The end of term two is fast approaching and it’s been a pleasure to welcome new families and friends to preschool. They have all settled in well and kept up with the busy pace that this term brings.
It has been a very creative term as we celebrated special occasions such as Diwali, St Andrew’s Day, Firework Night and Remembrance Day. We often discuss how we are all different and by celebrating these celebrations we know to be important to others, allows us to demonstrate and respect others’ beliefs and views.
We made Diwali lamps by using tea lights, cd’s and coloured rice, fireworks was super messy as we splatted painted and really had to work our arm muscles using an over arm action. Children were extremely proud of themselves as they achieved making shortbread biscuits by looking at quantities and following a picture recipe. There is never an opportunity to be missed to practice our mark making and sugar seems to be a perfect resource to do this.
Remembrance Day had us exploring our local community for hidden poppies, which helped us develop our road safety awareness, we discovered 10 poppies and we realized lining them up made it easier to count them. Some of the children recognized we have 10 fingers too. We have a few children making their own playdough and they made some for others to use along with poppy seeds, we liked the way the seeds bounced along the table when dropped from a height. We focused our thoughts on our loved ones as we held a minute silence at the war memorial on Remembrance Day and staff are always so proud of the way our children show their respect at relevant times.
Russia week got us talking in Russian as we learnt how to say hello (p-r-ee-v-yet). We were thankful to one of our parents who read us a story in Russian and we used the pictures to help us identify what the story was about. We became Kandinsky artists and discussed what primary colours to use for our art work as some of the children focused at the activity and became totally absorbed in their creations. Vast amounts of paintings were created. We were able to sample Russian crackers and some beetroot which is a main ingredient in their traditional Borscht dish… it wasn’t very popular.
Every term there always seems to be story book that catches the children’s attention. This term is no exception. ‘The cow that laid an egg’ by Andy Cutbill has had the children in hysterics at times and the more it’s been read the louder and more involved the children have become.
This is a fantastic way for children to start to understand the structure of a story and to be able to recognize the start-middle-end. Just like the cow who identified her own egg, our children decorated a hard-boiled egg with marks that’s represented them, favourite colours were used, patterns created and excellent control used to manoeuvre the pens.
We introduce very large numbers as we embraced Road Safety Week. Children rode around on bikes in our outside space identifying numbers and then gave instructions to others for speed limits to finds. We focused on zebra crossings, traffic lights and their purpose and how they help to keep us safe. This was a fun week with children independently playing our safety games and encouraging each other to take part.
Christmas celebrations were in full swing as we approached December. The children had already welcomed Jackie from Touch of Clay into the setting and created their wonderful ceramic pieces. Christmas art designs were being made into cards by Mini Me and were truly unique, from children’s imaginations to product their achievements were outstanding. Children have the opportunity to decorate our Christmas tree every day and this is really developing those all-important prewriting hand muscles. Each bauble has a different thread which some are finding a little tricky, but we keep trying. Party day was “super fun” (words of a 3yr old) and eventful. Children took part in Christmas statues, balloon chasing, bubble popping with dancing fingers and ate at a banquet fit for very hungry children. Thank you to you the parents for all food donations. Our committee member took time out to do some face painting for us, to which the children were super delighted. We are always so grateful for support given to us and it’s fabulous to get parents involved.
Clair has joined a Social Story workshop. Social stories are used to address feelings and opinions. We will be using short stories and they offer the children a chance to see a situation from another perspective. It encourages the development of empathy or understanding how one’s actions affects and can impact others. Stories can be written around any subject and designed in a simple visual way.
We have a new staff member joining our team in January. Catherine joins us with a wealth of childcare experience from being a teacher to running her own playgroup and now her own children have grown up, wants to get back into a childcare role. We welcome Catherine to her role.
The new variant is adding some restrictions and making life a little challenging for some of us. I will review our guidelines and if practice needs to be adapted in January, I will of course let you know. We have achieved so much during this pandemic and although this is totally out of our control, I would like to thank you for you your support during what continues to be a difficult time. Staff will be continuing to do lateral flow tests twice a week and you are doing everything possible by keeping your child off preschool if they are unwell. THANK YOU.
Just remember to let us know if your child will be absent… we will investigate absent children.
If you would like to know more:
What parents and carers need to know about early years providers, schools and colleges - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
Fundraising…. YOU HAVE SMASHED IT!!!! Committee and staff would like to send an enormous heart felt thank you for all your donations and contributions towards our fundraising pot. We have exceeded our £500 target thanks to the change jars, a donation from a business and our local church.
This money will enable us to enhance our outside space which will benefit all our children. The spring term will be very exciting.
Primary School Applications reminder…. If you haven’t already applied for your child’s primary school place for September 2022, you have until midnight on Monday 17th January 2022. Primary school places - Kent County Council
First Aid for Families course is being run the Children’s Centre. Information on how to book is on the flyer. If you would like support in booking this course, please speak to a member of staff.
Dates for your diary
Spring Term starts: Tuesday 4th January 2022
Bird watch day: Tuesday 11th January (more info to follow)
National Story Telling week: 7th – 11th February
Sharing children’s development folders: w/c 31st January
END of term: Friday 11th February
From all at St Lawrence Pre-School, we would like to wish you all a very
Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year