• stevalpreschool

Dear parents/carers

Following the government’s announcement regarding the lifting of restrictions, we plan to reopen Pre-school the week commencing June 1st, subject to safety requirements being met and any change to the government guidelines. At this time, Pre-school will only be open for the children who begin reception class in September 2020.

However there are many changes that have been put into place to comply with social distancing and our duty of care not only for the children, but the staff also.

To comply with government guidelines, we can take up to 8 children at one time, because of this there will NO longer be a full day option. From the above date, morning sessions will start at 9am and finish at 11:50 promptly. The afternoon sessions (including Tuesday for this period) will begin at 12:10 and finish at 3pm. NO LUNCHTIME PROVISION WILL BE AVAILABLE.

The set days that you were allocated before closure will no longer stand and there is also no guarantee of the amount of hours we can offer, this will be subject to the uptake.

Unfortunately, Pre-school is going to be a very different environment, many of the toys and resources we will be unable to use because of cross-contamination. We have also been advised that all staff are to wear PPE, and the children cannot play freely together in or outdoors. Social distancing must be adhered to at all times.

NO parents/carers will be able to enter the building at any point, with this in mind drop off and pick up will run accordingly. On the perimeter fence, there will be 2-metre markings set out, please queue at these points, ensuring social distancing by yourselves and the children.

One at a time parents/carers (one adult only) will bring their child to the bottom of the ramp releasing the child to the member of staff waiting at the front door. Your child will wash their hands before entering the classroom. Please pass this information on to anyone collecting or dropping off your child.

Each classroom will be set up for 4 children and 1 member of staff, throughout the session social distancing will remain. Pick up will follow the same principle, again one adult per child.

Please DO NOT send your child in with bags, book bags, drinks or toys, we cannot accept them. We will supply milk or water to all children throughout the sessions.

Yourself or an emergency contact MUST be available at all times while your child is in the setting.

We have been advised to have an isolation area in which a child can be taken to if unwell, this will be the Snug. If we do contact you due to illness, please come to the front door. Once the member of staff knows you're there, please return to the bottom of the ramp.

We also advise you to continue to follow the government's self-isolation guidelines if your child or anyone in your household presents any symptoms of COVID-19 (a new continuous cough, high temperature, or loss of/change in your normal sense of taste or smell).

Due to the government guidelines, there will be no new starters or visits until September. We also cannot offer extra or swap sessions.

At present there will be no transition lunches, visits or end of year parties expected, however, this will be constantly reviewed and risk assessments made.

For the remaining weeks, all communication between parent/carers and staff must be done via email info@stevalpreschool.co.uk or through messenger.

Please let me know by Friday 22nd May if you would like to request a place.

I know this is a huge amount of information to take on, but we are trying to make an almost impossible task work and keep everyone safe. If anyone feels they may need any extra support at this difficult time, please contact me and I will do all I can to help.

Take care, Rachael Richards - Pre-school Manager

  • stevalpreschool

We are very pleased to announce that on Wednesday 2nd October we will be hosting an open evening here at pre-school.

At St Eval Pre-school, we love to get parents involved, so this October we are opening our doors to parents, both current and prospective, giving them the opportunity to tour our setting, see first-hand what the children are working on, and above all, talk with our lovely staff about their child's progress and pre-school life.

Our committee will also be on hand so parents can talk to other parents about how our unique little pre-school works. They will also be serving some wine and nibbles to complete this warm, welcoming occasion.

Join us at pre-school on Wednesday 2nd October at 7.30pm.

We look forward to seeing you then.

Despite the chill in the air, the daffodils and lighter mornings tell us that Spring is coming – and we can’t wait! It’s such a special season with so much change, growth and new life.

There are lots of natural opportunities for learning at this time of year, so we’ve chosen ‘In the Garden’ as our topic this term. From planting and growing to mini beasts, we’re spending lots of time outside, learning about our changing environment and all the living things that contribute to it.

Planting the seeds of knowledge – why we teach the children about the garden

Spring brings so many changes to the children's surroundings, from flowers in the garden to baby lambs in the field. The world comes alive again in this magical season, so it’s an ideal time to teach them about life, growth and how to take care of living things. Through growing their own plants and vegetables, the children learn how living things need to be cared for, fed and watered – just like them. And they’ll work together to tend to their plants, which helps build relationships and teaches them about teamwork.

Teaching pre-school children about planting and growing is also an excellent way for them to learn where their food comes from. You’d be surprised how many children think bananas come from Tesco! Learning about the care and attention needed to grow our food can also help them see how valuable it is and encourage them to be less wasteful.

Inspiring the children to have green fingers can also help promote healthy eating. Pulling a carrot from the ground that you’ve seen grow from a seed, to a sprout, to a full-sized vegetable, is much more interesting than simply grabbing a packet of crisps from the cupboard.

How we teach the children about planting and growing

Let’s get growing!

At St Eval Pre-school we have an strong relationship with Trevisker Primary School. We have our own polytunnel on site there, where we did some great growing last year. We’ve been busy clearing it out and preparing it for this year’s fruit and vegetables. Once the weather is warmer, the polytunnel will come alive with plant life and we’ll go over there regularly, so our little farmers can tend to their crops. This valuable resource not only gives us space to help extend the children’s learning, it's also an important first step in their transitioning to ‘big’ school.

We were very lucky to have Lewi Skinner from Padstow Kitchen Garden visit us recently, who talked to the children about how to grow your own food and take care of plants. During his visit, he helped the children plant lots of seeds that are busy germinating away inside pre-school. When the weather gets warmer, we'll move these to the polytunnel at Trevisker. As well as planting beans, radishes, carrots and leeks with the children, Lewi also taught them about plant awareness - helping them identify what berries you can and can’t eat. The children have since been taking great care of their seeds, watering them daily and patiently waiting for them to grow.

We’ve also been tidying up our garden at pre-school, so we can do some more planting, playing and learning here too. Like last year, we’re hoping to plant things like sunflowers, pumpkins and potatoes. The children will enjoy being outside daily with their rakes, shovels and watering cans, lovingly tending to their crops.

And if they come across a creepy crawly or two, that’s another opportunity for learning. We identify the bugs, discuss what they do and move them to our 5* bug hotel.

We like to teach the children the full lifecycle of our food, from field to fork. So, as the vegetables grow and the berries ripen, we will use them in our snack here at pre-school. The children love to eat the fruits of their labour and it’s an ideal way to promote healthy eating, in line with our healthy eating policy.

This year, we’re lucky to add another dimension to this topic, as one of our staff members is doing some growing of her own. Pregnancy is often a confusing, but very real topic for a lot of our children, so this year, as well as caring for and growing our plants, the children will be learning about pregnancy and how a baby grows too. This is a perfect way to dispel any fears or confusion children might have about pregnancy, and it helps them understand the changes and care it involves. We even have our own sweepstake to guess the gender, which helps the children with their maths.

Other ways we learn about the garden and how you can get involved at home

There are lots of exciting ways to extend the children’s learning in the classroom, at home and out in the community. Here are 10 activities we’re doing at pre-school and how you can easily adapt them at home:

  1. Read books like The Hungary Caterpillar by Eric Carle. As well as teaching the children about metamorphosis, you can use this book as a talking point for the different fruits. You can ask your child: what fruits did the caterpillar eat? Where did the fruit come from? What colour are they? What’s your favourite? There’s also a little movie you could watch together as a special treat.

  2. Welly Walks are something we’re doing a lot of here at pre-school. The newly-opened pathways around our village have a wealth of nature, plants, bugs, birds and animals waiting to be discovered. Get out and about, and see what you can spot.

  3. Next time you sit down to a meal or snack with your child, discuss what you’re eating and where it comes from, e.g. at breakfast time, talk through how your cereal is grown in fields, the milk comes from cows and the berries are grown on plants. You might even learn something new yourself!

  4. Play ‘Guess Where It Comes From’. Choose any fruit or vegetable and ask you child to guess where it grows - trees, plants, bushes, fields, etc.

  5. Use different fruits to elicit different colours. Some fruits and vegetables come in different colours (like apples or grapes), and some change colour as they ripen or get old. Talk through this with your child and see what they already know. This not only teaches them about food, it also practises their colours.

  6. Do some vegetable stamps paintings. Use hard vegetables like potatoes, cut them in half and cut shapes into the flat edge. Dip them in paint and start stamping! It's so easy for little hands to manage and it's lots of fun. You can even try and use a range of different fruit and vegetables - cut them in half and see what natural shapes they make – like this video here.

  7. Chop up fresh herbs and discuss the different smells. At pre-school, we even put herbs in playdough for an added sensory experience. The children love experimenting with different smells and textures.

  8. During our Wake and Shake, we practise growing. We start crouched down as tiny seeds and then gradually stretch up into beautiful flowers. This helps wake the children up, gets them focussed and ready for the day. It’s also gentle exercise.

  9. Put an assortment of seeds, beans and lentils in sensory trays for the children to explore the different textures. We also add in the small world toys like tractors and diggers for an extra bit of fun.

  10. Sing the ‘Peel Bananas’ song. The children love jumping around and going bananas at this simple, yet effective song. Pinkfong (the creators of Baby Shark) have an extended version, which goes through lots of other fruits and vegetables, with exciting dance moves. The children won’t be able to resist!

Year on year, the children at pre-school love learning about the garden, planting and growing. And it's a great way to introduce important issues like food origin and healthy eating. We hope you can use some of the above ideas to get involved at home - we're sure you'll enjoy it just as much as the children.

From little green fingers to muddy boots and smiley faces, 'In the Garden' has to be one of our favourite topics, so let's get growing!

Don't forget to share your thoughts and experiences on our Facebook page.

Written by Erin Madden, Pre-school Secretary and Writer at Ignite Copy.

Contact Us

St Eval Pre-school

Lincoln Row

St Eval, Wadebridge,

Cornwall PL27 7TR


01841 540 076

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