We are a Charitable Trust for the community, located within the premises of St. Andrew’s Church with unrestricted parking on the road outside the building. Our facilities include a fully-equipped kitchen and dining room, access to the spacious church hall, as well as our own dedicated separate teaching and play areas. The kitchen facilities permit us to do baking activities with the children. In implementing the Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum we reflect the indoor learning experience outside by having illustrations around understanding of the world, letters and numbers and more. The outdoor space allows for play in basketball, football, bats and balls, scooting, riding, log balancing, rope balancing, sliding, mounting, pushing and pulling equipment, natural resources, play in water, planting with soil, a quiet area in the Wendy house for reading, mark making and social time. The outdoor area allows for expressive play by activities set up such as a flower shop, restaurant, hospital etc.
The dining room doubles up as an extra activity room or for one-to-one sessions with the children in a quiet area. We also hold monthly coffee mornings for parents here during which we communicate planned events and encourage information sharing among parents/carers. We have an additional first floor meeting and activity room where we host workshops for parents/carers and small group activities. Our main teaching/play room is divided into zones for different kinds of activities and play.
The day starts with breakfast club for children who wish to attend from 08:00-09:00. For a modest fee of £2 per child per session we provide a healthy breakfast consisting of a variety of cereals including warm oats, brown bread with cheese, jam and Clover butter with a glass of milk or water.
The rest of the day is divided into the morning session (09:00 to 12:00) and the afternoon session (11:45-14:45) at £6 per hour and After School Club (additional hours until 18:00) at a cost of £4 per hour. We offer excellent flexibility and children may attend all day, or for a mixture of mornings and afternoons as required; we do our best to accommodate specific requirements.
Although we have free play sessions we structure the day to include different types of stimulating activities and to prepare children for the transition to primary school. During a typical day indoor and outdoor activities reflect the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum (EYFS). These activities are planned weekly and centred around the children's interests as well as in Maths, Literacy, Communication and Language, Expressive Art, Understanding of the World, all of which include focusing on using natural resources including water, sand and malleable materials and work on ICT programmes. We promote physical activity to support gross and fine motor skills. Research by the British Heart Foundation demonstrates that exercise is vital to our well being with emphasis on encouraging physical activity in the early years. Personal, social and emotional opportunities include allowing time to be independent, care for hygiene and playing cooperatively while learning how to build life skills. Our After School Club facilities include Homework support, Art and Sports (HAS).
We take on apprentices from local colleges as well as Master's degree students and their input is invaluable in expanding ideas for educational activities with the children.
Extra literacy and numeracy sessions
We have access to “Reading Eggs” literacy and numeracy software, which we use with all children but we also offer additional one-to-one sessions ( 0.30 hours, twice weekly) for a modest fee of £5 per week. Children who use the Reading Eggs programme have improved literacy and numeracy skills and a head start at primary school.
Super Star Sports sessions
We are fortunate to have a qualified physical training coach from the Super Star Sport, North West London attend the Pre-School on a monthly basis. These sessions are mostly paid for from the fees we receive but we ask for a small additional fee of £10 per term per child to contribute towards the cost of running these sessions. The sessions are held in the main church hall.
Special festivities throughout the year
Although we have a close relationship with St. Andrew’s Church, we are non-denominational and accommodate children from all backgrounds and religions. We teach respect for others and as part of this we commemorate various special days throughout the year, for example, Christmas, Easter, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, International Day. In celebration of Christmas the children perform a nativity show, which is followed by a buffet. We also employ entertainers occasionally before the Easter Holiday. In July we hold a graduation ceremony for children moving into Reception class followed by a buffet.
We also hold one external trip (usually to a local children’s farm, the RAF museum or similar) each summer term and we visit Mill Hill Fire Station and the library opposite, or the local Fire Brigade sends a fire engine to the pre-school to teach the children about this emergency service and about fire safety.
Parents/carers are expected to provide lunch for their child. Hot meals should be provided in an insulated container as we are unable to reheat food due to the number of children present at meal times. We encourage healthy eating: a balanced meal with fruit/yoghurt as a dessert rather than cakes or biscuits. We operate a ‘no nuts’ policy to prevent allergic reactions. Cutlery, crockery and plain water are provided by us.
Although a St Andrew's uniform is available it is not obligatory but if parents wish their child to wear uniform it must be purchased from us. The sweater and joggers (£11.60) are navy blue and the T-shirt is royal blue (£4.00)
If a child is in nappies parents/carers must provide a bag with spares for changing the child. We keep a record of each nappy change. Children who are toilet training should attend in pull-up nappies until they are continent. You are advised to provide a change of clothing for your child, whether potty-trained or not, in case of accidents, although we do hold a small stock of clothing they can borrow if need be.