Headteacher: Anna Moss

0121 445 1622

Nursery

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

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