Term 2 newsletter – November 2020
We have been back at nursery for a whole term now, and as always, it has been filled full of fun! Welcome to all our new families. We have really enjoyed getting to know everyone and we hope you are all feeling happy with how well the children have settled in. Please be sure to check out your child’s Interactive Learning Diaries (ILD) for all the updated photos, videos and observations. This will really give you an idea of how well your child has been getting on. Parents can also contribute to the ILD, allowing staff to see what the children have been up to at home.
We would like to congratulate Niamh Barnes, who was promoted to Room Leader of the 3-5 room this term. We have no doubt that Niamh and her team will work hard to continue to provide the high levels of care and education the 3-5 room has always been able to offer.
Monika left Victoria Street to join the 0-2 room at our St Swithin Street nursery, where we were able to offer her more hours. We wish Monika all the best!
Steph Wood has been accepted to Aberdeen University to study for a BA in Childhood Practices. She will embark on the course in January 2021. Well Done Steph! She will study for her BA whilst also continuing to work for Summers.
I have now entered my second year of the Masters degree in Early Years at the university, with my current topic focusing on language and literacy.
We are delight to have held our first ever cone extravaganza in aid of Charlie House. Charlie House is our annual children’s charity which we have chosen to support this year. “The Charlie House vision is that all babies, children & young people with life-limiting conditions in the North-east of Scotland receive the necessary support they require from the very start of their life journey, including a smooth transition from hospital to home, receiving practical and emotional support for the whole family, enjoying activities, making memories and living life to the full.” For more information on Charlie House see: https://www.charliehouse.org.uk/ We have managed to raise a whopping £1305 from our extravaganza! Thanks to all the parents and extended families who donated to the cause. The kids had a fabulous week full of fun races and obstacle courses which allowed them to perfect new skills and have lots of competitive fun at the same time, and all the staff were tired out, too!
We have started our new development plans for the start of the new academic year. These plans will run through to August 2021 and the whole team will collect and collate evidence over the year as they progress in these areas.
Recording Children’s Individual Interests:
As a nursery, we have already begun to put an emphasis on children’s interests through responsive planning to ensure that we capture individual interests and use these to learn about the topic. Our intention is to continue to develop these through taking interests and using them to develop children’s all-round development, alongside having standard observations which describe a child’s development. For example: if your child has a particular interest in dinosaurs, this can be reflected in the individual ILD, as well as stating the learning experiences included in the interests with an emphasis on numeracy, literacy, health and wellbeing, and science throughout.
As a team, we intend to continue to develop our mentoring together. This is when a member of the team has a specific talent and they can share their knowledge with a colleague. There are many things being taught throughout, from outdoor play to using the nursery website.
All about Me
Thanks to all the parents who sent back their All about Me sheets - it’s been great getting to know all the children’s favourite things at home.
Thanks to the parents who have returned their updated contact sheets. If you have not done this, please could I urge you to do this immediately. It is essential that our records remain up to date to ensure that vital information individual to your child is shared with the team.
This Term’s Learning Experiences
We have all loved being back at nursery to get stuck into all the activities that we really relish participating in. The children have enjoyed taking part in the cone extravaganza where we all participated in an increased level of outdoor play. We had a mixed week for it weather wise, but that didn’t matter to us!
The beginning of the term saw the 0-2 room learning all about animals. We enjoyed making animal masks with felt pens, which helped children develop their pincer grip. The concentration shown whilst drawing around the mask and picking colours to colour them in was immense. The children were highly focused, with some excellent end results.
We made a fabulous bee wall display, where children brush-painted some bees, which then progressed to them getting stuck in with their hands!! Always lots of fun! The children have enjoyed watching the wall display develop and were delighted to see their work displayed in the room.
Some of the children have been able to complete the 2-piece animal jigsaws, and for those not quite at that stage, we have been able to work on peg puzzles for improved hand-eye coordination.
We have progressed to learning about transport. Children helped to make a cardboard box bus; this was a great learning opportunity, as the children used the flash cards to identify what needed to be added to the bus. This is an observation skill identified in the curriculum, where children are encouraged to use a visual aid to create a piece of work.
A highlight this term has included going out for buggy walks. The children have loved getting out and about, pointing out significant things they can see in our community, including bikes, buses, birds and much more. A big highlight was seeing the spitfire which passed over us on the 17th September!
The babies are currently learning all about Autumn. We have ‘pretend’ autumn leaves that have been used to make a collage, and children have been using them to play with in the sand pit. For many children, these wonderful leaves are the first time the children will have been exposed to these wonderful autumn colours.
The two’s room spent the first few weeks back getting to know all the children through a project entitled ‘All About Me’. The staff asked them all about their families and invited parents to contribute through the ILD, by adding family pictures. The children enjoyed printing their own hands and comparing them to their friends’ hands, seeing who had the biggest hands and who had the smallest.
One of the children had a baby sister born at home, and this encouraged us to learn all about babies and what care they need. The children loved bathing the “babies” and then putting on nappies. We used our new found knowledge of what babies need by putting items in the correct column - we had to choose a tick or a cross for a number of items and say whether or not it is something a baby might need. Items included: nappies, baby bottles, a clock, scissors, a cuddly toy and much more. During the project, we were able to have a look at how far we have come since being babies ourselves. Parents added baby photos of the children to their ILD, and the children loved looking at these, creating and strengthening the link between home and nursery. We were then able to look at how much we have all changed, in particular how big we are now and what we need for this to happen.
The two’s room went on to learn about transport. We really enjoyed making paper planes after seeing the NHS spit fire fly over us whilst out in the garden. The children enjoyed decorating the planes and flying them across the room to see who’s went the furthest. We enjoyed making our own bus tickets, before taking turns with different types of transport, with the children enjoying their chance to be the driver! We lined up the chairs and the children were able to join the train, bus and plane, just as they imagined they would in the real world, creating great opportunities to extend the children’s imagination. Role play skills help the children learn all about the world around them.
The children have enjoyed a project about ‘People who help Us’. We explored paramedics, fire fighters and the police, with the children showing a really great interest in the coast guard, which helped them to develop a greater understanding of our own risk in the water.
The children enjoyed taking part in the number 9 worksheets. We focused on writing the number nine, as well as colouring in nine of certain objects.
Everyone made their own police masks, and they used them to role play in the house corner, pretending to help each other during role play times.
The children used the bandages to bandage each other up - there was some skilled bandaging happening, as well as great acting from the ‘injured’ parties.
After learning about fire fighters and the fire engine, the children participated in an adult led experiment where we extinguished a ‘fire’. The staff used water sprayers to spray some candles to observe how the water puts the fire out.
Children participated in another experiment, pretending to be sniffer dogs to help the police. Some of the children were asked to close their eyes and sniff their own individual food items to see how good our noses are. These foods included bananas, oranges, chocolate etc.
After watching the NHS spitfire, the children really enjoyed pretending to be on a plane, taking it turns to walk up the aisle with the hostess trolley, serving tea and coffee.
Recently, one of the children showed a real interest in how tall he has become, so to encourage the use of numeracy, we created a chart showing us the different heights of each child at nursery, and where we all sit in relation to each other. The children are delighted to see their photos displayed on the wall chart.
Whilst measuring each other, the children used a variety of measuring tools. For example, the children have used shoes to measure themselves, wooden blocks, as well as the traditional method of using a tape measure. All of this starts to encourage children to use mathematical language during play and have a greater understanding of its purpose.
Since the cone extravaganza, we have been learning all about sport, exploring the internet to answer questions the children have, as well as participating in in a variety of arts and crafts.
We have been learning about lots of sports, including ice skating and basketball. The children were keen to explore the ‘spins’ that the skater does, so we have looked at other things that can also spin, including wheels and a spinning top, as well as getting a little dizzy trying to spin ourselves!
Dates for Diary
Dare I say it, but this term we will have all our Christmas festivities to think about. Christmas, as always will be a very busy time, and we will enjoy many Christmas crafts. We will have lots of mini parties across the last week of term (week commencing 14th of December) and we will also learn all about the Christmas story.
Please be reminded that the nursery will close on Friday the 18th of December at 6pm and will re-open again at 7.30am on Monday 4th January.
Please remember, although you are less likely to see me face to face as the Manager of your nursery, I am always happy to help out wherever possible. Please feel free to contact me via telephone and/or email if I can be of assistance to you.
01224 628862 – firstname.lastname@example.org