The Willow and Elm classes are the first classes of the two–year cycle in Manor House Pre-School. Children are aged approximately thirty months and attend five days per week. Our aim in Willow and Elm classes is to stimulate each child’s imagination and foster a love of learning through play and topic related activities. The children work at their own pace, allowing them to develop their full potential during their different stages of development.
Our activities are topic based, inspired by the children’s interests. Our curriculum includes art, construction, play/modelling using a variety of equipment and tools, cookery, making play dough, fine and gross motor skill exercises, sand/water activities, messy play, mathematical games, language activities to develop vocabulary, listening and comprehension skills.
The children are encouraged to develop their imagination through role play using the home corner, dressing up clothes, doctor/office sets and many realistic props.
In the first term (settling in term), we support the children to settle into their new environment and routines. We provide interesting and stimulating activities in all seven areas of learning, with priority given to the Prime Ares of learning – Communication and Language, Physical Development and Personal, Social and Emotional Development.
Later in the year, we introduce more activities and challenges to further enhance and encourage the children’s learning and development. We begin to introduce more specific activities such as the Science, Show and Tell, Fruit rotas and the Language, Letter and Number of the Week.
We work closely with parents and carers, embrace their participation in activities and learning, and welcome every opportunity to have them in class in order to get a glimpse of what the children are learning and experiencing daily in class. Parents read stories and prepare cultural and traditional presentations in order to share their culture and tradition with us..
Due to COVID-19, we cannot currently have parents in the classroom so we have introduced the ‘Secret Storyteller’. We invite parents to join us, via Zoom, to read stories, share celebrations and presentations and run planned activities with the children. This is a very special time in the class as the children never know which parent this will be.
The children learn to retell stories using our Storytelling scheme. It’s amazing to see how the introduction of this scheme has impacted the children’s confidence. We also have six golden rules which are embedded throughout the nursery and we continue to remind the children of these. Each rule comes with a finger puppet and the stories relate to real life experiences.
The children in Willow and Elm also take part in Music, Drama and P.E activities. We enjoy exploring the outside environment, taking opportunities to go on observational walks to the Heath Extension and to Golders Hill Park.
Our morning and afternoon routines include planned and free activities and mealtimes. There is also opportunity for children to nap, should they need to do so, and are here for a longer day. Children who are here until 1:45pm, and normally have a nap time of an hour or more, may be collected any time after lunch to enable them to have quality sleep at home.
Once the children complete their year in Elm and Willow, they move on to the Limetree classes, the final year of Manor House.