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Noah's Ark Playschool, Harpenden

Noah’s Ark Pre-school Playgroup has an excellent reputation. If you are interested in sending your child, why not give Denise a ring and arrange a visit.  We have excellent parking facilities.

Please note that we are in the process of updating the information on this website as we have had to make changes to timings and fees. So some of the information here may not be bang up to date - if you have any questions please email Denise at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information.

Our Aim

  • To enhance the development and education of children under statutory school age in a parent-involving community based group.
  • To provide a safe, secure and stimulating environment
  • To teach the children basic Christian values

We offer your child

  • A specially tailored curriculum leading to approved learning goals
  • We follow the Early Years Foundation Stage and are registered through Ofsted.
  • Individual care and attention made possible by a high ratio of adults to children
  • Fun and friendship with children and adults
  • The support of a personal keyworker
  • Our facilities in pictures

Special Needs

Children with special needs, like all other children, are admitted to Noah’s Ark after consultation with parents and Playschool leaders.

Qualifications

Our staff are highly trained in child care or have relevant background knowledge. All are first aiders.

Session Times

  • We meet Monday-Friday 9.15 a.m. - 1 p.m. in term time only
  • Children bring a packed lunch each morning
  • A signing in and out book is used daily for extra safety
  • We offer parents to stay in the first week of term for half an hour to have tea and coffee. This is in the church so we can come over and let them know how their children are settling in.
  • Children who are in receipt of funding do not have to pay a deposit or registration fee.

Attendance

Noah’s Ark Playschool is registered with Ofsted for children from the age of 2.  Children can start after their second birthday depending on availability. There is a requirement for children to a attend a  minimum of 2 sessions up to 5 sessions depending on availability. We encourage the use of toilets as our facilities include child sized toilets: staff will assist them in using the toilet facilities. With regards to toileting, we do change nappies and parents need to supply nappies, wipes and change of clothes in a zipped or drawstring bag (no carrier bags).

Play Facilities

We have extensive outside play areas with tarmac for the winter months and a grassy area for the summer months. The children are encouraged to play outside each day, weather permitting.

What to wear

In order to feel free to enjoy and experiment with all kinds of materials, including messy ones, it is best to send your children dressed in clothes that are easily washable or not too new.

Key Workers and Record Keeping

Our key worker system gives each member of staff particular responsibility for their children. In addition, the key worker is in a position to tailor the group’s curriculum to the unique needs of each individual child.

We are able to implement an excellent record keeping system in which observations of the children in the group and at home are used as a basis for drawing up a curriculum for each child.

Policies

All our policies are designed to offer the best possible experience for the children and families in the group. Our policies are reviewed annually and comments and suggestions from parents are always welcome. A copy of our policies are displayed on the notice board in the foyer.

Themes

We focus on a theme and also concentrate on a letter and a number each week.

Parental Involvement

We encourage parents to be involved at Playschool by having a rota for parents to help during sessions.

Special Events

  • Children’s birthdays are celebrated.
  • We celebrate Harvest and Easter.
  • At Christmas, the children take part in a Nativity play.
  • Teddy Bears Picnic at the end of the year.
  • Day out to Stockwood Park in the summer.
  • Parent Lunch
  • Mothers Day card making Workshop

 

Visits

We welcome visits to Noah’s Ark. So that you are given maximum time, please contact Denise to arrange a convenient time.

Find out more

 We are affiliated to Crabtree Church, Harpenden - for further details see the Crabtree Church website.

“Teach a child how he should live and he will remember it all his life” Proverbs 22 verse 6

Crabtree Church, Crabtree Lane,
Harpenden
AL5 5RD
Tel. 01582 469308/ 07984 554536

E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Playschool Leader
Mrs Denise Shaw

Parents' Guide to Noah's Ark Playschool

What’s it all about?

Coming to Noah’s Ark might be the first time your child has been away from you for any length of time. During their year at Playschool they will learn to socialise with children and adults. They will also learn how to play co-operatively, how to share and take turns.

Key workers

Your child will be assigned a key worker when they start. The key worker is the first point of contact with daily information, comments or if you have any concerns. The key workers work in pairs in case your main key worker is not in on one of your days.

Settling in

This is a very flexible process. Some children don’t mind being left immediately, but others prefer their parent/carer to stay. Our key worker system helps each child to settle quickly working in partnership with the parent/carer. Often it is possible to arrange to stay for a while and/or come back early. Please discuss this with the supervisor in charge before you say “Goodbye” to your child. It is also important that we can contact you by phone if necessary. Your key worker will complete a settling in summary about your child and will discuss this with you after about 5 sessions.

Curriculum Planning

At Noah’s Ark playschool we follow the Early Years Foundation Stage which is the statutory framework that all child care environments are working towards. They cover four areas – The Unique child, Positive relationships, Enabling environment and Learning and Development. More information on the Early Years Foundation stage can be found in the play school or by asking a member of staff.

Observations of the children will be carried out to watch their development and photographs will be taken to add to their “All about me” Learning Journals. Planning is displayed on a board in the play school and the themes are communicated to you via the newsletters and parents notice board.

‘All about me’ books

Whilst your child attends Noah’s Ark, we will make a book about your child’s achievements. This will contain photos, written observations, paintings and drawings that your child has done. This book is put together over the three/four terms that your child attends and will be made by your child’s key worker. You may add to the books at any time by bringing in photos, such as a special day, weekend, or pictures the children have drawn. We also have parent consultations afternoons during the Autumn and Spring term for you to discuss with your key worker your child and review their All about me book together.

Fees

Fees are payable termly in advance @ £20 per session 9.15am - 12.15pm, £27 per session 9.15am - 1.00pm.  Bills are given out at the start of each term to be paid immediately. Fees continue to be payable if a child is absent or on holiday. Each child’s attendance at Noah’s Ark is conditional upon continued payment of any necessary fees.

Each child qualifies for Government funding the term after their third birthday.

Discipline

Staff praise and encourage the children whenever possible. The children are encouraged to say “sorry” to one another.  Any difficult behaviour that is not in character will be mentioned to the parent/carer, as it may be a symptom of something else. More information about discipline is found in our behavioural policy.

Parent/Carer Rota

Research shows that children learn better when their parents are involved. Our rota system involves all parents/carers in helping in the group on a regular basis. This helps to maintain the high ratio of adults to children in our playgroup, guaranteeing individual care and attention for each child. It also gives parents the opportunity to take an active part in the group, to see what happens and talk about it afterwards with the child. Children under Playschool age are unfortunately not permitted so other arrangements must be made for younger siblings.

A sign up sheet is located on the parents table as you come in the door. We do advise new parents not to sign up during their child’s first half term while they settle but if you wish to discuss this please talk to your key worker.

Noah’s News

We endeavour to keep you up to date with any news or information by putting it on the notice board outside or on the parents table indoors. We also have regular newsletters which are sent out by email or a paper copy is available on request.

Special Events

Through the year we hold special events such as picnics, Harvest Festival, Half termly praise services, Christmas party and a nativity play. Children’s Birthdays are celebrated when we sing “Happy Birthday” and we give each child a card and balloon. As we are a church based playschool, we also sing 2 “Thank you” songs during the session.

Register and Signing Out

The Supervisor of the day will tick your child’s name in the register upon arrival. Please inform the Supervisor if your child is to be collected by a different person with a password if we have not met the person before. Every child must be signed out of play school by the person collecting. This is very important and we appreciate this can cause congestion at pick up but is essential for the safety of your child. When the weather is fine the signing out board will be placed outside for you to sign while waiting. This is then checked by the supervisor who ensures the children are signed out as they leave through the door. 

Happy Helper

Each morning one of the children is chosen to ring the bell for circle time and tidy up time and help the supervisor during the morning. We keep a record of who has been “Happy Helper” so that each child gets a turn if they want to.

Noah’s Library

This is very popular with the children. To take a book home your child will be given a Noah’s Ark red book bag and they can choose a book with you to take home and bring it back to swap for another when they have finished with it. Bags can be placed in the Library bag tray in the morning.

Snack

We run a rolling snack session offering fruit, vegetables and a carbohydrate such as pitta bread, biscuit, rice cake or breadstick and water and milk to drink. A rota system helps to provide a variety of healthy snacks.

Illnesses

Parents/carers are asked not to send their child if they have any sign of illness. We kindly ask you not to bring them if they have a heavy cold and they must not return to play school for 48 hours following on from any diarrhoea and /or vomiting.

Chicken pox - Children should not return to playschool until at least 6 days after the last spot erupts and all the scabs are dry. With chicken pox and German measles please inform Denise as soon as possible so that we make the other parents/carers aware and they can check their own children for the initial signs.

Medical care

All parents must sign the medical forms before their child starts playschool.  This form gives staff vital information such as allergies and other medical conditions.  Should staff need to administer medication (i.e. asthma inhalers) an additional section needs to be completed.  All medicines are locked in a filing cabinet outside the hours of the session for safety.

If an accident happens during the day staff will administer first aid and contact you if necessary, at the end of the session parents must sign the accident book as an acknowledgement that the incident occurred and first aid administered. If a serious accident occurs on our premises we would endeavour to contact you immediately but if your child needs to go to hospital then the medical form would accompany the child. 

Fire Procedures

We carry out fire drills each term using a whistle to notify the children. Copies of our fire procedures are kept beside the phone, on the foyer notice board and in the policy file for parents/carers. We also have a Fire Log which is kept up to date.

Indoor shoes

To help keep the indoor areas clean and free from mud, please could you provide your child with a pair of named indoor shoes (slippers or plimsoll’s are ideal), they will be given a named box to keep them in. We would like the children to bring a pair of wellies and a mac so that we can make good use of the wintry weather and have fun in the puddles. The wellies can be left at Noah’s Ark on the rack in the foyer.

Bringing items in from home

If your child wishes to bring in something from home such as a comforter or special blanket/toy please inform your key worker on arrival so they can keep it safe. The children can bring items in from home to show the other children. This could be a postcard from a holiday, something they have made or found or it may be related to the week’s theme. At the end of the session they will be given time to show it to the other children. This helps them build their self-esteem and gain confidence talking in front of a group. Please do make sure it is named and if fragile please give to your key worker for safe keeping.

What to wear

In order to feel free to enjoy and experiment with all kinds of materials, including messy ones, it is best to send your children dressed in clothes that are easily washable or not too new.  We encourage no belts and buckles so the children can go to the toilet themselves as this is an important step in their development. Spare clothes in their bag on their peg are very useful if they get wet through water play or enthusiastic hand washing!

Child Protection

Noah’s Ark Playschool has a statutory duty, under the 1989 Children’s Act to safeguard and promote the welfare of children. It is this group’s policy to contact the relevant department i.e. Children’s Schools and Families, if there are concerns about a child’s welfare. The child’s confidentiality will be respected.

A typical morning- 9.15am-12.15pm / 12.15pm-1.00pm

After helping your child hang their coat on their peg and if the weather is wet please help them to change their shoes. Their name card will be on the floor ready to put on the board as this helps them to recognise their name. The staff will be ready at activities to welcome the children.

We start our morning with Free Play.  The children are able to choose a wide variety of toys. We have small world toys such as cars, trains, airport, farms and dolls houses. We also encourage Role-Play and Imagination in the Home Corner and with the dressing up clothes. Where possible we like to have an adult playing in this area, having fun with the children whilst providing the opportunity for Language skills.

Sand and Water are often provided and are used to assist imagination or to teach early science. This is also taught through cookery and play dough.

Art and Craft are on offer most mornings. We are keen that the art should be the children’s own work. Sometimes we do group friezes to go on the display boards and the children enjoy learning to work together.

During the free play there is a strong emphasis on child initiated play, this could be something to go on a table we have left clear, choosing their own craft bits and pieces from the storage boxes to create a picture or extending play by asking for the cot / baby wash stand for the dolls.

After free play we sit on the carpet for Circle time. This is where a member of the team will take the register and talk very briefly about the day’s topic and sing songs or rhymes.

During the morning free play the children are able to have a snack and a drink in our café. We also take the opportunity to try foods from different countries. Milk or water is offered to drink.

For Outside play we have two excellent tarmacked areas as well as a large grassed garden. There is a wide choice of equipment-mobile toys such as bikes, go-carts, prams, barrows and cars. Also balls, bats, hoops balancing bars, sand and water troughs. When the grass is dry we can use the climbing frames and slides thus providing a different emphasis in children’s Physical development, especially their Gross motor skills. If it is raining we have equipment we can use indoors in the church hall.

The children then return inside where we have a story from one of our big books, sitting on the carpet. After this we discuss the number and letter of the week and then have show and tell where the children show an item of interest they have brought in.  Some children will then go home at 12.15pm and the other children will stay on for our lunch session. The children bring in a packed lunch and all staff and children have lunch together at the tables. The children then have the opportunity to look at books and play with the lunch time toys on the carpet until home time at 1.00pm.

Noah's Ark Play School - Facilities

Playschool logo

Noah's Ark is always busy...

Playschool Hall

Tables full of toys...

Playschool Tables

... and shelves full of books

Playschool Books

Toys to learn with...

Playschool Toys

... and clothes to dress up in

Playschool dressing up

Not forgetting the nice clean toilets!

Playschool Toilets

The Noah's Ark Team

Denise Shaw
NVQ in Childcare Level 3

 

Leader/Supervisor 

Health and Safety Officer

Claire Moffatt
NVQ in Childcare Level 3

 

Deputy Leader/Supervisor
Safeguarding Designate

Sue Foord

 

NVQ Level 3

Assistant/Supervisor

Tracey Masters
NNEB

Assistant/Supervisor

Kalli Armiger

NCFE CACHE Level 3

 

Assistant/Health & Safety Designate

Liz Pecover
NVQ in Childcare Level 3

 

Assistant

Debbie Dunham

Assistant

 

Caroline Masterson

NVQ in childcare level 3

Assistant/SENCo officer

Sue Mallery


Assistant

 

 

 

 

 

First Aiders

All staff are First Aid trained.