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 🙂

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!

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.

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!

August at Highgate

Here at Highgate we’ve had a busy August!  We celebrated Yorkshire Day by creating Yorkshire Rose flags, decorating pictures of a Yorkshire Rose & the children hosted their own mini tea party, enjoying scones with jam & cream.

 

We have revelled in lots of different sensory activities, exploring different textures, smells & tastes.  The babies loved getting messy in the beans & Pre-School relished tasting & exploring different hot & cold foods.

We held our first introductory session of ‘Rhythm Time’ with our Babies & Toddlers.  The children explored sound with a range of instruments & sang into a microphone, which helped with confidence building & self-esteem.

We made the most of the beautiful summer weather with the children partaking in many trips out to the park & surrounding areas.  They enjoyed playing on the swings & slides, & played group games on the grass. We also made frozen yogurt pops to enjoy.

 

We are now looking forward to the start of a new term & lots more exciting experiences during the Autumn & Winter!

March activities at Oak Valley

 

We have had a busy month at Oak Valley Day Nursery. March has seen us raise money for charity on World Book Day – the children came to nursery dressed up in fancy dress and we had a picnic lunch whilst listening to our favourite stories! Our Baby Room also marked the occasion by visiting the local library for a story telling event.

The children have picked the theme of fire engines as one of their topics this month; their interest in a passing emergency vehicle led us into making our own fire engine and the children dressing up and using hoses to put the fire out! We are going to visit some fire engines in the upcoming weeks so the children can sit in and pretend to drive them!

Even the ‘Beast from the East’ failed to stop our fun as we enjoyed building snowmen and making snow angels. Parenta magazine even featured the Company in an article they ran on snow days as we manged to brave the weather conditions and open nursery every day.

Baby Room hosted a sensory ‘Stay and Play’ session for parents and carers to attend and get messy with them. They explored shaving foam, water, coloured pasta and feet painting. A fun time was had by all!

Toddler Room had their Easter workshop where we joined in with baking, crafts and even made bird feeders for the garden. Meanwhile Pre-school had a sports day to raise awareness for Sport Relief by taking part in the egg and spoon race along with an assault course and playing various other garden games.

Bertie our Pre-School Bear has also had a busy month – he has been having adventures at the children’s houses and has been on many day trips. He has recently returned from his holidays in France! We have loved reading about what he has been up to.

For Mother’s Day, the children have been pot painting, decorating mugs and coasters for their Mums. This is something the children enjoy doing throughout the year and often decorate keepsakes to bring home

The children showed an interested in the distance of things and how far objects could travel, so we spent one sunny morning making aeroplanes. The children then took them outside into the garden and flew them. We used markers in the grass to see how far our aeroplanes could travel and had races to see which could go the furthest.

 

To top off our busy month we had our routine environmental health inspection which saw us keep our 5* hygiene rating.