3 1/2 – 4 1/2 years
As they grow up, the children will move into Queen’s Minis (our pre-school year group) to set the foundations for their educational journey. The highly qualified and experienced Queen’s Minis staff work in close liaison with both parents and the wider team of staff to share individual developmental information to ensure the smooth transition into the next stage of education and development.
At Queen’s Minis we pride ourselves on providing a nurturing and supportive foundation to academic learning. The curriculum is carefully designed to include a range of activities for the children to extend their learning and reach their full potential. As well as free play, they enjoy Forest School, Dough Gym, Sticky Kids, Write Dance, Kitchen Garden, Music, French, German and Spanish lessons and more.
The Queen’s Minis year further develops the children’s skills through play activities, whilst also helping to prepare them for the routines of school. The day becomes more structured in this pre-school year with activities and play focusing on boosting cognitive and motor development, flexible thinking skills, enhancing social skills, building confidence and developing independence. The location of Queen’s Minis is set within the Prep-Prep to provide a seamless and natural transition into the reception class.
In Queen’s Minis you will find a bright, lively and welcoming atmosphere with well-qualified staff who are always ready to greet and support your child on arrival. This quality of staffing also ensures that we can provide plenty of interaction and a high standard of care. The first main activity room is where the children can enjoy both group activities and free play with a range of construction toys, drawing and craft materials and a computer. The Home Corner often doubles as a shop, travel agency, dark den or hospital and is a wonderful role-play area where the children can make-believe and create stories together. A section of this room has waterproof flooring and the children have free access to paint, chalk, sand or water play and a table for clay or play dough.
This first room is complimented by a further room with a space where a cosy book corner awaits the children where an ever-changing array of books and puzzles can be explored or where time out and a rest is available. This room expands into a conservatory area, where the children gather for registration, story time and circle time. This room also provides a quieter area where children can develop their listening skills, take part in early reading, and develop their number work. The carpet area also offers ample floor space for large construction play, music and movement sessions where the children can explore a variety of musical instruments and media equipment.
Outside, our wonderfully secluded and enclosed garden is a fantastic asset for Queen’s Minis and is loved by both the children and their parents. The large safety surface enables the children to have fun playing with trikes, bicycles, balls and balancing equipment and the covered area enables all year round outdoor play. Physical skills are challenged on the climbing frame and through the use of a variety of outdoor resources and equipment and the two-storey play house offers endless opportunities for imaginative play. On the larger grass area adjoining the safety surface, the Gruffalo’s footsteps lead the children over ‘The Three Billy Goats Gruff’ bridge to a minibeast area where the children can learn all about the world around them. If this were not enough, children also have plenty of space to make dens, roll down the hill or make music with our outdoor music frame. Alternatively, the children can take some time to explore the herbs and features of our sensory circle or take the opportunity to be messy with sand, water and compost. We even grow fruit and vegetables in our little kitchen garden.
The curriculum is carefully designed to enrich and extend learning and support every child to reach their full potential. Educational activities include French, German and Spanish, Forest School, Music, P.E, ballet and dance, kitchen club and an introduction to phonics.
All of our activities are is part of the Early Years Foundation Stage and much of the learning at this stage is through play. To read more about the EYFS please click here.
The EYFS runs from birth to the end of the Reception year and covers seven main forms of learning:
- communication and language
- physical development
- personal, social and emotional development
- understanding of the world
- expressive arts and design
These areas of learning are underpinned by the three characteristics of effective teaching and learning: ‘playing and exploring’, ‘active learning’, and ‘creating and thinking critically’.
All of these areas of the curriculum are explored by the children at Queen’s Minis. At times the learning will be directed by the trained staff and at other times the children are actively encouraged to make their own decisions as to what they would like to be involved with. However, at all stages the provision is structured so that it is appropriate to each child’s individual needs and development. The children’s progress, achievements and development is recorded and shared with their parents on a regular basis.