Week beginning 18 July
As we finish the year, we wanted to say a big thank you to our lovely Squirrels, We wish all our departing children and families all the best for the future. It has been a privilege to learn together this year. You should all be very proud of how much you have achieved. Have a fun and restful break.
Week beginning 11 July
This week, we began our new Talk for Writing focus on Little Red Riding Hood. Our 'hook' for the topic was a visit from Little Red Riding Hood, who came in to talk about her encounter with the wolf and to remind children of the importance of listening to your grown up! The children had the opportunity to 'hot-seat' Red Riding Hood and to develop their questioning skills. We had some great questions...
"Why didn't you listen to your mummy?"
"What is in your basket?"
"Was your mummy cross with you?""Did you like the Big Bad Wolf?"
We also developed a class story map and practised telling the story using action and song.
Week beginning 4 July
This week has been busy with transition visits and a visit from Firefighters. We learnt about the clothes that they wear and looked at some of their specialist equipment. We even had a chance to use a hose!
Week beginning 27 June
People who help us week
What a week it has been! On Monday, we had a visit from Robin, who talked to us about how he looks after the school - we were especially excited to see the keys he uses to lock up. On Tuesday, Dr Wanigaratne talked to us about how to take care of our teeth and what happens at the Dentist. On Wednesday, we had a visit from Paul, our Lollypop man, who talked to us about how he helps us to cross the road safely. On Thursday, Nurse Sharon visited with her bag of things to help us if we are feeling poorly. Finally, Mrs Bennet talked about how she helps make our school lunches. Thank you so much to all our visitors this week - we have loved it and learnt a lot. However, the fun is not yet over as next week we are hoping to have a visit from the fire service, so watch this space!
Week beginning 20 June
To celebrate National Sports Week, we have been getting ready for Sports Day and talking about how we can stay healthy. We practised running and balancing and talked about what it means to be a 'good sport'. We also had a visit from specialist tennis coaches who taught us tennis skills.
We enjoyed a 'morning tea' of jam tarts and jam sandwiches, before our class performance. We hope you enjoyed the show. The children worked really hard.
Week beginning 13 June
In preparation for our Jubilee celebration, we have been talking about Queen Elizabeth and the people in her family. This provides an opportunity for the children to talk about their own families and learn about what makes everyone’s families similar and different. We talked about our own families. Did you know, Mrs Milton has the most brothers and sisters in our class? We also made jam tarts in preparation for our Jubilee ‘morning tea’. We are looking forward to performing our dance to you tomorrow.
Week beginning 6 June
Welcome back! We hope you had a lovely half term. This week, we have continued our focus on the Platinum Jubilee. We read the story So Much, a story about a family getting ready for a celebration and talked about the many ways that families celebrate together. Thank you so much for sending photographs of your own family celebrations. Celebrating who we are and how we connect with those around us is fundamental to promoting children's sense of self and belonging. Squirrels class loved sharing their pictures with their friends! We had so many different celebrations - a new baby, Eid, Easter, Birthdays, weddings, to name a few! The children were very interested in seeing pictures of their friends' celebrations. It was a meaningful way to help them develop their understanding of other people's cultures and beliefs. We have made a display of all their photos in the classroom and have been really pleased with all the language and conversation it has prompted.
Week beginning 23 May
Our butterflies emerged from their chrysalis over the weekend. We had watched the full lifecycle so were delighted to release them in our sensory garden and watch them fly away. We've also been learning about the Queen's Jubilee celebrations. We prepared our own bunting and looked at photographs of the Queen over the years. We hope you have fun celebrating the Jubilee over the half term break.
Week beginning 16 May
We have had a busy week in Squirrels class. We had our dance workshop on Tuesday and are looking forward to performing our dance to you after half term. We also baked biscuits in preparation for our walk to the Watercress Beds - pouring, mixing, stirring, rolling and following a recipe. They tasted delicious. We had a great time on our walk. We saw all sorts - pet dogs out for a walk, birds, snails, slugs and pond skaters. Thank you to all our parent helpers.
Week beginning 9 May
This week, we have continued our learning about the lifecycle of a butterfly. We watched in awe as the caterpillars climbed to the top of their container and spun a chrysalis. The children sequenced their own lifecycles and played the game Counting Caterpillars. They have also had a chance to 'innovate' their own version of the Hungry Caterpillar. They chose an animal to hatch, to be the main character and decided what food their animal was going to eat. Everyone had their own story to tell!
Week beginning 2 May
This week, we have continued hunting for minibeasts around our wildlife area. We also learnt the story of The Hungry Caterpillar, using actions and music and made our own class story map. We watched in fascination as our caterpillars got bigger and bigger and now we are wondering - will they start to spin their chrysalis soon? A huge thank you to Mrs Younas who came to talk to us about Eid on Wednesday. She shared lots of information about Ramadan and the festival Eid al-Fitr. The children listened to a prayer and you could have heard a pin drop! We also shared dates (which are used for breaking the fast), listened to a story about Eid and painted beautiful mendhis on our friends' hands.
Week beginning 25 April
We're going on a mini beast hunt, we're going to find some tiny ones! We began our week as mini beast detectives, exploring our school's wildlife area and new sensory garden. This built on our new Talk for Writing focus on The Very Hungry Caterpillar. This week, we also received an exciting delivery of five tiny caterpillars! We have been observing them very carefully and are looking forward to seeing how they grow and change over the next few weeks. We talked about the life cycle of a butterfly and learnt the words and actions for the song There's a little caterpillar on a branch. Perhaps you could sing it together at home?
Welcome back! We hope you had an enjoyable break. We have loved hearing about all the fun things the children did over half term. Thank you for the photographs of your family celebrations. If you haven't had a chance, there's still time to email in a photograph - we look forward to sharing these together after the May bank holiday. This week, the Squirrels class children have enjoyed building, using the bikes, playing at the water tray and climbing on the large apparatus. We hope you enjoy the photos from our storytelling session. It was an interactive session based around three Fairy Tales - Goldilocks, Little Red Riding Hood and Jack and the Beanstalk.
Week beginning 28 March
We have had an 'eggcellent' week in Squirrels class. It was such a pleasure to welcome you all to our stay and play session. We hope you enjoyed playing and learning with your child. This week, we also made biscuits, mixing and stirring sugar, flour and butter to make a dough. We used our palms and a rolling pin to pound, push, flatten and roll our dough and a cutter and spatula to cut and scrape our dough onto the baking tray. We were very impressed with the children's independence! We went on an egg hunt into our nature area, using the mathematical language of high, low, beside, under, next to, up and down to find eggs. We also talked about why Christians celebrate Easter. We hope you have an enjoyable and restful break and look forward to seeing you again after the holidays.
Week beginning 21 March
Spring has sprung and we have continued to enjoy the mild weather this week! We have continued our focus on Jack and the Beanstalk. This week we came up with ideas for new characters to replace the giant in the story. We had some great ideas - a goblin, a witch, and a bad turtle. We have been busy making cards for the special ladies in our lives and have learnt to use a five frame. Five frames are great for helping children to count and to visualise numbers. We used different coloured bears to look at the pairs of numbers that can join to make five. We have really enjoyed reading the story, Pete the cat, I love my white shoes. Perhaps you could share this story together at home?
Week beginning 14 March
This week, we continued with Jack and the Beanstalk. We have been using our story map and small world resources to tell the story. We also measured beanstalks using cubes, using the mathematical language of tall and short. Earlier in the week, we took advantage of the lovely weather to go on a Spring walk. We used our senses to listen, look and smell signs of Spring. What signs of Spring do you notice on your way home from school?
Week beginning 7 March
This week, we started our new Talk for Writing focus on Jack and the Beanstalk. We arrived on Monday to find some magic beans from Jack and a letter warning us to watch out for the Giant. We listened really carefully and thought we might have heard the Giant's footsteps. We sequenced the story and drew story maps. We have also continued to care for our seeds and watched in awe as our seeds began to germinate with some seedlings beginning to emerge! We also practised our subitising skills matching beans with dots to their corresponding numerals 0-3. Subitising is the ability to instantly recognise the number of objects in a small group without the need to count them. For example, when you roll a dice you will instantly recognise the number of dots on the face of the dice. Subitising in the early years helps children relate numbers to actual items or groups of items. You can learn more about subitising on our Top Tips page.
Week beginning 28th February
Our focus for this week has been Jasper's Beanstalk. The story provides the perfect opportunity to sequence the days of the week and introduce a basic timeline modelling the language 'yesterday' and 'tomorrow'. We learnt about why Christians celebrate pancake day and enjoyed decorating our own pancakes. To celebrate World Book Day, we talked about our favourite book characters and decorated potatoes to look like our favourite story characters. We also planted our own beans and have enjoyed watering and nurturing our seeds. We also wondered what would happen if we planted a seed in playdough without water.
Week beginning 21 February
Welcome back! We have enjoyed hearing the children's holiday news. Thank you for the moments from home, they have helped support the children explaining the three 'w's - 'what' they did 'who' they saw and 'where' they went. This week we had a superhero focus. The children have designed and made their own superhero cars using reclaimed materials and learnt to use glue and Sellotape to join materials. What can you make at home using recycled materials?
Week beginning 7 February
This week, we have been thinking about people who are special to us. We have made cards for special people in our lives and the children practised writing their names inside. We hope you have a restful and enjoyable half term break and look forward to seeing you soon. Please let us know about all the fun things you get up to by filling in a 'Moments from Home' sheet. We will share our 'moments' in small groups, when we return.
Week beginning 31 January
This week, we have been learning about how people around the world celebrate Chinese New Year and that this year is the year of the tiger! Learning about ways in which people celebrate helps raise children's awareness and acceptance of what, how and why people celebrate. It also helps put their own cultural identity and family celebrations into context. We had fun using chopsticks to eat noodles and honed our scissor skills to make paper lanterns. We also had fun in the hall doing our own Dragon Dance!
Squirrels class were also authors and illustrators this week! We worked together to rewrite a shared version of the Bear Hunt story called We're Going on a Tiger Hunt. We hope you enjoy reading it!
Week beginning 24 January
We're going on a bear hunt. We're going to catch a big one! This week Squirrels class had fun reading and learning the book We're Going on a Bear Hunt, by Michael Rosen. We went on our own bear hunt around the school grounds through swishy grass, mud, a forest and a snow storm, before finding a bear in our outdoor tunnel! We had great fun retelling the story using actions and musical instruments. We also drew a story map.
Week beginning 17 January
Brr! It's chilly this week! We have been observing seasonal changes and went on a seasonal walk, using our senses to notice the changes. We have also focussed on another traditional tale: The Three Billy Goats Gruff. We have talked about characters in stories and the children have drawn their own trolls and described them. We worked as a team to build a bridge using the large construction kits. We also made collections focussing on the numbers one, two and three. What numbers can you see on your way home from school?
Week beginning 10 January
This week we have read the story of The Three Little Pigs. We had fun learning how to use glue to attach sticks and hay and practised our printing skills to print brick houses. We also had fun constructing our own houses, using the different construction kits in our classroom. We drew a map of the wolf's route and placed 'environmental print' on our map to show the other places he had visited. Environmental print is the name given to the print that appears in signs, labels, and logos. Being able to recognise environmental print is an important pre-reading skill; it helps bridge the connection between letters and supports children's first efforts to read.
Week beginning 3 January
Happy New Year and welcome back. We have been impressed with how well the children have settled back to school and look forward to an exciting term ahead.
Week beginning 13 December
This week we performed our Nursery sing-a-long. The children were very excited to perform to their families. It was great fun! We hope you have an enjoyable and restful break and look forward to seeing you all in the New Year.
Week beginning 6 December
This week in Squirrels class, we have focussed on the book Stick Man. We went on a walk to the nature area, looking for Stick Man and observing changes in the season. We made our own stick men, who popped up around the classroom through the week. We were also excited to receive a letter from Stick Man. We learnt how to put a stamp on an envelope and practised finding and writing our names, which came in handy in our Post Office role play area. We have also been thinking about positional language and had fun putting Stick Man on, under, besides and inside a box. It's getting colder and we are excited about Christmas. What changes have you noticed on your way to school?
Week beginning 29 November
We have continued to have fun learning and retelling the story of The Gingerbread Man. The children have learnt the story using a multi-sensory approach. Actions are used to make the story, especially the key connectives, memorable. We have used a story map as a visual reminder. The children have also used puppets, role-play, and small world resources to bring the tale alive and make it memorable. Have a go at retelling the story together at home.
Week beginning 22 November
Run, run as fast as you can. You can't catch me I'm the Gingerbread Man! We came into Nursery on Monday to discover that Mrs Milton's Gingerbread Man was missing! There was a trail of flour and footprints, which led us to some crumbled up biscuits. A fox had eaten Mrs Milton's Gingerbread Man! We found a map of the story of what happened to the Gingerbread Man and have enjoyed using the map to retell the story. We have also drawn our own story maps and used actions, words and props to retell the story.
Week beginning 15 November
This week, we have continued to focus on nursery rhymes to celebrate World Nursery Rhyme Week. Before they learn phonics, children need to be repeatedly exposed to spoken language, rhythmic patterns and simple repetitive phrases - nursery rhymes are the perfect way to do this.
We used instruments to count a beat to the nursery rhyme Hickory, Dickory Dock and 'Ten Fat Sausages'. We've have been using our fingers to sing 'Five Little Speckled Frogs' and 'Five Currant Buns'. We also had fun 'Down in the Jungle', pretending to be jungle animals and exploring different ways of moving to music.
Week beginning 8 November
Next week is World Nursery Rhyme week so we have been focussing on some of our favourite rhymes. We had fun singing 'Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes', drew around our bodies and named body parts. Our home corner became a Doctor's Surgery for Miss Polly's sick dollies and we have talked about our experiences of going to the Doctor. The children also enjoyed playing a counting game with Incy Wincy Spider. If you would like to sing the rhymes at home, you can find them here: https://www.worldnurseryrhymeweek.com/ What is your favourite Nursery Rhyme?
Week beginning 1 November
This week in Squirrels class, we have learnt about Diwali, the festival of lights. We looked at some beautiful rangoli patterns and the children enjoyed mark making outside. We also used clay to make beautiful Diva lamps. We have also been thinking light and dark, fireworks and space. We made firework pictures, danced to the song 'Firework' and talked about firework safety.
Week beginning 18 October
We have had a magical week in Squirrels class. In preparation for our Magical Tea Party, the children demonstrated their amazing cutting skills when they made magic wands and impressed us with their mark making as they made predictions about how this week's book might end. We hope you have a restful and fun half term holiday and look forward to seeing you all after the break.
Week beginning 4 October
This week we have been counting everything! We shared the rhyme ten little fingers and ten little toes and have counted objects around the classroom. The children had fun using hammers to make shape pictures and used their measuring skills to make salt dough. Perhaps you could explore what happens when you add water to a dough?
This week we have continued to be 'Nursery Explorers'. We looked in detail at our Home Corner, which is now a Police Station, explored the water tray provision and learnt about scissor safety. We've been so impressed with how independent they are becoming with their coats. Keep going with the good work!
This week Squirrels class has continued to learn the routines of the classroom. We have had lots of fun exploring inside and outside. We have practised putting on our coats, which helps us in the Home Corner if we want to dress up. Here is a little coat trick, to promote independence. Why don't you try it at home? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w9Hohc3mkjA
We have had a lovely first week with Squirrels class who have impressed us with their independence and positive attitude. This week, we have been learning our new routines and exploring the different areas of our learning environment.