What Matters 

Learning through play 
Play helps young children to learn and develop through doing and talking, which research has shown to be the means by which young children learn to think. 
Our pre-school setting uses the Development Matters in the Early Years Foundation Stage guidance to plan and provide a range of play activities, which help children to make progress in each of the areas of learning and development. 
 
Using a key worker system we assess the children’s learning and development by observing them frequently. We use information from observations, as well as from photographs of the children, to document their progress.  
 
We believe that parents know their children best and we ask them to contribute to assessment by sharing information about what their children like to do at home and how they, as parents, are supporting development. 
Children enjoying the allotment 
We make periodic assessment summaries of children’s achievement based on our on-going development records. These form part of children’s records of achievement. We undertake these assessment summaries at regular intervals, as well as times of transition, such as when a child moves into a different group or when they go on to school. 
 
We are very lucky as a setting to have a large outdoor area that the children can use all year round, the children go outside to play on a daily basis and can access this when they wish. 

The first days 

We want your child to feel happy and safe with us. To make sure that this is the case, the staff will work with you to decide on how to help your child to settle into the setting. 
 
To ensure our setting is right for you and your child we offer four free taster hours, so that you and your child can stay and join in a session to see if you like it and how your child enjoys themselves. 
 
When you join our session your child will be given a Little Chestnuts’ t-shirt to use whilst you are with us. (Other uniform is available prices are in the setting.) 
 
At the pre-school we are keen for families to be engaged and we regularly have parents stay and help at the sessions, allowing first-hand experience of our learning practices—we hope you will join us. 
 
We accept children from two years old and can support you in toilet training and we understand that they may still be in nappies when they first join us.  
 
Toppesfield is a beautiful village with a strong sense of community. Children from here and the surrounding areas including Great Yeldham, Ridgewell and the Hedinghams enjoy our setting.