Toddler and Preschooler friendly Yoga and Mindfulness sessions, both in and outdoors take place within every full day at Kindergarten.
Our Manager and Owner at Faraway Tree kindergarten, Kristie Chesters is a fully qualified Forest School Leader. We incorporate the forest school philosophy as part of our continuous approach to learning and play opportunities. In addition, we run a weekly forest school club- known as the 'let's go club' on Wednesdays from the Much Hadham Pavilion. Please see our services page for more information.
Arrival & Breakfast Club. All children and families are welcomed and morning handovers begin. Parents share any information to support the child's day, and practitioners spend time settling the children. Breakfast is optional but encouraged; a variety of healthy options are given including milk and/or homemade smoothies.
Morning session. This is generally an offsite session. We typically spend time on the village recreation ground, walking on footpaths crossing historic parkland, nature reserves, woodlands and open spaces in Much Hadham. We care for an allotment in the village, spend time in nearby Elsie's meadow, enjoying the local ford. The children see numerous dogs, birds of prey, garden birds, horses, donkeys, lambs, sheep, rams and mini beasts galore, they saw a heron and a stoat recently! The children enjoy as much of the green space around them as they can access. This session is where we use most of our 'in the moment planning'. We take basic kit* out with us, the items change to fit the weather / seasons and the needs and interests of the group. Our practitioners spend time observing the children in their play, identifying the 'teachable moments' and extending the learning as it happens 'in the moment'.
End of morning session and lunch time; children attending for the morning session only are collected at 12.00 and the children who attend for a full day/lunch time add-on sit together to eat their packed lunches.
Afternoon session. Sometimes this incorporates a second offsite outing, with some more adult led within it. For example, den building, allotment, pond dipping etc. Other times, it could be an indoor session. We complete art projects, we have sand / water / messy play / sensory play / light and shadow / tents and dens / role play. We follow the children's lead. Adults spend time observing, completing interventions, one to one and small group work, work on our 'floor books' the practitioners logs and reflections of what we get up to, recorded and presented for the parents to see and for the children to use to revisit their experiences.
Wind down and collection. Gather for circle time and a story to finish our day. We re-cap on our actions and learning. We tell the children stories, we might have song or dancing time. We talk about what we would like to do tomorrow. The children begin to get their shoes on and bags, items to take home, ready. Parents collection and afternoon handover.
* Kit - We have hammocks, a slack line and hanging equipment- ladder, trapeze swing, rings etc, various bubble wands and a bubble machine, parachutes, tarps, a wagon to pull our equipment and / or tired toddlers! Child-size tools and PPE for the allotment, an action camera. All of our indoor equipment can be (and are) taken outdoors. We take out books and musical instruments often.
** Toilet training children need often reminding that they may need to visit the toilet, especially if busy in their play. We ask the room if anyone needs to go several times a day, which usually prompts the children to think about whether they do or not.