A home away from home:

For many children preschool is a child’s first experience away from home and as such we strive to create a space that is homely, warm and inviting. The preschool is located in a portion of a house in Pinelands that is separate from the residential part of the house. It has a private entrance (for exclusive use by Watering Whole parents and children) in the form of an electronic pedestrian gate with a video intercom, a second gate which is opened using a key code, as well as a separate garden/play area for the children.

 A space to learn and create:

 There are two main classrooms that are connected to each other; used for arts and crafts, indoor activities and play, reading and “ring time” as well as gym stretches and exercise during rainy weather. The main classroom area also has underfloor heating which allows the space to stay cosy, warm and inviting to the children even in the chilly winter months.

 A space to imagine:

 reading2   tree reading
Books are a truly treasured resource at the Watering Whole; and we believe in the importance of fostering a love for wonder and learning that comes from books and reading from a very early age. We encourage this by creating a cosy reading corner, as well as constantly adding to our library. In addition to daily “story time” the children have easy access to books that are suitable for them to appreciate by themselves. Many of the books offer auditory or tactile sensory experiences as well as the visual feast of beautiful pictures.

 A space to move:

 run2   grossmotor development
Under the shade of an awning and a big tree the children have space to move! With eco-friendly, soft artificial grass to run around on, this space is utilised for free outside play as well as many other gross motor activities such as yoga and ball play. The awning also allows for some access to the outdoors even in rainy weather, as we recognize the importance of children getting fresh air and keeping active all year round.

A space to play:

freeplay      IMG_6798
Outside we also have swings, a jungle gym, a sand pit, a paved section for riding little bikes on and a little wendy house complete with its own washing line, where the children all play and explore together. A growing amount of research has been done on the critical importance of play in early childhood particularly for social and emotional development. The children learn many important skills through interactions with each other such as conflict resolution, sharing, patience, self-regulation and team work. Having a mixed age range really adds to this dynamic providing opportunities for younger children to imitate older children they see performing activities as well as seek help/assistance from them. It also offers older children the opportunity to grow and learn from teaching and assisting the younger ones.

 A space to nurture and grow:

 bunny    veg2

Our bunny residents and school fish enable the children to have hands on experience of what it means to care for other living beings, including feeding them every day. We also have a little vegetable patch where the children learn about where food comes from, how it grows and how it needs our careful attention, as well as water and sunlight to flourish.
bathroom    fish2
We have a unique “Under the Sea” themed bathroom, complete with its own aquarium. Our various sea-creatures and fish offer an exciting learning experience for the children. It is accessible from both classrooms, with two child-size toilets and sinks as well as a nappy changing table. We help children to establish the skills necessary to use the toilet/bathroom independently and work hand in hand with parents to help their children transition out of nappies when they are ready to.