This afternoon, we had a special visitor from the RSPB. We listened to a story all about a baby hedgehog. Everything in the hedgehog’s nest and little world was brown. The walls were brown, the floor was brown, Mummy hedgehog was brown – brown was everywhere! One dark night, Mummy hedgehog decided it was time to leave the nest. A whole host of sights, smells, sounds, tastes and textures awaited the little hedgehog. He enjoyed crunching a beetle in the garden; it tasted yummy. He saw colourful flowers and felt the prickles of a bramble bush on his nose. Ouch!
We talked about using our senses to explore our environment, just like the baby hedgehog had done on his adventures outside his nest. Next, the children worked in groups to explore the Nursery garden using all of their senses. They listened to the special call that robins use to ‘talk’ to each other and looked for different coloured flowers and plants. We enjoyed finding ‘smelly’ plants to make a special hedgehog soup.
What a great afternoon of learning in the sunshine! We’d like to thank the RSPB for joining us and running this session; we had a great time.
Monsters in the mud and rainbows
The changeable weather provoked lots of questions this week; children wondered how rainbows were formed and also talked about the different shapes of clouds. We enjoyed listening to songs about rainbows and collecting the colours we needed to create a giant rainbow collage. Children were very excited when they went outside on Tuesday – somebody had visited the playground whilst we’d been hiding from the wind inside! There were lots of suggestions as to who the very large footprints belonged to. Trolls? Monsters? Giants?
Did you see the messy monsters in the mud in our sensory area this week? As well as learning about the letter sound ‘mmm’, children also enjoyed moving the monsters through the gloop and investigating the different properties of the mixture. Sometimes it was solid and felt very hard to touch and sometimes it was runny and slipped through our fingers. The ‘mud’ was actually a mixture of cornflour, water and colouring.
If you want to enjoy some gloopy fun at home, just try mixing some cornflour and water together and watch what happens. We’re sure you’ll enjoy it and it’s an excellent way to develop language and introduce new vocabulary to your child. (There is a recipe you could try on the BBC website if you prefer to have exact quantities. We didn’t try the egg part detailed in this experiment!)
On Friday, some children joined in with some ‘Red Nose Day’ fun. Thank you for your fund raising donations.
Sharing stories with Year 6 children for World Book Day
We had great fun dressing up as our favourite book characters on Thursday for World Book Day. Thank you for providing your child with a costume; they looked great!
It was lovely to see some parents staying for our ‘Stay and Read’ session in Nursery too. Thank you for joining us; children love it when you join in.
During the day, we enjoyed reading stories with the older children who came to visit us in Nursery. We talked about all of the characters that children were dressed as and read lots of their favourite books. It was evident that we love Julia Donaldson stories, especially The Gruffalo!
A busy first week back
Children settled into Nursery really well after the half term break. We enjoyed hearing about trips to Tropical World, Thomas Land and your family days out. Thank you for all of the photos that you sent to us.
We sang ‘Happy Birthday’ lots of times this week as part of our birthday themed learning. Children counted out the correct number of candles onto their playdough cakes, wrote birthday cards and practised their cutting skills when wrapping up presents.
We enjoyed listening to a story outside in the sunshine; we heard about a bear who just couldn’t wait until it was his birthday. He counted the sleeps each day. On his birthday morning, he woke up to find a trail of birthday balloons leading to his party. We loved this idea so much, that we made our own!
Outside, we made the most of the lovely, sunny weather. We created a ‘car’ wash and children waited patiently in line until it was their turn to go through the car wash or have their wheels cleaned. There was lots of communication and turn taking involved.
As you will have read from our previous post, we have noticed the beautiful spring flowers growing in our garden. Children showed lots of interest in gardening, especially in digging and planting. We followed this interest and bought some flowers to plant in the pots for the Nursery entrance. We looked closely at the roots before we planted the pansies and talked about what a plant needed to grow.
Children are really enjoying their mini phonics sessions and are doing really well with learning the letters sounds so far.
At the moment, we are working really hard to hear the initial sound in words. We’ve been sorting objects by their first sounds and playing lots of games e.g. matching objects with the same initial sounds and eye-spy. If you want to play a game at home to practise these skills, you could try this game or this one. We like to play games using real objects the most – children love a traditional game of eye spy! You could easily play it on your walk to Nursery.
Over the next few weeks, some children will be introduced to ‘robot talking’. This is when we segment words into sounds and learn how to blend them together again. Segmenting and blending orally is a key skill for children to acquire before they begin the more formal teaching of phonics in Foundation 2. We practise segmenting and blending sounds that we can hear in words, we don’t expect children to recognise or write the letters at this point in Foundation 1. This skill is quite tricky and can take children some time to grasp; it will continue to be taught throughout the Foundation Stage.
To segment (robot talk) ‘bus’, we would say ‘b – u – s’ . We always use pure sounds and try to avoid putting ‘uh’ on the end of a sound. E.g. ‘ssss’ not ‘suh’. Here’s an example of oral segmenting and blending for some farm animals.
Please don’t hesitate to ask Nursery staff for any further information with how to support your child at home.
Signs of spring
It was very foggy on the way to Nursery this morning, but the children still managed to spot some signs of spring in the Nursery garden.
They talked about the flowers that they had seen at the park and at their grandparent’s houses.
“What are those white ones there? My grandma has those,” one child commented.
“Those ones are yellow. They’re daffodils,” another child spotted some small daffodils growing in the grass.
“Don’t break it or the spider will have to make another one,” someone noticed a spider web covered in tiny water droplets.
Welcome back to Nursery
We hope that you had a fun half term break. We’re looking forward to hearing about all of your adventures and finding out about what our children’s new interests are.
Before the holidays, many children were talking about their birthdays and making cakes in the playdough area. To begin this week, we have added some birthday themed activities to our Nursery provision. We will write invitations, make birthday cards, have tea parties in the home corner and count candles on the cakes we create.
Happy Half Term!
We hope that you’ve all had a good rest over half term and have enjoyed some fun family outings. Please remember to send us one or two photographs of your activities or bring a leaflet into Nursery. We’ll be looking at them in the first week back; they are a brilliant way to encourage communication and listening.
We hope that your child has already told you all about their learning this week. They’ve been talking about keeping safe; hopefully they will have shared lots of safety tips with you and told you all about the special visitors that came to Nursery.
At the beginning of the week, children helped to carry out risk assessments for Nursery’s indoor and outdoor area. They spotted things that might cause them to trip or slip and talked about where was/wasn’t safe to play when it’s icy or wet outside.
There’s a great game on the Nationwide’s website where children can explore a virtual home and spot the dangers. (Link to follow shortly.) Children were very good at this! Well done, Nursery.
On Wednesday, we were joined by Lollypop Lady Sue. Lots of children recognised Sue and knew that she helped us to cross the road safely. We looked at Sue’s special high visibility jacket and her Lollypop sign. Some children recognised the ‘STOP’ letters and we sounded them out to read the word. Sue had lots of safety tips for us for how to travel to school safely. She reminded children to always hold their adult’s hand when they are walking on the path and crossing the road. We also talked about travelling in cars and reminding parents and carers to park safely, away from the school’s zig zag lines and driving slowly. We watched a video about road safety which gave us the message to “Stop, look, listen and think” before we cross the road.
Another highlight of the week had to be a visit from the Fire Brigade. Children were really excited and enjoyed hearing the loud siren and feeling how powerful the water hose is! To follow on from their interest in fire fighters, we have created an Emergency services role play area with the children’s ideas. They suggested lots of things that they would need and enjoyed answering 999 calls.
Over the last few weeks, we have introduced children to some letter sounds. So far, we have learnt Ss Aa Tt and we’ll learn Pp this week.
We talk to children about the letter names and the sounds that they make. We always use the pure sound, such as ‘sssssss’ rather than ‘suh’ and ‘mmmmmm’ not ‘muh’. If you’re unsure, watch this link of our F2 teachers producing the pure sounds.
We use the Jolly Phonics songs and actions to help us learn each sound. Here’s a video of the songs for the first set of sounds that we will learn. We continue to focus on the sound of the letters at the start of words and are playing lots of games including eye spy. We use objects that begin with the letters that we have learnt so far, like in this video game. You could play your own game using objects that you find at home.