December 2020 @ Kingswood

Here at Kingswood Day Nursery, we have made the very best of a ‘different’ type of December. During the pandemic we have made every effort to ensure that the children accessing the nursery, are receiving the same level of high quality care, along with a variety of activities to not only extend learning and challenge the children’s creative and critical thinking, but to excite and offer enthusiasm and fun too!

During December Kingswood engaged in a range of festive events starting with a staff team ‘Bake Off’! Each week the staff members from a room within the setting would bake some goodies to share with the rest of the team and I can personally vouch, that the bakes I sampled were yummy!

The nursery also participated in Christmas Jumper Day and we all had so much fun comparing our jumpers, as well as raising some money for the very worthy cause ‘Save the Children’.

We celebrated our home family traditions by having our very own Christmas Dinner Day (vegetarian style), prepared and made by our lovely cook Alice. The dinner was so yummy and was enjoyed by all; Quorn roast with all the trimmings!

We know that lots of plans had to be put on hold in 2020, and that going to see Santa was not always possible, so we were super excited when we received the news that he would be making a visit to Kingswood whilst on his way back to the North Pole! It was only a flying visit as he still had lots to prepare for Christmas, but all the same we were so pleased to receive a socially distanced visit from the big man himself!

Finally, to try and spread some festive cheer and memories amongst the staff and families of Kingswood, we asked the staff to share with us any funny stories or favourite gifts they remember receiving as a child. There were some very interesting ones, and Nicola and Chloe were happy to share their memories of an Easy Bake Oven and Baby Annabelle!

We would like to take this opportunity to say we hope all our families had a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, despite the challenges, and that you all enjoyed time spent with family and loved ones. Please continue to stay safe, here’s hoping that 2021 will bring health and happiness, and a step in the right direction to coming through this challenging time we have all faced in 2020.

November at Oak Valley

We started a busy month off at Oak Valley celebrating Bonfire night. The children were excited to make firework pictures, explore different colours and design their own rockets! The children then made their rockets using junk modelling equipment and flew them outside. Using the children’s interests Pre-school investigated colour further by enjoying lots of messy play in the cornflour and chalk while Baby room made hand and footprint pictures in the paint.

Messy play
Messy play
Poppy pictures

We raised a fantastic £90 for Children in Need by coming into nursery in fancy dress/pjs! The children took part in lots of fun activities such as making Pudsey bear hats and baking buns. We also had a bear hunt in the garden where we managed to find 10 different bears that were hiding from us! We also paid our respects on Remembrance day by making poppy pictures and having a 2 minutes silence.

Bear hunt

Road safety awareness week also took place this month. We made road signs and practiced how to cross the roads safely. Pre-school & Rising 3’s particularly enjoyed role playing scenarios with the cars and bikes outside taking it in turns to drive the cars and hold the signs. Toddler room read road safety stories and were excited to explore the ‘Ready, Steady, go’ tray while Baby unit got messy painting in traffic light colours.

Road safety Awareness week
Road Safety

As November drew to a close, the children wrote their letters to Father Christmas and made him lots of lovely pictures. We went on a walk to post the letters and make sure they safely arrive at the North pole.We are looking forward to lots of Christmas themed activities such as craft workshops, party days & festive baking. We also welcomed a little visitor to nursery,.I wonder what mischief he will cause in December…………………?

Buddy the Elf
Posting letters to the North Pole

October at Highgate

We know it’s been a while since you’ve been inside nursery, so we thought you might like to hear about all the improvements that have been going on behind the scenes over the last few months! We have had new windows, new flooring, a new outdoor play area, lots of decorating & the staff have been busy getting creative & doing a bit of upcycling in the rooms! Our nursery looks fantastic and if you would like a sneaky peak – please see our 3D virtual tour!



We have had lots of fun celebrating Halloween this month! The children enjoyed making Halloween monster biscuits and have thought of new ideas about how else they could make monsters. They decided to make playdough monsters using the loose parts! The children were so proud of their creations and enjoyed achieving what they set out to do! On Halloween, the children took part in a pumpkin hunt in the garden as well as taking part in our fancy dress competition. We saw lots of fantastic fancy dress costumes and all the children looked amazing – well done to all the children who took part!


Welcome to Riverview September 2020!

Firstly, I would like to say a big hello from us here at Riverview. We are the fifth branch to be added to the Early Years Care and Education family! We first opened our doors back in February, only to have to close them again in March when the dreaded coronavirus caused the national lockdown. We then re-opened our doors in June and have been welcoming new families through the door ever since, adding employees along the way also. We’re now a staff team of 10 and the number of children attending grows by the week! It’s a real pleasure seeing the setting grow. Both myself and the Deputy previously worked at our branch in Dore, so know what it’s like to have a bustling nursery, and now we’re lucky enough to be running our own!

So, what have we been up to at Riverview so far? Over the past couple of months, we have been exploring our environment, and looking closely at ‘the curiosity approach’ and loose parts. We have really enjoyed developing our outdoor areas and have been investigating den-building, doing our own growing, and focusing on our gross motor skills and physical development by improving our balancing skills for example.

We are even growing our own tomatoes. How exciting.

Inside the building, we have enhanced our loose parts theme and really focused on the interests of the children and extending their learning with what they have shown fascinated with.

We have really enjoyed role play activities and making our own pizzas.

Throughout the past few weeks, we have taken great pleasure in looking after our own caterpillars, who then spread their wings and flew off as beautiful butterflies

That’s all from us for now. We’re really happy to be here and look forward to filling you in more in due course.  

March at The Little School House

Before the world went crazy over the corona virus we managed to pack in lots of fun activities in & out of the setting…

Each of our branches had a charity takeover week to raise money for Sheffield Children’s Hospital. The plan was to theme as many of the activities around bears, as the hospital is tying it in with the Bear Hunt that’s planned around the city over the Summer. During our chosen week we held a raffle (with some amazing donation prizes – thanks to all who contributed), guessing games to wind a prize and even took the children on a sponsored bear walk, as well as completing lots of bear-themed activities in their rooms with their friends. We want to thank all of the staff, children and parents for their support and donations for this fantastic cause. The week was very successful week and we raised over £800!!

We don’t think our annual celebration of World Book Day would be complete without giving the staff and children the opportunity to dress up as their favourite characters. We saw the likes of The Gingerbread Man, Winnie the Pooh, Peter Pan and many more! The children loved taking part in reading their favourite stories and making up their own book character, although perhaps their favourite part was enjoying some of the yummy cakes and buns from our bake sale!

Our termly staff training session was held early in the month. Lisa and Anna (Area Manager and Quality Practice Manager) decided to base the first part of the session around a recommendation from our Ofsted inspection (January 2020); the report suggested that we should ‘build on the good planning for adult-led activities to ensure that all participating children are fully challenged.’ So we spent a portion re-looking at what the activities we’re planning to meet the next steps of the children, how to extend them for the more advanced children, what we provide in our areas of continuous provision and how to support the children in order for them to access and achieve things more independently.

We spent the latter half being introduced to a relatively new teaching strategy called ‘Word Aware’. This tool is designed to support practitioners in the provision of effective vocabulary development and it’s aim is to shorten the ‘word gap’ between children from different backgrounds. We discussed how we can implement the strands into our daily practice and how it will work best for the different age groups. We’re looking forward to putting all this into action once things are back to normal!

Our Pre-School Room went on a trip to Weston Park Museum and they used public transport to get to and from. This was a big experience for some of our children, who had not been on a bus before! They enjoyed learning about the different parts of Sheffield’s history and playing in their role play areas.  The children loved looking at the animals after enjoying a yummy picnic for lunch.

Now the weather is starting to get warmer, we’ve been enjoying more sensory activities and activities in the garden. The Baby Room have really enjoyed splashing and playing in the sensory tray with all of the water and bubbles – they had lots of fun splashing the staff too! It’s been great having picnic snacks and lunch in the garden with our friends, and made us very excited for the Summer weather!


That’s all from us for now; we look forward to resuming normal nursery life as soon as possible, but in the meantime, wish you all well – stay safe!

March Activities & Events!

It was a busy month at Highgate during March!

We started the month by celebrating Pancake Day on 5th March. The children enjoyed making & eating some yummy pancakes at snack time.

We then took part in a sponsored listen to celebrate World Book Day on 7th March & everybody came to nursery in dressed up as their favourite book characters. A massive well done & thank-you to all the families who took part in the sponsored listen & raised over £150 for us to buy new books for nursery!

Pre-School 1 went on a little trip to Weston Park Museum on 14th March. They had a great time, dressing up & playing in the role play areas. They even had time to feed the ducks, before returning back to nursery on the bus.

On 15th March the children & staff came to nursery wearing items of red clothing & made a donation towards Comic Relief.

The Babies hosted a ‘Stay & Play’ event. We invited their grown-ups to come along & join in the fun of morning play time. They enjoyed group time together; choosing song spoons & singing their favourite songs, whilst joining in with the actions! They then took part in a sponge painting activity & a sensory activity with squelchy, slippery, multi- coloured spaghetti! The children & their special guests had so much fun & we had some great feedback. Thank you to everyone who came along & took part.

The children in Toddler Room also had a wonderful ‘Tea Party’ with their Mummies & Nanans in celebration of Mother’s Day. They ate some delicious scones with jam & cream, they sang some of their favourite songs & then took part in some fun creative activities! They made flower bookmarks using lollipop sticks & buttons. They decorated plant pots & then planted some seeds in the soil to grow some beautiful flowers. Finally, they decorated mugs with beautiful hand drawn pictures for their accompanying adults.

After all that we’re now looking forward to April – Easter, the start of a new term & plenty more fun activities!

Excel studio visit

February 2019 at Oak Valley

We have had a lovely month at Oak Valley. The mini heatwave has enabled us to make the most of the great outdoors starting with the ‘Big Garden Bird Watch!’ The children made their own bird feeders and binoculars and watched as the birds played on our garden! We spotted so many different types of wildlife!

Pre-School invited their parents to our maths-themed workshop this month. The children and their special guests took part in activities such as finding shapes hidden in shaving foam, mark making in the sand and weighing and measuring. The fabulous feedback we received tells us the parents had fun and found it really useful to see examples in practice of how their children can learn through play and how they can implement these things at home.

We enjoyed celebrating Chinese New Year this month. Our School Council decided we should mark the occasion by making lanterns and having a food tasting session. We then voted on our favourite Chinese dish.

We finished the month off with a visit to Excel Martial Arts and Dance Studio. The children enjoyed having a taster session; they played games, learnt many new moves and took part in lots of exercise while doing the obstacle courses. Thank you Excel for letting us visit – we had a lovely time!

https://www.excel-in-life.com/

January 2019 at Kingswood

Happy New Year to you all – I hope that you all had a lovely Christmas!

We have welcomed 2019 into Kingswood with a few changes to our paperwork systems, some exciting activities and some sensory exploration.

“eyLog” is our new software system (that has actually been running in the background for approximately a term now) and we went live for parents to have access to this new and exciting system this month. So far we have had some really positive feedback and parents are really enjoying receiving their weekly updates, pictures and videos on what their children have been getting up to!

During the colder days we had in January the Babies showed a real curiosity about the frost and ice so we followed their interests and created some fun activities where they could explore and experience ice and what happens when it melts.

Image may contain: one or more people, people sitting, grass, child and outdoor
Digital Camera

Our Toddler Room has shown a real interest in kites recently so we embraced the International Kite Festival as a way to expand on this.The festival marks the end of Winter and the beginning of Summer months. The Toddlers had so much fun designing and making their own kites and, of course, on the field running after them!

Digital Camera
Digital Camera
Digital Camera
Digital Camera

Finally this month, it has been a real celebration of all things sensory! The Babies really enjoyed exploring a whole range of sensory activities on offer. They investigated the smell, touch and taste of the resources provided. I think a few of the favourites on this occasion were custard powder, cocoa powder and Angel Delight powder!

Digital Camera
Digital Camera
Digital Camera

We have had a great month here at Kingswood Day Nursery and Pre-School and we are now looking forward to seeing what February brings – we will be exploring the topic ‘People Who Help Us’.

Festive Fun at Highgate in December…

In December at Highgate we hosted a range of fun festive events!

On 13th December we held our Pre-School Christmas Concerts. The children performed 2 concerts, one in the morning & one in the afternoon, for their loved ones.  We had some great outfits, from stars to homemade Christmas tree dresses! They sang a variety of festive songs including Jingle Bells, Away in a Manger &, their favourite, When Santa Got Stuck Up The Chimney!  The audience got involved with the actions & sang along; a great time was had by all!

All the children in the nursery then enjoyed their Christmas parties, with a special visit from the big man himself!  Santa was very busy delivering presents to all the children & Pre-School had lots of questions to ask & stories to tell him!  The children had a delicious party lunch & also enjoyed various party games including pass the parcel & musical bumps. 

On Friday 14th December we all took part in Christmas Jumper Day to raise money for Save the Children.  We successfully raised over £50 for the charity – thank you to everyone participated!

On top of all these festivities, the staff had a training session on 11th December on policies & procedures.  It was a really interactive session that proved extremely useful.

We’re all now looking forward to a fab 2019 & all the upcoming events we have booked in for the Spring term. 

Press Release Fundraising Recognition for Highgate!

We’ve been honoured by Parenta with a press release praising the staff of our Handsworth branch for the amazing fundraising efforts on behalf of the Sheffield Children’s Hospital. The fantastic efforts of the team – most notably Kelly James – deserved some celebrating.

Here’s the article in full:

‘Snowflake’ award and TV appearance for Highgate Day Nursery, Sheffield

by Parenta | Jan 10, 2019 | Childcare news | 0 comments

‘Snowflake’ award and TV appearance for Highgate Day Nursery, Sheffield

Press release from Highgate Day Nursery, Sheffield.

Staff from Highgate Day Nursery in Sheffield took part in a sponsored walk from Highgate to Sheffield Children’s Hospital and back. They wore Sheffield Children’s Hospital t-shirts and bright yellow and blue tutus to attract attention. Everywhere was really busy as it was the day of the royal wedding and lots of people spotted them, kindly donating in the buckets they carried. The walk was even more of a challenge as it was a very hot day in the middle of a heatwave!

In addition, the nursery took part in a sponsored walk with all the children within the setting. Babies and toddlers explored the garden in a ‘bug hunt’ while the pre-school children went for a walk around our local area. They also raised more money by encouraging parents to bake for their cake sale.

In total, £1430.28 was raised which was enough money to receive a medium sized ‘snowflake’ for the schools snowflake project at Sheffield Children’s Hospital and the staff were invited to a light switch-on event, where they watched a presentation about where the money had been spent. The event was attended by BBC Look North who aired the event live on TV!

Highgate Day Nursery in Sheffield is part of Early Years Care & Education Ltd which has four settings in Sheffield.  The hospital is Sheffield Children’s hospital. Kelly James at Highgate instigated most of the fundraising activities.  She said; “We are all so proud of all our staff and children at the nursery and the effort they have put into their fundraising”.