'Coalway Early Years' has been part of Coalway and Broadwell community for many years and attracts families from Coalway, Broadwell, Coleford and the surrounding villages. We provide outstanding education and care for children aged from 2 years old to school age. We are open term time, 38 weeks of the year following term times, holidays and inset days in line with Coalway Infant and Junior Schools.
'Coalway Early Years' is a committee run, non-profit making charity. The committee are a group of volunteers and parents who hold regular, informal meetings to discuss the running of the group and fundraising events. New parents are invited to attend and become involved. Parents and family members are welcome and encouraged to actively participate in the daily life of the playgroup, share skills and support fundraising activities.
The playgroup is registered with Ofsted under the Children’s Act 1989 and inspected every four to five years. At our latest inspection on 9th May 2018, we received a grade of 'Outstanding' in all areas - please follow the link on our home page to read the full report.
The playgroup receives the ‘Free For 3 and 4’ funding for all our 3 and 4 year olds, 30 hours funding for eligible working parents, and Achieving Two Year Old funding for eligible two year olds.
We have two base rooms – Our pre-school room (‘Penguins’) room is for our children in the final year of playgroup prior to starting school, and our starter room (‘Squirrels’) is for our 2 year olds and younger 3 year olds. However, due to the number of children on role from September 2021 we will be operating from one room (Penguin Room) meaning all children aged 2, 3 and 4 will be in a mixed aged room together, please be assured that this will have no impact on the high quality of care and provision that your child receives. We will be using the ‘Squirrel’ room as a ‘break off’ room at times to ensure we continue to meet the individual needs of all children. These times may include small group times, circle times and story times.
Once numbers of children on role begin to increase we will then look at moving back to operating from both rooms, however we will inform you in advance if this was to happen.
In our rooms, we provide a large, open plan environment with 'zoned' areas that focus on the various aspects of the curriculum, for example art, mark-making, and construction. In addition we provide quieter, more enclosed spaces for cosy, reflective learning opportunities such as role-play, conversation and story telling. Our large outdoor play area provides fun and challenging teaching and learning opportunities that include a "mud kitchen", large sand-pit, gardening area, outdoor creative arts area, and "loose parts" to promote problem solving and construction on a larger scale.
In addition, we have our own Nature Area in the school grounds and are very lucky to also be able to access a wide range of other environments and experiences provided by the schools - this includes use of the school hall and field for P.E, a large 'trim-trail', and playground area for riding bikes.
We balance our daily routines between extended periods of child-led play to help the children develop their own ideas and interests, and adult led experiences that enable us to offer more focused teaching activities - these include 'Story-Making' sessions, small group activities and Circle Times.
For new starters we offer 'introductory' sessions, we off a free 'taster' session prior to your child's start date to enable them to have a 'taster' of what we offer and what it feels like to attend playgroup! For this session we ask that you stay with your child as this helps them with feeling comfortable and safe in a new environment, however we may ask you to step out of the room for short periods of time so that they can begin to feel secure with the practitioners.
For children who require 'wrap around care' there is an on-site 'Kid's Club' who take children from the term after their third birthday.
Our mission is to provide a service to families in the local community that consistently provides exceptional standards of care and education for each child within the setting. Furthermore, to ensure a sustained capacity for continuous improvement and development through a committed, enthusiastic and highly qualified management and staff team with a goal to constantly improving the outcomes for all of the children in our care.
The children who attend our setting are at the heart of everything we do, our approach is child-centred and we strive to support each child to meet their full potential during the early stages of their lives. Children learn through their play, having access to rich and enabling environments both indoors and outdoors, supporting their learning and development, promoting resilience, challenge and creative thinking. The children who attend this setting are supported by highly trained and experienced practitioners who have a wealth of knowledge and are able to meet the needs of each individual child, recognising their strengths and supporting their on-going development. Practitioners plan and deliver a wide range of stimulating activities which are well balanced between child initiated learning and adult led activities. Practitioners are skilled in recognising how children learn and facilitating their development through demonstrating, modelling and encouraging them to become independent learners and supporting them in the moment.
We work closely with children’s families, building positive relationships and recognising each unique individual and valuing their individual journeys and stories. The setting has strong links with outside agencies and other professionals and recognises the importance of working together to give children and their families the best possible outcomes.
All of our staff are qualified and experienced practitioners with relevant and current child protection and paediatric first aid training.
We deliver a broad, stimulating, engaging and enriched curriculum that ignites children’s love of learning, sparks their imagination, develops thought-provoking responses and fosters a sense of awe and wonder. The Educational Programmes from the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage (DofE, 2021) underpins our core teaching and learning principles with a well-balanced approach of child initiated learning and adult led activities.
Each term the children are ‘hooked’ into a broad ‘I wonder’ theme topic which enables practitioner’s to nurture their natural curiosity where they are able to search for meaning and ask numerous question which then drives them into a deeper engagement of learning. The children are empowered to discover more, to explore and to become engrossed in learning that is self-directed. Practitioners enable children to maximise their learning through free-play explorations, focused explorations and enquiry-based learning opportunities. Our curriculum allows children to explore their own ideas, to test them and to push them to the furthest extremes, allowing them to develop skills such as concentration, resilience, perseverance, collaboration, communication and so much more. Children are central to the setting’s planning cycle; they share their thoughts, feelings and ideas with practitioner’s and this is documented in our ‘floor books.’ They are able to record their learning, goals, aspirations and achievements; they recall their experiences and take ownership for their own education which in turn empowers them to become independent learners.
Here at Coalway Early Years we offer outstanding education and care for children aged 2, 3 and 4 years. We aim to provide a safe and nurturing environment where children are supported to reach their full potential. We strive to support every child in our care, encouraging them to become skilled and able communicators, resilient and independent learners who have confidence in their own abilities. We encourage and reward the children’s willingness to try new things, practitioners encourage children to ‘have a go’ to enable them to feel pride in their attempts and to develop an ability to learn from their failures. Our ‘family’ atmosphere enables children to settle quickly with practitioners supporting their emotional well-being exceptionally well; children develop a sense of security which allows them to excel in all areas of their development.
09:00 Welcome and registration
09:15 Indoor play session with many adult supported activities
10:00 Snack time
10:30 Outdoor or 'free-flow' play where the children choose from a wide range of activities within the outdoor and indoor environment providing many teaching and learning opportunities. During this time some children may work in small groups on focused activities with an adult
11:45 Tidy up time followed by whole group activity
12:00 Lunch - say goodbye to some of our friends and welcome new ones
13:00 'Story-Making' - children come together in small or large groups for our fun and educational sessions based on our current 'Story-Making' text
13:15 Outdoor or free-flow play as above.
14:30 'Big' tidy-up time!
14:40 Children return to their room for a drink and whole group activity such as song-time, a story or game
15:00 Home time - we sing our 'home time' song and say goodbye!
NB: The above is a guideline only - we will vary the routine and activities to suit the interests and needs of the children and special events. We engage in outdoor play everyday, regardless of the weather, so please ensure your children come prepared!
Water & milk available in jugs
Variety of fruit &/or salad vegetables, and occasional savoury snacks offered daily
We also periodically make snacks with the children such as biscuits, bread rolls