Food & Menu
We have recently changed caterers to a new local family run business, who produce homemade freshly cooked nutritious food for our children to enjoy. The children are encouraged to try a variety of food options and educated on the importance of a balanced healthy diet.
Our tasty seasonal menus are designed to feed your child a completely healthy and balanced diet. There’s also plenty of choice to make sure there’s ample opportunity to enjoy the golden five-a-day rule.
We offer seasonal four week menu option, which includes breakfast, morning snack, lunch and then afternoon snack. For children who attend a morning session they will receive breakfast, morning snack and cooked meal at lunch time. Breakfast and lunch are both run on a ‘self-serve’ basis which reflects the Montessori ethos of independence. The children are shown how to scoop their cereal into their bowls, pour their own milk and butter their own toast. Snack is served slightly differently as we have opened a ‘Fawkham Montessori Snack Shop’. The snack shop is an interactive way of the children choosing their snack, but also builds upon their mathematical capabilities. The children are given real pennies to spend at the snack shop and are shown the different prices of foods through environmental numeral print.
A copy of our weekly menu is always available on our notice board, located in the lobby area of our pre-school. However, it can also be found on our babydays system.
Our menus are adapted depending on the successfulness of a dish to ensure that all children’s food needs are being fulfilled. We also cater for any dietary or religious food requirements.
Meal times are enjoyable at the pre-school and is a very sociable event for the children. Our circular tables allow conversation between children of varying ages, but also encourages children to interact with staff.
No day is ever the same at our pre-school as we are constantly adapting to the different interests of the children as well as our weekly and termly themes. However we endeavour to follow a ‘rough’ schedule for the continuity of the children’s learning and development.
A typical week at Fawkham Montessori
Learning & Play
As your child joins our pre-school, alongside their fun and creative activities we also encourage them to expand their independence and develop new skills, such as feeding and dressing themselves. Our Montessori classroom is a home away from home for our children, it is a happy place full of friends where your child can be themselves. It is a place full of interesting things to do and explore, but also a place where your child can take time out and just be quiet if they want to.
Fully trained and experienced staff implement weekly topics and plans to fill your child’s day with a variety of activities that not only engage them but cover the early years curriculum to give your child the very best introduction to their forthcoming school life. Children will often lead their own activities with their peers and take part in a variety of child-led activities. We make a wide variety of play and activity options available to your child. These will vary daily, but will generally include:
- Role play
- Messy play
- Arts and crafts
- Reading corner
- Small world play
- Singing and dancing
- Car and train tracks
- Creative play
We feel that creative play is an important part of your child’s development, so we incorporate this into his or her routine on a daily basis, whether this is based around arts or this may be imaginative play. All activities are planned based on your child’s interested, needs and capabilities to ensure that the full potential of your child is explored.
We have sleeping and changing facilities for our children and if a sleep if required during the day a staff member will always be in ear-shot of a sleeping child, and will check them on regular intervals.
The layout of our classroom encourages exploration, communication and the development of relationships on all levels. Everything reflects a dedication to quality and to your child’s ability to do things for him/herself. Maria Montessori saw that careful preparation of the environment is an essential ingredient for the successful development of children, which is why our classroom closely reflects the different areas of Montessori teaching to enable the children to develop to their best potential.
The mixture of foundation stage development goals and Montessori surroundings provides your child with enriched learning experiences within a beautiful environment designed to awaken their senses.
Every day your child’s day will be documented in their online daily diary, where we record information about what they’ve eaten, how long they may have slept for, nappy changes and toilet training progress. As well as images of your child enjoying activities throughout the day, which will have a quotation of any language they may have used, as well as a brief description of the activity.
Approximately six weeks after entering Fawkham Montessori Pre-school, a review of how a child has settled will be written and shared with parents. During this meeting, an Individual Development Plan will be devised to incorporate both home and Pre-school perspectives. We plan to have parent and teacher meetings 3 times a year on an individual basis. Parents are invited to discuss their child’s progress at the end of each term. Parents will receive a written report about their child’s progress at the end of the academic year. We make and document regular observations of your child to ensure that they are learning and developing to the best of their ability.
From an early age your child’s mathematical mind is supported and developed. Activities are planned and organised to implement this, as we run specific ‘Pre-prep’ sessions on a Tuesday and Thursday afternoon to encourage mathematical and language based activities. Language and Mathematics are taught on a one to one basis and in groups at your child’s own pace. Pre-school is a crucial age range and staff at Fawkham Montessori strive to arm your child with the skills, knowledge, and confidence needed for their next steps into the school classroom. For us at Fawkham Montessori, social skills are one of the main aspects needed for children to make a transition into primary school. We promote all social activities and have created a warming and friendly environment where children can be themselves and feel comfortable around both staff and peers.
Our pre-school encourages all aged children to mix at meal times. Meal times are a sociable occasion where your child will be encouraged to serve their own food and feed him/herself. We promote good manners through leading by example and praising good behaviour. You child will be provided with healthy, cooked meals daily.
Activities & Classes
Fawkham Montessori Pre-school provide a range of fun, stimulating and exciting activities to support your child’s growing development. Staff carefully plan weekly activities according to the children’s current interests and tailor these to promote the next steps of their development. Staff provide activities that enable the children to be active learners and problem solvers.
All activities available are age- and stage-appropriate. However, if a child shows an interest or a skill in a certain area, their key person will be able to plan and provide activities to further encourage this. This activity will also be made available for other children in the group to try to ensure that all children are given equal opportunities to excel and further develop themselves. The planning incorporates adult-led and child-led activities, outdoor activities and children’s individual next steps.
The children are encouraged to be independent and to contribute in any way they can to our pre-school daily routine. They help to lay the table for lunch, clear away plates, wipe down tables, prepare snack and set activities up. The nursery has boundaries, which the children are made aware of and therefore are able to respond to the expectations of others. Children are encouraged to join in group activities, make friends and respect each other, much like they would be asked to at school. For us it is important, that we are more than a nursery, we are learning based environment who help prepare your child for their educational years.
We offer a range of extra-curricular activities to inclusively promote all aspects of your child’s development. We offer dance and movement classes as well as sport classes. These classes are run over two days every week and will alternate days weekly. We also offer swimming lessons for children over the age of 3.
Forest School Programme – Coming Soon
What Are Forest Schools?
“A Forest School is an innovative educational approach to outdoor play and learning.”
By participating in engaging, motivating and achievable tasks and activities in a woodland environment each child has an opportunity to develop intrinsic motivation, sound emotional and social skills.
Forest Schools has demonstrated success with children of all ages who visit the same local woodlands on a regular basis and through play, who have the opportunity to learn about the natural environment, how to handle risks and most importantly to use their own initiative to solve problems and co-operate with others.
Forest Schools will aim to develop:
- Self Awareness
- Self Regulation
- Intrinsic motivation
- Good social communication skills
- A positive mental attitude, self-esteem and confidence
The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) is a term described by the Government and early years professionals as the development period in your child’s life between birth and age 5.
This is a critical stage as it helps your child prepare for school as well as assisting them in their future learning. From when your child is born up until the age of 5, their early years’ experience should be happy, active, exciting, fun and secure; as well as supporting their development, care and learning needs. Our setting provides all of this and more to ensure that your child enjoys their pre-school experience and leave us with fond memories of their early years.
At Fawkham Montessori Pre-school we use this particular framework to ensure that your child will be learning skills, acquiring new knowledge and demonstrating their understanding through 7 areas of learning and development.
Children will primarily develop the 3 prime areas of learning until they reach the age of 3. These are:
- Communication and language;
- Physical development; and
- Personal, social and emotional development.
As children grow, the prime areas will then help them to develop skills in 4 specific areas. These are:
- Understanding the world
- Expressive arts and design.
These 7 areas are used to plan your child’s learning and activities that take place during the course of the day, ensuring activities are suited to your child’s unique needs. Children in the EYFS learn through playing and exploring, being active, and through creative and critical thinking which takes place both indoors and outdoors areas.
All the fun activities that you do with your child at home are important in supporting their learning and development and have a long-lasting effect on your child’s learning as they progress through school.
At Fawkham Montessori we encourage our parents and carers to be fully involved in their child’s learning and development so therefore we give you the opportunity to add to their learning journeys at all times by carrying out observations on your child away from the pre-school setting and uploading them onto our babysdays system, which can therefore be viewed and added by your child’s key worker. These observations are then used alongside the observations carried out by your child’s key person each month to monitor their development and therefore helps us to identify any areas of atypical development.
At Fawkham Montessori each child’s wellbeing is supported by a well-experienced staff team, including the key person with whom both you and your child will form a special relationship.
Children form strong bonds with staff and make friendships with the other children. Staff work with the children to build their confidence and self-esteem, enabling them to make decisions for themselves.
Children are supported with their self-care and encouraged to become independent in a variety of age-appropriate ways. We encourage good hygiene by encouraging children to regularly wash their hands before and after meal times. Visual timelines are displayed throughout the nursery to further support children with their daily routines as well as group discussions that take place at circle time, which details the events throughout the day.
Children are supported to behave well, play cooperatively and develop their independence. This is encouraged through the ‘nursery rules’. These are simple, and the children share these with each other. These include: no running inside, the children are asked to use their walking feet, use kind hands, and to share with others. These rules are set to ensure that our children are kept safe and that boundaries are made for all children to follow as a collective.