Reflecting on our wonderful year...

This year marks the ten-year anniversary of Freshford Preschool being open! This is such a wonderful achievement, and definitely worth celebrating. Our committee are thinking of ways to mark the occasion so all involved can be a part of it. Watch this space!

This academic year has, as always, been action packed and full of fun and adventures. The children have all flourished, and the staff team feel so privileged to see them grow and develop through the months.

To maintain and develop our ‘child at the centre’ approach, we have made some changes during the year. We now follow the same phonics and maths schemes as the local school, ensuring the transition to school can be as smooth as possible. Alongside this, we have moved to ‘in the moment’ planning where children ‘lead’ the planning as the staff following their current interests. We have been known to be exploring space one day, followed with water play and canal systems the next! It’s been a great success: the children have been highly engaged and motivated in all their choices which has had a strong positive effect on their learning and development. Extending ideas, supporting play and noticing interests has all helped with this, and the children are so curious in all they do.

Our local community has played a big part in our activities this year, as well as venturing further afield! Bell ringing at the church, followed by singing at the Old Bakery was a highlight before Christmas, and heading out on a train journey to Bath to visit the Victoria Art Gallery was just wonderful! The rain couldn’t dampen our spirits during an outing to Bath City Farm in June, which continued the theme of wet farm trips, after an Easter trip to Peipards where some children were lucky enough to see a lamb being born.

It’s thanks to the amazing support and dedication of the families involved that Freshford Preschool has such a warm, family feel to it. Families and local community have all supported our fundraising events this year and the money raised has enabled us to buy some wonderful outdoor musical instruments for the garden. We have also offered parent workshops to support families with understanding how they can help their child learn, using methods tried and tested at our setting! ‘Borrow Bags’ go home regularly, promoting physical development play and empowering families to realise how everyday activities support their child. We had a wonderful turnout for the annual sporty day and also for our end of term Graduation, where the children put on an amazing show, taking families back through the seasons to remember their journey this year.

While some children embark on their next adventures at school in September, we are very much looking forward to welcoming some children back for their final preschool year, as well as some new children joining us. This year is set to be a fun filled one as well, with lots of activities which will inspire and empower. Children will create, explore and discover each day in all they do – with games, friendships and interests developing. We look forward to seeing where they will take us!

Summer celebrations

What a wonderful term we have had to end such a lovely academic year – the tenth year of Freshford Preschool being open, an amazing achievement in its own right!

We are always looking at ways to give the children life experiences and taking part in the BRAKE walk enabled us to promote road safety in a fun, exciting way. We walked to the train station, negotiating narrow paths and crossing different roads. On reaching our destination, we also got to see a train pull in and waved to the passengers…who all waved back! The children were amazing walkers, covering nearly two miles on the day.

Our summer term is one of many celebrations, and the children help to prepare and plan for each of these. Sporty day was a huge success, with all the children joining in the different events and big smiles all round. The event ended with parents showing off their welly throwing skills, cheered on by children and staff!

Hogwood has been truly magical this year, and parents joined us for the last session to see the magic for themselves… The children abseiled, created amazing dens, used a hand drill to create a woodland medal, balanced along Burma bridges and wobbly logs, and sang songs around our fire pit, enjoying a toasted marshmallow – or two! We ended with a Graduation Celebration, to recognise all the children’s achievements. We hope the children are as proud of themselves as we are of them.

Back at preschool, we have introduced a weekly STEM activity which allows the children to explore concepts in open ended ways, using their creativity and problem-solving skills. So far they have made rockets, marble runs inside and outside, and balanced plates using tubes! This nurtures the children’s resilience to face challenges and work through them, and the activities have been well received by all.

Those children moving on to school are looking forward to their next learning adventures, and here at preschool we have enjoyed welcoming the new cohort of preschoolers for their taster session, where they were able to explore the setting and become familiar with their new surroundings before joining us in September.

The Summer holidays are soon upon us, and we will return in September to some super new outdoor music equipment in the preschool garden! Many thanks to our committee fundraisers, who have raised the £2,000 needed, and to a couple of super-skilled parents who are giving their time to come and install them for us. We’re looking forward to beginning a new academic year with fresh ideas and activities for all to explore, create and discover together.