The Willows began offering high quality before and after school care for primary aged children in 1995. It originated due to the demand from parents whose children were at our nursery and then moved onto school. Since 1995 our after school club has grown in leaps and bounds (due to local demand) to the size it is today – we currently operate three after school clubs, accommodating up to 84 children each day, and three breakfast clubs covering both Burwell and Soham primary schools.
The Willows out of schools care is designed to be as flexible as possible in order to meet the needs of our children and parents/carers. We offer clubs throughout the year both before and after school and during holiday periods.
The before and out of school club is offered during the school year and the holiday club is available during the holiday period.
At the beginning of the day
The Willows breakfast club opens at 7.30am within the Sure Start Centre which is attached to the School. The children are offered a variety of breakfast options from White and Wholemeal toast to porridge and other cereals. The end of the session finishes at 8.40am when the staff escort the children to their classrooms for the start of their school day
At the end of the day
We offer an Out of School club which is currently located in the Activity room which is within the school building. The children are collected at the end of the school day (3pm). Children that are in year 2 and 3 are collected in person by a member of staff. The Early Years children (Nursery and Reception) are also collected by a member of staff and all of the other children meet within the school hall.
All children have the opportunity to have a snack of fruit and vegetables and fresh water. At 5.15pm the children have a light snack eg: fruit and yogurt and pancakes.
During the school holidays
We operate a holiday club that functions separately in the portacabin at The Willows Day Care Nursery site in Soham from 7.30am-6.00pm daily. The holiday club is registered with Ofsted for 18 children aged 4-11 years, and children who use the club come from local School’s in the area.
The Willows have a fun, free play environment in which children to make their own choices in what they play with. Children have a wide range of activities to choose from including arts, craft, cooking, messy play, construction toys, Hama beads, play dough and dressing up plus many more. There is a quiet area for the children to relax with a book or watch TV.
The holiday club share the nursery playground and the children have access to bikes, balls, hoops and a climbing frame. The holiday club is also within walking distance of a play park which we regularly visit.
During the holiday the children have the opportunity to go on organised visit and outings. Previous visits include bowling, High Lodge, Colchester Zoo and Ely Museum.
Meals and snack times at the holiday club
We ask that you provide a healthy packed lunch for your child if they are attending the lunch time period. The lunch hour is 12.15pm to 1.15pm. Please refrain from supplying your child with fizzy drinks and sweets.
The Willows provides mid morning and afternoon snack’s which consist of fruit, vegetables, milk and fresh water. Fresh water is also provided throughout the day. The Willows provides a light snack at 5pm which include pancakes, croissants, fruit loaf and fruit juice. We also cover children individual needs, cultures and religions.
Booking for the holiday club is on a first come first served basis due to limited spaces. Holiday forms will be sent out 3-4 weeks prior to each holiday for booking and emphasis is put on returning them as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.
Our mission is to:
- Provide a happy, warm, and stimulating inclusive environment where all children are able to play, learn and develop at their own pace.
- Help children to develop responsibility for themselves and their actions in order to become competent, confident, independent and cooperative individuals.
- Work along side parents/carers and any other agencies involved with the child and their family. We work collaboratively with them in the interests of the individual child.
- Encourage children to have a positive attitude and respect for both themselves and others.
We aim to achieve this by:
- Offering a wide range of play opportunities and activities that are appropriate to individual children’s interests and developmental stages.
- Ensuring our playwork team who work in the club are both highly and appropriately qualified, and has a wealth of experience to draw upon.
- Valuing each child’s opinion, encouraging their participation in all areas of decision-making, both daily and long term.
- Communicating with parents/carers at the beginning or end of the session, and at other times as needed. The Willows aims to ensure consistency of care throughout the day in the interests of the child.
The Weatheralls Primary School