Autumn term Week 11

This week has been full of construction - we have used hammers and real nails, we have planned walls and used masking tape to set out our plans, we have learnt to use tape measures and worked hard to measure our designs. There are some brilliant photos that I have seen this week and some real concentration and imagination so we may be teaching some future architects early skills! We have also set up obstacle courses outside which the children have enjoyed, learning to balance, take risks, learn to take turns, persevere, bounce back, and have another go.

 

We have also enjoyed wonderful circle times this week all planned by the group leaders,

 

Red - started the week by sorting coins for Pudsey, working really hard to match the pennies and the 5 p's, they have also completed lots of activities around numbers, recognising them, matching them, counting and selecting the correct numeral to represent quantity. The group have also created some wonderful drawings, choosing the right colours to represent what they had chosen to draw.

 

Blue - animal prints were used in blue to look at patterns and the children made some really accurate choices for collaging their print outs. They have also matched numbers, quantity and counting skills and have also started to learn the initial sounds in their names. Observational drawings were gorgeous - using autumn leaves and sycamore seeds.

 

Green - have worked hard on their understanding and listening and attention skills, they have also looked carefully at animal patterns and looked at the differences. They have used equipment to build up strength in their hands, explored our senses and food.

 

We are tidying away our space work now and moving towards Christmas, lots of craft to make and organising of costumes to do. We are so looking forward to showing your our play and how well the children have learnt the songs.

Our home corner will be set up outside, we are continuing with construction in our blue room, Lots of craft inside and outside over the week and we will make scented playdoh, glittery playdoh and will try once more for some slime!

Our Christmas tree will go up next week and we will make a new postbox as our was lost in the flood.

 

We are also desperate to get rid of the flood damaged equipment and would love any offers of help to do a tip run please - let Mandy know if you have a van and a spare hour to help us, it does look so awful all piled up next to the reception area.

 

 

Autumn Term Week 10

We have enjoyed another week full of space fun and learning - we have joined the space police, made flags to put on the moon, written postcards to our alien friends and posted them in an alien postbox and we have, of course read Aliens Love Underpants!

 

The week has been busy as always with some well planned circle times, our circle leaders are Amelia, Andrea, Denise, Bryony, Louise, Alison and Michelle and the short group times are planned to bring on the children's learning, to teach them about new ideas and to learn about how to be kind to each other at pre-school and follow the rules we have. We use circle times to make friends, to learn about new games, to work on Maths and Literacy through fun games and to develop skills needed for school. We have lots of fun and lots of chatter and always encourage the children to talk, to share their ideas and thoughts and help them to make links from home to pre-school. 

 

Red group - have learnt about floating and sinking, really concentrated on animal patterns, learning how to describe them and work out why they are different. The reds have written a story together without using any props or books, we write a really imaginative story about a frog called George! We have also started to look and listen to letters and their sounds, trying to match objects to the sound at the beginning of our names.

 

Blue group - have worked with number recognition through different games, lots of moving around the room, matching, checking and looking carefully at matching numbers to quantity which is a good skill to learn before going to school. They have practised scissor skills, written a story together about a witch called Acodobra and also learnt about Children in Need and what Pudsey can do to help children who are ill or feel sad. Some lovely ideas were shared by the children, for example - we can smile more to cheer the children up or give money so Pudsey can take ill children to the beach. Some really kind ideas.

 

Green group - have worked hard to learn simple concepts such as big and little, colour matching, heavy and light - having lots of fun dropping items into water and guessing which would sink or float. The children have been making fantastic progress in mark making and some lovely circles and lines have been drawn which is the start of learning their letters when they move into red and blue next year.

 

We supported Children in Need this week by asking families to lay their "Pennies on Pudsey"  - total to follow but thank you so much for putting any spare change on the paper.

 

Next week we will be setting up a construction site in the blue room and adding in clipboards, paper, tape measures and mark making and planning and designing and following plans too. Outside we are working on physical development and playing together by making obstacle courses and keeping everyone moving in the garden and engaged in play together. On our green table during our free flow time we will be using tools and building up co-ordination and strength and skills.

 

We have also started to learn our Christmas Songs for our nativity play on Thursday 14th December - we will send the songs out to you at home to practice as well!

Autumn Term Week 9

 

This week has been our first with rain stopping outside play! We introduced some soft play inside which was great fun, teaching the children to wait for their turn, using the blackboard to list who as next and using a timer all helped them to get to grips with only having a relatively short go each and we will keep doing this over the coming weeks. The children are used to a lovely long go, climbing around at Chasers so learning about waiting and following the rules when their turn is over takes practice but everyone got the hang of it really quickly.

 

A space rocket landed at pre-school and we hope the children are telling you all about planets and rockets and walkie talkies! There has been some wonderful role play and some really imaginative ideas from the team who have produced with the children's input some brilliant space back packs, galaxy pictures and alien craft - more to follow next week as well and we are going to move the rocket undercover as it is not as weather proof as we hoped - anyone work for NASA?!

 

The circles have gone very well this week, the children are growing in confidence and sharing ideas and we love to take time to listen to them talk and share thoughts.

 

Red group - looked at observational drawing together, looking closely at how to draw something and listened to each others ideas, they have also learnt about matching numbers and sequences of numbers. The group learnt about patterns, described the different ones they were holding and then worked hard to find a matching partner and then to find the patterns around the room. 

 

Blue group - have practised ball skills, throwing and catching - they have also learnt about patterns and matching and differences and used language to talk about the shapes and styles of patterns. The group have talked about growth and change, from babies to grown up and looked at different animals and their babies. Counting, numerals and some more sign language has made for a busy week.

 

Green group - have practised copying actions and discriminating using their language between actions and following instructions and giving instructions too. We have used counting as a circle activity and there are some really great skills already to build on. The children have also looked at how we grow, what changes from when they were a baby to being 3 and have enjoyed stories and learnt new songs as well.

 

Christmas is approaching and we are beginning to learn our songs for the play on the 14th December. All children take part so we will look forward to sharing our Nativity with you on that Thursday.

 

Forest School happened off site this week and was a great success, we know the second group will be really excited to start their Forest School sessions in the Summer.

 

Next steps will be given out over the coming weeks so please give us feedback and we look forward to seeing you at our parent consultation evenings and session appointments over the coming weeks. 

 

Autumn Term Week 8

 

Well our week got off to a bad start with a burst water cylinder in our external store which cause significant damage to all our role play resources. We had to turn off the water for a number of hours while the problem was sorted so we apologise for having to close but we had no other option without working toilets or water to drink. We emptied all of our kit into the garden and worked out what could be saved and what we were going to lose and sadly we have lost nearly all of the paper, most of our resources for role play so lots of printing to do and most of the cost will be in printing cartridges! We will have to replace lots of equipment and have had to find homes around pre-school for what we can save until the store is dry and refitted with shelving units again. Still it can all be replaced and no-one was hurt so that is all that matters really. I would like to praise all the staff who were here on Monday for their efforts, support and hard work. it is due to them (and our plumber!) that we were able to open on Tuesday.

 

Apart from that drama - we have welcomed everyone back to the second half of term and we have had a lovely calm week! the children have come back refreshed and dressed up and have loved the activities that we have planned for them. We had a dinosaur world outside on two levels, we have had loads of firework and pumpkin craft inside which has been really popular and we have learnt a new bonfire night song. The clothes and shoe shop has been popular inside too, with lots of children loving the role play and trying on and measuring shoes.

 

Red group - have started to learn sign language and the children have really picked it up well. They have also practised ball skills, talked about what they did in the holidays and learnt about recognising numbers and life cycles.

 

Blue group - have also learnt sign language and picked it up well - using it to communicate and instruct staff to jump or run or swim! The blues have also worked hard on number recognition and learning that the number means how many of something there is - learning to match numeral to quantity is a good concept to grasp before school. Making firework biscuits was a lovely activity to do in the group on Friday afternoon.

 

Green group - have loved their week full of fun times copying actions, organising and sorting animals, making firework biscuits and leaf painting.

 

Next week we are learning about space and planets, we will be concentrating on writing and mark making in the blue room and will be making lots of space/astronaut/planet type crafts on the green table to support play outside.

 

We have also said sad goodbyes to Jo, Monika and Becci this week and wish them all the best in their new positions and thank them for all their hard work and commitment, especially in their care for the children and their belief that what we do here matters and makes a difference.

 

 

 

Autumn term Week 7

 

The first half term has sped by! We are delighted to say that all of the children have really settled in well, the key person (Special lady!) relationships are really going well and we have lots to celebrate from the first 7 weeks. We are heading towards Halloween and bonfire night so will be planning some lovely craft after the break and will be talking about how to be safe around fireworks.

We have got to know the children well and will be sending out new next steps and sharing their journey so far at parents evenings so please book in for an appointment. Don't forget that the learning journeys are always available and the special books are in the main entrance and you are welcome to sit and look at your child's book at any time.

This week we have watched the garden become windy and muddy! We have learnt about road safety and will revisit this with a visit from the lollipop lady.

 

Red circle have learnt about rules for the swing set outside and listened to different kinds of music from Indian to Polish to African and some pop! We talked about which one we enjoyed the most and also started to learn initial letter sounds and prepositions.

 

Blue circle have also loved dancing to different music styles and listening and relaxing to ocean sounds at the end. They have talked about jobs their parents do and worked on prepositions too.

 

the green circle have practised persevering with puzzles, looking carefully at the different pictures to work out which puzzle board they fit into. The greens have also made hedgehog pine cones and practised listening carefully to instructions to place a teddy on or under or next to to learn about prepositions. Add in some shape work and experimenting with building blocks and they have all enjoyed a busy week!

 

Next half term we move our focus to Making Relationships, Understanding, Moving and Handling, Writing, Numbers, The World and Being Imaginative.

 

Planning wise we are going to set up a clothes and shoe shop with lots of opportunity for measuring, numbers, writing, counting, recognising numbers and lovey imaginative role play and some dressing up of course! We are going to build mini dinosaur worlds outside and have some physical activity each morning before circle time and then again set up soft play or use our exercise CD to promote being active.

 

We would love you to bring in any old children's shoes that might be fun to have in our shop, any grown up shoes would be great too but no heels thank you! I know the children would LOVE them but possibly a bit of a Health and Safety disaster!! We also need toilet rolls for rockets and straws please and any donations of day to day bits like cornflour, plain flour, food colouring, salt, shave foam, sand would be brilliant - all saves a few pennies for us and means we can put that back into pre-school to benefit the children in other ways.

 

have a happy half term - use the blog to chat to your child in the break to remind them of their friends or favourite activities. 

 

Autumn Term Week 6

We have enjoyed another busy week at preschool and welcome some new friends to join us! We have a couple of spaces left so if you know anyone who is thinking about joining us please encourage them to get in touch before those spaces go. We are fuller earlier than ever this year!

The children have LOVED the mud kitchen outside, we have supplied it with plenty of clean mud and set it out so that there are lots of surfaces and lots of pots, pans and spoons to ensure all children who want to play, can play without any conflict. We have been serve hot chocolate, chocolate, cake, rocket chocolate and many other delicious concoctions, orders have been written down, menu's have been created and secret recipes memorised!

Circle times have been fun:-

Our Red group have learnt about tools - what they are used for, where they are kept and how to keep safe around tools. This work is also revisited by the children attending this Autumn's Forest School sessions. The red group have also practised some rhyming, followed instructions and learnt a lot about mixing colours in different ways using dry powder paint or squeezy paint on bubble wrap.

Our Blue group have enjoyed colour mixing experiments and chatter using coloured water in different sized cylinders to add in a bit of capacity language as well. Rhyming, tools and shape work filled the rest of the circle times.

Our Green group have had a busy week, they have settled into circle time so well and are really building listening and attention skills which enables us to plan lovely activities for them which have included dancing and actions to music, paint mixing and using simple tools and skills.

 

All around pre-school we have planned lots of activities to keep everyone engaged, excited and learning throughout our environment - this week has been full of fun with balloon rockets being a big success! We are making hot air balloons as we have spotted one around Cullompton this week. We have worked with nuts and bolts and played lots of board games too.

 

Next week we will have our new swing we hope, all very exciting! We also have our first committee meeting on Monday 16th October - please come along if you have an interest in joining the committee - we were very close to not being able to form a committee and the pre-school nearly had to close so come along and join in!

 

 

 

 

Autumn Term Week 5

Another week has sped by at pre-school and we had planned a week of exploration and discovery - using our green table as a base for science experiments! These are always really popular activities and the children have investigated floating and sinking, made lava lamps, volcanoes, rain clouds and we have tried to make slime...and still failed despite the donations on contact lens solution! We have no idea why we can't achieve a good slime recipe!!

Installing the theatre outside has been wonderful, it looks fantastic and have generated some pretty cool dance moves from the children (and the ladies!) - lots fo Disney music and pop tunes to enthuse everyone. Dressing up has been a bit hit too with lots of superhero's and princesses and spidermen/spidergirls!.

 

The blue room as been a base for some sensory play, using foam to make ice creams with good old fashioned scoops and chatter, using lemons and limes and oranges to get our senses sparking away with the smells and textures.

 

Circles have been fun this week - we are getting into the routines now and really getting to know the children as they grow in confidence to use their voices in the circle times to share ideas.

 

red - have used Autumn as a theme to chat, make hedgehog craft and look at videos and photos. The group have also learnt about making pictures using shapes, following directions in games and in movements and instructions in music and explored colour and how it can be changed.

 

Blue - have also used Autumn as a theme and made spiky hedgehogs, learnt about what happens in the season and practised using rhythms and rhymes and how to follow instructions in actions songs and games such as Simple Simon.

 

green - have been practising our listening and attention skills, using a great game with lots of sounds on a CD. The children have matched sounds from objects as well, practised putting on our own shoes and socks and experimented with colour mixing activities and textured paints.

 

We have heard that our children who left last year are getting along and all is well with them which we are pleased to hear! We do know that the schools have stressed how important it is that children are strong and have good physical skills before they go and this gives them a great foundation to build on when they start. We are hoping to organise a trip to Tufty park soon and will be making all sorts of obstacle courses and different ways to build on skills for physical development at pre-school. Lots more info to follow as the children start to move toards school next year but we can't stress enough how going to the park, walking, running and climbing all help develop the strength they need to achieve well at school.

 Enjoy the sun and see you next week - plans include balloon rockets, mud kitchens and potions, more theatre and dancing and bikes and our new swing set should arrive on Friday! Thanks to everyone who supported us along the way with their blue tokens.

 

 

Autumn Term Week 4

The children have enjoyed keeping the mechanics theme going outside this week with lots more craft and car related fun running alongside too. We have a lovely painting easel outside but it often means that children can't really start and finish a painting on their own and take it home as other children may come along and add to it - we try hard to keep an eye and often see a child at the easel and move to support them and to listen to what they are painting! To help we planned a week of all sorts of different kinds of painting inside on our green room table and it was a very popular activity, blow painting, conker painting, cork painting which involved gluing little patterned buttons onto the corks, painting with potato mashers and leaf painting. Hopefully most children will have a lovely picture to bring home in their red baskets once everything has dried. In the blue room we enjoyed some wonderful hairdresser role play, we were very impressed with the imagination of the children and there were some lovely interactions between them and the ladies supporting their play - along with some very elaborate hairstyles!

 

The first Forest School group had a break from forest school and enjoyed a harvest trip to St Andrews Church - thank you to the families who were able to help us walk up for the visit, I heard that they had party rings and apple juice which was a highlight, along with playing the organ and trying on the robes! The children behaved beautifully for Alison and Denise on Thursday and for Alison and Bryony on Friday.

 

Circles have been busy this week, with some lovely planning by the group leaders to enhance what we offer and to help the children make progress in their learning while having lots of fun!

 

Green - learnt about each others favourite foods, made shakers together and used them when singing and in a story, looked carefully and sizes and matching small, medium and big and investigated the differences between leaves and conkers and flower petals making a nice perfume potion at the end.

Blue - had two main themes to their learning - size activities and learning to listen out for initial sounds in words as a step towards how they will learn phonics at primary school next year. The children have all been measured so they will be able to see how much they grow in their year with us! The children also had a couple of active physical circle times too before heading off for snack time.

Red - explored concepts of size, using each other, straws, towers and by measuring. The groups also looked at differences between each other, how to ask for help at pre-school and who can help you and some letter sounds games - starting with s and t sounds.

 

We have started to work with children in very small groups of 2 or 3 and your key person will let you know if your child has been included in any nurture groups. These are a wonderful part of the day for us and for the children, we are so lucky to have a ration of 1:6 rather than 1:8 and this means that we can find lots of time during our week to boost confidence, help children gain extra skills they need, to help form friendships and to play games together in a much smaller group to model language, turn taking and to offer some quiet time in a busy day.

 

Next week the garage will be tidies away and a stage area will be set up with lots of dressing up on offer! Science week on the green table will give the children an opportunity to explore all kinds of concepts and carry out experiments and the blue room will be host to a week of sensory play.

 

Autumn Term Week 3

This week has been full of mechanics and junk modelling and race cars and cooking and learning about ourselves and our families. The children have taken part in many different activities and as we get to know them better we are able to plan well to keep their interest and to spark imaginations.

 

We have made fruit kebabs, fruit smoothies and pizza this week - lots of the children tried the smoothies and loved them so we had lots of healthy chatter at the table. Cooking and chopping up are good activities to help us learn how to be safe and learn about how to be healthy and we always have long conversations and hear stories from home. Children love to tell us all about their homes and families. Outside we have a garage with some great mechanical role play going on, some car magazines, designs on paper, ramps and tools to fix the cars! We have made mini towns and roads and would love any donation of cars as the activity is so popular that we need to ensure all children can have what they need.

 

We have also opened up all the gates and crated a cosy book area for children to sit and read and watch what the others are doing in the garden - it creates a nice safe space to watch the world go by!

 

Circle times have developed as well and all children are really loving the routine of circle and learning new names and ideas and sharing thoughts. We love to see the children develop the skills they will need at school - to share their opinions, stories and ideas in a group.


red - chatted about jobs to do at pre-school, washing up your snack plate and cup and tidy up time, tried lots of new foods in our healthy eating theme, listened out for letter sounds in words and worked to separate "s" items from "c" items and had an explore of Autumn items to promote chat and discussion.

 

Blue - Have learnt about parts of the body, looked at difference between us and our eye colours, enjoyed an autumn nature table as well and tasted different healthy food.

 

Green - Have learnt about different sizes through story telling and using props, through matching items and sorting big an small pom poms, they have also loved trying new fruits and explored rhythm and rhyme together.

 

Forest School started this week and has been gorgeous, the children have loved it and the new experience left many of them very tired by the end of the day! Hot chocolate by a real fire, making caterpillars and crowns was just the beginning of a great 6 weeks for group 1 - more info on the separate Forest School blog!

 

We only have one "selfie" on our board - please send in a photo!

 

 

 

 

Autumn Term Week 2

We have had another lovely week at pre-school, settling into the new routines with our new children and enjoying the autumn sunshine outside. The junk modelling was a big hit with our budding architects and the staff supported the children to follow their own ideas and built castles and hotels outside, using tape and string and painting the boxes too. The children also started to make their own cars so we are working on using their interests and following this up with making more cars and setting up tracks and roads and setting up a garage too.

 

We will also be learning about healthy foods and how to keep healthy and will be making fruit kebabs, fruit salad, smoothies and bread this week.

 

Last week the children enjoyed the doctors surgery so much, there are some real future doctors and nurses here! Lots of very caring and gentle children, wrapping bandages around each other and asking how people were feeling. We will keep this role play going again this week and we had great fun using an ipad app that scans your body and shows the layout of the bones on the screen! We made appointments, pretended to be on the phone and made red books for the babies that came to the clinic.


Red circle group learnt about shapes, explored textures and used the back garden for circle time shape hunts and listening and attention games. They also loved the bear hunt story using props and we started to look at our families - please send in your selfies so that we can build our photo wall.

 

Blue group also learnt about shapes and their properties, talked about the flow of the day at pre-school and had some great story sacks to bring the books alive. They also chatted about their families and drew some wonderful pictures which we will use in our display.

 

Our green group are flourishing too and getting to grips with activities and our songs and routines. They loved quishing foam and paint in a zip lock bag, they had a tea party together, did some sorting and concentrating activities and used cars with pens to mark make on a big sheet of paper.

 

We are really pleased with how everyone has settled in and look forward to some of the older children starting Froest School on the 21st/22nd September.

 

 

 

 

Autumn Term Week 1

What a brilliant first week! We have met nearly all of our new children and welcomed back our old friends from last year. We have 65 children attending pre-school so lots of families to look after and we hope you have all felt welcomed and have had chance to chat to your key person and to make links and to hear about how your child has got on during their time with us. We are here all week and you are more than welcome to call us, email us or ask for a chat during the session.

We have had a settled week given all the new starters and have enjoyed our circle time groups. These groups give us time to get to know the children, to listen to their views, to chat about how pre-school runs and to learn all the names of our friends. We are now ready to move into specifically planned circle times based on our strands for this half term - self confidence and self awareness, listening and attention, health and self care, reading, space-shape and measure, people and communities and expressive arts and design.

Next week we are planning to set up a doctors surgery and baby weighing clinic, outside we are going to be junk modelling on a big scale to learn about shapes, size and how to balance and join items, we are also going to be making small worlds on the green table during free flow to spark our imaginations and look at new environments and topics to see what interests the children.

We would love donations of boxes and cellotape and masking tape and duct tape and any other kind of tape!

 

 

 

 

Summer Term Week 12

A busy week at pre-school with lots of session visits and a trip to St Andrews for the children going there. We have missed a few of our children who are off with chicken pox at the moment - get well soon everyone and we hope you will be back for your last week with us and the graduation ceremony on Thursday and Friday. We have been practising a new song and a dance for the graduation ceremony so will be looking forward to sharing that with all of the school starter parents. We will start promptly at 2.45pm so come along to say good luck with us to all the children heading off to school.

 

The children have really loved our science week outside, taking activities outside gives them a different perspective and always engages children who prefer to learn outside. We have made lava lamps, tornadoes and volcanes in the sunshine this week. Inside the children have been very busy baking and decorating and we used an egg free recipe due to allergies which was really interesting to make. Tesco kindly donated us some fruit for smoothies, fruit kebabs and fruit pizzas as well which the children have enjoyed making, lots of chatter about where food comes from, what it tastes like and what we eat at home - all promoting confidence to speak in a group and share thoughts and ideas which is a very good skill that is needed at school.

 

Circle times have been well planned and enjoyable too;

Green circle have been learning about rhythm, suing hammers and tweezers to build up gross and fine motor skills and have learnt a lot about how to match patterns, how to look carefully and distinguish why they are different and have talked about and made animal patterns too.

Blues have had a week learning about weather and seasons and produced some lovely art work for the caravan windows outside about each season. They have also worked hard on concentrating to make specific patterns, learning about order and sequence and how to follow a tricky sequence to copy a pattern using different paints around the room - building up attention skills, taking turns and working on following instructions.

Our Red group have enjoyed baking and learning about using letters from first and second names to decorate their cakes, sounding out the letters and taking part in a fun activity to support their literacy. They have also taken part in a nature walk, looking for patterns outside and producing some wonderful representations of what they found.

Next week is our last week of term and we will be having a tidy up and a sort out with the children, playing games outside, dancing, music, instruments, face painting, making flower garlands and decorating our gazebo for graduation. We hope all of the children have a happy last week with us and we will wish them all the best for their future at primary school! Wear big sunglasses and bring tissues for Thursday and Friday graduations and fingers crossed for two dry days! 

 

 

Summer Term Week 11

 

The sun has returned! We have enjoyed a fun filled week outside building our caravan and campsite and will be adding to this next week with a beach shop and BBQ! The children certainly felt the heat on Thursday, the temperature rose throughout the day - don't forget to put suncream on each morning as the UV is high even if it is cloudy. We have hats here for all children and ensure the children are protected from the sun, play in the shade, have stories outside in the cool air rather than in hot rooms, we ensure the children drink lots of water at snack and during free flow and that we use cool hand towels to help the children cool down. We have some guidelines for coping in a heatwave and follow these carefully to ensure all children are well and do not suffer in the heat.

 

Planning wise we are having another industrious week - making lots of smoothies and fruit kebabs. We will be carrying out our own puppet shows and experimenting outside with weather experiments and playing in our caravan! The children have loved settling down for stories in their sleeping bags!

 

Green - We learnt about writing and made postcards to be posted home. The children have learnt about using tweezers, scissors and mashers, made comparisons between quantities and enjoyed some counting and matching numbers.

Red - We have practised our songs, chatted about school and talked about who is going to which school. We have used calculators and had a gorgeous visit from Becci's dog Willow and learnt about what dogs need and how to care for them.

Blue - Blue group have made postcards and enjoyed some maths activities, and spent the week learning about Wimbledon - learning loads of new vocab and new ideas.

We are heading quickly towards the end of term now, Graduation on 19th and 20th July and the Really Wild Show are visiting on 13th and 14th July.

 

Summer Term Week 10

The rain has returned! We have not let it dampen our spirits and have not had bikes at all this week which means we have seen lots of active play, lots of imagination and lots of bug hunting and mud!

We have enjoyed sharing your child's journey at parent consultations over the last two weeks and have started to welcome new families to the pre-school ahead of them starting with us in the Autumn. We still have about 4 spaces so please share this with friends - we are fuller, earlier than ever before so feel very proud of our reputation and of the hard work of all staff. This was very much reflected in the questionnaires that you completed and the team are rightly proud of the areas that we have improved in. The questionnaires really give us ideas to concentrate on and ways to improve and the ideas we took on board last year and have tried to develop this year have been reflected in your comments so thank you!

 

Outside we have been keeping busy with lots of water! Moving it, mixing it, making rivers and boats - next week we are moving into holidays and we are going to build a caravan and a campsite so any donations welcome of caravan type items!

 

The Red group have enjoyed counting, dancing, music and movement, dancing to show how we are feeling and chattering about school, looking at uniform and learnt how to look after books.

The Blue group have talked about looking after books, and helped to mend some, listened to world music and learnt about boomerangs! We started to learn a new dance for graduation and worked very hard at writing and looked at some old technology with Andrea.

The Green group have used mark making to represent numbers and feelings, they have drawn some lovely pictures of their feelings! They have talked about stories and characters and learnt how to draw shapes and started to practise writing their names!

We have had different types of dough all week on the green table, some delicious smells coming through pre-school of cheese and onion dough and we have enjoyed some dough gym exercises too - always lots of fun to listen to the ladies here giving the instructions for dough disco!

Next week centres around puppet theatres, caravan holidays, the bikes are back and we have lots of activities planned for the green table to build co-ordination and skills in using tools. Our nurture work continues right up until the end of term and all children are supported to make progress, to recognise the transition that is ahead and we are always here for a chat if you have any worries about the next stage - whether that is going off to primary school or if your child is moving to red or blue.

 

 

 

Summer Term Week 9

 

What a glorious start to the week - sun, sun, sun! We kept the children cool in the heat by putting out paddling pools, using lots of shade, drinking lots and cooling off inside.

We have had another lovely week with the children, our reds and blues are really getting into the idea of going to primary school and we chat about it before and after our visits to the schools. We have been to St Andrews and to Willowbank and the two groups are working out which of their friend they are going to school with. We also welcomed Miss Mogford and Mrs Stevens to pre-school again as they take some time to get to know the children. They joined our red and blue circles and were very impressed with the children's work, concentration and how much they love to have a go at writing and using their number skills.

 

Red group - this week the group have learnt about rhyming words, talked about emotions, practised their number and writing skills and chatted about pre-school rules.

 

Blue group - have also practised rhyming and chatted about their interests and written labels and drawn pictures to support that. Number work, number games and tally charts have also featured in the blue group.

 

Green group - have explored different kinds of music and how it sounds and drawn to the music, they have also enjoyed our sticky kids activity CD, worked on number recognition and drawing what they want for tea!

 

throughout pre-school we have been working on strength, especially in our upper bodies so we have not had the bikes out all week and this will carry on next week. When the bikes are not out we see a lot more interactive play, the children really use their imaginations and we have seen some wonderful games that the children have come up with themselves. Lots of happy chatter, sharing ideas, talking to each other, listening to each other and working together - all the skills they need to develop!

 

We have gone back to basics on the green table, covering the table with paper and getting stuck into creative arts and crafts and using the opportunity for lots of talking, conversation and a place to be comfy and relax. We drew planets, have painted bubble wrap, used a lot of glue and sparkles and practised scissor skills and used our imaginations.

 

In the blue room we also took the opportunity of not having role play or the home corner to set up a different world in the builders tray each day - these included :- digger land, beach land, ice...land, under the sea, fairy land etc and they were all popular and well planned by the staff with the children.

 

Next week we are going to enjoy the return of wedding week! Do send in your photos of your weddings to share. Outside we will be making rivers and boats and carrying water around and using our water wall to build up strength again. Our nurture groups carry on until the end of term and the children are progressing very well, enjoying the small relaxed time with staff to explore learning and build confidence. We are also going to have a "dough" week - playdoh, bread and salt dough!

The transition documents are being shared with parents, please do make a comment if you would like to, we very much enjoy reading your thoughts and these form part of our records and we share them with Ofsted too.

A final note to say a HUGE THANK YOU to everyone who came, spent money and helped and donated any items for our fete - we raised an incredible £2053.

 

Summer Term Week 8

 

We have enjoyed the return of the sunshine this week and have even had the paddling pools out! The children have been very good and have been drinking lots from our water cooler which is inside and we are taking out jugs of water into garden with cups as well and encouraging them all to drink lots.

 

We have had a fairy move in over the weekend, she is called Sunbeam and has taken up residence behind the fairy door in the green room! We have made some wonderful additions to our fairy garden this week and you will see the photos on facebook or twitter. We have also made bunting for our fete so please come along and support us and stay until 1.30pm so that the children can sing their songs at the fete together!

We have also made Father's Day cards and hope that all the Daddy's have a lovely day! Outside the focus has been on strength and co-ordination and having fun with our mud kitchen, bubbles, balloon rockets and parachute games. We have also been tidying up together ready for the fete and finishing our jungle display with some lovely flowers and vines.

The three groups have enjoyed some outside circle times this week to make the most of the weather.

 

The green group have been sitting and learning the rules around the forest school log circle without a lit fire to see how they get on and to get the beginnings of the rules ready for their Forest School experience next year. they have also had games and obstacle courses outside, learnt to listen to the instructions and cheer on their friends. We have done some mark making to create bunting for the fete, enjoyed the animal boogie and a number hunt in the back garden.

 

The blue group have practised ball skills, enjoyed obstacle courses outside as well, chatted about the fete, about their weekends, about fairies and gardens and mini beasts! The blues love a chat! They have also played with numbers, adding one more and one less and made up and acted out their own story.

 

The red group have been on a bear hunt but changed the story a bit, made up a story and acted it out together, face timed the office to play with technology and practised their ball skills too. The reds have also worked with number recognition and order and we have some real mathematicians in the making!

 

Next week we are having a "back to basics" week on the green table to explore creativity, having a different medium each morning and afternoon and using this opportunity to develop language and confidence in a group. We are also having a "no bikes" week - we are going to plan activities to build up shoulder and arm strength - low strength in the shoulder and arms really does affect pencil grip so we will be painting the fence, catching bubbles and balloons, parachute games and carrying heavy loads! In the blue room we are starting a new display of our interests, which we will use to plan for the Autumn Term and to help this along we are creating a new world every morning and afternoon - dinosaur land, fairy land, garden land, beach land, ice..land! The staff will use books and the ipad to support learning as we have so many children that absolutely love to learn the new words, concepts and ideas.

 

We are very much looking forward to welcoming current, old and new families to our fete on Saturday - from 11am until 2pm!

 

 

 

Summer Term Week 7

 

We have enjoyed a lovely week back at pre-school, listening to the stories from the children about their half term holidays and there has been a real buzz around pre-school with the lovely activities, everyone well rested from their break and a real sense of excitement as we meet our new families and children, and start to finish off the learning journeys and write transition documents for those heading to school. It is with real pride that we read the documents and consider how much progress the children make here with your support and the staff work very hard and take real pride themselves in producing great transition information for the primary schools. Please do make comments on them, we love to hear your thoughts and your kind words are very valuable to the staff here.

 

This week we have dodged the showers, revamped the mud kitchen, played with a lot of water, built a new water wall, explored the world of fairy dust (we now have a tiny fairy door!) and made fairy trees. Lots of nurture work has happened too and we have some lovely observations. We have made a wormery and collected worms in free flow and used spaghetti to paint with and made planted grass into tiny pots to make mini fairy gardens.

The red group have enjoyed ball skills practice, adding and taking away work for number skills, chattering about fairies and worms and organising events in the family.

 

The blue group have made the wormery, watched a wormery video, chatted about wild life, written their own story and used puppets and also worked on their numbers.

 

The green group have had a busy week, they made individual wormerys and we dug for real worms together - lots of laughing and shrieking could be heard - not just from the parents when we handed them over at the end of the day! They have worked really hard on their number skills and they are doing so well - certainly more than ready for the challenges that blue/red group will bring in the Autumn. They have made pasta necklaces to work on fine motor control and also chatted about what makes them happy and sad.

Next week is full of fairies, bubbles, balloons, lots of work to build up strength and co-ordination. We have visits to St. Andrews for children starting there and our graduation photos are being done on Thursday and Friday next week with a visit from the TA's from Willowbank's reception unit happening on Thursday afternoon as well!

 

 

Summer Term Week 6

What a lovely week in the sunshine! the children have been able to enjoy the sun safely with sunhats and sun cream and we take water outside for them all to drink and encourage them all through the day to have lots of water to cool down. We have a water cooler inside which the children are really good at using independently. Please do remember to put on all day sun cream. the children are generally inside from 11.30am - 1.30pm with a short outside play at 12.30 for 20 mins so miss the really hot part of the day.

 

We released our caterpillars on Monday morning and they were very excited to leave their mini homes and fly off into the garden, we enjoyed all of the foods from the Hungry Caterpillar book but the ladies certainly ate most of the pickles! We sang songs and then released the butterflies into the wild of our forest school garden.

Our circle leaders have been busy this week planning for the next steps for the children and ensuring that circles times are fun, active and help the children to learn new concepts and ideas. Wonderful vocab this week coming from our theme of rainforests.

 

Green have learnt about the different animals in the Amazon rainforest and the Africa plains, watching some very cool vidoes on youtube and listening to rainforest sounds. We have also decorated butterflies together, drawn ourselves and learnt about the concepts heavy and light. We have also made little houses using shapes to make our pictures.

 

Blue have had a busy week too - sequencing, learning about time and clocks and made our own clocks, a real focus on learning about time - what time means and how to time activities. Some letters and sounds work too and chattering a little bit about school.

 

Red group have concentrated on letters and sounds this week with some time work as well - timing how long it takes to build high towers, chatting about clocks, and using the floor and chalk to practice letters.

 

Denise and Andrea have been out and about doing home visits and meeting our new children for September. We have also started our transition documents for our school starters and will be sharing those with you in the course of the next half term. We will start to plan lots of "school ready" activities for the children and you should have had a leaflet sharing some ideas to help you support your child ahead of the move to primary school. We will also be giving out some activities to support pencil grip too. Amelia will start teaching some phonics specifically for St. Andrews and Willowbank to the children so that it is familiar and will really give them confidence when heading into school in September.

 

Planning for after half term will focus on Managing feelings and behaviour, Speaking, moving and handling, writing, numbers, technology and being imaginative. Al next steps will be within these areas for the children and school starters will have steps designed to support their move into school. These may focus on independence, dressing themselves, making choices and developing confidence.

Nurture groups will continue into the summer second half of term and we wish you all a very happy, sunny half term and we will look forward to welcoming you all back in June

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Summer Term Week 5

We have butterflies! our little caterpillars have been in their cocoons for about 10 days and have emerged as gorgeous butterflies! They appeared one by one over the course of Thursday and we have made them some sugar water nectar and laid out some flowers that we foraged for in the rain and some oranges and squeezed out their juice too. We will leave lots of food and sugar water for them over the weekend and we will release them into the wild of our back garden at a special party and picnic on Monday morning and afternoon.

 

This week we have been making our jungle and rainforest outside, our display is coming along very well and the children have really enjoyed learning about animals and have created some brilliant artwork for us. We have loved science week and the green table has been very busy with the children enjoying taking part in all sorts of experiments - we have made volcanoes, tornados and watched videos to support our learning. We have carried out an experiment with eggs and made rain clouds too! The blue room has been set up as our home corner again and we have some wonderful observations from the children's play and have some great news ideas for planning after half term - the big interests seem to be princesses and transformers!

 

The green group have learnt about where different animals live, have enjoyed lots of categorising activities which are the foundation of maths and science work and we have had great fun learning about capacity and colour too.

The blue group have worked on some phonics activities using a letter lucky dip, they have looked at different animals and learnt new songs together. Colour mixing with enormous bottles of different coloured water and have played a very competitive game (the ladies were the most competitive with each other!) where we had to work out how to move balls from one tub to another, just one colour and to time how fast we could do it - everyone had a different strategy and it was fascinating making observations on who chose which way to have a go!

 

The red group have also loved colour mixing, painting butterflies this morning in circle time and looking at differences and similarities in animals. They have also taken part in phonics activities to support their learning going into school and worked on literacy by listening to a story and then talking about it to share what they remembered about the animals in the story.


All in all another busy but very fun week, Forest School has been wonderful again and we all love to smell the fire drifting over into the main garden and to see our friends coming back after a special morning. We have followed the children's interests and made transformers out of big boxes with braces to hold them on and we have also made a huge amount of leaves for our jungle!

 

Next week is our last week before we break for the spring half term and then we really will be starting to think about saying goodbye to all of our 48 school starters!    

 

 

 

Summer Term Week 4

 

Another week full of fun, friendships and learning through play here at pre-school. We have added all of the emergency services to our display with some lovely transport pics of the children too and they have really consolidated what they know about people that help us and what they do.

 

We have watched our caterpillars build their cocoons and they are now safely in their butterfly net homes ready to emerge as butterflies in around a weeks time. Our hungry caterpillar party picnic afternoons are one of our favourite activities in the year - releasing the butterflies while singing is a very happy and exciting moment, really bringing the topic to life for the children. to support this event we have gone butterfly life cycle crazy this week with craft, sticking and gluing, making sock caterpillars and next week our very own grass caterpillars might have grown some green hair!

 

Pre school has been very car focused this week with building garages, ramps, painting with cars and the children have been very imaginative with their structures! the hairdressers has provided many laughs with us having our hair done by the children - some were more enthusiastic than others with the number of clips they used! A good lesson in being gentle! We made appointments, had to sit and wait our turn, looked at crazy hair online and made labels and new bottles of shampoo - a favourite being a bottle of rainbow highlights which features on our facebook page this week.

 

Green group have had a busy week as always, carefully planned circles help develop their learning, their listening and concentration and completing an activity - they have learnt about making a pattern and how to copy one which resulted in some lovely pattern snakes, they have tasted lots of healthy fruit and leant about making our own garages and using the items around us to build structures with help from a friend. We also measured our heart rate and wrote down all the numbers to compare next week when we are going to do lots of exercise and measure again.

 

Blue group have also danced like mad to Taylor Swift and Bear necessities and raised our heart rates, and watched a clip of our hearts beating. The children have made labels for the hairdressers and have had great fun learning letter sounds with a game with Andrea and also learnt about shoe sizes, measuring our feet, drawing around them and cutting them out.

 

Red group have spent time talking about occupations and jobs families do, healthy eating has been a fun circle time and lots of observations came from a circle about resolving conflict. They also looked at fiction and non fiction books together and a special afternoon circle based around a birds nest.

 

Next week we move towards building our rainforest/jungle display undercover and start to focus even more on letter sounds and skills for the school starters. The green group are in a fantastic position to move up to red and blue next year and we are excited about where our school starters are ahead of going off to their primary schools. We will start to talk more about school in the next few weeks leading up to their visits up to their respective primaries.

 

Please do email us your next step feedback, or fill in the slips on the paper you were given by your key worker - we just want to know if your child has achieved that step - maybe send us a quick email photo from your phone? any feedback is great.

 

 

 

 

 

Summer Term Week 3

 

We have enjoyed another fantastic week at pre-school, lots going on as always and it is always lovely to find little pockets of quiet here and there to read a book or listen to a child share their thoughts.

 

We have loved our special outings this week to visit the fire station and a paramedic Mum brought along her ambulance for us to explore as well. the fire station was very exciting and the children got to spray the after using the hose and they all behaved beautifully - we were very proud of them indeed. Walking up to the fire station went very well too and the children have excellent road sense and thank you to all the people that helped us. We will be taking another group next Friday afternoon so helpers will be needed then too please. There should be some great photos on the website for you to look at from our busy week.

Apart from visits and trips and Forest School, our week has been filled with lots of other fun too. Opportunities to learn all about butterflies and the life cycle as our own caterpillars have arrived and are growing fast! We have learnt about healthy food and make fruit kebabs and bread rolls. We have also continued with our doctors and hospitals theme and have even seen Alison being attended to by some very enthusiastic injection givers!

Green group are really doing well, progressing and developing ahead of their move into the school starter groups in the Autumn. They will become reds and blues and the groups will start being organised once we have met all of our new starters over the coming few weeks.  This week they have experienced a shape hunt, learnt about different shapes and how to distinguish one from another, learnt about actions and how to describe and act them out in a very active circle with Louise. We have sung favourite songs and visited the ambulance as well.

 

Blue group have learnt about rules and friendships and were outraged at Jo following some role play for circle time by being naughty and unkind to Alison! Lots of shocked faces at her pretend behaviour which really does demonstrate that they all know how to behave! We talked about what jobs our families do and drew brilliant pictures - the children really have a great confidence to talk and chat and share thoughts which is so important as a skill for starting school.

 

Red group have revisited 3D shapes and made snack for their friends in the green group - they were super helpful and kind, delivering the food and plates and cups. We have played parachute games by holding a large parachute between us and rolling balls and teddies on it - the children love this activity and it build team work and strength and helps us to practise following instructions.

 

Next week will see a move from the doctors surgery to a hairdressers so please send in any donations that might help us! We have loved our emergency theme but are ready to move on now having loved learning about the fire service, police and ambulance service and will be creating an animal zone under cover.

 

 

 

 

 

Summer Term Week 2

 

We have had a brilliant week, enjoying all that pre school has to offer! We have had lots of fun in our circles times and have been deciding what songs we will sing at our pre-school fete on June 17th! We have made fire helmets and police radios and looked at transport over the week, learning about the police with a visit from PCSO Jonathan and PCSO Tracy and PCSO Nigel who brought along an unmarked police car and then a police van which was very exciting. Next week we are walking to the Fire Station and a parent is going to bring in their ambulance to show us! We have also loved our doctors and baby weigh clinic role play and would love any props that you may have at home please! There have been some very funny observations of how to look after poorly people, what might be wrong and how many bones we have got! We have filled gloves with water and cotton buds which have been very effective at demonstrating where our bones are.

 

Circles times have been well planned and great fun to observe this week


Green group - got messy for most of the week (paint all over clothes!) by mixing foam and paint, putting paint in a salad spinner, using tools and matching shapes and matching objects to jobs and listening to instructions.

 

Blue group - have talked non stop this week! Sharing morning routines (some children are quite sure they eat breakfast before they get up!) ideas about transport, what vehicles they have been in, looking at fiction and non fiction books, they have produces many brilliant drawings and ideas for our display and have learnt lots about 2D and 3D shapes as well, really showing their knowledge from earlier learning and being able to apply what they know already to new ideas.

 

Red group - have also worked on their 2D and 3D shapes, made some wonderful caterpillars using shapes and have been potted outside learning about prepositions - hiding under the bridge, on the frame, next to each other on the steps. They have also chatted about non fiction books and family routines.

 

We have loved our first week of forest school the smell of the fires has drifted over the building and the children reappear with hot chocolate moustaches and the air of being really quite important with big smiles! Forest School gives such confidence, builds self esteem and gives them a brilliant sense of being part of something new and exciting.

 

We shall look forward to next week and your next steps are coming out from your key person so please keep hold of the forms and make notes for your key person - we love info from home to help us guide your child's learning.

 

Enjoy the long weekend and please do send in your transport photos to

amelia.cullomptonpreschool@btconnect.com

 

 

 

 

 

Summer Term Week 1

 

We have welcomed the children and their families back to pre-school this week and have enjoyed a lovely sunny week, exploring the new theme that we have planned! We have had lots of emergencies for our role play - a fire in the climbing frame and kitchen, a police car to help in an emergency and lots of animals to rescue along the way. We have made brilliant hosepipes, fires and the dressing up costumes are working really well to bring it all to life. Lots of hi-vis around and children saving us from fires. We have been fingerprinting, setting up the mud kitchen again and playing with the water in the sunshine.

The children have settled back into the routine so well, but no-one has saved us any of their Easter Eggs!! Luckily we had a birthday in the holidays and have been working our way through a very delicious chocolate cake this week!

 

Green circles have been lots of fun, categorising and learning about differences in where animals live and shapes and sizes and also experimenting with marks and mixing colours in foam.

Blue circles have enjoyed following instructions in teams to complete an obstacle course, learning about tools and what they are used for and where and have had visits to the nature garden in their circle time.

Red group have chatted about their holidays, talked about transport for the new theme and drawn some great pictures. They have also focused on our maths planning and learnt about 3D shapes together.

 

Our focus for this half term includes - making relationships, understanding, health and self care, developing independence ahead of going to school, reading, phonics, space, shape and measure, people and communities and technology and exploring different media.

We have also visited the new wildlife garden at Cullompton Community College on Thursday and Friday morning with our Forest School groups and enjoyed exploring the hills and pond and hedgehog homes. We will be revisiting the garden and sprinkling wild flower seeds as well which we hope will still be growing when these children eventually get to secondary school! One of the aims is that the children will remember the garden and their time there and will give them a sense of ownership if they do attend CCC in the future.

We have also started our register for the Autumn and are filling up fast so please register if you have younger children that would like to come!

 

 

Spring Term Week 11

What a lovely end of term we have had with sunny days and face painting outside. The children have loved it and have been so good lining up and waiting for their turn. We have also enjoyed two trips up to St Andrew's Church to listen to a story about Easter, learn a new song and explore the pulpit, font, organ and have a lovely snack and drink - thank you to everyone who walked up with us and helped. We even managed to avoid the rain showers!

 

The children have been helping us clean and tidy up this week which reinforces that we all have to take care of our environment and there was some very enthusiastic welly washing and sweeping up of bubbles all over pre-school this week and some very wet children in the process but lots of fun and laughter.

 

Red - we have been learning about different patterns and how to create patterns, we ventured out of pre-school in a small group and looked for numbers on posters, cars, signs and took lots of photos using our ipad. The children also learnt about the frog life cycle and chatted about favourite TV or films.

Blue - The groups also spent lots of time chattering this week, building up confidence for speaking in a group. the children drew flowers and looked carefully at the differences and colours and also looked at how to make patterns and concentrated really well on their counting and sorting.

 

Green have also had a busy week, more listening and attention games (we have already started to think about the Greens becoming school starters next year!!), make believe and imagination has played a part in some lovely circles times and also matching, drawing, music and pencil grip too.

 

We have enjoyed our week making our Jack and the Beanstalk display, made flower craft and Easter pictures. We made and had loads of fun with pom pom catapults!

 

The planning has been done for the first half of the Summer Term, and we are learning about the Emergency Services, we will have visits from the Police and will visit the fire station too. Our Lollipop lady will come to see us we hope and we will be making all sort for our role play areas. The mud kitchen will return and caterpillars will arrive for us to take care of and then we will release the butterflies into the garden during a special picnic afternoon.

 

As mentioned briefly, we are starting to build our register for Autumn 2017 so please do remember to register any siblings that wish to come and share with your friends. At the moment we have quite a bit of space but we are filling up already and really don't want anyone to miss out, especially now that some families will be eligible for 30 hours a week which is a full time place with us.

We wish you all a very Happy Easter and look forward to welcoming you all back in the Summer Term.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spring Term Week 10

 

We would like to start by wishing all the Mums a very Happy Mother's Day and wish all the Dad's and other carers and family for each of our children a very happy day on Sunday too. We hope that the cards and present get to you safely!

We have started to make some Easter craft and pictures too for you to display at home over the holidays leading up to Easter and we will be visiting St Andrews Church on Thursday and Friday to meet Jo Kiel and learn more about Easter with her. We always enjoy our trips up to the Church and are very grateful indeed to anyone who volunteers to help us, it makes all the difference and without your help we would not be able to go out as much as we do!

The children have had a rainy week but that didn't stop them completing their 10 laps each for the sponsored bike ride, this event sounds simple but we would not be able to do it without the parents who help, the children who work hard cycling or running their 10 laps, cheering on their friends and also we would not be able to raise all the money without your friends and family sponsoring the children so thank you! Another big thank you goes to the ladies in the office and without them we would not have the forms, the lists, the organisation or indeed the certificates that I am sure will live in memory boxes for many years.

 

Apart from all the cycling we have enjoyed more theatre, more music, more singing, dancing and have observed some great confidence in the children.

Red group have learnt about matching numbers, adding and subtracting. They have counted magic beans and written letters to Jack, they have experimented with lots of different ways to move and done some brilliant pattern work too.

Blue group have been focusing on listening and attention games, learning about patterns and looking closely to learn how to repeat a pattern, they have acted out stories to build confidence ahead of using the theatre role play and have also learnt about adding and subtracting in circle time.

green group have used the dice to count, match and become familiar with numbers meaning how many of something there is, they have also been practising their pencil grips, drawing circles and lines to get ready for writing and listening and attention games have been a feature of the week.

Next week brings another week of Easter craft, spring craft, messy play, cleaning and tidying away outside and inside, giving the children a sense that it is important to care for our environment together and we will start to make new plans for the fast approaching summer term!

 

 

 

Spring Term Week 9

We have had a wonderful week playing in our theatre, the dancing we have seen has been brilliant and some requests have included - Frozen (of course!!) and Trolls and Toy Story and we have listened to stories as well and played some great pop tunes!

Lots of work has been done in the garden, seeds and bulbs have been planted, the compost has been dug out but we are in desperate need of someone to fix (for free!) our raised beds so please ask any handy people that you might know to offer us some help.

We have also focused on number work outside, making a new number tree by threading beads and will tie those up to our tree this week. A new sorting table was made when the lid broke on a plastic table that we had and when removed Andrea had the great idea to use it and introduce tweezers and natural items and numbers.

Red groups this week have had lots of fun making clay pots and decorating them, they will be coming home in the next few days. We also made clay roses which are going to be painted too - all helps to develop our strength in our arms and hands. We have also worked really hard on number skills - checking how many circles we have got in our numicon, making the same number of marks and then counting out beans to match that number. The children have also been learning about gardening and using tools as well.

Our blue group have been outside for some circles this week, carrying out a nature hunt and going on a bear hunt. The children have learnt about seasons, made some brilliant labels using their writing skills for spring drawings. The farm shops has give us some lovely role play moments and the staff have been really listening to where the children take the ideas.

Our green group have had a busy week as well, matching numicon cubes to count out objects, they have learnt about growing in the garden - looking at daffodils, counting and mark making. Lots of imaginative games too, singing, animals actions and ring games and songs - all followed by a nice sociable snack time together.

 

We will keep our Theatre up undercover next week, also adding in some gross and fine motor skills like hammering and tools after lunch. We will be embracing Easter and have loads of ideas for lovely craft and sensory trays for the children to explore. We are going to make slime! We have wanted to do it for ages and we think the children will love exploring the textures! We will also be diving into superhero play - helping the children play within the right boundaries and learning together what superhero powers we can have and how we can rescue and be kind to everyone. There will be challenges and exciting rescues to enjoy during the week. The essential Easter chocolate nests will be on the list for the next two weeks of course!

Next week is our sponsored bike ride and we hope to raise well over £1000 for our pre-school. The last week holds in store a visit to St Andrews Church for our children who are starting school and we look forward to that trip to see Jo Kiel very much. Always a treat to visit the Church and we even get a biscuit as a snack!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spring Term Week 8

We have enjoyed another week full of fun at pre-school! The train station has moved and been replaced by a theatre! We know the children have been missing dressing up so we have leapt back into the worlds of princesses, Frozen, Spiderman and with lots of imagination and some pop music we have enjoyed some great shows on our stage! We use the theatre to support friendships, build new friendship, to share ideas, to move to music and learn about different types of music. The children will be making programmes and tickets next week, adding in writing and numbers and the outside learning that we offer has centred around numbers and maths work. Making numbers from wire, playing games with targets and we have numbers on all the bikes and cars.

We have visited Willowbank School this week with two small groups of school starter children - it may not be the school that they will hope to go to but we feel that the experience of walking there, taking care on the roads, meeting new children and seeing old friends is really beneficial and we have a great time when we get there! It is very similar in environment to our preschool with free flow, adult led learning and lots of activities out to explore. Not long until you will get confirmation of your school place and then we start planning the transitions to various schools and more visits take place in the summer term.

 

Spring is firmly in the planning at the moment, with Mother's Day and Easter too.

Red group made flowers from clay, learning to manipulate the clay and chatting about how different it is to playdoh. We planted cress seeds, looked at growth and change, drew some beautiful pictures of who lives in our homes and also managed to find time to work on number recognition and patterns!

Blue group gave us some wonderful observations about favourite films, toys and what they are good at doing! They also looked at how to represent numbers using some great ideas of treasure hunts and marble games to make tally charts. The blues also learnt how to retell and story without using the book, sharing ideas and talking - building up great relationships in a safe environment promoting confidence.

Green group have had a brilliant week too, taking on the challenge of using scissors, expressing a favourite song and writing a tally chart on a big blackboard to represent numbers too, more counting, matching, moving, dancing, singing and then coming together as usual for a yummy snack.

During free flow the staff here support all children with play and learning, we have made watched this week, numbers with wire and beads for a number tree, planted cress in different ways and made flowers for the farm shop in the blue room! Lots more planned for next week to include more number craft inside and outside, making Mother's Day cards and chatting about family, we will develop our farm shop with the children's ideas for a café and we will be learning about Jack and the Bean stalk and using the story to make a big display.

As always - please chat to your key person if you have any worries - it is really important for us to know of any big changes at home, such as separation, bereavement - even if it is a pet or neighbour or family member, new partners or a new job or routine. We can offer lots of support and advice and take care of any emotional ups and downs your little ones might experience, it is always surprising what they pick up! on!

 

 

 

 

 

 

red group have made f

 

 

 

 

Spring Term Week 7

Another busy exciting and experience filled week at pre-school!

We have been working with the weather (!) and planned in craft and activities to support our learning outside, including paper aeroplanes, stomp rockets in the wind and wind streamers too. The children have had the bikes for 3 days this week and we have also been carrying out nurture group work in small groups in the garden, building up confidence and knowledge and having time to chat to each other. We have made bird feeders and enjoyed a sensory spring tray (complete with spaghetti worms) during free flow time and even found real worms and two little girls took them home - I'm sure the parents were delighted!

Our focus is moving to spring and growth and change and the circle times have reflected that this week.

Red group have worked on lots of different areas, covering letters and their sounds, writing our names, number recognition and exploring nature by looking at daffodils and making pictures and touching and talking about flowers, bulbs, seeds on a tray in the circle.

Blue group have covered matching numbers, letter recognition, writing their names, counting and sorting, parachute games and daffodil drawings too.

Green group have drawn themselves, enjoyed listening to and joining in with favourite stories, acting our the Bear Hunt actions! Throw in some counting, representing numbers and a good animal boogie and that's a busy week!

 

We also had two successful trips to the library in Cullompton - exploring their trail, reading stories and the experience of walking there. Thank you to all the parents and grandparents that helped us walk there, stayed for the session and then walked us back. We could not go on these lovely trips without so we really appreciate being able to give the children these experiences, we are very grateful.

The children are following the routines so well, they know where they need to be and when, what the rules are and how to be kind and to help tidy up! Sometimes we see very different behaviour at pre-school that you do at home so always feel free to have a chat to your key person about any worries you have. It is our job, we love it and are always happy to listen and offer advice if needed. If we can't help we generally know which direction to point you in next!

Have a great weekend and if you are out and about we would love items from a garden centre, leaflets or plant pots please! We are making a garden centre at pre-school for the next month and will be learning about Jack and the Beanstalk, using the story to cover lots of areas of learning and to cover your children's next steps.

 

 

Spring Term Week 6

 

Welcome back to everyone and we hope that you had a great half term. We are all back with loads of great ideas for circle times and planning wise we are focusing on building self confidence and self awareness, our listening and attention skills, strengthening our co-ordination and physical development, looking at letters and sounds and writing, number recognition, matching numerals and understanding what numbers mean and where they are used, lots of imaginative play in our home corner and train station and we are also learning about the world around us, animals, environments, science, exploring our world and how things change and grow. It is so lovely to already see the signs of Spring with our bulbs growing, the grass is growing, and we have even had some warm sunshine this week.

 

The children loved listening to the wind yesterday and we took the opportunity to explore the strength of the wind using bubbles, ribbons and kites. Sometimes all the careful planning in the world isn't needed and some bubbles and enthusiasm are all that the children need to inspire them!

 

Red circle times have learnt about matching letters, their sounds, and other objects, for example we circle the letter at the beginning of our names, match our names to the sounds and then find an object to match that sound and put it by our name on the blackboard. The children talked about what they have done in half term, practised number recognition with fun games and drawn plans for patterns using blocks to show how mark making is important in lots of ways.

 

Blue circle time has been full of fun as well, with car racing games to learn our numbers with cars racing down guttering onto a big sheet of paper, adults modelling writing the numbers too. Loads of counting using Numicon and matching it to numbers, using dice to count the dots, find the right amount of bricks. Particularly with numbers the repetition really helps the children to consolidate their learning all through fun activities. There was also some wonderful writing going on in blue - the children tried really hard and are so enthusiastic - very important to build up confidence to have a go when they get to school.

Green group are having fun, we always hear lots of laughing and singing with number songs, running and squatting down to pick up bean bags with little races outside. They have played with small world toys, learning how to build stories and have drawn some lovely pictures of themselves on paper plates. Animal Boogie is always a great hit with lots of lovely observations of the children dancing and joining in with the actions.

We have build some brilliant small world on the table in green during free flow sessions, lots of great ideas from the children. We have used some non fiction books to support the ideas and collected items form all over preschool to build with. Worlds include :1 farm, beach, space, a park and even Swallow way complete with mud from the builder's lorries!

Thank you to Esme for bringing in her guinea pig for everyone to stroke and to Frances Bard for bringing in her cornet and pea buzz instruments (We are now going to fundraise to buy some as they were brilliant!!) - photos in the blog! We really welcome any parents or family or pets into our setting so please come in and read a story to a small group or play an instrument or come and do some biscuit decorating! All ideas and people are welcome.

Parent consultations are happening this week and next with lots of appointments during the sessions and on Monday evenings. If you do need your key person at the end of the day for a chat and can't find them they may be in a parent consultation so feel free to wait or to ask Amelia or Andrea if you want a chat.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spring Term Week 5

 

We have had such a lovely first half of the spring term, lots going on as always at Cullompton Pre School! We never stand still, always looking for new ideas, new projects and new ways to inspire the children and to give them fantastic experiences. This week held the thrill of meeting real and exciting animals with Neil from the Really Wild Show. He is brilliant with the children and they learn lots from the experience of touching, holding and stroking the animals that he brings along. This time Neil brought a blue tongued skink, a tarantula and 3 giant cockroaches - lots of giggles and laughter as they scuttled up onto Neil's nose and then our very brave children let them scuttle up their arms too! We have some wonderful photos on the blog. We also visited CCC again for another music session which was a great success with the children exploring some very unusual instruments.

As a management team we attend our monthly committee meeting and feed back all the news and ideas for pre-school, talk about the finances, fundraising ideas and plans for the future. An important item on our agenda this week was the 30 hour entitlement for working families that is coming into practice in Devon from September.

 

http://www.childcare-support.tax.service.gov.uk

Please do have a look at this information, we are sending our questionnaires to parents who will still be with us next year, and to parents with younger children who may registed for Sept 2018.

We have built our train tunnel and platform undercover and the children have been inspired by our small train table which they love, this will now move into the red room for small group play so that we can expand out role play outside. We started "Dough Gym" which has been brilliant fun, basically aerobics for the hands using playdoh! This really helps build up strength in the children's arms and hands for writing.

Our green circle times worked on puzzles, prepositions and positional language and categorising and sorting toys - with lots of lovely singing at the end of each circle.

Our blue circle focused on learning about time and timing using clocks, watches, sand timers and digital timers - lots of great fun racing each other!

 

Our red circle times looked at time as well, with Andrea and Amelia being timed by the children crawling through tunnels! They timed themselves jumping for 30 seconds, being quiet for 30 seconds and watching the clock and counting seconds until we got to a full minute. The Red also learnt about differences in patterns creating a wonderful display of animal prints and also learnt about the different environments for animals, sea, farm and wild.

Alongside all of this we made button bracelets, pasta necklaces, enjoyed symmetry painting and baking, washing babies, and laying the tables and pretend birthdays in the home corner.

We hope everyone has a wonderful half term, and we will see you on the 20th Feb for another busy fun filled 6 weeks!

 

 

 

Spring Term Week 4

 

Well the cold rain has arrived this week! We have managed to get out most days this week and have been exploring shapes outside and MUD! We have had the bikes out a few days this week but today is so wet that we are inside and undercover only. We did manage a lovely trip to Knightswood park on Thursday afternoon - sadly the Vets had to cancel our visits set for Thurs and Fri afternoon due to emergencies but we decided to head out anyway, thank you to the lovely helpers that came with us - the children LOVED running around the park, exploring the different frames and steps and long slide. They have a nest swing which is what we are fundraising for at the moment and it was very popular indeed.

We have embarked on dough gym (a workout using playdoh!) and extended our home corner with birthday invitations, napkins, balloons and a pretend birthday cake. The children are still getting so much out of using all the real equipment and we would love to receive some postcards if possible to pin up on our notice board! The photos of real food have also been a hit so do send more in if you can,

 

Red group have explored construction - building towers as high and as long as themselves, looked at how tings work - battery, fuel, electricity and discussed what we think counts as exercise at home and at pre-school, sorting photos and pinning them up on our Healthy display. We also joined the blue group for a walk to the park

 

Blue group have practised more rhyming, fitted in lots of exercise - Animal Bop and stretching and moving and jumping, shaking and dancing! They have also facetimed the red group and called Mandy in the office. They joined the red group for a walk to the park.

Greens have held a shape hunt, followed simple patterns and sung favourite songs. They have also chatted about how to keep clean and shared a lovely story sack together.

We have also visited the Community College for a trip to their music rooms, exploring many different and unusual instruments.

 

Next week we are building a train station undercover, with a tunnel and lots of scenery on the walls to inspire chat about the world around us. The green table will be full of craft and making and blue will carry on in the home corner and add in washing babies and clothes and some baking too. A week left before half term so please share any next steps feedback with your key person and we look forward to welcoming you to parents consultations. We are always happy to chat and discuss any progress or worries so please feel free to ask for 10 mins with us of catch up when you drop off or collect.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spring Term Week 3

 

We have had a brilliant, if very cold week at pre-school. Please do remember to send your child in with a good thick warm coat to keep them comfortable as we are a free flow setting so the children are in and outside all the time! We have spare gloves and hats too and will encourage anyone looking more than a bit chilly to go inside for a quick warm up!

 

We have very much enjoyed a focus on obstacle courses this week, sadly the wifi did not extend far enough outside for us to measure our heart rates before and after our runs but we did time each other using a variety of technology and this revealed some very competitive future runners and possible hurdlers!

The new home corner has been an enormous hit! The children LOVE it so a huge thank you to everyone who made donations, we have been talking about being carfeul, about the donations being precious and that we must look after the new items. We have observed much more careful play using the real objects and there has been an unprecedented level of tidying up! A real feeling of being "houseproud"! Pictures, flowers, postcards and birthday cards will be going up on the walls next week so any donations of old invitations, party blowers, napkins etc would be brilliant to support the role play. We will be using these opportunities to develop counting skills, looking at shapes, numbers, laying the table for our friends! We would also really love you to take photos of your lunch or tea! Send them in to amelia.cullomptonpreschool@btconnect.comWe are going to print them out for plates and saucepans so take a pic of boiling peas or a plate of spag bol please!

Green circle have practised getting dressed themselves with coats and hats, wellies and shoes. they have also learnt about how to play with construction toys building homes for their toy animals, how to keep ourselves clean and also chatted about feelings and what makes us happy or sad.

Red circle have learnt about money, matching the coins, talking about what to buy in the shops and how to pay for things, coin rubbing, we have facetimed Mandy in the office and taken videos of ourselves and learnt about physical exercise and how we feel afterwards and washing hands, hair and how important hygiene is.


Blue circle have also learnt about money, making money boxes, counting and matching coins, rhyming games and exercise and hygiene - what a busy week for them all!

Next week our focus will be on mark making, revamping our creation station outside, drawing around our shadows and painting the fence. We will also be making shapes on the green room table during free flow to learn about 3D shapes and their names, blue room will continue to be the lovely home area and we are embarking on "dough gym" which is a series of activities involving playdoh! We are slightly daunted by the huge amount of playdoh we need to make but as always we will work hard and get the job done so that the children have what they need to have a really fun time!

 

 

 

 

Spring Term Week 2

 

We have enjoyed another full week of pirate fun, one of our most popular themes so far!  We have packed in some brilliant learning for the children and some physical exercise “Arrggghhhrobics”! which proved a great hit with new moves like “throw the anchor” and “jellyfish” to add to our routines! We have explored ice, made desert island cakes, searched for treasure and used big 4 pint milk bottles to carry it around to build strength. We have practised our pencil grip and developed skills. Circles have included learning about capacity and 3D and 2D shapes with hands on experiments and games to bring them to life. The children have found learning about our skeletons quite funny with lots of questions and comments “our ears have no bones” “ we also have blood” “I don’t want to turn into a skeleton” and some brilliant new words have been heard around pre-school too – skull, hip bone, spine and scapula. New songs and our smoothie café were popular with lots of children downing many varieties of smoothie – banana and kiwi being least popular as there were too many seeds and for some reason they all ended up at the bottom in the last sip – yuk!

 

 

 

The children have made wonderful desert islands in the builders trays and the observations that have come out of all the pirate play have been so amazing – full of chat, imagination, role play, friendships and fun. We have seen children work together, dance together, build up rich and imaginative stories and be very bossy about walking the plank!

 

 

 

Next week we will leave the pirate ship up for children who have built up their confidence to carry on using but will be developing a realistic home corner full of items from real homes to teach the children to take care of our environment and things and will be cleaning, tidying, cooking, sorting, writing lists and laying tables – lots of learning objectives will be hidden in the play – such as accepting others need turn with resources, learning new words, shows an interest in technological toys and making mechanisms work, and operating mechanical toys too. We will build the home corner together using our wooden set but would LOVE donations of the following items to bring our corer to life please:-

 

Place mats, cloth napkins, real spoons, forks and knives (supervised!) china plates and mugs and cups and saucers, saucepans, wooden spoons, bowls, tins of food, whisks, hard plastic cups or glasses, vases, flowers or plants, lamp, cushions, old iron, telephone, dustbin, ironing board, old kettle, old TV, tablecloths, small aprons, notice boards, pin boards, homely style decorations, cleaning dusters, sponges, dish cloths, washing up bowl etc....

 

 

 

Other objectives are more physical development with an obstacle course outside, and some work on different environments that animals live in.

 

A HUGE thank you to everyone who has donated bits for our tinker table – we are very excited about putting it all together!

 

 

 

Spring Term Week 1

We have had a wonderful first week back, enjoying some sunshine and keeping out of the cold rain too! We had hoped for some snow exploration at pre-school on Thursday but it wasn't to be! At the start of every circle time am and pm, we sing Hello to all our friends, talk about the day of the week, and look at the weather - during Blue circle on Thursday one of our children suggested during our weather chat that we should keep out the snow picture as we have another chance to check the weather after lunch and it might be snowing by then! A very clever observation and an excellent understanding of how our day runs and how weather can change!

The pirate theme has been a massive hit, with us all being told to walk the plank! We have made pirate hats, treasure, treasure chests, pirate passports with some excellent answers given to the question "Have you been on a pirate ship before?" - "yes, it's a big one that swings and my Dad doesn't like it" (Crealy!) and "No I haven't but I have been on a ferry" and "No, but I have been to an island"! Lovely happy fun moments during our role play! So much learning involved and brilliant observations of team work, conversation, imagination and working together in a theme.

 

As a team we are looking at healthy lifestyles, being active, healthy food and treats and how to use our bodies. With this in mind we have planned in a full week of physical activity as part of our sessions and will continue with this throughout this term. As a pre-school we are key in teaching the children how to use their bodies, to recognise when they are hot or cold, when they need a drink and what is healthy. We talk about food, bake, cook, make fruit kebabs and smoothies - all centered about looking after ourselves. Alison will be attending a course in February to keep up to date with any new developments in this area, we will source ideas from the Change4Life website and here is a list of all the activities that we do on a day to day basis that support physical development :-

Music, dancing, singing with actions, bikes, trikes, cars, slide, climbing frame, obstacle courses, soft play, running, walking, avoiding each other during games, stilts, climbing into our role play areas, gardening, painting the fence, carrying heavy buckets of sand or water, putting toys away, construction with big blocks, exploring the back garden, sorties with actions and we even do mini aerobics sessions called Sticky Kids! We have also invited tennis couches in and last year we booked Rugby Tots to run sessions for us, sadly we are unable to afford it this year so will be fundraising for this for next year once our new swing set has been achieved.

New ideas for this term include tummy time, carrying heavier items, gym balls, rockers, a new digging spot in the garden to learn through physical play. Staff training will be carried out in house too on how to observe the children.

Interesting facts about Physical Play -

"At no other point in their lives will children learn as many physical skills as in their first 5 years"

"A child's experience of movement will play a pivotal part in shaping personality, feelings and achievements"

We are creating a healthy living display in each group - Red, Blue and Green and will add to it over the term.

Next steps are coming out from your key person, as mentioned before we do put a lot of work into planning individually for every child here and your feedback on our ideas is very much needed. Please use the parents comments box on your next step sheet to let us know how you get on or email in amelia.cullomptonpreschool@btconnect.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Autumn Term Week 14

 

We have had a wonderful last week at pre-school, leading up to Christmas we have talked a lot about Father Christmas and how he will get to our homes! We have learnt about different jobs people do and what our families do for work. Andrea made a special Father Christmas message which she showed the children and we have had Christmas music playing all week to keep us in the mood after the play and party last week!

We have gone glitter and Christmas mad for our activities and hope you have all loved the Christmas trees that the children made for you, I think our cleaner will be really happy to get rid of all the glitter from January!

Of course we have also kept working hard on learning our numbers through fun games such as making candy canes, picking up conkers with kitchen tongs and counting our friends in our groups. The children have enjoyed lots of dancing, musical bumps and popping bubbles as well! Outside we have seen some treasure being sieved and collected from the sand tray (some cheeky pirates took some home but very kind parents have returned it!!) - the children have loved looking for treasure so when we come back we are going to have "Pirates" as a theme so please keep an eye out for any props or books for us. The children also worked really hard this week to push and ride their bikes and cars up the ramps they made - some brilliant observations and differences on how the individual children worked out their own way to get over the obstacle.

 

The planning has been done for January and alongside the Pirate theme we will be learning about healthy and active lifestyles - planning in lots of physical activity, hoping to go out to the park and walks to the CCA fields so do expect a few texts asking for help!! We cannot take the children out safely without parent help and we really do appreciate you all coming along to give the children lovely and enriching experiences so thank you. We will make pirate maps and treasure chests, telescopes and walk the plank and we will work on rules and boundaries and looking after our toys and environment at pre-school.

 

Thank you all for our very lovely gifts and treats and kind messages and cards - we are overwhelmed by all the kindness and appreciation.

 

Have a very happy Christmas and New Year and we will see you all January 9th 2017!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Autumn Term Week 13

What a busy week at pre-school! We had a normal Monday enjoying our circle times and practising our songs, setting up activities to build fine motor strength and enjoying lots of Christmas stories in our new undercover role play sitting room. Then on Tuesday all rules and structure went out of the window and were replaced with a special Christmas celebration day (more detail below!).

 

Back to usual pre-school business on Wednesday with a lovely quiet day, hearing all your comments following our play and we all felt very proud to see comments on facebook too. The staff have lists all over the pre-school of which stage each child is at with their Christmas gifts for you and making 76 gifts and cards is no mean feat and one that requires the numerous lists, covered in dots, crosses, different coloured highlighters and the occasional handprint or blob of glue! With this in mind the last couple of days have been focusing on staying in the Christmas spirit and completing our Christmas jobs for the children to bring home to you, to show their hard work, creativity and hopefully for you to keep for many years to come. We have also enjoyed some experimental baking of which the ladies should be proud! A highlight is a photo that was printed from the internet of a gorgeous rice crispie Christmas tree - a vision of green rice crispies and beautifully placed icing.....a carrier bag of ingredients arrived and no instructions!! The wonderful team put their heads together - always the process is more important that the product, in this case both were a wonderful experience for the children and as a team effort some highly impressive trees that could have modelled for the cereal brand were produced! We don't give up in Early Years...nothing is a mistake, it's all a learning curve!

 

All gifts and cards will be laid out on a table in the reception hall for you to collect from Monday. The lists will be recycled, a sigh of relief given and our thoughts will turn to planning for January.

 

We work hard as key people for your child to concentrate on where they are going next, which area of learning will inspire them and fire up their imagination, which activities do we know they love and what we will use to ensure they all make good progress. Hopefully you have all submitted your school place form online and we look forward to hearing which school you have chosen. 2017 will involve trips to the schools and lots more enriching experiences at pre-school.

 

Our last week will include a trip to a care home to sing our Christmas songs for some residents, they very much enjoy our visits and as part of the community in Cullompton we feel very happy to bring some festive joy into their day. We have also been promised fairy cakes! The children will be enjoying aerobics and physical sessions outside, using Christmas music on our favourite new toy - the PA system! We will make reindeer food, cover pre-school with yet more glitter and sprinkles and make some large world play in the blue room - designing, creating and decorating whatever world the children would like to create.

 

Next week will be the last blog before the Christmas break, please have a great last week - do keep your child at home if they are unwell so that we can all enjoy the start of the holidays without catching any last minute bugs!

 

 

Christmas Party and Nativity Blog! 6.12.16

 

We had a wonderful day yesterday, celebrating Christmas with almost all of our children and staff. We missed the children and ladies that were not able to make it yesterday and we have their presents from Father Christmas waiting in the office (children only - sorry Liz and Monika and Sarah!!).

As you know we split into two sessions for our special party day and began by welcoming the children at the start of each session. They arrived to a room full of balloons and bubbles, musical statues and bumps in the red room and pin the nose on Rudolf in the green room. We had a Christmas themed treasure hunt outside and Christmas songs and craft to enjoy as well. The children all looked very smart in their party gear and soon got stuck into throwing pretend snowballs - some very accurate hits! Even I got hit right on the nose by Jo...I think she was the most accurate snowball thrower! The ladies were certainly as enthusiastic as the children!! So much fun was had and we then enjoyed our party food snack with lots of treats served by Mandy and Mandy and then our special visitor arrived with a big knock on the door...Father Christmas. I loved watching their faces as he walking into pre-school - such joy and anticipation and excitement! We sat and had a chat with him, asked how he got to pre-school (he came up the M5 as his reindeer are resting ready for Xmas Eve!!) and the children were so confident to chat away and one even pulled his beard to check it was real!!!!

Both morning and afternoon sessions were brilliant fun and all of the children got ready for the performance without any upsets and I think you will all join me in congratulating them on all their hard work learning the songs and actions and for staying on the stage when you all walked in. very brave indeed - the ladies and I always get nervous as we hope you will really enjoy the performance and I think the children did us proud. The stage and costumes looked colourful and the scenery was a great addition this year and I would like to take this opportunity as well to say an enormous thank you to all staff for their hard work, dedication and for all their encouragement of the children.

 

We hope you all had a wonderful experience yesterday, whether it was morning or afternoon and that the children had a really happy day celebrating Christmas with us!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Autumn Term Week 12

 

What a change in our weather! The children have enjoyed looking at the frost and we have wrapped them up warm to play outside - the ladies have donned more layers, more scarves and gloves have appeared to keep them warm while they play with the children! The frost has been really pretty in our garden and we have seen lots of pink noses and cheeks! Lots of learning opportunities to look at change and patterns and we are going to blow bubbles and see if they freeze.

Our circle times have been fun and full of new vocab and we have seen some great concentration in the children, lots of lovely chatter about what they want for Christmas and we have written letters to Father Christmas (parents - the main requests have been:- Paw patrol, Buzzy Bee Game, Scooter, Ninja Turtles, Power rangers, a white horse with a blanket,

Our letters will be posted in our postbox and a parent who is a postman is coming to collect them all on Monday afternoon! We love having parents come in and the children are always so proud so please do offer to read a story or being in a instrument or just come along to help at lunchtime - call Mandy 01884 35018.

 

The reds have had a busy week and have been looking at being kind, talking about patterns and looking at animal patterns and learning about the Nativity ahead of our play next week. The children should all know who they are in the play. the blues have also been learning about the story of Christmas and talking about Father Christmas too, there has been some rhyming work and making patterns, looking at similarities and difference and some wonderful noisy Animal Bop singing and dancing! The greens have also had a busy week following instructions, learning how to represent numbers as a tally chart and learning how to hold their pencils and making bird feeders with lard and bird seed.

Alongside all of this we have made a start on our Christmas decorations for the children to bring home and have practised our play twice over in the CCC hall. We are really looking forward to showing you all our hard work next week. Outside we have enjoyed building obstacle courses, making our own jingle bells and creating a fireplace and cosy area with our own Christmas tree to enjoy books in. It has been cold so we have been keeping active.

The last highlight of our week has been our trip to St Andrews - we took 10 children who are starting school off for a "school experience" and visited Miss Whelan in Year 4. Some of the children on year 4 had attended our pre-school and were very happy to see Denise! They looked after our little ones really well and were so kind, helpful and thoughtful - I think they really enjoyed having us to visit! We listened to a story, did some drawing and went outside for a play and then came in to finish off with some painting.

Information from 3 year 4 boys on what we need to know about school!

1. You need to count in ones in foundation...
2. There are spelling lists
3. Dinners are free till year 2
4. Be respectful
5. Play nicely
6. We have learning ladders
7. Cloakrooms are on the left
8. There are 4 toilets
9. We have very kind teachers
10. you need 30 stars in the jar for a party in year 4

We are really looking forward to welcoming you all and your families for our Christmas play on Tuesday - please drop off at 9.10am if you are a morning show and come back to watch by 11.20am, if you are an afternoon show please drop of at 12.40pm and then return by 2.50pm to watch the show.

 

Autumn Term Week 11

 

We survived the rain although we did have two days where we spent far too much time indoors! Luckily we have good plans to keep using our energy and keep busy - We have the soft play out for the children, taking turns and focusing on how long to wait by using the big blackboard to help see when it is our turn. There was also music, dancing with ribbons and action songs to keep active.

The children in Red have been learning about floating and sinking objects, picking which will float and which will not, developing their thinking skills and confidence to offer answers in a group. The children have worked hard on their scissor skills too, making snowflakes and cutting along lines in circle time. There are also some lovely pictures of animal marking which the children made with support from the ladies at circle time. The Blue group have looked at photos around Cullompton, chatted about where they live in the town and how we recognise different shops by their signs. We have alose developed our experience of what sinks and what floats, practised writing our names on whiteboards and made bird feeders for the garden! Our green group have explored lots of different objects this week - hard, soft, heavy and light and learnt new skills to play games and instruments.

 

Outside has been chilly but very busy with the children developing their own play using the big blocks, making a garden, road, swamp with stinky plants and their own obstacle course with a big jump at the end! We had lots of fun trying to take "in the air" photos!

 

Christmas has begun in earnest now - we will have a Christmas market outside to fire up the imaginations! We will be decorating our own tree and making more bits to make pre-school sparkle. The children are making cards and little prezzies for you all for Christmas and we are really looking forward to the Nativity on the 6th Dec. The children will be having a practice this week and we hope you will really see how hard they have worked. Hopefully the lovely loud singing we hear will happen on the day and there won't be too many nerves!

 

Here are some of the songs if you would like to practice at home!

 

Snowy flakes are falling down, falling down, falling down

Snowy flakes are falling down all around us.

Children building snowmen tall, snowmen tall, snowmen tall

Children building snowmen tall all around us.

Snow balls flying through the air, through the air, through the air

Snow balls flying through the air all around us. LONDON BRIDGE

 

 

 

One Christmas present underneath the tree

One Christmas present underneath the tree

I wrapped up another one – and oh yipeeeee

There were two Christmas presents underneath the tree  etc

 

10 green bottles

 

 

 

Jingle Bells Jingle Bells jingle all the way

oh what fun it is to ride with Santa on his sleigh – HEY

Jingle bells, jingle bells jingle all the way

Hooray for Father Christmas, hooray for Christmas Day - HEY

  

 

Donkey, donkey don't you stop

Just let your feet go clippety clop

Your tail goes swish and you say eey-ore

You're nearly at the stable door                    TWICE

 

Can you see the angels, flying in the sky

You can see the angels, so can I

They're singing of the baby, born in Bethlehem

Yes, we've seen the angels.

And now we'll follow them.         CAN WE BUILD A SNOWMAN (from frozen)

 

 

 

Twinkle, twinkle Christmas star

How I wonder what you are

Up above the world so high

Like a diamond in the sky

Twinkle, twinkle Christmas star

How I wonder what you are

 

 

When Santa's here we know it's Christmas day – hooray

When Santa's here we know it's Christmas day – hooray

When he's flying through the night among stars so shiny bright

When Santa's here we know it's Christmas day – hooray

 

 

When we see the presents there for you and me – yippee

When we see the presents there for you and me – yippee

It's Christmas Day you see when there's toys around the tree

When we see the presents there for you and me– yippee

 

When we see baby Jesus lying in the hay -shh, shh

When we see baby Jesus lying in the hay – shh, shh

When we see Jesus in the hay then we know it's Christmas Day

When we see baby Jesus lying in the hay shh, shh

 

When your happy and you know it

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Autumn term Week 10

 

Time is flying by this half term and we have made a start on planning our Christmas party and Nativity play on Tuesday 6th December. It does feel quite early but that is the only free day where we can use the hall at Cullompton Community College. So we have started to practise our songs in earnest and are very excited indeed! You will get letters about whether you are invited to the morning or afternoon performance.

We have had a wonderful week with the garage in the garden, I have seen some brilliant play with lots of groups of children - 4 boys yesterday spent over an hour with elaborate role play, great chatter and ideas were shared, cleaning the cars, fixing the cars, careful manoeuvring onto ramps and platforms and very kindly taking turns with the towel or saw or wrench! The girls were also in action in the garage so no stereotypes here! They were also chattering away, talking over the problems with the cars and telling me it would be £200 to fix - also some chatter about how fast Daddies drive and Mummies say "slow down"!!!

 

The children have been looking at more number recognition this week, it's all about repeating and repeating so that it becomes really natural and we learn about the numbers in so many different ways. What does 4 look like written down, as 4 lines, as 4 fingers, as 4 conkers or 4 children - really understanding what we use numbers for. With all the different groups the children get a really good mix of ways of teaching and this keeps the circle times exciting and engaging. The staff plan really carefully to support progression. Green group have been mark making and looking at concepts such as tall and short objects, categorising and sorting. Blue have worked really hard on number recognition and matching using post it notes on tummies, movement to express feelings with different kinds of music and following directions to gauge understanding of concepts and science such as "float or sink" "heavy or light". Red group have worked hard on learning sounds of letters, especially the ones at the beginning of our names. Some number work too and scissor safety and skills.

 

During our free flow we have played with nuts and bolts, the cameras, our bee bot which is a programmable robot that the children love, made cakes on a whim and took a trip to Aldi to buy the ingredients with 4 children and have even made a start on snowflakes and paper chains to decorate our pre school!

 

Next week will bring more baking, some Christmassy craft and writing letters to Father Christmas. We are even going to have a real postman come to take our letters from our postbox to deliver them to Father Christmas!

 

 

 

 

 

Autumn Term Week 9

 

We have enjoyed the crisp cold days and the arrival of some muddy puddles on Thursday resulted in lots of wet trousers and the need for our wellies! The children have had a brilliant week in the blue room clothes shop - we could keep that role play going for a long time but to keep pre-school interesting and exciting we are going to move onto garages and mechanics and build ramps and fix cars outside undercover. If anyone knows a mechanic who would be happy to come in and visit us please let me know!

 

Lots of our circle times have been based around numbers this week, assessing which children are confident, which can recognise numbers and match numeral to quantity and lots of the next steps for children are on this topic. We would love your feedback on their next step - please write in the comments box to say how if your child found this easy or hard, or send in a photo of your child having a go at the activity or just drop us an email with any thoughts please! We love to hear whether these next steps are achieved so we can plan even more carefully next time.  amelia.cullomptonpreschool@btconnect.com 

 

The green circle have been learning about different objects in the home, sorting them, drawing to music, drawing themselves and looking at differences while looking at themselves in mirrors. The blue group have been counting bottle tops for 10 green bottles, planting cress and bulbs for our garden, learning about change and growth - looking at their baby pics and ball skills too! Red group have learnt about seasons, number recognition and building different patterns to also look at change and difference.

 

We would love all children to bring in a baby picture as the blue group have LOVED talking about themselves as babies!

 

Next week the focus shifts gently towards Christmas!! Our Nativity and party for the children is on Dec 6th and you will be invited to attend the morning or afternoon nativity in the CCC hall across from pre-school. We are going to start learning the songs and I will post the songs on the blog next week. Alongside the garage and learning the new songs the staff will be supporting the children to explore technology - please send in any old video camera's, torches, gadgets, or circuit boards,  or anything else we can take apart to see how it works please!!

We are looking forward to a busy week ahead and hope everyone who has been poorly this week will be on the mend soon.

***We have had lots of poorly children this week, please do not send your child to pre-school if they are under the weather or ill. It is very tiring for them and can prolong their illness.

If your child needs Calpol before they come to pre-school then they are not well enough to come, we have to think of the wellbeing of the other children and of our staff. If we are unwell then there is the risk that pre-school will not be able to open if staff are off sick. Please do keep your child at home if they have a temperature or are not over their illness. We understand that life is busy and it's very hard to take time off work but please do consider the effects spreading illnesses to other families, including the staff***

 

 

 

 

 

Autumn Term Week 8

 

 

We have a new set of areas of learning this half term to concentrate on and I have picked Making Relationships for personal, social and emotional learning - we have loved the puppet theatre and will continue that next week too and we have made some wonderful observations of the children making up stories, my favourite was a very hungry crocodile who wanted to eat two owls! We are working on our listening and attention at group times, story times and during activities but also listening to our friends and their ideas. Moving and Handling is our physical development focus so lots of ball skills, co-ordination and building gross (legs, shoulders, arms) and fine (hand and finger) motor strength. The group leaders will be planning circles around numbers, number recognition, learning to count, realising that numbers have a meaning and adding and taking away changes how many objects are in a group. We also look at catagorising objects so at home some good ideas are to match socks and count them, sort out coins to make matching piles and look at the numbers on them and to model counting as much as you can, how many stairs, how many times you rinse their hair on the bath, how many times you clap and how many bits of pasta are on the plate at tea time! Writing will become a focus too - learning to write our names and just learning that marks have meaning and are all over our environments - in the shops, in our diaries, newspaper, receipts, bank cards, postcards etc. At pre-school we will be writing with the children, writing tickets for the theatre, learning to write numbers, to represent how many children are in our groups by making marks on the boards. I have a meeting with the primary schools this week so will be ensuring that we are following the right writing strategy for Willowbank and St Andrew’s to give the children the best preparation that we can.

 

 

 

More seasonal activities next week, more theatre and stories, gardening and planting bulbs for Spring. We will start to think about Christmas too!

 

 

 

Parent consultations are coming up on the next two Mondays so please book in, it is a great chance to listen to how your child is getting on at pre-school, talk over any worries with your key person and to look at the lovely photos that have been put into your child’s special book for you to keep.

 

 

 

 

Autumn Term Week 7

 

Another busy week in the life of Cullompton pre School! We have worked hard on all of the children's next steps and have seen some great progress in all of the children, we will be handing out new ideas to help the learning at home so please do give your key person feedback. We love to save the info in your child's special book and folder so it's a great way of adding to the memories that you get to keep at the end of your time with us.

 

We have had a fun filled week with the children exploring colour mixing and weather craft, looking at you tube clips of extreme weather and volcanoes which prompted huge excitement after some experiments to create our own volcanoes in the blue group! We have practised being independent when putting on our coats and shoes and doing up our zips, started to learn the sounds of letters and sorting objects based on the initial sound. Outside we planned in adult led activities using the bikes and cars to develop role play ideas, to support children to be imaginative and to model writing and language and used numbers as well.

 

I spoke at a Leadership conference at Sandy Park on Wednesday and was very proud of the feedback from delegates, they were very interested in how we run, plan, track progress here at Cullompton Pre School and our ethos of "every child matters" was key to my speech. I also listened to other much more accomplished speakers and came back to my comfort zone inspired to carry on the work we do here, inspired to believe in what we do and very proud that we always put the children at the centre of our work.

 

After half term we have planned to look at numbers, work on understanding and making relationships, moving and handling and being imaginative! With that in mind we are setting up a puppet theatre for the children to use and a clothes shop in the blue room which was inspired by the children's love of dressing up. We will add tills, clothes racks, organising and pricing into the play to develop learning too.

 

The week has ended in a very unusual way with a letter from The Queen!! We and the children were thrilled to receive a very personal letter and card and we are going to get it framed for reception!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Autumn Term Week 6

 

We have had another busy week, learning about how to match rhyming words in all the groups. The children have picked it up quickly and have been brilliant, laughing away as we try to rhyme our names! We have welcomed two new children and two more will be starting with us.

Outside we have set up a shop to help the children learn to take turns with the tills, to count out the money and to pretend to write shopping lists, notes to each other and prices. We support the children during their play to teach them to listen to their friend's ideas and to encourage the development of friendships at our setting. The staff have been focusing observations on conversation and which children need a little extra help to make friends.

Our staff have encouraged and teased out some brilliant ideas while building the large worlds on the floor in the blue room - we had a zoo, river and even a fun fair yesterday!

Circle times have been consolidating shape work and recognition and we have seen some wonderful pictures made independently using shapes. The leaders have also been focusing on the timetable of the day, learning the tidy up song, talking about how important it is to help tidy up rather then run inside without picking up your toys and learning about the flow of our day at pre-school. Next week we will be talking about the routines at home so we can discuss and share them and see if any are different so please send us the info in by email or chat to your key person. It's a great skill for the children to develop - to be confident to speak about home and their communities, to chat to us in a group about family life and special events so we spend lots of time building confidence.

After half term we come back with different topics and will be learning more about numbers and writing and lots of physical activity to build strength in our bodies.

Don't forget we are raising money next week with dressing up sessions - £1 per session if your child dresses up. It is a Halloween theme but no scary masks please and please feel free to send in a fairy or superman if you prefer!

 

 

Autumn Term Week 5

 

The children have been very settled this week and experienced their first fire alarm practices! We spend a week each term carrying out drills to ensure that the children are comfortable with the loud noise, that they follow the staff outside and to the meeting point and that they understand the need to stand still while I count them and the staff. I have to say that they have been amazing!

We have had Sarah from Barrat homes visiting us this week to show us plans of houses and to talk to the children about how many people are needed and their different jobs in order to build a house.

We have also walked up to St Andrews Church with our school starters to learn about Harvest and about the Food Bank - People Matter. It is a vital and much used resource in our town so please make donations and if you ever need to use it or if any friends or family need support please come and ask me to make a referral.

Learning activities this week have included using potato mashers for painting and making patterns - works on our gross motor strength, and recognising shapes and patterns which is early maths.

The children have enjoyed exploring clay, gloop and painting stones for a new display.

Our nurture groups are going well focusing on communication and language, giving quieter children a cosy space to talk and share ideas away from the large groups, and staff have been working alongside children to develop their skills to join in other's play.

There has been a lot of fresh fruit and veg around while we learn about what foods are healthy and what foods are treats and the children in Blue and Green have gone home with fruit kebabs and salad and fruit salad this week. Reds have been drawing their homes, learning how to use scissors and shapes in our environment. Greens have also been developing their listening skills, playing games to build friendships and experimenting with mark making.

A big favourite this week was loom band sensory bottles - easy to make :-

Fill an small clear bottle with water and put loom bands in one by one and shake...!

 

 

Autumn term Week 4

 

We have enjoyed another sunny week, we have had no bikes out this week to encourage the children to take part in other acitivties and have enjoyed building houses undercover, listening to what is being built and how, watching the children get dressed up using ear defenders when hammering, negotiating who's turn it is to be inside the "house" and what needs to be fixed. Some risks have been explored with a couple of children on the imaginary "roof" fixing it and a lot of Hi Vis has been worn. We have also had wizards and witches and pumpkins as we have our Halloween outfits out this week. 

The staff have set up a new tennis net which has been very popular and another parents very kindly donated some dressing up and badminton rackets! This was supervised very well by the staff due to some very eager swinging of the rackets but developing balls skills is a brilliant way to work on perseverance, attention and following instructions. the focus has been on developing children's language again and we have been recommending a programme called "Lets Talk More" which is a really fun and relaxed programme of activities to help develop language skills in 2 year olds.

We have also explored Autumn and natural items, learnt about what foods are healthy or not and this will continue next week as well.

All donations to the pre- school are very welcome and we would like the following items if possible please - potato mashers, fly swatters, streamers, corks, old tools and short lengths of wood.

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