Term 2 Newsletter – November 2018
I really can't believe I am writing the term 2 Newsletter already! Before we know it, we will be using the trusty phrase 'Santa is watching' (that's if you haven't already started!) and putting our Christmas trees up!
Fiona has settled in to the Cheeky Monkey room and is progressing well in her role!
Megan joined Fiona and Becca in the Cheeky Monkey room 6 weeks ago and is also settling in really well.
We have had quite a few fundraisers of late and are very thankful for the amazing support you always give us during our fundraising efforts! Back in September, we made pizzas to order and raised an impressive £174. Alison was also kind enough to make us a batch of her very tasty toffee that same week, which we sold to you lucky people. This gave us £76 to add to our total.
In October, we had a bake off between the rooms and myself. You were all very complimentary about our baking skills, and rightfully crowned Amber, and the Busy Bee children bake off winners for 2018, helped us raise £53.80.
This month we had our Coffee Morning, where we raised a whopping £658, so many thanks for all who attended and helped on the day.
Each month the team also took part in some fundraising. We had monthly 'dress down' days and paid £2 to take part. So far this term, we have had two 'dress down' days, so far raising £32.
All of our fundraising will be donated to our Charity of the Year 2018 which is 'Befriend a Child'. They are a local based charity who supports disadvantaged and troubled children aged 4 - 16 in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire. You can find out more information about them at www.befriendachild.org.uk
Our recent and last fundraiser of the year was another breakfast morning, which came after the success of our previous one.
We will inform parents of our grand total for 2018 very shortly, once all the totals have been collated.
Little Bunnies Topics
We started term 2 off with 'Weather', where the children helped build Noah's ark using their problem solving skills, working out where to place the blocks. We also managed to work on next steps for building towers.
There was lots of rain at the start of the term, which helped the Bunnies develop their physical skills when jumping in the puddles! We also made our own rain makers to put in the sensory area, and an activity that always gets a great response is the ice cube painting, which went down really well.
The children played with the parachute, making it like the 'Wind', and they were able to feel the strength and movement of it as they held the parachute.
For arts and craft, the children made rainbows using sponges as well as sun catchers.
We then moved onto 'Dinosaurs' as our next topic. This topic was a great hit with the children. They made their own models with the loose parts, using their imagination and creativity skills.
We did a role play stomp/stretch and crawl activity where everyone followed instructions throughout. As a new experience, we did a fizzing dinosaur egg experiment where tiny baby dinosaurs were hidden in a ball of salt flour and water, and then we poured vinegar over the top to make it fizz and release the dinosaurs. We also hid dinosaurs in water balloons and then froze them to resemble eggs.
We cut out dinosaur foot prints and the children used these to stomp through the paint.
There was play dough made and the children used pasta as the spikes. In the messy tray we had sand and Dino's, water and Dino's, mud, leaves and Dino's, gloop and Dino's, as well as jelly and Dino's.
After this topic, we moved onto 'People who help us', where the children practiced moving the coupe cars when outside.
The boys and girls developed their knowledge of body parts, as well as animal matching. They made x-ray pictures using cotton buds and glue, chalk fire pictures, traffic lights and incorporated colour recognition into this activity.
In the role play area, children dressed up as police, doctors and fire fighters, with lots of imagination and turn taking skills starting to develop.
In the messy tray, children had opportunities for sensory play with shaving foam, along with red and yellow paint, coloured spaghetti, oats, cornflakes, and weetabix in the tough spot as a construction site, as well as soapy slime and water.
Next, we looked at 'The Very Hungry Caterpillar' as our topic. For this, the children practiced their number recognition by counting the amount of food the caterpillar eats, with the children inserting the various foods into the caterpillar's mouth during an activity.
We did a pasta threading activity, where the children worked on their fine motor skills as well as their concentration skills.
The children helped their ladies make biscuits, and they all took part in a food tasting activity where they joined the caterpillar in tasting all the foods he did.
We used the small wooden blocks to make caterpillars, working on the children's pattern making and colour recognition. We also spoke about symmetry when making butterfly paintings.
In the messy tray, there was mud, cooked spaghetti, and play dough.
Following on from the above, we discussed vehicles, where the children did hand print cars, car track painting on the windows, a bubble wrap car track painting activity, and bottle cap floating boats in the water tray.
The children helped build the construction train tracks for free play, and when outside in the garden, we did a car wash and washed the coupe cars.
For physical play, children developed their throwing and aiming skills, throwing the bean bags into the holes of a big cardboard traffic light.
In the messy tray, there was shredded paper, jelly and boats, toothpaste and shaving foam, as well as paint and ice cubes.
We then moved onto autumn, where we went out for some lovely crisp walks to collect leaves, cones and twigs. We used them to make our own hedgehog collages, leaf puppets on a stick, leaf rubbing pictures, as well as a counting activity, where the children were encouraged to count the leaves.
We incorporated colour matching/sorting into this topic by getting the children to sort the leaves into coloured groups.
Throughout this topic, children worked towards developing their problem solving skills when doing puzzles.
In the messy tray, there was mud and sticks, leaves and cones, gloop and water, ice cubes with frozen leaves inside, as well as jelly and slime.
During Halloween, the children enjoyed making lot of arts and crafts to help decorate the room, as well as carving out the pumpkin and playing in the seeds. We held a Halloween party where the children and staff all came dressed up and played party games, which included finding the jelly baby in the icing sugar.
We have now moved onto 'Numbers & Shapes''. If anyone has any ideas related to our up-coming topics, then we have a parents' ideas sheet situated on the unit beside the staff sign in and out sheets.
Cheeky Monkeys Topics
We kicked off this term with 'Space', where the children enjoyed learning about the different planets, their names, shapes and colours. These discussions led onto activities such as planet jumping, making moon dust and baking rock cakes. The children also practiced their counting skills doing star counting. In the messy tray there was gloop, sand, water and shaving foam.
We progressed onto 'Planet Earth' to focus on our own planet. Throughout this, we discussed the different countries and their traditions. For example, for Scotland the children made their own tartan and worked on their physical skills by doing mini highland games. We tasted different foods from different counties, such as haggis, cheese and pasta.
We then moved onto 'Disney' as our next topic, where the children enjoyed dressing up as their favourite characters. We did a frozen erupting snow experiment, played in the ice until it melted and used the crazy soap to build castles. We did some fun ballroom dancing, as well as jumping like a frog in 'Princess and the Frog'.
Next, we looked at 'Dinosaurs', where the children showed a keen interest in learning about how big their teeth were, which took us onto speaking about the importance of brushing your teeth. The children even had a go at brushing the toy dinosaur's teeth. We made great use of our loose parts to make dinosaur fossils and a pretend erupting volcano. We also made up some soapy slime for the children to resemble a swamp, where they added the toy dinosaurs.
As autumn approached, we moved onto this as our next topic. We managed to get out for a few walks to collect conkers and leaves. These were put to good use as we used the conkers to do counting games and conker paintings. The children used their investigation skills, looking for the different shaped and coloured leaves, and then sorted them into correct piles.
After autumn, we moved onto Halloween, where the children participated in lots of messy activities, such as spider slime, witches brew, spaghetti worms and playing with the insides of the pumpkin we carved. Throughout these activities, the children explored and discussed the various textures and feelings. We learnt a new song called 'Dem bones', which helped us with our body part knowledge.
We held a Halloween party where the children dressed up, enjoyed party food and danced to party games. The children also enjoyed other activities such as face painting.
As it was Bonfire Night, the children used their creative skills to make firework pictures, using brightly coloured paints, as well as practicing their gluing and sticking skills to make bonfire pictures. There were discussions about the colours and noises of fireworks and who had seen them before.
Busy Bees Topics
Since last term, we have covered 'Pets' as a topic. The children discussed various animals, and there was a keen interest in horses, so the children looked into these in more depth using a labeled diagram of a horse which showed various facts. We also went for a walk, where children were able to look at some horses.
The children were interested in vets, as they help animals when they are sick. We did a matching/sorting activity of where animals live and they matched them with what houses they belonged to.
The Busy Bees enjoyed a trip to Macduff aquarium, where they gained knowledge of the habitats of various sea creatures.
We moved onto 'Space' and are still currently learning about this. This seems to be an interesting topic for the children. We have had discussions about planets in our solar system, and learnt their names. The children managed to incorporate their learning into a game, by being given a specific planet, and then being asked to stand where they thought the planets were in relation to the sun, therefore giving them an understanding of measurement and distance.
The boys and girls practiced their number recognition by playing a rocket dice number game, where the children had to match the correct numbers with the pieces of rocket. The children have also been developing their literacy and computer skills by typing the planets names, followed on by everyone helping to make a picture of them for the wall display.
We are looking to move onto looking at the weather next, so if anyone has any ideas, then please feel free to let the girls in the room know. We appreciate all feedback and ideas.
Angela from Abricabeats has been attending on a Tuesday at 12.30pm this term.
Many thanks to the many parents who took time to complete our parental questionnaire. I am in the process of collating them, and will feedback to you once this has been completed. We are grateful for your feedback and many positive comments.
Thank you for your patience with the new invoicing system which has been challenging to set up. We hope that going forwards, that the system will be an improvement, and of course having the bills
e-mailed should make a huge difference for parents.
This term sees the start of our new Improvement plans going live. Our new plans will be covering 1.4 - Leadership of Management and Practitioners, 2.4 – Personalised Support and 3.3 – Develop creativity and skills for life and learning. Please see our Improvement planning wall in the main hallway by the Busy Bees boxes for more in depth information on how we plan to improve in each area and to see the progress we are making along the way.
Policies of the Term
Each term, the nursery focuses on certain policies. Policies this term are:-
- 13. Fire prevention and control
- 20. No smoking policy
- 41. Health, wellbeing and safety policy
You will find a copy of these policies on the parent's notice board by the main hall. Parents are welcome to read our policy folder at any time.
Tax Free Voucher/Payments
In April 2017, the UK Government launched its tax free Childcare Scheme which replaces existing voucher schemes. This closed to new entrants in April 2018, although existing membership can continue forwards from this cut-off date. Information can be read at the following sites:-
Please remember that all payments made direct to Summers Nursery bank account should be referenced with the use of your child's name to ensure full, easy allocation.
Dates for your Diary
Thursday 6th December - Our pre-school Christmas Panto has been booked! All children in their final year at Wee Rascals will be invited to attend the Panto in Aberdeen, which is Snow White this year. We will be leaving nursery at 12.30pm and be back for 5.00pm.
Wednesday 12th December - Ante pre school trip to Hoodles. All Ante Preschool children will be invited to attend this trip. We will be leaving nursery at 12.30pm and returning at 4pm.
Tuesday 18th December - Christmas lunch for all children who that attend that day.
Wednesday 19th December - All children will be invited to our Christmas Party. Busy Bees will be 2.00-4.00pm and Cheeky Monkeys & Little Bunnies will be 2.30 - 4.00pm.
Friday 14th December - Nativity for all Busy Bee children starting at 2.30pm
Xmas Break - The nursery will close on Friday 21st December 2018 at 6pm for the Christmas break and re open on Monday 7th January 2019.