Headteacher: Anna Moss

0121 445 1622


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

Hello Nursery!

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

Hello Nursery!

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

Nursery News ~ 2nd October 2020

Hello Nursery!

Well we certainly got caught in that rain this morning didn’t we?  We had some very wet hoods and the waterproofs were put to the test.  It was all worth it though as we were lucky enough to join Red class on their first visit to the BIG Forest School.  We paired up with a friend from Red class, held hands across the road, played a game of “1,2,3 Where are you?” and then had a chance to explore on our own.  It is certainly a lot more like a Forest than our own.  The reason behind the visit was to get us ready for our new topic next week – Autumn.  We looked for signs of Autumn this morning, I wonder if you can spot some signs of Autumn when you are out and about this weekend.  Remember the Bear Song “Look High, Look Low, Look Everywhere You Go”.

In the cabin, we have been disco dancing this week to “Happy”.  We have learnt about the Number 2 and created repeating patterns with the “Pattern Parrot” song and enjoyed our disco song playing “Disco Twos”.  Can you remember the name we use when we have two of something?  We then took our disco song outdoors into the Quiet Area after lunch for some Dough Disco!  What a hit this was.  Dough Disco is all about getting those fingers, hands and wrists strong and ready for handwriting.  We choose a different disco song every week – I wonder if you or your grownups could share with me some of your favourite songs and I will create the dough disco routine!  We have had some excellent songs over the past few years.  Our Looking skills are improving with our daily listening games – this week, we played Matching Pairs and we had to spot the grown-ups that are the same – naming them was a bit more of a challenge!  Show your families how we show “same” and “not the same” with your Peter Pointers! I have just placed the grown-up faces on the Creative shelf ready for your Indoor Play on Monday morning.

Outdoors, in our own Forest School, we have continued to explore new areas of the Forest and this week has been all about the tree swing.  This swing is a lot trickier than the ones we are used to as it is a simple stick and rope swing.  Mrs Allen showed you how to climb on safely and even trickier, how to stay on safely.  A little more practise needed on this one I think.  You have continued using the watering cans to water the seeds and what a lot of fun we had in the gully with them as you enjoyed pouring muddy water down the guttering.  Watching how excited James got when the water started moving faster made us smile – can you think why the water moved faster when the guttering was moved higher?  Perhaps try this at home.  Mrs Allen has also opened up the Story Area – hooray! Who knew a piece of tarpaulin, three rabbits, bowls, spoons and a Cinderella bear could impress you so much.  These characters and objects were used to retell a different version of Goldilocks and the Three Bears.  It was lovely to see lots of you choosing to role-play in this area afterwards with your friends.

A message for the grownups, some children are coming into Nursery with warm hats/gloves/scarves on.  This is great if you feel the weather is cool enough.  The scarves will be placed in their bags as we do not have scarves around necks when exploring the outdoors, the gloves will be placed in their bags or coats pockets as we have our own fleece lined gloves and the hats will definitely be worn on a non-rainy day.  There is no need for spares, they will come back home to you.

Have a lovely wet weekend everyone and don’t forgot to spot those signs of Autumn to share with us next week!

Mrs Mander and the Nursery Team X

Nursery News

Hello Nursery!

Another week has flown by, along with the wind today!  What another successful week we have had, coming away from those grownups in the morning – only a few tears but then a cuddle and a chat about what we will be doing or what you will be doing later has stopped them!  In the backpacks this week, you will find our visual timetable.  This is exactly the same as the timetable we have displayed in the Nursery.  Please share these with your families this weekend and tell them what each picture means.  On Monday we will start using this a little more as we will be turning each one over as the day moves on - this will help those wobbly children.  J

In the cabin this week, we played another game to learn, the RED Listening Rule that “Good Listening is looking at the person talking”.  We have used our dressing up objects from last week, laid them out in a line and when your eyes were closed, I stole one away.  Well done to those children who were able to spot which one was missing and a big well done to those of you who were able to keep those lips together and not shout out the answer – this is so hard when you are three!  We have also learnt two new songs and dances – a Write Dance song of “We Can Do Anything” and a Maths song of “Funky Monkey Finger Dance” – I hope you have been singing and dancing to them at home as much as I have!  We have been learning about the Number 1 - what Numicon 1 looks likes, hunting for Numicon 1 (can you remember where I hid them?), singing to Numicon 1 (Numicon 1, Numicon 1, Where Are You), showing Number 1 with objects and Bunny Ears.  Phew – that is a lot of Number 1 work!  During our circle time after lunch we have been singing to our Nursery Rhyme of the week “If You’re Happy and You Know It” but with a twist, we have added voice sounds and even begun singing and learning the actions to our own initial sounds!  I wonder whether some of you may remember what your initial sound and action is?

Outdoors in Forest School, you have had all sorts of weather – sunshine, wind and our very first rainy day came!  Can you believe how much water collects in the Mud Kitchen during and after the rain?  So many wet mud pies were created.  You had so much fun collecting and moving the muddy water from one part to the next.  Connie is always the “Queen of the Mud” and she showed us all how to travel through the muddy puddles to ensure we are not splashing our friends too much.  You must have taken this on board as we didn’t have that many muddy or wet socks and trousers that we normally do at this time of year.  J  In the afternoons, Mrs Allen has been showing you where to find the watering cans and how to fill them – now the fun really begins in the gully with a tool to transfer the water around.  The pipes have created some fun play options too and it is always amazing to see the designs you create to make things move through the pipes.  Planting seeds and watering them daily has also been on the job list and playing “Follow my Leader” around the Forest School is always a fun game to play and watch!

A reminder for parents, after lunch our circle time is outside in the Quiet Area whilst Mrs Franklin and Miss Checkley clear away after lunch and lay down beds/blankets.  With the weather getting a touch cooler (nothing compared to what we experience!) please can you ensure that you send them in with a warm coat that you would be happy for them to wear to play outside.  We always start with the expectation of them finding their own coat and putting it on themselves e.g. hood on head, find arms and the grownups will always help with those zips.  Please support us by practising this at home, keep your hands in your pocket and allow them time to do – they all can, I have seen it!  On another note, the water bottles (empty and full) are no longer needed as we are increasing the volume of water/milk we give the children on three different occasions throughout the day with an additional extra drink from a cup for those that request it.  I am sure you will find some use for these at home or if you prefer, we can keep for them at nursery (like we do slippers/boots). 

Have a lovely weekend everyone!

Mrs Mander and the Nursery Team X

Nursery News ~ 18th September 2020

Hello Nursery.
What a week with all this glorious sunshine!  Thank you to your grownups for sending in the sun hats and sun cream as it made your play experience outside as good as it can possibly be.  We cannot believe you are all only three, what a mature group of three-year olds you are.  You have picked up our routines following our daily timetable so quickly, we have never seen a group this good, this early on.  Next week, I will send home a copy of our visual timetable and you can share it with your family and talk about what each picture means.  This will be a duplicate of our visual timetable up in the cabin and so will hopefully help some of you who struggle with how long your day is by counting the number of pictures you will be doing each day.  We then always reinforce to each child during morning register e.g. today Lyla, you will be doing four pictures.
In the cabin, we have been able to start some focus circle time sessions a lot earlier in the year than normal due to your ability to sit still, look and listen.  We have begun our listening games by learning that "A Good Listener always looks at the person talking".  This is a little challenging for children of three and so we always begin by playing the game "Who Looks Different". In this game, one person hides their eyes, whilst we add something to a friend in the circle (sunglasses, stethoscope, cape, flower necklace).  The person who is on then has to return to the group and spot who looks different.  After our morning Forest School session we have started our routine of a Maths session before lunch in the cabin.  Singing about five frogs, monkeys and ducks has shown me how good your counting is too!  Next week we begin learning our weekly Maths song (get ready grownups!) and start a more focused Maths circle time by looking and exploring the Number 1.  It sounds easy but there are so many things to learn about the number 1!
Outdoors in Forest School, Mrs Allen has opened up the gully and the crate shed.  You have had fun fishing with the rods (a stick and a piece of string) and trying to hook those fish (a cork and hook).  I took some wonderful photographs of you all sat like little gnomes waiting for the fish to come along.  You have also been playing with the toy boats and working out ways to make them move quicker through the gully using the tools on offer and today you had to find some things in Forest School that would float down the gully e.g. leaf, bark.  Building with the red and blue crates is always a favourite, it is always great to see you designing vehicles to travel in.
Just a quick reminder to the parents, when you drop off, can you ensure you let Mrs Moss or me know what time you will be collecting as we are desperately trying to restrict the movement around the school as well as keep the children settled.  A quick email on a Sunday night to let me know would work too!  🙂
Fingers crossed for some more sunshine this weekend - enjoy every second, I know I will!
Mrs Mander and all of the Nursery Team X

Nursery News ~ 11th September 2020

Hello Nursery.

We have made it to the end of our first week and we are lucky that the weather has made it so pleasant for us. We have all enjoyed playing in the sand, especially when Red class joined us as they have some excellent play ideas. The mud kitchen and baking mud cakes was also a favourite activity – I don’t think I have ever eaten so much cake. This year I have a good feeling that we have a team of mark makers as you created some colourful patterns on the patio. I hope the hands weren’t too colourful when they all returned home to you.

Indoors we have started working on our Gross Motor skills by singing, dancing and today moving around to our song “Just Like This”. I hope you managed to share the four actions with your families? Marching, Building, Zigzagging and Eating (Mrs Mander’s favourite!). We have worked hard on our handwashing too every morning. A big thank you to Martha and her mummy who have shown us how to make “Bubble Gloves” – keep practising making these at the weekend to keep those germs away. Our Maths journey began with a favourite song of “Five Little Speckled Frogs” but in true Nursery style, we changed the frogs to ducks and the log to a red bus. What made us giggle more was when the frogs leapt into a big pool, made a huge splosh and poor Nina and Neve got wet! Those frogs are now ready for you to play with during our Indoor Play sessions and next week the Five Naughty Monkeys will be joining us for some more counting fun.

Have a lovely weekend with your families and get plenty of rest ready for some fun next week!

Mrs Mander and the Nursery Team

Welcome to Nursery

Hello Nursery!

We hope you have all had a lovely summer break.

We cannot wait to have you all return for some fun in the cabin and forest.

Our first topic is "All About Me" where we will be getting to know more about our older friends and finding lots out about our new friends.

Please remember to bring your own backpack every day with:

-a change of clothes

-an empty water bottle

-one small soft toy/comforter (if required)

Whenever your first day is, please also bring in your named wellington boots and slippers to stay with us for the year.

See you all over the next two weeks.

Best wishes,

Mrs Mander, Mrs Allen, Mrs Franklin, Miss Bailey and Miss Checkley (the Nursery Team)