"Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all". Aristotle
At Sparklers we aim to support the development of happy, confident children by supporting their emotional and social development. We also aim to give them the best possible start academically and cover subjects such as numeracy, literacy, phonics, science and the environment.
We strive to be creative and innovative in how we use play to enable our children to develop their knowledge and understanding of these subject areas.
Our approach to learning enables our children to develop the skills they will need at school. Once at school our children display well developed emotional and social skills, they are well advanced with their phonics and numeracy and they show good creativity. They demonstrate a sense of responsibility for themselves, their friends and for their environment.
We believe that by giving our children the best possible start they develop self belief and confidence in their ability. Research shows that the quality of a child’s early years education has a significant impact on the child’s achievements and emotional well being through to adulthood.
Learning Though Play
We have highly qualified and very experienced staff who are committed to providing an exceptionally stimulating and fun learning environment. At Sparklers ‘Learning through play’ isn’t a slogan. We carefully plan to ensure each of our children has the right play opportunities to learn and thrive and we take every opportunity to allow our children to have fun and expand their ideas. All of our children have around 80% child-initiated learning, where each child can pick their own activities and resources with our staff on hand at all times to help them along the way.
We recognise that every child approaches learning differently and we attach considerable importance to supporting every child so that they can learn in a way and at a rate appropriate for them. We can do this because we take a lot of care getting to understand our children. We ask parents to complete a questionnaire through which we get an insight into their child and we assign each child a key worker whose role it is to support and understand them.
During the preschool day, the children can choose to play with a range of toys and resources and take the lead in their own learning. They can also take part in lots of different activities, with an emphasis on the children choosing where they want to play, and what they'd like to play with. Children are given some adult directed activities to develop their literacy, phonics and maths skills.
Our setting is 'free flow', which means that the children can move freely between indoors and outdoors as they wish with free access to toys/games etc. The activities we offer are based on the Early Years Foundation Stage, the statutory curriculum for children in this age group.
These sessions are on a Monday morning and are run by Sarah (mum to ex-Sparklers Heidi and Bethany). Sarah has been working with the school to introduce children to the practice of mindfulness, which it is believed, can be a valuable tool to help us feel a balanced sense of personal well-being in a hectic world. Sarah says, “To be mindful is to be totally aware of ourselves and our environment in the present moment. When we can do this, our disruptive thoughts and the feelings they create can flow through us, rather than carry us off on an unsettling wave of painful emotion, stress and fear… so being mindful is to be calmer, clearer of mind, more at peace with ourselves and the world around us and being able to enjoy what is, rather than worry pointlessly about what was or could be.”
We use the outside areas as much as we can, but if the weather prevents we have access to the school hall. The children use the apparatus, we play games, have circle time, music and movement. A big part of our P.E session is encouraging our children to be confident about changing clothes independently in preparation for school.
Every Wednesday we take a full session outside. We wrap up when it's cold and take our snacks with us. Our outside activities are often tied to our theme for the week, whether its off searching for The Gruffalo or den building in the local woods. Every day in Sparklers, all our children and staff enjoy a walk around the local environment which helps set us up for the rest of the day.
Madame Deeks visits us once a week and our children enjoy French lessons where they can hear and play with different sounds and language. As with all our activities this is done through play and in a fun way!
Music & Movement
Music is a big part of everything we do, whether through simple rhyming story time or singing and music sessions.
Take a look at our Photo Gallery to see some of these in action!