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Autumn 2023

The Autumn Term 2023 was enjoyed by all, and our new Caterpillar children settled into preschool life quickly.


In September Barnett Wood Pre-School celebrated its 30th birthday. We marked the occasion with random acts of kindness in the community such as rock hiding, and leaving gifts for local residents.  We also asked parents to support us in a collection of goods to donate to the Leatherhead Foodbank. To round the celebrations off, Chase and Marshal from Paw patrol even made an appearance for the children. 


In celebration of our birthday and of our Outstanding Ofsted grading (awarded in May), we had a visit from Chris Greyling MP to share with him the work that we do for local children.


The preschool marked Remembrance Day with the children, and a group visited the War Memorial at St. George’s on 9th November to lay a wreath in remembrance.

Following our successful offering of the Early Talk Boost programme in previous years the setting chose to revisit this programme with a small group of children from the Butterflies class.  The programme puts an emphasis on children’s language, listening and attention and helps them build confidence. The children engaged well with the programme and showed good progress.

During our people who help us week we had visits from a policeman, a doctor and a couple of teachers, who told the children all about the important jobs they do. The children got to wear some real police hats and had their finger prints taken. The children also enjoyed another visit from Booster Cushion Theatre Company, this time with a performance of ‘Hansel and Gretel and you’.

The preschool was able to work with Joco dance to offer weekly dance sessions to the children thanks to  successful fundraising events run by the parent committee.


We had a number of Christmas celebrations with the children, including our annual show that the children performed for their parents and a Christmas party complete with party lunch and entertainment.

Summer 2023

In the Summer Term, following a fantastic fundraising effort by one of our parents (running The London Marathon in aid of us), we were able to invite Little City to Ashtead.  This was made available not only to children who attend the setting, but also to children from the local community.  The children had a marvellous time engaging in the immersive imaginative play experience.

We also had a planned visit from Leatherhead Fire Service.  The children all had an opportunity to see inside the appliance and to have a go with the fire hose (which went down a treat!).  In preparation for the visit, the children were able to explore resources lent to us by the Fire Service, including books and dressing up outfits.

In May, we celebrated the coronation of King Charles II with a variety of activities including a coronation picnic and a grandparent’s Stay & Play.  We were fortunate enough to receive a personal response from The King who was touched by the card we sent.

On 12th May, the preschool had its routine Ofsted inspection and was judged as being Outstanding for the second time.  The inspector was full of praise regarding the staff, the setting and the provision that we offer the children.

After half  term, we had a visit from Browell’s Pet Therapy.  The children enjoyed a unique experience of having animals in the setting that they could groom, pet and feed.  Amongst the animals we had kittens, ginuea pigs, a pony, a couple of lambs and a pig!

We spent a week celebrating music from around the world, where we invited in parents and members of the community to show the children some of the interesting instruments they play.  These included pan piples, violins, digeridoos and a bodhran drum.

We finished off the term with our traditional Leavers Sports session, where we bade farewell to all the children who left to move onto ‘big school’.

Spring 2023

In the Spring term, thanks to parent fundraising, we were able to have two specialist activities for the children.  The first was mini yoga sessions, which were held weekly in small groups by a professional yoga teacher.  The yoga sessions are designed to help increase strength and flexibility as well as self-confidence and self-awareness and also supporting the children’s well-being.  The children quickly learnt some basic yoga poses and looked forward to the sessions.

Our second specialist activity of the term was Kiko Football, which took place weekly for the second half of the term.  Kiko helped the children learn basic ball skills and develop their hand/eye coordination.


The children went on a number of outings, including raising awareness of the Ashtead Spring Clean by going out and washing local road signs and picking up litter (with litter pickers).  In March, following parent feedback, we offered a free workshop to help develop strategies around fussy eating.  


As part of our curriculum relating to oral health, we welcomed a dentist to the setting who talked to the children about the importance of healthy eating and brushing their teeth properly.  This was supported by activities in the setting designed to lay the foundations for good habits in oral health.  The children each received a children’s toothbrush and a 1:1 tooth brushing lesson with a staff member.


We celebrated World Book Day, with both staff and children dressing up as their favourite book/book character for the day.  Some of the children from Barnett Wood Infant School joined us and shared their favourite stories with our children.  The term ended with a teddy bear’s picnic which included an interactive performance from the Rah-Rah theatre company.

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