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.