Summer 2021 Term 5
This term we welcomed new families and friends to the preschool and our little ones have settled in well, with no surprise a few of our established members of the group have shown them the ropes, assisting them with their slippers and showing them how to use the paint pumps.
We started the term off celebrating the life of HRH Prince Philip. We embraced his legacy and took part in our own mini DofE awards. The children volunteered at tasks and when the shopping delivery arrived, it was all hands on to help. Children created maps using significate items around preschool site to help them locate the treasure and earn themselves a gold medal. We finished the day off with a fire pit, where children helped to prepare the area and recap on safety practice and procedures.
We acknowledged Queen Elizabeth II 95th birthday by creating an afternoon tea which we prepared ourselves. Our awareness of knives and how to use them is very much part of our daily practice and children demonstrated this when cutting up the salad for their pizzas. When it came to decorating the cakes, such precision was used and excellent fine motor skills was shown as no icing was spilt as children decorated their fairy cakes. We learnt the Queen’s London home is called Buckingham Palace and it has 775 rooms. We were mesmerized by such a huge number. We made our hats after listening to the story The Queen’s Hat and hoped ours would stay on our head as we sat in the garden eating afternoon tea.
Camping activities have played a very big part of our daily practice this term. Children have helped to put up purpose built tents, problem solved when been given blankets and pegs to create their own tent and worked out how many of them would fit inside boxes (the best kind of tent according to a 4yr old). Camping day got us mark making with marshmallows, sharing books with friends and making binoculars. We then used our binoculars to play ‘I spy’. We used real binoculars, noticing they were heavier than our handmade ones. Children independently used their painted marshmallows to create a social time around the fire pit. We all joined in singing and sharing our own outdoor memories. We wrapped string around sticks and worked together to create a wind chime, and it was really tricky to join them together but we preserved and succeeded with a little adult support.
STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) table has been set up to encourage the children to explore and engage themselves in problem solving independently. We have provided bicarbonate of soda and vinegar, created scenarios with animals needing to cross the water to be on the same side as each other and a campsite with people wanting to get to their tents. One afternoon the children thought out 5 different ways of making a bridge using paper cups and large lolly sticks.
Observational painting always encourages and develops focus and concentration. We have introduce house plants to our home corner and used words such as, oxygen and carbon dioxide. The children have learnt they are living and therefore need water and light to grow. Some children will be able to explain plants are part of being health. The children studies the Spider plant and Dragon tree leaves, shapes and colour to created some rather fabulous pictures.
As a setting we are constantly looking at ways to challenge our children, to build on their confidence, resilience and skill set. After completed a risk assessment, we have added crockery to their home corner. This means the children have to really think about the way they use these resources. Our children are learning that some of their actions result in consequences of broken items which means they can no longer be used. The children have shown respect, care and even encouraging others to do the same. We have had a few breakages which has allowed the children to reflect on why and how it happened and what we can do to try and prevent it happening again. When there is a breakage, children know to ‘stop’ put their ‘hands up’ and ‘do not move’ until an adult has given the instruction to do so. During this six week term we have had four breakages. Staff are extremely proud of the children and think this is amazing when we have two, three and four year olds continuously free playing in the area.
Wilmott Dixon’s construction manager James Cooper has very kindly donated items to our construction areas. Liaising with James who listened to what our children needed and wished for has been a delight. Wilmott Dixon’s has generosity supplied items that can be found on a construction site but in child size. Children can now role play construction workers using child size hard hats and high vis jackets. We have also been supplied signage, tubes and connectors, mugs, tape, architectural drawings and life size cones. This equipment has seen extended forms of play with measuring, mark making as jobs get signed off and numerous areas being taped off due to hazards (according to the children) which has meant we have had to walk a certain way around the hall. We also appreciate the construction book Wilmott Dixon created including Makaton. Thank you so much to James and his team for all the resources. It really has made a difference to our pre-schoolers curiosity and involvement.
Our Wednesday have taken part in a fire drill. We was all out of the building and in our designated area with 20 seconds. GO CHILDREN! There was a little confusion as to why we were wearing our slippers outside as they know this is not a preschool rule. We had a discussion about why we practiced a fire drill, who we call in the event of a real fire and how do we remain safe. We need to work on answering our names as the register is called. This will become a daily practice for all next term.
Staff have attended a couple of workshops this term based on the new EYFS framework that comes into effect from September 2021, further information to follow next term.
Workshops been attended:
· Leadership and Management
· Personal and Social Development
These workshops have given us the opportunity to reflect on our practice and what changes we want to put in place ready for September. Donna and Mary will complete an audit to highlight areas we can strengthen and ensure we have robust safeguarding procedures.
Staff are looking at ways we can support children further in our setting and our focus has been to get children to have a real understanding of who their key person is. We are a small setting and we feel we have the luxury of children being very familiar with all key staff, but we would like them to know who their main key person is to build on child:adult relationships.
Bank staff needed. If you know anyone who is qualified in early years and would like to work on an as and when require we would love to hear from them.
· Tel: 01732 763 354
The Children’s Centre has a number of free courses available to you. Please see individual flyers on how to book. If you require any help, please speak to a member of staff.
Term 6: Monday 7th June – Wednesday 21st July.
We have a few events planned for next term, keep an eye on your inbox as once details have been finalised an email will follow.
Thank you for all your continued support.