Autumn Term 1 2023
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.
Our Worship Table
October is the month of the Rosary and the children helped to change the cloth on our Worship table from green to blue. They discovered that Mary is the Mother of Jesus and that her special colour is blue. The children were shown a statue of Mary and the Rosary beads and Mrs Gray said a Hail Mary, which is Mary’s very special prayer.
St Gerard’s Day
On Monday 16th October we celebrated our class saint with a party day. We discovered that St Gerard helped mothers and babies and that he was born in Italy a long time ago. The children had a party to celebrate this special day, with dancing, party games and food.
We started our topic by reading the story ‘Guess how much I love you’ by Sam McBratney. We met Benjamin the bear who will join us for all of our RE lessons and then the children took it in turns to talk about how big God’s love is.
Sophie “Up to the sky.”
Libby “As far away as my house.”
Niamh “As tall as my house.”
Oscar “His love is as tall as a tree.”
George “It’s as tall as the sky.”
Alexander “I think it’s as big as this Nursery.”
Today we found out about all of the wonderful things within our world that God has created. We read the story from the Bible and then went into our FS1 garden to look for some of the things that God has made.
Niamh “The stones.”
Oscar “He made the sun.”
Adam “Flowers. He made them.”
Libby “God made leaves.”
Eddie “Spider webs.”
Oscar “The sky.”
We have been learning about Harvest during our RE sessions. We know that it is autumn and that God gives us lots of different foods during this season. We visited some of the apple trees on the school site and collected some of the apples to take home. The children discovered that different animals also like to eat the fruit and that they should avoid picking anything up that has holes or bite marks. We also found blackberries on our walk. Back in the classroom, we talked about some of the other things that God gives us in autumn.
The children have really enjoyed the Noah’s Ark Bible story. They have been acting out the story with the small world toys and lining up the animals in two’s.
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.
The importance of talking
We have lots of opportunities throughout the day for the children to talk. They learn about how to extend their sentences and make them even better. During our snack times, we like to ask the children a question. These questions are often thought provoking and show that views and opinions can be different and that we can celebrate this. Today we asked the children what is better, an aeroplane or boat and why?
Freddie “I like aeroplanes because you see the sun and clouds.”
Oscar “I like boats because I like speed boats, they go really fast.”
Sophie “Aeroplane because I can see my house.”
Libby “I like an aeroplane because I went to the front of the aeroplane because the Ipad wasn’t working.”
Alexander “Aeroplane because it has lots of windows and you can sit on the back seat.”
We have been learning about rhyming pairs this week. The children have enjoyed matching up the rhyming words and then trying to think of some of their own.
We had lots of fun on our listening walks both inside and outside of the classroom. The children all drew pictures of some of the things that they could hear.
Harper “I heard people.”
Alexander “I heard a blackbird.”
Freddie “I’m drawing the wind.”
William “It’s a crow.”
Libby “Maybe that’s a lawnmower.”
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 for the rest of the half term is the number two. The children have been showing two hands and two feet, counting two objects, forming the numeral two and looking for it in the environment.
We have been learning about circles, triangles, squares, rectangles, semi-circles and hexagons over the last few weeks. The children have been attempting to identify and sort the shapes.
The children have been discovering that there are lots of different words that can be used to describe the size of something, not just the words big and small. After cutting out the acorns, the children put them in order of size and used words such as longest, medium and shortest to describe them. In the woods, the children were finding sticks that were shorter than their arm and back in the classroom they were looking for things that were taller than them.
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. We cannot wait for our next PE session!
We were extremely proud of all of the children during their second ever PE session which we did on the playground. All of the children joined in, did some fantastic listening and showed some wonderful skills. The children travelled in different ways and showed us their amazing balancing skills.
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.
Fine Manipulative Skills
The provision areas are full of opportunities for the children to develop their fine manipulative skills. This week they have been manipulating dough to make a flamingo, using scissors to make a bird nest, colouring in pictures and using Lego.
We have also been threading and making marks with different tools.
Personal, Social and Emotional Development (PSED)
Monty the Worry Monster
The children have now been introduced to Monty the Worry Monster. He lives in the reading 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 todays circle time, the children discovered how they could keep healthy, both at school and at home. Here are some of their ideas-
William “You sleep.”
Oscar “Eat healthy food.”
Libby “You can eat chicken too!”
Alexander “Wash our hands with soap and water or sanitizer.”
Frey “Do PE because it makes us strong and fit.”
We then also discussed the different exercise that we do in school, such as obstacle courses and dancing.
Every half term we focus on a different feeling.
This half term we have been talking about the things that make us feel happy. We realised that when we are happy, we smile.
William “When I go to bed.”
Alexander “When Daddy plays upstairs with me.”
Freddie “I like it when I snuggle with my fluffy teddy.”
Niamh “When my pussy cat licks me.”
Amari “When my Mummy picks me up, that makes me feel happy.”
Leah “I feel happy when my Mummy gives me warm hugs.”
Libby “I am happy when Mummy reads to me in my bunks.”
Jack “When Granny picks me up.”
Florence “My Daddy laughing at me and tickling me.”
Adam “When my Mummy and Daddy and brother Robbie plays with me upstairs, downstairs, outside and everywhere.”
Oscar “It makes me happy when I play in the building construction area.”
Aidan “When my Mummy picks up and my cat licks me.”
Sadie “I feel happy when Mummy cuddles me.”
Sophia “My brother plays with me and Dexter licks me. He licks me on the face.”
Sophie “My Mummy plays with me and my Daddy plays with me on the trampoline.”
Expressive Arts and Design
The children have had great fun colour mixing outside in the puddles. We took red, yellow and blue powder paint outside and then mixed it to create green, purple and orange.
International dot day
Today the whole school joined in with international dot day. We started by asking the children what they thought a dot was.
Frey “It’s like a pea but it is done with a pen, like a dot.”
Libby “You can draw it.”
Oscar “It’s like a circle.”
After reading the story ‘The Dot’ by Peter H Reynolds, the children created their own dot artwork.
We have also been creating some larger paintings outside.
Taking on a role.
The children have really enjoyed taking on a role in our flamingo vets. They have treated the injured birds, filled out treatment forms and have worked really well together to care for the animals.
Music and dance
We love to sing, dance and play music in FS1. This week we have been singing the flamingo song. The children were challenged to find an instrument that makes a noise when you shake it and we created a little orchestra. The children played their instrument slowly and then quickly to different parts of the song, whilst some of their peers danced. After a bow, they swapped places.
Understanding the World
During Dyslexia week, the FS1 children read the story Ringo the Flamingo by Neil Griffiths. They discovered that everybody is different and that we should celebrate this. We talked about some visible disabilities and how aids can support people to do the same things as everyone else, such as wheelchairs. We discussed how there will always be special things that we are really good at and other things that we find tricky. The children then talked about some of the things that they feel that they are good at.
Places of the world
During a circle time session, the children told us about where they live. Some children were able to tell us the house name or number and the street name and others were able to tell us about the colour of their front door or that they lived in Wetherby. We looked at a map and found Wetherby and discussed how it is in Leeds in England.
During our Ringo the Flamingo topic, the children discovered that flamingos live in Africa. We looked for Africa on our world map and compared the size to England. The children discussed how you would need to go on an aeroplane to get there. We then created our own image of Africa. The children discussed things that they knew from the story and added them to the map, such as lakes with shrimps in, mud, grass, trees and a sun.
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 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.
We have been busy learning about the importance of washing our hands in FS1. We started by asking the children why we wash our hands.
Freddie “Because germs could go in your mouth and make you poorly.”
Oscar “If you have germs on your hands, you can’t eat fruit.”
We then discussed some of the places that germs come from, such as when we cough, go to the toilet or walk across the carpet in our outdoor shoes. The children discovered that germs are so tiny that they are invisible to us.
We then created our own experiment to see how easily germs can be spread. Using paint for the germs, the children touched each other’s hands and the furniture and noticed how the paint was easily transferred. We then worked out the best way to wash the germs away. Placing them in warm water did not work, so the children tried rubbing soap in for 20 seconds and then washing it away.
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.
Every two weeks we change our provision areas to match our current theme. We will use this space to share some of our challenges in the provision areas with you.