I recently wrote a post about my son’s ‘Pre-School Days’ and ’10 Tips to Help You Find the Right Pre-School for Your Child’. Both of these posts proved popular. Several local mums have asked for more posts about various pre-schools in Bishopston and surrounding areas. One local reader of Bishopston Mum even suggested I interview some of the people who actually work in our local pre-schools, too, which I thought was a great idea.
Therefore, I plan to regularly post an interview with either a mum or dad with a child at one of the local pre-schools, OR, an interview with a pre-school staff member. I hope these interviews will be a useful source of information for local mums and dads.
Today’s post is an interview with a local mum with a child at Pied Piper Pre-School. Her daughter has been attending Pied Piper since last September and was happy to share her opinions and thoughts about Pied Piper with me.
Pied Piper is held in Bishopston Methodist Church, 245 Gloucester Road, next door to Bristol School of Gymnastics. It is open Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from 09.15 – 12.00 (or until 13.00 if the child is in lunch club).
How did you select a pre-school for your child? (E.g. Ofsted reports? Recommendations? Visiting different pre-schools? Gut feeling?)
Honestly, I didn’t really look at Ofsted reports or anything like that. My first priority when choosing a pre-school was the area as I believe that the standard of education in the UK at each pre-school school shouldn’t be any different. The most important thing for my child is the pre-school environment, it’s cleanliness and safety, the teachers, her friends and other parents. I also believe that education isn’t gained from just school but from a child’s parents as well.
What made you decide on Pied Piper?
I was personally impressed by the staff’s caring attitude and the activities Pied Piper offer; it’s a bit more than just a nursery where children only play. I love the way Pied Piper encourages each child to give their own opinion, how the staff use different languages sometimes (my child often says Spanish or French words when she’s back home), manners (for example: raise your hand if you want to talk, take just enough food to eat at snack time and not too much, share with others, wash hands before eating, etc).
The very first few weeks my child was there, her Key Worker asked me and my partner to talk about her so she could learn about her. Obviously she monitored my daughter very closely. Every day when I pick my daughter up, she always tells me what my child has done that day and if she’s been happy or even upset about something. I just think it’s more than a nursery and I don’t think it’s too much for her age being in that environment and having a little structure while at the same time, having fun with her friends.
How did your daughter settle in to Pied Piper?
In the beginning she settled in very well. It might be because her oldest and closest friend was there at that time. She was happy to be there. However, things changed right after I volunteered one morning. After that, she expected me to stay with her every day and when she realised I couldn’t stay with her all the time, she got quite upset.
Then we started having problems whenever I started saying goodbye. I was so grateful for her Key Worker at Pied Piper. She comforted me and told me not to feel guilty about leaving my daughter and also comforted my child when she cried. I am very impressed at the staff’s patience. Eventually, my daughter stopped crying when I left her each morning. Now, she’s happy to stay and even asks me to leave her right away!
What do you like best about Pied Piper?
What do you like least?
Only that Pied Piper doesn’t have any outdoor space. However, it’s not a big problem as my daughter’s only there 4 hours a day and we live close to the beautiful St Andrew’s Park anyway.
What kind of activities do Pied Piper offer?
They usually sing the “Hello” song (sometimes, in French and Spanish) to say hello to everyone. I think it’s very sweet as my daughter recognises every friend’s name and she always sings this song at home. Also, she often comes back home with paintings, hand made cards and drawings. Also, the staff always find something for children to talk about.
I think it’s good for them to learn to share opinions about things and respect others. In addition, they take children to the park every week when the weather is nice. I was worried about the safety of this at first but after I went with them to the park one time, I realised that there was nothing to be worried about as they look after each child during the journey very well.
What are the staff like?
Kind and professional.
Does your daughter’s Key Worker meet with you regularly and if so, how often? Does she keep you up-to-date about what progress your daughter has made?
We only had one official meeting with her Key Worker. However, I talk to her nearly every time I drop my daughter off or pick her up anyway. She always tells me what my daughter does on the day; whether she enjoyed it or got upset or whom she played very well with that day. Undoubtedly, she keeps an eye on my daughter most of the time.
To contact Pied Piper Pre-School for more information, Tel. 0117 9425104.
Did you find this interview useful? If you have/had a child at a local pre-school and would like to share your thoughts and experiences of that pre-school, please contact me!
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