3 to 5 years old – Hedgehogs

Our pre-school group for children aged 3 to 5 years old is called Hedgehogs.

Children moving from Owls (2 years old) to Hedgehogs have the advantage of remaining in familiar surroundings with staff that will already be well-known to them. Our pre-school activity areas, both indoors and outdoors, are treasure troves of fun equipment and toys designed to enable creative learning.

Our aim is to build the confidence and independence of your child and to help them understand the world so that they are fully prepared for school by the time they leave us. This is reflected in everything we do.

A typical day in Hedgehogs begins as the children arrive and self-register – each child finds the picture of a hedgehog with their name on it and puts it on the register board to show that they are present. Then comes free play!

During free play the children can choose to play independently or to engage with adult-led activities. It's up to them what they do, where they are and who they are with. Some adult-led activities are planned in advance, others are child-initiated – if your child tells us that they would like to paint in red and yellow then we make that possible.

Sometimes children want to be by themselves and we help them to adapt their environment to create child-friendly spaces where they feel safe and secure – they might want to get under a table, or sit under netting or even in a cardboard box!

Our mark-making resources – from chalk and boards to our giant outdoor whiteboard and pens – help children to learn the skills they will need later when they begin to read and write. In the book corner children become familiar with books.

In the mathematics area your child will learn about counting, sorting and grouping with toys like the Compare Bears and Mini Motors.

We have construction areas indoors and outdoors with blocks and bricks where children can learn about problem solving and risk-taking.

Messy play is a wonderful way to introduce children to the world of expressive art and design. Your child will be able to experiment with cornflour gloop, take part in junk modelling, create shapes with shaving foam and have fun with bubbles.

Healthy snacks are available for children to eat whenever they choose during free play.

Free play is followed by tidy-up time. The signal to the children to begin tidying up is just one of the many moments in the day when we use Makaton.

With the activity areas (indoors and outdoors) tidied up the children are ready for circle time. Circle time creates a structured environment that encourages the children to concentrate and listen to each other. It's a place where we can teach your child about letters and sounds. We take part in the Every Child a Talker (ECAT) scheme which is about creating a supportive and stimulating environment in which children can enjoy experimenting with and learning language. In circle time we celebrate the milestones of both staff and children – from birthdays to “wow” moments, when we recognise the things the children have accomplished that are great achievements for them, like putting on their shoes by themselves for the first time. Circle time creates a sense of community and belonging.

Next it's time for a story and singing. In the morning session this is followed by lunch. Then it's quiet time, an opportunity for the children to get comfy with cushions and look at story books. By now it's the fternoon – some children go home, others arrive and it's time to do it all again!

We understand that every child is an individual and plan for each of them accordingly to ensure that we engage them in the appropriate activities for their development. This is possible because of our Key Person system, which assigns one member of staff to oversee the care of each child. Your child's learning is a step-by-step process and each step stems from the interests of the child and is guided by the outcomes of the one before. This means that the learning journey is fluid which is why your child's Key Person will stay in close contact with you, giving you regular verbal and written feedback about our plans for your child and our observations of them.

See for yourself:

To arrange a visit contact us on the phone number or email address above. Alternatively, type a message with your name and contact details in the box below and we'll get in touch with you as soon as possible: