Noah’s Ark Pre-School offers your child a warm, nurturing and caring environment. We are committed to helping your child grow, learn and relate in a safe, structured way. All that we do is inspired by our Christian ethos and values and we welcome children of all faiths and none.
Noah’s Ark Pre-School has been established since 1987 and is run by Caterham Community Church.
We seek to provide a safe and secure environment, which helps your child flourish and be confident, relaxed and happy. We provide a loving, secure space, in which each child is cared for both as an individual and as they relate to others. In all our activities we seek to teach and show, by example, how to care for each other and for the world about us.
Our activities include supervised free and adult structured play within different areas such as construction, role play, small world, play dough, messy play, group work, story and singing time.
We arrange for visitors known to us to come and lead the children in different activities such as story-telling, carpentry, computer skills, dance, music etc.
We aim go to the local library each week with parent help and each year we arrange an outing to a local farm or soft play area.
Children learn through play, so all of our activities are designed to help stimulate their interest and understanding of themselves and of the world around them. They have access to a range of provided and free choice activities, which help them develop into well rounded individuals.
We also have an outside area with equipment such as a slide, stepping stones, stilts, hoops, sandpit, water trough, large chalk board etc.
Our group activities allow each child to understand the importance of good listening skills and help them progress into their next stage of learning.
We have a snack bar each morning and afternoon session, which provides fruit, salad items and healthy options along with a choice of milk or water. Each child can bring in a named, filled water bottle to access during each session.
Welfare & well-being
We operate a Key Person system, in which each member of staff has a special responsibility for a small group of children. Each child is observed by their Key Staff Member who keeps an individual learning journey for each child, helping to monitor their well-being and development.
We want to be available and accessible to parents and carers as we work in partnership with you. Your child’s Key Staff Member is available by appointment. We have a parent/carer coffee morning each half term when you are able to discuss your child’s learning journal with their Key Person. We also have a comments/suggestions book for feedback.
The Pre-School received a ‘Good’ from Ofsted in its June 2015 inspection. Ofsted said ‘The staff are caring, friendly and attentive to children’s needs. They form positive relationships with children, who demonstrate high levels of emotional security and well-being.’
“Thank you for all your help and assistance, Liam is speaking so much better and expressing himself more. He has really enjoyed himself here. Even though he started off his pre-school life at the most expensive pre-school in the area – Noah’s Ark is heads above for the care of the children and the progress in learning. Not all that shines is good! Thank you so very much for your care and love you have shown the pair of us. We will truly miss you all xxx”
Early Years Foundation
We follow the Early Years Foundation Stage, closely monitoring children’s progress and development. This helps us identify children’s strengths and areas where we can support and encourage different children.
The main principles of this framework are:
- every child is a unique child, who is constantly learning and can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured
- children learn to be strong and independent through positive relationships
- children learn and develop well in enabling environments, in which their experiences respond to their individual needs and there is a strong partnership between practitioners and parents and/or carers
- children develop and learn in different ways and at different rates.
The framework allows us to help your child learn and develop in seven interlinked areas. These are:
- Communication and language development, which involves giving children opportunities to experience a rich language environment; to develop their confidence and skills in expressing themselves; and to speak and listen in a range of different situations
- Physical development, which involves providing opportunities for children to be both active and interactive; and to develop their co-ordination, control, and movement. Children are helped to understand the importance of physical activity, and to make healthy choices in relation to food
- Personal, social and emotional development. This involves helping children to develop a positive sense of themselves, and others; to form positive relationships and develop respect for others; to develop social skills and learn how to manage their feelings; to understand appropriate behaviour in groups; and to have confidence in their own abilities.
- Literacy development, which involves encouraging children to link sounds and letters and to begin to read and write. Children are given access to a wide range of reading materials (books, poems, and other written materials) to spark their interest.
- Mathematics. This involves providing children with opportunities to develop and improve skills in counting, understanding and using numbers, calculating simple addition and subtraction problems; and to describe shapes and spaces, and measure.
- Understanding the world. This helps children to make sense of their physical world and their community through opportunities to explore, observe and find out about people, places, technology and the environment.
- Expressive arts and design, which involve enabling children to explore and play with a wide range of media and materials, as well as providing opportunities and encouragement for sharing their thoughts, ideas and feelings through a variety of activities in art, music, movement, dance, role-play, and design and technology.
“What an amazing setting, I am so happy Sarah comes here and fully enjoys every moment, she always asks for MORE time here. Every member of staff has been welcoming and supportive! Thank you all very much!!”
““What more can I say – Sam is still very happy here and would like to come every day. His progress is fantastic, he loves all the activities and all the staff – very happy”
Mrs Jacqui Porcel
ManagerJacqui has worked for Noah’s Ark for 25 years and has graduated to manager having previously been deputy manager. She has an Early Years Foundation degree at level 5 and says that she finds it an honour to work in such a loving, family oriented pre-school.
Miss Louise Kitchin
DeputyLouise has worked at Noah’s Ark for 14 years and has been the designated safeguarding lead throughout that time. She has a level three NVQ. She says every day is different and she finds it a privilege to be a part of a child’s life as they develop socially at Noah’s Ark.
Miss Jo Butler
PractitionerJo has worked at Noah’s Ark for 4 years, having previously worked in both a school nursery and in reception. Jo has an NVQ level 3 and is the designated First Aid Officer. She says she fell in love with Noah’s Ark when she sent her son to this pre-school some years back and now loves being part of it.
PractitionerKay has started with us in September 2017. She is new to role and has attended EYFS day courses. She will be doing her level 2/3 in future. Kay says that she really enjoys helping children to feel happy and safe.
PractitionerCarole started with us in June 2018. She is a level 3 Nursery Nurse. Carole says she loves seeing the children develop & learn. She really enjoys being part of their day.
PractitionerSonja started with us in September 2018. She is new to role but will be starting her level 3 in the EYFS from January 2019. She has enjoyed the friendly and welcoming environment of Noah’s Ark through her children coming here and was more than happy to join the team.
PractitionerJanette started with us in January 2019. She is a level 3 EY practitioner. Janette says that she is thrilled to be part of a happy and loving environment within Noah’s Ark.
Noahs Ark Pre-School is open on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays & Fridays
Available to all 30hr funded children, also available to all other children at a small extra cost to their funding or fees.
Age groups taken/
Who can come?
The pre-school is open to children aged from 2 years and 6 months up until they start school. Although it is a church run pre-school, it is not necessary for your family to have any previous connection with us or any other church. Don’t worry if your child is not quite out of nappies, we are happy to help with this. Also welcome, are children with special needs. This would need to be discussed with Jacqui or Kay beforehand. You may apply for your child to do 1 or 2 mornings if they are under 3 years old and then you may want to increase their sessions once they are happy and settled (space is limited for under 3’s).
We are registered with OFSTED and are part of the Early Years Development and Childcare Plan. Therefore, starting with the term after your child is 3 years old, he/she will be entitled to 15 free hours per week.
30 Hours Free Funding
Some children will be eligible for up to 30 hours free education per week. You can find out whether you child is eligible at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/30-hours-free-childcare-eligibility. We are able to provide up to 26 hours per week at our preschool. Please speak with Jacqui for more information on this.
FEET (Free Early Education for Two year olds)
Children between two and three years of age may be eligible for FEET – click here . We accept children aged 2 ½ and above who are eligible for FEET. If your child is not eligible for this funding the charge per session is available on our current application form. Please speak with Jacqui for more information on this.
We meet for 38 weeks of the year coinciding with the school terms.