January 2021 at The Little School House

Firstly, may we wish you all a Happy New Year – what a year 2020 was! It provided us with many challenges that none of us could ever have imagined; two national lockdowns, closing our doors to many children and some of our staff being furloughed to name but a few! I think we can all agree we are more than happy to see the back end of 2020!

With that in mind, we have welcomed 2021 with open arms and look forward to the relaxing of restrictions in good time. During January, we spent a lot of our time outdoors exploring our local environment. We are extremely fortunate to have Graves Park on our doorstep and take full advantage when we can. Here are some pictures of our Baby Room & Toddler children walking though the park and into the woods. They used their senses to talk about the different noises they could hear and used the opportunity to practice their running skills, considering their speed while they were at it!

The month of January also brought us lots of lovely snow. It’s a fantastic learning opportunity for the children and we were lucky enough to have many occasions outside experiencing the temperature, texture and different experiences it brings. The children enjoyed making some fantastic structures; snowmen and snow fairies among others! But most of all, the amazing fun of sliding down the hill – such a simple process that brings such joy both to them doing it and to us observing them.

Our loose theme through January was ‘All About Me’ and our Pre-School children spent time drawing self-portraits. There was discussion about the facial features we all have and how, despite that, we are all different. Here are some of our self-portraits for you to see:

We’re looking forward to Valentine’s day and pancake day in February, and sharing more of our Little School House adventures with you all 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.