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 🙂

September 2021 @ Oak Valley

September has been a great month for us all at Oak Valley. We welcomed back our term-time children & had many new starters joining us to begin their nursery journey! We have loved welcoming our parents back into the building to see our newly decorated rooms & the exciting activities that have been taking place!

Baby Room has been exploring words & sounds this month. We have been singing nursery rhymes in English & French, creating sensory music bottles to use at group time, & using our ‘Words of the Week’ to explore. The children particularly enjoyed fruit tasting & baking with lots of different textures & flavours.

Toddler Room has been making the most of the warm weather & spending as much time as possible outdoors. We have enjoyed an outing to the park to play games, & taken part in our monthly Super Star Sport session! This month we focussed on football; the children practiced their gross motor skills & hand -eye coordination, while running around getting lots of exercise & fresh air.

Rising 3’s have been especially interested in role-play this month. The children have created a post office area where they have been busy writing & sorting letters, serving customers & answering the phone. After working really hard, the children decided they need a break, & went on holiday on their aeroplane to lots of exotic destinations!

Rising 3’s have also enjoyed making sensory playdough, drawing shadow pictures of their favorite toys & exploring different countries, to name but a few activities sparked by the children’s interests (which never fail to interest us!)

To finish off the month, Pre-School have been for an adventure into the woods to collect leaves, conkers & sticks! We then made some lovely Autumn pictures to show what we had found.

Some of you may have seen our Early Years Care & Education bear on the Sheffield Bear Trail in aid of Sheffield Children’s Hospital. Keep your eyes peeled, as he’ll be on his way to spend some time with us at Oak Valley 🙂

August 2021 @ Highgate

In July, we welcomed the Early Years Care and Education bear! Thanks to the amazing fundraising efforts across the Company for the Sheffield Children’s Hospital Charity prior to the first lockdown, we were lucky enough to sponsor one of the ‘little bears’ in the Bears of Sheffield trail. The children have enjoyed finding our bear over the summer and were very proud when they received their certificates!


Toddlers have loved using their senses to explore this month! We enjoyed getting messy in our rainbow bubble foam and talked about what colours we could see! We made some great observations such as “it looks like a rainbow colour” and we decided that it felt soft! We also enjoyed smelling the lovely aroma of the foam. We were all willing to have a go and all had lots of fun exploring!



Rising 3’s had a fantastic time exploring in the woods! The children collected lots of leaves, sticks and pinecones to use in the loose parts and investigation area back at nursery. They then stopped at the park on the way back to nursery and had lots of fun on the equipment!



The children have enjoyed helping to prepare healthy snacks this month too. They used their fine motor skills to have a go at cutting their own bananas, watermelon and strawberries. We were all willing to have a go at this, trying really hard! We also made our own choices about if we would like milk or water to drink to keep us hydrated. We all tried our snack and found our fruit very yummy! Rising 3’s also had lots of fun making their own fresh bread for snack. Each child made their own pattern on the bread roll before we put them in the oven to bake. The best bit was eating them at snack time!

We’re now looking forward to starting the new academic year; we wonder what it will bring…

July 2021 at Riverview!

What makes us unique

The children in our Pre-School room started the month by discussing what makes them unique. They talked a lot about what they had in common, and also what differences they have. They made faces out of playdough and, at the mark-making table, they drew themselves.

It’s coming home

For the Euros, we had a special football party before the tournament final. The Pre-School children worked together to create a big England flag that we hung up in the garden. In Babies, they experimented with the colour red by playing in red spaghetti, and making lots of marks in the sensory tray with red paint.

Good luck school graduates

July saw us waving goodbye to our first ever Pre-School graduates, and what a lovely bunch they were! We’ll miss them all dearly. To celebrate them finishing at Riverview, we had a ceremony where each of them were presented with a certificate. We then had ice-cream in the garden and some party games to celebrate their achievements.

Sports day fun!

Pre-School also had their very own sports day. Simon from Super Star Sport came in to deliver a session for us and the children had a great time running around, playing with the footballs and participating in the physical challenges. Afterwards, we talked about why exercise is good for us and the effect it has on our bodies.

Tooth Brushing club

As we will soon be starting a tooth brushing club, we have introduced the children to the importance of oral health, and what they can do to look after their teeth.  In an activity to promote good oral health, the children used toothbrushes to clean dirty marks off the teeth model.

We’ve been growing!

As well as brushing teeth twice a day, eating a balanced diet can also help promote good oral health. In the garden, we have had our first harvest of green beans. The children have been enjoying eating these at lunchtimes. The children love watering the plants and learning what makes them grow. Toddlers and Pre-School have both done experiments to see what happened to bean/pea seeds under different conditions. We have found that the seeds that have water and sunlight grow, whereas the seeds without will not.

Our ant world

Toddlers have been looking after their own colony of ants in their ‘ant world’. They enjoy observing the ants in the nest, watching them dig and crawl around.  They watch them walk down the tube of the ant world in the viewing container, where there is food for the ants to eat. We have talked about the types of food ants like; we have found they like sugary fruit and vegetables as this gives them lots of energy.  

We are looking forward to more fun in the sun this summer, and to welcoming our families old and new back in the new term.

June @ The Little School House

We enjoyed another busy month at The Little School House in June.

One of our favourite activities across the board was our planned England-themed day to support the England football team in the Euros Tournament. We dressed up in our football kits, or red & white, & held our very own football match in the nursery garden. Not only did the children make the most of the physical aspect of this day, they also had fun with the creative side; they made England flags with a range of craft materials & continued the theme into their sensory trays with a England flag made from coloured spaghetti & flour, & a football pitch made from rice with miniature goals!!

The Pre-School group took the opportunity for a lovely trip to Graves Park Farm. They enjoyed seeing the pigs, guinea pigs, chickens, goats & ducks. Our favourites were the ducks because they were very noisy, although we gave them a good run for the money!! We enhanced our trip by talking about the places the animals live, the noises they make & the different names when they are baby animals.

We were lucky enough to have had a fun visit from Super Star Sport. Simon, the instructor, came along & hosted a range of sporting activities with the children. These different challenges help to build our physical skills; gross & fine motor movements, hand-eye coordination & self confidence. Simon taught us lots of ball games which included throwing, catching, kicking & dribbling. Well done to Ruben who received the Super Star Sport Certificate for all his hard work 🙂

We’re now looking forward to the rest of the Summer & beyond!