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.

 

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.

 

 

 

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…

October at Riverview

Space Week

Toddlers started the month in space!! Taking part in lots of different space-themed activities. From ‘space jelly’ to ‘cloud dough’, they had lots of fun exploring the different textures.  During Space Week the Word of the Week was “move”; outside the Toddlers explored how they could move their bodies in different ways, they walked slow on the moon and ran fast like a rocket.

Leanimals

Mid-month we had a lovely visit from Leanimals.

Before their arrival we asked the Pre-School children what animals they might like to see.  We had lots of suggestions, such as snakes, spiders and rabbits. Some of the children were thinking on a much bigger scale and suggested there might be a tiger come visit! Our core book for this week was ‘The Tiger Who Came to Tea’ so the children had been taking part in lots of tiger-related activities. Fortunately, there wasn’t a tiger in nursery, but the children were all very happy with the animals that did come to visit!

Babies and Toddlers also got to see and hold the animals, their favourite being the tiny mouse. They were all very brave and excited.

Practitioner Appreciation Day

On the 17th October we celebrated our wonderful staff team! We treated them to graze boxes for lunch and some sweet treats!  We have a fantastic staff team, that is evidently agreed with by our parents going by the lovely comments that were left. Thank you for your continued support!

Halloween

Babies’ Playdough Pumpkins

Babies have enjoyed making playdough, testing out the recipe and getting very messy! When they eventually got the measurements right, and made the dough, they shaped the dough in balls, added eyes and called them pumpkins! They added orange food colouring and pumpkin spice scent for a full sensory experience.

Toddlers Pumpkin Carving

Toddlers have helped carve pumpkins for Halloween. They used a pumpkin carving kit with extra caution.  First they took it in turns to scoop out the inside of the pumpkins, they then each had a turn to draw a shape on the pumpkin and help cut it out.

Pre-School Parent Workshop

Pre-School held a very successful parent workshop. We welcomed many of our families in to stay and play! The children and grown-ups all had the chance to engage in a number of Halloween themed activities, we got messy making playdough and creative decorating cupcakes!

We look forward to welcoming lots of our lovely families at parent’s evening this week. We also have our Baby Room bonfire-themed stay and play to finish a busy month at Riverview.

March at The Little School House

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

September at The Little School House

It has been an exciting start to Autumn. September at The Little School House started with a visit from the ever popular Mini Movez; they come into the setting to engage our Toddler and Pre-School children in fun physical activities. These sessions consist of some themed activities; this time it was ‘Safari’ which saw the children involved in creating their own unique variations of different animal sounds and movements, followed by some excellent cheer-leading involving pom poms and lots of energy and enthusiasm!

 

Our loose theme of ‘Space’ has seen all our age groups participating in numerous activities surrounding the planets; Pre-School learned about the different names and their climates, as well as learning about different methods of space travel and constructing the planets for a display. The children thought it was out of this world!! While our budding astronauts were busy upstairs, the Babies and Toddlers also had fun creating their own unique space designs such as stars, galaxies and their own interpretation of the planets. These messy activities were another great way for our early learners to explore different sensory experiences and learn through play.

 

We also took the time to host a Princess and Pirates day charity event in aid of  Cracker Jack Children’s trust which was a great success. The children came in their fancy dress and really got into their characters. They enjoyed making props for their costumes and demonstrated some fantastic role play.

 

So what’s next for The Little School House? The children and staff are all looking forward to our Pre-School Autumn workshop & activities for Road Safety Week, as well as lots of upcoming festive activities including our Christmas Concert, Christmas Party, Christmas Jumper Day for Save the Children, and Baby Room Christmas workshop.

July at Oak Valley- Outdoor play

This month we’ve had a lovely time exploring in our new discovery garden. We found loads of bugs and minibeasts which we took back into the classroom to talk about. The children decided they wanted to feed their new friends, so gave them carrots and cucumber! After enjoying getting dirty, digging and playing in the mud kitchen, they transferred their learning experience indoors and took full advantage of our baking supplies and made mud pies!

 

baking litter picking

Toddler Room have been making the most of the gorgeous weather we had with a trip to Graves Park! The children enjoyed a tram ride to feed the animals, played on the equipment and finished with a tasty picnic. Our school leavers had their annual trip to Western Park Museum. The children loved all the interactive displays and dressing up in the fabulous costumes

 

Our Pre-School council have been helping the environment this month! With the help of our hi-visibility vests and litter pickers we have been making our surrounding areas cleaner and tidier. Well done everyone!

 

We have been supporting the England football team this month by making flags and learning songs! Even though we didn’t end up winning the World Cup, we had a fantastic time enjoying all our football activities! #teamEngland

Oak Valley are supporting England in the World Cup! #itscominghome ???????⚽️???????⚽️???????⚽️???????⚽️???????

Posted by Oak Valley Day Nursery on Tuesday, 10 July 2018

Sunday 15th July saw the EYCE staff team embark on a ‘seaside jolly’ to Scarborough for the day! The trip was a treat from the owner to thank them for an extremely successful year and to celebrate a year of the newly branded Company. It was a really lovely day with gorgeous sunshine, beautiful scenery and a relaxing boat trip, all perfectly topped off with an amazing fish and chip lunch!! ?????

Image may contain: 23 people, people smiling, people standing

In addition to our regular ‘Mini Moverz’ session, this month we also welcomed in ‘Rhythm and Rhyme’. The children learnt lots of new songs and dance routines to help keep them active.

 

We finished a lovely month off with our school leavers Graduation Ceremony and workshop. Good luck to our class of 2018, you will be missed! We’re certain you’ll all have a great time at school – don’t forget us too soon!!

 

April at Highgate

During the month of April Highgate has been blessed with a multitude of visitors! We started with Donald and his community engagement ambulance. He talked to the toddlers and Pre-School children about his role and what it entails. They learnt about what an ambulance is for, what it does and how it helps people. The children got to actually sit inside the ambulance and even try out the siren! Possibly their favourite part of the visit was the opportunity to try on the uniform that Donald brought. We ended the session by colouring in some pictures that he’d also supplied.

Zoolab came to bring their exotic wildlife for the children to see. The children were able to handle creatures such as a snake, a giant snail, rats, mice and even a gecko. The Zoolab representative explained to the children where the animals come from, where they live and what they eat. We found the session really encouraged the children to ‘have a go’, even when they weren’t very keen at the beginning!

Last but not least we had our monthly enrichment of ‘Mini Movez’. One of the lovely ladies came to Highgate to lead a fun and expressive session themed around what the children were learning. The sessions are always lively and energetic and the Toddler and Pre-School groups take full advantage of this opportunity for active learning which really gets their hearts pumping!

Aside from visitors, there’s been plenty more exciting things happening within nursery. Our Pre-School children have been learning about life cycles this month and have focussed on frogs. We introduced a tank of real tadpoles & the children explored them using magnifying glasses to examine them. At each stage of development, they’ve made efforts to draw observational portraits.  They are very excited that the tadpoles are now developing legs and are eager to see when they will turn into a frog.

Monday 23rd April saw us celebrating St George’s Day. This date marks the anniversary of the English patron saint’s death. According to legend, he was a soldier in the Roman army who killed a dragon and saved a princess. Rather than re-enacting the legend (!) we decided to mark the day by holding an afternoon tea party. The children made flags using a variety of different art and craft methods such as colouring, sticking and painting. We then used the flags to decorate the table where they ate scones with clotted cream and jam – yummy!

Throughout April our babies have been experimenting with different sensory experiences. We took advantage of the warm weather, stripped the babies down to their nappies and let them explore ‘gloop’, shaving foam, water, cereals, sand and even ice! We focussed on several of the ‘characteristics of effective learning’ with each of these – ‘playing and exploring’, ‘active learning’ and ‘creating and thinking critically’. It was great to observe the different ways they investigated the different mediums and their textures.

February at Kingswood

Dress up days, police, hard hats,fun, experiementingexcellent costume, cat, dress up day, charity event

Throughout February Kingswood Day Nursery have been up to lots of fun and exciting activities. Utilising our loose-themed topic of ‘People Who Help Us’ we have invited visitors to the nursery and have been on an exciting trip out to the Old Police and Fire Museum. The children loved the coach journey to the museum and they particularly enjoyed exploring the inside of the ambulances and fire engines.  Our visitors have been DR Vicky Fletcher a local GP who brought all of her equipment for the children to explore and experiment with. They had great fun finding each other’s heartbeats and checking that their friends and carers didn’t have temperatures by using the thermometers!  We also had a visit from local PCSO’s – Adrian Thomson and Samantha Pacey. The Pre-School children particularly enjoyed dressing up in the police uniforms and trying out the hard hats! The PCSO’s shared lots of useful information about what to do if we need help and reminded us of the all important number to call – ‘999’.

We also hosted a charity event at Kingswood last month. ‘Crackerjacks’ is a local children’s charity who we have continually supported throughout the years. This year we raised money by inviting the children of Kingswood to dress up and have a fun princesses and hero’s day! All the children had an amazing day and dressed up as their favourite characters. The toddlers had a great time making masks by gluing and sticking, glittering and being very creative! As you can see from the pictures they did a great job and wore them with pride.

creativity, mask making, artwork, charity day activitiesmask making activity, charity day, creativitycreative, mask making, charity event, gluing and sticking

At our setting we like to promote diversity and culture and, with this in mind, the toddlers have really embraced learning about Chinese New Year.  The children all made their own lanterns which they decorated and took home, as well as all contributing to a group creative activity of making an enormous Chinese Dragon.

We have recently introduced our lending library where we are further promoting literacy. Children and parents/carers can select and borrow books from the nursery library to share together at home. There is opportunity for even more parental involvement as we always welcome additions to the lending library from books that are no longer favourites in your household. This lending library links in beautifully with the promotion of ‘World Book Day’ and we have been able to provide all parents with a token which entitles them to receive a discount on many books from lots of high street shops.

Our upcoming events in the near future will include a ‘Mother’s Day Workshop’ for our Pre-School children, it’s a great opportunity for parental involvement. We have invited mothers, grandmothers and aunties along with any other influential female role models to attend our workshop on Tuesday 6th March 2018, where we will be baking tiffin, threading love heart cards, making flowers, making and moulding salt dough models and much, much more.

We will all be celebrating and supporting ‘Sport’s Relief’ by taking part in running races and other physical games. The babies will be toddling around our soft surfaced play area, throwing, catching and rolling balls to each other. Whilst our toddlers and pre-school children will be taking part in running races, obstacle courses and trying out their throwing skills with target practice games.

We are expecting a visit from Zoolab on 19th April  with their exotic animals.  The children will have the opportunity to look at & hold snakes, spiders & lots of other creepy crawlies! The expected learning outcomes are that children will discover, explore, investigate and ask questions about the different characteristics of the mini beasts and other animals from all around the world.

We look forward to another exciting term of events and will be back to update you further with other exciting activities!

dress up day, princess, charity eventPretty girl, princess dress, dress up day, charity event