What has been happening at pre-school this week? We are welcoming two new members of staff from 2nd January 2018 to the pre-school team. Joanne will be working from Monday through to Thursday. Joanne has previously worked in a nursery supporting and caring for 2 to 4 year olds as a key person and has many years’ experience working at an after school club. If your child’s key person has changed then you will be told shortly and will be able to meet with your child’s key person. We are also welcoming Emma to the team. Emma will be a general assistant to support the key persons and will be at pre-school Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Fridays from 9.00 to 12.00.
The improvements to our outdoor area are now complete We are very excited and pleased to announce the improvements to our outdoor area have now been completed. We would like to extend a big thank you to Tim Brain Carpentry for making the garden such a great place for the children to have fun and explore. We now have a lovely playhouse and wooden gazebo. The mud kitchen area has had a roof added so we can make plenty of use of this area no matter what the weather. Also a big thank you to all that have supported us through our fundraising events such as the disco in November and the Christmas Bazaar in December which included the raffle. Through this fundraising we have been able to make the garden improvements so thank you from all the staff and the committee.
Would you like to join the Pre-School Committee? Courtney Ladybirds Pre-School is a committee led pre-school. The committee is made up of parents and staff who ensure the smooth running of the pre-school along with the staff team. The committee members contribute greatly and oversee decisions regarding the pre-school. The committee is made up of the Chairperson, Treasurer, Secretary and general committee members. These positions must be in place to ensure the pre-school can run. Committee members are put in place every year at the Annual General Meeting in September/October. Therefore if you are interested in finding out more about becoming involved in the pre-school committee please come and speak to myself (Claire – Manager) or we can put you in touch with our current committee. Being on the committee provides lots of opportunities to have input into your child’s pre-school and to get together with like-minded people who want the best outcomes for their children during their early year’s education.
Children’s Voice At pre-school we know the importance of giving every child a voice to ensure we provide the best experiences to support their learning and development. We listen to what the children want in their pre-school and observe their play to ensure we follow their interests as children learn best when they are learning through something they enjoy and are interested in.
This week the children have really enjoyed being in the garden. We provide free flow play every day to ensure the children have access to plenty of fresh air and physical play. The children enjoy this which is reflected by the children choosing to play inside and outside throughout the day. Every play experience whilst at pre-school is an opportunity for the children to learn and develop whilst having lots of fun. The following link explains the great opportunities provided through having access to outdoor play http://www.lotc.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/Benefits-for-Early-Years-LOtC-Final-5AUG09.pdf
Experimenting in the mud kitchen In the mud kitchen the children have the opportunity to explore the mud, sand and natural resources. They can truly be involved in the outdoor environment and experience the natural environment and nature. The children can explore how the mud feels, feeling its texture when it is dry and when it is wet. This kind of play develops a child’s sensory skills. Which is essential for brain development, for building nerve connections and supports all areas of learning and development. Through these sensory experiences a child’s ability to complete more complex tasks can begin to build.
Further information on the benefits of mud play can be found at the following webpage http://www.communityplaythings.com/resources/articles/2016/the-benefits-of-mud-play
Please can we ask that the children have appropriate outdoor clothing to support their outdoor learning (e.g. hat, gloves, wellies, coat and waterproof if your child has this, thank you).
Learning new skills We like to provide exciting opportunities at pre-school for the children to learn new skills. This week we have been spending time with the children to teach them how to use tools safely. The children have really enjoyed using the hammer to bang the nails into the wood. This also incorporated other skills such as counting, rhythm, turn taking and physical development such as building hand strength and spacial awareness. We will continue to provide wood work opportunities for the children throughout the term.
Mark making We talk a lot about mark making at pre-school which is early writing skills and literally means making marks with a tool such as a stick or marks in the sand with a finger. This week the children have been mark making on a large scale. They have been using mud and sticks to make patterns and letters on our large outdoor chalk board.
There are many stages in the process of learning to write and draw and this starts with mark making and large arm movements. These large arm movements build the muscles in the shoulders before the children can begin to write holding a pen or pencil and become more detailed in their drawing. Please follow this link for more information on the process of being able to write and draw https://www.zerotothree.org/resources/305-learning-to-write-and-draw
What’s going to work? ……Team Work The children love to use their imagination at pre-school. They have great ideas such as making a castle or a boat. Often an individual child will have an idea and we encourage them and support them to make their idea a reality. The photos here show the children beginning to create a princess castle using wooden blocks. This progressed to include many of the children coming together as a team, sharing and take turns and negotiating the best way to make a castle. Through this idea the children are learning to build, balance, discover shape and space, counting and measurement. This later progressed to the children making cardboard crowns using the arts and crafts materials to wear in their newly built castle. The smiles on the children’s faces show a sense of pride and great achievement.
The Weather The children have been learning about the weather and how we should dress appropriately for the cold and wet weather at the moment. We have been trying to say the weather in different languages, using visual cards too, so all the children can experience the languages that some of their friends at pre-school speak. This has proved to be great fun and a great learning opportunity for the children and the staff as the children with English as a second language have enjoyed teaching us the correct pronunciation.
We will continue to share different languages with the children over the school year. If any parents that speak additional languages would like to come in and share with us a story or come in to play then you are very welcome. Please speak with a member of staff if you wish to come and join in.
Mathematical development Thank you to the parents that were able to send in socks that you no longer needed. The children have really enjoyed sorting and matching these socks and talking about the patterns and colours. This has made a fantastic activity where the children have explored mathematical language which has supported their mathematical development. This activity progressed onto the children putting the socks on their hands and deciding to make sock puppets by adding eyes and hair. We will be extending this activity next week by making a puppet show and encouraging the children to make their own stories and to retell stories of their choosing.
The most popular resource at pre-school this week is …… Playdough! This may not come as a big surprise to many of you but yes, playdough has been very popular with the children this week. Playdough is part of our continuous provision which is always available to the children. This week there have been different resources available alongside the playdough to provide different experiences and learning and development opportunities, such as lolly sticks and pipe cleaners to make bugs. Playdough provides sensory experiences which include adding different smells such as peppermint, making the playdough different colours by mixing in paint and making the playdough stickier.
More information about the benefits of playing with play dough can be found following this link https://theimaginationtree.com/benefits-of-playing-with-play-dough/
Children’s quotes of the week;
“My dad build me a playhouse, it’s so great”.
“I’m Elsa, this is my frozen castle, Let it go, let it go”.
In the garden, playing in the new gazebo “This is so amazing” “I love it” “WOW”
“Safety goggles so nothing goes in my eye” when doing woodwork.
“I don’t want to go home yet, I want to stay and play some more”.
“Are there any chocolates left, I need a chocolate” (okay so this wasn’t actually a child that said this it was a member of staff. Thank you to all that gave the staff presents for Christmas, we are gradually working our way through the biscuits and chocolates, and they are very much appreciated J )
Next week’s themes and invitations to play
Future themes and invitations to play (further details to follow)
Week commencing: 22nd January 2018 Big Bird Watch
Thursday 25th January 2018 Geri Debutots session
Week commencing: 26th February 2018 World Book Day (1st March 2018)
Tuesday 27th February ZooLab visit morning session
Are you able to help please?
Any donations of yogurt pots, kitchen utensils, pots and pans for our mud kitchen, kitchen roll tubes, cleaning products are always gratefully received. Thank you for any items that you are able to donate.
Thank you for taking the time to read the newsletter.
Claire and the pre-school team