Term 4 Newsletter – May 2019
We are now well into term 4 at Summers, Victoria Street. As always, we have had lots of activities over the past term, and much more planned.
Welcome to all our new families who have joined us since the last newsletter. We are enjoying getting to know all the children and their families.
Since our previous newsletter, we have welcomed Erika and Lily to the team. Erika has joined the 0-2 room, and Lily is based in the 3-5 room. Both girls are settling in well.
Victoria Mark has also joined us as a relief member of the team. She is currently studying primary school teaching and is in her second year.
Niamh and Louise have now begun her Scottish Vocational Qualification (SVQ) level 3 Social Services (Children and Young People), and Megan is very close to completing her qualification.
Staff have attended core training this term including:
- First Aid
- Manual Handling and
- Infection Control
Other courses that have been attended include:
- Intelligent Materials Working with Loose Parts
- Encouraging Creativity, Creative and Critical Thinking and
- Wood Work
We have started our charity fundraising for 2019 with bacon roll mornings, ‘dress down’ Mondays and our Easter Egg competition.
We have our tipsy tea party planned for Saturday 1st June at the Holburn Bar. Tickets are £25 which includes an afternoon tea, and is for adults only. There will be games with prizes, too. Rally all your friends together and get your tickets now to avoid disappointment!
We have our annual sports day on Saturday 29th June. The day will include lucky dip, face painting, a tuck shop, and of course loads of races to take part in. The event will be held at Westburn park from 11am-1pm
To find out more about our chosen charity, visit Friends of the Special Nursery website at http://www.specialnursery.org/ - a charity of Aberdeen maternity hospital’s Neo-Natal unit for sick and premature babies in the Grampian region, as well as the islands of Orkney and Shetland.
Policies of the term
Policies of the term are:
- Policy 14 – Infection Control
- Policy 20 – Smoking Policy and
- Policy 40 – Quality Assurance Policy
These policies are displayed on the notice board in the front hall for parents.
Stay and Play
Thanks to everyone who attended Stay and Play. The evaluations have come back very positively, and 99% of people agreed the experience was Excellent, with one choosing Very Good.
We have set up three development plans for 2018-19 which are displayed on the notice boards throughout the nursery, but mainly in the hallway, half way up the stairs.
We have begun our staff mentoring system, where staff firstly identify their own strengths and areas for improvement, and then as a management team, we pair people together who are able to influence each others practice. Staff have agreed agendas and meetings that are followed up with evaluations to continue to offer the best outcomes for the children in our care.
The schema display is complete at the front door for parents to view. We are referring to schemas through face book and observations in order to explain a variety of learning experiences.
Plan three seems to be developing daily. We keep adding more and more loose parts to all the rooms, as well as the garden. This play is developing children’s imagination and curiosity, and really builds on the schema plan as well.
Summers Nurseries are now signed up to receive Tax Free Childcare Vouchers, so when looking, please select Summers Nursery at Victoria Street as provider.
Could I remind all parents that it is essential that they put their child’s full name as a reference on any voucher that is paid to the nursery. This is the only key piece of information we require on the voucher. We do not require you to put Summers Nursery, invoice number, parents name or any other piece of information on the reference. Due to the ever-increasing vouchers coming in from parents in 5 nurseries, we are still finding it difficult to match vouchers to certain families due to not being able to identify the voucher, so it is important that you change any existing vouchers to contain this information, thank you. Please also cancel any siblings that have left the nursery off your voucher.
We do however realise that the government vouchers seem to be a bit problematic regarding the take up to five days to clear and therefore should be paid in advance to ensure they are deducted from the current invoice.
Trips / Visits
We are happy that Angela has returned from Abricabeats to the 3-5 this term on a Tuesday at 3:00pm. We alternate the sessions Angela attends each term to ensure all our children in the 3-5 room get a chance to experience the dance and drama she has on offer. We all love Angela’s visits, developing the children’s confidence, stimulation and fun throughout the session.
We are continuing to enjoy our visits to the Wee Green Space. It allows for the use of great imagination and team work. The children really enjoy using branches to pull each other up the big slope, working together as successful individuals.
We are also loving our trips to the local care home, with the children and residents interacting well. They are enjoying activities, including arts and crafts, card games and stories.
We have recently enjoyed a trip to Codonas, where we took part in bowling and crazy golf. The trips allow children to experience different environments, and on this occasion, the trip encouraged good team work, as well as competition.
The 2-3 room are going to Dizzy Rascals on Monday 10th June. All children in the 2’s room who attend on a Friday will receive a consent form.
The 3-5’s are planning a trip, with details to follow.
Throughout the term, we have covered some cultural/moral events, including St Patricks Day, Mother’s Day, and of course Easter. Children have enjoyed many art and craft activities that have introduced and developed a lot of skills, including painting and drawing with a variety of material, gluing, sticking and cutting skills.
As part of our sensory topic, we had some fruit tasting in the 0-2 room, which was very successful. The children enjoyed the new tastes and textures, and some of the children were very adventurous, and despite the texture of the passion fruit, it was a firm favourite. Children have also been using the sensory baskets to explore the different textures with their hands.
The tent has proven popular this term. It causes great excitement, where the children like to hide from one another and play peekaboo together. This is showing well developed social skills from many of our older babies as they play cooperatively together, as well as turn taking skills.
In the sand tray, we have been making sand castles. Children enjoying filling and emptying, which is part of the Transporting schema, where children are exploring quantity - adding, taking away and sharing, and is part of early scientific investigation.
As always, the role play area (including the dolls), has been popular. Children show skills of what they have witnessed others doing, including their parents. We are often greeted with pretend cake and tea throughout the day. Children also explored a new wooden play cleaning trolley, taking good care of it and remembering to be careful when pushing it around.
We have been building towers with the wooden blocks, which takes a lot of control and skill. Children really focus on getting the tower right, but most of all they enjoy knocking it down! The noise causes great excitement throughout the room. There are many skills involved in both building the tower and then knocking it down. Building it creates an understanding of positioning and balance, and knocking it all down helps a child learn about height, speed and distance.
Through imagination, some of the children have been using the large soft blocks as horses. They have been sitting on them and galloping around. Children are keen to take a purpose made material and use it for something completely different.
As part of our continued spring topic, we planted some sunflower seeds to encourage an understanding of the world around us and how it is changing as the season’s change. It also encourages an understanding of what living things need to grow. I have one in the office and it’s coming on well! These will be heading home with the children soon, so remember to look after them! Please add some pictures of your growing sunflowers on the ILD.
We have also continued to have several walks around our local area, and have enjoyed learning about spring and early summer
During our topic of colours, we enjoyed an experiment with bath fizzers. The children enjoyed placing the balls into the water and watching them dissolve. We dissolved them one at a time and watched as they shrunk in size, and the colour become clearer and darker throughout the water. We followed up with putting the water in the tray for children to play with.
We have taken part in another experiment, where we have created colour using different materials, including dying oats with paints, as well as using sand and rice with food colouring. Whilst these activities encouraged colour knowledge, they are also part of simple science knowledge. Children can see the changes in both textures and colours. The rice was dry and white, then wet and coloured, turning back to dry with colours.
Children have taken part in new experiences and have been given the opportunity to explore. Once the children completed the experiments, they used the materials for other things, for example we made sensory bottles with the rice and coloured water, as well as jewellery with painted pasta and Cheerios. Creating jewellery encourages pattern creation and completion. Pattern making helps the children to develop mathematical knowledge and understanding, including counting skills. Children also get satisfaction from creating something for themselves.
We have been developing independence through meal times, with children pouring their own drinks and cutting their own fruits. Many can now successfully use their knives at lunch time, too. These skills are valuable life skills that are being installed at a very young age. This is excellent preparation for the 3-5 room, where the children often prepare some of their own foods.
We have enjoyed lots of activities where our gross motor skills have been developed, in particular dancing with ribbons. The children have developed some skilled dance moves, and they have followed instructions whilst taking part, as well as creating patterns with the ribbons and their bodies. Children like to spin around until they are dizzy! We also manged a little trip to the park this term in the lovely spring weather, with everyone having fun, running around and using the swings.
There have been many topics explored over the term, but one of the most popular has been food. Children were able to express their own likes and dislikes, as well as focusing on what was good for them or not.
There has been lots of play in the role play corner, where children have been creating foods for themselves and each other. Children enjoy taking part in role play, as they use the skills they have learnt from others and then are able to display many positive attributes, for example parents and staff are often impersonated throughout the role play experience.
We have enjoyed learning about “Under the sea”. We used apples to stamp on the paper to create a crab’s body, and then we stuck down googly eyes and painted seaweed and sand. This progressed to a possible line of development (PLOD) where children talked about their own faces and each other’s. We also played with My Potato Head, encouraging teamwork and sharing skills. Poor Mr Potato Head ended up with his features in some incredible places, leading to great hilarity!
We are continuing our “Under the Sea” topic for the present time
We have been learning about weather this term, and the children have really embraced the change in weather as we have moved from winter to spring, During this topic, we have discussed the need for different clothing throughout the varied types of weather. We encourage children to dress up in the house corner, which encourages independence skills, as well as offering a skill of self-risk assessment. A child will learn the importance of dressing to suit the weather to remain safe and healthy.
Our weather topic included learning about rainbows, where some children hoped to find a pot of gold at the end! Learning about rainbows has encouraged colour knowledge and also how the rainbow occurs when the water drops are hit by the sun. This led us onto a marbling activity about how rain occurs. Children used poppets and cotton wool to make clouds, and they were able to make rain fall out of the sky, showing a good understanding of the cloud bursting due to the magnitude of water being inside the cloud, which then allowed them to look at the effects this had on lakes and rivers.
When learning about the sun, we naturally began to discuss the earth. Comments included “Our earth is close to the sun” and “the sun goes around the world”.
Children got the opportunity to explore a globe, where many were able to look for places they had visited and where other family members live. We have explored the globe around the world from Scotland to places as far away as Australia, India and Argentina. With the assistance of the ipads, we were able to be more specific, looking at places like Nairn, Stornoway, Kirkcaldy, and one mum apparently lives in “the gym”. Children talked about how they would get to all these exotic places, and what modes of transport would be needed to get there. We also discussed changes in climates in these countries which allowed us to link the topics.
As a result of all the knowledge acquired from the topics, some children were able to talk about the differences in the countries, including where animals and types of food come from. We explored a variety of foods through a tasting experiment, where we tried foods that were American, Indian, Chinese, French and much more. Children were able to describe how the foods tasted and they talked about what they liked and disliked. This also added to mathematical development as we counted how many children liked each food, and then discovered who liked the most and least, counting out the totals, as well as understanding differences in totals such as how many more and how much less.
Different countries allowed us to explore different housing that was available around the world and even here in Scotland. This also encouraged mathematical skills, as children identified the number on their door, and some described their flats as being “A very tall Building”. Children used the construction materials to recreate their housing. We also enjoyed role play in the house corner as we played builders. Children have some real tools available during supervised play. They use these materials in small groups alongside staff, which encourage increased fine motor skills, hand eye coordination and understanding risk.
We are currently learning about ‘People Who Help Us’. We have all been really touched with the kind donation of a real doctor’s stethoscope from a very generous grandma. Children have enjoyed hearing their own heart beats and that of their peers and the ladies.
There are floor books in all the rooms that detail projects covered, all parents are welcome to view at any time.
Tel; 01224 628862
Dates for Diary
Pre-school trip - TBC
Graduation Photos - 27th May
Tipsy Tea Party - 1st June
2’s trip to Dizzy Rascals - 10th June
Parents Evening - 26th June
Graduation - 28th June
Sports Day - 29th June