There might have only been just over 10 weeks in the term but we certainly managed to do a lot! Our project work was based on Health and we had some interesting discussions about exercise, diet and a healthy lifestyle. The children really got into healthy foods and learnt to identify which food belongs to which food group and why and how much of it we need to eat it. We also looked at sugar and we were all quite shocked by the amount of sugar in so called healthy drinks and snacks that many children regularly have in their lunch boxes. One drink or snack seems to contain more than the recommended intake of sugar for an entire day! We made a decision to cut down on some of the sugar we consume by only drinking water at lunch time in Nursery. The children enjoyed trying some different fruit and vegetables at snack time and they especially enjoyed occasionally having a bowl of cereal instead of a biscuit.
We celebrated World Book Day on 3rd March by inviting parents to come and read stories to the children who had dressed up as a character from one of their favourite books. There were pirates, princesses, bees, ladybirds and many other wonderful creations.
For Sport Relief the children decided to wear their pyjamas to Nursery and we provided breakfast for everyone before the games began. Lorna organised an obstacle course and three activities that the children rotated round involving ball skills and team work. The children also enjoyed a treasure hunt and parachute games. We raised over £100 and had a huge amount of fun doing it.
We were, as usual, invited to take part in the Froxfield and Privett Horticultural Spring Show and this year parents and grandparents came into nursery to help make Wind Catchers. The result was quite extraordinary – so many different materials and designs and each one unique.
Just before the end of term we held an Open Morning for current and prospective parents to come and see the huge range of activities, materials and resources our children regularly have access to. As a one off, we also invited parents to join the children doing Yoga with Roessa. At the end of January we had said goodbye to Rachel who left us to manage her own dog and cat caring business. However, we are delighted to welcome Fay who joined us at the beginning of the term and took over where Rachel left off!
The Autumn Term was filled with blackberries and apples. We made crumbles, apple prints and our own blackberry juice paint, which Beatrice discovered was very tasty too! We tasted and learnt to identify popular types of apples and studied the life-cycle of an apple tree.
On 19th October an inspector from Ofsted arrived to carry out our re-inspection. She spent the whole day with us and at the end we were relieved and delighted when she pronounced us “Outstanding” in all areas!
In November we enjoyed making rocket pictures and dancing to firework music during our weekly lessons with Annaliese.
We celebrated Christmas with the children by learning and practising lots of traditional party games. At our Christmas party we played our favourite ones and enjoyed a delicious lunch provided by parents. To the children’s surprise and delight, Santa dropped in, despite the lack of snow, and delivered each child an early Christmas present.
Our Nativity on the last day of term was enjoyed by all of us, including parents and grandparents. The children sang and danced to some very catchy tunes and Emilia was superb as our very own “whoops-a-daisy” angel.
The Summer Term is always extremely busy because of the number of teachers who visit and the extra paperwork involved in preparation for our children moving on to school in September. For me, the highlight of the term was our visit to the Winchester Science Centre and Planetarium because it was both fun and educational. We all enjoyed “The Secret of the Cardboard Rocket” show which tied in beautifully with our project work on the solar system. After the show, we had the Science Centre virtually to ourselves and the children and parents were able to enjoy all the hands on exhibits without any cues or worries about other people!
Our Games Day at the end of June was organised by Kerrie and Lorna from Playball. They organised a circuit of different races and activities for the children to participate in and move round in teams. The children had a great time and impressed parents with their ball skills and their agility on the obstacle course. After the children’s races and some parachute games, parents participated in running races and their competitive spirit and desire to win or at least run as fast as they could was remarkable!
In music, Annaliese introduced the children to Holst and the “Planets”. We also had a go at “The Volcano” from Write Dance which combines movement and music specifically to develop children’s gross motor skills in preparation for reading and writing.
During the term many parents came and offered their time and expertise to us. Our thanks go to Amanda who grew and helped the children plant sweet peas in our garden, Maike who led several experiments involving “floating and sinking”, Charlotte who brought Dinky her Shetland pony to see us and Simon who brought in a multitude of different instruments for the children to try. Several parents also came into Nursery to see some of the things that their children have been enjoying and practising.
We have entered our water colour paintings of Planets in the Froxfield and Privett Horticultural Show which takes place in Froxfield Village Hall on Saturday 22nd August. We hope to see some of you there.
We look forward to seeing everyone again in September and are planning to invite our leavers to the naming of our Wendy House. Annabel and Merryn are creating a name plate for us. We are also expecting Osted for our re-inspection and we are working hard to make sure that we are ready. Your willingness to speak out through your messages on Parent View, your letters to Ofsted and the local press has been what has kept us going through what has undoubtedly been a very difficult time. We cannot thank you enough.
The end of another school year is approaching and we would love to hear what you think of us! Your views could help other parents decide whether they should send their children to us.
On Thursday 7th May Privett Montessori went to the Planetarium in Winchester to see the “Secret of the Cardboard Rocket Show” We learnt so much about the planets in our Solar System and we agree with Heidi who says she likes our planet earth best!
After the show we went into the Science Centre, where we all enjoyed the huge range of hands on exhibits.
Here are some photographs of the day!
We would love the children to name our long awaited new Wendy House. Please write your child’s suggestion on a piece of paper, bring it to Nursery by Friday 15th May and we will choose the most popular name or pick 3 to vote for!
This term we welcomed 2 new children to the Nursery, Thomas in January and Mary-Lou in March. Our project was based on dinosaurs and it was received with great excitement and enthusiasm by the children and their parents. We learnt some very interesting facts about Diplodocus, Triceratops, Stegosaurus and Tyrannosaurus. The children were particularly impressed by the size of these dinosaurs which we were able to demonstrate by comparing their length measured by the children lying on the floor, head to toe. When we ran out of children for diplodocus the adults joined them! We talked about how fossils are formed and excavated our own dinosaur nest. We made pictures of different dinosaurs using finger paints, sponges and stencils, hand printing and collage. Annaliese based her music sessions on a dinosaur theme too and the children enjoyed making dinosaur sounds and moving like dinosaurs
In early February the only significant snowfall for us this year prevented some children from getting into nursery but for the rest of us it was an opportunity for some free entertainment making snowballs and snow angels! The following week, we participated in the RSPB annual Birdwatch and the children became experts in identifying the birds that visited our feeders. We were particularly pleased to see some long tailed tits and goldfinches for the first time this year.
At the beginning of March we held a Montessori Evening for adults which was very well attended by many of our current parents and some prospective ones. The evaluations of the evening were extremely positive. Everyone seemed to have enjoyed themselves and most importantly to have learned more about Montessori methods and philosophy.
We celebrated World book day on 6th March by inviting children to dress as favourite book characters and parents to come and read their favourite stories. We supported Comic Relief on Friday 13th and Pamela generously gave up her time to come and paint the children’s faces in exchange for donations. We and many of our parents sponsored Sarah to have her face “made up” by her children and to carry out her normal daily routine of shopping etc! We think she was incredibly brave although we do also think that Joyce and Jacob did a great job!
On 18th March, Mill Cottage Farm brought some of their animals, including turkeys, a donkey, rabbits, guinea-pigs, goats and pigs, to the Nursery for the morning. It was a wonderful opportunity for the children to get up close to some animals and overcome any fears or anxieties they had. We opened the Nursery for the morning and invited current parents to bring friends to see us. We were delighted by how much the children and parents enjoyed the morning and also by the huge number of visitors who came.
We invited parents to come and help their children make dinosaur models for the Froxfield and Privett Horticultural show and were very impressed by their creativity and the variety of natural materials they used to make the models.
For Mother’s Day, our children produced some beautiful water paintings of daffodils and made dinosaur biscuits. I’m not entirely sure that many mothers actually had a chance to eat their biscuits but the children definitely enjoyed them.
We are very grateful to all our parents who have come into Nursery this term, to read, bring us their rabbits or dogs to meet, make Easter baskets and dinosaur models and face paint. It is always lovely to have their help and support.
We have now installed a beautiful new Wendy House (photo to follow) and need to find a suitable name for it! Suggestions from parents and children would be most welcome. Perhaps we could vote for the most popular name? We also have a new table sandpit which we think will provide a lot more fun than our previous one which was rather small and meant that the children got very wet and muddy when they knelt down to play.
During the term Kate and Maggie both achieved level 4 in Safeguarding and we would like to encourage all parents to read our Safeguarding Polices and Procedures. These are available here on our website and also in our Policy booklets which are in Nursery. Kate has updated her First Aid and Health and Safety training. Christina has achieved level 2 in Food Safety and Annaliese attended a music course.
This Summer we are looking forward to welcoming some new children and their parents, a new project based on our Solar System and some fine weather to get our garden planted and our willow den rejuvenated! We would love to have some regular help with the garden if there is a parent who would like to volunteer?
Tuesday 3rd March 1900 – 2100: A Montessori Evening for Adults – come and use the Montessori materials for yourself and find out more about the Montessori ethos. Book your place now.
Wednesday 18th March 0930 – 1130: Open Morning – Mill Cottage Farm is coming to Privett for our Open Morning. Come and see the animals and meet staff, current parents and children. See our Nursery in action!
In September we welcomed 10 new children to the Nursery. We have been delighted by how quickly and well they have settled into our setting. We have also been impressed by their independence and self confidence. We are also delighted and very proud of Rachel who has successfully completed her childcare qualification at Alton college and has achieved level 3. September also saw the start of Playball at Privett with Kerrie coming to take two consecutive groups of children outside to practise a range of ball skills. Our children have been learning how to hold, throw, catch, kick and hit a ball correctly. The skills and games they are practising also require them to listen, follow instructions, balance and co-ordinate their movements. Kerrie praises the efforts and progress made by each of the children and they love it.
On 26th September we held a “Big Coffee Morning” and invited parents to come and share coffee and cakes with us to raise funds for Macmillan. Many parents and grandparents came to support this worthy cause and it was a great way of getting our parents and children together and raising £150.
Our mini beast project for the first half of the term began with a snail hunt! We found lots of them outside of varying sizes. The children loved looking through magnifying glasses to get a closer look at the tentacles with eyes on their tips and also to see how snails use their “tongues” to rasp at leaves. We discovered that snails love cucumber and that they go to sleep if conditions are dry. We sprayed them with water to wake them up and keep them active!
After the success of our snail hunt we decided to go and look for worms. We tried soaking the ground with water to encourage worms to come to the surface as advised in a book we read. When this failed we started looking under flower pots and stones. We found plenty! We made a wormery, making layers of different colours so that we could see how worms mix soil. The children were able to see the worm tunnels and leaves we had placed on top being pulled down. We made some great worm pictures using pieces of string soaked in paint and printed onto black paper.
The life-cycle of ants was the focus of our attention next and the children were surprised to learn about the larva and pupa stages. However, when we started to learn about spiders they were even more surprised to learn that spiders have pale blue blood, no bones and shed their skins several times in order to grow!
At the end of October Eli’s mother, Rachel came to read one of her stories to us. It is about a snail, called Emile who unfortunately loses his shell. It is written in rhyme and has a wonderful quirky sense of humour. Needless to say, it was well received and the children enjoyed joining in with the repeated refrain.
George’s Dad, Tim, regularly reads to the children. We have all enjoyed listening to some familiar, some new and some very old stories and poems. Roessa teaches Yoga on Thursday mornings and the children are beginning to work in pairs demonstrating their developing trust and ability to work cooperatively. Annaliese teaches music on Monday mornings and this term the children have listened and moved to different styles of music trying to recreate the movements and actions of different creatures including ants and butterflies. They have also played a variety of percussion instruments and practised changing the rhythm, speed and volume of their playing.
Christina brought some bread dough to Nursery so that the children could enjoy kneading and rolling the dough into rolls to take home and enjoy at harvest time. Kate attended a Provider briefing and a Safeguarding update and Maggie a couple of SENCO training sessions.
On the last Friday of term we had a Christmas party for the children. The children enjoyed a wonderful feast provided by parents followed by “Magic Wanda’s Show” The children joined in enthusiastically and nominated Matilda to be one of Wanda’s assistants. Charlie was the next assistant and he succeeded in helping Wanda to produce sweets and a cake! We hope he will be able to use this new skill in Nursery next term!
Our Christmas Story, on the last morning of the term, read beautifully by Tim and with back drop, resurrected by Annabel was a little more chaotic than usual. Mary (Amy) remained calm and serene throughout but our angels and stars seemed rather distracted by all the tinsel and glitter! A huge thank you to Tim, Annabel and to Annaliese, whose efforts to teach the songs to the children were perhaps a little unrewarded by the performance on the day! Nevertheless, we do hope that it will be a memorable event for our parents and their children.
We look forward to the Spring Term, a new project and the long awaited arrival of Ofsted in Privett. In the meantime, we wish all a very happy and successful 2015.