I cannot believe how quickly the weeks have flown by and as I look at the photographs we have taken during the Summer term I realise just how busy we were and how much we did and so it is not surprising that the last week arrived too soon.
At the end of April Freddie’s Dad brought some of his lambs to Nursery. He cleverly selected ones that were a few weeks apart in age so that the children could see how they grow and change. Some of the children were able to feed the lambs bottles of milk and many of them enjoyed stroking and cuddling the lambs. We had a further opportunity to cuddle some young animals when Alby’s mum brought their 5 pups to see us. They were gorgeous and so well behaved – not a single accident on our floor!
At the beginning of May, the village hall was once again in use as a Polling Station and so we moved to Roessa and Robin’s house for the day. After Yoga followed by quick drink and a snack we set off on a walk into the countryside. There were gates to climb, animals in the fields and butterflies to spot. The children smelled the wild garlic and listened to the birdsong. We collected a few bits and pieces to make natural collage pictures and after a picnic lunch in the garden, the children made their pictures, visited some lambs and had a great time rolling down the slopes. It was a really lovely day and we are so grateful to our hosts for having us.
Another highlight of the term was our visit to the Nature Reserve in Winchester. The weather was very kind to us and we enjoyed all the activities organised by Kate Barrett including a bug hunt, a butterfly spotting walk, art and craft activities and discovering the huge variety of moths that she had caught the previous evening. Who knew that beautiful leaf prints can be made simply by covering them with a piece of muslin and hitting them with wooden hammers to release the chlorophyll?
Activities this term in Nursery were very varied too. We made some very colourful pictures that brought the outdoors into the classroom by dipping dandelions, daisies and cow parsley into paint and printing onto card. We gave the children clay to explore and challenged them to make the roundest ball, longest worm and flattest pancake. This was surprisingly difficult for most of them and a reminder that we should not assume that just because our children have regular opportunities to explore dough does not mean that they can do basic things with it. A glut of sweet peas in my own garden (thanks to my very enthusiastic gardening hubby) inspired us to make paintings of them. We chose water paints for this activity and the results were beautiful. The paintings will be on display on 17th August in Froxfield Village Hall at the Horticultural Summer Show.
We planted bean seeds in pots and over the following days the children had regular opportunities to examine their growth beneath and above the soil. We also observed the growth and development of caterpillars to butterflies when we grew our very own Painted Ladies. Metamorphosis will never cease to amaze me. For the Dads this year the children made gingerbread people and they made sure that there was one for them as well as their Dads!
As usual the Summer term means lots of teachers visiting and children visiting their next schools. The children often find this time quite challenging and we do our best to minimise the disruption and some of the stress and anxiety that the children can feel by encouraging them to talk about their new schools and their thoughts and feelings.
Games Day was on the last day of term and for the first time in 16 years, we held it indoors! After weeks of dry weather it decided to rain but we did not allow this to spoil the fun and games led once again by Lorna. This term we have said goodbye to 12 children and their parents. We wish them well and hope to hear from them from time to time. We are looking forward to the start of the new school year on 9th September and to welcoming some new children and our “old” children back after the summer break. We are also looking forward to our half hour longer morning sessions which begin in September and will enable us to spend more time outdoors.