Pre-school in Colden Common
Also attended by children from: Eastleigh, Chandler’s Ford, Winchester, Fair Oak, Southampton.



The children participate in each activity together.

The children participate in
each activity together.

The Pre-school Skills Club offers enjoyable, structured, educational activities for young children.

During each session the children take part in about five different activities, which aid the development of their language, listening, reading, writing and number work skills. The children share stories/rhymes/songs, play listening and other educational games, complete worksheets, develop pencil control, cut, stick, do jigsaws, and learn about shapes, numbers and letters.







Social skills are developed.
Social skills are developed.

The Club is for children in the year before they start school. Children can join a group of up to four children, meeting once a week during term time, for a session of one and a half hours. As the children only attend for one session a week it is possible for them to come to Skills Club in addition to other pre-school activities.




Jigsaws help to develop the visual perception skills necessary for reading.
Jigsaws help to develop the visual perception skills necessary for reading.

Jacky Gurney has an early years teaching degree and she organises and teaches each session, which she plans to suit the needs and abilities of the group. Due to the small size of the groups she is able to give plenty of individual attention to each child. The children participate in each activity together, and this helps them to concentrate, as there are few distractions.

Jacky has organised the Pre-school Skills Club since 1990. She has further experience of young children gained from having been a Playgroup Supervisor and Registered Childminder, as well as having her own children.

During the past 25 years, Jacky has taught more than 750 pre-school children.

Jacky Gurney has an enhanced DBS certificate (previously CRB) and is registered with the DBS Update Service.






Aims and objectives of the Pre–school Skills Club.



To promote communication with parents about their child’s learning.

To provide structured activities that the children will enjoy.

To provide a safe environment in which the children can develop and learn. In addition to her to her DBS (Enhanced Disclosure Certificate) Jacky Gurney has carried out a risk assessment. Policies relating to equal opportunities, health and safety, child protection, behaviour and complaints (none to date) are all in place.



To increase each child’s self-confidence by giving positive reinforcement for effort and achievement.

To help prepare children for school by developing:

Pre-school Skills Club promotes concentration.

Pre-school Skills Club promotes concentration.

  • social skills
  • language skills
  • listening skills
  • concentration
  • visual perception discrimination and memory
  • auditory perception discrimination and memory
  • an enjoyment and enthusiasm of books, poems and stories
  • fine motor skills, hand /eye co-ordination and pencil control 
  • recognition of colours and shapes
  • interest in letters, words and numbers



The most important aim is that the children should enjoy coming to the Pre-school Skills Club. A key to future learning is for each child’s self-confidence to grow. They will not benefit as much if they are unhappy. The children who benefit most are:

  • willing to stay for the session on their own (once settled in)
  • ready to sit and concentrate for short periods of time
  • able to follow simple instructions back to top



How children are taught at Pre-school Skills Club.



Steps towards reading.

A variety of stories and poems are read to, and shared with the children, developing their enthusiasm for books and encouraging them to want to read.
Each week the children borrow a book, of their choice, to take home and share with their family.
The children participate in activities which help to develop:

  • language
  • left/right orientation
  • visual perception, discrimination and memory
  • auditory perception, discrimination and memory
  • story sequencing skills


Sharing books fosters a love of stories.

Sharing books fosters a love of stories.



Matching activities

Matching activities aid the development of the visual perception and discrimination skills needed for reading. Drawing the line helps hand eye co ordination, pencil control and left to right orientation. 

  Auditory discrimination games develop listening skills.  

Auditory discrimination games develop listening skills.  



Story Sack 

Story Sack. The children act out a story which increases their understanding and vocabulary. 



The skills listed above are necessary when learning to read. When a child has developed them sufficiently, a reading vocabulary is built up, starting with the words most relevant to the child: his/her own name, and those of family members and friends. If a child is confident with these words then other words with a high frequency of use are added.




Making and reading simple sentences using family names and high frequency words.

Making and reading simple sentences using family names and high frequency words.

practising words, cutting and sticking


As well as practising the words, this activity also involves the children in making their own decisions about the pictures to use. Cutting and sticking help small motor control and the children make their own book to be proud of.   


personal-reading-book copy

Making a personal reading book.


The children are introduced to the letters of the alphabet. Stories and actions are used to help the children recognise the written letters (graphemes) and say their sounds (phonemes). For example, the children make the sound ‘sssss’ while weaving their hands in a ‘s’ shape like a snake and then write the letter. Identifying letters and linking them to their sounds is the first step in the synthetic phonics approach advocated for learning to read. back to top

practising the 'h' sound

Saying the ‘h’ sound and doing an action to remember it.  



Colour and Shapes.

There are sorting, matching and sequencing activities.
The children work in a largely practical way to help them identify and name colours and the most common two-dimensional shapes.



shapes and colour


The children play ‘hunt the circles’ and then stick them.


Shape Set.



Number Work.




Recognising numerals, sequencing and counting

Recognising numerals, sequencing and counting.

Games make number recognition fun

Games make number recognition fun.



The emphasis is on developing each child’s understanding of the numbers 1 - 10. Games and activities help them with counting (emphasising one to one correspondence) and ordering numbers, with conservation of number and with recognising and writing numerals.





number books

Making a number book helps conservation of number. Count the pictures, cut them out, stick them in a different pattern but the number remains the same.

number game

The children throw the die, recognise the numeral and count the matching number of cotton reels onto a string. This game is helpful for both number skills and fine motor control.






Steps towards writing.

Each child is shown how to hold a pencil correctly and helped to improve their hand/eye co-ordination. In particular there are activities to aid pencil control, such as mazes, following dots, tracing and copying.



demonstrating pencil control
  Increasing pencil control by:

completing mazes,

following dots and


Writing in the porridge oats tray is visual and kinaesthetic.












copying patterns

Copying patterns. 

copying letters

Copying letters. 



The children are shown how to write the most frequently used letters of the alphabet correctly. They practise making the letters with a finger in the porridge oats tray, and then write them. Many children are able to do this independently, while others have dots to follow. Correct formation from the beginning is very important to establish a good habit and so it is particularly important to be taught by a qualified teacher. The Sassoon Infant script is used. Many of the letters (such as a, n, u) have an ‘exit’ stroke to facilitate future progression into joined up (cursive) writing.


The cost of each session is 10.00 for each member of the group. The fees for each half term are payable at the first session of each half term. Refunds for absence are not given, however a description of the activities missed through absence is given to the parent to do with the child at home if they wish.

Private pre-school lessons.

A Pre-school child can have a private lesson for an hour a week during the school day. Jacky Gurney plans these lessons to meet the needs of the individual child.
The cost of a private lesson is 20.00. (5.00 per lesson is payable half termly in advance and the remaining 15.00 is paid at each lesson).

What to do if you want your child to attend the Pre-school Skills Club.

Please contact Jacky Gurney and she will arrange a mutually convenient day and time for your child to attend. The group sessions normally start in September but sometimes groups are formed later in the school year. Prior to the commencement of sessions there are Introduction Days which help to familiarise the children with the Skills Club. back to top


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Website Owner: Jacky Gurney Tel: 01962 717555