Our playgroup sessions are for the younger children aged 2 - 3 years. The adult to child ratio is maintained at 1 adult to every 4 children for our 2 year olds. Children are provided with activities and experiences to support their play and learning. Through the Early Years Foundation Stage framework we celebrate the skill and competence of young children identified by four aspects - A UniqueChild, Positive Relationships, Enabling Environments and Learning and Development. Our team members are fully qualified to enhance the development of all children within the safe environment of the group and recognise their individuality, efforts and achievements. Children become creative as they explore and experiment with paint, playdough, sand and water. They become increasingly imaginative as they engage in pretend play with small world toys, a home corner and dressing up clothes. Motor skills are developed through use of construction toys, wheeled toys and outdoor play. Opportunities for children to get to know themselves and their own capabilities and to develop a positive self-image are provided. Being with other children encourages the development of social skills, sharing, making friends and becoming skillful communicators.


Pre-school sessions are structured towards the needs of children in their final pre-school year in order to make an easier and happier transition onto Primary School. Our location within the grounds of Barnston School gives us the opportunity to strengthen our links with the school and participate in school activities, open assemblies, sports day and induction days. Children of pre-compulsory school age are provided with a framework which enables them to make maximum progress towards the Early Learning Goals determined by the Department for Education.

The concept of 'continuous provision' has been adopted in our childcare approach, concentrating child development in specific learning areas. Children are encouraged to access self-chosen activities and with support from our experienced team members, are able to extend their knowledge and broaden their learning experiences.

The following areas of development, identified through the Early Years Foundation Stage Framework, provide a foundation for later achievement and will prepare young children for Key Stage 1 of the National Curriculum.

Personal, Social and Emotional Development

Group activities encourage children to work together, to share and take turns. Our dedicated team, allow for the development of individual skills in understanding personal values and those of others.

Continuous provision, allows a child to establish individual approaches to the range of activities that Barnston Buddies provides and a positive disposition to learning. Moral, cultural and religious issues are approached with understanding and sensitivity and children are offered opportunities to respond to their experiences of the world.

Communication and Language

We provide many opportunities and activities to develop children's speaking and listening skills. An environment rich in language is created to develop children's confidence and skills in expressing themselves whilst further opportunities are provided to support children whose home language is not English. Lisstening and attention are essential skills required to develop children's language and our practitioner are knowledgeable in national programmes, such as 'baby sign' and 'every child a talker' recognised to enhance these skills.

Physical Development

Barnston Buddies has been awarded a Health Promoting Early Years Award which recognises our commitment to help promote a positive attitude towards a healthy and active way of life. A range of equipment to support the development of co-ordination, mobility and an awareness of space are provided. Construction toys such as duplo and mobilo, threading and mark making equipment are readily available to develop fine manipulative skills. Music and movement activities, climbing equiupment and wheeled toys are provided daily both indoors and outdoors ensuring regular physical activity.


Our large selection of books, big books, story board and story sacks gives children an understanding of words and pictures and allows for recognition of letter formation. A love of books and stories, rhymes and poems and a growing interest in rhyming , alliteration, sounds and words is fostered through careful planning and encouragement from the pre-school team. Children's surroundings offer natural opportunites to look and learn about printed language, whilst materials are readily available to provide opportunites to experiment with writing and making marks.


Provision is made to enable childrne to develop the skills to understand numbers, shapes, space and measures through a broad range of contexts. Practical activities, observing numbers and patterns in the environment and daily routines offer children the opportunity to begin to develop an understadning of simple mathematical concepts. Number rhymes, songs, counting games and books make learning an enjoyable experience where they can gain confidence in the use of these skills.

Understanding the World

There are many opportunities for children to discuss their homes, families, past and present and their environment. Our environment both indoors and outdoors allows an expance of opportunity to stimulate children's interests and natural curiosity. A wide range of materials are available to challenge children to make choices for example in joining and constructing techniques. Technology, in the form of tape recorders, headphones, computers and interactive whiteoards are available to support children's learning. Children begin to gain an understanding of the wider world through activities based on cultures and beliefs and the celbration of festivals such as Diwali, Chinese New Year and Holi.

Expressive Arts and Design

Self expression through paining and drawing is encouraged, materials being available at all times. A role play area with dressing up clothes, play house, kitchen, etc encourages children to play make believe, developing imagination and the ability to communicate thoughts and feelings. Musical instruments are played both freely and rhythmically to music. Playdough, sand and water provides the opportunity to explore colour, texture and shape.

Extended session for Pre-school/Playgroup

  • Age of admittance: 2 - 4 years
  • Opening times: Monday - Friday 9.15am - 3.15pm term time only

Full or Half Day Care

  • Age of admittance: 3 - 4 years
  • Opening times: 8.00 am - 6.00 pm
  • Half day: 8.00am - 12.15pm or 12.15pm - 6.00pm

Children may bring a packed lunch, or a hot meal will be provided at an extra cost.

Children attending pre-school or playgroup are able to remain in the care of Barnston Buddies from 9.15 - 3.15 pm during school term time. After lunch our activities will continue. A rest area is provided where children can sleep or participate in some quieter activities.

Morning sessions include breakfast, a snack and a drink. Afternoon sessions include lunch, a snack and a drink. Children may bring packed lunches, or hot meals can be provided at an extra cost. .