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Aveton Gifford Pre-school AGM Sept 22nd 2015

Managers Report Mandy Tucker

The beginning of the school year in sept 14 started with 16 children on roll even having just seen 13 children starting primary school. By January 15 this had increased to 25 children and 27 children by the Summer term.

The current roll is 19 (5 more than Autumn Term last year) with one possible new start tomorrow. This is after 12 primary school starters this term.

The topics each term for the school year were Transport, Weather, Sport. Through these topics, planned activities have provided learning opportunities and supported the children’s development in line with the areas of learning within the Foundation Stage Curriculum.

Parents are a big part of our family oriented setting and are included through a variety of events. The children performed a Nativity play at Christmas and a Summer Sports Medley at the end of the year. Parents evenings were held in Feb and June and a breaking down barriers fun Beach Day in June for families and staff. A new revamped Sports Day made its début in July.

Staff have also continued to develop, through attending training workshops and our in-house staff development sessions. In Jan, Alice Thornton with her professional expertise in children’s language development led a training session on communication and language, delving into the theory behind hearing , interpreting language and speaking back. She followed this up with good practice for helping very young children to communicate.

We were fortunate to be able to access training opportunities funded by KCC namely Maths Development, Outdoor Learning, Understanding the World ICT and Science. These were particularly valuable because all members of staff were able to attend after pre-school hours, locally, and from sharing ideas from these, much discussion followed between us and ideas of how we could put them into practice as a team. This formed part of our self-evaluation process.

In addition I attended the First Federation launch of their Early Years Project and signed up to part be of the cluster group. This is a year long funded project to support the pre-schools which feed the First Federation primary schools such as Aveton Gifford Primary. From this the pre-school will gain a share of good practice knowledge and resources.

Sadly, two long standing members of staff handed in their notice this year. Lizzie in January and Wendy in July. Both had genuine reasons for leaving, both to concentrate on other work commitments.

Fortunately this gave Kaylee the opportunity to work additional days at our pre-school giving her a four and half day week. We have recruited Laura to cover Wendy’s hours and cover some of the staff time for maintaining children’s developmental records. Laura is already proving to be a “gem” and has quickly and easily fitted in to the team.

Between the Summer and this autumn we have phased out the old style Learning Journals recording individual children’s development for an on-line e journal. We purchased a tablet to facilitate this and now photographs and child observations can be up-loaded quickly and parents can access with their own password and keep up to date of their child’s progress. It also provides and opportunity for parents to share their own observations and their children’s interests. The system promises to save the pre-school the cost of printing photographs and the laborious time of Key Persons cutting and pasting.

In January we introduced new “Step-Up “ sessions. These are designed for children in their last terms before starting primary school to develop concentration, independence, confidence , pre-writing and early maths development, as well as Transition afternoons at primary school. These sessions have proved to be of enormous benefit to the children, helping with school readiness and all the children are reported to have started smoothly and confidently into their new school.

Needless to say the “Step up “Sessions are now here to stay!

We have been secure enough financially to afford some new outdoor resources such as fixings for a sail shade/shelter, picnic benches and new quality educational bikes. New instruments have ensured there’s enough to go round for our bigger group and made music sessions fun and exciting.

We came back to pre-school this Term to a lovely bright newly decorated premises. Many thanks go to Sarah and Alec for working tirelessly painting, decorating and cleaning in order to have it all ready for Sept opening. Alec always going the extra mile making improvements with fittings and fixtures showing his multi talented skills.

Having had a major sort out and cleaning of equipment with myself, Katie and Kaylee and with some help from Katie F, Heidi, and co and Katie B’s dad various indoor and outdoor chores were done. Tim has been supportive towards the allocation of funds for purchasing new equipment and recently new display boards. We are lucky to have such support from staff and parents for the good of our pre-school.

I would like to thank the committee as a whole for their support this year but especially Hannah and Katie for taking on board my continually ear bending matters for attention! I know you will still be behind us while Oscar and Jack are still at pre-school in a lesser capacity and I sincerely wish you a more peaceful year ahead .

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