Our staff

As we are a small setting we are fortunate that all of our staff quickly get to know all of the children. In addition to this each child has a key person, who is responsible for them, and their development. These key people carry out the assessments and fill in regular learning Journeys to be shared with parents and carers throughout the year.

Here are our members of staff (As drawn by our children)

Fiona H (Supervisor)

fiLikes: Dancing, Newfoundland Dogs, French Films and Bright colours.

Dislikes:  Brussel Sprouts and Liver

Favourite thing about preschool: The Smiles and Hugs!

Something you might not know about me: I love fancy dress parties.

Fiona Hughes the Preschool Manager is not at the setting on a Monday.

Angee (Deputy Supervisor and SENCO)

photoLikes: Going for hikes in preparation for a trek  to Machu Picchu in Peru, which I hope to take one day soon.

Dislikes: Liquorice Allsorts

Favourite thing about preschool: When the children arrive in the morning and tell me all their news.

Something you might not know about me: My names is spelt with 2 ‘e’s because when I was at college there were 3 Angies and our work would often get muddled up!

Sarah W (Teaching Assistant)


Likes: Animals – especially my 2 cats and 2 dogs

Dislikes:  People being cruel to animals

Favourite thing about preschool: Doing puppet shows

Something you might not know about me: I run a roller disco for young people in my spare time

Karen A (Teaching Assistant)


Likes: Robbie Williams

Dislikes:  Cooking – I wish I had my own chef

Favourite thing about preschool: Craft time when I get to make things and chat to the children

Something you might not know about me: I am a twitcher and have been since I was a little girl!

Your day with us

Each day is different at the preschool but we try to follow a loose schedule.  A day with us might look a bit like this:

8.55 If you’re an ’Early Bird’, you can come to us at this time on Tuesdays and Thursdays

9.15 Your school day starts!  Don’t forget to check you’ve got everything you need for your day – here’s a list in case you’re not sure.  Hang your coat up, say hello to the teacher at the door, and make your way in to the hall to find your friends.

9.30 We give everyone a warm welcome followed by playtime.  This could involve anything from playing in the home corner, to art, cookery or science experiments.  We open the door for supervised play in the Garden.

10.30 When you hear the tambourine it’s time to put your hand up and listen.  This means it’s tidy up time.

10.45 Circle time – We do all sorts of things like playing games, doing action rhymes, playing musical instruments, learning about a festival or talking about being kind.

11.00 – Snack Time!

11.15 – Play inside or outside.  We have a lovely sensory walled garden, with loads of toys including a big pirate galleon, a sandpit, a mud kitchen, a willow dome and a vegetable patch and flowers that the children help to plant and nuture.

12.00 – Story time – We act out stories, listen to stories, sing songs and thank the person who came to help us today.

12.15 – We sing our special song to say goodbye to those who are leaving at this time.

12.15- 12.40 – Play inside or outside.

12.40 – Lunch!

13.00 – 14.30 – A mixture of play and group activities.

14.30 – 14.45 – Story or Song time.

14.45 – Going home time.

Rising Fives

Tuesdays are reserved exclusively for those children who will be going to school the following September.   The aim of these sessions is to encourage more independence and to assist with a smooth transition to primary school. During these sessions we explore the beginnings of sounds and phonics, and practice mark making in a slightly more formal (but always fun!) way.  During our Rising 5 sessions, Talking Ted (our school teddy) chooses someone to visit each week, which gives each of the children the opportunity to talk to us about their time together.  We also have all sorts of interesting visitors providing varied and fun enrichment activities and once a month the children visit the Ditchling Museum of Art + Craft.  Rising 5’s are asked to bring in a games kit, in the summer months, which we practise changing in to.

Absence from School

If your child is unable to attend school please notify us of the absence as soon as possible and, if unwell, discuss with us when they can return to school, if infectious.

Daily checklist

Please ensure all clothes are labelled, especially coats, hats, gloves and wellies.

  • Nappies / Change of clothes depending on what stage of potty training you are at. Click here to see our potty training policy and procedure
  • Ditchling Preschool Sweatshirt / T-shirt (This is optional but we do get pretty messy so best not to wear your best clothes to school).  See below for how to purchase these.
  • Snack: A healthy snack for your child each day e.g. a piece of fruit, bread sticks, crackers etc.
  • Lunch box: If your child will be staying after 12.15, you need to provide them with a packed lunch.  Please ensure your packed lunches are healthy, with no chocolate or fizzy drinks.
  • Anything you would like to share with teachers and friends (some artwork or writing, a picture of your child doing something good, or just a favourite toy)
  • Rising 5s on Tuesdays only – games kit in the Summer months.

In Winter

  • Coat (Waterproof and warm for Winter months), Waterproof trousers for outdoor play (optional) and Wellies

In Summer

  • Sun cream and a Hat (although we have preschool hats just in case).

There are Ditchling Pre-school sweatshirts £9.50 and T-shirts £6.50 available to purchase .If your child requires one please check stock for sizes. We have a selection in the foyer that you might like to look at to check the sizing.

Ditchling Preschool Local Offer for Children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities

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Click here to find out more about how Ditchling Preschool can provide for children with special educational needs and disabilities.

To download this information as a document click here.

Observation & Assessment

The Early Years Foundation Stage – What is it?

The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) is the statutory framework which sets the standards that all Early Years providers must meet in order to ensure that children learn and develop well and are kept healthy and safe.

The new EYFS framework aims to place stronger emphasis on the three prime areas which are most essential for children’s healthy development.

These three areas are:
• communication and language;
• physical; and
• personal, social and emotional development.

How do we assess and observe your child?
In order to assess your child’s development alongside the EYFS framework, the following observations and assessments take place.
• A progress check at age two. This links with the Healthy Child review carried out by health visitors, so that children get any additional support they need before they start school.
• Ongoing Learning Journeys completed by Key People, which you have access to at any point.

Formative Assessments
• We observe the children every day and take note of special things they say and do. We often take photographs so we can visually share with you your child’s progress.
• We also do ‘in depth’ observations every 8 weeks, when we notice in more detail which areas of learning the child is accessing and how the child is learning.

Summative Assessments
• In the Autumn, Spring and Summer, we make professional judgements as to within which bracket the child is operating for the main areas of learning. They might be in a range of brackets typically from the 8 – 20 month bracket to the 40 – 60 month bracket and if development in any area is delayed we plan individual activities to support the child to help them progress.

Focus Children
Our priority is getting to know your children as best we can so they have the most enriched experience whilst they are with us. We ask you to fill in a Star Form twice each year or as their interests change, but always love to hear stories or see pictures of what you have been getting up to at home. Once every 7 weeks your child will be a focus child for a week, when we set up activities in line with their specific interests, such as pirates, a cafe, gift wrapping, rocket making, cooking or their favourite books.  We find it helps us really understand them, and helps them feel special too.

Policies & procedures

The policies describe what the Pre-school strives to achieve in order to ensure the welfare of the children and the procedures explain how these policies have been put into practice.

All policies were updated in 2013 following the implementation of the revised Statutory Framework for the EYFS (Early Years Foundation Stage) in September 2012.  Full copies of all polices and procedures can be found at the Pre-school.

Parents and carers of new children are asked to read and ‘sign up to’ these policies as part of the registration process.   The areas covered within our policies and procedures are as follows.  Please click on the link to see the relevant information:

1. Introduction

2. Policies Diagram

3. Child Protection

4. Suitable People

5. Staff Qualifications

6. Key Person

7. Ratios

8. Health

9. Managing Behaviour

10. Safety

11. Equal Opportunities

12. Information and Records

13. Finances

14. Shared Premises

15. Working Remotely

16. Emergency Temporary Closures

17. Call an Ambulance

18. Change Control Log

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