Aspire, Believe - Together Achieve
"Pupils thrive on the positive, aspirational approach"
"The school has achieved an award for extending pupils’ understanding of world religions." SIAMS 2019
"As confident young learners, pupils are ambitious for themselves and supportive of each other." Ofsted 2017
"Worship is invitational allowing pupils of no religious affiliation to contribute with integrity." SIAMS 2019
"The school has achieved an award for extending pupils’ understanding of world religions." SIAMS 2019
"Pupils are encouraged to think for themselves and to be curious." Ofsted 2017
"Your team are instilling a passion for learning that pupils find infectious." Ofsted 2017
Let Your Light Shine - Matthew 5:16
Staff: Miss Hoddinott (Teacher) and Mrs M Serle (TA)
Here in nursery, we are firm believers of learning through play. We plan related to topics and the children’s interests are at the heart of everything that we do. We strive to build strong partnerships with parents/carers to establish a consistent learning environment between home and school and also, to enable us to further children’s education together. We encourage children to become independent learners through an open plan environment that caters for all needs and allows children to reach their full potential.
Download: Little Stars Information Hand Out
This week we are reading The Dinosaur that Pooped Christmas! This term is a dinosaur theme in Little Stars. We decided to start off with this book wk that the children can reflect on and share their news from the holidays, and it also links nicely to learning about winter. We had some lovely activities linking to the story!
The highlight of the week was when each child was given a dinosaur egg to look after for the morning and were challenged to see who could look after them the longest without cracking. Some children created egg boxes or nests, some played carefully with their eggs and some decorated their eggs. The next day the children came into discover the egg had hatched and we had a pet dinosaur!! They spent the morning planning how to look after it and then carried out their actions. What a class of thoughtful and caring children we have!
The weather was extremely cold this week and the children were really interested in ice in our outdoor area so we also went on a winter walk and had lots of ice play to follow the children’s interests and to explore the world around us.
The children are still thoroughly enjoying our dinosaur topic, but we did cover a micro topic of ‘The Three Billy Goats Gruff’ which they also loved. I wanted the children to become experts at retelling a familiar traditional tale last week, ready to innovate the story in Week 3. We spent Week 2 doing lots of activities around the Three Billy Goats Gruff and I was so proud of how confident the children became in retelling the story.
As part of The Three Billy Goats Gruff, we had a big focus on bridges! We looked at local bridges as well as famous bridges around the world and had thought about creative design. The children designed and built bridges of all different kinds, however the two highlights of the week was when one child designed a crazy golf bridge, which lots of the other children magpied, so we got golf equipment out of the PE cupboard and turned the classroom into a crazy golf course! Next was on the Friday morning when the entire class dressed up as builders and worked as a team to build a large scale bridge (using chairs, cardboard boxes, huge cable reels etc) and spent ages playing games of trolls under!
This week the focus was innovating the story of the Three Billy Goats Gruff, so the children have been changing the characters. Individually they thought of all kinds of wonderful ideas. We have had three butterflies, bears, pigs, giraffes, monsters, all sorts! I’ve seen wonderful vocabulary being used to retell the story and to describe their new characters this week.
As a whole class, the Little Stars have swapped the characters to dinosaurs and have done lots of lovely activities linking to this. They worked hard to describe their new characters and even invented their own dinosaurs!
We are really proud of our Little Stars, here is their new version of the story.
Light and Dark
This term we are learning all about light and dark. In literacy we will explore stories by Julia Donaldson that link to this topic and we will also find out about festivals and celebrations that take place at this time of year!
The children were so excited to share and discuss their experiences of fireworks.
Some of our artistic activities included printing with cardboard tubes, dunking marbles in paint and blowing them with straws to create a firework effect, throwing powder paint into puddles outside and sweeping with a broom and chalk drawings!
We also had an experiment where we made a pumpkin fizz like a little firework and added popping candy to listen to it crackle. Finally, they threaded sparkly pipe cleaners into a colander to make their own fireworks!
We helped the children to think about the importance of Remembrance Day in a child friendly way.
They had a soldier small world area, a poppy sensory tray, did some poppy maths and did poppy printing. The children also independently made poppies outside using cupcake cases and green straws before quietly planting them in the soil to remember and thank our armed forces. Furthermore, they coloured in and cut out their own medals at the funky fingers table whilst being prompted to discuss the times they have been brave.
The children were encouraged to write letters to soldiers to thank them for all they do. I’m hoping to get these sent off to some real soldiers asap so will share photos asap. Finally, I brought in some army memorabilia which the children loved looking at during circle time.
Room on the Broom
This week we our story focus was Room on the Broom. The children were excited having just celebrated at Halloween so they worse their scariest costumes to nursery on their first day back at school.
They learnt to retell the story, sequenced the story, thought about the characters and even had a visit from the witch! A highlight was definitely the potion making table, it look through our photos to see what else we got up to.
Room on the Broom
This week we continued with Room on the Broom but changed the story setting!
On Monday the children came into school and found a big mess on our carpet. They had to become detectives and work out what had caused it, they could mark make and draw pictures to express their ideas. I loved listening to them discussing their ideas and reasoning and justifying! As a class they eventually agreed that the witch from Room on the Broom must have flown into space and bumped into a rocket, causing this mess to fall down into our classroom.
We spent the start of the week carrying on with Room on the Broom activities but changed the setting to space. Take a look at a some more of our space themed activities.
This week we started our new story ‘The Gruffalo.’ The children were very familiar with this story so there were lots of opportunities for story telling and imaginative play. Our main literacy focus was rhyme so we had lots of rhyming activities!
In the afternoons we learnt about light and dark or day time and night time. The children loved searching for their shadows and finished the week by making shadow puppets to retell the Gruffalo!
Continuing with and extending last week’s theme has led us onto learning about nocturnal animals! On Monday we learnt about what nocturnal animals are and then each day since we have focused on a different animal. We used non-fiction books to find out information about mice, foxes, owls and bats. We were even lucky enough to have a virtual visit from West of England Falconry and met a little owl and an eagle owl!
On Thursday evening the preschool children came back to school for a night time trip to the school forest. The children looked carefully for wildlife (we had a bat detector which was very exciting), had a drink of hot chocolate and marshmallows and then led down on blankets to stargaze!
In maths this week the focus was measure which the children did a great job with, they measured each other, measured nocturnal animals, measured around the circumference of a tree with string and measured how far cars travelled down a ramp.
Week 5, 6 and 7
We started our Christmas topic for the final 3 weeks.
In week 5 the children came into find an elf in the classroom. He had decorated the classroom with Christmas decorations and left a special Christmas breakfast for the children. Just after breakfast a present arrived, it was from Santa and when the children opened it they found the story of Stick Man. We spent the week doing lots of Christmassy activities linking to the story of Stick Man.
Week 6 and week 7:
In the final two weeks we learnt all about the Christmas story and found out why Christmas is celebrated and how. We did lots of Christmas crafts such as card making, calendar making, bauble making etc. In the final week we had our Christmas dinner, a Christmas party and lots of festive activities like ginger bread decorating, reindeer food making and snowman creating! What a lovely week to finish up the term. We are so proud of the children’s progress this term!
In week one we focused on playing lots of name games and ice breaker games to support the building of initial friendships in the classroom. We spent lots of time exploring the new continuous provision and learning where things are kept.
For literacy we read ‘The Invisible String’ and discussed that although we are at nursery during the day, we have an invisible string of love travelling all the way from our hearts to our family and back again. Some of the children drew pictures of their family and some made presents for them using string, pasta and paint. We also spent time looking at ourselves in the mirror and talking about our features. The children made self-portraits in the loose parts area and drew themselves.
Week two was all about Elmer! We thought about how Elmer is different to the other elephants and noticed that we are also all different in Little Stars Classroom. We spent the week celebrating the things that make us unique.
In the afternoons we focused on colour and went on a colour hunt in the garden, carried out several colour mixing experiments and even made rainbow toast.
To finish the week we ended with an Elmer party and made colourful crowns, made rainbow popcorn, decorated the classroom with a colourful paperchain and danced the afternoon away.
This week was all about the story of the Colour Monster. This is a fantastic book for exploring feelings and emotions. We spent the week discussing feelings and talking about times we have felt that way and what we can do if we are feeling sad, angry or worried. This story followed on nicely from last week in continuing to explore colour!
In the afternoons we focused on shape and had a visit from shape monsters. We went on a shape hunt around the classroom and played lots of fun shape games.
As part of our ‘Marvellous Me’ topic we are learning to view ourselves and the people around us as real life superheroes. We have dressed up as superheroes, learnt a superhero dance and explored various occupations to see how people who help us are also superheroes (such as doctors, shop workers, police, etc).
Our literacy story has been ‘Supertato’ and the children have loved it! They have particularly enjoyed retelling the story in the small world area making their own superhero vegetables so that they could act out their own versions of the story. We have had lots of sensory activities to explore and they even had the chance to climb into the icy depths of the freezer! I am so proud of how confident they are becoming in the classroom.
This week we as part of our ‘Marvellous Me’ topic, we have read ‘The Story of the Kindness Elves’, which is all about a group of teeny tiny elves that live in the clouds and spend their days making kindness potions. In the story the elves send letters to children, challenging them to carry out acts of kindness.
The children were excited to find an elf door and two of the elves in our classroom, each day they set us a letter with a kindness challenge.
At the start of the week the focus was being kind in nursery so we had a circle time to talk about what it means to be a kind friend. The children received challenges to make friendship bracelets for each other, to draw pictures for their friends, to take turns playing board games with one another and to make their own kindness potions. They were even kind to the wildlife in our garden and made bird feeders to hand in the tree! I was very impressed with the children’s sharing, turn taking and kindness.
Towards the end of the week the Kindness Elves began challenging us to spread kindness to our wider community. On Wednesday we made thank you cards for doctors and nurses (this links on from real life superheroes last week and matches our current role play theme), on Thursday we baked cakes to share with our families and on Friday we planted flowers to send to a local care home to make the elderly smile. (Pictures to follow once the cards and flowers have quarantined for 72 hours).
What a lovely week to finish off our Marvellous Me theme!!
Week Seven and Eight
We have spent the final learning about Harvest and autumn. Here are some of the activities we did, the children particularly enjoyed playing farms and tasting locally produced food. We spent lots of time outside exploring the natural world and looking for signs of autumn.
For literacy our class story was The Little Red Hen. The children loved retelling the story, making story maps, acting it out in the small world area, making masks and creating the characters using play dough.
On Monday we received a parcel of bread and spreads from the Little Red Hen to make our own sandwiches for snack.
On Tuesday we received a letter from the other characters asking how to make bread and had to sequence the instructions.
On Wednesday we wrote a shopping list and walked to the shop to buy ingredients.
On Thursday we baked our own bread.