Today on Bishopston Mum is a local parent’s review of Magic Dragon, a wonderful pre-school held at The Church of the Good Shepherd, Bishop Road, Bishopston.
Magic Dragon is held on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday mornings in term-time and takes children from 2.5 to 4 years of age. It has an Ofsted rating of 2: Good.
When I say Magic Dragon is wonderful, I speak from personal experience – my own two children went there and were both very, very happy!
Please read on to find out what this mum has to say about Magic Dragon…
Why did you choose Magic Dragon for your children?
All three of my children attended Magic Dragon Pre-School. had no idea about pre-schools with my first child, and was using a childminder and working part time.
I felt she needed a bit more of a school environment when she turned three. My neighbour highly recommended Magic Dragon so I split her care between them and my childminder.
What I love about Magic Dragon, and what made me continue using them with my other children, was the warm, caring environment they create. The staff have so much experience and remain so calm that the children flourish.
How did staff manage your child’s settling-in process?
Magic Dragon are really flexible about settling in – and very child / parent led. I’m more a believer of getting it over and done with but my youngest did struggle a bit.
I used to stay but wait in the kitchen sometimes, so I knew she was fine. I know some parents who decided to spend quite a few sessions with their child at the beginning.
Magic dragon staff give you lots of support and advice during the whole process.
What do you like best about this pre-school?
The warm and caring approach of the staff and the excellent ratios of staff to children. I also like the fact that they can start at Magic Dragon when they are only 2 ½ which means more consistency of care.
It also means that when they start their pre-school year they are already familiar with the setting and have no trouble settling in!
What do you like least?
Can’t think of anything really! They are only open for 15 hours, so there isn’t much flexibility on days and times – although within the 15 hours they are great at accommodating parents’ needs. This was never a problem for me.
What kind of activities are on offer?
Every morning there are different activities set out that normally link to the theme of the week, which change each day – puzzles, lego, role play, etc, which the children can access freely.
After a short circle time activity with their key worker, they have new activities again. There’s always a big mix; climbing frames and bikes, building tents and pretend camp fires in the garden, planting seeds, sand and water play, play dough and painting.
The activities are based around a theme which is shared with parents through weekly update emails so children can bring in books or toys etc from home too that match the theme.
What do you think of the staff?
The staff turn-over historically has been very low, resulting in really experienced staff – I think all have been mums of children at Magic Dragon in the past!
A new deputy leader started last year who had been a reception teacher for many years previously so she’s bringing lots of new ideas too and has a great understanding of the transition to school.
Is there anything else that you would like to add?
Only that I know there are places available still this year for pre-schoolers and also younger children, so if anyone is interested they should call Miriam on 0117 924 3446.
I’d highly recommend it!