I have been visiting the pre-school over the last year in my role as the local Curate within the parish of St Peter and St Paul Borden.
I first got to know Sharon and Helen when I needed to borrow a children’s book for a church service and was told that the school would be happy to lend me a copy. After a conversation they told me I would be welcome to visit the school.
Sharon and Helen made me feel a part of the community straight away.
I started to visit the children and staff at the pre-school on a monthly basis and lead them in worship at our church last Christmas. Sharon and Helen along with the staff brought all the children to enjoy some carols, and the nativity story.
Parents and carers came along to enjoy the advent service and watch the children enjoying the songs and as Storytime whilst also engaging in some craft activities which helped to teach the children about the Christmas story.
I have been going into the pre-school roughly once a month on Thursdays.
Helping and being alongside the staff and children by reading to the children, painting, crafts, outdoor play, talking to the staff and to the children in a pastoral role which has been a joy and a real delight.
On one particular occasion we took the children on a ‘Bear hunt’ across the fields (Mountains!) to the rear of the pre-school. Again, it was great to spend time with the children and staff getting to know each child individually and taking the time as the staff do to adjust to each child’s specific educational needs.
As a church we try to get out and about in the local community to get to know people. I believe it’s an important element for a child’s development to know that the church is not just a ‘big building’ but its members are there to help, nurture and care for them and for the community.
As a new member of the clergy coming into school for the first time was somewhat nerve racking, however, Sharon, Helen and all their staff made me feel very welcome and the warmth and the care of the pre-school was evident from day one.
I have witnessed such great pastoral work with the children and the care all the staff place on treating each child and their own specific needs with the utmost dedication has already inspired my own ministry with young children and has lead me to realise the importance of the role of the priest in the pastoral and spiritual development of children.
Its busy, lively and the children clearly enjoy being at the preschool.
Sharon and Helen work incredibly well with all their staff to ensure the highest level of safeguarding and care.
Every time I have gone into the school, a new activity has been on the agenda so its never stale and the children are stimulated and engaged with the activities provided.
No child is excluded, every child matters, every child is an individual to Sharon Helen and their staff.
The emphasis on both physical wellbeing and education whilst allowing the children the freedom to explore their own interests has for me been delightful to see.
I feel that all the staff and the managers work very hard to create the best possible environment to ensure the children are happy.
I look forward to my continued involvement in the preschool as a member of the local church caring for the staff and children on a pastoral level and I hope as someone considered to be a friend.
Ofsted Parent Feedback
As a family we have chosen Borden Pre-school for our four children. We have a child leaving in July, and our youngest has recently joined. Over the past 8 years, we have been immensely impressed by their open communication, evident care for the children, promoting independence and communication through both structured and free play.
We do not live in the immediate locality, and therefore chose Borden Preschool amongst the numerous other Early Years settings. Placing trust in your children’s childcare provider is essential, and we have this wholeheartedly with the entire team.
Notices are shared in a timely manner, and opportunities to enrich the curriculum are always provided – such as Boogie Tots, the Rare Breeds Centre and guest speakers amongst others.
The children have opportunities to meet the local priest, one of whom has been reading to the children helping to build links within the community.
New starters meet their key worker at the family home, ensuring a seamless link between home and preschool. Our children feel safe and valued. This enables them to express themselves and share their natural highs and friendship concerns as their social communication develops.
Assessment is thorough and meaningful. The use of the LearningBook app highlights golden moments for parents, and provides us with discussion points with our children to build upon what they have done. It’s really well utilised, with specific learning points identified. The blend of images and video provides reassurance that activities are frequent – and the state of clothes proves this!
Transitions for the older children into primary schools are thoughtfully prepared, with uniforms being displayed. Our eldest at preschool is looking forward to primary, but also reluctant to leave due to the amazing rapport she has with her teachers. She is fortunate that many of her peers are transitioning with her.