Supervisors Report

Sarah Hodges (Pre-School Supervisor) - January 2022

The past year has been an utterly exhausting one but a really rewarding one too! It has been a welcome challenge and so much fun.  I’m thrilled with how Sparklers now looks and how brilliantly it’s running.

Since I became supervisor in Dec 2020 there have been a huge amount of changes made to Sparklers in both the way it is run and the room itself.

I started by having a huge sort of the room, dumping most of the old resources and buying lots of new exciting toys for the children. The room has been freshly decorated with a hot air balloon theme and everything is now well organised and labelled. We have created an office space in one of the cupboards to keep all the paperwork secure which has increased the play space for the children. The room now has clearly defined areas representing each area of the curriculum e.g. mark making area, role play area, number table etc.

We increased the opening hours of Sparklers to full time and now offer children 30 hours, where funding allows. The session times were changed too to make the most of the working day and to encourage more children to stay for lunch.  We have employed 3 new members of staff who have all settled really well and have contributed hugely to the running of Sparklers and the existing staff have embraced the new ways of working. All staff have completed their paediatric first aid course, safeguarding, food hygiene and health & safety training and I have become the safeguarding lead for the setting. One member of staff has completed a course in teaching yoga to young children and this is brilliant for Sparklers as it has a huge health and wellbeing focus. She will now lead the preschool in all areas of mental health and well-being.

One of the biggest changes has been the move from keeping paper based evidence to digital. We invested in Blossom Educational and ipads to record the children’s learning journeys and it’s been a really positive move. It has enabled us to involve parents in their child’s journey fantastically and we’ve had lots of positive feedback about it. Due to Covid, parents haven’t been allowed inside the setting so Blossom has really helped us stay in touch with families and include them in all we do. I regularly send home topic plans, ideas for home learning, news and reminders for parents and we have introduced book bags so the children can borrow library books to take home. Each child will get the opportunity to take home the Everywhere Bear too, which they are all looking forward to!

Mandatory staff and child uniforms were introduced to create a sense of belonging and to enable us to include lots of messy/ creative play without the worry of ruining own clothes. There has been a very positive response to this and all children wear it daily.

We introduced a new interesting snack menu on a 4 week rolling programme and the children have enjoyed trying new foods and eating altogether. We also include special snacks from time to time if they link with the topic, for example we had croissants during our week learning about France and prawn crackers for Chinese New Year. Our snack time encourages independence by asking children to use cutlery and by counting out the correct number of pieces of food.

I have planned lots of fun topics over the past year which we’ve all enjoyed sharing with the children. These have included The Polar Regions, Growing, People Who Help Us and Farms. During these topics we’ve provided lots of enriching experiences such as playing with ice, watching ducklings hatch from eggs, visits from the fire brigade and police, a trip to the zoo and growing some beans! I hope we can continue to enrich the curriculum for the children this year with more topics including, around the world, dinosaurs, under the sea etc.

I have also enhanced the curriculum we offer by introducing things like yoga, loose parts play, dough disco, morning wake and shake, welly walks, sensory tray play and a mark making trolley. The outdoor play area is the main focus now and we are working with Peatmoor School to create exciting play opportunities out there. 

During the past year our Early Years Pupil Premium money has been spent carefully on resourcing the room with new equipment that these children would benefit from such as small world toys to help develop speech and language and emotional and wellbeing resources. We also offered reduced cost tickets for our summer trip and reduced uniform prices for pupil premium children. One child has benefitted from extra sessions to help increase her attendance.

In July our school leavers were preparing to go off to big school. We held a leavers party for them all which was a great success and lots of fun. We used the local fish & chip shop for a party lunch then organised for an ice cream van to visit. We hired the school hall for a disco and did a build a bear activity. It was a lovely way to end the year.

I would like to thank all of the staff for the hard work that they do every day, in supporting and encouraging the children and also for their support to me throughout the year.

Thanks also to our administrator Amy who has helped me enormously behind the scenes, answering my text messages at 10pm and still working with a brand new baby!

 

I must also say a big thank you to Darren for all the work that he has put in as Chair over the year, especially with the new website and all the huge changes that have happened. As you may or may not know without a committee we cannot run!

Sarah Hodges

January 2022