Inside the bungalow we have a main classroom, ball pond room, creative room, home room, snack room and miniature toilets.
Our main classroom houses brightly coloured storage, labelled by pictures to allow children to visually select resources they would like to access. We have a self registration board which encourages children to take their picture from their coat peg and self register on the number line on the main white board. There is a quiet reading corner with soft seating, with books constantly being changed and story headphones pre-programmed with children’s favourite stories. We use phase one of the ‘letters and sounds’ program to encourage children’s literacy skills. Letters and sounds also encourage song, dance and rhythmic activities. There is a dedicated maths area full of exciting puzzles, problem solving resources and counting/pairing/sorting to stimulate mathematical language and awareness. We have a ‘small world’ wall where children can choose from spacemen, the farm, the zoo, mega blocks, dolls house and many more educational resources.
Our ball pond room is a firm favourite. It has soft flooring, steps, roof tunnel, monkey bars, slide and the ball pit itself. This room also has black out blinds to allow us to use torches and make dens. The flooring is easily removed to provide extra use for the sensory area or to offer quiet time.
The Creative room has many different areas and has resources placed at child level to encourage independence and creativity. We have a play dough area which is constantly renewed with different coloured dough and tools. We have glitter, gluing, cutting, colouring, painting and just ‘messy time’! We also use the creative room for baking and making delicious food to either eat at snack time or take home to show our families. To support knowledge of the environment we encourage creativity by recycling materials making 3D models.
The Home room has two floors (remember we are in a bungalow!), we have a mini staircase and upstairs. This room gets moved around depending on how the children wish it to be. Sometimes the kitchen, bedroom, work/office area and dressing up are alternated between upstairs and downstairs, dependent on children’s preference, as long as they are safe and having fun!. There is also a puppet show area in this room where the children can go behind and play, away from adults or entertain their friends (and teachers) with a show.
The snack room is our quiet room. This is the only area in the setting where we really encourage children to use quiet voices. This gives them the opportunity to have a little break from the busy pre-school environment and provides a place to have a snack and drink with their friends. We have a healthy eating policy at Whitchurch Under Fives and encourage healthy eating. We supply fruit and snack along with milk or water for mid-morning and mid-afternoon snack. We encourage healthy packed lunch boxes and supply parents with ideas and leaflets to support healthy options for lunch.
We have mini toilets and sinks in the children’s toilet area and encourage children to be independent with their self care. This is not a requirement for them to start and we work alongside and with parents to encourage children to be able to become independent and attend to their own personal needs.