Pocklington Pre-School and Pre-Prep have opened their doors to pupils and staff this September, revealing their newly renovated teaching area that has been restructured to link the Pre-School with the Reception classroom. The result is an open-plan teaching zone with more space and areas of provision that follow the educational philosophy of the Reggio Emilia approach.
The approach views the classroom as the ‘third teacher’ and the renovations at Pocklington Pre-School and Pre-Prep reflect this concept by providing a beautiful and stimulating experience for children. According to Abby Holtby, Pre-School Lead, “The renovation has enabled us to create a varied environment for the children to explore, including creative and expressionist zones, sensory sand and water play areas. There is even a stage for the children to be whoever they want, encouraging them to develop confidence at their own pace. Free flow access to our outdoor learning space also promotes physical activity, wellbeing and vitamin D exposure, giving the children even more to discover.”
The environment has been planned with ‘purposeful provocations’ to inspire and engage children whilst stimulating their thinking. Abby also explained how the shared space was key to the overall design: “Beauty is believed to promote concentration, so we hope that this calm, well-organised, and comfortable learning area will encourage the children to enjoy their journey of self-discovery.”
Abby continued: “The children’s reaction to the new classroom has been overwhelmingly positive. They love having more areas to play in and discover. Everyone seems extremely happy and calm in the peaceful environment.”
The new facilities are making a significant improvement in the delivery of the children’s learning as the physical environment is an integral part of the curriculum and allows the teaching staff to interact with the children, providing them with rich and built-in learning opportunities. Additionally, the new classroom is closer to the reception-age children which creates a stronger link, helping to build a family feel. This has been a great benefit to children transitioning into Reception as they can still see and talk to Pre-School staff and often come to relay their exciting news of the day. Strong friendships among pupils are also maintained as the children can easily communicate with each other.
The renovations in Pocklington Pre-School and Pre-Prep have created a beautiful and stimulating environment for children to learn and play. The careful planning and consideration invested in producing this new facility have had an incredibly positive impact on everybody, encouraging collaboration, exploration and self-discovery. At the beginning of the new academic year, it is a tremendous starting point for pupils and teachers alike.