December at Oak Valley!

We started off December cheering on England in the World Cup! We used the children’s interest in this to learn about the countries taking part in the tournament & the different cultures. The children enjoyed designing their own football shirts, making flags & even made their own role play football pitch where they predicted the score!

The Baby & Toddler rooms have been particularly exploring the sensory trays this month. They have enjoyed using shaving foam, cereals, flour & ice to investigate.

We then began our festive activities, stating with our Christmas Jumper Day! We enjoyed wearing our favourite Christmas outfits & taking part of lots of themed activities! We also had a yummy Christmas dinner & pulled crackers with our friends!

Every year, Hallam FM run the ‘Mission: Christmas’ campaign as part of their Cash for Kids charity. Mission: Christmas accepts donations of cash & toys from members of the public so that they can support hundreds of organisations & the children they help. This year we decided to get involved. Instead of doing ‘secret Santa’, the staff decided to buy gifts for the cause instead. With parent donations & bake sales, we really managed to make a difference this Christmas! Well done & thank you to all involved!

Sparkles the Elf returned to Oak Valley this year to see the children! He got into quite a bit of mischief & the children had to remind him of our golden rules! Sparkles then copied the children’s good behaviour & earnt himself lots of stickers. Well done for learning Sparkles!!

Pre-School enjoyed inviting their parents & grandparents into nursery to watch them in their Christmas concert! After enjoying mince pies & the children’s singing, we then took part in a Christmas-themed workshop! We made melted snowman biscuits, wrote letters to Father Christmas & made snowflake decorations. Thank you to everyone who came to support us!

We finished off our Christmas celebrations with our annual party! We danced, played games & had a party lunch with our friends! We enjoyed lots of craft activities & even recieved a special present from Father Christmas! What a fun year we have had. We can’t wait to see what 2023 brings!

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!

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.