July at Oak Valley

What an amazing month we have had! July saw us reach the hottest temperatures on record, but we embraced the heat & managed to keep cool by taking part in lots of water play; we even brought our swimming costumes to splash around in the paddling pool!

We loved welcoming visitors back into the nursery & started this off with Sarah & Albert the hearing dog! The children asked lots of questions & enjoyed finding out how Albert & his friends help the community 😊 Thank you so much for coming in to talk to us!

This month saw an amazing series of treats & events to celebrate the 5yr anniversary of our Company. The staff celebrated with Golden Envelope bonuses, raffles & dress down days as well as finishing the week with a party! Thank you to The Sitwell Arms for hosting us, Tasha’s Little Bakery for the wonderful cakes, Elegance Castle Hire Bouncy Castle for the fab disco dome, Cream Castles – Bouncy Castle Hire for the garden games, Laura’s Little Crafts for the personalised champagne flutes, B360Hire for the photo booth & last, but by no means least, Moonlight Entertainments disco & karaoke for the grand selection of tunes that kept us singing & dancing all night! Thank you to our lovely families for their kind & complimentary words also.

We also said goodbye to our Pre-School children this month as they head off to big school! But not before giving them a big send off. We started by holding ‘Oakfest’ our annual school leavers festival. The children played games such as Hook a Duck & Tin Can Alley. We had facepaints, glitter tattoos & a picnic lunch, followed by a visit from the ice-cream van!

It was lovely to invite parents & carers back into nursery as the children then had their graduation ceremony. This was followed by a leavers workshop to make keepsakes of their time at Oak Valley.

A big thank you to Saul Isaac photography who came in to nursery to do a professional photoshoot of the children graduating to capture the special moments for the children & parents.

We will miss you all as you all go off to school, but we know you will all be amazing on your next adventure!

June at Highgate

We started the month, like the majority of the country, by celebrating the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee; children, parents & staff enjoyed a lovely afternoon tea. The children made crowns too, & wrote letters to the Queen, telling her all about their celebrations!



The Babies have enjoyed visits from ‘Rhythm Time’. They made lots of noise to the music using different instruments, & clapped & smiled right through until the end!


Also this month, the Pre-School had the opportunity to meet Albert the hearing dog! The children really enjoyed meeting Albert & finding out lots of information about him & other hearing dogs just like him. Thank you to Sarah and Albert from Hearing Dogs for Deaf People for coming to visit!

May at Riverview!

HEY!!!! Over the past few months we have been working hard to achieve the Health Early Years award!

The HEY award is a quality assurance scheme that aims to celebrate and share good practice within Early Years and school settings. We are very pleased to tell you that we passed with flying colours, and a special recognition goes to Ashleigh Casey (Deputy Manager) for being the lead throughout.

Eid-Ul-Fitr

We kicked off the month celebrating Eid-Ul-Fitr; we incorporated it into our Free Fruit Friday initiative that we run on the last Friday of every month, so for the April date we sent children home with little fruit baskets full of dates and other dried fruits to enjoy with their families.

‘Good to Grow’

We have made the most of our greenhouses courtesy of Morrisons’ ‘Good to Grow’ scheme. The children have done lots of planting and have enjoyed learning about the process, and all about where our food comes from.  In the gardens we now have lots of different plants growing, including strawberries, melons, tomatoes, courgettes, beans and peas. Hopefully later in the year we will be able to share with you our experience of tasting the crops we have grown!

Caterpillars!

We have had a delivery of caterpillars, the children have really enjoyed watching them grow and them turn into chrysalis.  They are eagerly awaiting for them to emerge as butterflies over the next couple of days.

‘Cash for Kids’

This month we supported the Hallam FM’s ‘Cash for Kids’ charity by doing a raffle and bake sale! Thank you to all who contributed and a big congratulations to the raffle winners!

The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee

The children have done lots of different craft and sensory activities to mark this wonderful occasion, including making crowns, building castles and exploring coloured sensory bins/baskets! We also had a day celebrating where we all wore red, white and blue!

Pets!

Finally, we have a couple of new additions to the Riverview team! We are very excited to announce the arrival of ‘Yoshi’ & ‘Birdo’ the Axolotl’s.  We are looking forward to watching them grow and to learn all about them!

April at The Little School House

During April, we learnt about the life cycles of plants. The Toddlers had lots of fun planting runner beans & flowers for our growing garden. They enjoyed using the spade to fill up the little plant pots with soil, adding some seeds & then watering our flowers and runner beans to help them grow. Our Baby Room planted sunflowers & gave them to their families to enjoy at home.

We had more fun visits from Superstar Sports & Rhythm Time.

Simon from Superstar Sports came to help us participate in physical sport activities. We ran to different colour cones, practiced our kicking skills & he encouraged us to run while avoiding obstacles.

Rhythm Time came to deliver us a music & singing session, we learnt how to play instruments at different speeds & volume levels. We also learnt our different emotions through songs.

Now the weather is getting warmer, all the rooms have been spending a lot of time in Graves Park, we are very lucky to have it on our doorstep. Here are some pictures of the Toddler Room. They really enjoyed throwing pebbles & splashing their feet in the stream. They then had fun on the roundabout & the slide.

Another of the loose themes that ran throughout April was ‘Minibeasts’. The children spent lots of time in the garden searching for insects; we used the magnifying glasses to search high & low. We talked about what we found & created our own pictures of it. We spent time talking about how the weather can effect when we see different insects too.

Last, but by no means least, we gave congratulations to PAIGE CAUDWELL & GRACE SOUTHGATE (Toddler Room) for being picked out for their efforts during the Spring Term by our Quality Practice Manager. WELL DONE, KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK!!

Kingswood In March!!

We have been getting very busy this month here at Kingswood. Starting with Pancake Day and Ash Wednesday where the children got to experience yummy pancakes for snack and a vegetarian corn beef hash for lunch. We incorporated this into our healthy eating by adding fruit and talking about how the fruit and vegetables keep us healthy.

HEY AWARD – Here at Kingswood we have been working towards our Healthy Early Years Award, between the Deputy Manager Chloe (who is currently on maternity leave) and the Acting Deputy Amy, they have provided staff with the HEY Toolkit, making them more aware of the correct portion sizes, exercise goals, bottle feeding best practice, safe sleep best practice and many more that is included. The beginning of March saw us have our HEY inspection and we are now awaiting our result.

World Book Day came next. The staff and the children enjoyed dressing up as their favourite characters and raising money for the Crackerjacks Children’s Trust. We managed to raise a grand total of £120 – huge thanks to all of those who contributed. The children engaged in story making activities, read their favourite stories and set up book-themed tuff trays. We also promoted our lending library for children to take them home.

Science week stemmed some great exploration, the staff helped the children explored in many different experiments. From bubble wrap painting to volcano eruptions. We continued this on water day talking about the water cycle and conducting an experiment to help explain this cycle.

Comic relief saw the children come dressed in red! We talked to the older children about what comic relief represented and asked questions about how they think people could help. We focused some of our activities around the theme incorporating it into the children’s interests.

We have generally had lots of fun outside, especially the week running up to mothers day where the sun started coming out for Spring.

Mother’s Day the the children did some planting, we talked a lot about what plants need, the beginning of Spring and the cycle of plants. I hope all had a lovely Mother’s Day and we will see you next time our blog comes along.

February at Oak Valley

At Oak Valley, during February, we have been incorporating our loose theme of ‘Around the World’. We have been making flags from different cultures, making restaurants in our role-play area & food tasting from different cultures. The children have tried various recipes from Poland, France, Greece, India & Italy!

During National Storytelling Week our children in Rising 3’s & Pre-school enjoyed designing their own story books. The children worked really hard on them & enjoyed showing them to their friends at group time. The children also made a library in their role play area where they could check out books & take turns being the librarian! We had a vote for our favourite story & the winner was The Gruffalo – a classic! The children also spent time making some new story sacks for group time.

Baby Room enjoyed exploring the fabric baskets; looking & feeling the different textures & patterns. The children then used the fabrics & musical instruments at group time to sing their favourite nursery rhymes! The babies have enjoyed practicing their fine motor skills using plastic knives & crazy soap; they used lots of different vocabulary during the activity.

Rising 3’s loved making their very own ‘potion station’! The children chose different materials, scents & flavours to add to the playdough & experiment with their different senses. The children looked at the science books & we took part in lots of fun experiments!

Toddlers have taken a keen interest in animals recently. They have enjoyed reading the farmyard books, so we put together their own farm in the sensory area for the children to explore. Now that spring is here we are hoping to extend our interests by visiting the farm & hatching our own baby chicks using the nursery incubator!

We finished February off by celebrating Megan’s bi-annual keyworker award, & the safe arrival of both Stef & Nat’s baby boys – Ollie George & Teddy. Congratulations to them both; we can’t wait to meet them!

January fun at Highgate!

Toddler Room have enjoyed exploring their ‘All About Me’ loose topic this month. They have been learning about different hair colours, skin colours and facial features, and looked at some different multicultural pictures from around the world. They have used their creative skills and curiosity to create their own people on the craft table, all choosing their own resources independently. They worked as a team to make some playdough and decided to make it pink! They then used the playdough to create different facial features; they counted how many of each feature they needed to put on their face, and tried really hard to put them in the right places! They really enjoyed learning about differences between people – something to be celebrated!



Rising 3’s have been trying out different science experiments this month. They showed high levels of energy and fascination, and as a team they made a rainbow explode! They also blew a balloon up with different ingredients. The children all took part and contributed towards the activity, and predicted what was going to happen before they carried out the experiment!



Meanwhile, in Baby Room, they’ve had lots of fun baking. Once their biscuits were made they showed their concentration skills, as well as their creativity, by decorating them. No baking activity would be complete without a little ‘trying’ of the product of course!!


That’s it for January! We can’t believe it’s 2022 but we look forward to sharing more exciting news from Highgate again soon 🙂

December 2021 at Riverview!

Babies’ trip to the park

At the beginning of December, our babies had a little adventure to explore the local area. They found a nature trail that led up to the park. They had lots of fun on the swings, slide, and roundabout.

They enjoyed games of ‘pass the parcel’ at their Christmas party! They created lots of Christmas crafts, and have explored many different sensory opportunities; the favourite ones being snow and ice!

Toddlers’ sensory polar experience

Toddlers have been getting messy this month; their favourite was the polar themed tuff tray. They had lots of fun exploring the ice blocks and finding hidden treasures!  The children noticed the ice was cold and that, as the day went on, the ice blocks were getting smaller.  They talked about all the different animals that live on the snow and ice.

As a group, the Toddlers made a huge gingerbread man and candy cane that you may have seen displayed in our entrance foyer.

Pre-School Christmas dinner and party games

Pre-School loved their Christmas dinner; especially the brussels sprouts! After lunch they played party games and did lots of dancing to Christmas music.

The Pre-School children have been learning lots of Christmas songs this month, the Makaton song of the month is ‘Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer’ and the children have really enjoyed learning the signs!

Junk modelling Christmas tree

Instead of a traditional Christmas tree, this year we have worked together to make our special own junk model Christmas tree! This was a full team effort and the children all really enjoyed painting, sticking and constructing the Christmas tree!

Super Star Sports

Super Star Sports is always a hit with our Pre-School and Toddler children; they love the activities and noticing the effects of exercise on their bodies. The children enjoyed practicing their throwing and catching skills with the rugby balls in our session this month.


The Toddler children have continued, throughout the month, to run their own little exercise sessions, playing football and doing relay races in the garden.

Healthy Early Years Award

The children and staff members have loved discovering new ideas and ways to keep themselves and their families healthy. Ashleigh, our HEY (Healthy Early Years) lead, has been working hard alongside the staff members and HEY champions. The children have explored new activities to make sure they are getting their 180 minutes of exercise a week. The children shared ways in which they like to move and explained how they made them feel. One child said, “I feel lots of energy when I run really fast, like this” and encouraged his friends to run around the garden and copy him.

Staff members have said they have gained a greater understanding of how much they should be exercising, and have begun to try more healthier options when at home. Everyone has loved exploring new foods and celebrating foods from many different countries, some of our families even sent over recipes for us to all try! We are all super excited to continue exploring and developing our healthy early years!

From Riverview and all the EYCED team we wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

November 2021 @ The Little School House

Rhythm Time & Super Star Sports

During November at The Little School House, we have had lots of fun with outside companies. Simon from Super Star Sports came to see us to host a variety of sporting activities to build our physical & fine motor movements, hand-eye co-ordination & self-confidence. The children really enjoyed all the ball games & are looking forward to the next session.

Rhythm Time also came to do some activities with our Babies & Toddlers. They had lots of fun singing, dancing, playing instruments, waving ribbons, & playing games with a parachute. The children really loved lifting the parachute up & then quickly running underneath it to hide. They also enjoyed running around with the ribbons waving them in different directions to look at the pretty colours.

Fun in the Snow

In November, we were blessed with lots of thick white snow, which meant we were able to explore it outside on lots of occasions. We got wrapped up warmly in our outdoor suits, hats & scarves & we ran out into the garden. The children made 1 big, & 2 little, snowmen with some help from our grown-ups. We enjoyed rolling the snow into smaller balls & then throwing them around the garden, being careful that we didn’t hit our friends. The best bit was sliding down the snowy hill!

Remembrance Day

In Pre-School we have been talking about Remembrance Day, we have also been doing activities to remember all the brave soldiers. The children have been using their fine motor skills to make pictures, paintings, & play dough poppies. The children & teachers also took part in the minute silence at 11 o’clock.

Parent’s Evening

In November we saw the return of our in-house parent’s evening. It was great to hold this as a face to face event again. We will continue to hold parent’s evening twice a year, but do not hesitate to contact us if you would like to speak to your child keyworker in between.

Children in Need

We had lots of fun raising money for the Children in Need charity. The children & teachers wore their pyjamas to nursery & enjoyed some yummy cakes which the children made. We also got very messy in our themed sensory trays & craft activities. Thank you to everyone who donated & bought a bun from our cake sale, we raised £98 for Children in Need!

October at Kingswood

Well, October has been a very busy month here at Kingswood with activities and events galore! We’ve had everything from our annual photo day to National Poetry Day, Halloween spookiness, scavenger hunts and charity days! Please keep scrolling to read and view more of what we have been up to.

Our Chosen Poem for National Poetry Day

This poem really sparked an interest with the children, encouraging them to discuss the time of year and the season of Autumn. National Poetry Day gave us lots of inspiration for future activities, and ways of how we can extend our knowledge of all things Autumn.

The Pre-School children enjoyed playing outside with the scarves, watching how they flowed in the wind. They made patterns by stretching their arms out wide and using their bodies to move in all different directions.

Halloween

Our spooky skeleton!

The children particularly enjoyed the Halloween party day, but they also learnt new skills by taking part in our baking activities. The babies extended their vocabulary by using new words such as ‘mix’, ‘stir’ and ‘whisk’. The older children developed physical skills by mixing the ingredients together and discussing how the ingredients felt, if they were ‘heavy or light’ and how the mixture changed as we added each new ingredient.

As well as baking, Halloween gave us opportunities to be creative in other ways, so the children took part in and enjoyed potion making, vegetable printing and spider making. Our ‘word of the week’ was also ‘spider’ so we really celebrated this word and incorporated it into many of our October activities and group times!

Wear it Pink

We took part in this event by wearing something pink!!! We all had great fun wearing our pink clothes and raising lots of awareness and money for such a great charity! We raised £200.00 so a big well done and thank you to all who contributed!

Scavenger Hunt!

With all things Autumn solidly in the the forefront of our minds, we went on a scavenger hunt to the field that we are lucky enough to be next door to. We used our autumnal findings for many different activities; we did some amazing leaf rubbing, and some counting and sorting. We found out how fun maths can be! We made piles of different objects we found, we counted them and decided what was heavy and light and what the textures of the objects we collected were like. We did lots of sorting and matching activities too.

Healthy Early Years

Chloe, our setting’s HEY lead (Health Early Years), has been hard at work sharing different recipes that the children love to eat at nursery with all of our families. We most recently shared our ingredients and method for the Rainbow Vegetable Risotto. Some of our parents have given great feedback and said their children ate this meal at home! Chloe has also added to our already healthy and balanced menu to give the children choices amongst the meals we serve. For example, most recently, the children have been offered a beetroot and feta salad as an accompaniment to their jacket potatoes, as well the children voting for if they would like fish fingers or veggie fingers for lunch. The children having the additional choice has been a success!

That’s it for October, but we’ll be back again soon to update you on the latest events at Kingswood 🙂