Most information you need can be found by following the links to the left. If you have any other questions, then please Contact Us.

Puffins provides a range of experiences to enhance your child’s learning and development, including:

OUTINGS

We often take the children out on trips, some of them planned, such as visits to the beach, to the zoo or to visit a retirement home, and some of them spontaneous, such as visits to the library, pet shop, local park or supermarket. All trips are fully risk assessed and our staff:child ratio is increased to ensure your child is kept safe.

FOREST SCHOOL

All children enjoy the outdoors and the learning opportunities that it provides is something that cannot be recreated indoors. Forest school is a learning approach that gives children the opportunity for hands on learning outside in a natural environment. The opportunity for children to learn this way helps with their problem-solving skills, self-esteem and confidence.

At Puffins Childcare we offer the forest school approach to learning every day. Our children are given the opportunity and encouraged to play within the natural environment and left to explore and work within teams to solve problems and experiment. Staff are encouraged to observe and allow children to try new things, they will look for areas to extend the child’s learning and develop their way of thinking. Digging, den building and bug hunting are things we actively encourage here!

Pre-school children will also be given the opportunity to take part in planned forest school sessions with our forest school leaders where they will be able to take part in tool work and help with the building and lighting of small ‘5 minute fires’ among other engaging activities. This is risk assessed, on a 1-1 basis and staff are fully trained. During these sessions we aim to develop the children’s self-awareness, self-regulation, empathy and communication skills.

Children actively look forward to their planned forest school sessions and practitioners have seen huge changes in the ways children then explore the outdoors and venture away from typical outdoor toys to explore the environment.

PHONICS

At Puffins, we discreetly teach synthetic phonics each day through a multi-sensory, active and fun approach, incorporating movements, songs and visual symbols. Each day we revise songs for each sound and extend our learning by adding new sounds where appropriate.

In ‘Jolly Phonics’, the main sounds of English are taught, not just the alphabet sounds. For each sound there is an action, which helps the children remember the sounds that the letters make. As the letter sounds are taught, they are added to our ‘sound bag’ at the end of the week. They are not introduced in alphabetical order, but instead in the order that children need, to fully support their development to be ready to read and write when they move to Reception. Some sounds can be written in more than one way, but are initially only taught one way.

You can find sing-along video clips here, if you would like to extend your child’s learning at home and see why we love it so much!

MAKATON/BABY SIGN

From the moment we are born we have an in-built need to communicate. Everything we do involves communication, either through spoken word, body gesture or vocalisation of sounds. Makaton is a communication program using signs (gestures) and symbols (pictures) alongside spoken word to help aid communication. Makaton is a flexible communication approach which can be personalised to an individual’s needs and targeted at their level of understanding.

Makaton was first introduced in 1976 and has continued to grow, with now over 100,000 children and adults in over 40 countries using Makaton symbols and signs, either as their main method of communication or as a way to support speech. This increase has partly been due to a wider awareness of how Makaton can be used with all children, including babies, to aid communication and understanding. This awareness can partly be attributed to BBC’s award winning Something Special children’s programme featuring Mr Tumble who uses Makaton symbols and signs allowing parents and children to learn Makaton without having to attend formal training. There is a set Makaton Signing for Babies training program for parents, family members and professionals who wish to sign with the babies and children in their care. Research has shown that signing while speaking encourages the development of communication and language skills. It can also give carers a greater understanding of a baby’s wants and needs, which can help reduce frustration.

We use simple Makaton Signs in our baby and toddler rooms to help support children’s communication, and enable them to develop a sense of independence and being understood before they can do this verbally.

For more information about Makaton please visit https://www.makaton.org/aboutMakaton

LOOSE PARTS PLAY

‘Have you ever noticed that if you leave old junk lying around, kids will almost inevitably play with it? Whether it be old cardboard boxes, wooden pallets, pieces of wood, old tires [sic], bits of rope or string, kids will use their imagination and ingenuity to make something. This may make your garden look like a junkyard sometimes, but the experience for the kids is invaluable and it will keep them occupied for hours. Don’t try and direct the kids in their play just let them get on with it.’ How Not To Cheat Children: The Theory of Loose Parts (S Nicholson, Landscape Architecture 1971)

At Puffins, we believe that children should be offered resources that offer them limitless possibilities for play – “loose parts” aren’t prescriptive, and can do just that. Like Nicholson, we believe that if we want children to be inventive and creative, they should be offered a variety of material which can be moved, carried, combined, stacked, lined up, redesigned, taken apart and put back together with no directions or specific way of playing with them. We all know that young children often seem more engaged with the box that an expensive toy arrives in than the toy itself – because that box can become anything they want it to be.

So, inside our settings you’ll see baskets of pebbles, sticks, nuts and bolts, pine cones, scrap materials, buttons, boxes, pegs, straws, corks, ribbon, shells, lace and other items that can become people, spaceships, tools, games, boats, containers, puzzles and pictures. Outside areas have planks, tyres, guttering, pallets, buckets, wood offcuts and much, much more.

Resources are left available to children so that they can choose which ones to play with and what to do with them. This may make the environment look chaotic at times, but rest assured your children will be at their most creative, and lots of learning will be taking place!

Book a visit

See if Puffins is right for your child, book a visit today.

Testimonials

Our daughter loves attending Puffins at Mont Le Grand. The staff are all friendly and engage well with her. Since starting (about six months ago) she has developed speech and social skills she would not have been able to at home.
Father at Mont Le Grand – December 2022
We can't recommend them highly enough. All of the staff we have dealt with have been great, and it feels like they enjoy working there. Our son always comes home with a big smile on his face, excited by the day he has had.
Father at Sowton – December 2020
I would 100% recommend, as the manager and staff are just brilliant and really made my little girl comfortable, and relaxed and she's always coming out excited to tell me about her day what she's done and where she's been etc.
A Mother at Clystheath – January 2023
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