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Welcome to Balderstone St Leonard's

 

Thank you for choosing Balderstone St Leonard's as the place for your child to grow and blossom through their primary school years.  We are looking forward to sharing this special journey with you.

 

The Pre School children's class is called the 'Bunnies' and the Reception children's class is called the 'Rabbits' as each of our school classes are named after different animals.

 

We hope you enjoy learning about all the adventures, fun and memories we make over the year!

 

You can contact school on  01254 769150 or either by email at head@balderstone.lancs.sch.uk or bursar@balderstone.lancs.sch.uk

Bringing our school to you!

 

Whilst our new starters have had a rather unusual induction to school and won't be in school as much as we would like...who would have even thought Zoom induction meetings would be happening..., we thought we would bring our school to you at home.  I know that children will love getting the chance to come into school, but seeing it and sharing the photo's with a parent is always a nice thing to do.

 

Please have a look at the photographs below. They show you how our setting looks. We do make changes throughout the year that reflect the children's interests and next stages of development but these are a good starting point from which to share and talk to your child about their new school and where they will spend their time during their first year.

Here is our Pre School & Reception classroom door. We are very lucky to have such a large classroom space to play and learn in. When you walk through this door you will be in our classroom and we will be here to help you find your way around so please do not worry. 

This is where we hang our coats at school. You will also notice our trays too.  You'll have a peg with your name and picture above it, and a tray with the same.  You can hang your coat on your peg and pop your bag in your tray.  You'll be able to keep any bits and bobs that you do/make over the day in your tray.

     

This is our wellbeing area.  Its our own little tent which we can sit in to relax, think and take in the world around us.  We have toys we can look at and get lost as we watch the colours change.  The classroom is a busy place to be and this is the perfect place to sit back and see what's going on.

This is our construction space. It has natural pieces to build with alongside favourites such as Lego and Stickle Bricks. We also have lots of block play and when we put all these things together we can make some amazing builds.

This is part of our creative space - we like to call it our creation station! Here we love to use lots of materials with scissors and glue to make lots of different things. What's great about this space is that there's lots of choice and we can use our own ideas to make brilliant inventions.

We love to read at school! We do so much reading and this is our reading area. We like to place books all around our setting and change our space as and when we want to. We have so many books - story books, finding out book and poetry books and books we can read by ourselves. It's a really cosy and comfy place to be.  You can share a book with a friend or with a teddy.

This is our snack area.  We can make our own toast here using the tongs to hold the toast safely and spreading the butter ourselves. Sometimes, we have other toppings but shh, its a secret!  We also have the shopping basket which has fruit in.  Some children like to bring their own healthy snack in a container which is also okay!

These photographs show our outdoor classroom. We play out whatever the weather, so you'll definitely need to pop your wellies on our welly rack.. You can see our sand pit as well as other areas. We change these areas regularly depending upon what we all want to learn and know more about.

 

We also have construction space where we have lots of loose part play. We enjoy building vehicles, moving water and creating dens here.

 

      

During your time in the Early Years, you will get to play in many different role-play spaces. This is our home corner which we enhance regularly.  We also develop other role-play spaces such as shops, vets, police station, space station, garden centres, and plenty of free space with props and materials for you to make up and tell your own stories and use your imaginations! 

We are very lucky that we have our own set of toilets just outside of the main classroom. There is no need to worry about having to find the toilets when you start school. We will show you where they are but above is a picture of the bathroom door. As you can see the bathroom is next to our classroom door and inside our Bunny Hole.

 

Can you see the soap dispensers? They are easy to press so you can wash your hands well with soap after you have used the toilets and throughout the day. To make the water flow, you just press the top of the tap - it is really easy so please don't worry.

Ideas for play...

 

Please remember that learning and development in the early years looks very different to other age groups. When children are in school, they are learning but be reassured that much of what we do is planned for learning through play opportunities. We understand that the home environment is not a classroom setting (and neither should it be) but we want to provide you with some ideas about making the most of play situations that will be happening at home. Knowing these, we hope will give you the reassurance that you are providing play and learning time too.

 

  • Jigsaws - doing jigsaws at home provides endless opportunities for development. Talk about the shapes of the pieces and how they fit together. Count the pieces of the jigsaw and sort them out - all great maths skills. Do any of the pieces look similar or different? How? Why? Jigsaws can take some time and your child develops concentration skills throughout the experience and a real sense of achievement afterwards. Once complete, you can discuss what the jigsaw shows, why your child chose it and what they know about the picture they have made. TRY MAKING YOUR OWN JIGSAW - draw a picture on card, cut it up into different shapes and try putting it back together again.
  • GAMES - the possibilities for learning through games are endless. Whether they be literacy or maths based or simply for fun - there is something to be gained from these experiences. Talking, communicating and turn-taking are developing here. Understanding and waiting patiently and managing feeling of happiness of disappointment are all real learning points for children - the more games you can play...the better!
  • TOYS - many toys provoke children's imaginations and allow them to re-enact scenarios and develop their own story telling ideas. Encourage this kind of play. Watch and observe (or if you are busy - let them get on with it themselves) and then ask them questions about their story and what they are doing. Who are they being? What has/is going to happen?  Toys that involve an element of building are great for planning, designing and making - children learn to evaluate their models - looking to find the right pieces that they need and changing them to make them better. These are brilliant skills to see in young children - praise all their efforts. 
  • BAKING - cooking and baking (as long as closely supervised by a responsible adult) is a fantastic way for children to learn. Measuring ingredients, mixing and talking about the changes. Simple science - can you put a cracked egg back together? What did our baking look like before and after it had been in the oven? Numbers for temperatures, timing to see when things are ready are brilliant ways for children to understand how time passes.
  • WALKS - make the most of any outdoor opportunities that come your way. Talk about the world around you, what is in our environment/community? Why do we need shops? Post offices? Railways and roads? How far are places to reach? What did you see on your travels? Seasonal changes... the list goes on. DRAW A MAP - when you have been outside, draw a map of the places you went to on a walk and the things you saw.
  • CRAFT - children often like to cut and stick and make their own creations. This is a wonderful skill to develop at home. Cutting skills, fine motor control and understanding what really interests your child through seeing them make their own ideas is a great thing to do at home and promotes learning across many areas.
  • COLOURING - brilliant to sit and have time to relax, talk and be calm together. Put some music on in the background and talk about how the music makes you feel as you colour together.
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