Scallywags Playgroup

Ash Pre-School Playgroup (Scallywags) is a committee-run village playgroup based within the grounds of Ash Primary School.  We are registered with Ofsted to deliver the Early Years Foundation Stage through play and our registration certificate is displayed for your inspection on the Notice Board.

Contact Details
Ash Pre School Playgroup
Ash Primary School
Main Street
TA12 6NS
Telephone  01935 826518

Aim of Ash Pre-School
We aim to provide a warm ‘family’ atmosphere within our playgroup.  We believe that children learn best in a secure, happy and stimulating environment, where children are valued as individuals. To achieve this we:-

  • Help children develop lively enquiring minds.
  • Develop the essential skills of language, numeracy
  • Provide opportunities for all children to experience success.
  • Provide a calm and caring environment.
  • Involve parents/carers in their Childs learning
  • Involve the pre-school within the local community.

Each child will develop at their own pace by exploration and discovery of basic concepts using their own creativity and enjoyment of learning; this is supported by caring qualified staff using a Key Worker System.  We offer children and parents/carers a service that promotes equality and values diversity and adds to the life and well being of the local community.

Session Times
We are open 5 days a week in term time for children aged 2 – 5 years and have a permanent staff of 4. We are able to accommodate up to 24 children a day in our new purpose built nursery building, with outside play area.

Session times are:

  • 7.45am - 9.00am for early birds. 
  • 9.00am –11.45am Monday to Friday for children of all ages. 

We also run a lunch club from 11.45am-12.45pm and afternoon sessions from 12.45pm to 3.15pm.  Any combination of these sessions is available i.e. all day from 7.45am until 15.15pm.

Nursery Education Funding can be claimed for up to 30 hours per week with extended funding in the term after your child’s 3rd birthday; additional hours will be charged by the pre-school on a termly basis at the start of each term. Nursery Education funding is claimed through the pre-school and you will be asked to complete the necessary paperwork.  A copy of your child’s birth certificate will be required.  Fees are available on request and are reviewed annually by the Committee.

Links with Ash Church of England Primary School
We have established close links with Ash Church of England Primary School.  We have a regular computer sessions 2 mornings per week purely for the older children where we take 4 at a time in rotation. Older children are also taken regularly into the Reception class, to meet the teacher and familiarise themselves with the surroundings. We have a good relationship with the Reception teacher and liaise closely with her, joining forces for some fund raising events.

Starting at Ash Pre-School
In the first few days of settling in we want your child to be happy and safe with us.  To make sure that this is the case the staff will work with parents/carers to decide on how to help you child settle in to pre-school.  There is a Settling In policy.

Safeguarding Children
The Pre-School has a duty under law to help safeguard against suspected or actual ‘significant harm’.  The way that we work with children and their parents/carers ensures that we are aware of any problems that may emerge and can offer support, including referral to appropriate agencies when necessary to help families in difficulties.  Our Safeguarding Children coordinator is Shirley Coulter.

Special Educational Needs
As part of the Pre-School policy we ensure that the needs of each individual child are met and we take into account any special needs that a child may have.  Our Special Educational Needs coordinator is Caroline Simmons.

Management of the Pre- School
A parent led committee manages the setting.  The committee is responsible for managing the finances, employing and managing staff, ensuring that polices are in place and reviewed to provide a high quality service and ensuring that there is a partnership with parent and carers.  Parents are welcome to join the committee.  Regular meetings are held and meeting dates are posted on the notice board.

The Annual General Meeting is open to all parents and is a shared forum.

Ash Pre-School Policies
Copies of Polices are available for you to see.  The policies help us to make sure that the service provided by the pre-school is of a high quality.  The staff and committee members work together to adopt the polices which are reviewed annually.  Polices include the following:

  • Admissions     
  • Health and Hygiene
  • Confidentiality    
  • Safety
  • Behaviour Management   
  • Selection of Toys and Equipment
  • Complaints     
  • Safeguarding Children
  • Special Needs    
  • Diet
  • Parental Involvement   
  • Settling In
  • Fees

Children’s Development and Learning
The provision for children’s development and learning is guided by the Early Years Foundation Stage.  The Pre-School reflects the four key themes and commitment for the Early Year Foundation Stage.

  1. Characteristics of effective learning, finding and exploring, active learning and critical thinking.
  2. A Unique Child - Child Development, Inclusive Practice, Keeping Safe, Health and Well-being
  3. Positive Relationships - Respecting Each Other, Parents as Partners, Supporting Learning, Key Person
  4. Enabling Environments - Observation, Assessment and Planning, Supporting Every Child, the Learning Environment, the Wider Context
  5. Learning and Development - Play and Exploration, Active Learner, Creativity and Critical Thinking,


The Curriculum
We provide structured learning opportunities, where the children are able to learn through play and experience a wide variety of activities
We ensure equal opportunities to all children and their families within the community of the pre-school.

We follow the government’s Early Learning outcomes in the following 7 areas:

  • Personal, Social, and Emotional development
    Each child is supported in developing confidence, self respect and respect of others. 
    We promote sharing, co-operation and a caring attitude towards others.

  • Communication and Language development
    The children are encouraged to explore and extend vocabulary by use of books, songs and rhymes, stories and conversation.

  • Physical development
    We have a wide range of physical play equipment, both large and small, and the children are encouraged to discover how their bodies can move over, under, through, and around objects with control and co-ordination.  We have an outdoor garden and undercover outdoor area which we use when the weather is poor.

  • Maths
    The children practice, sorting, matching, sequencing, counting, weighing and measuring.  They are helped to identify by shape, size, colour and number in a wide range of practical and play activities

  • Literacy development
    The children are helped to understand that written symbols have meaning and they practice many forms of writing in their play.

  • Understanding the world
    Through the use of a range of materials and tools we look closely at similarities and differences, patterns and change and ask why things happen and how things work.  The children are encouraged to express their own ideas.

  • Expressive Arts and Design
    We use lots of paint, glue, play dough, crayons, water, sand, rice and even compost to enable the children to explore colour, shape, texture and form.  We have frequent musical activities to allow them to explore sound, repeat sound patterns, sing songs and match movement to music.


The Timetable
Young children learn best through play and so we have a fairly adaptable timetable to accommodate the children’s needs.  A typical morning would include:

  • 7.45 - 9.00am - free choice and craft activities.
  • 9.00            Register, greetings and news
  • 9.20-10.15  Free choice of play 
    Craft activities and cooking are usually held at this time.  Children can select from construction, imaginative (role-play), small-world, jigsaws, physical, creative activities and from a range of books in the book corner.
  • 10.15-10.30  Snack time (a milk drink/water and a snack are provided)
  • 10.30-11.30 Free choice of play
    We may walk to use the infant playground
  • 11.30 end            Tidy up time, book time and group story, singing, music and games
  • 11.45                   Register, wash hands and lunch
  • 12.15 – 12.50       Free Choice of Play
  • 12.50- 1.00             Evaluation of morning, news time, story, singing
  • 1.00                     Welly Walk, Sticky Kids, Free Play, Garden Visit, Bug Hunt,
  • 2.00- 3.15            Café, snack time, free play

Records of Achievement 
Each child has a Personal File on Tapestry (a computer based system) which is a record of achievement.  Your child’s Personal File helps us to celebrate together their achievements and to work together to provide for your child’s well being and progress while at Pre-School. This is a requirement of Ofsted and is yours to keep on leaving the Pre-School.  All observations and records are strictly confidential.

Snack time
We provide a drink of milk and a small snack such as cheese, crackers, fruit, raw vegetables (e.g. carrot), biscuits etc.  Occasionally we do some baking with the children and they eat the results!  If your child does not drink milk, water is available as an alternative.  Please advise us should your child have any special dietary requirements.

Please dress your child in clothes that allow them to use the toilet easily and to wash their hands – we use lots of plaint and glue!
Scallywag’s sweatshirts and T-shirts are available in a range of colours including yellow, orange, green, blue and purple.  Prices are available on request.

Your child’s safety is paramount.  All staff are qualified first-alders and we have a well-stocked first-aid box in case of minor accidents.  In the rare event of hospital treatment being required the parents will be contacted immediately.  A medical form will need to be signed by parents for the staff to administer any medication (e.g. asthma inhaler). 
Fire Drill
We hold regular fire drills and all staff and children are familiar with the procedures.

Please let us know as soon as possible if your child contracts an infectious disease.  We would encourage parents to keep their children at home if they have a temperature or are suffering from an ailment which could spread to other children.  Parents are asked not to bring into the pre-school any child who has had sickness or diarrhoea until they have been symptom free for 48 hours.  Cuts or open sores must be covered with a plaster or dressing.

We require ½ a terms notice in writing of your child leaving the Pre-School so we can assess staffing levels and /or offer the place to another child. 

Outside Activities
Occasional walks around the village or nature works are undertaken as part of every day learning.  In the summer we organise a group outing, and occasionally have other special days such as a play bus visit, emergency services days (fire/police), jungle gym and visiting nurses and vets.

Collection of Children
All children must be brought to and from the Pre-School by a responsible adult.  If you are not able to come yourself please advise the Supervisor in advance as to who will be collecting your child.  We will not hand over your child to a person who has not been nominated.  Any changes to who is picking up your child should be written in the pick up book in Pre-School.  Should there be an emergency please telephone the Supervisor to advise who is picking up your child.

Activities for Parents
Each year we hold 2 big events to which all parents, grandparents and carers are invited.  These are a Christmas Party and Sports Day.  There may be a number of other events throughout the year which will be advertised.

Sharing Information
We post information on Tapestry for you to access.  There is a notice board in the foyer which includes current notices, weekly plans, minutes form committee meeting, polices and news items which will help keep you up to date with current events and themes.
Staff are always available for feedback when you drop them off or collect them from Pre-School.

Ofsted Report
Our last main Ofsted inspection was held in May 4th 2017 with good results. The inspector found that:

  • ‘The staff provide a welcoming environment which has a benefit to children learning 
  • Staff deploy themselves well to encourage children to make full use of a wide range of resources. 
  • Staff encourage children's independence, and understand healthy practises 
  • ‘The partnership between parents and is good, with parents receiving regular written information. 
  • The supervisor works directly with staff and children, to enable her to supervise quality of teaching. 
  • A full copy of the report is available on line or ask member of staff

For Further Information
Please contact Shirley Coulter, Playgroup Supervisor on  01935 826518


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