About Our Preschool
Please book an appointment to talk to staff and see our unique educational setting.
We are guided by the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) Curriculum (a government legal framework for preschool and reception settings). It is centred around the individual child's path of development and learning through play. We implement the EYFS through our emotional and learning environments, engaging and stimulating resources and educational ethos.
Our Emotional Environment
Our first priority is to do all we can to help your child to feel as safe, confident and happy as possible. All our staff are warm and friendly. They will be keen to share good news about your child and work in partnership with you to help them settle in, and to deal with any difficulties that come up in their lives. We aim to create a calm and consistent atmosphere and address inevitable upsets with patience and understanding. We know that at this age, children are learning all the time about relationships. We try to model good interactions and to help children learn how to get on with each other and to begin to regulate their own emotions.
Our Learning Environment
A ten minute drive from Penzance, Trythall Preschool is surrounded by beautiful Cornish moorlands, heritage and farmland. With a small moorland stream running through and alongside our school grounds we have diverse and exciting outdoor learning spaces which facilitate a wealth of learning opportunities and child-led open-ended enquiry. Our school grounds are always changing and being enhanced by whole school gardening activities and community working parties.
Natural and Reflective Spaces: wildflower meadow, woodland copse, wildlife pond, secluded fire pit. Our natural and calming spaces allow children the freedom to explore their senses, embrace respect for the natural world and its life cycles and enjoy stories, songs and music around a fire or special outdoor place. We believe natural and reflective spaces have a positive impact on a child’s wellbeing and ability to learn
Active and Adventure Spaces: climbing area, games field, undulating grassy maze, hard core playground (for bikes and play equipment), tree house, den building space, hide and seek area. Our active spaces promote healthy active play and physical activity at an early age which is essential for the development of gross motor skills such as running, climbing, throwing, hopping etc. These skills build muscle-mass, coordination and control which help develop fine motor skills such as writing, drawing, threading etc.
Growing Spaces: productive poly tunnel, raised beds, hedgerows, wormery, compost heap, free ranging chickens and tortoises all provide quality stewardship opportunities. Learning at first-hand about the cycles of life, tool use, the changing seasons, weather, growing of fresh healthy foods for school time snacks, discovering minibeasts and enjoying community celebrations, all impact positively on young children.
Creative, Performance and Social Spaces: Our grass amphitheatre creates a unique space for drama, storytelling, role play, team games, dance and whole school community gathering. Working alongside and complementing our stimulating and challenging outdoor learning spaces we have our cosy indoor classroom, with a free flow enclosed outdoor space created specifically for and used by the Foundation Stage children.
We believe lots of time and enjoyment in our rich and dynamic learning spaces connects children deeply with the natural world and creates a healthy body and mind.
Engaging and Stimulating Resources
At Trythall Pre-School we facilitate learning opportunities and open-ended enquiry through the outdoor resources we provide to explore the four natural elements: earth, water, air and fire. Using their senses and given the freedom to explore and discover, children encounter awe and wonder moments when stimulating spaces and resources come together.
Earth: physical contact and play with natural resources such as mud, soil, clay, stones and large bouldering rocks allow children to feel, dig, construct, sculpt, manoeuvre, mix and climb.
Fire: in our fire pit area and with trained adults, children learn how to be safe around fire and what a fire needs to stay live and be extinguished. They learn how to use fire for warmth, simple cooking and social enjoyment. Celebrating Diwali, the Festival of Light, investigating sun dials, reflections, mirrors and coloured filters creating learning opportunities to explore light and shade.
Water: resources such as streams, puddles, hoses, water wheels, dams, pumps, pipes, large and small containers, ladles, sieves, and funnels are vital to learning about the characteristics of water, floating, sinking and its forces. Exploring outside on snowy, icy, frosty, dewy mornings promotes curiosity, detailed observation, and deep discovery about the different states of water.
Air: the joy of feeling the wind on your face, throwing leaves into the air, blowing bubbles and watching them float on the breeze, playing with and making kites and flags and wind socks, using ribbons and feathers all connect the child with the element of air.
Learning through trial and error, teamwork and independent discovery with these resources helps embed key learning for future life, sparks off an interest, and opens minds. With close adult supervision we encourage the children to risk assess, predict outcomes and set challenges for themselves.
Trythall Pre-School is educationally linked with Trythall Primary School and has an active parent-led playgroup for babies and toddlers. This early provision for children, parents and communities creates a family atmosphere to support the children from their earliest days until secondary school. (Parents should be aware that enrolment at the Pre-School does NOT constitute an automatic place in the Reception Class).
Our Educational Ethos: We believe in a child centred and child led education facilitated by our stimulating educational environment, resources and experienced and caring practitioners. We aim to engage, inspire and motivate young minds through positive educational experiences, helping children to become happy, independent, confident, self-regulating and motivated learners. We believe play and learning are intertwined.
Complementing our school-based learning we often extend out to the local environment through excursions and school trips to expand and enrich the children’s education and vision of the world.
· Virg - Early Years Teacher
· Amy – Primary Teacher, Qualified Outdoor Practitioner and Makaton Trained
· Sue – level 3 Practitioner
· Charlene – Foundation Degree in Teaching and Learning
Between us, we have many years of experience! Additionally, we all have children of our own so we understand some of the joys and challenges of parenting.
Key Child System
Each child has a key person to keep a special eye on them. This adult is the main person who attends to their emotional and learning needs. The key person will make sure that the provision for their key child’s play is planned with their individual needs in mind. The child’s key person will feed back to parents and carers about their child’s progress at school and would be very grateful to receive any news about their development at home. There are other part time staff who will also help each child play and learn.
When a child does something significant, or shows that they have learnt something new, we record the moment in a photo or a written observation and put it in their “Learning Journey” scrapbook. This helps the child's key adult to assess the child's educational stage and this in turn informs individual planning for the child. This Learning Journey is always available for the child’s family to look at. We always appreciate contributions from the family about the things the child has done at home and these can be added to the Learning Journey to give a complete picture of the child. The Learning Journey book can be taken home to keep when the child leaves Pre-School.
We usually begin the day settling the children into the classroom. The children learn to independently change from their outdoor shoes into slippers and collect their name label for their coat and bag peg. They then engage with other children, staff and activities and resources, such as construction toys, puzzles, games, books, sensory activities, role play, art and craft. After everyone has arrived and settled all the children are encouraged to join together for carpet time which involves adult led activity such as phonics and early maths games, listening activities, songs etc.
At mid-morning snack time, the children independently lay the table and are encouraged to pass each other a choice of fresh fruit and vegetable snack followed by something savoury such as breadsticks, cheese or crackers. There is milk and/or water to drink. (Please let us know if your child has any dietary requirements and restrictions)
After snacks, we encourage the children to independently get ready in their outdoor clothes and wellies so they can make use of our fantastic outdoor learning spaces and resources, so at least half the session is spent outdoors. We usually finish the session with some singing and a story before lunch.
Adults and children sit down together for lunch – a great opportunity for whole class social interaction and chatter about the morning or their own personal news. (A packed lunch can be brought in from home or a school dinner can be ordered). They are encouraged to eat the savoury part of their meal first, followed by fruit and finally any pudding or sweet treat if they are still hungry.
Afternoon sessions, children are encouraged to go outside or a free flow between indoor and outdoor spaces. Perhaps collecting eggs from the free ranging chickens or looking after the tortoises.
To support families and to start the transition of children into the school environment we have a parent led playgroup who meet once a week in our school environment.
“We recognise that younger children will not be able to maintain social distancing and it is acceptable for them not to distance within their group” (Government guidance, July 2020)
Within each bubble, social distancing and unnecessary contact will be kept in mind but the child's emotional needs also need to be considered. We need to keep a balanced approach at all times between Covid-19 safety and the children's well-being. With our amazing widespread outdoor spaces and outdoor learning ethos, we believe our preschool offers a healthy way forward through the Covid-19 Crisis.