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Welcome to Stepping Stones

 

unnamed-6Welcome to Stepping Stones! Our kindergarten offers a unique Early Years learning experience for young children from the age 9 months to 6 years. The kindergarten provides an exceptionally happy and creative atmosphere, helping and encouraging children to develop into independent and confident individuals.

The kindergarten is a hidden gem. Our grounds are a beautiful garden oasis featuring windings pathways, tall trees and flowers. A natural haven for children where there are many climbing frames, a play house, a giant sand pit, a play boat, swings,slide, and an extensive football and sports playing field.

There is also a children’s swimming pool where every week the children have small group swimming sessions with a coach and  class teacher.

The Stepping Stones environment is perfect for providing learning spaces both indoors and outdoors. Our teachers are skilled at providing creative learning areas that are bright and stimulating and captivating for a young learner. Here children learn to share, cooperate, problem solve and use their imagination and creativity.

It is our aim that every child that leaves Stepping Stones does so with confidence and competence with a love of learning and a knowledge that school is a really fun place to be!

They are fully prepared for their next educational step and they are ready for a variety of educational options, The British  National Curriculum, the Kenyan 8:4:4 or American and European education systems.

Give your child an inspiring start

Head Teacher

img_3043Sally has a background as an educationalist; having graduated with a BA (Hons) in Education from the University of Manchester. She has worked extensively in the North of England and in London as a primary school teacher specialising in language acquisition in young children. Sally worked as a consultant specialist teacher in mainstream schools in the London Borough of Merton.  Through her work in London Sally gained an understanding and insight of best practise for Early Years Foundation Stage in a range of educational settings including Montessori, mainstream schools and private schools.

Having raised four children into teenage and University years she has a wealth of both professional and personal understanding of the development of young children and what they essentially need to flourish as healthy, caring and capable young people.

 

The Curriculum

img_1835Early Years Foundation Stage EYFS

We follow the British National Curriculum for Early Years Foundation Stage which ensures that children’s progress is carefully monitored across the seven key areas of their development.

These vital foundations in the early years help children to experience a sound education so that they can reach their full potential.

Personal,Social and Emotional Development

Children learn to be able to separate from their parent and enjoy exploring the fun environment of the Stepping Stones environment, choosing favourite activities and exploring new ones. We encourage our children to take pride and have confidence in being able to tackle new tasks and share and communicate with their peers and adults. The children learn good behaviour and the Stepping Stones provides clear boundaries that encourage sharing and caring, respect and love for one another other. The children learn to be part of a group and work cooperatively.

Communication and Language Development

We encourage the children to sit and listen to stories and join in with simple rhymes and songs. They enjoy sharing their news with the larger group at carpet time, enabling them to build their vocabulary. They learn to follow simple instructions through a variety of activities and are able to share their experiences.

 

Physical Development

Our children learn to manage their own bodies through learning about healthy eating and using the toilet independently. They learn to  confidently negotiate space and holding a pencil correctlyA daily range of activities is available, cutting, pouring and threading,  these enhance our children’s fine motor skills which are vital for their development.

Literacy Development

We follow a recognised phonics scheme called Jolly Phonics and use a combination of rhymes, songs, games and focused literacy activities. Our children learn to recognise the shape and sound of individual letters and begin to be able to form them. Every child is taken at his or her own pace and when ready will start on a reading scheme;

Mathematical Development

Numbers and counting are part of our Stepping Stones  environment. We have  focused activities that ensure that our children understand number value and begin to represent them. They are encouraged to complete puzzles, construct with a variety of blocks, sort, match and problem solve. Our children also enjoy engaging in hands on activities, measuring, recording and taking an interest in the shapes within their environment.

Understanding the World Development

The children learn the importance of caring for the environment. They see how the seasons change through visits to the park, planting seeds and we also have a visit from a farm in the spring term. The children have the opportunity to use simple programmable toys and digital cameras so they can experience how technology works.

Expressive Arts and Design Development

Our children are encouraged to explore their creativity. We have specialist dancing and music teachers who attend Stepping Stones every week. The children then share their experiences with a singing and dancing display at Christmas and at the end of the third term. Our children experiment with a range of imaginative resources and produce their own artistic creations, which we display with pride. Imaginative role play is encouraged and developed,  with access to props and costumes, so the children learn to express themselves in individual ways.

 

Our Classes

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These classes are for the youngest children from 1.5 years to the age of three years. Nursery 1 provides a gentle and fun start allowing your child the opportunity to interact, gain independence and become accustomed to spending time away from parents and carers in a nurturing and caring environment in preparation for full time nursery.

Mornings are filled with plenty of singing, rhymes, role play and listening to stories to help children acquire language. Fun music lessons are provided by the Australian Music School and art, craft, painting and modelling bring out their creativity and help to  improve their manipulative hand skills.

Ample time is spent in the beautiful outdoor play area enjoying creative water play, sand play, construction, developing gymnastic skills, playing with balls and other physical games to develop motor control and coordination.

We also help with potty training.

 

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This class is for 3 – 4 year old and there is a gentle progression from the Nursery 1 (Busybees.) Children grow in confidence and independence, and their concentration span increases. Ladybirds are taught to count, write down numbers and letters of the alphabet and listen to stories about the world around them. They learn colours and shapes, fine motor and dexterity skills all with a strong emphasis on fun! As a precursor to reading, the school uses Jolly Phonics for learning the shape and sounds of the phonetic alphabet. This widely respected system brings individual letter sounds “alive” and introduces written words in a very creative way.

This is a year of great social development, as children start to make good friendships and love playing together outside. Termly topics introduce them to plants and animals, the world around us, geography and our environment, giving them a growing awareness of themselves and the world in which they they live.

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This is the final year of the Early Years Foundation Stage,  the fun continues but with more gently structured work with more teacher led activities..Each child continues to have individual attention and the week is divided into mornings focussing on the development of literacy and writing skills and the development of numerical skills. They count and recognise numbers and begin learning to add and subtract, using maths to solve practical problems. They recognise short words, write simple sentences and read with an increasing sense of comprehension.

We continue to use the Jolly Phonics system to teach the children their letters, using both audio and visual. All letter sounds are introduced phonetically and parent workshops are offered to parents so that they can help their children.

Throughout the week the children will also do a range of creative activities, termly topic work, simple science including painting, gardening, cooking and role play.

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Moving up to Year 1 the teachers build upon the firm foundation of the Early Years Foundation Stage. Our children follow the Key Stage 1 learning goals of the British National Curriculum in positive and imaginative ways using a thematic approach.

Year 1 children develop their literacy skills through increased phonic knowledge, word recognition, and contextual understanding and by the end of the year they are writing simple, short sentences.

Their numeracy skills are developed through practical experience, exploration and discussion to discover the world of sequencing, adding and subtracting, as well as learning about 3D shapes, measurements and problem solving.

For science, they use all of their senses to observe, experiment, compare, organise and describe living organisms and the world around them.

Outdoor games helps these five- and six-year-olds to improve their ball skills, movement, coordination, teamwork, and, of course, their ability to follow rules and instructions. When it comes to creative arts they study the history of painting – even learning about Claude Monet and Paul Klee – and participate in crafts, dance, drama and music lessons, which are all key to developing their imagination, confidence and self-expression.

 

 

Special Educational Needs

Teachers work hand-in-hand with families, therapists and specialist teachers to make sure that children with special challenges can integrate to enjoy learning at Stepping Stones. Individual Education Plans allow the curriculum to be customised to meet specific needs in motor skill development, numeracy, literacy, and arts and crafts.

Extra Curricular Activities


img_2088Swimming
– Small class group swimming sessions with a specialist coach allows children plenty of teacher attention with an emphasis on building confidence in water , water safety skills and basic swimming technique.

Drama ( Lamda ) Early dramatic and performance skills are nurtured in young children and taught by a specialist Lamda teacher. Learning is enhanced through fun games building self confidence and linguistic ability.

Gymnastics Fun gymnastics is taught promoting gross motor skills and physical coordination. Children use gymnastic tumbling mats and small climbing apparatus. Younger children join the monkeynastix class which incorporates songs, movement and simple gymnastics.

Shamba time Each class has the opportunity each week to help in the kindergarten vegetable and flower garden. This helps to develop an appreciation of their natural surroundings and an early science understanding of what plants, fruit and vegetables need to grow

Dance Children can take lessons with a trained ballet teacher. Dance lessons include ballet and contemporary dance techniques encouraging good posture, balance, confidence and expressive creativity.

Football Children love to learn the rules, engage in team work and train and join local tournaments.

 

Tennis Bat and ball skills are delivered in a stimulating way according to the age of each class. Children learn good hand eye coordination and handling of equipment confidently and appropriately.

Ipads Early ICT skills 

Each class has access to ipads for specific teacher led and supervised activities. In the early years this significantly enhances their multisensory approach towards a rewarding level of achievement in early reading, early writing and early numeracy skills.

Swahili lessons are given to the older children through fun singing and playing games. Children are proud of their growing understanding of Swahili.

Music  Our tutors are trained by the Australian Music School. They offer unique and creative music classes where children quickly learn to enjoy their musicality and learn simple musical terminology. Children use a range of percussion instruments and keyboards in an engaging way.

Assemblies

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Every Friday morning we have a special whole kindergarten Christian assembly and parents are welcome. Each class shows their good work from the week and an award is given to to the Star of the Week from each class. This is a way of specifically recognising every child at some point each term with an emphasis on social skills such as being kind, helpful, polite and sharing.

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Every child’s birthday and life is celebrated in a special birthday assembly at the end of each month. Birthday children from that particular month blow out their birthday cake candles and receive a small gift. All the children share in some mid morning birthday goodies!

The whole kindergarten decorate cakes and then birthday children blow out their birthday cake candles.

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Term 1 Christmas Nativity  in December with songs and mince pies for parents!

Term 2 Sports Day morning at the end of the second term with lots of fun and games and of course egg and spoon and sack races!

Term 3 Singing and Dance show at the end of the third term

In addition throughout the year we celebrate different special dress up and activity days for example Kenyan Day, Valentines day,Book Week and a charity day so that children learn about the wider world and how they can help.

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A Stepping Stones Day

Times
8.15 am Children start to arrive and play supervised outside in our very special and unique outdoor play area. The kindergarten gates are always guarded by a member of staff and a security company.

9.00 am all children join their respective Banda classrooms and morning activities.

10.15am – 11.00 am each class has a drink and healthy snack and all the children play together.

12.00 the younger children begin lunch

12.30 pm. the older children begin lunch

1.00 pm younger children can go home

1.30 pm afternoon activities begin for the older children

3.00 pm The kindergarten finishes and each child has a small home time snack.

The kindergarten closes early on Friday afternoons at 1.30 pm

Term Dates

The year is divided into three terms with a half-term break of one
week in the middle of each. We do our utmost to keep the dates in line with other schools but this is not always possible.

At the end of each term we have an event which all the children work towards and participate .

Healthy Eating

 

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Mid morning all children are given a healthy snacks and a home time snacks as well. During the week, children are given a variety of healthy lunches. All children are encouraged to have good table manners and to be polite. Children are encouraged to say a simple grace together before they eat.

Download our menu

Security

Security is of paramount importance to us and we take the care of your children very seriously. We have CCTV cameras in operation all day every day as well a highly reputable security company to ensure the highest possible security for the children, parents and staff.

 

GALLERY

Contact Us

Visits to the kindergarten are encouraged and recommended

Please call 0799169988 to arrange a visit or email steppingstoneskindergarten@yahoo.com