We would like to invite you to take part in our annual parent questionnaire which can be found by following the survey link: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/CPSParent2022 Closing date 4th March 2022


‘School readiness’. What does it mean? So often we are asked ‘how do you get them ready for school? How will they adjust to a classroom environment after all of this freedom? Can they recognise all of their colours? Can they write their name? Are they ready for school?

The truth is- we don’t get children ‘ready’ for school. We certainly don’t pull them away from their play to learn how to trace over letters or play matching games to teach them numbers. We don’t plan activities around topics or themes weeks ahead. We don’t make children sit on the carpet listening to us for long periods of time and then tell them off when they start fidgeting. We provide an environment that is age appropriate. 2 year olds are not built to sit still (neither are 3, 4 nor 5 year olds for that matter!). Children are innately curious and eager to learn. Given the right environment and the right adults, children will learn and make progress. Does our staff just sit and watch the children play?! Absolutely not! Our staff are highly trained and will spot 100 teachable moments a day. Supporting and encouraging the children every step of the way. Sometimes it might be a gentle ‘you CAN do it’, or a ‘you’re ok!’ Sometimes it’s a cuddle and a story. Other times it might be discussing the detailed anatomy of a frog/snail, or working out how to find out which cable reel rolls down a slope the fastest!

At Calton Playgroup, children are given freedom. Freedom to follow their own lines of enquiry, their own interests. What looks like ‘just playing’ to some, is in fact serious business to us. By allowing the children to follow their own interests and giving them time, they begin to make progress you could only dream of from a ‘planned’ activity. Does it work? Absolutely! With staff on hand to gently encourage, prompt, suggest, model, praise and support- children begin to show an interest in all of the things ‘school’ requires of them. Take writing as just one example. If you pull a child away from their play to come and do ‘writing’ with you, it is highly likely they will not be interested. Go and join their play, follow THEIR interests and you might just find that the perfect opportunity arises to introduce a clipboard and pencil! And if they aren’t interested? Then then just aren’t ready yet- and that’s absolutely fine by us!

‘Childhood is not a race to see how quickly a child can read, write and count. It is a small window of time to learn and develop at the pace that is right for each individual child.