Newsletter Term 4
I hope you all managed to enjoy some time off over the Easter holidays. It's lovely to see the lighter mornings and longer evenings now that it's spring. We are looking forward to more sunny days to expand our outdoor learning.
We welcomed Emily McQuillian to the Cheeky Monkey team on 19th March. Emily will be working on a Tuesday and Wednesday from 8.00am to 5.30pm. I'm sure you will join me in wishing Emily all the best in her new role with Wee Rascals.
We will be welcoming a new member of staff to the Busy Bee team as of 20th May. Connie Smith will be working on a Monday and Tuesday from 9.00am to 5.30pm. Connie is a qualified Practitioner who is currently working in an after-school club. Connie is looking forward to further developing her knowledge in Early Years Education with us here at Wee Rascals.
Shannon Innes is getting on very well with her SVQ and has been meeting with her assessor every 2 weeks.
Jade Webster and I have both applied to start our degree in August 2019. The course is BA Childhood Practice and will be done as a distant learning course.
Although we are into spring and we have had some nice days, the rain always makes an appearance! Please ensure your child has the appropriate clothing and footwear each day for outdoor play. Having clothing suitable for this is very much appreciated.
The nursery will provide sun cream for the children - we use Nivea for children (50+). If your child can not use this sun cream, then we would require you to provide us with an appropriate high factor sun cream that can be kept at nursery. This needs to be provided to enable your child to go outside on sunny days. It is important to protect children from UV rays which cause skin ageing and wrinkling, and also contributes to skin cancers such as melanoma.
Dates for your Diary
Coffee Morning 25th May - We will be holding our annual coffee morning from 10.00am-12.00pm. All monies raised will be donated to our charity of the year 'Friends of the Special Nursery', a charity of Aberdeen maternity Hospital's Neo-Natal Unit for premature and sick babies. www.specialnursery.org/ Tickets are now on sale for £2.50 per adult and £1.50 per child. We will have face painting, tattoos, bake sale, raffles, tea, coffee, croissants, butteries and more!
Graduation Photos 28th May- All children leaving to go to school will have the opportunity to get their photo taken with their Graduation gowns and hats on. We will do individual photos as well as one group photo. This will happen on Tuesday 28th May at 9.30am. For any children not at nursery on this day, can we please ask that you come in for 10am to have your photo taken. (Please remember this does take some time as the children need to get individual and group photos).
Parents Evening 5th June - Parents evening will start at 6.15pm. We will be handing out letters in the near future asking for a time that's most suitable for you. We will try our best to get you booked in as near to your desired time as possible, but this is not always possible.
Graduation 20th June - Graduation this year will take place at Wee Rascals nursery. We are keeping our fingers crossed for a dry day so we can hold this in the garden. But if the typical Aberdeenshire weather makes an appearance, we will have this indoors. Graduation will take place at 4.30pm. For any school leavers not at nursery on a Thursday afternoon, can we please ask that they are dropped off at nursery at 4.20pm.
Sports Day 29th June - Sports day will be held at the Kintore Playing field behind Kintore School and will start at 10.30am, and finish no later than 12.00pm. We will have lots of different sports activities:- lucky dip, face painting/tattooing and a snack table. We will make an agenda prior to the day and post it on our Face book page, as well as display it in the nursery so everyone is aware of what race will take place and when. If you wish to have a paper copy, please just ask. Money raised will go towards our yearly charity – www.specialnursery.org
Stay and Play starting 9th September - This will be on all week and time slots will be allocated. A letter will go out asking you for your preferred day and time (this must be on a day that your child attends nursery) and we will do our best to allocate you a time as close to your request as possible. Stay and Play lasts no more than an hour per child.
Kilt Walk - Suzanne, Jade, Amber and myself will be taking part in this year's 26 mile Kilt Walk in aid of our charity of the year. Some of us have started our training already and have realised how tough it's going to be! But with more training and each other for support, we will be sure to complete the full 26 miles! There is a sponsor form on the front door of the nursery or a link is regularly shared on our Facebook page if you wish to sponsor us.
The safety of your children is paramount here at Wee Rascals, therefore it is important for us to know who is coming into the building at all times. To ensure the welfare of all service users, we ask that you do not let anyone into the building at any time.
Busy Bee Topics
Some of the children had been telling the ladies about some of the Disney movies they had been watching, and were very enthusiastic about this, which led onto the other children discussing characters such as Elsa, Mickey mouse etc. We thought it was the perfect reason to do a topic on Disney. Whist discussing 'Beauty and the Beast', the children were learning about the time. Some were confident at identifying where the o' clock, quarter past and half past marks were on a clock. We also spoke about equality and how everyone is different, but should be treated the same regardless of how they look etc.
The children showed excellent creative skills whilst constructing their own castles. Not only did this promote language and discussion of shape recognition, but encouraged creativity and imagination.
The children were very excited to help construct a letter to send to Disneyland, informing them of their current area of interest and asking for an autograph. This enabled the children to work on their mark making skills. Some of the children are now showing more control of the pen, allowing them to transition from making marks to creating letters.
We also had a 'dress up' day during this topic, where the children could come along as their favourite Disney character and donate 50p to our charity of the year. We raised £10.50 on the day.
Whilst talking about 'The Little Mermaid', one of the children mentioned that she had lost her voice. This led to a discussion about different ways we could communicate if we were unable to use our voice. Pointing and writing were the most common answers, which developed into a conversation about sign language. We watched a clip on you tube to see if we could learn some basic words. We practiced the sign for hello/goodbye, no and yes.
The girls in the Busy Bee room did some responsive planning to fit in with the children's interest in Easter. A responsive plan is when we respond to the children's interest that day and come away from any planned activities for that morning/day. When the children were talking about their Easter plans, this prompted the girls to change the expected plan for the day and respond to their interests. The children created their own Easter eggs, read an Easter story, and created their own Easter cards.
We are just about to move onto a topic about transport. This became an area of interest after speaking about 'Cars', the movie.
Cheeky Monkey Topics
The children in the Cheeky Monkey room have been extending their knowledge of what is healthy food and what is unhealthy. They did a tasting activity, where they tried a variety of different foods such as blueberries, lemon, popcorn, avocado and marshmallows. As well as giving opportunities to discuss taste, likes and dislikes, it also gave the children a variety of textures to explore.
The boys and girls were also given the opportunity to participate in a counting activity. We used some seeds to count in sequence up to 10, with some managing to go beyond this.
During our topic about animals, the children helped to create their very own Zoo, using Duplo. This allowed the children to develop their ability to make complex structures. They also demonstrated good problem solving skills throughout. We discussed how the different animals have different marks such as stripes and spots – someone telling us that a tiger has strips! Following on from this discussion, the children took part in a sorting activity, which provides children with many opportunities to learn maths concepts.
Our animal topic led onto 'Mini Beasts'. The children went on a bug hunt in the garden, and they demonstrated great investigation skills, working together as a team to find some mini beasts – many hiding under stones! We found some spiders, slaters, beetles and snails! The ladies discussed other kinds of mini beasts with the children, and we started talking about grass hopers. Everyone began practising their jumping skills, trying to lift both feet off the ground, whist pretending to be grass hoppers.
The children also had their very own caterpillars; we watched the caterpillars change over a 2 week process until they finally turned into butterflies. We discussed the life cycle and how we can protect the caterpillars to ensure they are able to reach the butterfly stage. Once the butterflies were strong enough, we let them go out into the world.
We have just recently been learning about sports and how being active and healthy is good for our bodies. Kirsty has been teaching the children some yoga, building strength and balance. Some of the children participated in some football activities, where they had to aim for the "skittles" to knock them over – this required some serious concentration and also taught the children about turn taking. We also took out the small stilts when out in the garden. The children really surprised us with their ability to balance on the stilts whilst moving forward.
We continue to learn about sports and will soon be practicing for our very own sports day!
Little Bunnies Topics
We started this year off with the topic 'On the Farm', where the children did lots of animal recognition, naming the animals they had seen, pointing to them when asked where each one was, and some children managed to sort them into pairs of the same kind. We touched on colour recognition throughout this topic also. Using the cows' spots to count/recite, we worked on our numeracy.
The children made their own animals from their painted foot prints and hand prints. We used the tractors from the small world box to run through the paint and make tracks on the paper. We practiced "milking a cow" using the rubber gloves and making tiny holes in the fingers and filling them with water. We made our own farmyard in the tough spot using coco pops as the mud, weetabix as the bales, and cornflakes as the corn in the field.
We then moved onto 'Mini beasts' where the children tried a threading activity, pretending it was a spiders web. This was great for developing their fine motor skills and concentration.
We made our own play dough and creepy crawlies, and when out in the garden, we looked for bugs, but as the weather wasn't the greatest, we did an inside bug hunt, where we hid various mini beast pictures around the room. The children then went searching for them.
For art and craft, the children made butterfly prints by folding their painted pictures in half to make them symmetrical.
In the messy tray, there was cooked spaghetti to resemble wiggly worms, as well as our little plastic insects, such as our spiders in the sand, with frozen bugs in the ice as well as in the mud, all of which allows the children to explore in different sensory activities.
Our next topic was 'Food', where the children explored so many textures, playing in a variety of food. We have explored ways in which the children can incorporate food into daily play activities, such as using it to paint with, as well as role play. Children had the opportunity to use the cutting utensils with bread.
Children have been practising their physical skills, using the balance beam.
The children have shown a keen interest in things Disney of late, and so we then decided to move onto 'Fairytales as our next topic. We did a bean exercise activity, where the children used their gross motor skills to be runner beans, jumping beans etc. They used loose parts to make a fairy tale castle, using the blocks also, working on their tower building abilities.
We had the 3 bears porridge out in bowls to play in, made fizzing fairy potions, as well as fairy soup and fairy dust.
Our current topic is 'Pets', which we have just started.
Trips / Visits
The Wednesday children in the Busy Bee room attended a trip to the Aberdeen Gymnastics centre and Dobbies Garden Centre on the 20th of March. At the gymnastics, the children learnt how to put their bodies into different shapes. They took part in an obstacle course, where they had to practice their balancing skills, turn taking, jumping and 'rolley polleys'.
After a cool down session, we headed off to the Garden Centre for a snack and to pick some vegetables to grow in our green house. The children picked out some carrots and onions to try and grow…… we will keep you posted with the progress of this!
Policies of the Term
Each term, the nursery focuses on certain policies. Policies this term are...
- 12. Health and Safety
- 34. Staff Holiday procedure
- 36. Sleep Room procedure
You will find a copy of these policies on the parents notice board by the main hall. Parents are welcome to read our policy folder at any time.
We provide breakfast each morning between 7.30am and 8.15am. The children get a different cereal each morning, rotating between five different types. Just a reminder, that breakfast stops being served at 8.15am, so please make sure your child is in prior to this. Snack is provided at 9.30am for all children.
Both the Busy Bees and the Cheeky Monkeys have a Sharing day each week. This is always on a different day to ensure the children always get the opportunity to bring a toy to nursery over a five week period. Can I please ask that the children do not bring toys into nursery out with set sharing days?
Please remember that a written notice period of four weeks must be given for your child leaving nursery. Parents should still give the nursery written notice if their child is starting school in August.