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Wow New Premises And £5k To Spend On Whatever We Chose!


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well we've finally had confirmation of our place in the new school being built down the road (following the amalgamation of two small village schools we feed)- fantastic news and such a relief plus we have £5000 to spend on resources-toys and equipment, whatever we like!!!! :o BUT even better (didn't think this was possible) we had an email from council yesterday to say we have all our kitchen appliances paid for- cooker, hob, fridge, dishwasher, washing machine and a dryer, our office will be fitted with desk, pinboard etc, an interactive whiteboard!! tables, chairs, some other basic equipment and cloakroom! Such fantastic news that just had to share!

The whole process of us moving has been very uncertain at times and I personally have been disappointed in the lack of involvement and consultation within the process- we haven't been consulted about what we want, where and why (I assume this is owing to the fact that the LA are paying for it), any decisions we have been offered have been extremely short notice and almost split-second, which has resulted in us not being able to keep staff, parents and children in the know and consulted and I fear this will have a detrimental effect on our transition with the children...but considering we are being given such a beautiful site- we have our own entrance within the school, our own office, toilets, kitchen and garden it almost feels ungrateful to complain about the lack of involvement. Our committee has also not been the most supportive or have not taken the opportunity and exploited it to our advantage- there has been no press attention created to boost numbers (as a result numbers are worryingly low for next term), minimal fundraising for buying new toys, equipment and furniture, no initiatives taken to arrange site visits or organise our move come October half term and altogether a lack of interest. Sad, but its a good job the staff team are excited, motivated and keen to ensure the best for those children and the group. Sorry to moan on a post that should be brimming with joyand excitement, it is just very frustrating and so casts a slight shadow over such amazing luck we are having.

Anyway I did have another purpose for sharing my news- if you had £5k to spend on whatever you wanted what would you chose???

We have visited another pre-school yesterday that is beautifully simple and natural, follows a little Reggio inspiration, and is exactly our vision for our new site but the majority of ideas we have compiled will not come near the £5k budget- it is more a collection of smaller ideas that mount up, although we are very keen on community playthings furniture which will most probably swallow the rest of the money up (we are also keen on getting more blocks- we currently have unit and mini hollows but would like some large hollow for outdoor play if there is any money left). Would you recommend CP furniture or are there other 'equivalents' with regards to bookcases etc you would recommend? Are there any 'special' toys/resources you would recommend-things that are on your wish list or you have been lucky enough to buy?

sorry for such a long post, hope to hear some exciting recommendations soon xD

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I would definately, definately buy community playthings equipment over any other provider. The quality is outstanding..............so, blocks, yes, as many as you can afford, plus shelves with backs and their play kitchen ( the kitchen is on my wishlist).. many sellers have similar items, and the price is very similar too, but my CP blocks are over 40 years old and still going strong, so buy some.......buy LOTS!!

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Hi

 

Yes, council bought us CP furniture and it is the best.

 

I wouldn't be to hard on the committee, why should they do all this as a voluntary role. Everyone has such busy lifes these days. Also fundraising is getting so much harder these days as people have less 'spare' money. Our gardener grow seedlings for us to sell and I donate all my old books and sell at 50p each. We are not raising thousands but everything helps.

 

 

I am sure your numbers will pick up when you move in. People don't like an uncertain future.

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Why not do an ECERS audit on your existing equipment... you will see if there are any gaps, and then be able justify your purchases.

We have Community Playthings ... but also have a light station unit from Designs for Education... Eibe stuff is nice too... so much choice out there!

 

enjoy your shopping!

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You can't beat Community Playthings - and they will come and talk through your possible layouts etc with you as well. We have had ours 7 years now and it still looks pretty good despite the battering it gets. And I agree with the others - wooden blocks and lots of them! Stick with open ended resources - lots of natural stuff, fabrics etc, and enjoy setting it all up. :o

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thanks for all your replies, it seems nothing really beats CP! Will have to feedback to committee! had forgotten that they come out to discuss layouts etc too, will have to remind staff/committee so can arrange a visit to site next term before we move! Thank you redjayne!

Strawberry twirl, thanku for your suggestion, I have read about ECERs as part of my degree and EYPS having borrowed the books from library and done a little research, to do the actual audit do you need anything specific to carry it out? or can you just buy the book and use it as a guide to observing the setting and how it is used?

diesel10 yes I agree, and I think I was just having a moment to let off steam, its hard because like you say they are volunteers and are doing it on top of everything else going on in their lives, which I do appreciate, its just so frustrating sometimes when ultimately they run the group and you see the opportunities wasted- you want to get on and do things so its done and you know whats going on but then that doesn't help them to do what they are meant to be doing...but heyho thats altogether another debate within early years! Best not to dwell on the negatives, doesn't do anyone any good!

on the up side have just been to village fete which we are involved in and was lovely to see so many of our parents there supporting us and the village, shame the sun couldn't come out too! :o

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We are a school nursery and reception class and moved into a brand new foundation stage unit a year ago (with large budget to spend).

Definitely echo thoughts on CP furniture - part of the wow impact of our new setting is due to the beauty of this furniture. Only thing I didn't see in their catalogue is a small world play table (we had an old battered one and its one thing I miss) so if they don't have one its something I would look for from elsewhere.

We replaced lots of our resources with brand new - we just had fun with the catalogues but as time has gone on we now find ourselves trying to acquire some of the more open-ended / less pristine resources for outdoor use etc (this is partly because we were directed to make sure all resources were 'fitting' of the new build - but is worth a mention as a word of caution).

Have fun spending!

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