School Name

Chickerell Primary Academy


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Chickadees Pre-school and Chattichicks wrap around care.

We are a small pre-school that is part of Chickerell Primary Academy.  We believe that the best learning is done through socialising and play.  Our priority is to provide a safe, happy environment for children to learn in, which takes into account each child’s individual interests and incorporates them into our everyday planning (Child Centred Play)


Our Chickadees staff team for September 2023


  • Jenny Lamming - Early Years Leader - NNEB - NVQ - Designated Safeguarding Officer
  • Antonia Elliott - Senior Early Years Practitioner - CACHE NVQ Level 3
  • Sarah Denton- Level 3 - Early Years Practitioner
  • Hannan Laksir Achega- Early Years Practitioner
  • Louise Record - Early Years Practitioner


Our SENCO lead is Emma Penn who is based at the Academy.


Chickadees pre-school days are from 9am-3 pm, term time only. All holidays and teacher training days run in line with Chickerell Primary Academy.


Chickadees Daily Sessions


SessionsMonday TuesdayWednesday


Lunch Club12.00-12.3012.00-12.3012.00-12.3012.00-12.3012.00-12.30

Children must be collected promptly at the end of each session. We have a very quick turn around and being late to collect your child may mean another child is unable to enter, due to our capacity requirements.


Session costs

Breakfast Club 8-9am - £4.50

Pre-school early start - 8.30-9.00am - £3.00

9.00-12.00 (3 hours) - £13.50

9.00-12.30 (3.5 hours) - £15.75

12.00-3.00 (3 hours) - £13.50

12.30-3.00 (2.5 hours) - £11.25

Lunch Club 12.00-12.30 – £2.25

Full Day 9.00-3.00- £27.00

All session costs are subject to annual review.

Please note any unarranged additional time will be charged at a rate of £4.50 per hour.


We admit children from 2years and 9 months. We have a maximum of 24 children in any session. By attending Chickadees you are NOT guaranteed a space at Chickerell Primary Academy, you need to apply to Dorset Council admissions. 


There is also an option of wrap-around care provided by Chattichicks after school club until 5.30pm. This can  be arranged through the Academy, contact Miss Michelle Bates for any further enquiries on 01305 783876.


What will my child be doing at Chickadees?


At pre-school all of our learning is delivered through play and adapted to children’s individual needs and interests. We also deliver adult-led activities, where an objective is set depending on the children’s needs. However,  the majority of our play is child-led, meaning they are free to explore their own choice of activities, which we then enrich with language and extend their knowledge through using books and other resources. We encourage the children to select their own resources to enhance their play and ensure there are plenty of open-ended resources to allow this. 

Through the knowledge of your child's specified keyworker, next steps will be made for each individual child to ensure they are continually learning – where possible we put these onto tapestry so that they can continue their learning journey at home, and you can also support us in ensuring your child is continually developing. 

We carry out focus group time in the afternoons. This is where we split into age groups – school starters and 2-3 year olds, for age-specific input. This could be listening to a story or taking part in a music and movement session for example.

The year before your child starts school we will introduce them to the Read, Write Inc. Phonics scheme. This is the scheme used across the school to teach phonics. Before this, we will be engaging your children in early phonics activities,  where they will be taught through games to tune into the sounds around them, to recognise rhythm and to begin to break down and blend sounds together.  


What else do we do?


Word Wizard-  To enrich children’s vocabulary we introduce two new words weekly – they may be familiar with these words already but we ensure they have a deep understanding of what the word means and give them plenty of opportunities within their play to use these words. We recap these words throughout the year, to ensure the meaning is embedded. 

Number of the week – Each week we introduce a number of the week. We encourage the children to explore this number and really understand it’s value through clapping the number, drawing it, representing it, going on number hunts and finger counting.

Shape of the week – Each week we introduce a shape of the week – throughout the week they will have the opportunity to deeply explore the shape through mark-making and shape hunts.

Nursery rhymes – Every day we enjoy sharing nursery rhymes as a large group. It has been proven that children who are able to recall 8 rhymes when they leave pre-school are in the higher English sets in further education (Find and link study!) 

Text of the week - Each week we choose a book that links to our topic. The children enjoy getting involved with the story telling, sometimes we choose to role play the story, other times we use our hands and props to help gain a better understanding of it and to embed each experience into our memories.

When it comes to storing or making a memory the hippocampus is involved. It is the primary regulator of the process of memory retention. There is evidence that this repetition might even support learning. Not surprisingly, research has shown that children learn better from reading a book over and over again than just reading it once or twice. 

We also, focus on the days of the week, weather and a bit of fit for exploring, during our morning register routine.


Our Links with Big School

We have an excellent working partnership with the Early Years teachers and their team within the school. This allows us to create a smooth transition for children as they move up to the reception base and provides parents with the reassurance that the children are well prepared and school ready.

At Chickadees, we are also very lucky to be able to use Big School for our weekly P.E sessions and we also have use of the surrounding facilities. During the year we also partake in fundraising events, in line with Chickerell Academy.


Due to high demands for places at pre-school we recommend that registration forms are submitted as soon as possible. Please do pop in to collect an application form if you are considering us as your child’s setting.  Alternatively, please telephone: 01305 773103

or email:

Our Curriculum - A guide to its Intent, Implementation and Impact and our EYFS Policy

Our EYFS curriculum


Our EYFS (Early Years Foundation Stage) curriculum for both Chickadees and Reception has been guided by the EYFS Framework, Development Matters and early years pedagogy, whilst being personal to our school; it embraces the contextual learning and the cultural capital that comes from our community and our children’s home lives. It has been designed to engage and enthuse the young minds of our children, through carefully planned, play-based learning experiences. Our curriculum is rich and well-sequenced; it ensures that the skills our children require for the next stage in their education progress throughout the EYFS, so that they are ready for school after Chickadees and for Year 1 after their reception year. In reception, there is a key focus on transition to Year 1 which continually evolves throughout the year. For example, whilst teaching the children about the past and the present (Understanding the World), we will introduce the concept of a timeline and introduce some historical vocabulary such as – new, old, ago, past, order, time. In this way we teach children the foundational knowledge, and develop concepts and vocabulary, that prepare our children for their history lessons in year 1.  

Our Setting

Chickadees Nursery