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!

 

Summer Fun at The Little School House!

We had a jam-packed July here at The Little School House, with plenty of fun and exciting activities taking place!

Congratulations, The Little School House!

We started July off super-proud as we received our official Day Nurseries Award, placing us in the top 20 Nurseries in Yorkshire & The Humber! We were over the moon to get this award, as it is a great reflection of our hard-working staff and management. Thank you too all parents and carers that voted 🙂

Goodbye Pre-School!

Next, it was that time of the year for us to a say a very sad, but extremely heart-warming goodbye to our amazing Pre-Schoolers who are off to ‘big school’ in September. We had a red carpet and balloon wall set up in the garden, as well as personalised t-shirts and graduation caps for all our little stars to wear. It was an emotional day for us, and the parents (!), but we are all very proud to wave them off onto their next chapter – we know they’ll all do so well!

Before we said our final goodbyes, we thought it only right to treat them all to a bit more relaxed fun. First we took a trip to the farm; we saw lots of animals, including goats and alpacas – what a fun day out!

We had to throw in one more party before we could let our Pre-Schoolers go so, lastly, we hosted a leaving party at The Jungle Indoor Play Centre. They had lots of fun climbing and exploring the play equipment as well as enjoying a cooked lunch before getting the bus back to nursery.

Forever exploring in Baby Room!

In Baby Room, we love to explore! So, this month, our Babies explored new foods during a food tasting day. They tried a range of new things, including prawn crackers, onion bhajis, samosas, olives, and even lemons and limes! They really enjoyed trying different textures and flavours, the samosas in particular went down a treat!

And they didn’t stop there! Also in the Baby Room, they additionally took part in Rhythm Time! Our Babies got to sing songs, play instruments and have a good old boogie together! They also got to discover bubbles and different materials. It was so much fun!

How tall are our Toddlers, and how well can they bake???

Over in the Toddler Room, they’ve been measuring how tall they are, against our ‘How Tall Am I?’ wall. They found this to be super interesting; they compared heights with their friends, and checked to see how much they’d grown by the end of the month! Our staff are always keen to incorporate Maths wherever possible and this was another perfect opportunity. It provided the chance, not only for recognising numbers and counting, but also for comparison and discussion of ‘bigger than’ and ‘smaller than’, as well as differences.

Although July is supposed to be Summer, I think we can all agree that we haven’t had much of the weather we would expect! Although they’ve still spent plenty of time outside this month, Toddlers also decided to make the most of the time they spent indoors by baking! They helped measure out and mix all the ingredients together, before rolling out and cutting our cookies. Then they got to decorate them with icing and sprinkles – how tasty!

Learning something new every day…

It’s not just the children who have the opportunity to learn, we also like to continuously update our staff team’s knowledge too. July was the month where we hosted the fifth and final Company in-house training session of the term. This session was dedicated to reviewing updated Company policies, with a real focus on safeguarding. Carefully prepared interactive activities took place, with lots of opportunities for all our staff, of all different branches, to demonstrate their wealth of knowledge. A very pleasant, informative and successful evening of training!

We’re looking forward to seeing what August brings now…

June here at Kingswood!

Summer time fun!

We kicked off June here at Kingswood with our summer themed Toddler Room parent workshop! We were over the moon with the turnout of all those who attended the event that we held outdoors in the garden. During the workshop, Toddlers enjoyed taking part in lots of arts and crafts activities, such as painting pictures and getting messy! They also enjoyed some cutting and sticking with lots of different texture materials – how exciting!

Father’s Day at Kingswood…

June also consisted of lots of lovely Father’s Day celebrations. We carried out many Father’s Day themed activities, including making personalised cardboard plates!

Healthy eating at it’s finest!

Our Pre-Schoolers took control of Healthy Eating Week, holding their very own ‘Kingswood Council Meeting’ where they talked about what changes they could make to have a healthier diet! Some of the alterations they cleverly came up with included changing their lunch to a healthy stir fry – which went down a tasty treat! They also decided to add fruit to their water – we think this might have been their favourite invention of all, as they then discussed if this was something they’d like to do all the time! Toddlers also tried lots of new and exciting tropical fruits during snack time. To finish off Healthy Eating Week, Pre-School created their own pizzas, using their new wealth of knowledge to add plenty of healthy toppings!

 

Kingswood’s efforts to be more sustainable…

During June, we introduced new recycling bins outside, in an effort to be more sustainable and make a difference to the environment! We talked about why it is important to recycle, and how it can help our planet before our Toddlers helped pick up cardboard and other recyclable materials, and then carefully put them into to correct bins!

To finish off June…

We ended June by celebrating the second and final Eid of this year! We had a super fun day learning all about the festive celebration, as well of doing lots of different Eid related activities, such as dressing up in traditional clothing and designing our own henna tattoos!

Reason to celebrate at The Little School House!

We were all so very excited, & proud, to hear that The Little School House were being honoured by daynurseries.co.uk.

Their annual Nursery Awards 2023 recognises 20 of the top-rated Nurseries in each region of the UK based on reviews from parents/individuals responsible for a child. In the category for the ‘Top 20 nurseries in Yorkshire & the Humber’ there were a mere 3 settings featured from South Yorkshire, 2 of which are from Sheffield, & 1 of those is our very own Woodseats branch.

We’d like to take the opportunity to thank all the lovely parents for the reviews that they have submitted on this forum for us; it really does mean the world to us to hear how we impact so positively on you & your children.

As a Company, we thank the wonderful staff team based at The Little School House – for the dedication they show each & every day, for the care & education they provide to each & every child, & for the teamwork & fun they bring to our organisation – a highly valued group of fantastic individuals, so beautifully led by Nursery Manager, Beth Softley! We also can’t forget the supporting infrastructure of staff that contribute to the team too – our amazing Quality Practice Manager, Anna Cam, our brilliant Company SENCO, Clare Hough &, overseeing everything our Area Manager, Lisa Mapley.