As far as we can tell the preschool started way back in 1971 as Axminster Playgroup. We believe that the group was originally a mother and toddler group and progressed from there. Many familiar locals have been involved with the group at one time or another; one of the most famous (or should that be infamous!) is Councillor Douglas Hull.
There have been many changes since those early days, notably in 2013 when we changed our name to Dragonflies. We have very limited information about our origins and would welcome any pictures or stories that you may wish to share with us. Originally based in the “Pippins” building on the corner of Stoney Lane, we have been in our current setting since September 2008.
Aims and Objectives
- The aim of our preschool is to begin the education process for young children.
- We aim to provide this in a caring but structured way so that the transition to school is a smooth process.
- We aim to make the children feel happy and confident in our care and to help parents feel involved with this process.
We promote equal opportunities and encourage children to think of others but also of themselves. We encourage self-confidence, good health and a responsible attitude in all our children. We aim to provide a safe, secure, fun place for your children to learn whilst also providing more challenging activities. You can always talk to us in strictest confidence and be assured that everything we learn about the children remains confidential. Our staff and Trustees recognise that the wellbeing of the children is paramount; we are continually looking for ways to improve our knowledge and practices to the benefit of the children. Our ultimate goal is for our children to leave us and go on to Primary School as happy, healthy individuals who mix well with others, consider the feelings of others but are also able to stand up for what they believe in.
Our typical day:
The children and parents are welcomed in to the setting first and encouraged to put away their own book bags, lunch boxes and coats, depending on their age and ability, they sometimes do this on their own or with the support of staff or their parent/carer. Children then join in a range of activities, some of which are adult led or free play.
At 9.30 a staff member will bring all the children together on the carpet for circle time. We sing our welcome song and discuss the day of the week and the weather. Weather permitting, we then go outside for a shake and wake session and followed by a morning run. We find this helps the children settle down into the morning activities that follow.
Around 10am we all join together for a healthy snack of fruit, vegetables, wholemeal toast, crackers or rice cake, milk or water. We find everyone sitting down together encourages good table manners and promotes conversation. We make sure everyone has something to eat and drink but water is available at all times for children.
After snack we have free flow to our outside space, along with adult led targeted activities, such as, forest school, music sessions, cooking, arts and crafts.
At 11.25am we let the children know that in five minutes time it will be tidy up time, so they will be ready for story and lunchtime and for some home time. Once the tidying is done, we split the group into older and younger for story time. After the story all the children come together again for a joint song time.
Our afternoon session after lunch and our outdoor play consists of, free flow play including some adult led activities and sometimes a visit to the park, trim trail or residential care home.
Our latest Ofsted report rated us as Good and can be found here.
Early Years Alliance
As a member of the Early Years Alliance we have their quality assurance mark as well as access to a library of resources and support from this educational charity.
St Mary’s Primary School
We maintain strong links with St Mary’s Primary School which most, but not all, of our children move on to. We are situated in the end class room and have an outside area underneath a canopy which allows the children to play out all year round. The school kindly allow us to use other outside areas on the school grounds when they are not in use by the school children.