Monthly Archives: September 2014

Come and find out more about the Early Years Foundation Stage!

The Early Years Foundation Stage sets the standards that all early years providers must meet to ensure that children learn and develop well and are kept healthy and safe. It promotes teaching and learning to ensure children’s ‘school readiness’ and gives children the broad range of knowledge and skills that provide the right foundation for good future progress through school and life.

This is an exciting time for you and your child.  At Sandbrook we want to make sure your child is happy, active and secure – and that they are having fun.  We also want to make sure that we work closely with you to make sure that they are learning and developing.  The EYFS supports us all to do this.

We will hold two session for you to find out more about the EYFS. The first will be from 8pm until 9pm on Monday 6th October and the second will be from 11am until midday on Tuesday 7th October.  Both will take place at 85 Sandbrook Road.  We hope to see you there!

You can find out more here: http://www.foundationyears.org.uk/eyfs-statutory-framework/

Book and Story Sack Library

We started a book and story sack library at Sandbrook in April last year which has been very much appreciated by those who have used it.  Parents and carers are invited to come into the playgroup with their child and choose a book or a story sack. You will be able to keep these for up to one week and we would ask that you encourage your child to look after them carefully.  We hope you enjoy the books and story sacks you borrow and that you will let us know what your child liked about them and how you used them.

Listening to stories helps children to make sense of the world, feeds their imagination and builds their language skills.  Sharing books together is a great time for conversations with children and for listening carefully to what they say to you.  

A story sack is a large drawstring bag which includes a copy of a high-quality children’s book for you to read with your child.  The story sack also includes soft toy characters, props and scenery to encourage role play.  The sack is then completed by the addition of a game, a CD of the story, an activity guide and guide for parents on how to use it.

The book and story library is open at drop off times, so 9am and 1pm every day. Although we would encourage parents to come into the playgroup with their child if possible,  if these times are still not convenient for you please speak to your child’s key worker who will be able to arrange for your child to choose a book or story sack with them instead.

Leaving Survey 2014

We always ask parents whose children are leaving Sandbrook in July to complete a survey to let us know about their experiences during their time at the playgroup.  We want to make sure that we have effective partnerships with parents.  Your feedback is extremely valuable to us, helping us to to improve our understanding and practice and to maintain the very highest of standards.

The good news is that 79% of parents strongly agreed that they were happy with the quality of care and education at Sandbrook and 21% agreed they were happy with it.   68% thought that staff were excellent and 32% thought that staff were good.  100% said that they would recommend our playgroup to other parents.

Some of the comments included:

‘We are so grateful to Sandbrook, Lorraine and all of the staff for the care that our children have had at Sandbrook and the great start to their lives which the Playgroup has clearly contributed to.’

‘I couldn’t have hoped for anywhere more caring and nurturing – very happy’.  

‘I would recommend every people I know to send their kids to small and well organised playgroup as Sandbrook is because your kid is not a number to achieve a “school target”.’

‘My child has loved his time at Sandbrook and will really miss the staff, his new friends and the community aspect of the playgroup. Going from being full time at home with me, Sandbrook has been a lovely gentle stepping stone towards him being confident about being away from me in an educational setting. Thank you!’

We asked parents what they thought we could do to improve Sandbrook and we will be considering these suggestions in the next few weeks.  They include:

‘Slightly longer hours’

‘With further activity such as music, foreign languages, yoga, sports, drama, just to enlarge the potential interests of the pupils.’

‘Continue offering parents the opportunity to come in to help/ participate.’

‘Think overall it’s a lovely, cosy, nurturing, interesting place for little ones, doing all the most important things that want from a playgroup. A couple of times was asked to fill in forms which I’d already completed and handed in, so maybe they got lost in the filing.’

‘More time to talk to staff.’

‘Bigger outdoor spaces??’

‘Continue to move more of the parent communication online to enable those who don’t pick up and drop off their children to be engaged.’

‘I can’t think of anything specific other than to suggest more trips every term – to the puppet theatre or city farm maybe?’

‘Take the children out more regularly in the local community.’

‘Maybe a few less emails?’

We will have this survey as an item on the agenda at the next management committee meeting and will be publishing all the results then, but in the meantime if you have any feedback for us please do not hesitate to contact Vanessa at vanessalinehan@hotmail.com