Preschool - Age 3+

Welcome to Starlings Class!

We are the youngest children at Leedstown School. We are a class of Preschool, Reception and Year 1 children. Our class teacher is Mrs. Wheeler and our teaching assistants are Mrs. Young and Sophy.

We are very lucky to have a lovely, big classroom as well as our own outside space. We have a garden area as well as a sheltered hard playground to play on. Finally, we have ‘The Nest’ where we enjoy lots of role play.

Letters and Sounds

Preschool children have a short phonics session each morning where we focus on Phase 1 of Letters and Sounds. Phase 1 is made up of seven aspects which are the building blocks to future reading.

Aspect 1 - General sound discrimination - environmental

The aim of this aspect is to raise children's awareness of the sounds around them and to develop their listening skills. Activities suggested in the guidance include going on a listening walk, drumming on different items outside and comparing the sounds, playing a sounds lotto game and making shakers.

Aspect 2 - General sound discrimination - instrumental sounds

This aspect aims to develop children's awareness of sounds made by various instruments and noise makers. Activities include comparing and matching sound makers, playing instruments alongside a story and making loud and quiet sounds.

Aspect 3 - General sound discrimination - body percussion

The aim of this aspect is to develop children's awareness of sounds and rhythms. Activities include singing songs and action rhymes, listening to music and developing a sounds vocabulary.

Aspect 4 - Rhythm and rhyme

This aspect aims to develop children's appreciation and experiences of rhythm and rhyme in speech. Activities include rhyming stories, rhyming bingo, clapping out the syllables in words and odd one out.

Aspect 5 - Alliteration

The focus is on initial sounds of words, with activities including I-Spy type games and matching objects which begin with the same sound.

Aspect 6 - Voice sounds

The aim is to distinguish between different vocal sounds and to begin oral blending and segmenting. Activities include Metal Mike, where children feed pictures of objects into a toy robot's mouth and the teacher sounds out the name of the object in a robot voice - /c/-/u/-/p/ cup, with the children joining in.

Aspect 7 - Oral blending and segmenting

In this aspect, the main aim is to develop oral blending and segmenting skills.

To practise oral blending, the teacher could say some sounds, such as /c/-/u/-/p/ and see whether the children can pick out a cup from a group of objects. For segmenting practise, the teacher could hold up an object such as a sock and ask the children which sounds they can hear in the word sock.

Our Outdoor Learning

We have a lovely outdoor space where children have plenty of room to explore, play and learn. Please see photographs of learning through play in our outdoor area. The children enjoy the sand, water, construction, small world, den building, reading, mark making, weighing, obstacle courses, bikes and scooters to name a few!

Transitions

We love welcoming new preschool children! Being a small school we pride ourselves on having that ‘family-feel’ and it is one thing that makes us very special! We often find new children settle very quickly and can’t wait to come back! On your child’s first day we will be excited to speak to you and your little one and start getting to know you. Finding out your child’s interests is key to making our learning environment inviting. We are happy to do stay and play sessions too and start by just doing an hour or so. We are really flexible and happy to go with what suits everyone and makes your child happy.

Topics we cover

Preschool children join in with some elements of the topics covered within the classroom. The topics covered in Reception and Year 1 lend themselves very nicely to the Early Years too, providing many playful leaning opportunities.

Trips and Visits

We like to plan trips around our topics as well make good use of our local environment. We have had trips to both Trink and Trevaskis Farm, Hall for Cornwall, the beach and Godolphin woods. During our annual Enrichment Week we have visited the Minack Theatre and Flicka Donkey Sanctuary. 

How to support at home

We have devised a checklist of skills we think children need before they begin school. They are things we work on in preschool and encourage you to practise at home too Obviously, children will all learn at different paces, it is just a guide! Please see our ‘Look Out Reception Here I Come’ sheet opposite.