Care, Play and Activities policy

Statement of Intent

The play experiences and the atmosphere of Polstead Preschool aim to encourage children’s confidence, independence and enjoyment. Our work has, as its core, the aim of enabling children to develop their emotional, social, cognitive, interpersonal and physical skills, and their desire to explore, discover and be creative.

We recognise that children’s capacity for positive development will be enhanced if given access to the broadest range of environments and play opportunities.

Preschool endorses the following playwork principles:

  • All children and young people need to play. The impulse to play is innate. Play is a biological, psychological and social necessity, and is fundamental to the healthy development and well being of individuals and communities.
  • Play is a process that is freely chosen, personally directed and intrinsically motivated. That is, children and young people determine and control the content of their play, by following their own instincts, ideas and interests, in their own way for their own reasons.
  • The prime focus and essence of playwork is to support and facilitate the play process and this should inform the development of play policy, strategy, training and education.
  • For playworkers, the play process takes precedence and playworkers act as advocates for play when engaging with adult led agendas.
  • The role of the playworker is to support all children and young people in the creation of a space in which they can play.
  • The playworker’s response to children and young people playing is based on a sound, up to date knowledge of the play process, and reflective practice.
  • Playworkers recognise their own impact on the play space and also the impact of children and young people’s play on the playworker.
  • Playworkers choose an intervention style that enables children and young people to extend their play. All playworker intervention must balance risk with the developmental benefit and well being of children.

Activities are carefully planned to allow children to build on their natural curiosity, advance their thinking, use their imagination and develop positive social relationships. At all times, Preschool will recognise a child’s individuality, effort and achievement.

Wherever appropriate, children will be involved in the process of planning activities so that the programme reflects their opinions, and so that children feel some ownership over their setting. Such processes will be governed by the procedures set out in the Involving and Consulting Children policy.

Staffing arrangements will provide opportunities for:

  • reflecting on practice.
  • recognising that working with children is a complex, challenging and demanding task and that often there are no easy answers.
  • acknowledging that learning is a shared process and that children learn most effectively when, with the support of a knowledgeable and trusted adult, they are actively involved and interested.

Staff will display flexible styles of leadership and respond appropriately to children according to their age, understanding and needs. Staff will support, recognise and promote achievements by all children.

Preschool will provide children with a range of equipment and resources appropriate to their age and interests, according to the provisions of the Equipment and Resources policy.

Children will be offered access to outdoor play every day, subject to weather conditions. No child will ever be left unsupervised during activities at Preschool.

An outline of the session will be displayed in a place that is accessible to all children and to their parents/carers, including start and finish times.

The Supervisor will ensure that time is managed properly, so as to allow for activity sessions to be evaluated.

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