Pre-school Learning Alliance
WHO’S WHO AT KIRKLEES BRANCH
HD1 3ER Branch Chair:
01484 223013 Sue Everson
(Please note that staff are only in this office at Branch Manager:
the times below)
Bulk Buy and Resource Library Development Workers:
Open: Tuesdays & Thursdays Angela Newsome
Term time- Frances Street (also Editor of newsletter)
9.30 – 2.30pm Louise Little
During holidays- Janet Mather
Tuesdays only Resource Library Manager:
10.00 – 12.00 noon Resource Library Assistants:
except Christmas / bank holidays Tracey Thompson
Visit our website: Finance Officer:
www.pre-school.org.uk/kirklees Elaine White
Email – firstname.lastname@example.org Deborah Horkin
Bulk Buy Officer: (Huddersfield)
(Contact this office for information Monday
Bulk Buy and Resource
Open: Tuesdays & Wednesdays
9.30 – 2.30pm
10.00-12 noon, all year round
except Christmas/ bank holidays
Mission Statement Insurance issues
Our mission is to: Please check your
Help children to succeed insurance and inventory is
Create the childcare which families need up to date and you have
adequate cover for all your
Build learning communities. extra needs. When you
review your inventory make
sure that you have insured
the setting’s equipment for
SUPPORTING THE NEEDS OF CHILDREN, the full amount and that a
copy of the inventory is kept
FAMILIES AND PARENTS off the premises. Full risk
assessments should also
IN THE LOCAL COMMUNITY be reviewed at least once a
Early Years Foundation Stage update Insurance is available from
Royal & Sun Alliance plc.
Learning and For further details contact
growing together them on 01992 506 748.
The Learning and growing together wall chart is a free height chart for parents and their They can answer questions
children to use together. The height chart contains information about fun things that on inventories and risk
parents and carers can do with their children that will help them learn and be healthy and assessments. They also
explains how parents and carers can gain access to free early learning and care. supply a risk assessment
Available from the National Standards website: template with insurance
http://nationalstrategies.standards.dcsf.gov.uk/ renewal documents.
It is essential that
Qualification mapping committees or owners
Practitioners working in settings delivering the EYFS and included in the ratio of qualified contact LAWCALL the legal
staff are required to hold ‘full and relevant' qualifications as defined by The Children’s helpline for all legal issues
Workforce Development Council (CWDC). The new Qualifications List for those delivering and in particular any issues
the EYFS is a tool to help employers check whether qualifications are considered full and relating to employment of
CWDC is identified in the Statutory Framework for the EYFS as responsible for defining
qualifications acceptable for registration and regulatory purposes. In order to do so, it has Employer’s Liability
reviewed the criteria that qualifications must meet in order to be deemed as ‘full and Insurance certificate
relevant’. Please note that this
Two sets of criteria are now used. The first set (criteria 1-3) relates to the type of insurance certificate should
qualification – depth and level of study required by the qualification and the way it is be displayed at all times
assessed. These criteria are mandatory. Those practitioners holding qualifications that do irrespective of what EYFS
not meet these criteria will be required to undertake further training and assessment. requirements are.
The second set of criteria, (criteria 4-7), relates to the content of the qualification and, in Employers’ liability
particular, how closely it relates to the EYFS Learning and Development and Welfare insurance will enable you to
Requirements, the relevant National Occupational Standards and the Common Core of meet the cost of
Skills and Knowledge for the Children’s Workforce. These criteria are not mandatory. For compensation for your
practitioners holding qualifications that meet the first set of criteria, but only some, or none, employees’ injuries or
of the second set of criteria, there is a recommendation to undertake further professional illness The Employers’
development in areas not covered by their current qualifications, e.g. in respect of a Liability (Compulsory
particular age range or area of content. Insurance) Act 1969
To view the qualifications list and assess whether your qualification is still valid, without the ensures that you have at
need for further accredited training, visit: least a minimum level of
https://secure.cwdcouncil.org.uk/eypqd/qualification-mapping insurance cover against any
such claims. You must
display a copy of the
Certificate of Insurance
where your employees can
Getting Started training easily read it.
If you are interested in attending a 12 week Cache level 1 Getting Started course in the It is a legal requirement
near future, please ring or phone the Dewsbury Branch office. You can be put on a that the Employer’s
waiting list to attend the next available course (the date of which has not yet been fixed). Liability Certificate is kept
This course is suitable for new and/or unqualified staff and parents/carers helping in pre- for at least 40 years after
school settings. it expires.
Business and administration issues Adopting the 2008 Constitution
Groups wishing to operate to the Pre-school
Learning Alliance Model Pre-school
Are you struggling with your payroll? We operate a comprehensive
Constitution 2008 will need to formally adopt it
at their next Annual General Meeting (AGM).
If this is of interest to your group then please contact our finance officer If groups have already held their AGM, it is
Elaine White on 01924 460930 who will give you more details on the possible to call an Extraordinary General
Meeting to provide members with the
service and charges. Or go to:
www.pre-school.org.uk/kirklees/Finance opportunity to vote on and adopt the 2008
pre-school constitution. The constitution
The KEYS business team now has a new web page: should be made available to parents
beforehand so that they are able to make an
informed decision. Upon formal adoption of
learning/child/providers/businessteam.shtml which gives basic
the 2008 constitution, the Charity Commission
information about what they do and includes links to useful
must be informed of the change. The Charity
addresses. One of the main benefits of this is that KEYS grants, with
Commission needs to receive a copy of the
guidance, are all available online now. You can access the grant
minutes from the AGM and a copy of the
applications by clicking the link on the business page or you can find
signed constitution with immediate effect.
them by visiting the Kirklees grants page and clicking on grants for
For more information visit:
www.pre-school.org.uk/resources where you
will also find a copy of the constitution.
You will find all the KEYS grants here except the Quality & Access National Annual General Meeting
Capital Grant which still has to be accessed via Childcare The National Pre-school Learning Alliance
Co-ordinators. AGM and Conference will be held on the 19
June 2009 at the Novotel Hotel
Paid holiday entitlement Hammersmith, 1 Shortlands, London, W6
Since 1 October 2007 all workers have had a statutory right to at least 8DR. For more details, contact our office.
4.8 weeks paid annual leave (that's 24 days paid holiday if you work five
days a week). From 1 April 2009 this entitlement will increase to 5.6
weeks (28 days).For part time workers this is 5.6 times their usual Interview questions
working week. We have been working on a new ‘bank’ of
For more information visit: interview questions suitable for
http://www.berr.gov.uk/employment/holidays/faq/index.html managers/leaders and assistants. The aim is
to ensure there are a wide variety of suitable
Minimum wage questions relating to their job descriptions. If
The current rates from 1 October 2008 are: adults (which means people you have any questions which you may have
aged 22 and over), £5.73 an hour, workers aged 18-21, £4.77 an hour - found really useful in past interviews, or have
the 'development rate.' some good new ideas for questions, it would
be good to hear from you. Suggested answers
Payscales are also useful! Please contact Frances with
Many voluntary and community organisations use the National Joint your ideas. Development workers are available
Council for Local Government Services (NJC) pay scales. To view the to help with interviewing if necessary.
last updated version (24 October 2008) visit:
Learning Together leaflets will help parents
Stakeholder Pensions of children up to age five, as well as students
Since October 2001, employers with five or more employees have been and practitioners, to:
required to: understand children’s development
Select or designate a stakeholder pension scheme
Provide employees with information about the scheme play an active part in their learning
Make deductions from an employee’s salary for her/his pension enjoy the children they spend time
contributions to the designated scheme if he/she wants it. with.
Employers are not required to comply from the first day of employment,
They are available to order (with p&p costs)
although they are free to do so if they wish. The requirement becomes
or download free at:
mandatory after an employee has been working for an employer for 3
months. Employees are not compelled to join stakeholder www.early-education.org.uk
schemes. (Taken from Employment in Early Years Settings 2007)
The Alliance cannot provide/recommend specific stakeholder pension Kirklees Sub-committee Annual General
schemes; the setting must research them to find a suitable scheme. A Meeting
register of stakeholder pension schemes is available on The Pensions Our AGM will be held at Britannia Mills,
Regular website www.thepensionsregulator.gov.uk. Colne Rd, on:
Further information is available in the Alliance publication ‘Employment Tuesday 19 May, 7.00 – 8.30pm.
in Early Years Settings’ and on the Business Link website Tea will be served at 6.30pm
www.businesslink.gov.uk. Please make every effort to attend.
Healthy food for spring: Down in the Garden
Birds nest salad Original author unknown
(Sung to: "Down by the station")
Each child will need:
Down in the garden, early in the
1 grated carrot (or use beansprouts) morning,
1 teaspoon of honey See the yellow daffodils all in a row.
1 teaspoon lemon juice (bow heads.)
Seedless grapes See them lift their head and
give their horns a blow
1. Mix carrot, lemon juice and honey together in a bowl (lift head and pretend to blow horns)
2. On a plate, shape into a ‘nest’ Toot, toot, toot, toot, off they go.
3. Put grapes into the centre of the nest to look like eggs
4. Serve with crusty wholemeal bread
The Graduate Leader Fund
The Graduate Leader Fund (GLF) has been
established to raise the quality of private,
Much has been said about risk assessment lately and it is a key
voluntary and independent (PVI) childcare
theme in the EYFS Welfare requirements. There has been much
settings for children under 5 by supporting the
concern about the amount of paperwork which may be involved.
development and employment of Early Years
Bill Callaghan, Chair of the Health and Safety Commission, in his
Professionals (EYP). Kirklees Early Years
statement in August 2006 stated:
Service is working towards a target of securing
"The principles set out what we believe risk management should
one graduate leader (EYP) in all Children’s
– and should not – be about. They are simple; they are common
Centres by 2010, with two in Centres in the 30%
sense. To some they will no doubt be a statement of the
most disadvantaged areas. By 2015 the target is
blindingly obvious. Unfortunately they are clearly not obvious to
to have a graduate leader (EYP) in all full
everyone; if they were we wouldn’t keep hearing stories about
daycare settings (over 4 hours) with two in
people concentrating effort on trivial risks and unnecessary
settings in the 30% most disadvantaged areas.
bureaucracy. Our message to all organisations is: don’t
Government funding has been secured until
overcomplicate things, keep your risk assessment fit for purpose,
make it a living document and act on it. Risk management should
The fund will:
be about practical steps to protect people, not paperwork for its
Top up salary costs for the nominated
Children need to be allowed to take risks and risk assessment
Support the nominated EYP with any needs to be tailored to meet the needs of your setting and the
costs associated with attending their
activities you undertake.
The principles of sensible risk management can be found at
Further continuous professional www.hse.gov.uk/risk . There are also some great health and
development (CPD) of the EYP to safety myths, including the one below:
support retention The myth: ‘’Children need to be wrapped in cotton wool to keep
The allocation will include: them safe’’
A lump sum to all PVI full daycare The reality: ‘’Health and safety law is often used as an excuse to
settings who have nominated an EYP stop children taking part in exciting activities, but well-managed
100% funding of the nominated EYP’s risk is good for them. It engages their imagination, helps them
qualification learn and even teaches them to manage risks for themselves in
A bonus when EYP status is achieved the future. They won’t understand about risk if they’re wrapped in
Funding to support salary costs once the cotton wool. Risk itself won’t damage children, but ill-managed
EYP is in post and overprotective actions could!’’
The setting may also apply for funding of
qualifications for up to 2 additional staff.
Allegations against people who work with children
For more information about the GLF contact Sue
The new procedures regarding allegations against people who
Crowther 01484 223032
work with children are now available as part of the West
Yorkshire Safeguarding Children Board procedures.
A key message which everyone needs to be aware of is that all
such allegations must be reported to the Local Authority
Designated Officer (LADO) for dealing with allegations. The
LADO for Kirklees is Phil Holmes, 01924 483745. He has
oversight of all referrals, ensures they are dealt with in a timely
and just manner and collates information on allegations for
presentation to the Safeguarding Children Board.
Ofsted issues Record
In the December 2008 ‘Ofsted news’ it reported that early years providers have The Complaints Summary
started to submit their self-evaluation forms using the new online facility. Record needs to be shown
Ofsted reported that their initial impressions were that providers were using the to Ofsted on inspection.
forms in a way that helps them reflect on their practice and identify priorities for Please check that
improvement. More attention to the prompts in the self-evaluation form guidance will whatever version you are
ensure providers reflect on the themes and commitments in the Early Years using it now links to the
Foundation Stage and consider the effectiveness of leadership and management in Welfare Requirements
their settings. rather than the Care
Standards under ’nature of
The guidance stresses it is important that self-evaluation involves all staff and complaint’.
assistants. If you are hoping to receive a good or outstanding inspection report it is Your Development Worker
important that the whole team is involved and not just the senior management. will supply you with an
edited version upon
All providers are required by law to give parents and everyone else who asks for one, request. If you are using
a copy of their inspection report. They may charge some people a fee for doing this. It the Alliance publication, it
is a good idea to record they have received it as evidence that this has happened. will probably be best to
stick the Welfare
For the latest edition of Ofsted news visit: http://ofstednews.ofsted.gov.uk/ Requirements over the top
of the Care Standards.
Ofsted inspectors have been asking some settings how they plan for boys in their setting. You need to remember that
equality of opportunity does not mean same opportunity. Planning should be observation based for individuals and the
child’s interests should be followed. It is useful to understand that generally boys have different learning styles and tend
to be more kinesthetic learners. They need to be allowed to take and manage risk.
Geoff Hannam wrote on the subject: "He does first and then (hopefully) thinks. She thinks first and then (hopefully)
does. He has a trial and error, experiential learning style rooted in confidence, competence and interest in the
manipulation of objects and systems. He is a speculative thinker (leading towards physics as a subject). She has a
language-centred, sequential learning style, rooted in an interest in people and relationships. She is a reflective thinker
(leading towards English)." Obviously, this is a generalisation and there are often overlaps.
Many early years practitioners have expressed interest in and also concern about the pre-occupation of some of the
boys in their settings with the type of play which often involves weapons and fighting. Adults are often unsure of the
value of this media-influenced play, how to manage it effectively or join in as play partners. A study was done in three
early years settings in Islington where practitioners considered and came to an understanding of why superhero and
weapon play is so important to certain children, often boys. They tell the story of how skilled adults worked effectively to
engage with the play, channel it positively and use it as a tool to extend thinking and learning skills and foster
imaginative development. The examples remind us that bridging the gap between the culture of home and the early
years setting is a key strategy in supporting the emotional well-being of all children.
They concluded that whatever our personal views about the predominance of superheroes and weapons in children’s
popular culture it seems clear that they can have tremendous power to motivate and inspire many children, especially
boys. These examples have shown that accepting, valuing and even encouraging weapon and superhero play can be
an effective way to support all children to reach their full potential.
To read the whole document, visit: http://nationalstrategies.standards.dcsf.gov.uk/node/88258?uc=force_uj
The document was developed by Tracy Smith, Islington Primary Strategy Early Years Team
‘If I have not yet learned to love Darth Vader, I have at least made some useful discoveries while watching him play. As
I interrupt less, it becomes clear that boys play is serious drama, not morbid mischief. Its rhythms and images are often
discordant to me but I must try to make sense of a style that, after all, belongs to half the population of the classroom’
(Paley V G 1984)
Are you in rented premises? If so, do you have a lease on those premises? If you
wish to make alterations using funds from the Quality and Access Capital Grant it
will be necessary to have some sort of lease agreement with your landlords.
A pre-school model lease agreement and notes are available at:
Please note that as a lease is a legal document it should not be entered into
without seeking appropriate legal advice. This can be sought from LAWCALL, our
free 24 hour legal helpline. Development workers cannot advise on specific legal
First Books Quality and Access Capital Grant
Boxes of books for Many settings have applied, or are
applying for, money from this grant
under 5s which has capital funding of £1.9
KIRKLEES FIRST BOOKS IS RE-LAUNCHED
million for three years until 2011. The
aim of the grant is to help create good
First Books is administered by Kirklees Culture & Leisure Services and
quality settings who deliver the EYFS.
provides a FREE book and topic box loan service to all Early Years
The opportunity to apply for such a
providers inclusive of Private Day Nurseries, Pre-schools, Baby & Toddler
large pot of money may not easily
groups and Childminders. come again, so be creative and apply
The service has been re-launched following central government funding from for things you have always wanted but
the Department of Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) through the Book
could never afford. How many times
Ahead initiative. This aims to get enjoyable books into the hands of young
have you seen fantastic resources in
children in Early Years settings, to develop enjoyment of reading at an early
catalogues or at exhibitions, but the
stage and strengthen links between those settings and the local Library cost prevented you from making an
Service. order? Well now is your chance. Apply
for good quality resources which are
First Books provision builds on these aims and is designed to support Early
likely to last for many years to come
Years Practitioners in achieving the four principals of the Early Years
and will really enhance your provision.
Foundation Stage framework by enabling a diverse and more enriching
You can always discuss your ideas with
learning experience whilst encouraging a love of stories and reading among your Development worker, but you will
children in their care and their families. also need to contact your ‘Designated
Officer’ who will usually be the Locality
Books can either be self selected by visiting the First Books collection at Red
Childcare Co-ordinator or Inclusion
Doles Lane, Huddersfield or can be pre-packed and delivered to the nearest
Officer and they will discuss the
library or mobile halt. We have a wide range of books to choose from –
application and provide you with
board books, picture books, topic books, dual language & multi cultural guidance and an application form.
books all arranged into subjects supporting the Early Years Curriculum. If you have already applied for this
grant and been successful it would be
For further information or to arrange a visit please telephone First Books on
really good to share your success in
01484 226300, email: email@example.com or see:
the next issues of this newsletter.
www.kirklees.gov.uk/community/libraries/whatservice/firstbooks.shtml Contact the editor, Frances.
‘Schemas are patterns of linked behaviours, which the child can generalise and use in a whole variety of different situations.
It is best to think of schemas as being a cluster of pieces, which fit together.’ (Bruce 1997, ch5)
Schemas are described as mental structures and also patterns of behaviour. The biological development of the brain is in
constant interaction with the children’s socio-cultural experiences. As a baby uses their biological reflexes, they experience
movement, sound, texture, light and pattern, tastes and smells. These experiences add to and alter the babies existing
schemas, which become more complex as actions are repeated in different contexts. As their schemas become co-ordinated
we are able to observe recognisable patterns of behaviour in young children which can help us to understand them better, to
enjoy their company more and to help them to learn in deep and thorough ways (Bruce 1997).
We form our schemas during childhood as a way to make sense out of our world. They are normal and natural reactions to
events. Children exhibit schemas when they are playing and trying to find out more about the world.
Schemas need to be observed and fed into the planning
If children appear to be flitting from one activity to another, it may be that they are just exploring an idea or concept
in some depth
If a child seems anti-social it may just be they are pre-occupied with a particular schema
Children with special educational needs have schemas but they may need additional help in applying them to a wide
range of situations.
Children use schemas at a sensory-motor level, through their senses, actions and movements and at a symbolic
level when they make something stand for something else.
crawling into, and configuratively in their drawings, paintings and models.
usly than children whose schemas are very
There are several different types of schema but one type of schema which is very common in childhood is transporting.
Children like to fill things such as bags, trolleys, prams, and transport them to another part of the pre-school setting. They
may be ‘going on holiday’ or taking someone in a car as they push a friend in a buggy. Exploring transporting helps develop
an understanding of quantity and number. You can help children with this schema by providing things such as bags, baskets,
boxes, trolleys etc and allowing them to transport things.
This schema must not be dismissed. So if you frequently tell children to ‘keep the bricks in the construction area’ or ‘don’t
take the playdough away from the table’ remember you could be interrupting a very important part of child development and
play experience. It may make clearing up more difficult, but if the children’s needs are being satisfied it is well worth the extra
Your can read about schemas in Tina Bruce, Early Childhood Education, 1997
We have recently been evaluating the services that we provide for settings and have decided to merge Resource
Library and Bulk Buy service into one. This will take effect from Tuesday 21 April 2009. The purpose of this is to
make the service more efficient as we are aware that settings have limited time to spend in our shop / library.
The Resource Centre will still stock the craft items that you are familiar with but we are going to offer a pre-order
service. Each setting will be able to request a price list and pre-order items to be collected the following week. We
hope that this will save you time as you will just call in to collect and pay for your order. You do not have to buy
items in bulk as our previous name indicated. We buy in bulk and split packs down so that you can buy in smaller
If you are interested in this then please email firstname.lastname@example.org for a price list / order form which
will be forwarded to you asap.
Toy Library items will be processed through the same system as craft items which means that you will pay for your
shop items and toy library items at the same time. We still are encouraging settings to pre-order their equipment
which means we can have it ready and waiting for you.
You can view the catalogue / resource shop price list online at www.pre-school.org.uk/kirklees
Photocopying Service – we have a photocopier in both locations for you to use 5p per sheet for black and white
and 10p per sheet for colour (Colour available at Dewsbury but we could arrange to photocopy colour items for
settings in Huddersfield)
Laminating Service – is available at both locations or you could hire a laminator from the Resource Centre.
Come and use our resource centres at Britannia Mills and Dewsbury. There are many fantastic resources to borrow
which makes the trip to our offices well worth the effort. You can ring to reserve boxes and you can now view the
catalogue online at: www.pre-school.org.uk/kirklees/resource-library/catalogue
We have a variety of new equipment that we have recently purchased.
Dark Den This comes in a handy storage bag which is easy to assemble within the setting.
The den is very adaptable as it can be used as a sensory area, a den or a cosy corner. Light and
UV lanterns can be added to explore patterns, colours and shadows. The door and windows can
be open or closed by rolling up fabric and fastening. Cost Code C – 75p for 2 weeks.
Thomas the Tank Wooden Train set (set may vary from image)
A set which contains a wide variety of trains and carriages from the Thomas the Tank
. collection. Also includes buildings and people.
Cost Code B – 50p for 2 weeks
Swing Go (slightly different from image)
A sit and ride with a difference. Children use their arms (swing from side to side) to make the vehicle
move. It would be suitable for children with physical disabilities in relation to their legs.
Cost Code B – 50p for 2 weeks.
Fire fighters Song Sack This sack contains a variety of props to support the nursery rhyme.
Cost Code B – 50p for 2 weeks
Holiday opening times
Please note that the holiday opening times for the Dewsbury Resource Centre are changing to Wednesday 10am to
12noon, starting from the Easter holiday.
The Resource Centre will be closed on Thursday March 5 due to staff attending the Inclusion Conference.
Equipment for sale
A childminder in the Meltham area, who is giving up
after 20 years, has a lot of good quality equipment for
sale, such as Duplo sets, Brio train sets, jigsaws,
books, home corner equipment, wild and zoo animals,
storage equipment etc. If you are interested, contact
Catherine Gurney on 01484 852279
News from the groups
If you have any news of your achievements, good ideas or any other items about your setting which you would like to
share in this newsletter, please contact the editor, Frances Street, who will try to include it in the next edition.
We need you to contribute to this section of the newsletter!
Congratulations to Highburton Playgroup: An OUTSTANDING setting!
Wednesday 2nd October 2008 started out as any other day. However things soon changed at 8.50am when
Ofsted knocked on our door! The inspection under the new EYFS framework went well, particular attention
was paid to the organisation and running of the playgroup, with the leader and deputy under particular
scrutiny, as well as risk assessments and transition arrangements.
We were absolutely delighted when the Inspector advised us during the feedback that the outcome of the
inspection was OUTSTANDING!
We operate from a village hall which has many other users and therefore have the enviable task of having
to set up and put away the equipment on a daily basis. Occupying shared premises provides numerous
difficulties as many other settings are aware of, i.e. storage for one. However by applying a reflective
approach to our practice, having dedicated and committed staff, and a supportive parent committee we
have been able to achieve this OUTSTANDING result.
Congratulations to St John’s Playgroup, Golcar: An OUTSTANDING setting!
Lesley Young and Diane Hirst (Supervisors/Managers) write:
We are a playgroup based within a small church school in the village of Golcar, renting a classroom, running
sessions five mornings and four afternoons. When we returned to school after the summer holidays in
September we knew we had to be prepared for an inspection as it had been 3 years since our last inspection.
Diane and I looked at files, policies and paperwork which needed to be reviewed and updated. The committee
decided to let us have staff cover to complete any paperwork and to look at the Ofsted self evaluation
form. This took quite a lot of time but was well worth the effort as we found the S.E.F. user friendly and a
very good way of evaluating our setting.
Tuesday 12th November dawned; Gill Farnworth came into school and was introduced by the school
headmistress as the Ofsted inspector who was to spend the morning session with us. The school was being
inspected and as we are a playgroup within a school we were to be inspected at the same time, even though
we are independent from the school. Gill was made very welcome, which was easy to do as she was so nice.
She was shown the layout of the setting, the parent/carer notice board, the planning and the routine of the
playgroup was explained to her.
The children arrived with parents and carers and the playgroup session ran as normal. Gill closely watched all
children’s interactions with adults, our teaching methods, language, how our children were learning through
play, their own interests in a fun and friendly environment. We found her not at all intimidating or intrusive
but very thorough. She went outside at one point with paper and pen but was included in a game by an
enthusiastic 3 year old who shoved a bat in her hand and ask her to play, which she did, bat and ball in one
hand, paper work in the other.
After about an hour she asked where she could have time out to write up her notes. We asked her which
files she would like to see. Diane and I supplied her with everything including playgroup brochure, children’s
files and our self evaluation form (three quarters completed but not yet submitted to Ofsted). The fact
that we were self evaluating our setting using this form, had the most effect on her and she was very
pleased we were using the Ofsted format and had found it user friendly.
We met up with the inspector at the end of the session for feedback, feeling very nervous. We were soon
made to feel at ease as she progressed to say some very lovely and positive things about the playgroup and
staff. At the end, she happily told us we had gained an OUTSTANDING, which at this point Diane and I
hugged each other with tears in our eyes. We were so very happy and it showed. The inspector shared our
joy and was also very happy for us as she had enjoyed her time in the playgroup watching how we work and
As soon as we could we celebrated by telling the world of our result and we were congratulated by all. The
hard work and extra time the staff have put in over the last few months has been very much worth it and
we all feel very proud of our playgroup.
More news from the groups
Congratulations to West View Pre-school, Paddock: An OUTSTANDING setting!
Both Longwood and West View Pre-schools are run under the same voluntary management company called ‘Pre-
school Solutions’. They also have Milnsbridge Pre-school under their ‘wing’.
Longwood Pre-School had its Ofsted Inspection in September 2008. It was the first Ofsted inspection by
the two inspectors that attended under the new EYFS. One of the inspectors spent the morning in the
playroom observing staff and children, while the other spent time with the committee chair and manager in
the office looking at the paper work side of things and working through the SEF. After lunch more time was
spent looking at the partnership with parents and spending time talking to the parents. The Pre-school
achieved outstanding in Partnership with Parents and Leadership and Management and good in all other
areas. At feedback the pre-school was praised for listening to children and how the child’s voice impacted
on the running of the pre-school as well as the way all parents and carers were encouraged to become part
of the pre-school.
West View Pre-school has been open since September 2008 and had its first inspection in November. On
arrival the inspector was surprised to find that there was no clear mark making area in the room, but at
feedback expressed her delight that mark making was evident in every area, recipe cards in the playdough
area, large paper taped to the floor in construction, telephone message pads in the role play etc. The pre-
school manager and committee had comprehensively filled in the online SEF which proved to be a big help.
The setting was awarded an OUTSTANDING grade and needless to say the staff, management and parents
are exceptionally pleased with this, especially as the pre-school had only been open for two months.
Following the elements of outstanding at the inspection for Longwood Pre-school, the pre-school was
contacted by Ofsted inspector Alex Cole to see if they would like to be part of the Listening to Children’s
Voices survey as the pre-school had been flagged as excelling in this area. Two inspectors turned up at a
planned meeting and spoke to children and staff to see how the child’s voice impacted on how the pre-school
was run. At feedback at the end of the day the inspectors praised the pre-school for using the child’s voice
in so many ways, from allowing children to choose the snack on an hour to hour basis, to encouraging children
to make the pre-school rules (and amend the health and safety policy and risk assessments), to helping
design the new building project. It was great for the management and staff at Longwood Pre-school to be
able to spend time on a more informal basis with Ofsted, talking about how to improve practice, getting tips
and advice. The survey results will be online in June.
Many congratulations to these settings who have achieved such a fantastic result at their
inspections, which is due to the huge amount of hard work and dedication given by both
staff and committees. We look forward to sharing further achievements of settings in future
editions of this newsletter.
When fire strikes!
Just before Christmas Thornton Lodge Playgroup, which is directly managed by the Pre-school Learning
Alliance, was subject to an arson attack. There was significant damage to the community centre which has
rendered the building inaccessible.
When we assessed the damage it was clear that very little was salvageable; however we did have a steel shed
and also a metal filing cabinet so fortunately some equipment and many of our records were saved but still
An up to date inventory must be kept off the premises – crucial for your insurance claim
Records which have to be kept on the premises should be in something fire proof e.g. metal filing
Ensure that you have adequate contents cover with your insurer. Many settings will have had grant
funding which has been used for the purchase of new equipment. You need to relook at your inventory
and ensure your insurance will be adequate to replace such equipment
The children who attend Thornton Lodge Playgroup are now in temporary accommodation at the local
Children’s Centre while a new home for the group can be re-established.
Making their Day: Linking Effective Practice – Providing for two year olds in pre-schools and mixed
age settings (2005) [A082] £12.60 (revised 2008)
This interactive publication focuses on the specific needs of two-year-olds and explores the roles of
parents, settling in and attachment, equality and inclusion issues and schemas. Revised for the EYFS it includes
photocopiable pull-out questionnaires, action plan templates and resources to help with planning. Colourful posters
highlight aspects of two-year-olds’ learning.
If you purchased Making Their Day, prior to 1 September 2008, you can purchase the revised pull-out section (A083)
only at £3.95. Revised for the EYFS it includes replacement photocopiable pull-out questionnaires, action plan templates
and resources to help with planning. Also included are three new posters: Talk, Talk, Talk: All Languages Matter,
Outdoor Learning and Food Glorious Food.
If you have ordered since 1 September 2008 you will be sent the section automatically
To view and order all the latest publications online go to:
Good Practice in Early Years Infection Control (Ref: A073) £11.80 members 15.75 non-members
The Early Years Foundation Stage requires that providers ‘promote the health of children, take
necessary steps to prevent the spread of infection, take appropriate action when they are ill’. Good Practice in Early
Years Infection Control is the first publication of its kind written specifically for the early years and childcare sector
which focuses solely on Infection Control. This publication aims to support providers in meeting statutory requirements
and goes one step further by emphasising good practice throughout. It includes comprehensive explanations of infection
control, roles and responsibilities, how infections spread, outbreak management, exclusion times and good hygiene
All Together Now (Ref A131) £11.80 members £15.75 non-members
All Together Now provides early years settings with an easy-to-follow guide to improving generic inclusive
practice. This publication is particularly timely with a new Equality Bill currently going through Parliament
which aims to unite nine major pieces of equality legislation under one Act. Used in conjunction with
the Early Years Foundation Stage this publication will provide early years settings with a step-by-step guide to
implementing a scheme which will improve their practice and help meet future legislative, funding and regulatory
Springtime Offer Announcement
A selection of Alliance publications will, for a limited time only, attract up to an additional 20% discount. Under 5 will detail
most of the titles reduced. All selected publications will attract the discount (off member and non-member rates) until 30th
EY-Essential, the Alliance’s management
software, offers an affordable
management software system, which
reduces the amount of time and cost
spent gathering and processing the vast
amount of information needed to run ‘’We don’t stop playing
settings effectively. Alliance members can because we grow old; we
currently receive the software for just grow old because we stop
£195.00 (non-members £295.00). playing’’
As from 1st April 2009 the price will George Bernard Shaw
increase for members to £250.00 (non-
members £340.00). Therefore, if you
order by 31st March 2009 you will receive
it at the lower rate.
For further details visit:
www.pre-school.org.uk/ey-essential/, or to
request a demonstration CD-ROM please
contact the Information Service team at
email@example.com or telephone 020
www.storysack.com/sacks/list A commercial story sacks site, which
also may inspire you to make your own at a cheaper price. "If we are constantly astonished at
www.literacytrust.org.uk/Database/earlyyears.html Useful resources the child's perceptiveness, it means
for supporting children’s early learning and literacy development. that we do not take them seriously."
www.earlyreadingconnects.org.uk A new website has been launched
by the National Literacy Trust to support early years practitioners in Janusz Korczak
encouraging the love of reading and stories among children in their
care. There are tips, free resource downloads, and research.
www.communication4all.co.uk/ Resources to support inclusion. Some
very useful free downloads.
www.totallittlelearners.co.uk/ Little Learners; the road safety
programme for the under sixes from TOTAL. Here you’ll find games
and activities to entertain and educate whether at home or in the
classroom. The site is also packed with invaluable information and
advice to help keep your little learners safe.
www.dcsf.gov.uk/publications/fairplay Fairplay: A consultation on the
www.cleverclogsgames.co.uk/index.htm Educational games and
A multifaith calendar
www.wondertime.com/ All sorts of links to child development, The Seeds Grow
questions and answers, activities and games for children including
some useful printable items.
Original Author Unknown
www.wrap.org.uk WRAP (Waste & Resources Action Programme)
helps individuals, businesses and local authorities to reduce waste Sung to: "Farmer in his Den"
and recycle more, making better use of resources and helping to
tackle climate change. The Gardener plants the seeds
www.wateraid.org/documents/early_years_posters.pdf Posters to The Gardener plants the seeds
explore the many ways in which children experience water in their
Deep down inside the ground
www.sparklebox.co.uk/ 1000’s of free printable early years resources. The Gardener plants the seeds
The rain clouds give them water
The rain clouds give them water
I'll Plant A Little Seed
seeds need some water to drink
The rain clouds give them water
Original Author Unknown
Sung to: "I'm A Little Teapot"
The sun gives heat and light
The sun gives heat and light
I'll plant a little seed in the dark, dark ground.
Seeds like it warm and bright
Out comes the yellow sun, big and round.
The sun gives heat and light
Down comes the cool rain, soft and slow.
Up comes the little seed, grow, grow, grow!
The Gardener pulls the weeds
The Gardener pulls the weeds
Seeds need the room to grow
The Gardener pulls the weeds
The seeds grow into flowers
The seeds grow into flowers
Flowers that are beautiful
The seeds grow into flowers
setting. You 5 magazine
need Don’tto forget you can contact Under 5 magazine with news and photos of your achievements to be featured in The News.
does not Kirklees Branch website
mean same Take a look at our website which
opportunity. was launched last May at our AGM:
Planning www.pre-school.org.uk/kirklees Contacting us
observation Please note that our Branch office at Britannia Mills is
based for only open on Tuesdays and Thursdays. If you need to
individuals speak to someone at other times, our Dewsbury office is
and Please ensure that this newsletter is shared
the open from Monday to Friday, telephone: 01924 460930.
with everyone in your group and displayed Alternatively, contact your Development worker.
interests Development workers are home based, but whenever
clearly on your notice board. Copies are also
should be possible please try and ring them during office hours.
available on our website.
followed. It They work mainly during term time only, but during the
is useful to holidays you can contact the Dewsbury office to see if
understand they are working. Development workers can also be
that contacted by email.
different Baby and Toddler newsletter We welcome articles, good ideas, examples of good practice
learning If you have a baby and toddler
etc. from your setting. Please note that the deadline for this
styles and group which is part of your pre-
tend to school and also members of
be is June 1st for the summer newsletter.
more Alliance you should also Please feed back your comments about this newsletter and
kinestheticreceive a baby and toddler ways we can improve things to firstname.lastname@example.org
learners. newsletter. If this does not
They need happen, contact Deborah at You can e mail articles etc. to the editor, Frances Street
Dewsbury Branch office.
allowed to email@example.com or send articles to
take and Dewsbury Branch office
"He does If you are no longer the contact for your group and you have received
first and this newsletter in error, please let us know by calling the office or
thinks. She firstname.lastname@example.org
(hopefully) If you would like to receive a second copy of this newsletter via email, let us know.
does. He Alternatively, send a SAE to the Dewsbury office.
has a trial
learning The information and views in this newsletter are not necessarily the views of Kirklees sub-committee.