Autumn Term 1 2021
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.
This week the children have been 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 morning, 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.
We have been sharing stories from the Bible during some of our Worship sessions. The children know that the Bible is a very special book. They have enjoyed hearing about how God created the world.
During our first RE lesson we began to talk about how God loves and cares about every one of us. We shared the story of ‘Guess how much I love you’ by Sarah McBratney and discussed how the hares demonstrated their love for one another in many ways. The children then had their own suggestions on how big God’s love is. These are some of their ideas-
“Bigger than a sheep.”
“A birthday big cake.”
“A fishing line.”
The children watched a video about the seven days of creation. We then went outside to have a look for some of the things that God has created for us, such as the sky and clouds, trees and grass and us.
Today we discussed how fruit and vegetables grow and we then talked about what we can do to help to care for God’s world. We sang a song about harvesting apples and then we went to find some apple trees on the school grounds. The children all chose their own apple to take home to make an apple pie or apple crumble with.
Saint Gerard Day
Our class Saint is Saint Gerard and on Friday 15th October we celebrated his Feast Day. The children discovered that he looked after expectant mums and young children. We celebrated with a picnic and a party.
Word of the week
Over the course of the year we will have a word of the week in Nursery. This will normally be a word from the story of the week, which the children will explore further such as by discussing what it means and by using their senses to describe it.
We have explored the words ‘Curious’, ‘Frolic’ and ‘Happy’.
Makaton sign of the week
We will also be teaching the children a Makaton sign of the week. Makaton is a way of using signs along with speech and symbols as a way of communicating. It supports the development of essential communication skills such as attention, listening, comprehension, memory and expressive speech and language.
This week the children have been using the Makaton sign for ‘Please’. This has mainly been used during snack time. The children place their open hand in front of their mouth and then move it down as they say ‘please’.
The children now also know the Makaton for thank you, good morning, milk, drink, home and water.
A Squash and a Squeeze
This week our book of the week has been A Squash and a Squeeze by Julia Donaldson. The children have really enjoyed joining in with some of the phrases in the book and it has introduced us to rhyming words. Please have a look at some of the areas of the curriculum below to find out how we have incorporated the book into our provision areas.
Under the Sea
The children have been very eager to learn more about sharks after one of the children brought in a ‘shark tooth’ that they found in their garden! Using the stories Shark in the Park by Nick Sharratt and Commotion in the Ocean by Giles Andreae, the children have discovered more about the ocean and the creatures within it. They have identified the rhyming words, discussed what they think might happen next and talked about what the author and illustrators do.
During our phonics sessions we have been playing lots of different listening games. The children have been listening to different animal sounds and have tried to identify the animal and repeat the sound.
We have also been singing lots of songs and nursery rhymes, such as ‘Heads, shoulders, knees and toes’ during our topic on ourselves and ‘Old MacDonald had a farm’ when we found out about farm animals.
During our phonics sessions, the children have been working on identifying rhyming words and then trying to come up with their own. They have explored this further with jigsaws and games in the provision areas.
Some of the children have been interested in writing their name and word building this week.
The oneness of one!
During the children’s first week at school they have been learning all about the number one. They have counted one item and have represented one in different ways such as with one finger, one clap or one jump. They also learned the song ‘One finger, one thumb, one arm, one leg, one nod of the head, sit down, stand up, keep moving’.
The twoness of two!
We have been working on counting two objects, recognising the numeral two and representing two in different ways such as using claps, dice and fingers.
During our farm animal topic, the children have been busy grouping animals and then matching the correct numeral to them, to show how many there are. This has been great for their touch counting, number recognition and has been lots of fun too!
The children had lots of fun finding out more about the number two outside. They found two leaves, went looking for the numeral two and did lots of different exercises twice!
We have been busing making repeating patterns this week using different colours.
This week the children met Mrs Powell and we had our first PE sessions. We were very impressed with the children for their fantastic listening and for following all of the instructions. The children have been exploring moving in different ways and have been on a jungle adventure!
The children have really enjoyed our dough discos! Every child has their own tub of dough which they find when they come in on a morning. This has really helped the children with recognising their name. We then put a dough disco video on the smartboard and join in together, manipulating the dough into different shapes.
Parachute games have been lots of fun and have also supported children with their listening, co-ordination and with their gross motor skills. The children worked really well together at trying to keep a ball on the parachute.
The children have been finding out about the characters in ‘A Squash and a Squeeze’ and then created their own mask of their favourite one. The children chose their animal from the story, decorated it and then tried to cut it out independently.
Rolling balls on the field
We were so impressed with the children’s listening this week as we made our way onto the school field for our PE session. The children worked really hard on rolling and catching a ball. There was some great turn taking and lots of fun to be had!
Expressive Arts and Design
During our topic ‘All About Me’ the children have been drawing their family and looking in a mirror and painting their own portrait. The children were shown how to mix the powder paint to create different colours and had lots of fun creating their paintings.
Exploring the musical instruments
The children have been busy creating their own music this week. The bells have been very popular! We have been encouraging the children to play the bells to their favourite songs and nursery rhymes.
The Home Corner
Our home corner has been very popular over the last couple of weeks. The children have really enjoyed creating meals and making drinks for their friends and the teachers. The children have started to take on a role and have really enjoyed caring for the dolls in that area.
The children have been busy creating their own dough animals. They thought carefully about how many legs their animals needed and manipulated the dough to create different shapes.
In the construction area, the children have been working together to make a home big enough for the four animals in ‘A Squash and a Squeeze’. They have created sturdy structures with a roof to keep the animals safe.
Creating a home for a cow
The children have loved making their own animal homes. They have explored using different media and materials, as well as joining methods and have been developing their cutting skills.
We love playing out in the rain as much as we do the sun! The children have been busy working together this week to make a shelter from the rain.
Personal, Social and Emotional Development (PSED)
Monty the Worry Monster
The children found out about Monty the Worry Monster this week. He lives on the carpet area in FS1 and loves to be held if a child is feeling a bit upset or worried. Some of the children chose to draw pictures of Monty too which we have displayed in the classroom.
We have all really enjoyed sitting together as a class and getting to know one another. The children have sat in a circle and have waited patiently for their turn. Sometimes we pass our doll Madeline around and the children know it is their turn when they have her. We have shared our names, the people we live with and talked about our pets as part of our ‘All About Me’ topic.
We had lots of fun during Wellbeing Week. Every day had a different theme-
Monday- Be Kind- The children talked about what they like about their friends.
Tuesday- Take Notice- We had a walk around our school grounds and the children used their senses to explore God’s world.
Wednesday- Be Active- The children really enjoyed ‘Cosmic Yoga’ on YouTube and they had lots of fun outside making obstacle courses and having running races.
Thursday-Try Something New- The children had a go at cutting their own fruit and vegetables and then really enjoyed getting to eat them. We also learned a new song about the seaside.
Friday- Feel Good Friday- The children loved dancing in our maths session to the music and then going to a numeral on the floor and identifying it when the music stopped. We also had a mini disco.
In the provision areas the children have been busy drawing smiley faces, cutting out pictures of food to create a healthy lunchbox design and making play dough food. They have painted pictures of the people that make them feel happy, played parachute games and made indoor obstacle courses. There have been trips to the woods and the school field as well as lots of other active activities that have been great fun too! During our story times, the children have been learning more about their feelings and how to talk about them. Here are some photographs from our week-
Our Police Visit
We were very excited to have some special visitors in Nursery today. We had two police officers in who told us all about road safety. The children know to look for cars and listen out for them and that it is very important to hold their adults hand.
Understanding the World
Our School Environment
The children have had a wonderful time exploring the Nursery garden and EYFS garden over the last few weeks. They have been digging, climbing, mark-making, taking on a role, creating friendships and developing their confidence. They have loved being active and are becoming resilient, lifelong and aspirational learners.
During our daily snack time the children have been learning a little bit more about the world around them by discovering where their snack has come from. We have started to talk about healthy foods and have discussed where apples and carrots grow as well as where milk comes from.
We have been talking about some of the ways that we can help to look after God’s world. We started by discussing what happens to our rubbish and discovered that there are things that can be done to prevent waste and help with recycling. The children decided that as a class we will-
Put the lids back on felt tips and glue sticks to stop them from drying up.
Put leftover paper in the recycling bin.
Make sure that food waste goes into the bin.
To finish our topic on ‘A Squash and a Squeeze’, we welcomed some very special visitors into our Nursery garden. Mrs Kelly brought a goat and chickens in for the children to see. We found out all about what Lucky the goat likes to eat, such as apple tree leaves and sunflower seeds. The children counted Lucky’s legs, felt her fur and asked Mrs Kelly questions about her. We then met two chickens, Kinder and Angel, we looked at their feathers and the size of their eggs before watching them explore our Nursery garden. A big thank you to Mrs Kelly for this fabulous opportunity, the children all really enjoyed meeting the animals.
Our Morning Challenges
Every provision area is enhanced based on the children’s interests and areas for development. We wanted to share some of this weeks challenges with you, based on the story ‘A Squash and a Squeeze’. Every provision area has a challenge, as well as further questions for the adult to ask the child. These are also recorded onto a special button that children can press to hear their challenge. The challenges are both inside the classroom and in the outdoor areas. Here are some of the challenges that we have inside.