April ’24 @ Kingswood

Easter 2024

 

April started off with Easter Monday; the children had so much fun celebrating Easter and talking all about their weekend with us. Some of the activities we did at Kingswood to mark the occasion were Easter egg hunts in the garden, making their own chicks and baking their own Easter buns.

 

Eid Celebrations 

Here at Kingswood, we have some children and staff that celebrate Eid. We discussed, during Ramadan, why people fast and how people celebrate.

 

Fun in the park! 

The Baby Room enjoyed a fun walk to the local park where they played on the swings, climbing frame and roundabout. They took the opportunity to focus on their social and physical development, alongside learning about what there is in our community.

Life cycles

Throughout the month, we have been looking after some lovely creepy crawlies. The Toddler Room and Pre-School have both had a set of caterpillars that they been taking care of and waiting for them to transition into chrysalises before evolving into beautiful butterflies.

 

St George’s Day 

Here the children are making their own flags for St George’s Day. We discussed with the older children some fun facts around the origins of the occasion too.

Springing into March with Oak Valley

 

As the the days are getting longer, and the weather is getting (a little bit) warmer, Oak Valley welcomes Spring and all it has to offer!

 

Seeding Change for a Greener Future!

Pre-School welcomed March, and the slightly warmer weather, by spending some time in our new vegetable garden. The children loved talking about the seeds they were sowing, and watering them. They drew pictures of the vegetables, and loved reading stories in the garden. The Pre-School council also cast a vote to call it ‘The Secret Garden’.

 

 

 

 

 

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Celebrating Mother’s Day

Here at Oak Valley, the children enjoyed making their mums feel extra special on Mother’s Day. The children sent home a special keepsake and there was even a little gift for them too.

The science of today, is the technology of tomorrow

For British Science Week (8th-17th March) the children loved experimenting and exploring different science experiments. Toddler Room created their own potions, mixing lots of things together to see what they could create. Rising 3’s made a Skittles rainbow, using coloured sweets and water. While Pre-School created their very own lava lamps, using oil and coloured water.

Recycle Today, Save Tomorrow!

For Global Recycling Day, the children in Pre-School talked about the importance of recycling and reusing materials. They reused some cardboard, and their imaginations, to create some wonderful creations.

Celebrating Easter

Toddlers welcomed their parents in to celebrate Easter and to encourage them to ‘Ditch the Dummy’. There was lots of fun had by all and the staff talked about the importance of ‘ditching the dummy’ for promoting speech, as well as lots of Easter activities.

Springing into Spring 

With Spring finally here, the children in Rising 3’s have been creating daffodil paintings. They have enjoyed exploring the colours and smells, and using their fine motor skills to create their very own masterpiece!

Babies are on the hunt

The babies have loved having their very own Easter egg hunt. This activity encouraged the babies to explore their surroundings, develop their motor skills and be engaged.

You

You make a difference everyday

Last but not least, we want to congratulate Caitlin on winning ‘Employee of the Month’ for March. Caitlin has great creative ideas, is always happy to help and has built some great bonds with the babies in Baby Room. Keep up the hard work and well done!

 

 

February Fun at Highgate!

Send a Letter to a Friend Day!

At the start of February, the older babies celebrated “Send a Letter to a Friend Day”. They enjoyed drawing pictures for their friends, practicing their fine motor, and hand-eye coordination skills. When choosing the friend they wanted to make a picture for, some of the babies chose their peers who had recently moved up to the Toddler Room. They loved knocking on the door and giving cuddles when it was time to deliver them!

                                                                           

 

 

Toddler Room Workshop

Toddler Room hosted a story-themed workshop for their lovely parents and carers to attend. As World Book Day was approaching, the activities were all based on their favourite books. They dug through oats in the sensory tray to find the story board pictures and re-create their own story, made ‘Elmer’ elephants using milk jugs and tissue paper, and finished off by exploring natural materials to plant their very own beanstalks!

 

                       

 

 

Superhero Sid

The Pre-School children introduced a very special superhero – Superhero Sid! Sid will spend his time going on fun adventures with a different child each weekend. Sid’s backpack is filled with lots of key information from Start Well Sheffield and Change for Life. He gives lots of useful bedtime tips, and shares his favourite banana muffin recipe!

 

                                                                                     

 

Pancake Day

On Pancake Day in Rising Threes, the children helped to make their own playdough creating their very own playdough pancakes. Using the role play pots and pans, the children made big pancakes, small pancakes and even dinosaur shaped pancakes. The children used their imagination to create the pancake of their dreams! As a special afternoon treat, the children had pancakes to eat with a range of yummy toppings to choose from. We discussed how all of the different fruits were grown, and then looked at the fruit packaging to look on our globe and find where the fruit had been delivered from. We had bananas from Costa Rica! The staff also enjoyed creating some delicious looking pancakes from the pancake station on their lunch break too!

                                                                                                    

 

January 2024 at Riverview!

All About Me

At the start of each term we spend two weeks learning ‘All About Me’; the children are given opportunities to explore their life story and how it may be similar or different to that of others. Pre-School have been learning all about each other’s families, and some of the children have shared photos of their trips over the last few months. We spent time talking about who lived in our houses, what our bedrooms look like, and we even talked about different foods we like to eat with our families. The children then took time to draw pictures of their families.

Rhythm Time

‘Rhythm Time’ is a great opportunity for the children to join in with songs and rhymes. During our session this month, the children in Toddler Room explored animal noises, and how they could move like animals. The children also enjoyed making music with a range of instruments. They explored the different sounds they could make, and explored different ways to use them. They really enjoyed using the scarves when dancing, and popping the bubbles. Their favourite part of the session was the stretchy Lycra. The children all held a part of the parachute and saw how high they could make the items bounce.

Babies and Maths

Babies have chosen to focus on improving the children’s mathematical development this half term. In the Baby Room we focus on numbers 1, 2 and 3, this is to create a foundation for future learning.  The Baby Room have really enjoyed making playdough, exploring quantities and using words like, ‘less’, ‘more’ and ‘lots’. The activities that have been set out to enhance the children’s learning, have promoted filling and emptying containers; this has encouraged the children to using their fine motor skills, and will aid in the development of their hand-eye co-ordination.

Nursery Council

The nursery council gathered towards the end of the month to discuss upcoming events, and how they might be able to celebrate. They decided that they would like to celebrate Shrove Tuesday (pancake day), Valentine’s Day and Kindness Day. Some suggested that they can make cards for their friends and families for Valentine’s, and taste pancakes with a variety of topping (such a strawberries, bananas and, maybe, a small helping of chocolate!) for pancake day. For Kindness Day, we talked about the Pre-School rules, and what more we can do to be kind to others.

The children are also aware that Ramadan and Mother’s Day are to follow in March.

Employee of the Month

Impressively, January was Georgia’s first month at Riverview, and the staff have been really impressed with her enthusiasm and ability to use her initiative; enough to vote her as Employee of the Month! Georgia has made an excellent first impression; we are very excited to see what more she has to offer. Keep up the hard work Georgia, and well done!

National Storytelling Week

The Baby Room have been all about storytelling in the last week of January to celebrate National Storytelling Week! There have been an array of different exciting activities, set up to ignite children imagination and curiosity. The Babies have enjoyed getting messy in the tuff trays, and building in the construction corner. The grown-ups have been telling stories, and narrating their play. They have used books that follow the children’s interests to spark the children love of books. They have chosen to read books containing repetition to encourage the children to join in the familiar phrases.

 

National Apprenticeship Week #NAW2024

National Apprenticeship Week 2024 will run from Monday 5th to Sunday 11th February, & is the 17th annual celebration of apprenticeships. The week aims to bring together everyone passionate about apprenticeships to celebrate the value, benefit & opportunity that they bring.

The theme for National Apprenticeship Week 2024 is “Skills for Life”, & gives us all the opportunity to consider how apprenticeships can help individuals to develop the skills & knowledge required for a rewarding career, & employers to develop a workforce with future ready skills.

Apprenticeships are something that we, as a Company, have supported since we began 25 years ago. We believe in their worth & have seen many learners develop into successful members of staff, & even progress to Management level!

Just some of the many benefits:

  • Learn while you earn – £6.40/hr, progression after 12mths for those aged 19+
  • Wealth of transferable knowledge
  • Practical job-specific skills
  • Work alongside experienced staff
  • Gateway to a career
  • Increase in confidence

Requirements:

  • 16yrs+ (no upper age limit)
  • Living in England
  • Not in full time education

All the lucky apprentices that work for us at Early Years Care & Education Ltd also benefit from our amazing infrastructure; they have access to support from their training provider, their management team, their Room Coordinator/mentor, & our fabulous Quality Practice team.

The Quality Practice team is dedicated to supporting apprentices to learn the necessary care routines, & best practice, from the offset of their employment with us. The QP team models how to complete a specific aspect of the daily routine, sets attainable targets & works with apprentices to ensure thorough training dedicated to each individual. We have had a passionate set of apprentices, who have moved through the programme with great success with the support of their team. We’ve worked hard together, creating a group of qualified & confident Early Years Educators, who should be as proud of their achievements as we are of them.

Anna Cam, Quality Practice Manager 

We should also take the opportunity to praise the wonderful training providers that work with us, supplying their valuable time & efforts to help get our learners through their apprenticeships. It’s partly due to their dedication that we can boast about the number of qualified staff we now have following completion. In 2023 alone, we had an incredible 16 members of our team achieve a new or higher qualification, & we look forward to celebrating the successes of many more in 2024.

Get in touch today to enquire – kickstart your Early Years career by joining our growing Company!

Don’t just take my word for what a great choice an Early Years apprenticeship is, read on for comments direct from our learners…

I love my job & I’m really glad that I took the opportunity. It’s really challenging, but also really fun. My experience so far has been better than I ever imagined. It pushes me daily, & helps me grow. I love that my co-workers are so supportive & willing to help me. I have learnt a lot through my apprenticeship, & working hands-on really helps with my coursework as I personally get the experience.

CH

I want to give thanks for the support I received during my apprenticeship, I had a great team & assessor. I was very proud of myself when I achieved my qualification & gained more knowledge. It makes it so easy as now I know what I’m doing. I was interested in the early years industry & thought of doing an apprenticeship because I would get the experience, alongside doing the work. I make a real difference in children’s lives, supporting them in their development & learning, supporting their family throughout. Whilst doing this I create a beautiful bond with the children & family.

FB

I am currently Level 3 qualified & am completing my Level 5. I chose to complete the Level 5 due to moving into higher roles in the Company, so wanting to improve my knowledge of more leadership aspects to allow me to progress more. I love to see the positive impact I can have on children’s lives! I am finding it manageable to complete all my work alongside working full time, & would highly recommend this to others as it is a very rewarding course, I have also learnt lots of new information too! 

KH

I thought starting an apprenticeship in childcare would help me gain practical skills, enhance knowledge, & improve career prospects in a specific field. I chose Early Years so that I could contribute to the development & well-being of young children, fostering a positive impact on their early learning experiences. My experience from beginning until now has been amazing, I’ve been lucky to work with a great team of staff & management. I received all the help & support I needed to complete it, & I knew where to go if I was ever to need some extra help. 

SN

My reasons for choosing to do a higher-level qualification was to improve my career & gain me another qualification. I chose Early Years as this is something I have always wanted to work in & enjoy. The course is very interesting, informative & encouraging me to learn new things. I will always encourage others to do further learning to enhance their career, & to always follow their heart.

LM

 

My experience so far, I can say that I am enjoying the challenges & rewards that come with being part of the Early Years. I encourage others to consider a similar path. The combination of practical experience & alignment with the company’s values has made my journey easier. If you share a passion for Early Years education, this is the place for you.

SA

Festive fun during December at LSH

Firstly, congratulations to Loretta who was our December Employee of the Month. Loretta won the award for making sure that she checked in on her colleagues, cheered them up if they were feeling a little low and supported her team when the Rom Co-ordinator was off on holiday. Thank you, and well done!

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Olivia gained her Level 3 Qualification in style passing her End Point Assessment with a distinction grade. Olivia worked hard to achieve this and we’re all very proud of her. Well done Liv!

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On Friday 15th December, we held our Pre-School Christmas Concert at St. Chad’s Church. The children did a fantastic job singing Christmas Carols, using props that they had made, and Makaton that they had spent time learning. Afterwards, they were rewarded with a lovely treat hot chocolate station – yum!

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Toddlers held a Christmas workshop in December that parents, children, and staff all thoroughly enjoyed. We had a range of different activities; children enjoyed creating their own baubles for their Christmas trees at home, decorating their own biscuits (which most of them ate before the icing had set!), making some reindeer food to sprinkle outside on Christmas Eve, and even making reindeer hats and paper plate wreaths to take home.

It was Christmas Party Day in December too, and we had lots of fun playing Pass the Parcel with our friends. We did some dancing and played musical chairs. We didn’t have a ‘normal’ nursery lunch on this day, instead we enjoyed lots of yummy party food! Once we were ready to go home, we got a special present to take home and put under our tree.

 

On Monday 18th December, our Baby Room enjoyed having their very own Elf Day where the staff and babies all dressed up in their elf clothing and had lots of fun taking part in different elf activities.

 

All the children enjoyed a Christmas lunch cooked by the lovely Abi in the kitchen. The children enjoyed eating their lunch while listening to Christmas songs, and having different conversations about what we would like Santa to bring us for Christmas.

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We also held our termly staff training sessions. We spent time refreshing our knowledge on the Characteristics of Effective Teaching and Learning, before spending time on Loose Parts. As always, a great opportunity for quality practice sharing and bonding across the branches.

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We loved wearing our Christmas jumpers for Christmas Jumper Day, supporting the charity Save the Children. We designed our own Christmas jumpers on paper and decorated them with different creative resources.

We enjoyed our session of Superstar Sports, where we played different games with the balls. One of these games was rugby, where we balanced the rugby ball and kicked the ball so we could see if it was different from kicking a football. We then played a game of What Time Is It Mr Wolf? to end the session.

That’s the end of our December, and the end of 2023! We can’t wait to see what 2024 brings for us!

What’s been happening at Kingswood this November?

Bonfire Night

To start the month off we explored lots of different colours in all the rooms, and talked about bonfire night and firework displays. The children all enjoyed painting their own displays.

 

Remembrance Day

Here the children explored different textures and paints to interpret their own poppies.

Children in Need

We had such huge support this year from the local community to help organise a raffle with some fantastic prizes.

We managed to raise nearly £400 for Children in Need, and we also all got to come to nursery in our pyjama for a whole week!

Here are some of the prizes we had on offer, and also some of the activities we did to help support such a fantastic charity.

Winter weather

To get us ready for the run up to December and Christmas, we even experienced a nice frosting of snow. The children loved to explore and make different marks in the snow. It was great to then come inside and make our own ice and snowflakes too.

Oak Valley welcomes October!

October is best known for Halloween festivities, but it’s also a month of national and global celebrations.

Offering a helping hand!

At the start of October we received lots of  food donations for our Harvest Festival. The Pre-School children packed and delivered the food to the local church, New Hope Community Church. While there, the children talked about the importance of helping the local community, and ate some yummy toast!

Big or Small, we love them All

To celebrate World Animal Day on the 4th October, the children went on a bear hunt, explored different animals in the tuff tray and made symmetrical butterflies. They also had a visit from Leanimals, where they got to meet guinea pigs, a mouse and many more. The children loved learning about what the animals like to eat and where they live.

 

Out of this world

For National World Space Week, Toddlers have been enjoying the book Aliens Love Underpants. They have been talking about space and what they might find, along with making their very own aliens. The children used playdough with pipe cleaners and googly eyes or paint.

 

World Mental Health Day

To Celebrate World Mental Health Day, Pre-School have been  reading The Colour Monster Book, which helped them talk about their emotions and feelings. The children talked about what made them happy and sad, and also used the loose parts to make different emotions faces.

 

Trick or Treat!

No tricks only treats this Halloween! The children at Oak Valley have celebrated Halloween; Toddlers went to the supermarket and selected their own pumpkins to carve. Babies have loved singing ‘Incey Wincey Spider’ and using Makaton, they also explored the spider sensory tray. Pre-School and Rising 3’s made potions, carved pumpkins and wore fancy dress.

 

Autumn Fun

The most memorable days end with dirty clothes! Pre-School have loved making the most of the Autumn weather. They got messy with the clay making lots of creepy crawlies. They also put on their raincoats and wellies, and jumped in the puddles, making memories with their friends.

 

 

 

September fun at Highgate

This month, the babies have enjoyed celebrating ‘International Read a Book’ day and ‘National Teddy Bear’ day. They incorporated the two celebrations by bringing in their favourite teddy bear and favourite story into nursery, which they enjoyed sharing with their friends throughout the day! For lunch, they enjoyed a picnic, alongside their teddy bears!

Rising 3’s celebrated ‘National Fitness Day’ by learning some new exercises! They all enjoyed joining in & burning off lots of energy!

 

Finally, Karrissa was our Employee of the Month for September (as voted for by her colleagues).  Well done Karrissa!

 

 

An Active August over at Riverview!

Check out what our Babies, Toddlers and Pre-School have been up to during this busy month at Riverview!

What has our local community got to offer us?

We had an extremely exciting and busy August here at Riverview! The month started off with our Babies and Toddlers taking a trip on the tram, into the local community, heading to Hillsborough Library. They had a great time exploring, and listening to the stories being read by our staff team who accompanied them. Once we got back, the children also enjoyed colouring pictures based around the books we had read. We love watching the children become more familiar with their local area; we will continue to visit the community and everything it has to offer.

                             

Makaton Awareness Week

August was home to Makaton Awareness Week, so we made sure we made the most of it throughout the nursery! Makaton is a language programme that uses symbols, signs and speech to support language development. All rooms joined in practicing their key signs, and continued to learn all about Makaton at group times. They practiced the Makaton song of the month which was ‘1,2,3,4,5, Once I Caught a Fish Alive!”

                            

Crazy Science!

In Pre-School we’ve been carrying out lots of science experiments; our focus was things that fizz! We explored with bath bombs, vinegar and bicarbonate of soda, and lime/lemon juice. We heard lots of interesting sounds as we tested all the different materials out!

                         

A little bit of sunshine…

Although August was meant to be our last summer month, we didn’t really get our fair share of sunshine. However, on the odd days we did have some sun, our Babies enjoyed splashing about in the water play area to keep cool.

                       

Artists in the making!

Our Babies also spent lots of time this month exploring different textured paint, and different ways of mark-making. Our garden area got a new makeover thanks to our artistic Babies and their impressive painting skills!

                       

Architects of the future?

Toddlers also enjoyed exploring different aspects of the garden this month, and had their own means of contributing to it’s makeover; they used blocks and panels to build new stations and objects in the garden, including our very own car wash! They then used their new creations to help develop their balancing skills and range of movements. They too were also very creative with the painting when decorating these creations.

       

What did August teach us?

The main thing we discovered here at Riverview this month, was that you don’t need sun to have fun!