Encouraging independence, creative thinking and more

Nursery 17/18

We are a Rights Respecrting School Level 1!

On Tuesday 5th December the school had a visit from Jenny Price an assessor from UNICEF.

The purpose of her visit was to assess if the school had made sufficient progress from being awarded their Certificate of Recognition to achieving a Level 1 award.

Mr Henstridge took over the RRS pupil steering group formerly led by Mrs Gibb.

Ms Price interviewed groups of children, parents and staff and looked at the work undertaken in all classes over the session.

We are delighted to announce that Ms Price confirmed that our work met the necessary standard for the level 1 award. Well done and thank you to Mr Henstridge and Mrs Webb for leading on this project and to all in our school community for helping to showcase how rights and diversity flourish in our school.

We are now allowed to display the above logo on any materials linked to the school to promote our success.

Nursery Learning – week beginning 4th December 2017

This week we have been learning all about Christmas and why we celebrate this festival. Through discussion almost all of the children know that Christmas means Santa visits and leaving presents, but we are also developing a further knowledge and understanding that people have their own  faiths and beliefs, and although not everyone shares this belief, those that do,celebrate and look forward to Christmas and the meaning of the nativity story.  Through this focus we have extended our learning in all areas of the curriculum so literacy, numberacy and health and wellbeing are still ongoing learning in Nursery.

The first thing we did was make a mind map of what we know about Christmas.  The children had lots of ideas and we drew them onto our map.




Each Nursery room has made a mind map and they will be displayed on the wall.  We will work our way through the questions helping the children find out about Christmas and why some people believe in it.

We talked about what we know about Christmas .

And then discussed what we would like to find out.

These questions will form the basis for next weeks planning.



Most children have an Advent Calendar in their homes and are counting and recognising numbers each day.  We have an Advent Calendar in each Nursery room and we are counting the numbers too.  This supports the children’s understanding of when Christmas will happen but also brings in numeracy every day linking it to the numbers between home and Nursery.


We have introduced more books in the book corner including some Christmas ones.  The children were excited about this and decided to wrap the whole bookcase to make it stand out.  This took a long time and involved lots of fine motor control and co-ordination of hands and tape!  They did a good job in the end!

The children did a great job and this has refreshed the whole story book corner.

Many of the children have a Christmas tree at home and the children in Nursery were excited to decorate the nursery tree themselves.

With the use of Christmas story books and small world play, the children have been learning about the Christmas story and how the events in the story unfold.  They have been acting out the story and reading it to each other.  This has supported discussions with the children of why we give presents to each other and why there is a star or angel at the top of our Christmas trees.


To decorate our stable the children thought we could use some more stars in the sky so we set up a star making station, were drawing, cutting and lots of creativity was observed.

our starry sky!








The use of dressing up clothes has also supported independence in trying to dress ourselves.  With leg and arm holes, zips and hoods this is not a straightforward task but the children have been doing this for themselves.  We have a mirror in the dressing up area so we can be really proud of ourselves if we manage some of the tricky costumes!


The children have enjoyed this week’s snack of beans with toast.  This has included numeracy and fine motor control as they spoon out the beans.

We have had a great response from the children and parents to our support activity of thinking of others at Christmas.  We have been learning about children not as fortunate as ourselves and how our food and toiletries will be a present to them.  We have looked at pictures of where our food will go and have watched a short video of the families who will receive our gifts.  One child in the video had no shoes and we realised how lucky we are to have shoes for ourselves.

Our link with home continued through the week as we received some of our healthy plates of food back from the children, they were able to talk about the food they had drawn on their plates and this promted more discussion about what foods are good for us.

This week the work the children have been doing on Rights Respecting Schools has been examined by the RRS inspector.  She was very happy with our work along with the rest of the school and we have been awarded the First Level for our work.  This is something that will be ongoing in the Nursery and school but our efforts so far have been successful.  We have looked at our ‘right to a name’ and our ‘right to play’.  Do ask your child about this and look too at our display in the cloakroom which illustrates our work.

Nursery learning week of 28th November 2017

This week we have been using The Hungry Caterpillar story to support our learning this week about healthy food and how this helps look after our bodies.  We have read The Hungry Caterpillar story a few times and today the children took charge and retold the story at storytime.  They used the book and props to tell the story and supported each other if they didn’t find the right piece or if their piece fell off the story board.  This has been a fun learning experience for the children and it will now be available in the Nursery for the children to use and learn from this week.

Our hospital from last week has developed a new department, a kitchen.  The children have introduced a hotpital canteen and have been busy making healthy food choices for the hospital patients and staff.  We are using trays from the dinner hall which most of the children recognise.   There are lots of good opportunities to carry full trays from one area to another without spilling!





Nursery learning about the Body

As part of learning – how to look after our bodies, the children have been talking about our muscles and bones. Through art and craft activities, we explored what bones and muscles look like and how exercise helps us.  For snack, we tried natural yoghurt.  We added healthy food like blueberries, raspberries, peaches and even honey!

This is our skeleton.

We have ribs!

We are stretching our bodies after exercising!

We can balance on the floor and put our leg in the air!

We are exercising our legs and using our legs to balance.

Look how strong I am.  I have strong arms!

We have muscles inside our body.  It is red because it has blood in it.

The children took part thorughout the week to fill our skeleton with bones.

This is our germ experiment.  We used glitter as germs. Some of us had red germs, some had green and some had gold.  Then we shook hands and got lots of different colour germs on our hands. You can catch germs quickly – we need to wash our hands to wash the germs away.

Look at my clean, germ free hands!  We use soap to wash our hands.

This is our x-ray.  We can see our bones.  Some of us made our skeletons.


We loved our healthy snack.

I love honey!

Nursery learning – Week beginning 13th November 2017


This week we have continued to develop creativity,  linking it to literacy  as we explore books and characters and invent our own stories.

We used story stones to create our own stories alowing us to be very inventive.




We also worked together to create ‘team’ stories, giving all of the characters names. This not only developed our creative skills but mark making and ‘writing’.


As we had created a house for the 3 pigs in our role play corner indoors and the children were enjoying this imaginative play we felt we could extend this learning opportunity outdoors by using the sensory garden where we could act out the story/

Firstly, we had to gather some den making resources from the shed.

Off to be creative.

Building a house for the pigs.

Mumm y pig (a.k.a. Mrs Bain) telling her little pigs that they have grown too big for their house and that they need to find somewhere else to stay!

Pig number 1 decides that straw sounds like a good idea.

Little pig number 2 gathers some sticks for his house.

Oh, oh……here’s the big bad wolf!

Huffing and puffing and trying to blow the brick house down.

“Not by the hair on our chinny, chin, chins, we will not let you in!”

The audience, giving a standing ovation at the end of the performance.



Act 2 – same story, different actors, apart from Mummy Pig (Mrs Bain) who once again gave an Oscar winning performance!

Once again the audience showing their appreciation.



This week we also created our own Nursery Charter where we talked about our ‘right to play’.  The important component of this charter is that the children understand the part they have  in ensuring that they can play, so really they came up with the ‘rules’ that they must follow to allow them ‘the right to play’.


Funny faces for this display (in our cloakroom) were optional I(for children and staff!”)


Although our Charter does not just involve or include the children, staff have aims, objectives and rules to follow as well!!

Nursery Learning Week Beginning 20th November 2017


This week’s learning was all about what we can do to look after our bodies and who can help us.  This has been prompted by the weather turning colder and the beginning of  colds and runny noses season.  One of the things the children have been working on is washing their hands.  We all know how important it is to wash germs away but this week we have watched a video called Handy Andy who told us all about how to do it properly.

We hung a sign up beside our washing hands basin in Nursery and used it to wash our hands.  We also made one up for ourselves and have hung it up in our house corner which is a hospital at the moment.








A few weeks ago Marion from Child Smile came to visit us and she brought toothbrushes and toothbrush holders in the shape of buses. This week we have started brushing our teeth after our snack in the morning.  We only do it once a day in Nursery so we don’t have to repeat it after lunch but if your child comes in the afternoon only, they will brush their teeth after their afternoon snack.  Each bus has our name on the side so we know which bus has our own brush and we don’t get mixed up.  Do let us know if your child comments on their teeth brushing activities in Nursery.



We have turned our house corner into a hospital.  We have been looking at all the jobs people do there and have been trying to build this into our own hospital.  The photo below shows our very busy hospital.  We have people waiting at the side and our 2 boys in front have been seen by our 2 girls receptionists at triage!  The doctor already has her hands full with another patient.

The children have been particularly good at role playing  and are keen to wear the job badges so everyone knows who they are.





Nursery learning 6th November 2017

This week is all about being creative and the children have already shown great enthusiasm in being part of this learning.  Being creative is not just about painting a picture, it’s about using your imagination to create all sorts of pictures using all sorts of materials.  Here are some examples of our day today.

Here the children have been using their fingers to mix the paint on the page and make different patterns.

Adding glitter to a picture is part of developing your creative side.

We used our finger tips to move the paint around. It felt cold!


All pictures look better with glitter!


Once the children worked out what to do it didn’t take long for them to explore on their own and really get mixing!


The children are encouraged to take on as much of the creative work as they can. Adding paint is part of this.

Taking our learning outside.


We spent time outside using natural items to make our pictures.

Some of us tried mixing chalks and water to see what happens. This was interesting as the colour darkened as we added water.

Great to see the children keen to continue using technology in their learning. We have to take a photo of our outside work otherwise we won’t have a record of it after tidying up. This is something the children have been told and they take it on board.


The children use different materials to make their pictures. Here the fish have become colours of the rainbow.

We left the Nursery garden in search of more leaves. We were hoping to find lots!

We wanted to find lots of leaves so we took our wheelbarrows to carry what we found back to Nursery.

We found red leaves and ones we thought looked pretty.

It was great fun being in the Sensory garden and looking for leaves.

We thought about what we wanted to do with our leaves and used them to make a great picture. We spent a long time choosing which ones to stick on.

Some of us acted out The Gruffalo’s Child story but first we had to make little stick men like they have in the book. We used lots of our natural items to make our little men. Then we used them to act out the story. We took turns to be the reader, the Gruffalo children or the little mouse.



As we had so many Autumn leaves we thought we could use them outdoors and create our own forest, this involved mixing paints and working out how we could stick on some leaves.

“I mixed the red and yellow together, look, it’s orange!”

“I’m mixing the paint.”

“I like painting the fence, I can make a tree.”

“I think we should put this one here.”


The end result!



We also created our own biscuits for snack, decorating them with icing, apples and lots of other edible bits and pieces. We talked  about what we had made before eating them!

“It’s a face, with eyes.”

“I made a mushroom.”

“My biscuit is a princess!”

“I made a face.”


” I put apple on, it is ears.”

“I made a ghost, it’s a scary one.”

“I made my daddy.”

“it’s pretty.”

“Look at the colours, it’so nice.”

“I made a boat.”

“It’smy brother, he’s got eyes.”

“I made a fish, it’s got fins.”

“My mummy.”

“I made a dog, it has ears.”

“It’s got one eye and a nose.”

“I made a face, it has eyes and a face.”

“It’s a dog, i used the apples for ears.”

“it’s a taxi with wheels.”

“It’s my dog.”

“It’s a cat.”

” I made a dog.”

” I built a wall on my biscuit.”

“It’s a crocoldile with big teeth.”

“Mine is a dinosaur.”

“it’s a big hippo.”

“Look at my sprinkles.”

“My daddy.”

“it’s a baby.”

“I put a spiderman teddy on my biscuit.”

“It’s a boat, i made a sail with the apple.”

“It’s a bunny with apple ears.”

“It’s me.”

“My face.”


Hard at work being creative!

“I made a face.”

using our imaginations to be creative.


Throughout the week we have also made goood use of clay to develop our creative skills, this resource along with all of our Autumn leaves and other natural materials have allowed the children to really use their imaginations.

“I’m going to make my family!”

“It feels really soft.”

Mrs Christie can’t help joining in the fun!

“I made a dinosaur with lots of eyes.”

“It’s a jumper thing with a big tail.”

Hard at work.


Here are a few more creations.

Team work…..creating a hedgehog!



Writing our new creativity display sign.

To to ensure that the children are keen to continue to keep developing their creative skills we have introduced an ‘Artist of the Week’ award. Each week the children in both rooms will vote for a picture or model that has been created throughout that week, the winning picture will be displayed outside both the Lion and Butterfly Room and each child will be presented with an Artist of the Week rosette. To give this activity more meaning we will also ask the children why they decided to make their choice, this allows them to contribute their thoughts and feelings with regards to others work and realise that these views are valued.

Voting for our favourite piece of art. “It’s nice.”

“It’s so pretty!”


The final vote.

This week’s winner.

Congratulations to our Artist of the Week.


A fantastic week of creativity both indoors and outdoors.


Although, finally, the children have discovered another job role within the nursery…..washing the dishes has become a popular activity after snack with lots of children waiting for their turn to help!


More helpers, brushing up after snack.


Nursery – developing the young workforce

We are continuing to develop and implemeent ways in which we can allow our nursery children to become more aware of the jobs within their world.  One way of achieving this has been to create some roles for the children to carry out on a daily basis.


Our ‘lunch counters’ have a very important role to play as they have to go and see Mrs MacDonald (our dinner lady) with the numbers of children having school lunches. This task involves counting and writing, and more importantly for the children they get to wear the ‘lunch counter’ lanyard.  The lanyard signifies that they have a role and is already a familiar object as all staff within the nursery wear them. Therefore, this small (yet fun) activity really reinforces so much learning as well as allowing the children the opportunity to develop their awareness of jobs people do within their own school.

It has become a popular job with children regularly asking if they can be the ‘lunch counter’ today!

“I like being a lunch counter!” “I am counting the blue ones”

“I’m counting the orange”

Practising writing a number 7.

“Look I did it!”

“We’re going to see Mrs MacDonald”


Nursery learning week beginning 30th October 2017

This week we have continued with our exploration of ‘how things work’.  We have extended this around Nursery and to our outside areas too.  Here are some of the activities we have been working with.

We used the light box to make pictures.

The light box changes some of the colours of the items we place on it and it’s interesting to see the the new colours when the light goes on.

We used the torches in the tent to see who else was there.

The dark tent was a good place to read with our friends and see how the torches worked. This was much easier in the dark tent!

Some boys and girls brought technology toys in from home. They could explain to the group how they worked and demonstrated this well.

We used the Ipad this week to record some of our learning. We played it back to the boys and girls who were keen to see what had happened. This sparked some interesting discussions.

These are talking tins. They record your voice and can be played back using the black button. They help the children in their learning. Here they have an instruction in them – ‘choose the blue bowl’, ‘choose the red bowl’, ‘choose the yellow bowl’. The children could decide which talking tin they would listen to and then make their choice of bowl.

It was exciting when it worked!

We even brought them over to the snack table and explored them further there.

we explored the Ipad and worked out how to take photos and videos of each other.

“I want to do writing on the Ipad”


The remote control cars allowed the children to experience more ‘things that work’ and ensured discussion about power, chargers and betteries continued.

We extended this learning further by sticking pens to the sides of the cars so we could draw whilst controlling the cars.


The Bee Bot offered more opportunitues to design and create whilst using technology.

“It’s moving because it’s got power….it’s got batteries”

Investigating and exploring things that work.


An unexpected Hallowe’en activity began when the children found a witches cauldron outside, and it was not long before the potion making began.  Firstly, the children added various ingredients from the garden (leaves, sticks and pine cones).  It was then suggested that we could add some water, so, as requested, clear and coloured water was made available……the colour mixing then began, and as you can see from the photographs below the children created their own “witchy” potion.

At the very end of the potion making we all huddled together to sprinkle some glitter onto our finished magic.

“Iggity,ziggity,zaggety zoo!!!”


Our fixing skills also came in handy when our tractor outdoors stopped pedalling.  After finding the right tools we managed to open the tractor up and investigate how we could make it work again.

“Look, it’s got a chain inside”

“The chain makes the pedals go round”

Yeah, we fixed it!