Little Fishes Pre-School
Little Fishes Pre-School
September 1999 marked the opening of Little Fishes Pre-School, offering a much needed provision for pre-school children aged between 2 years, 9 months and 4 years. Little Fishes is a welcoming and homely environment which allows children to feel safe and secure. The adults work closely together to care for all children in the setting. With our fun and stimulating environment, we aim to nurture a sense of curiosity within the children in order to create a love of learning. We teach the children to respect each other and their environment, as well as encouraging the importance of being kind, caring and sharing.
We understand that all children are different and each learning journey is unique. We get to know each child individually and plan and assess activities based on their needs and next steps. We have an ‘open-door’ policy at Little Fishes, where parents and other carers are welcome to stay and play with their child as frequently as they would like. This also provides an opportunity for parents and other carers to chat informally with their child’s key person, become familiar with our routines and activities and watch their child as they develop and learn new skills.
At Little Fishes we are committed to the safeguarding of our children. All staff receive frequent safeguarding training and have good knowledge of safeguarding legislation and good practice. Caroline Ricketts is our DSL (Designated Safeguarding Lead). If you have any concerns about safeguarding within Little Fishes please report it to Mrs Ricketts.
Mrs Caroline Ricketts Leader, SENCO, DSL Level 4 Early Years & Education
Mrs Pascale Li Voon Chong Key Person Level 2 Early Years & Education
Mrs Nel Goulding Key Person (Level 6) BEd Hons
Mrs Jo Bell Key Person Level 3 Early Years & Education
Mrs Cathie Easter Key Person Level 3 Early Years & Education
Mrs Masayo Bradley Key Person Level 3 Early Years & Education
Mrs Sharon Church Key Person Level 3 Early Years & Education
All our staff are experienced, qualified and dedicated to working with children. We are able to offer an adult to child ratio of 1:8 for over 3's and 1:4 for under 3’s. This allows children to experiment and experience a range of planned and free play opportunities which reflect their individual needs and interests.
We have a key person approach where each child is assigned to a key adult. The key person will work with parents/carers to ensure every child’s care and educational needs are met. The key person approach ensures children have an adult who they can build a trusting relationship with to help them feel safe and happy at Little Fishes. The key person will also keep records of children’s development, plan exciting learning experiences and communicate with parents.
We also take students from the local schools and colleges to gain valuable work experience during their studies for childcare qualifications.
Little Fishes Pre-School is managed by the Governing Body of St. Peter’s Catholic Primary School, under the Community Facilities Powers Initiative, run by the Government, which the Governors were granted in September 2004. As part of this initiative, the Governors are responsible for the employment and care of staff and for ensuring that legislation is adhered to. The Pre-School Leader is responsible for the curriculum and the day-to-day planning for the children, in collaboration with the EYFS Phase Leader and the School’s Senior Leadership Team.
We are open Monday to Friday during term time. Our choice of sessions are as follows:
All day – 8.45am – 3.45pm
Morning only – 8.45am – 11.45am
Morning with lunch – 8.45am – 12.45pm
Afternoon – 12.45pm – 3.45pm
Afternoon with lunch – 11.45am – 3.45pm
A daily snack is provided for children. This includes milk or water and a small snack such as fruit, vegetables, bread sticks.
For children staying for lunch (11.45 am – 12.45 pm) a healthy, nut free packed lunch must be provided. Children eat their lunch in the school hall supervised by the Pre-school staff.
Following the Early Year’s Foundation Stage Profile, we plan engaging and challenging activities based on the children’s interests. A large part of the session is ‘free choice’ for children to choose where to play and learn, along with short whole group times for prayers, stories and songs. During the ‘free choice’ times the key workers play alongside the children, modelling ideas and teaching new skills. Through the curriculum we also encourage a growth of self-esteem, resilience and interest. The Pre-school staff work closely with the school’s EYFS staff and Phase Leader to ensure that the best start to each child’s learning journey is provided.
Facilities and Activities
Little Fishes is ideally placed within the school grounds and has access via its own safe, pedestrianised entrance. The environment is arranged to allow the children free access to a range of activities and resources which cover the Early Years Foundation Profile. The children also have free flow access to a large outdoor area which is shared with Year R.
Little Fishes benefits from a custom-built room, with a children’s toilet area, a kitchen area for snack preparation, and a large outdoor area which is used all year round and in all weathers.
Activities include (but are not limited to) painting, reading, drawing, mark making, music, role play, cooking, crafts, snack, water play, sand play, bikes, building, construction toys, board games and playdough.
Little Fishes is open during term-time only, in line with St. Peter’s School term dates, see Term Dates 2020-21 by clicking here.
Admissions and Payment
Although housed within St. Peter’s Catholic Primary School, and working closely with the Reception teachers, Little Fishes Pre-School has its own Constitution and Admissions Policy. The Admissions Policy for St. Peter’s Catholic Primary School and Little Fishes Pre-School remain completely separate and a place offered or accepted at the Pre-School does not automatically secure a place at the School. For full details see Little Fishes Admissions Policy July 2020 at the foot of this page.
All parents are eligible to claim the ‘universal’ 15 hours a week Early Years Education funding (a total of a maximum of 570 hours in any one year), as follows:
A child born between
A child will be eligible for three or four year old funding from
1 January and 31 March
1 April following the child’s third birthday
1 April and 31 August
1 September following the child’s third birthday
1 September and 31 December
1 January following the child’s third birthday
Having fully considered the options and the impact on the sustainability of Little Fishes Pre-School, the Governing Body has decided that we will not currently be able to offer parents the ‘extended’ 30 hours a week funding. When your child becomes eligible for funding, you will be given a HCC claim form each term for you to complete, and the school office will process your claim for you. The HCC Early Years funding Privacy Notice is available on the school website and in Little Fishes.
Any hours taken by non-funded children or over the 15 hours a week for funded children will be charged as an additional cost (currently £5 per hour). Payment for allocated sessions is payable at the beginning of each term, regardless of any days not taken due to holidays, sickness etc. Invoices are issued at the beginning of each term. We reserve the right to withdraw places should payment not be received by the due date, or a mutually agreed instalment plan set up, until all outstanding fees are paid in full.
6 weeks notice is required if you wish to cancel any of your confirmed places. Should we not be able to fill the cancelled places, any fees for those sessions will be payable in full.
If you would like to apply for a place for your child, please contact the school office for an application form or download the form here.
You are also most welcome to come and have a look around Little Fishes. Due to the current Covid-19 situation this year the tour is virtual on Youtube. Please see our Little Fishes News page for a link to the virtual tour.
Little Fishes Pre-School
St Peter’s Catholic Primary School
Oliver's Battery Road North
Telephone: 01962 852820