Early Years News and Events

Filed in Early Years Newsletters | Posted on October 25, 2019

Important Dates    
4th November 2019 Monday Nursery
Parents Evening 6pm
(Appointment only)
9th November 2019 Saturday FOSS Firework Night
13th November 2019 Wednesday Pre-School
Parents Evening 4pm (Appointment only)
15th November 2019 Friday Children In Need Day
30th November 2019 Saturday FOSS Christmas Fayre 11am
3rd December 2019 Tuesday Pre-School
Nativity Play 9.30am
10th December 2019 Tuesday Early Years Christmas Party and Magic Show
13th December 2019 Friday All departments will
close at 12 noon today
Pre-School and School Christmas Holidays begins
19th December 2019 Thursday Nursery Mince Pie and Mingle 2.30-3.30pm
20th December 2019 Friday Baby Unit
Stay and Play

Babies… Well what a challenging, fun and exciting few weeks we’ve had, from printing with autumn leaves to baking Rocky Road biscuits. Over the past few weeks we have been focusing on developing the children’s fine motor skills and their hand eye co-ordination. Learning both skills during a child’s early education helps build the foundation for important future skills such as writing and self-care. To do this we provided the children with a variety of provocations. Firstly in the role play we provided the children with babies (dolls), flannels and old soap dispensers which were filled with water. After modelling how to pump the water from the dispensers the children were keen to get involved and have a go. It was great to see such perseverance from them as they succeeded in their goals. It was also a great opportunity to extend the children’s communication and social skills as they joined in adult child conversations and took take turns in using the resources. We spoke about health and self-care, including washing our hands and faces before and after meal times. It was great to see the children remaining engaged for a long period of time.

Play dough is an amazing resource to develop manipulation and this month the children have spent lots of time pushing straws into it, threading pasta onto the straws and making patterns. This took great concentration and perseverance. It was also key to challenging their mathematical skills, counting with them as they threaded and using to illustrate more or less, full and empty.

We have stared some activities based around the Diwali festival and the children spent lots of time using glue, colourful cellophane and black card to create their own stained glass window lanterns. We also enjoyed creating Rangoli patterns in the tuff tray with lots of colourful chalks. The children then used brushes dipped in water to go over the Rangoli Patterns and as the water mixed with the chalk it made even more exciting patterns for us to talk about. The book bags for home have been a great success, it’s so nice to see the children and families choosing a book bag to take home and share together. Reading to babies is not only a way to inspire a love of books from infancy, but also an important way to grow a baby’s vocabulary—first their understanding vocabulary and later their speech. Thank you for uploading your story sharing moments on Tapestry, we have now created a wall display from all the photos and will continue to add to it over the coming months. As half term is just around the corner some staff and children will be on holiday. We will be celebrating Halloween and bonfire night through a variety of activities over the coming weeks and we will be providing activities for the children that will continue to challenge their fine and gross motor skills as well as focusing on their communication and language skills.

Acorns….have been very busy this October settling into their new routines, meeting new friends and beginning to take that step towards independence. They are loving this time of year and have been exploring the autumn colours, learn about nature and enjoying just being outside. There are so many different options for fun and learning activities both indoors and out.  In the classroom the children made a sensory tray using leaves, conkers, small pumpkins and was an excellent addition with the added bonus of some autumn books and animal figurines. We have used this to encourage the children to strengthen the muscles in their hands by using large tweezers and tongs to pick up different objects.Collecting autumn leaves on our many nature walks the children wanted to use them for something that also involved ‘gluing’. Providing them with paper, card tubes and other resources they got to work creating people, cars, rockets and much more, what a fabulous opportunity to develop their creativity and imagination.  Looking at mathematics we had to use the conkers for counting and sorting. With the festival of light, Diwali next week we have started to introduce this festival to the children… wait till you see what they are making for you.

Hedgehogs…Hedgehogs have been learning lots about autumn and the world around them. We have been watching the natural changes that happen in the environment over this period of time. We went on a walk with baskets to collect leaves to make our own collage. Introducing new words and concepts brought us to talk about hibernation and in particular hedgehogs.  The children built their own comfy beds outside using grass, leaves and moss to help the wildlife. Threading gave us the opportunity to develop hand eye coordination skills. Providing the children with card hedgehogs with a series of punched holes they were able to use ribbon to thread in and out the holes.  Autumn is an interesting time in forest school and we have been able to collect lots of conkers to use in activities. We have counted, sorted and grouped conkers, painted and printed, rolled and thrown, all developing skills and building confidence and understanding. The monthly story has been ‘Brown Bear, Brown Bear’ and as well as reading, we have been using masks and puppets to act out the story increasing confidence, vocabulary and understanding. We have used pictures to build a story board wall, recalling and anticipating what comes next, The ‘Brown Bear’ story naturally led us to discuss and focus on colour recognition, matching , mixing and identifying  with lots more to come…

Squirrels… I am pleased to report that the Squirrels have settled well into their class.  We are ‘living’ the class routines and agreements through a visual timetable.  The children are expressing their interests through; vocabulary-building, personal art, stories and play. They are learning the words to express feelings such as happy, sad, angry and worried.  To promote self-care the ‘coat trick’ is being employed to help teach the Squirrels to put on their coats with a little less adult support. The Squirrels are having lots of opportunities this autumn to spend time outside in the fresh air, playing and exploring. Outdoor activities include collecting leaves, conkers and playing in big puddles 😊.  Enthused by these activities, the Squirrels have been excited to share their feelings and observations through class discussions and activities including leaf printing & marbling.  Mark- making activities using stickers, finger painting, and a variety of different materials to develop their fine and gross motor-skills. Tuesday mornings have been dedicated as the Yoga time where children learn movement, mindfulness and gratitude.  The Squirrels made salt dough and have have stocked their Play Kitchen with self-made salt-dough bread. Forest School Fridays have been spent exploring tools like hammers and hand drills.  They have been sorting and counting different materials to gain an understanding of numbers.

Bunnies and Owls… October has been a very busy month for us. We started our Hedgehog topic by receiving a very special visitor, Yvonne and a tiny baby hedgehog called ‘Molly the brave’, whom we went on to adopt. Autumn has meant lots of children looking at different details on leaves, by using magnifying glasses and noticing different patterns during leaf printing. Using clay to enhance our hand dexterity and practice manipulation skills we made our own hedgehogs. To develop our literacy understanding we have learnt rhymes and listened to stories about hedgehogs and their habitat. Increasing knowledge as well as vocabulary we have discussed and explored nocturnal animals and those who hibernate. Reinforcing mathematical skills and building hand muscles in preparation for next term’s writing we used ‘hedgehog’ activities to explore number recognition, counting and problem solving. The children matched ‘spines’, counted prickles and making their clay hedgehogs look beautiful.

Investigating the community and the wider world we have made two trips during October. The first to the Winterbourne library; and the second; to Westonbirt Arboretum. Both have given us a chance to practice and build an understanding of road safety whilst adapting to changes of routine.

During drama sessions we have concentrated on the stories of ‘The Little Red Hen’, ‘The Gruffalo’ and ‘The Enormous Turnip’. The children have taken on roles to support their understanding and promote memory recall. Extending these stories has provided activities such as bread making, bakery role play and opportunities to use one handed tools like hammers. As always there has been an abundance of fabulous pictures, drawn, painted and printed all helping us expand those skills we need for school next September.

Tips and Ideas for home:

Why not make your own autumn sensory box, you can use an old shoe box or even a tray with sides. Let your children collect lots of autumnal items including leaves, pine cones, conkers….I’m sure they will find just what they want. Please take a photograph and upload it onto Tapestry for us to see.