Autumn Term 1 2022
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 look forward to our first step together this week with our stay and play visits.
Many thanks to the parents who came to visit and who took the time to make sense of the learning environment in July, with your little one. It felt as though we all made the most of being able to have this short session together. Please do let us know of anything that you may have forgotten to mention that will help your child settle.
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 variety of opportunities that we also enhance further to reflect the children’s interests.
We look forward to our adventure together as we learn, develop friendships and create memories.
Our First Week
The children have had a fantastic few days exploring their new classroom environment. We are so proud of them all for how well they have settled in.
This week the children will be learning one of our school prayers.
We always start and end our prayers or worship with the sign of the cross. This reminds us of the Holy Trinity and the family of God we know. We remind ourselves that God is our Father, Jesus is His Son who was sent for us and the Holy Spirit is all around us and always with us.
At the end of each session, before we go home, we join together to thank God for guiding us throughout the day. Your child may also want to say this prayer before they go to bed.
God our Father, I come to say;
Thank you for your love today.
Thank you for my family
And all of the friends you give to me.
Guard me in the dark of the night
And in the morning, send your light.
This half term, this young lady is our Prayer Leader and will be supporting the rest of the class with joining in with our daily prayers.
We have had Queen Elizabeth’s family and friends in our thoughts and prayers during our worship sessions this week. We are very proud of the children for their kind and sensitive questions and comments.
Our Special Visitors
Today we had some very special visitors in FS1, we were joined by Father Frantisek, Brother Jonathan and Sister Chiara. We discovered that there are three ways in which we can pray, through our ears, hands and voice. We started by closing our eyes and listening to see if Our Father in Heaven had anything to say. Lennon “God loves me”. We then explored using our hands by creating the sign of the cross. We found out that this means that we belong to God. Finally, we used our voice, singing ‘God is a good God’ together. “God is special” Orla told us all. The children all sat beautifully, listening to our special visitors and joining in with the prayers and singing. We are so proud of them all.
The children have been busy helping us to change the cloth on our worship table to blue. We also added some items to help us to think about Mary.
Saint Gerard’s Day
On Monday 17th October we celebrated St Gerard’s Day in FS1. The children discovered that St Gerard looked after pregnant mothers and babies. We had a party in FS1 to celebrate this special day, including party games and party food.
One Million Children Pray the Rosary
On Tuesday 18th November, the FS1 children prayed the rosary so that they were all part of ‘one million children praying the rosary’. We looked at the rosary beads that we have on our worship table and said The Hail Mary together.
Today we started our RE session by looking at a piece of work that a child had done in class. She told us what it was and how she made it. The children were then asked who made the world. Ettie and Rosie both suggested that it was God. We watched a video about what God created during the seven days of creation and then went outside to look for things that God had made, such as the sky, birds and grass. The children then shared with the class what God had made-
Ettie “The fish.”
Rosie “The sea”
Sophie “He made the sun. He made man.”
Aoife “The sky.”
Myla-Grace “He made animals, birds and chickens.”
Our puppet Simon came to join our RE session today. He asked us what God had made. The children had lots of ideas, including-
Sophie “the world”.
We then read a poem entitled ‘In the beginning’ which told us more about the world that God has created. The children listened carefully and joined in with the different actions.
The children’s next activity was to step on a coloured circle and tell us something that God has made for us that is that colour. Rosie and Ettie shared with us that God had made the yellow daffodils and sun. Lennon told us that God gave us the blue sea and Aoife told us about the green grass.
This week in RE, we learned that God created the food around us by providing us with light and water. We discussed some of the things that God has given to us.
Ava “My favourite is carrots.”
We then learned a song all about apples, before collecting some of the apples that had fallen from the trees ready to take home.
The apple fruits are ready now, ready now, ready now.
The apple fruits are ready now, in our garden.
Lets go out and pick them up, pick them up, pick them up.
Lets go out and pick them up, in our bags.
In today’s RE session we were given a new class plant to look after. The children remembered that God had made it and we found out all about the different parts of the plant and what it needs to grow. We talked about how we could look after the plant and then what we could do to look after the world and all of the things within it. On our way back from PE, Charlie found an empty wrapper on the floor and knew that it should not be there. Mrs Gray carefully picked it up and placed it in the bin.
Books in FS1
We love to read in FS1! We have books across the different provision areas to inspire the children, such as in the construction area, home corner and play dough area. The children access these independently throughout the day and enjoy creating their own cosy reading spaces in the reading area.
Word of the week
During every topic we choose two words linked to our story to explore further. We count out the syllables, explore what the word looks, sounds or feels like. We say the word quietly and loudly and think of different sentences to use the word in. Over the next two weeks, we are focussing on the words ‘telescope’ and ‘character’ from the book ‘Shark in the Park’ by Nick Sharratt.
The children enjoyed making their own telescopes too.
The children have been busy learning all about rhyming words. They have identified words that rhyme in our story ‘Shark in the Park’, matched rhyming words together and sung nursery rhymes. Some children created their own lists of words that rhyme too.
Clapping to a beat
We learned a song all about chopping pumpkins today, as we pretended to make pumpkin soup just like in our book of the week. The children clapped their hands to the beat as they sang.
Chop, chop, choppety chop.
Chop off the bottom and chop off the top.
What we have left, we will put in the pot.
Chop, chop choppety chop.
Number songs and rhymes
We have been busy joining in with lots of different number songs and rhymes over the last few weeks. Today we sang ‘Five little ducks went swimming one day’ together with the help of some volunteers at the front of the class. The children then enjoyed exploring our duck resources in their choosing time. We saw some great touch counting as the children discovered the meaning of ‘one less’.
The oneness of one
We have been learning all about the number one this week. The children have shown one finger, picked up one object and jumped once. They have learnt to identify the numeral, as well as how to draw it. We have also sung songs such as ‘One finger, one thumb, one arm, one leg…’.
The twoness of two
Our special number then became the number two. The children showed two hands and two feet, counted two objects, formed the numeral two and looked for it in the environment.
The children have really enjoyed fishing for numbers this week. Every fish had a different numeral on for them to recognise and then match to the numerals on their board.
This week we had our first PE session with Mrs Powell on the playground. The staff were amazed with the children’s ability to listen, follow instructions and their energy and enthusiasm towards the games that they played. The children moved around the space in different ways, such as as like a giraffe. They moved at different speeds, negotiating space and ran to the coloured cone that was called. The session finished with some stretching. We cannot wait for our next PE session!
Throwing and catching in PE
Mrs Powell challenged us all to throw and catch a beanbag this week. It was our first time in the hall, first time in pairs and first time completing this activity. We are so proud of the children for their fantastic listening, the determination and skill they showed and for all trying their best.
Gross Motor Skills
The children have been making lots of large movements this week, such as through dancing, 3 minute exercises and outside games.
This is our favourite video to dance to this half term. We have shared it so you can join in at home too.
We have been using our fingers to manipulate dough in FS1 after introducing dough disco sessions. The children all have their own pot of dough and are able to make different shapes with it whilst dancing to the music. The video below is this week’s favourite in FS1.
Expressive Arts and Design
We have had some fantastic self-portraits this week, as the children learn more about their facial features. They chose the correct colours for these features and worked hard to create different shapes and marks to represent them.
During our ‘Under the sea’ topic, the children have been busy designing and then creating their own boats. They worked well together, problem solving along the way as they ensured that their boats were big enough and strong enough to hold them all!
Taking on a role
We have had a home corner full of children taking on a role. We have had children pretending to be different family members as they go on picnic’s and look after the baby dolls. We have been very impressed with the turn taking, sharing of ideas and kindness that the children have shown.
There has also been lots of role play taking place outside. The children spent all afternoon creating a carriage which was pulled by children riding horses (sticks). They visited America and all bought a snack at the shop and then continued their travels, heading to Scotland, where they had to come up with a password to get through the gate. Once in Scotland, they checked in to a hotel and went to sleep, waking up ready for breakfast. This child initiated activity created opportunities for the children to problem solve, share ideas, take turns, build friendships and have lots of fun.
Personal, Social and Emotional Development (PSED)
Monty the Worry Monster
The children have now been introduced to Monty the Worry Monster. He lives on the carpet area in FS1 and loves to be held if a child is feeling a bit upset or worried.
The children have been busy in our provision areas making new friends and learning how to take turns and share. We have played name games with the parachute, taken on a role together in the home corner and worked together to build houses in the construction area.
Pants are Private
Today we talked about how our bodies are private and that we should not let strangers see our pants or what is under them. The children listened to the Pantosaurus song before a further discussion about how our bodies are special to us. We talked about the importance of the word ‘No’ and about telling a trusted adult if they are ever asked to show their pants to someone that they do not know or trust.
The Pantosaurus song can be viewed here.
During our circle time session today we discussed all of the different things that make us feel happy. We started by looking at a picture of a child smiling and the children felt that she was ‘happy’ and felt ‘good’. The children then passed around one of our dolls. They knew that it was their turn to speak when they had the doll in their hands. They told their friends what made them feel happy.
Aliza “God is happy and I am happy.”
Myla “My toys.”
Sophie “Because my Mummy gives me a hug.”
Ettie “When Mummy huggles me, I get excited.”
Amelia “Because I have a Barbie caravan.”
Charlie D “When I was dreaming about something good.”
Harriet “My Mummy and Daddy.”
Rosie “Baby toy.”
Ava “Daddy and Mummy. A cuddle and then Mummy makes me smile.”
Greta “Going outside to play makes me happy.”
Sam “Bunnies, my teddy bunnies.”
Aoife “Going on a trampoline at a party.”
Lennon “Going on holiday with my Mummy and Daddy and sister.”
Dyslexia Awareness Week
This week the children have been learning more about similarities and differences. We started by discovering that everybody looks different, speaks differently and has different interests. Ettie for example told us that painting was her favourite thing to do, yet Elizabeth said dinosaurs and Charlie said the home corner. We realised that it is ok to all like different things.
We then met the toys Benjamin and Timothy who had both brought a drawing of a cat. Benjamin’s picture could easily be identified as a cat and he had written his name underneath. Timothy’s drawing looked like random marks across the paper. The children were asked if they had any comments to make about the pictures.
Sam “I like that one because it looks like a cat.”
Greta “I like this one best because it’s a cat.”
All of the children preferred Benjamin’s picture. The children were then told that each toy had tried their very best and that we could celebrate that. They discovered that Timothy found it more challenging to read letters and to write his name but that was ok. Timothy had lots of other interests and talents, such as his fantastic football skills and he always tried his best at whatever he was doing. Benjamin on the other hand found football difficult.
We will continue to explore similarities and differences throughout the year, as well as celebrate talents.
Understanding the World
The children have really enjoyed learning about the different signs of autumn. Thank you to all of the families who went on an autumn walk at home and shared your treasures with us. We have a tray full of conkers, acorns, pine cones, leaves, sticks, apples and pears. The children have been exploring how the different items look and feel, as well as weighed them, counted them and talked about their size.
We have also been on an autumn walk at school, taking our first trip to the woods. The children found leaves of red, orange, yellow and brown, sang autumn songs and collected their favourite leaves. They also used sticks to tap different objects to explore the sound and made a bug hotel.
Back in the classroom, the children have been using leaves to make a collage and painting pumpkins.
We would like to share with you a photograph of our FS1 Planet Protectors. This year our Planet Protectors will support FS1 to put their rubbish in the bin, turn lights off when they leave the room and put pen and glue lids back on so that we don’t waste them. They will help us to recycle paper and to look after the plants around us. We hope to make our planet a better place by making these small changes to protect it.
Roles and Responsibilities
Every half term, we share out some of our classroom responsibilities amongst the children. They really enjoy the responsibility of supporting us with these tasks and it helps us to keep our classroom safe and to look after the world around us.
Exploring the outdoor space
The children have really enjoyed exploring all of our outdoor space this week. They have challenged themselves, made new friends and learned how to be safe in the environment.
Floating and sinking
The children have had great fun exploring floating and sinking in the water tray with a range of objects. The boats seemed to float and the animals sunk to the bottom. There was also some fantastic problem solving as the children worked out how to get the water from the tap to the tray.
Every two weeks we change our provision areas to match our current theme. We will use this space to share our challenges in the provision areas with you.
Here are some of our challenges from our ‘Under the Sea’ topic. Your child may want to explore these challenges further at home too!