We thought we’d go travelling this term and celebrate countries our children have links to… ‘I had the best time’ according to one of our children. There is no better feedback then the children telling us they are enjoying their day. We wanted to offer the children an opportunity to learn about different cultures and respect other countries traditions. We achieved this by…..
We started our travels in Australia wishing we could also be experiencing their summer sunshine. We leant a lot of interesting facts about kangaroo’s and developed our colour recognition as we identified the male and female kangaroo’s. We heard news words such as marsupials, wombat and platypus. We decorated boomerangs and used a lot of over arm throwing to find out if they would come back… they didn’t. We still had great fun. We developed understanding of weight as we weighed out ingredients to make Anzac biscuits. The number six become a significant number as that how many stars are on Australian flag.
We traveled to Ukraine and quickly learnt what the colours on their flag represented. Blue for sky and yellow for land/sunflowers. This encouraged water play with scoops again identifying weights and full/empty. We use our feet to walk on land and painted out feet to mark make yellow on our giant flag. The giggles from painting our feet with the cold paint was infectious. We had a lot of help from a parent who made us some delicious homemade traditional Ukraine food and we had a go at making Varenyky, something we would like to revisit. We created a pattern in dough using sunflower seeds and made a scummy smoothie using blue and yellow foods.
We then headed off to Germany. There we spoke about the vast number of castles the country has and using giant, small blocks and 2D shapes we created our own version of Neuschwanstein Castle. We have numbered gingerbread hidden around preschool and we play hide and seek to find any said number. This has led onto lots of independent hide and seek games both inside and outside. In all our countries we’ve visited we’ve introduced some of their home language and we’ve been learning to count to five in German and say guten morgen. We are grateful for the help and gifts from our German parent who created a treat, which allowed our children to celebrate St Nicolas’s arrival on 6th December. Children arrived to their Christmas party to find a surprise in their welly boots.
The children have created cards which has been sent to friends and family in our three focused countries. We look forward to finding out when they have been received.
Thank you to all our parents who have helped us provide experiences to our children this term, from coming in to read stories in different languages, baking and making wonderful delights.
Along with visiting other countries, we’ve also been celebrating and embracing history from our county. We got a little messy splatter painting for Fireworks night and offered our older children the experience of a lighted sparkler. The children were amazing and followed instructions keeping them and everyone safe.
Remembrance Day got us thinking about loved ones and thanking soldiers who fought in the war. We created poppy fields using paint and watched Cbeebies Poppy Animation which opened some wonderful conversations.
St Andrew’s Day saw the arrival of a few Nessy’s. Playdough challenged our fingers muscles as we created what we thought the Loch Ness Monster would look like and then looking at sizes of boxes to provide a home. Using Scottish porridge oats, children helped to make porridge for snacks. It really got the thumbs up.
CHRISTMAS AT ST LAWRENCE PRE-SCHOOL
A time of year our children get excited with the anticipation of Santa coming. We introduce festive songs and books for all to enjoy and firm favourites this year are ‘That’s not my Reindeer’ and ‘ Stinky Sprouts’… great choice, don’t you think!
We’ve had a blast at our party and THANK YOU to our parents for providing and creating a fabulous brunch. We played traditional games, such as musical reindeers, pass the parcel and chocolate coin hunt… only left by the cheeky elves.
This year we have created something a little different. On the first day of advent, baby Jesus laid in a bare manger. Every time we carry out an act of kindness, the manger gets some hay and in the hope by 16th December (our last day) baby Jesus is warm and snug. Oh my goodness…. He was SO snug! Our wish tree is currently displaying our acts of kindness… make sure you read these beautiful tags. Acts of kindness includes:
Getting a chair for a Clair so she could join the snack table
Took off dressing up trousers because someone was sad it wasn’t their turn
Providing some milk for a friend who had spilt theirs
Wednesday 14th December we were all invited to St Lawrence Church to hang Christmas decorations, sing songs and listen to a story read by Rev Serena Willoughby. We created an act of kindness and made some mince pie to share with everyone. Thank you, Serena and Sam, for having us. It’s lovely to offer the children an opportunity to experience what is in our local community.
THANK YOU to all who join us for our festive afternoon. We really appreciate you joining us and taking part in a few little Christmassy activities. You helped to raise £54.40.
Mary has attended her refresher Designate Safeguarding course while Clair and Catherine have both attended Basic Child Protection workshops. These courses are vital in ensuring we are up to date with our safeguarding procedures and know the correct action we may need to take.
We have updated our Safeguarding Policy which can be found in our policy section on our website. The one thing that stood out is how EVERYONE is responsible in keeping children safe. Friends of friends, neighbours children every child deserves to live safely and at St Lawrence Pre-School we very much have to attitude it could happen here. If you have a concern, report it. NSCPP have a wealth of information and a helpline.
Another area of safeguarding to consider is online…. Does your child use a devise…. Are they going to receive one for Christmas. Our children tell us they use mummy or daddy’s mobile to watch Paw Patrol etc, but have you thought about pop ups or your child tapping the screen to make a change? We follow our online risk assessment when either role playing or using the laptop with the children. We role model facing the devise down and informing a grown up if something is seen they don’t like, everything online is so realistic now days.
We also use Smartie the Penguin as a recognition tool and how he keeps us safe.
Have you thought about setting up a family agreement? Childnet have templates for children three years to eighteen years.
The team at St Lawrence Pre-School have a vision to enhance practice taking on the Forest School ethos by providing a hands-on learning approach. This builds on their confidence and self-esteem taking the learning outside to explore their natural environment. For us to do this and upskill staff we need to fundraise. KCC Education Rangers can come to our setting and deliver some training to staff on how we can make the most of our outside space, as it’s not always possible to travel to further afield.
If you have any fundraising ideas, please speak to a member of staff.
Children’s Centre offer a variety of free courses and play opportunities for all children. To register please use link below or speak to a member of staff.
To register with the Children’s Centres: https://www.kent.gov.uk/education-and-children/childcare-and-pre-school/childrens-centres
To sign consent to join virtual groups/sessions: https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=DaJTMjXH_kuotz5qs39fkKXdH-59TzVOsttNaz95ES9UMUpXV01YQldCVVE1RTA3QkoyMThJWlFJOS4u
Sevenoaks District Children’s Centre also work in collaboration with Adult Education who access our centres to provide free adult education courses (first aid, English etc).
To ensure that adult education offer the courses that families would be interested in we have a parent consultation to retrieve feedback that will inform future adult education courses.
We look forward to welcoming you all back on Monday 9th January 2023.