Headteacher: Anna Moss

0121 445 1622


Nursery News ~ 1st April 2021

Happy Easter everyone!

What a lovely sunny week we have had for our final week of the Spring term.  It has felt just like the Summer term out in Forest School as we have been enjoying our morning snack outside and coats/waterproofs were even left on the balcony one afternoon!   

We have enjoyed sharing the Easter Story this week as we have role-played using our Christmas characters.  Joseph became a grown up Jesus, the Three Wise Men became guards for the tomb and Mary became Mary Magdelene.  We hope they come home with a little understanding of the meaning behind Easter and were able to share a little of their “child friendly” version of the story.

I am sure you will agree they did a super job at this afternoon at the Easter Show.  The Easter Show has always been a highlight of the year for parents and we missed having you join us in the hall.  We hope you managed to spot them on the screen even when they were jumping beans.

Have a lovely Easter everyone.

Mrs Mander and the Nursery Team X

Nursery News ~ 26th March 2021

Happy Spring everyone!

Our Spring topic has continued and signs of Spring have very much been in the forefront of our minds.  We have been listening for the birds singing, talked about the light mornings and now have our very own Spring friends in the cabin – can you remember who has joined us and is changing every day?  We are all (well not all of us) so excited to see those black dots in jelly develop into an actual living creature.  This weekend, could you take the time to look for buds growing on trees and bushes and see if you can find some beautiful blossom?  This will help you when we play Spring Bingo next week! 

During our Phonics circle time, we had fun helping a very forgetful Cyril Squirrel who just could not remember the name of the foods in his own lunchbox!!!  Luckily he had a team of rhyming superstars who were able to continue his rhyming string.  Silly Cyril, it wasn’t leese, meese and beese – it was cheese!  Perhaps you could be the forgetful ones this weekend and see if you families can help you remember the names of what is in your lunch!  In Music, we have been working on Pitch as we have been singing “Rain Rain Go Away” with a twist.  We sang together, stayed quiet whilst Mrs Mander sang and then had a solo part all whilst trying to keep the timing, the length of each note and the pitch – so much to remember! I am looking forward to sharing a clip I have of you with Mrs Cutler (our Music specialist) on Monday afternoon who is helping support us develop our music skills in Nursery.  We have also been recapping on our Staying Quiet listening rule by keeping our feet quiet as we move around the cabin and in Write Dance, the “messy table” with red paint to the Wheels on the Bus has been a huge hit (not for Mrs Allen mind who has the job of trying to clean it away afterwards)! 

Outdoors we have finished our focus story of Jasper’s Beanstalk as we have been reading, yes reading, the Days of the Week and spotting each day in the story.  We have talked about the tools Jasper used and predicted what he could be doing with them.  Can you remember the four tools he is holding in his paws?  Our Dough Disco has had us making steering wheels and driving our fast cars as we have been moving the dough to “Real Gone” thanks to Ralph. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HdimnI4Xtc0

Mrs Allen has gone egg crazy this week.  She has been sharing the story The Odd Egg with you and then you have been playing a Hide and Seek game with the eggs.  You had so much fun hunting them down and some of you had the opportunity to hide them for your friends.  You then moved on to rolling these eggs in paint to create some of your own egg paintings.  In the afternoons, you have had fun bird hunting with the binoculars and soon discovered which spots were the best in Forest School to see them (the quieter spots!).  You have had fun throwing eggs into a hula-hoop and even had your own egg and spoon race.  Look out because next week, we might find something in those eggs.

A message for parents – our Easter singsong will be on Thursday 1st April at 1.30pm.  The Zoom link was sent via parentapp.  We look forward to sharing some of our favourite songs and dances from this term.

Mrs Mander and the Nursery Team X

Nursery News ~ 19th March 2021

Happy Friday everyone!

What a strange week it has been in Nursery as it feels like we have returned from a half term break.  I know this isn’t true as we have evidence of how hard you were working with the children last week with our very own “Lockdown” photobook.  The children are really enjoying showing and sharing these photographs with their peers – I think Benji has the most to share with three pages of photographs.

We returned this week to our new topic of Spring.  Miss Turner had been busy at home making some Spring labels for our display and yesterday some of you even read the words!  Connie did an excellent job of sounding out “lambs”.  Reading words by looking at the first sound and the picture linked to it is just one of many reading strategies.  I wonder whether you have any stories at home in this format where you could practise?  We have been messy mark making with shaving foam to “Just Like This” – I know how familiar lots of you are with this Write Dance song now.  We will return to our Rhyming Phonic topic next week as we have revisited our listening rules by playing a game with a red hand and a tunnel – can you remember how we played it?  In Maths we have been counting forwards and backwards fast and slow and then had a go at running fast and slow in the funniest running race I have seen.  We have talked about fast and slow things and Ralph, once again, came up with his own ideas of a motorbike and a tortoise.

After lunch, in the Quiet Area we have revisited some of our favourite Dough Disco routines to get ready for an end of term show on the 1st April at 1.30pm.  We hope to see you all there via Zoom!  You are in for a treat with our yearly Easter show singing a classic Easter song.  We have begun exploring our Spring story Jasper’s Beanstalk as we have been looking at the characters and objects and clapping out how many syllables are in each.  Even though you know what a “Watering can” was, it was definitely the most challenging word to clap out.  Mrs Allen has gone all magic on us as she introduced us to how to make a magic potion using water, coloured sand, cake sprinkles and anything we could find around us in the Forest School.  How did your potion work when you “sipped” it?  My favourite was the one that made us all have magic manners.  In the afternoons, you had the chance to mark make Spring flowers with forks and you then moved on to create your own mark making tools with sticks, twigs and string.

A message for parents – we never got around to saying a huge thank you to you all for the delicious cakes that the Nursery staff enjoyed on those last few days before we broke up.  It was such a kind gesture of your thanks but we should be thanking you for enabling us to stay open by following restrictions.  We did well didn’t we to stay open all that time?  Fingers crossed it is only a one off as, as lovely as Zoom was, it isn’t the same as being with you in real life.

Mrs Mander and the Nursery Team X

Nursery News ~ 5th March 2021

Happy Friday everyone!

Well the warm weather didn’t last very long did it?  We were all back to layers, warm socks and Winter hats this week! It was lovely to chat to most of you on Wednesday and Thursday this week – we miss the contact with you all as much as you do.  Reports shared will be coming home with the children next week.

We began the week with picture clues for our Nursery Rhyme – there was a cat, a moon, a little dog, a dish and a spoon. With a little prompting, you worked out which one it was in the end!  We all enjoyed Hamish’s choice of Dough Disco this week as we have been shaking the dough (and our bodies) to Boom Shake the Room.  We look forward to Ralph’s choice next week.  Please do send in any requests the children have of favourite disco songs as it is so important our learning is led by the children’s interests – that is what Early Years is all about!  In Write Dance we have continued mark making on the tables to a favourite Maths song “Beans”.  We were even brave enough this week to introduce a “messy” mark making table so if you went home with yellow or orange hands, this is why!  In Phonics Cyril Squirrel has been singing Pattern Parrot with his rhyming pairs game – it was lovely to see some of you choosing to play this matching rhyming pairs game when you arrived.  Our Music this term is learning all about Pitch and so we have started practising changing our voices by singing, talking, whispering in a call and respond song.  During our Maths session we have been singing about full, part full and empty cups and have being learning about how numbers up to five look in the tally arrangement.  We had fun with our traffic survey outside the front of the school – I wonder whether vehicles move past your house quicker than they do past Blackwell School?  Perhaps you could have a go at tallying vehicles this weekend – don’t forget to shut the gate after four as we do not want those animals running into the road!

After lunch, in the Quiet area on the balcony we have been sharing a popular story about a monkey who has lost his mum.  We predicted the animals that we would see next and we have had fun clapping out the syllables in each characters name.  Can you remember which character in the story had four claps??  For some of you who head into Quiet Time last, we have been exploring the names further by listening to the initial sound and finding nonsense rhyming words for our animal friends.  In Forest School Mrs Allen began the week by showing you how to wrap paper around the tree and make bark rubbings with wax crayons.  A trickier activity later in the week was where you had to make your own working paintbrush with a stick, twigs and a piece of string.  It was fun to see you rise to the challenge and then when achieved, you were able to see if it worked with the paints in the tuft tray.  In the afternoons, you have been chalking mini beasts on the patio.  Nina’s bumblebee was truly impressive – mummy will look forward to seeing this in your Learning Journey later in the year.  Mrs Allen has also been shopping for some new tools for the mud kitchen and you have enjoyed baking cakes with the new bowls and wooden spoons.  For decoration, you have been grating pieces of chalk – strange but very effective!

A message for parents – there are getting more and more occasions as the weeks go on where we aren’t clear as to what time the children are being collected. Please can you ensure that you let us know via email or a message on the gate at drop off as to what time you will be collecting them if there isn’t a regular pattern.  We rely heavily on the visual timetable to watch time pass and it can throw some children (and us adults with our numbers) when it isn’t clear.  Thank you!

Mrs Mander and the Nursery Team X

Nursery News ~ 26th February 2021

Happy Friday everyone!

What a beautiful week of sunshine we have had to return to.  The layers of clothes are starting to peel away for us all.  This, along with some excellent practising of doing our own zips up over half term, has made our transitions in and out of the Forest School so much quicker.  For some, you are ready for Reception already!

This week we have continued along our Families topic by starting our Mummy topic.  Your mummies’ faces were there to greet you on arrival on Monday morning – what a pleasant surprise.  They have been watching us in our circle times this week and seem very impressed by your ability to listen and join in!  We have met a new friend in Phonics – Cyril Squirrel.  He is our very own rhyming puppet and only talks in rhyme.  It turned out he was a very hungry squirrel and we had to keep feeding him Silly Soup.  Can you remember how many objects we needed in our soup and what these objects needed to sound like?  In Write Dance we have started dancing on the tables (!) but not as you think it sounds – we have added in our big arms movements to our songs and have been taking our hands around the Mulberry Bush in the water and soap combinations.  Our Nursery Rhyme has been Hickory Dickory Dock which linked to our Maths focus of TIME.  We have stolen the teaching clocks from the main school and have been naming the face, the numbers we can see and exploring the movement of the long and short hand.  Can you remember which one moves faster?  The blue one or the red one? Which one is Mrs Mander?  Which one is Mrs Allen?  Why?  Outdoors we started to read the o’clock times as we played “What’s the Time Mr Wolf?”.  Have a look at the analogue clocks around your home this weekend and see how they look the same and different to ours.  After lunch we have been joining the disco and twisting our wrists (very tricky!) to “What does the Fox say?” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jofNR_WkoCE – apologies if the children have been singing this on repeat at home!

With the warmer weather, meant a return to the Quiet Area after lunch for our Communication and Language session (C&L).  These sessions are all about practising your listening, attention, understanding and speaking skills.  The latter is the one we are trying to develop – talking in front of a large group.  Luckily the mummy photos took away all your inhibitions as you shared some lovely thoughts, comments, stories about your mummy.  We even had fun playing “Where is my Mummy?” where we mixed them all up on the carpet, chose one and said “That’s not my Mummy”.  I am sure I have heard this line before from a very popular story we know – a focus for next week I think!  Mrs Allen has enjoyed hunting in the Forest School with you using the magnifying glasses.  Lyla did a super job when she found our very own daffodils growing.  Pippa also seemed to be the Worm Queen as she kept finding and rescuing them!  You shared the story “Spike’s Best Nest” and then had the chance to weave sticks together to make a birds nest.  In the afternoons you have continued to build up the bug hotel using sticks and stones.  The wind on Tuesday was also a great opportunity to explore how we can get the streamers to move in the wind and dance with them.

A message for parents – I look forward to seeing you all at Parent Consultations next Wednesday and Thursday.  The zoom link will have now come out in a parentapp message.  Please enter the waiting room five minutes before you allocated time.  Appointments are 15 minutes long.

Have a lovely sunny weekend everyone – don’t forget to keep looking for those signs of Spring when you are out and about!

Mrs Mander and the Nursery Team X

Nursery News ~ 11th February 2021

Happy Thursday (let me see those tongues)!

We have done it!  We have survived another half term and so we are now officially half way through the year – gosh.

Our Families topic came to an end today as the Mrs Large ears went back into the dressing up box.  Next half term we are learning all about Spring and Easter and staff have already started talking about big bird outfits to fit an adult!  In Maths we have been learning all about the word “subitising”.  Subitise is the ability to look at a small number of objects (up to five) and instantly recognise how many there are without the need to count.  Or as we have learnt it -  “see it, say it”.  You once again blew me away with your ability to see and say numbers up to 3 (4 and 5 for some of you) through subitising.  We even had a go at matching the correct number for those of us who can read numbers up to five.  Our dough disco “We Will Rock You” has introduced us to the start of our Music topic next term – Rhythm, as you have started to copy the rhythm pattern of ta-ta-tee.  Play this clip over half term https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-tJYN-eG1zk to show your families – can they copy the pattern?  Our Nursery Rhyme has been about the family of two dicky birds called Peter and Paul and we had fun as we tried to match up friends with the same initial sounds – can you remember who flew away with Connie, Maisie, Parker?  Our Phonics topic of Body Sounds came to an end today as we had fun being noisy neighbours and we learnt the final song for our Write Dance “Down at the Station”.  After half term we will be repeating the songs but adding in the writing part – Writing and Dancing who thought this could work?  You will soon find out!

We have to admit the weather got the better of us this week with the temperatures dropping to below zero.  We have still visited outdoors twice a day but I will admit we haven’t been out for long – when children start to complain about cold toes and fingers even with double socks and fleece gloves on, we know we need to give in.  The short time we did make outdoors didn’t stop us from exploring though as Mrs Allen had you all moving with ribbons on the patio to the Ugly Bug Ball this afternoon.  You have also had a chance to practise your hammering and screwing skills as the tool skills have started developing.  Sadly the gully has been shut due to the amount of ice blocked in there but it didn’t stop you from finding your own ice around Forest School – in the buckets, pans and even around some of the wooden blocks.  Roll on Spring!

A message for parents – with two special days coming up, please could I request a separate photograph of mummy and daddy be emailed in to me?  In the past, I have edited the family photograph with a little cropping but some of the family photographs would mean a mummy with half a head or sunglasses on.  We want your best photos on display – make them good ones.  Please could these be sent to me over half term by Friday 19th February.

Have a lovely half term everyone – keep practising that subitising - what numbers can you “see and say” during half term without the need for counting.

Mrs Mander and the Nursery Team X

Nursery News ~ 5th February 2021

Hello my stripy friends!

We could not let our topic of “Families” pass us by without adding a classic dough disco song from 1979 (gosh I feel old!) We Are Family https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XwLjtilAZDQ.  I wonder whether the children could teach you the actions?  (hint: disco arms, sausage).  Dough disco gets us ready for handwriting and it is definitely paying off with the pieces of art you are creating.  Please do help support us by correcting quickly those incorrect grips – “use your fingers and not your hands”.  We have been strengthening up our arms, wrists, shoulders by scooting, sailing and skating around the cabin to Round We Go too.  Our Phonics has continued by passing the body sound around the oval and we shared one of our Nursery favourite songs – The Weather Song.  This song matches our body sounds to the sun, rain, wind, frost.  Can you remember and share which sound is for which?  In Music we have continued learning about pulse with a Call and Respond song of “Who stole the cookies from the cookie jar”.  In the end, we discovered the answer was Mrs Allen!  A huge thank you for all those stripes this week (I know the message came a little late) – we have had fun spotting, making and using paints to create our personal stripy pattern.  Once they are dry, I shall steal a little of your pattern for your Learning Journeys and the rest will come home for you to share with your family.

Outdoors after lunch, we have continued with our C&L session talking about families and have been sharing stories about a family of elephants, The Large Family.  Our focus this week was a “Piece of Cake” and we have been practising the /L/ sound for their names, showing the difference between jogging and tiptoeing and today our very own Mrs Large helped us sort healthy and unhealthy foods (shhhh don’t tell her what we did when she wasn’t looking).  In Forest School, Mrs Allen has been showing you how to dress your stick families using wool.  You had a go at wrapping different coloured wool around sticks to give them a top and pair of bottoms.  You also enjoyed collecting materials to make a hotel for our family of bugs.  In the afternoons, you have been sharing Little Home Bird in the story area and have been practising your weaving with the ribbons in and out of the netting on the sandpit.  The challenge though was most definitely weaving a nest with bendy sticks – I am sure the birds that come and visit us will be happy with your finished product.

A message for parents – do you remember the photo transition booklets that were given to you to share with the children back in the summer 2020?  I have received a few back and was hoping you would be able to find and return the others as we have a new batch of friends who will need one this summer ready for September 2021.

Have a lovely weekend everyone – keep practising those body sounds with your tongue, lips and teeth!  You won’t realise it, but you are on the start of your reading journey……

Mrs Mander and the Nursery Team X

Nursery News ~ 29th January 2021

Hello my magic friends!

A very short week for lots of you this week due to blankets of our favourite thing – snow.  What a treat it was for us all to wake up to a white world on Sunday morning.  We have never seen Forest School with quite so much since we opened four years ago.  The highlight for me was on Monday morning when we had a treasure hunt of Forest School toys that had been out all weekend being cleaned and we had to dig them out and guess what they were!

Well I really didn’t know we had some magicians in our mix!  I wasn’t the only one to be shocked with how you were able to read numbers 0-5 without even looking at them.  Who knew that spots on the back of our number cards could help us know what the number would read on the other side.  Our Maths this week reading numbers 0-5 has been a lot of fun.  In Music we have been singing about another little boy, not Johnny this time but Buster.  He has taught us how to sing and move in time to the pulse and Ralph, Connie and Khadijah blew us away when they stood up in front of everyone and sang it on their own.  Our Phonics has moved on from instrumental sounds and moved into three weeks of Body Sounds and can’t we make some.  See if you can find other ways to make sounds with your hands, feet, lips, tongue and teeth this weekend.  Our Write Dance has had us rocking forwards and backwards to Horsey Horsey and in Dough Disco we enjoyed moving our dough to “Thank you Baked Potato”.  For those of you who haven’t heard it, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yYOkgCkxj9I Enjoy!

Our C&L session in our Quiet Area is in full swing with our new topic “Families”.  Thank you to all your grown-ups who sent in these photographs!  We took this opportunity to start practising “Talk Partners”.  This is something you will use weekly when you move into Reception in September and it is as simple as the words suggest, talking to a partner.  You all shared some interesting facts with your friends about your photograph and then with the whole group.  We have learnt about James and the Giant Leaves (we went out for the day and in the entry were some giant leaves), Neve D’s instructions on how to body board (you have to wear a bracelet and sit on the board on the water) and Hamish’s predictions what season his photo was in (I think it is Winter as there is snow, the leaves have lost most of their leaves and Mummy is wearing her warm pink coat).  In Forest School, Mrs Allen shared with you how to make different families with the soft toys and showed you how you make your own stick family – it was lovely to see Benji desperately looking for two sticks dogs to add to the family.  In the afternoons, you have been building family vehicles to transport all members using the crates and you have had a go at making family homes for the animals using sticks.  And let’s not forget the fun we have had in the snow – a snowman, snow angels, a snow pit to build snow castles and Arden with his hammer smashing the ice in the mud kitchen.

A message for parents – when the children mark make at Nursery and use the incorrect grip, we correct and place their hand into the tripod grip – “use your fingers and not your hands”.  Would you be able to support at home and correct when you see it regardless of which hand they are using.  We have the majority now with the correct grip ready for school!

Roll on another snow-filled weekend everyone.

Mrs Mander and the Nursery Team X