30 Hours Free

We are offering the 30 hours free childcare!

Latest News

Summer 2019 Newsletter

- Wednesday 22 May, 2019

Spring 2019 Newsletter

- Wednesday 22 May, 2019

Autumn 2018 Newsletter

- Wednesday 22 May, 2019

The Session

St John's Nursery Playgroup organises its sessions so that the children can choose from - and work at - a range of activities and in so doing, build up their ability to select and work through a task to its completion. The children are also helped and encouraged to take part in adult-led small and large group activities which introduce them to new experiences and help them to gain new skills, as well as helping them to learn to work with others.

During the summer term, our theme is focused on growth and life cycles. In recent years we have raised chicks from eggs in our own incubator. The chicks spend time with us for a few weeks and the children have the opportunity of holding and stroking them before the chicks go to new homes with parents or local residents. We have caterpillar eggs that children witness going through the extraordinary transformation from caterpillars to butterflies, the butterflies are then let out into the big wide world of Potters Bar. Finally we watch the life cycle of frogs that start as frog spawn, turn into tadpoles and finally grow legs, lose their tails and become frogs! It's a fascinating and excellent time for the children to experience some life cycles in our natural worlds.

Outdoor activities contribute to children's health, their physical development and their knowledge of the world around them. We have a large outside play area which is part rubberised and with a covered area it means we can access the outside in all weathers. We use our outside area as an extension to the indoor play provision. Everyday items such as bread crates, old tyres, wood off cuts, planks and wooden stepping stones provide a wealth of imaginative and active play. A ramp to the outside play area makes it accessible for all children. We are fortunate to have use of the woods backing on to the setting. We have a regular schedule of woodland walks, where children can freely run around in the leaves and amongst the trees, learn about and discover the living world, make dens or climb on the tree stumps. This is a wonderful opportunity for every child to participate in outside learning.

Snack Time & Lunch Club

St John's is part of the Hertfordshire trial of the countrywide School Food Trust 'Eat Better Do Better' project. Our aim is to provide healthy snacks at the morning and afternoon rolling snack time. We provide fruit with the help of parents who are asked to bring in fruit to share. Additionally we provide carbohydrates - bread, pita bread and crackers; fruit/vegetable - vegetable sticks, cucumber, peppers, tomatoes and protein - cheese. Milk and water is provided at snack and lunch time (if needed) and the children are supported and encouraged to pour their own drinks from small jugs. We endeavour to introduce new food particularly if we are celebrating a cultural celebration.

Lunch Club follows the morning session starting at 12 noon; the afternoon session children join in at 12.05pm. Lunch club is an important social time when the children and adults eat and chat together. We ask you to follow healthy eating advice and pack a nutritious lunch and to keep the 'treats' for home time.


Children have the option of wearing the blue playgroup polo shirts, available to purchase from Lee Joys in Potters Bar or we have second hand shirts available at a reduced cost. The playgroup provides protective clothing for the children when they play with messy activities such as corn flour or painting. We ask for all children to be provided with trainers or plimsoles which are also suitable for outside play. Any clothing brought from home especially coats, jumpers and the change of clothes you provide, need to be clearly named.

Learning Independence

The playgroup staff encourage children to gain the skills which help them to be independent and to look after themselves. Clothes which are easy for them to manage will help them to achieve their independence particularly during the process of toilet training where they need trousers or tights that are easy to take down and up. If you are in the process of toilet training with your child, we would appreciate pull ups instead of nappies as this helps at toilet time making it more comfortable for the child and facilitates the staff.


Morning Session 9.00-12.00

Free-flow play: Children choose from a variety of child initiated and adult led activities which cover the 7 areas of learning as set out in the Early Years Foundation Stage. (Please see our full curriculum). Children can choose to be either outside or inside, enabling their play to flow between the two environments. They will spend time with their keyworker working on specific areas of learning as identified during previous observations and play with other children and adults, learning as they play and interact.

Rolling snack is offered each morning, children wash their hands and then collect a plate and cup. They are offered either milk or water and a healthy snack option. A member of staff sits with the children and encourages them to learn self help skills such as to pour their own drink, spread butter, cut up fruit and then clear their cup and plate away at the end.

Toilet time: Children are encouraged to use the toilet.

Circle time: Children help the adults to tidy away the toys; they then sit on the carpet, have time to talk about events of the day, then we all get ready for music and story time.

Music/movement session: Adults lead the children through action songs and nursery rhymes often related to the current theme. Every Wednesday all the children come together for a large music session with Mrs Rhodes playing on the keyboard. Mrs Rhodes will also take a small group of children to 'band' where they explore a variety of musical instruments played along to the children singing nursery rhymes.

Story time: Children are read a story either in a large group or split into two small groups.

Home time: Letters and craft work are placed into the children's pigeon holes, (these are located in the cloakroom, individually named) departing children wait on the carpet until called individually as parent/carer arrives to collect.

Afternoon Session 12.05 - 15.05

Afternoon children arrive, wash hands ready for lunch and sit at group tables with a staff member. Children are expected to sit whilst eating and wait until several of the children have finished before they leave the table and play.

Free-flow play: Similar format as morning session, with rolling snack, story and music/movement session.
Registered Charity Number: 1130633