about their experiences and achievements at Pre-school and a selection of work. We regularly observe the children when engaged in play or when taking part in activities led by adults. This information means we can monitor progress and plan next steps/experiences in line with the child’s interests, and help them work towards the Early Learning Goals.
We use a software application called the Interactive Learning Diary. This is a web based tool, to record observations, assessments and learning journeys within a child's diary while capturing evidence and assessing progress against the Early Years curriculum.
The Interactive Learning Diary also encourages parental participation and gives you the opportunity to be more actively involved in your child’s learning journey through secure online access to the "Pupil's Diary". Once your child starts in the setting you will be given log- in information and a password so you can safely view and add to your child’s diary from home.
We offer morning and afternoon session as well as a lunch club. Depending on availability you can select the sessions that you would like your child to attend. The timings of the session are as follows:
Morning Session 9.00 -11.30 am
Lunch Club 11.30 -12.45pm
Afternoon Session 12.45 – 3.15pm
There is also the option of a before school and after school club if you require child care outside the Pre-school hours .This is open to all children aged 3 and above, please ask a member of staff.
Please note that we do not have facilities to provide a cooked lunch so children need to bring their own packed lunch.
We promote and encourage healthy eating habits so we kindly ask that children’s lunches reflect this. For example providing wholemeal sandwiches, pasta or pieces of fruit. Please do not send fizzy drinks or sweets.
We provide a morning and afternoon snack. We try to offer children a variety of fruit, vegetables, crackers, cheese etc and a drink of milk or water.
If your child is not eligible for Early Years Funding, our fees are as follows:
Morning and afternoon sessions: £10.00 per session
Lunch club: £3.50 per session.
If your child is 3 or over they will be entitled to funding towards their Pre-school fees. Please ask us for more information.
A child who is tense or unhappy will not be able to play or learn properly, so it is important for parents and Pre-school staff to work together to help the child feel confident and secure in the group. This takes longer for some children than others and parents should not feel worried if their child takes a while to settle.
A home visit can be helpful for some children, where a member of our staff can come and meet with you in an environment in which your child is relaxed and confident. This can help us to learn more about your child and for them to become familiar with us before join the Penguins.
Children come to preschool in their own clothes put please don’t send them in their best clothes as they will be getting wet, muddy or covered in paint!
They will also require a complete change of clothes in a bag to be placed on their bag plus a pair of wellington boots for outside play.
Please ensure all clothing is named so that it can be returned to the right children at the end of the day.
Transition to School
As part of the main school we work very closely with the Robins Reception class. In the summer term children who are due to start at the school will visit the Robins class weekly to meet the teachers and become familiar with the classroom, school routines and activities.
This process works very well and it ensures the move to the main school is a smooth and stress free as possible.
The Department for Education have initiated the Hungry Little Minds campaign which aims to improve early communication, language and literacy development. Please click here for more information.