Getting Ready for Big School
Here is the news from Foxes Room (age 3+)
Our staff in Foxes Room are looking at the letters of the alphabet every week. The phonics covered in detail were:
a – the children looked at apples and enjoyed apple bobbing to emphasise the ‘a a a a a a ‘ phonic sound
g – garden digging – lots of activities in the garden and digging for worms
o – oreo tower building, counting and using mathematical language to discuss tallest/shortest, more than/less than
h – hospital – the nursery introduced real bandages, plasters and a doctors set, x-rays, beds etc so that the children could talk about and role play their real experiences at the doctor’s or a hospital
s – silly soup – this is a phonics rhyming song where the children sing and have to find an item or a word that sounds the same as the phonic used
“Musical Bumps” music session has now moved to a Tuesday morning so that all children get a chance to join in with the session. Music teacher, Ruth, is a very popular lady at nursery!
The topic for March & April is ‘Our Environment’. Foxes children have been looking at their immediate environment and have been on ‘sound walks’ and walks to find shapes in the things they see around them (square window, triangle flag). They have also been looking at different environments around the world and have made their own endangered species wall display. The children participated in a music and movement session when they had to listen to different animal sounds/music and move in the way of the animal they thought they could hear. They have particularly enjoyed the ‘Oi! Get Off Our Train’ story and know the story by heart. With the help of Gregory’s dad, we are adding a different dimension to this and the children will now be able to listen to the story in the Dutch language.
The children have also joined in with lots of activities and produced some lovely things for Mothers Day – flower cards & pasta necklaces. The children create their own independent work and we encourage them to be proud of all their creations no matter what the outcome! For Red Nose Day the children enjoyed the David Walliams story of ‘The Queen’s Orangutan’ and made orangutan biscuits during the day. The nursery raised £69 for Comic Relief.
We have again introduced our woodwork table, giving the children a chance to use real child-sized tools and equipment. This encourages them to think, plan, design and build their creations using different media.
This activity is closely supervised by the staff and offered at different levels for varied abilities to ensure all children gain experience and are challenged in the correct way.
Level 1. We use a selection of soft wood pieces with building materials (wood, sandpaper, sanding mask, DIY magazines, building books, note pad and pencils)
Level 2. We use smaller wood pieces and corks, pva glue – basic construction – moving on to constructing with a purpose – use pictures of buildings to copy.
Level 3. We use blocks of wood of varying size, shape and hardness, nails and real small hammers. Learning about tool safety, how to hammer safely and correctly and get the nails into the wood, how to join pieces of wood using nails.
We have talked about the eclipse and what happens during this event. We looked at the eclipse as it happened on the ipad and also looked at the full eclipse DVD that occurred in 1999. The children made their own pictures for a display.
Planned activities for the next few weeks include:
The phonics to be covered:
v – we will be using science to create an exciting volcano experiment!
y – yellow activities and heuristic painting with yellow paint
m – money, coins and mathematical activities with basic addition and subtraction
We have Zoolab visiting us when we will be looking at the environments different animals and insects live in and which part of the world they come from. We will be catching and making our own wormery and looking after these as well as the giant land snails that live at Acorns.
Now that Spring has arrived we will be doing lots of planting and growing. We are looking forward to growing, caring for, harvesting and then eating vegetables for our lunch. These will include tomatoes, strawberries, courgettes and green beans.
We had a recycling week planned (23-27 Mar) and learned a new song, made our own recycled paper and collected and sorted items to be recycled.
There are lots of fun activities planned for St George’s Day and Easter.
And finally we have started to reinforce strategies in preparation for helping the older children get ready for their transition to BIG school. Some of the things we are starting to do include are:
- setting up for lunch
- lining up for lunch
- serving themselves food
- independence in the bathroom
- independence in dressing/changing clothes
- independence in shoes – being able to take them on/off without help
- social skills – being confident to talk out in a group, listen to one another, taking turns
- showing concern for others
- self register time – recognising and moving own name to say that they are at nursery today
- development of fine motor skills in preparation for handwriting – lots of scissor work, pencil control – correct hold and grip, patterning work to help with the start of letter formation, play dough with smaller tools
- letter recognition within our environment, linking letters to the sounds they know and can hear in words
- gross motor skills – move confidently in a variety of ways, co-ordinate pedals on a bike, be aware of space around them and manoeuvre to avoid collisions
- mathematics – start to match numerals to objects, what number comes next, what number is one less than, being aware of size/length
- ICT – using the computer for basic programs – mouse control and keyboard use, using the nursery ipad to explore different educational software
These are all relevant skills that will benefit your child in becoming more independent and confident when they join a larger class and have to adapt to a different environment and routine. We believe that these social and independence skills will build your child’s self-esteem and help them to be more receptive to the more formal/academic learning that will start in school.