Headteacher: Anna Moss

0121 445 1622


Nursery News ~ 5th March 2021

Happy Friday everyone!

Well the warm weather didn’t last very long did it?  We were all back to layers, warm socks and Winter hats this week! It was lovely to chat to most of you on Wednesday and Thursday this week – we miss the contact with you all as much as you do.  Reports shared will be coming home with the children next week.

We began the week with picture clues for our Nursery Rhyme – there was a cat, a moon, a little dog, a dish and a spoon. With a little prompting, you worked out which one it was in the end!  We all enjoyed Hamish’s choice of Dough Disco this week as we have been shaking the dough (and our bodies) to Boom Shake the Room.  We look forward to Ralph’s choice next week.  Please do send in any requests the children have of favourite disco songs as it is so important our learning is led by the children’s interests – that is what Early Years is all about!  In Write Dance we have continued mark making on the tables to a favourite Maths song “Beans”.  We were even brave enough this week to introduce a “messy” mark making table so if you went home with yellow or orange hands, this is why!  In Phonics Cyril Squirrel has been singing Pattern Parrot with his rhyming pairs game – it was lovely to see some of you choosing to play this matching rhyming pairs game when you arrived.  Our Music this term is learning all about Pitch and so we have started practising changing our voices by singing, talking, whispering in a call and respond song.  During our Maths session we have been singing about full, part full and empty cups and have being learning about how numbers up to five look in the tally arrangement.  We had fun with our traffic survey outside the front of the school – I wonder whether vehicles move past your house quicker than they do past Blackwell School?  Perhaps you could have a go at tallying vehicles this weekend – don’t forget to shut the gate after four as we do not want those animals running into the road!

After lunch, in the Quiet area on the balcony we have been sharing a popular story about a monkey who has lost his mum.  We predicted the animals that we would see next and we have had fun clapping out the syllables in each characters name.  Can you remember which character in the story had four claps??  For some of you who head into Quiet Time last, we have been exploring the names further by listening to the initial sound and finding nonsense rhyming words for our animal friends.  In Forest School Mrs Allen began the week by showing you how to wrap paper around the tree and make bark rubbings with wax crayons.  A trickier activity later in the week was where you had to make your own working paintbrush with a stick, twigs and a piece of string.  It was fun to see you rise to the challenge and then when achieved, you were able to see if it worked with the paints in the tuft tray.  In the afternoons, you have been chalking mini beasts on the patio.  Nina’s bumblebee was truly impressive – mummy will look forward to seeing this in your Learning Journey later in the year.  Mrs Allen has also been shopping for some new tools for the mud kitchen and you have enjoyed baking cakes with the new bowls and wooden spoons.  For decoration, you have been grating pieces of chalk – strange but very effective!

A message for parents – there are getting more and more occasions as the weeks go on where we aren’t clear as to what time the children are being collected. Please can you ensure that you let us know via email or a message on the gate at drop off as to what time you will be collecting them if there isn’t a regular pattern.  We rely heavily on the visual timetable to watch time pass and it can throw some children (and us adults with our numbers) when it isn’t clear.  Thank you!

Mrs Mander and the Nursery Team X

Nursery News ~ 26th February 2021

Happy Friday everyone!

What a beautiful week of sunshine we have had to return to.  The layers of clothes are starting to peel away for us all.  This, along with some excellent practising of doing our own zips up over half term, has made our transitions in and out of the Forest School so much quicker.  For some, you are ready for Reception already!

This week we have continued along our Families topic by starting our Mummy topic.  Your mummies’ faces were there to greet you on arrival on Monday morning – what a pleasant surprise.  They have been watching us in our circle times this week and seem very impressed by your ability to listen and join in!  We have met a new friend in Phonics – Cyril Squirrel.  He is our very own rhyming puppet and only talks in rhyme.  It turned out he was a very hungry squirrel and we had to keep feeding him Silly Soup.  Can you remember how many objects we needed in our soup and what these objects needed to sound like?  In Write Dance we have started dancing on the tables (!) but not as you think it sounds – we have added in our big arms movements to our songs and have been taking our hands around the Mulberry Bush in the water and soap combinations.  Our Nursery Rhyme has been Hickory Dickory Dock which linked to our Maths focus of TIME.  We have stolen the teaching clocks from the main school and have been naming the face, the numbers we can see and exploring the movement of the long and short hand.  Can you remember which one moves faster?  The blue one or the red one? Which one is Mrs Mander?  Which one is Mrs Allen?  Why?  Outdoors we started to read the o’clock times as we played “What’s the Time Mr Wolf?”.  Have a look at the analogue clocks around your home this weekend and see how they look the same and different to ours.  After lunch we have been joining the disco and twisting our wrists (very tricky!) to “What does the Fox say?” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jofNR_WkoCE – apologies if the children have been singing this on repeat at home!

With the warmer weather, meant a return to the Quiet Area after lunch for our Communication and Language session (C&L).  These sessions are all about practising your listening, attention, understanding and speaking skills.  The latter is the one we are trying to develop – talking in front of a large group.  Luckily the mummy photos took away all your inhibitions as you shared some lovely thoughts, comments, stories about your mummy.  We even had fun playing “Where is my Mummy?” where we mixed them all up on the carpet, chose one and said “That’s not my Mummy”.  I am sure I have heard this line before from a very popular story we know – a focus for next week I think!  Mrs Allen has enjoyed hunting in the Forest School with you using the magnifying glasses.  Lyla did a super job when she found our very own daffodils growing.  Pippa also seemed to be the Worm Queen as she kept finding and rescuing them!  You shared the story “Spike’s Best Nest” and then had the chance to weave sticks together to make a birds nest.  In the afternoons you have continued to build up the bug hotel using sticks and stones.  The wind on Tuesday was also a great opportunity to explore how we can get the streamers to move in the wind and dance with them.

A message for parents – I look forward to seeing you all at Parent Consultations next Wednesday and Thursday.  The zoom link will have now come out in a parentapp message.  Please enter the waiting room five minutes before you allocated time.  Appointments are 15 minutes long.

Have a lovely sunny weekend everyone – don’t forget to keep looking for those signs of Spring when you are out and about!

Mrs Mander and the Nursery Team X

Nursery News ~ 11th February 2021

Happy Thursday (let me see those tongues)!

We have done it!  We have survived another half term and so we are now officially half way through the year – gosh.

Our Families topic came to an end today as the Mrs Large ears went back into the dressing up box.  Next half term we are learning all about Spring and Easter and staff have already started talking about big bird outfits to fit an adult!  In Maths we have been learning all about the word “subitising”.  Subitise is the ability to look at a small number of objects (up to five) and instantly recognise how many there are without the need to count.  Or as we have learnt it -  “see it, say it”.  You once again blew me away with your ability to see and say numbers up to 3 (4 and 5 for some of you) through subitising.  We even had a go at matching the correct number for those of us who can read numbers up to five.  Our dough disco “We Will Rock You” has introduced us to the start of our Music topic next term – Rhythm, as you have started to copy the rhythm pattern of ta-ta-tee.  Play this clip over half term https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-tJYN-eG1zk to show your families – can they copy the pattern?  Our Nursery Rhyme has been about the family of two dicky birds called Peter and Paul and we had fun as we tried to match up friends with the same initial sounds – can you remember who flew away with Connie, Maisie, Parker?  Our Phonics topic of Body Sounds came to an end today as we had fun being noisy neighbours and we learnt the final song for our Write Dance “Down at the Station”.  After half term we will be repeating the songs but adding in the writing part – Writing and Dancing who thought this could work?  You will soon find out!

We have to admit the weather got the better of us this week with the temperatures dropping to below zero.  We have still visited outdoors twice a day but I will admit we haven’t been out for long – when children start to complain about cold toes and fingers even with double socks and fleece gloves on, we know we need to give in.  The short time we did make outdoors didn’t stop us from exploring though as Mrs Allen had you all moving with ribbons on the patio to the Ugly Bug Ball this afternoon.  You have also had a chance to practise your hammering and screwing skills as the tool skills have started developing.  Sadly the gully has been shut due to the amount of ice blocked in there but it didn’t stop you from finding your own ice around Forest School – in the buckets, pans and even around some of the wooden blocks.  Roll on Spring!

A message for parents – with two special days coming up, please could I request a separate photograph of mummy and daddy be emailed in to me?  In the past, I have edited the family photograph with a little cropping but some of the family photographs would mean a mummy with half a head or sunglasses on.  We want your best photos on display – make them good ones.  Please could these be sent to me over half term by Friday 19th February.

Have a lovely half term everyone – keep practising that subitising - what numbers can you “see and say” during half term without the need for counting.

Mrs Mander and the Nursery Team X

Nursery News ~ 5th February 2021

Hello my stripy friends!

We could not let our topic of “Families” pass us by without adding a classic dough disco song from 1979 (gosh I feel old!) We Are Family https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XwLjtilAZDQ.  I wonder whether the children could teach you the actions?  (hint: disco arms, sausage).  Dough disco gets us ready for handwriting and it is definitely paying off with the pieces of art you are creating.  Please do help support us by correcting quickly those incorrect grips – “use your fingers and not your hands”.  We have been strengthening up our arms, wrists, shoulders by scooting, sailing and skating around the cabin to Round We Go too.  Our Phonics has continued by passing the body sound around the oval and we shared one of our Nursery favourite songs – The Weather Song.  This song matches our body sounds to the sun, rain, wind, frost.  Can you remember and share which sound is for which?  In Music we have continued learning about pulse with a Call and Respond song of “Who stole the cookies from the cookie jar”.  In the end, we discovered the answer was Mrs Allen!  A huge thank you for all those stripes this week (I know the message came a little late) – we have had fun spotting, making and using paints to create our personal stripy pattern.  Once they are dry, I shall steal a little of your pattern for your Learning Journeys and the rest will come home for you to share with your family.

Outdoors after lunch, we have continued with our C&L session talking about families and have been sharing stories about a family of elephants, The Large Family.  Our focus this week was a “Piece of Cake” and we have been practising the /L/ sound for their names, showing the difference between jogging and tiptoeing and today our very own Mrs Large helped us sort healthy and unhealthy foods (shhhh don’t tell her what we did when she wasn’t looking).  In Forest School, Mrs Allen has been showing you how to dress your stick families using wool.  You had a go at wrapping different coloured wool around sticks to give them a top and pair of bottoms.  You also enjoyed collecting materials to make a hotel for our family of bugs.  In the afternoons, you have been sharing Little Home Bird in the story area and have been practising your weaving with the ribbons in and out of the netting on the sandpit.  The challenge though was most definitely weaving a nest with bendy sticks – I am sure the birds that come and visit us will be happy with your finished product.

A message for parents – do you remember the photo transition booklets that were given to you to share with the children back in the summer 2020?  I have received a few back and was hoping you would be able to find and return the others as we have a new batch of friends who will need one this summer ready for September 2021.

Have a lovely weekend everyone – keep practising those body sounds with your tongue, lips and teeth!  You won’t realise it, but you are on the start of your reading journey……

Mrs Mander and the Nursery Team X

Nursery News ~ 29th January 2021

Hello my magic friends!

A very short week for lots of you this week due to blankets of our favourite thing – snow.  What a treat it was for us all to wake up to a white world on Sunday morning.  We have never seen Forest School with quite so much since we opened four years ago.  The highlight for me was on Monday morning when we had a treasure hunt of Forest School toys that had been out all weekend being cleaned and we had to dig them out and guess what they were!

Well I really didn’t know we had some magicians in our mix!  I wasn’t the only one to be shocked with how you were able to read numbers 0-5 without even looking at them.  Who knew that spots on the back of our number cards could help us know what the number would read on the other side.  Our Maths this week reading numbers 0-5 has been a lot of fun.  In Music we have been singing about another little boy, not Johnny this time but Buster.  He has taught us how to sing and move in time to the pulse and Ralph, Connie and Khadijah blew us away when they stood up in front of everyone and sang it on their own.  Our Phonics has moved on from instrumental sounds and moved into three weeks of Body Sounds and can’t we make some.  See if you can find other ways to make sounds with your hands, feet, lips, tongue and teeth this weekend.  Our Write Dance has had us rocking forwards and backwards to Horsey Horsey and in Dough Disco we enjoyed moving our dough to “Thank you Baked Potato”.  For those of you who haven’t heard it, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yYOkgCkxj9I Enjoy!

Our C&L session in our Quiet Area is in full swing with our new topic “Families”.  Thank you to all your grown-ups who sent in these photographs!  We took this opportunity to start practising “Talk Partners”.  This is something you will use weekly when you move into Reception in September and it is as simple as the words suggest, talking to a partner.  You all shared some interesting facts with your friends about your photograph and then with the whole group.  We have learnt about James and the Giant Leaves (we went out for the day and in the entry were some giant leaves), Neve D’s instructions on how to body board (you have to wear a bracelet and sit on the board on the water) and Hamish’s predictions what season his photo was in (I think it is Winter as there is snow, the leaves have lost most of their leaves and Mummy is wearing her warm pink coat).  In Forest School, Mrs Allen shared with you how to make different families with the soft toys and showed you how you make your own stick family – it was lovely to see Benji desperately looking for two sticks dogs to add to the family.  In the afternoons, you have been building family vehicles to transport all members using the crates and you have had a go at making family homes for the animals using sticks.  And let’s not forget the fun we have had in the snow – a snowman, snow angels, a snow pit to build snow castles and Arden with his hammer smashing the ice in the mud kitchen.

A message for parents – when the children mark make at Nursery and use the incorrect grip, we correct and place their hand into the tripod grip – “use your fingers and not your hands”.  Would you be able to support at home and correct when you see it regardless of which hand they are using.  We have the majority now with the correct grip ready for school!

Roll on another snow-filled weekend everyone.

Mrs Mander and the Nursery Team X

Nursery News ~ 22nd January 2021

Happy Friday!

What a wet week it has been – the wet socks have officially begun.  It was lovely to see (you actually showed me) lots of you wearing two pairs of socks this week like Mrs Mander and Percy the Park Keeper.  Double socks is a must during these Winter months!

In the cabin we have had fun with our Music song for the week, “Johnny works with one hammer”.  This song is excellent at teaching pulse to the children as they sing and move to a steady, fast and slow pulse.  Ask them to show you!  Maisie made us all laugh yesterday when she found the wooden hammer in Forest School and spent the morning being “Johnny”, hammering everything she could find.  In Phonics, we have been enjoying our last week on Instrumental sounds as we have been moving our bodies to different instruments.  Can you remember how you moved to the maraca, the drum and the castanets?  The bells matched the skipping action – such a challenge but Neve D, brilliant!  You were the skipping queen showing us all how to do it.  Perhaps have a go this weekend – lift one knee up, hop, swap legs, repeat.  We have taken our Maths learning outside as we have been learning about in front/behind.  Boy/Girl hide and seek was a lot of fun – you found some things to hide behind in Forest School, if only you could work on not giggling when doing it the game would be perfect.  Our Nursery Rhyme has been “Rain Rain Go Away” and we had fun changing the weather and day of the week.  Dough Disco has had us boogieing to “Rappers Delight” with both the dough and for our Sitting Still game on the floor and chairs!

Our C&L session has continued outdoors where we have finally finished our story One Snowy Night.  Miss Turner was laughing at how long it took me to get to the end of the story but we had fun along the way didn’t we?  The highlight for me this week was Parker – “Mrs Mander, that squirrel is miserable”.  HURRAH – exploring, talking about, showing new tier 2 vocabulary really worked!  Your outdoor story with Mrs Allen was Lost and Found and you had fun retelling the story with the family of penguins and polar bears in the tuft tray on the patio.  With so much rain, the tray filled up with water and so Mrs Allen showed you how to make boats using metal trays.  A funny moment was when “Windy Wednesday” kept making all the boats fly away and you chased them around Forest School. In the afternoons, you have been practising your twisting skills as you have been attaching pipe cleaner snowflakes to the sand netting.  I think it was so wet one day, you stayed in the Boot Room and practised your knotting skills.

A message for parents – we have begun practising our knife and fork skills during Indoor Play with the playdough.  Please could you help support us by practising at home too – “stab and slice”!

Have a lovely weekend all

Mrs Mander and the Nursery Team X

Nursery News ~ 15th January 2021

Happy Friday!

A BIG hello to our last few friends at home during this time.  We talk about you every day and look forward to your return to school when you feel the time is right.

In the cabin we have introduced many new songs and we are sure you are now familiar with the one song the children WILL NOT stop singing – In a Week.  This is our Maths song this week for learning the days of the week.  We have sequenced them, talked about the colour of each one and looked at their initial sound.  During our main Maths session we have been learning about our next number, the number 5.  You have been making links with all your learning so far and have shown me the different arrangements of five – in a row, dice style, numicon style, random style (always a favourite) and you have been creating the “high five” with your very own handprint!  In Music we have been singing along to our song “Everybody Do This” to learn about pulse with actions and in Phonics we have been playing a matching game with the musical instruments – the rainmaker and the maraca sound so much the same, it kept confusing you.  Our Dough Disco has been to the classic movie tune “You’ve Got a Friend in Me” from Toy Story.

Despite the cold weather, we have continued with our (C&L) session outdoors after lunch and have been having more fun with Percy the Park Keeper.  We have been learning some new tier 2 words – tapping, shivering, miserable.  We have talked about what makes us miserable – my favourite from Harry “when my alarm clock goes off in the morning”; a boy after my own heart.  When Percy let so many animals into his bed, it was so full that we decided to make our own bed with a blanket and soft toys.  We all had to hold on tight to our part of the blanket and kept adding more and more animals, making them bounce until they fell out of bed.  You have had fun with Mrs Allen in Forest School as you have been painting ice – well I say ice, you ended up painting the whole tray and then moved on to your boots.  She has also shown you how to build an icehouse, an igloo, with the crates for the new friends the polar bears and penguins.  In the afternoons, she has shown you how to look through coloured ice with the magnifying glasses and you took this learning further by using these to look for signs of Winter – those naked and evergreen trees are always a good topic of conversation.  In the Story Area you have all been sharing the story “A Bear on my Chair” and it is lovely to see you retelling the story with your own characters as a play choice.

A message for parents – your Autumn term invoice will be coming out to you via your children’s bags once Mrs Bailey has set up all new accounts.  If you are at home, these will be emailed to you.

Keep the singing going this weekend everyone – next week, I want to hear that we have all managed to sequence those days of the week.

Mrs Mander and the Nursery Team X

Nursery News ~ 8th January 2021

Happy Freezing Friday!

Gosh the weather this week has really tested our resilience hasn’t it?  We don’t very often have this many cold days in one week but we managed our twice daily visit.  Well done everyone.  You can now stay in your warm homes all weekend, I know all the Nursery team will be!  A big hello to our friends who are staying at home during this time.  Please remember that there are four weeks’ worth of self-isolation packs that were sent out during the Autumn term and can be found on the parentapp.  It is so important to keep the key skills going whilst you aren’t with us.  Do email in any work completed to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  Your weekly telephone call will begin next week.  We miss you all and cannot wait to see you back with us again when you feel the time is right.

When you returned to Nursery this week, you noticed straight away the Winter display with Winter Christmas cards and photographs – next week you will see some of your snow photographs on there too thanks to your grownups who have shared your creations.  We have been “Flying on our Jet Plane” to warmer countries during Write Dance – I am not sure where I would prefer to go?  Back to the Maldives with Benji, Malaysia with Khadijah or home with Lyla.  We have introduced a new Music circle time and have met a tiny bumblebee called Hickety Tickety who has been showing us how to sing and move her in time to the pulse of the song.  The instruments (hurrah!) have made it out of the cupboard for our Phonics circle time and we have had fun exploring loud/quiet, fast/slow sounds.  Next week we move on to matching unseen instrument sounds – a great listening game.  In Maths we have been talking about the properties of a square and with the games we have played, I am hoping you can recognise it has four straight sides the same length and four corners.  Have a go and see if you can find some squares in your home this weekend.  Our Rhyme this week has been the Alphabet Song which you all sang beautifully and found your letter sound.  We stole four letters from the alphabet to make our Dough Disco song, YMCA.  Have a go at making these letter shapes with your body. J

Outdoors our Communication and Language (C&L) circle time in the Quiet Area has been a little chilly but linked beautifully to our focus story One Snowy Night by Nick Butterworth.  We have been sharing daily and have talked about the signs of Winter on the front cover – can you remember what they are?  We have giggled about naked Winter trees and Hamish has been sharing his knowledge of evergreen trees.  See if you can spot some of these this weekend.  Out in Forest School, the sand has caused us some difficulty as it was frozen.  We had to admit defeat and mark it as “out of action”.  This has been a positive in other ways as it has meant you have played with the crates more.  The crates have been used for all sorts this week – trampolines, bouncy castles but the highlight today was when you made a stage and performed to Mr Beattie a rendition of favourite Nursery Rhymes.  The snow has brought some fun along with it as you have enjoyed spotting footprints and predicting which animal it could have come from.  Mrs Allen must have felt particularly arty, despite the cold, as your weaving skills have been tested by creating card snowflakes and she has shared with you how to chalk snowflakes!

Enjoy your Winter weekend everyone – see if you can spot any signs nearby where you live.

Mrs Mander and the Nursery Team X