• Nursery News - 28th February 2020

  • The Squirrels Group:

    It was lovely to welcome the children back after the mid-term break.

    The week before half term the Squirrels’ topic was “DigiDucks Big Decision”, which talks about internet safety. We discussed what they can do online and the tools they use to access the internet, such as laptops, tablets and phones. During Art, the children used the iPads with confidence to explore a new application ‘Kids Drawing’. They drew individual pictures including illustrations of family members, fruit, and unicorns.

    The children took turns to film each other reporting their weekend news. They held the iPad steadily, making sure they could see their peers through the screen and tapped the buttons to start and end recordings.

    On ‘Internet Safety Day’ we discussed ways to stay safe online reminding the children to use the phrase; ‘before you tap and click, you need to stop and think, and tell someone’ if something unfamiliar appears on the screen.

    During Science we further explored habitats and their differences. We used a globe and atlas to identify temperate zones, locating and naming the polar regions, tropics and middle latitudes, before finding places that we had visited and stating what temperature zone it was in.

    The Squirrels had a focused deconstruction session which again involved discussions on electrical and online safety. They used the tools safely and with increasing control to unscrew, cut and pull apart wires, components and covers. The children understood the concept of electricity and that appliances need to be plugged in or have batteries to work.

    The “ Oaktree Office” was very busy with clerks typing on keyboards, sorting admin and answering telephone calls. There was the opportunity to interact with a variety of technical objects and take on different roles. Conversation flowed between the children as they played.

    “Ravi’s Roar”, a story discussing feelings, was the platform for this week’s activities. Emotions were explored in Art and the children were encouraged to discuss what makes them feel angry, sad, happy, excited, scared and relaxed. We linked these emotions to colours, explaining which colour relates to which feeling. The children then used watercolours to depict different emotions accompanied by a comment such as “ I feel frustrated when …”.

    On Monday everyone waited patiently for their turn to blow bubbles before sharing their half-term news. The Squirrels shared detailed accounts of their activities which they accompanied with an illustration.

    Following on from previous measurement activities we explored height during Maths. We measured the children and created a height chart. Following this we discussed who is the tallest and shortest and who is taller or shorter than who, before arranging our group in height order. This led to further measuring tasks in free-play with tape measures and rulers.

    During our Literacy lesson, to support the understanding of our feelings and emotions, the Squirrels looked at strategies to calm down when they are feeling angry or frustrated. We explored counting and breathing techniques, using objects such as pillows and sensory toys, relaxing music and candles as well as soothing essential oils such as lavender. The classroom was very calm and serene during the activity. We also created a relaxation room in our role play area which was an enormous success. The space was a safe place to relax, listen to classical music and take time out in a cosy environment.

    Our Outdoor Learning Days continue to be embraced by the children. Before half term we explored patterns using natural objects and then we completed an obstacle course. This enabled the children to work on refining their gross motor skills as they moved in a variety of ways, running, jumping and crawling.

    This week we continued to explore length and height with natural objects. Following the orchestral workshop, we combined our emotions work by linking sounds to feelings. Thursday’s Orchestral Workshop was well received. The children were given the opportunity to explore many instruments. For further details please do look at the posts on Tapestry.

    The children are invited to dress up as their favourite book character and/ or bring their favourite story with them to school on Thursday 5th March - World Book Day.

    The Squirrels are looking forward to their Art Exhibition, in aid of “Ella’s Home”, on Saturday 7th March in the Church Coffee shop.

    Parents’ Evening is on Thursday 19th March and the sign-up sheets will be available on Monday 2nd March.

     

    The Kits Group:

    It was lovely to welcome the children back after the mid-term break.

    London Rhymes was the focus of our activities before half term. The Kits were introduced to traditional rhymes such as ‘Ring a Ring O Roses’ and ‘London Bridge is Falling Down’ which they sang repeatedly when outside. We Introduced new rhymes to support speech and language development and to introduce games and rhymes that the children could play by themselves, this encouraged social play.

    Using construction materials to make ‘London’ buildings, including the London Eye and London Bridge, with foam blocks and shaving foam encouraged creativity and shape exploration. This was also a great opportunity to introduce new vocabulary.

    Water colours and black paper silhouettes were used to create London skylines. Tuesday was “Internet Safety Day’ and we discussed the safe use of the internet before using the Ipads to research London Landmarks. Everyone printed their picture which they used as a prompt to recall past experiences.

    Based on the traditional rhyme “Oranges and Lemons”, we made lemon and orange juice as an extension to previous food tasting activities. The Kits all tried both juices, described the flavour and voiced whether they liked or disliked them. Once again new vocabulary was modeled by the teachers to support the children’s descriptions.

    Fine motor skills were refined as the children meticulously peeled small stickers and stuck them around the pictures, printed earlier in the week, forming a frame around the buildings.

    This week “10 Things I Can do to Help My World”, a story about recycling and conserving energy, inspired our learning. In recent weeks we introduced a compost bin for fruit peel and other remnants and also made a point of explaining why we turn the lights off when leaving the building to go on Community Walks and Library visits. The children took great interest in this and we built on their knowledge by discussing the importance of recycling and up-cycling.

    In Art we focused on upcycling as we decorated jars and discussed what they could be used for such as pen pots etc. We also learnt a number of songs about recycling.

    The Red Kits continue to recall and share their weekend news on Monday mornings which reinforces their vocabulary and literacy skills.

    Recyclable materials were central to our Maths activities as the children counted bottle tops and lids and matched them to numerals. Wednesday’s focus time was dedicated to sorting a variety of materials into recycling and waste categories. We were most impressed with the children’s understanding of the subject. Once again fine motor skills were refined whist finger painting pictures of our world. Our litter picking expedition in the local area led to many conversations which consolidated subjects discussed earlier in the week.

    Thursday’s Orchestral Workshop was well received. The children were given the opportunity to explore lots of od instruments. The workshop was an enormous success please do look at the posts on Tapestry for further details.

    The children are invited to dress up as their favourite book character and/ or bring their favourite story with them to school on Thursday 5th March - World Book Day.

    Parents’ Evening is on Thursday 19th March and the sign-up sheets will be available on Monday 2nd March.