S. Anselm’s Pre-School offers a first class early education for children rising 3, providing a joyful and safe environment in which to explore, form new friendships and prepare for entry to Pre-Prep.
Our vision is to provide the very best start to a child’s education and we do this by planning and delivering high quality and inspiring lessons and activities that encourage an enthusiastic approach to work with a real sense of fun and desire to learn.
The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) curriculum forms the basis of our Pre-School provision and our Pre-School teachers are devoted to providing the highest standards of education and care. They work together to provide a nurturing environment and exciting and appropriate challenges that enable children to develop their early potential and thrive when the progress to Reception and beyond.
Plenty of good quality and creative educational resources is an essential part of the learning experience as children learn most effectively through exploration and play.
Kindness and good manners are important at S. Anselm’s and are promoted throughout our Pre-School.
Life in Pre-School
Childhood should be a joyous, carefree time, bursting with laughter, excitement and friendships.
We recognise children’s unique interests and use this enthusiasm as the starting point for our teaching and planning within the Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum. Each different area of learning is delivered through carefully planning topics drawn from child-initiated themes – whether it be Kings and Queens, pets or safari adventures.
When the children come into the colourful surroundings of our Pre-School, they are tempted to explore the many different daily activities we offer – both indoors and outdoors. Activity choices are designed with both our very youngest children (‘Stars’) and slightly older pre-school children (‘Rockets’) in mind, so there is always something to excite and enthral.
Our beautiful surroundings offer frequent opportunities for creativity as well as physical activities.
We use the Forest School approach within our curriculum, which is proven to improve children’s confidence and ability to lead their own learning as well as developing practical and problem solving skills. One afternoon each week is a dedicated Forest School session, led by one of our three qualified practitioners and takes place onsite within our natural woodlands and gardens.
Irrespective of the weather, our spirits are never dampened – with appropriate clothing and footwear the outdoors bring exciting opportunities for adventure.
We have a large, enclosed play garden equipped with bikes, trikes and scooters. We enjoy cosy role play in our wooden chalet, imaginative messy play in the compost kitchen, gardening in our garden plot and access to numerous swings, slides and rope ladders.
Our weekly programme includes art, drama, French, swimming, gym/PE and music lessons. All of these lessons are taught by specialist teachers, utilising our exceptional onsite facilities. For busy parents, this means that children have the opportunity to learn vital early skills such as swimming, reducing the need to organise additional classes during the week.
As well as this we organise a number of wonderful events throughout the year including the Christmas Nativity play, Easter Bonnet Parade and a traditional Nursery Sports Day, complete with mini wheelbarrow races.
The Forest School concept originated as early as the 1800s in Scandinavia and has developed through teaching movements and academic studies across Europe to the present day.
The approach centres on child-led learning that takes place out of doors, allowing children to experiment with natural materials in natural surroundings.
It is a positive and active as well as long term approach to childhood learning in which children explore new experiences themselves – naturally – and learn through trial and error.
In S. Anselm’s, we link Forest School within learning to many areas of the EYFS curriculum, enabling children to build personal, social and emotional skills as well as fine and gross motor skills. The results are seen in increased confidence and children’s keenness to take a lead in their own learning.
As well as making the Forest School approach an integral part of our curriculum, our Monday afternoon sessions are dedicated Forest Fun sessions that take place outdoors in the grounds and natural woodlands of S. Anselm’s.
We are fortunate to have three fully qualified Forest School Practitioners within our Early Years Foundation Stage Department who plan and lead these sessions.
Keeping safe is a vitally important part of Forest Fun and the first priority of our teaching and support staff. During Forest Fun sessions, additional support staff are involved to keep our staff-pupil ratios low and, as always, our RGN Registered School Nurse is also available on site.
Children must all agree to our Forest Fun Golden Rules, which are repeated at the start of each session. Only when the Forest School leader feels that all children understand the importance of listening attentively and staying safe, do planned activities take place or the group move on to the next stage of any particular adventure.
Forest Fun is a marvellous way to foster children’s love of nature and respect for their environment whilst encouraging them to take responsibility for its care.
Our Pre-School is open five mornings and three afternoons (Tuesdays, Wednesday and Thursday afternoons) each week, during term time*, offering morning, afternoon and full day sessions.
*Applicable from Michaelmas Term 2022
The programme for each session may vary on a termly basis, but the following gives an indication of the typical specialists activities that take place:
8:45am to 11:45am
|Art||Music||PE in the Sports Hall||French||Music|
11:45am to 12:30pm
12.30pm to 3.30pm
|Closed||Swimming||French||Forest School Fun||Closed|
Children attending a full day session enjoy a delicious two-course meal, served in our main school Dining Room. Parents with children attending morning only sessions may also book their children in for the additional lunchtime session.
The Pre-Prep after school club is also open to Pre-School children until 5.30pm.
NEG funding can be used for morning sessions.
It was wonderful to chat with prospective families and catch up with current and old families and pupils at the Horse Trials
S. Anselm’s is planning a jam-packed schedule of activities over the next few months, much to the excitement of pupils
Year 1 have had a super term learning all about the customs and traditions of the Chinese New Year
Year 3 proudly showcased their Lego creations for Desert Dwellers project
Following the star to Bethlehem were our very youngest children in the Nursery
Thank you to everyone involved in making our 2021 Christmas Fair a truly joyful occasion
Four very young shepherds discovered that wonderful things do indeed come in small packages!
We were delighted to welcome Derbyshire Dales MP, Sarah Dines, who was treated to a tour of the school by our Head Girl and Boy
This week, S. Anselm’s is embracing and recognising Anti-Bullying Week and its #OneKindWord theme
We are delighted to announce that S. Anselm’s has been crowned Prep School of the Year at the Tatler Schools Awards Ceremony 2021