Nursery News ~ 18th December 2020
In the words of Shakin Stevens, “Merry Christmas Everyone”
What a week we have had. It started on Monday with a memorable Story Night and finished today with a sneaky peek at the Early Years Nativity show. For those of you who have already watched it, can you believe that most of these Nursery children are only three? Where do they get the confidence to stand up and sing, dance and act like that?
It has been a pleasure to spend the Christmas week with you all – you are so much fun. From dough discoing to Shakin Stevens, Write Dancing to Santa Shark and hunting red bows in Forest School on a treasure hunt; you enjoy everything thrown at you.
A huge congratulations to Pippa who became a big sister. My prediction last week wasn’t quite right but I was close. Baby Georgia has arrived at such a special time – well done Mummy and Daddy!
We were sad to say goodbye to Miss Checkley today who has been with us since September. We wish her all the best for her imminent Nursing course. We will all miss you as you have done such a super job! I also want to say a huge thank you to the rest of the Nursery team who keep it all going every afternoon and did a wonderful job when I was trapped at home this half term for ten days. I couldn’t do it without you but you already know that! Thank you Mrs Allen, Mrs Franklin and our parent helper Miss Turner.
Many thanks for all the kind words, cards and gifts from all the team. Have a lovely Christmas break everyone!
Mrs Mander X
Nursery News ~ 11th December 2020
Hello my Little Nativity Stars!
Unbelievable – one word to describe how well you did at the Early Years Nativity show on Wednesday. It was the first time we have ever done a show with Reception and even Mrs Moss said how impressed she was with how well you sang, danced and sat still for some time. The angels ensured they moved their bodies slowly, the shepherdesses took very good care of their sheep, the innkeepers did well to keep their headdresses on throughout the whole show and our travellers made it all the way to Bethlehem in those long outfits! I cannot tell you how excited we are to watch the DVD next week – I hope your families are too.
To keep with our Christmas topic, we have been retelling the Nativity story using our Russian Doll characters. I wonder how much of the story you can remember? Can you remember Joseph’s job? Can you remember the message Angel Gabriel gave to Mary? Can you remember which animal helped Mary and Joseph travel such a long way? Next week, I am hoping we may have some brave children who would take on the roles of our characters with our very own role-play! In the cabin we have also been doing our daily Dough Disco to “Rudolph the Blue Nosed Reindeer” and our daily Write Dance to “Baby Shark” in preparation for “Santa Shark” next week – get ready grown-ups!
Outdoors, you have made the Forest School all Christmassy with the help of Mrs Allen. You have enjoyed using the ribbons, tinsel and pegs to create a Christmas tree on the net of the sand. You also enjoyed using rope and wool to create star shapes whilst sat around the Fire Circle. In the afternoons, you have been busy with Miss Checkley creating your very own 2021 calendar. These should have come home with you today in a brown envelope together with a special Christmas card. I hope you can all recognise and talk about the four different trees to match each season. We talk a lot about the seasons in Nursery as our birthday cupboards show us who is born in which season. These help us all to see whose birthday is coming next and if we are ready to move on to the next season. Our Autumn babies: Mrs Allen, Florence and Harry, have all had their birthday and so our season is now Winter. Our Winter cupboard is by far the busiest with twelve friends being born during this season. Happy Birthday to our first Winter baby Pippa this weekend. I wonder if the baby growing in mummy’s tummy will come out on the same day?
A message for the grownups, on Monday night we have our first Nursery Story Night. The cabin will be decorated all Christmassy; we will share some Christmas stories, eat yummy biscuits and have a visit from a very special someone. If your child is attending after school club on this day, please remember to send them in with their warm nightwear for changing into. Mrs Moran has asked me to let you know they will be having a more substantial meal (not a scotch egg in sight!!!) and so will not need any dinner that evening.
Have a lovely muddy weekend everyone – it seems to follow us everywhere we go!
Mrs Mander and the Nursery Team X
Nursery News ~ 27th November 2020
Hello my Zooming Friends!
This has to be strangest week ever for us with me only seeing you via Zoom – what a funny world we are living in. Mrs Allen, Mrs Franklin and Miss Checkley have done a super job in managing the whole day without me and even managed to improve their IT skills by getting me live on the big TV screen. I have enjoyed seeing your smiling faces every morning and we had some fun doing our Write Dance “The Rainbow” and Dough Disco “Dancing on the Ceiling” together. We did just about manage to play some of our circle time games together – my favourite was when one of you hid off camera and I had to spot who was missing.
Outdoors Mrs Allen has been as busy as always by sharing the story “Bear has a story to tell” and you have had the chance to role-play using those soft animals. You shared some information books too with the grownups and found out which animals hibernate. I wonder if you can remember any? In the afternoons, you have been making hibernating spaces using large and small sticks. Miss Checkley has been busy creating some special artwork with you all that will make its way home over the next few weeks.
I know you have also had fun practising your Nativity songs with Red class and Mrs Webb; I cannot wait to hear the songs you have learnt when I return next week. A message for the grownups, the new Nativity filming date is Wednesday 9th December and NOT Monday 7th December. If your child does not attend on a Wednesday and you want them to take part, please do let me know.
I hope you all a lovely weekend, especially to all those Nursery staff, and I look forward to seeing many of your faces at the Nursery Class Family Learning event on Wednesday evening.
Mrs Mander and the Nursery Team X
Nursery News ~ 20th November 2020
Hello My Little Rainbow Singers!
Well Thursday was definitely a highlight of the week for me. Singing alongside you in Red class as part of our Early Years bubble and completing our Dough Disco routine to You Are My Sunshine whilst being filmed didn’t seem to phase you at all. I think your grown ups are in for a treat when they watch this DVD – a definite Christmas show to watch this year at home with your families! A huge thank you to those of you who came in to join us even though Thursday wasn’t your day.
This week I have truly enjoyed dancing with you during our Write Dance song of She’ll be coming round the mountain and our Dough Disco song of You Should be Dancing. Watching you spin your arms and cheer “yeah” at the top of your face has brought a smile to all the children of Blackwell who could hear you. I hope you have enjoyed this Bee Gees song as much as I have – why not find out if you can listen to it at home? We have continued our games with Miss Muddy Boots during our Phonics session as she kept on hiding in the cabin and we had to help our friend to find her. We used our Red, Amber and Green voices and sang our Nursery Rhyme Round and Round the Garden as a clue for when our friends were near and far away. Our traffic light voices are something we will be practising all year round – I wonder whether you could work out times of the day at home this weekend when your Red, Amber and Green voices could be used? Would you use your Green voice at bedtime? How about your Red voice in the garden? In Maths we have been singing and showing our “counting on” skills with the song Three in a Row. Could you find three objects this weekend and put them in a row? Sing the song as you move them around and add one more. Our Communication and Language (C&L) sessions after lunch have been fun as we have been exploring our new word “taste”. We all “tasted” hot, cold and just right porridge (Shhhh don’t tell the bears) and had a blindfold taste test where Arden, Benji and Connie had to work out whether it was banana, apple or orange! Why not try a new taste this weekend – remember let your tongue decide whether you like it or not before your eyes do!
Outdoors we have continued our work on standing in front and behind our log as we all so want a Christmas Fire! Staying safe around the fire circle is a key skill to learn at Blackwell as Forest School happens in all year groups, no matter how old you are. J Mrs Allen has shared with you the story “Peace at Last” by Jill Murphy. This week, the soft toy animals really came into their own as you role-played the story with other animals waking up Mr Bear! That snake was very noisy! It was lovely to see lots of you sequencing and retelling the story using the pictures too – clearly a popular story at home! We all thought Mrs Allen was crazy when she told us to lie down outside on the floor. It was fine though as we had our waterproofs on and enjoyed listening to all the sounds around us in the Forest School. I think it is a good job Mr Bear isn’t trying to get to sleep here!! In the afternoons, Mrs Allen has been showing you how to move other things down the pipes rather than just water. Racing cars was a favourite with lots of you. You enjoyed exploring how to make them move faster by lifting the pipes up higher. SCIENCE in Nursery?? Mrs James would be impressed! You moved on as the week progressed to linking pipes together to pour and catch water – the rain we had towards the end of the week helped!
A message for the grownups, please could you help support our snack and lunch times by encouraging the children to taste something new this weekend. We are always working to encourage trying new tastes and even if it is just a lick, it is trying something new!
Have a lovely weekend everyone, let’s hope it isn’t too wet!
Mrs Mander and the Nursery Team X
Nursery News ~ 13th November 2020
Hello My Little Bears!
I was so proud of you this morning as we sat through our first whole school assembly. We joined Red class in their room and enjoyed seeing Mrs Moss on the big TV screen. How good were the Rainbow project dances that every class has created for the DVD – my personal favourite was (not surprisingly) the Nursery entry as we dough discoed our way through You are my Sunshine. Next week we are going to have a professional photographer film us doing the same dance ready for the Rainbow Project DVD that grown-ups can buy. J
This week we have started our new topic “Tell me a Bear story” – Miss Muddy Boots’ favourite topic. She taught us her actions to Teddy Bear Teddy Bear and she even enjoyed climbing and jumping with our Write Dance tune of “Bear went over the Mountain”. During our Phonics session we have been copying tapping rhythms with two sticks and had the opportunity to explore the cabin to find out which tapping sounds could be made by tapping objects around us. Our new listening rule is A Good Listener is Staying Quiet. The children chosen for a turn had to sit blindfolded in the middle of our oval (NOT circle) as we passed around Mrs Franklin’s noisy keys. The last person had to hide them in their lap and our friend in the middle had to guess who had them. These games will only work if we all keep our lips together and you have improved so much since September during circle times. In Maths we have been showing arrangements of four with our song “Can you make”. Can you find four objects this weekend and show your family the arrangement of numicon four, ten frame four and random four? Our Communication and Language (C&L) sessions after lunch have been a favourite of mine this week thanks to Mrs Moss. She wrapped up a present for us and gave us a task for when we opened it. The story Goldilocks and the Three Bears was the surprise story and Mrs Moss had coloured in some of the words pink; words that she wanted us to explore more. These words were: knock, hungry, tired and taste. We talked about how and why we feel hungry, what makes us tired and had a chance to show what the word knock means. Next week, it is all about the word taste as we are going to be Goldilocks and taste some hot, cold and “just right” porridge! Please support us by using these words at home.
We took some of our Maths learning outdoors with the weather being so nice and talked all things circles. We had fun exploring the Forest School for all the circles we could find and today, took the opportunity to stand on a spot, bend our knees and draw a large circle around all of our body. Following Maths training on Reasoning from our Maths co-ordinator Miss Townsend, we all stepped away from the circles and spotted the Odd One Out. Which ones were not a circle and why? Your vocabulary using the word straight, oval, lines, curved is really coming on. Mrs Allen has been sharing one of her favourite stories with you We are going on a Bear Hunt in the story area. You enjoyed meeting all the soft toy animals from the story shed, the favourite being the brown bear. You enjoyed hunting the paw prints that the bear had left around Forest School and you even made a cave using the crates and camo net for him to hide in. The favourite task was when we actually went on a bear hunt this morning as you splashed, sploshed through the river (gully), squelched, squerched through the mud (mud kitchen) and stumble tripped your way through the trees! In the afternoon, you have been continuing work on staying safe around the fire circle so we can have our first fire before Christmas. You played a swapping game where you had to listen to the words and if it was you, you had to find a new log!
A message for the grownups from Mrs Bailey, please can you all check the renewal dates on your codes to ensure they are after 31st December. If they are not after this date, the claim will not be able to be made for the Spring term and all hours will be payable for the whole term.
Have a lovely weekend everyone!
Mrs Mander and the Nursery Team X
Nursery News ~ 6th November 2020
Hello My Little Soldiers!
What fun we have had this week with our Remembrance topic. We have been starting every day with the Write Dance song, The Grand Old Duke of York. As the week moved on we ended with moving and marching, pointing up, pointing down and making a “halfway” twist. We changed the location to where our own soldiers live e.g. Grand Old Duke/Duchess of Blackwell, we changed how many soldiers were following (definitely NOT 10,000) and we talked about soldiers being girls AND boys and so had to sing “people”. Who would have thought a Nursery Rhyme could create such learning opportunities? In Maths we have been singing and dancing to “Ten Little Soldiers” and even managed to march in the ten frame to reinforce this arrangement. In our afternoon Communication and Language (C&L) session, we have been talking about bugles, listening to the bugle sound for waking up (Reveille) and going to sleep (The Last Post) and talked about the importance of wearing those poppies to say thank you to all the soldiers whose job it is to keep us safe. It would be lovely if on Remembrance Sunday this weekend the children had the opportunity to hear the Last Post to see if they recognise it.
In Forest School this week, Mrs Allen has been starting to get us ready to have our first fire. She started the week by teaching you a game “Duck Duck Goose” to help you practise moving behind your log and around the outside of the fire circle - a key skill for all Forest School sessions everywhere. She then talked to you about what you would need to make a fire. You had the chance to collect some firewood around the Forest School and lay it out to dry. The laying of the fire absorbed you – I, for one, cannot wait for our first fire. We just need to work on Sitting Still for some children and then we are ready. In the afternoons, you have been talking about Bonfire Night and had a chance to mix some fire colours in paint on the balcony. Later in the week, you had the opportunity to create some firework art using paintbrush flicking and straws.
A message for the grownups, you should have received a parentapp message earlier in the week with a request for the warm winter hats to be worn by all. Please can you ensure they come in with both a warm hat AND a warm coat as we need to keep them warm now the cooler weather is on its way!
Have a lovely weekend everyone!
Mrs Mander and the Nursery Team X
Nursery News ~ 22nd October 2020
Hello Sporting Stars!
What a super group of runners you are! How lovely it was to see you trying your best and getting around that field in your wellies – I think we could have easily done another lap like Reception did. Thank you to Lyla’s mum who provided us with our reward for finishing the event AND completing our first half term – some delicious rainbow cupcakes. Can you believe we have finished a whole seven weeks?? You have been an absolute delight to get to know, you really have and I cannot believe the difference in your confidence with talking to new peers/adults, independence in getting yourself ready to get in/out of Forest School and how quickly you have picked up the routines and expectations of Blackwell Nursery life.
I cannot believe I am typing this after only seven weeks but this week in Maths, we have been learning about the “ten frame” arrangement. You have been laying out objects in the correct locations and showing how strong your counting skills are. It is always great for me to have Joseph next to me as he can SEE number accurately in so many ways – such a whizz kid! Yesterday and today you all had a turn at showing me the ten frame arrangement to match the dice roll or numicon piece shown - this is where those looking games have really paid off! Our Maths song was “How Many Ways” and you had fun placing the beanbag in different locations. You can find this song here if you fancy singing the song all week: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qgdmrSTM0Zo. We have continued to work on our listening rules by playing the looking game of “Who is Hiding under the Blanket”. One friend hid their eyes whilst one friend was hidden under the blanket – I cannot believe how good you were at spotting a friend by the slippers they were wearing and today, by listening to their initial sound/action. Can you remember your initial sound/action? Show you families this half term but make sure it is the pure sound. We have been learning a new Write Dance song/dance with Tickle Tree and made our bodies tall and wide like a tree. This, we discovered, was very unlike our teapot in the Nursery Rhyme this week as she was short and stout – she poured a good cup of tea though didn’t she Poppy? Thank you Neve D for choosing Moana’s “How Far I’ll Go” as we practised pressing the dough using our fingers/thumb to create an island for Moana to live on with her family. Benji has chosen the next disco song with a classic Lion King tune, I cannot wait. Any more requests, send them my way!
Outdoors, the story has linked to our Autumn topic as Mrs Allen has been sharing “Pumpkin Soup” with you every day. A story retell using a real pumpkin, bowl and spoon was fun to watch – it was funny to see your idea on how the pumpkin could be cooked to make the soup. Lots of you enjoyed the role-play up in the Quiet Area, a calming space away from the noise of Forest School where you can escape to on those days you just need some time out. In the afternoons you have had fun mark making in the Mud Kitchen with all the mud created from those rainy days. You enjoyed experimenting with marks using your hands and fingers to begin (apologies for the dirty nails) and a long piece of paper attached to the fence. As the week moved on, you enjoyed making different marks with sticks, string and your own wellington boot prints.
A message for the grownups for this coming half term week. Now that we are coming to the end of our Autumn topic we have noticed that many of the children are not aware of the seasons, the pattern of them and the changes that happen during them. Over half term, please do help consolidate our learning by talking about and noticing all the changes in the outside world and in stories. You could even sing our season song – I am sure the children would love to teach you. “What’s the season, what’s the season, what’s the season like today? Is it Autumn, is it Winter, is it Spring or Summer Time”.
Have a lovely half term week all – fingers crossed for some Autumn sunshine wherever you may be.
Mrs Mander and the Nursery Team X
Nursery News ~ 16th October 2020
Wow. A huge thank you to those of you who brought in all your Autumn finds! We have such a range from acorns to the most beautiful coloured leaves. They have certainly been a talking point this week. We have extended our learning of Autumn through story as we have learnt about the change in temperature and the mornings/nights getting darker. See if you can spot these changes over the weekend. We have started to link the season Autumn to our birthday wall where everyone has a face displayed and sorted into seasons. We only have two Autumn babies – can you remember who they are? Which season has the most faces? Next week we are going to use the names on our faces as we add an extra job in the morning for you by finding your name on the balcony bench and sticking it to your face. We have noticed that some of you are already able to recognise and read your name – you will all be able to before you leave us next year!
Sound lotto of indoor cabin sounds was a huge hit – definitely a game we will repeat. Some of you played on your own and others took turns and played with a friend. We moved on later in the week to go for a walk outdoors IN OUR SLIPPERS (don’t tell anyone) as we tried to listen to sounds outdoors. Unfortunately our environment let us down and we heard only a few. Perhaps this weekend, you will be more successful by hearing some outdoors sounds when you are “out and about” of the home. Could you come and tell us what you heard so we can use for a game? We had so many giggles with our Nursery Rhyme of the week – Little Miss Muffet. We created a “tuffet” in the cabin and some of you had a turn role-playing the main character – Khadijah was by far the best as she did the best face for feeling scared. We played with the words to the rhyme as we changed it to Little Miss Neve and Little Mr Parker and we changed where the spider could land rather than always “beside”, on one day he landed “on top of” you. In Maths we have been learning all about the Ten Frame (egg box) arrangement to help us with our counting. We began by ensuring we all understood what the word “corner” meant and looked like. We used this knowledge to then help us with where our number 1 object should always be placed. You astounded me today when lots of you were laying out different objects in the ten frame arrangement! Learning how numbers can look in different ways is one of things we leave Nursery understanding. Our listening game was the looking game of “Follow my Leader” and this week I challenged you by choosing a friend to look at rather than always the adult. It is so important that we look at both adults and friends when they are talking to show them we are a good listener. Ensure your grown-ups practise this at home at the weekend as we all have a habit of talking and giving instructions when looking at something else! Our Dough Disco song chosen by Noah this week was my favourite singer George singing Shotgun. Next week, it is Neve D’s choice! Please please can you send in some favourite song choices for us to have some dough fun with!
Outdoors, in our own Forest School, we continued to explore Autumn as every time the wind blew, more colourful leaves fell - it felt like it was snowing at times! We took the opportunity of looking at the artwork of Andy Goldsworthy to create some of our own leaf art. You had to sort leaves of the same colour and create different patterns. Pippa did a wonderful job, a definite artist in the making! Later in the week, Mrs Allen moved on to show you how to use natural materials to create your own artwork. The Autumn basket came in handy for this as we saw some lovely creations with acorns and conkers up on the balcony bench. In the afternoons, you have been sharing the story of “The Star of the Zoo” all about animals working as a team to achieve a goal. We took this important message with us all week and it was lovely to see you working as a team this morning with Mrs Franklin to create a sand tuffet to sit on. It is great to bring our indoor learning outside and our outdoor learning inside (not the mud though J ). You all had fun with Mrs Allen using the jungle animals and the crates to build a tower to reach the stars and you were extending yourself by thinking of other things that could be used to build vertically.
A message for the grownups for this weekend, please could you help support us by practising handwashing with the children. Next to our sink, we have photographs of what the hands should look like whilst washing = like wearing a pair of bubble gloves. Please ensure they add water and soap to their hands and BEFORE they wash it all off, give them time to create their Bubble Gloves! We have noticed there are some children who are still not washing their hands properly and never has it been so important at a time like this. The practice at home will ensure we can get up to 24 children in a line doing it.
Have a lovely weekend – hope to see lots of you hunting those scarecrows tomorrow!
Mrs Mander and the Nursery Team X
Nursery News ~ 9th October 2020
Talk of Autumn was in the air as we started to notice the changes around Forest School – leaves changing colour, leaves falling off the trees, colder weather. Did you manage to spot some signs on the weekend? It was lovely that some of you brought in your Autumn objects in – if you are out and about this weekend, please collect some more and bring them in to share – we may have enough to create an Autumn table on the balcony!
We have officially begun our Phonics journey! Hurrah! We always begin by seeing if we can listen to the sounds in the environment. We started the week by exploring the cabin for objects that make a sound – you make such good explorers with those Looking skills! Your top ten were chosen and when you were in Forest School that day, Mrs Mander snuck into the cabin and recorded them on her music machine. We used these sounds for the rest of the week by playing a matching game with the object pictures. Next week, we will have a go at playing Bingo! Our Nursery Rhyme this week was Incy Wincy and you were introduced to the special sound boxes. These are boxes which have objects in that begin with the same sound. We used the /s/ box to sing our rhyme as we chose different spider names. Can you remember which object wasn’t in the box? Sweet, snake, seal, sun? The number three was our Maths focus as we sung away to “You can clap your hands”. Have a go at clapping, stamping and shaking that head three times – this was a real challenge for most of you as you just cannot stop those feet moving! J Numicon three made a visit off the wall and we talked about the colour, the shape and matched to the number 3 shape on your faces – a special number this week with it being all of your ages. Next week, we move on to learning about how we can count using an egg box – so much to look forward to.
Outdoors, in our own Forest School, we have had fun with learning about Autumn. After our Autumn walk, Mrs Allen was feeling brave when she decided to get the paints out on the balcony. You all had an opportunity to come and do some colour mixing to see if you could make some Autumn colours. Using the collection of Autumn leaves to create crowns and bracelets was another hit this week. You had fun taping masking tape around your wrist and sticking the leaves on – maybe you could have a go at doing this on the weekend with your families? The grand finale was using the coloured leaves to make a rainbow. This tied in lovely to the whole school “Rainbow Project” where we have started listening to our chosen song “You are my Sunshine” and will hopefully be making a dough disco dance to match. Watch this space. In the afternoons, a new area was opened up – the building blocks. You have learnt how to take them off and place them back on safely. The story the Gigantic Turnip has been shared and you had fun role playing the story in this area.
A message for the grownups, during those mealtimes this weekend, could you work on sitting still on the chair, knees under the table, arms in front of you. We have noticed a lot of the children are struggling to sit still during our lunchtime. We do practise this every day, three times a day including our fruit/vegetable snacks, but practising at home would help us to establish these good eating habits early on.
Mrs Mander and the Nursery Team X