Learning Through Play
A wide range of activities, toys and resources are available throughout each session and children have the opportunity to make their own choices about what to play with. Play and learning takes place both indoors and outside, with staff on hand to support and encourage play and learning - either by joining in, adding to resources, or observing, to identify the next steps for each child’s learning.
Some activities may be planned or structured to support a specific area of learning. Examples of this are exploring floating and sinking at the water tray, or throwing and catching bean bags or balls. At hedgehogs, we also make the most of any spontaneous learning opportunities, such as watching a helicopter travelling through the sky, playing out in the snow, even watching the horse racing! We believe that when children feel happy, safe and secure, they will develop the confidence to ‘have a go’ and become curious and motivated learners …for life!
Our snack time routine is varied and is usually self service within our ‘Hedgehogs Cafe’.
Children choose when to come and sit down, pour their own drinks and select their snacks. Sometimes we come together as a whole group to celebrate birthdays or have picnic-style snack time, especially if the weather is nice.
We provide milk or orange squash to drink and a wide range of healthy snacks such as fresh fruit, raisins, breadsticks, crackers and cheese.
Children sit together to eat their packed lunches in a relaxed, informal environment, with adults on hand to support them. Children are encouraged to use self-help skills and form healthy eating habits, with any treats reserved until the end of their meal.
Children are seated on chairs and their school bags are then handed out along with any paintings, pictures, or notes / letters that are being sent home. When parents collect their children, they are requested to wait in the foyer, until their child is called to go out to them. This is an opportunity to have a look at the notice board and find out any information such as news, events or current interests.
It is important to remember that children will only be released into the care of known individuals and unless we have been informed about someone different collecting your child, they will not be allowed to leave the premises until their parents/carers have been contacted for confirmation.
Diaries & School Bags
Every child will be given a school bag and diary, when they start at Hedgehogs and we would like you to bring these to each session. The bags are used for taking pictures, paintings and letters home, while the diaries are used to share information with our parents / carers; particularly when a child is new and settling in.
Although diaries are a useful way of communicating with parents, they are not a priority, as we feel it is more important for staff to be interacting and supporting learning, rather than taking time away from children to write in a diary each day. Children may not bring home pictures, paintings or craft work from every session, but this does not mean that they have not been busy with other activities.