Castle Kindergarten aims to provide each child with a caring environment which is safe, stimulating and a very happy day-time alternative to home. Our carefully designed indoor and outdoor space allows children to play, explore, discover and create in safe, secure and inviting surroundings.
We promote all areas of learning and development as outlined in England's statutory Early Years Foundation Stage which sets the standards for learning, development and care of children from birth to 5 years old. We do this through a planned and purposeful play based curriculum. At the heart of our approach we have created an environment where children can express themselves, explore and investigate. We offer a curriculum that is not only broad based, but considers the individual needs of each child, allowing each child to develop at their own pace and to follow their own interests. In each room the experiences offered are appropriate to children's age and include both indoor and outdoor activities.
Our learning environments are pivotal to our whole approach to learning and teaching; they are flexible so that spaces can be adapted in response to children's interests or lines of enquiry. Resources are easily accessible to children and are open-ended using largely natural or recycled materials so that children can create many different things in many ways.
We strongly believe that the environment for children must be safe, warm, welcoming and calm; that the activity spaces and meeting spaces in the kindergarten are homely and nurturing; some areas have furniture that would be found in our homes and there are plenty of cosy spaces where children can come together to be with others or on their own. Objects, artwork and photographs from the natural world are displayed around the setting.
Lighting and colour are also used to best effect to create a sense of well-being. These features will surround children within an environment that helps them feel safe and secure and encourages and supports positive behaviour for learning.
We have a large outdoor space where children spend a lot of time investigating the natural world around them.
At Castle Kindergarten we provide day care for children from 3 months to 5 years of age. We offer funded places for 2 year olds who are eligible for the government's 15 hours free education and funded places for 3 & 4 year olds who are eligible for 15 and 30 hours of free education. Parents can either choose to use their full 30 funded hours with us or split it across two settings. Where the 30 hours are split between Castle Kindergarten and Albany Village Primary School, children can be transferred easily between the two settings at lunchtime through our pick up and drop off service. We also provide after school and holiday care.