Autumn Term 1 2020
Starting Nursery is a big step on your child’s learning journey. We are here to take those steps together with you!
Welcome to you and your family! We took our first step together this week with our play and stay visits. I hope that you agree that it was a lovely, relaxed morning, spent breaking the ice with each other and starting to build a picture of your unique little person and what makes them tick! We will use this knowledge to plan our learning activities from, so watch this space!
Many thanks to every parent who came to visit and who took the time to make sense of the learning environment, with your little one. It felt as though we all made the most of being able to have this short session together, in our small groups. Please do let us know of anything that you may have forgotten to mention that will help your child settle, when we hand over each morning. What started today was helping your child feel more sure about what to expect and then to start to have fun and to feel safe and secure.
During these early days we are watching out to spot the signals of anyone who is feeling unsure and are close at hand, to go at their pace and offer reassurance.
In Nursery our play is our work! The children learn to access many learning experiences independently as they choose activities in each of the provision areas. These areas provide a ‘menu’ of opportunities and for ‘pudding’, we add enhancements. These enhancements include adult led activities and teachers responding to children by adding extra resources that reflect their interests.
Please watch out for Our Photo Gallery in the Areas of Learning information below. I will continue to add to this as we travel along on our Learning Journey together. Here you will see snapshots of the thinking, interacting, wondering, talking, collaborating, enjoying and creating that is our early learning.
Our first RE topic in Foundation 1 is God’s World. During this first half term we learn how to show our love to each other as we make friends, and we will look at how amazing and beautiful God’s world is as we explore our surroundings.
Ready, Get setTLED, GO!
The early weeks of settling in the new children are full of surprises and have a very special energy!
We aim for a gentle, welcome and to go at the children’s own pace. Unfortunately the restrictions associated with COVID have meant that we have had to adapt some of our routines and thank you for your co-operation with this. For example, our outdoors gazebo has now become our self-registration area for the question of the day and information point!.
During the course of our first half term our aim is that children can confidently leave their parent/ carer (over time) and that they feel secure and safe in their play. We also help children to identify, label and manage some of their emotions, as they express them.
All About Me and All About Us (as a group!)
A picture speaks a thousand words!
I hope that you see in the children’s expressions a sense of ‘It’s good to be me.’ We hope that as the children spend longer getting to know each other, that they also begin to develop a sense of ‘It is good to be us!’ and begin to develop their sense of belonging as part of a Nursery group.
Let’s Go Out: exploring the fantastic possibilities of outdoors learning.
Professor Tina Bruce: “Frequent lack of attention to the external environment must come from some bizarre assumption that knowledge acquired indoors is superior to that gained outside.”
With this understanding of the magic of the outdoors in mind we set up the outdoors to entice the children to explore.
This is what happened next ……
The first week back in Nursery is busy, intense and full of emotions. It is our role to help the children to find their path through these changes and strong emotions.
The photos capture some lovely moments where children are starting to relax and have fun. We see the start of friendships and developing positive social skills, such as sharing, taking turns, noticing how someone else feels.
It is the start of a very exciting year together!
Weeks 3: Mmmm…that looks apple-tising!
Did you know that at Nursery, apples are not just for eating but also for counting with, comparing, singing about, taking a look inside and even painting with!
It started out as a PSED snack-time conversation talking about which fruit different children prefer and it led us to some unexpected discoveries. We found out that we all have different preferences and that eating fruit is good for our growing bodies. From there our planning then took on an apple shape!
In our Mathematics learning we made up our own counting rhyme: 1 red apple growing on a tree and acted it out until there were 10.
We took a closer look at the different types of apple, sorted, ordered and compared them before making a tally to see which has the most/ least.
This led to some great conversation about which different categories you might choose to sort the apples by- such as those with holes in! big ones, small ones as well as red, green and multi-coloured. Lots of practice of accurate apple counting commenced 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10.
We compared which apple tower had more and less apples and noticed what happens when you add one more.
In our sounds work we talked about the sound at the start of apple a and hid some letter a’s, apples and other natural objects in porridge oats as our messy play. There has been some lovely moments of playful interacting together in week 3!
Printing with apples (EAD) , enabled us to take a look inside an apple and use a stamping technique. We also looked at the colour palette of apples, red, green, russet and yellow. There is only one thing left to do which is to EAT THEM!
Week 4: Twit Twoo! Owl Babies by Martin Waddell.
This week the children have loved the story Owl Babies by Martin Wadell.
Communication and Language: Absorbing favourite stories and listening so well that the children then use their knowledge to reenact the refrains and go on to try linked activities is how we use our core books. Owl Babies is one of our very favourites!
In the story we develop 3 baby owls, Sarah, Percy and Bill, live with their mother in the hole of a tree. One day Sarah, Percy and Bill wake up and their mother is gone. She is nowhere to be seen. The owl babies start wondering where their mother has gone. It has a very helpful message that “mummy always comes back” which is a good talking point during these early weeks.
Understanding the World: The story led to some beautiful exploration of the natural world and curiosity and questions about found objects in the woods and garden.
There have been many learning experiences that have taken off based on the story: building cosy nests and tree houses outside for the owls with found leaves, twigs and feathers, observing feathery patterns while painting owls, dramatising the story with puppets and a shape activity.
On a very memorable morning we went on an owl hunt (photos not actual!) down in our lovely school woods. It was fantastic being out and about together and having a growing sense of how we are all getting along and that we can trust each other to adapt to trying something very different, away from our class base.
There was such a lovely learning buzz that our next line of enquiry will be along a woodland trail, as we look at other woodland creatures and their animal homes.
Focus on P.E: Hello Mrs Powell!
During this half term the children have done a great job in adapting to the routines and expectations for PE. Mrs Powell teaches our sessions on Wednesday and Fridays and in the early days the focus is on cues for listening and freezing, taking it in turns, making lines and then listening to the directions for activities. When you consider all of those building blocks there is an awful lot to take in!. During these high energy sessions the children learn about movement patterns, moving their bodies with control, recalling and copying skills and working within a defined space and not bumping into each other.
Here we are trying out some warm up activities and games involving the children moving well in the space, changing direction, changing movement patterns and learning to freeze and hold some dramatic poses! Mrs Powell sets the bar high for our PE challenges and we are very proud of how well by week 6 everyone is persevering, trying hard, listening and following her directions.
Well done our budding sporty kids!