This term is always bitter sweet. We have enjoyed the previous year even with all the challenges we’ve faced and feel so proud of the progress all the children have made.
Our older ones are super excited to be moving onto their next life adventure of ‘big school’ and were going to miss them all. We also have a number of committee members moving on this year and their dedication and support has been phenomenal. St Lawrence Pre-School would not survive without the committee’s continued backing and the time and effort they put into their role is very much appreciated. We look forward to welcoming our new committee members in September.
We have welcomed visitors to the setting who have entertained us in a variety of ways and created some much needed laugh out loud moments.
We have seen children really push themselves this term and taken part in activities they know they find tricky. To see the resilience and determination in pre-schoolers allows us to support their feeling and encourage that ‘have a go’ approach.
Children have been developing their core muscles to build on their pre-writing skills. Core strength is so important because your core is one of the main things that supports the rest of their body. Poor posture and weak core muscles can lead to issues with handwriting because they don’t have the strength to sit up straight or to grasp the writing tools. We have been mark making under tables and the children chose paint to create their marks. This was a popular activity and got our children engaged for long periods of time. Some used vehicles whiles others used paint brushed. We have also been cleaning our toys showing, respect for our resources.
Yoga both inside and out also helped develop our concentration. We tried each pose again and again until we achieved it. We practiced our breathing and this helped us to feel calm. We learnt we can do yoga anywhere including the orchard.
A wormery got us learning facts about worms such as worm’s breath through their skins, they have no legs, arms or eyes and cannot hear. We worked as part of a team to scoop up mud, peel vegetables and dampen the sand to create a rather fabulous home for some worms. Every day the children sprayed the soil in the wormery to keep the worm’s new home habitable. We then moved onto sequencing and created a chart cutting out pictures remembering the instructions for making the wormery.
Summer theme activities have had us exploring everything about a watermelon. Using some of senses we have tasted, examined the flesh, seeds and skin and from our observations we have painted our findings. The children have produced pictures really focusing on location of colour. We particularly love the seeds as children selected cotton buds from a variety of tool to create tiny marks on their paper.
We have celebrated a number of occasions this term. Footy day had us learning about a pentagon as we used them to make patterns on a circle. We took the footballs down to the orchard for us to have a kick about and build on our balancing skills. We sliced red peppers and spread philadelphia on a cracker to make a St George’s cross for our snack.
A visit from Jaw N Claws was fabulous and Phil delivered an entertaining hands on workshop while being sensitive to the children’s needs. We learnt exciting facts about the animals, including their diet, habitat and toilet habits. Alice (royal python), Frank (giant snail) and Ron (giant french lop) were of course the stars of the show. Our children showed respect and courage as they overcame their fears to hold or touch the different animals. Phil commented on how well behaved our children were and their communication in asking questions and listening to the answers.
Party day is always full of smiles and laughter and this year was no exception. Hiccup provided us with a fabulous magic show where the children were mesmerised by the disappearing thimbles and the dinosaur balloons. The children helped to prepare their picnic lunch and our self-serve pop up ice cream parlour was extremely popular. We extended our parlour by making our own banana ice cream.
How we made banana ice cream:
Chopped up banana – freeze – blizz- add milk – enjoyed!
Wow, what a fab last day of term we had.
Our school leavers took part in an explorer’s day in the woods. Children took the lead in which direction we went in, one of them expertly navigating us to a rope swing. We had to have a go! We carefully selected woodland treasures to create a ‘My explorer’s day in a bottle’ with the children explaining their choices. After lunch we played dinosaurs and wizards which got us climbing trees and jumping over muddy patches. We created some marks using paint and natural tools to make a memorable plate before returning to preschool for a sing song with parents.
We are really going to miss our leavers, but they are so ready for ‘big school’ and their next life adventure. Have fun!!
THANK YOU for completing the parent/carer questionnaire. The feedback has been marvellous. 100% of you are happy with the service we provide and this has helped us to confirm our practice is effective and of a high standard which is supported by our parents/carers. As you know it’s been a turbulent year for us all, and for staff to have received such positive feedback has really lifted their spirits.
There were a few points raised such as…
1. Not having access to your child’s development folder
2. Outside space
3. Ideas to what fund raising would be used for
4. Children’s thoughts on how we could improve preschool
Our response to these are….
1. During this year we have reduced all items traveling between home/preschool. We have communicated what is in your child’s folder verbally but we do recognised why comments were made. As of September 2021 development folders will be very much part of your child’s preschool day and will be shared these with you at least once a term. These will be available for your viewing at any time and we will also welcome your input.
2. We are aware our outside space is not our biggest strength and totally agree with all comments made. However, it was lovely to read how you’ve noticed our commitment to making our outside space as interesting and varied as possible…and you only see it for a short period of time. Thank you.
3. At our next staff meeting 10th September 2021, as a team we will discuss creating a wish and replacement list. This will then be shared with you. If you have any ideas no matter how big or small we always welcome your thoughts and ideas.
4. Thank you children for your contributions. With a magic wand and a lottery grant (and convincing the hall committee)….. We would love to have a tree house, create a big bike area and paint our hall like a rainbow.
We have listen to you and will make sure we have more bike time in the autumn term, large pieces of paper with chalks/paints to decorate your environment will be more readily available. We are still working on the tree house idea.
A few statements made by you..
“The teacher are outstanding, each child is an individual and they don’t change the child they change the surrounding to help the children learn”
“I particularly appreciate the amount of thought and creativity put into lesson planning. St Lawrence Pre-School has a very can-do attitude with the children’s well-being at the centre”
“I couldn’t ask for a better place for my child for his preschool age, just keep doing what you’re doing helping those young people to grow and develop so well”
“There so much love and positive energy at St Lawrence and it’s clear to see how much thought goes in to providing a really engaging curriculum. Such a happy and warm place to be”
“Amazing management of Covid-19 situation. St Lawrence Pre-School felt safe whilst also continuing to be a warm and welcoming place. Also, genuinely terrifying and surreal times and staff remained calm and safe for the children. Unsung heroes”
The Children’s Centre
The Children’s Centre offers support to families of children 0 – 5 years as well as free online courses in a variety of topics. If you would like support with any aspect of family life then ensure to use their fabulous service.
Not sure what to do over the summer holidays, Sevenoaks District Council are providing free fun days for families throughout Kent.
West Kent Area Partnership link contains details about the Reconnect Offer. Please have a read to see what is available to you.
The team at St Lawrence Pre-School wish you all a fun and healthy summer holiday and look forward to seeing you when you return in September.