Newsletter Term 2 – November 2019
Term 2 Newsletter – November 2020
We completed term one in quite different circumstances than we are used to! I am sure you will agree, the children have adapted well, and we are now very much in the swing of our new workings. Thank you all again for your patience and understanding since our reopening. I would also like to take this opportunity to welcome all our new families since returning in July!
We have welcomed some new faces to the Little Bunnies room since our return.
Nikki Black joined us as maternity cover Room Leader on the 12th September. Nikki has 15 years’ experience in childcare and comes to us with previous Room Leader and management experience. Nikki works Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday.
Lauren Dyker joined us on the 8th of September as a Nursery Practitioner and works Monday-Thursday full days and a Friday morning.
We also have Reganne Spence and Kirsty Reid who have also joined the team. Reganne works Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, and Kirsty works Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. Kirsty also teaches children at the Aberdeen Theatre Academy.
Jemma Ross has recently joined the Cheeky Monkeys as a Nursery Practitioner, and works a Tuesday and Wednesday. Jemma has several years of childcare experience. We also have Morgan Duncan who has joined the team. Morgan works on a Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.
Shannon Innes from the Little Bunnies room has now completed her SQV 3 and is now a full time Nursery Nurse Practitioner, well done Shannon!
I have now completed my first year at the University of Aberdeen studying a BA in Childhood Practice. I am currently working on ‘The child in society: Living and Learning in Families’.
Each year we support a different charity, and for 2020 we are supporting Charlie House. Charlie House is a local children’s charity which supports babies, children and young people with complex disabilities and life limiting conditions in the North East of Scotland. Children took part in a crazy cone week not so long ago, and I would like to thank you all for your donations. I am delighted to tell you that we raised £558. We have not been able to support our charity as much as we normally would this year due to Covid-19, however we plan on continuing to raise money into 2021. To find out more about what Charlie House do please visit https://www.charliehouse.org.uk/
Dates for your Diary
Our Christmas party this year will be a bit different. Rather than one big party, we will be holding a few smaller parties throughout the last week of term. This will ensure that all children are able to participate. Unfortunately, Santa will not be able to come and visit us this year, however, he will be sending the children a little gift prior to the parties for us to send home with the children!
The nursery will close on Friday 18th December 2020 at 6pm for the Christmas break and re open on Monday 4th January 2021 at 7.30am.
Our improvement plans so far for 2020/2021 are:-
- Develop zoning where staff are responsible for individual areas within the room, helping to develop the use of resources through planning etc
- Continue to develop the use of the Interactive Learning Diaries for children
The children in the Little Bunnies room have been learning about colours. We focused on primary colours and the Little Bunnies participated in some small experiments based around colours. They started off with a skittle experiment. The ladies lined up a selection of coloured skittles around a plate, then the children helped to pour some warm water over the skittles, and we all watched as a skittle rainbow was created! - encouraging the children to speak about all the colours we could see on the plate. The children also participated in a ‘fizzing colours” experiment. We made a small volcanic eruption using bicarbonate of soda and vinegar, with a splash of food colouring added to it. The children were given a selection of colours to choose from, before helping to add this to the vinegar. Once the bicarbonate of soda was added in, the children expressed excitement at seeing the “eruption” of colour! We also took part in many colourful paintings, drawings and messy activities which focused on developing hand eye co-ordination, sharing abilities and cognitive development.
The children have recently started to learn about Autumn. They have enjoyed some walks around the community in the buggies, looking at the falling leaves!
Children loved the opportunity to hold and feel a variety of leaves, exploring the colours and textures, using them for various messy play and craft activities, exploring them in the water tray as well as having a tray of dry leaves, where they were able to compare the crunchy ones with the wet ones! The boys and girls participated in some leaf rubbing, creating pictures for our new autumn display.
At the start of Term one, the Cheeky Monkeys learnt all about jungle animals. They got creative by making animal face masks of their favourite jungle animals. The children could choose how they wanted to decorate the mask, before being supported in cutting the mask out. They then used their masks to role play throughout the day. The children also practiced their cutting skills by creating their own snakes using paper plates! Using scissors helps children to develop their fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination.
Throughout the Jungle topic, the children also participated in animal themed games, songs, and dancing. They had the jungle animals in the messy trays, and also used them in sorting activities. You will be able to see all these activities on your child’s Interactive Learning Diary.
The children started to show a keen interest in the transport toys, and so we all worked together using great problem-solving skills to create a train track with the wooden tracks we have. The children opted to have a road around the track to use the tractors and lorries, as well as the trains. They used some loose parts to create their very own models of car, and they created their own set of glittery traffic lights, learning about colours, as well as the shapes of the vehicles.
Whist outside, the children learnt about colours in the garden, and were keen to search the sky for any airplanes and helicopters, with many children telling us that they had been in an airplane before! We also spotted some lorries passing the garden fence.
The children have noticed that the ground is messy with leaves when we are outside, so this led us onto looking at autumn. We discussed the changing colours of the leaves, with some children managing to identify the different colours. We even managed to do a colour matching activity with some of the leaves from the garden which was tricky, as some of them were both green and brown! We then went on to do some paint mixing experiments to see what colours the children could make if they mixed 2 or more colours together, expressing huge excitement about any new colours they created!
Children have been full of ideas on how to develop their learning and what they want to learn about. Every day the children are able to choose what they want to learn about and how they want to learn, which is incorporated into their ‘next steps’.
After a big thunderstorm through the night and into the morning, the children were keen to learn more, so we watched a video on what makes a thunderstorm, and the children painted pictures of rainbows. Using the musical instruments, the children made the different sounds that come with a thunderstorm, mimicking the rain, the thunder and the wind.
The children showed a real interest in pirates, using the gems to hide and find in the sand. They wanted to go on a treasure hunt, so we took 20 gems into the garden and hid them around for the children to find. They were able to take turns and find one each - the children said “pirates say argh and walk the plank”. We then got creative making pirate hats, using paper, sequins and glitter. The children enjoyed singing along to the ‘Port Side Pirates’ story.
The busy Bees have enjoyed getting active in the garden, so we created an obstacle course to challenge the children and develop their gross motor skills. When outdoors, the children were excited to see lots of spider’s webs around the climbing frame, so we listened to the story of “Charlotte’s Web” and the children understood that spider’s webs are helpful, and they need to make them to catch flies to eat. The children got creative making their own spider’s webs, developing their fine motor skills and their tripod grasps.
Children made boxes using construction toys, and told their peers to close their eyes and guess what was in the box. We decided we would learn about our senses, so we tested our sight by taking part in a memory game - the children looked at 5 items and then one was taken away and they had to guess what was missing. The children also listened to different sounds and guessed what they were, using their sense of hearing. We used our sense of touch by choosing different items from around the room, describing what each felt like, i.e. hard, smooth, rough, spikey. For our sense of smell, everyone discussed things they like the smell of and things they didn’t like the smell of.
The children have had a huge interest in animals, so we learnt about butterflies, bears, Gruffalo, bunnies, cats and zoo animals. Over this time, we have been on a bear hunt to find pictures of bears hidden around the room. We have matched up pictures of animals with their food, mummy’s and babies, and pets. We have also learned about the life cycle of a butterfly, drawing our own version, showing each stage of the cycle. We have been creative with wool, straws, and googly eyes, making our own bunnies. The children have been building houses for the different animals to keep them safe, and to keep the mummies and babies together.
We are currently working on the SHANARRI wheel, this stands for Safe, Healthy, Achieving, Nurtured, Active, Respected, Responsible and Included. We are going through these one by one. We started off with safe. During this, we covered road safety, discussing risk assessments with the children, and placing them around the room. These include one for the scissors and the slide etc. We also discussed the green cross code, played traffic lights, spoke about how we hold an adult’s hand when crossing the road etc. The children participated in a group sorting activity, where they looked at the pictures and they worked together to decide if they felt it was safe/unsafe and why they thought this. They did very well with this, identifying all of the hazards within the pictures.
At present, the children have taken a big interest in being healthy and exercising. We have been taking part in races, as well as dancing. We have also been learning about the heart, how it pumps blood around the body and how it helps us to stay alive. The children spoke about how your heart beats very fast when you do lots of exercise. We have also discussed healthy foods and where they come from. At the moment we are concentrating on fruit and vegetables, which the children get daily at nursery so this was one of the first things they mentioned when we asked, “What do you think is healthy”?
Interactive Learning Diary (ILD)
At nursery, we use the ILD to communicate the children’s development and progress with you at home. Since returning to nursery, we have been using these not just for developmental purposes, but also for communication. We add group observations daily so that you are aware of the activities that we have been doing throughout the day. We would also like to encourage more use of this at home. It would be great to see what the children get up to when they are not at nursery and to see what they are learning when they are not with us! We can use the post and any photos you add to them when we are at nursery to allow your children to see what is there and give them the opportunity to speak to us about home life and what they have been up to.
Tel – 01467 633270