Blogs: N 2015-16

Welcome to our new academic year in Nursery. This term we are starting our learning with a topic about Ourselves. Each week will have a different theme. Ourselves (names and getting to know each other, important numbers like how old we are), What we like (favourite food, colours, games), Our Family (important people in our lives and family trees), Our Senses and Our Feelings. Through this topic the nursery staff look forward to getting to know your children and having lots of fun while we settle in and learn together.
1st October
Now that we are settling in and getting to know each other we have enjoyed venturing further around school. This week we went to the hall for PE and enjoyed dancing to Tumble Tots. We have also had our photographs taken. Tomorrow we will be going to the nature area for the first time. Please remember to have wellington boots on Fridays! You can always leave them at the nursery if you wish.
Looking in mirrors to observe our features we have painted self portraits and added hair!
As we get to know each other we have been learning people's names. Can you solve our puzzles and name your friends? Great cutting skills!
Last week in nursery we had a great time learning all about our families. Thank you everyone for the family photos you so kindly lent us. We made simple family trees and talked about how our families are made up of many different formats but we all love our families and our special people.
This week (Monday 12th October) we are learning about our senses. Today we made sandy foam with shaving foam and sand. We changed the texure and consistency as we explored.
We have also made sensory counting bags with hair gel, coins, spiders and gems. We have talked about our five senses and which we use do different activities.
During our topic we have done lots of writing and one piece that we really enjoyed was writing about smells! The children had a variety of things to smell: vanilla, cocoa, curry powder, onion and coffee. They had to draw a circle around a happy face if they liked the smell and a sad face if they didnt!
We continued our topic about Ourselves by thinking of how to be healthy. This included healthy eating and brushing our teeth, washing hands and blowing noses. We talked about how different parts of our bodies have different jobs e.g. our tummy, our brain, our hands!
We had lots of fun outside painting with water. This helps the children develop actions and muscle tone for writing. It turned into a really social activity with lots of chatting and taking turns.
2nd November 2015
This half term our new topics will be Colour and later on (for the final few weeks) Christmas. For our Colour Topic we will be talking about the colours of Autumn and Night in the first week. We will be looking at autumn leaves, hibernating animals and bonfire and fire work colours.
For the second week of our Colour Topic we visited Cambridge Coral Tech a specialist tropical fish shop just near our school. We walked to the shop and spent lots of time looking carefully at the colours and types of fish. It was a fantastic opportunity to see "The Colours of The Ocean" our focus for that week.
After our visit to Cambridge Coral Tech we were inspired to make our own tropical fish shop in the role play area. We made "fish tanks" and labelled them with a price for customers. We filled the til with pennies! We wrote shopping lists for going to the shop deciding which colour fish we wanted to buy.
Inspired by The Colours of the Ocean we made a rock pool landscape. We created pool sof silver water and added small sea creatures to the pools. They grew 600% larger over the next few day. Lots of chances for us to use the language of size!
Following our week about "Colours of the Ocean" we moved on "Colours of the Jungle". We matched animal colours and patterns.
We always try to develop our fine motor skills in the nursery and what better way than rolling playdough and delicately placing gem stones to make spectacular snakes. How colourful too! The playdough table is such a sociable place for learning to share and chat to friends.
Jungle animals come in all sorts of shapes and types. We explored insects and minibeasts found in the jungle. We sorted them and made jungle jungle homes for them in the mud. Great fun!
We made lions out of paper and paper plates. Listening and following instructions very carefully.
Our final week of colours was themed "Colours of the Rainbow." We made and ate Rainbow Toast. Just add a little food colouring to milk. Make a variety of colours. Paint your toast. Toast it, butter and eat! Great fun and very popular!
Christmas time is always fun with children and we hope you love these Christmas photos of the nursery children dressed as snowmen and ready to sing their Christmas songs!
Our Spring Term has started with a new topic: Castles and Dragons. Each week we are working on a different theme.
Week 1: Castles, the building. Week 2: Armour and battles. Week 3: Dangerous dragons. Week 4: Knights journes. Week 5: Kings and Queens. Week 6: A medieval  banquet.
We decided to become medieval writers after watching an episode of Mike the Knight on Cbeebies where we saw him write with a quill. Its not as easy as it looks!
We learnt about castles and their features. The turrets, port-cullis, moats, dungeons and other features of the building. We also made our own castles in the sand and added flags that we had made!
After looking at castles carefully w drew some with chalk and collaged with foil.
We learnt about Kings and Queens and watched Queen Elizabeth's Coronation. We learnt how to use the camera on the IPads and used an app called "Your Majesty." We chose our own crowns and became princes and princesses!
In our banquet hall we had a top table for the king and queen. We had a fanfare and anthem as they entered and listened to Medieval music as we ate.
We found out Mr Crook builds our playground equipment and keeps our school safe and clean.
Our next visitors came from the College of West Anglia. They brought a snake, three rabbits, two hamsters and a giant snail. We talked about how to care for animals and the role of the vet.
Our next visitors came from the College of West Anglia. They talked about how to care for animals and the role of the vet. They brought a snake, three rabbits, two hamsters and a gaint snail.
Looking good in our World Book Day costumes.
We talked about how the police keep our roads safe and listened to Cbeebies radio where children role played some of the jobs the Police do. We heard them role playing the police catching a speeding driver and giving him a fine!
We had a great time learning about how the Police help us when PCSO Gary and his colleague came to visit. And what a suprise, they brought their police car too! We heard about how the police keep us safe and looked at the equipment and uniform they wear.
We all went outside to see the Police Car and found out about the lights and sirens. We had chance to sit inside to see all the instrumentation. The Police officers told us all about car.
Our role play area this half term has been a Police Station which has proved very popular. Lots of people have been arrested in the Nursery this half term. As part of our topic we learned about some police procedures including fingerprinting. We discovered how each of us have unique fingerprinnts and how these can identify us. We printed our own finger prints and used this as an opportunity to practice writing our names.
Numeracy and literacy takes place all the time in the nursery. We constantly have provision available to develop these skills and focussed activities with adults. Here we are exploring number.
Post man Nigel taught us all about the different sorts of mail. We saw some of the equipment used to track it and learnt about how we have to pay for things to be delivered by purchasing stamps. We learnt about addresses and how the post man can read the address to deliver the letter. We learnt that mail can travel the world!
We had a chance to look inside the van and listen to Postman Nigel explain about his job.
Nursery is all about having fun and learning together. Making friends, taking turns and building relationships is an important skill. Here we are just chilling and having fun with the slide!
It has been such a busy half term with lots of visitors but we still have one more set of people to find out about! Our fabulous school cooks.
We learnt about some of the food the cooks were making for dinner. We also had a special treat! The cooks had made us some cookie dough. We learnt about the ingredients and how it was made. We took it back to nursery so that we could make Easter Biscuits.
Our first week of the Summer term and we started our new topic Around the World in 80 Days by looking at our planet. We look at a weather app called "WeatherNow" and viewed the Earth from space. The children loved to see how our planet is in the dark at night time. Take a look youself!
Our new role play area is an airport. Perfect for exploring the world and taking exotic holidays! Take a look at our airplane. We will be painting it soon! We talked about how to travel the world and about our own holidays. We sorted clothes for summer and winter holidays.
Last term we had a visit from Postman Nigel and he invited us to visit the Royal Mail Sorting Office at Clifton Road. What a chance to see how mail can travel around our world! It was a fabulous visit and a BIG THANK YOU to all the staff who took time to talk to us and show us around.
The mail is sorted into "Walks" that each postman then delivers. Can you see the sorting trays? Each space is for one address. The numbers are under the slots for the letters. We looked for our own addresses and found where our own mail is sorted.
We went outside to see the vans. The large vans can raise their floors so that they carry two layers of post office trolleys full of mail.
We used junk modelling to make our own houses. We added the features of doors, windows and rooves.
This week we are looking at Clothes from Around The World. We have looked at how wools is spun and dyed and then woven to make fabric. We pulled some fabric apart to see the treads! Then we had a go at paper weaving.
A wet day and soft new play dough. A chance to talk about The Ginger Bread Man! This table is the most sociable table for chatting! Everyone loves to gather here and talk! Good for developing social skills.
After learning about clothes around the world we spent our next week learning about different foods around the world. On Monday we tasted five different breads that came from America, Wales, Italy, France and Mexico. We recorded with a happy or sad face if we liked them! The chocolate broiche was the most popular and the onion bagel the least.
Later in our week of exploring different foods around the world we made Quesadillas. They are tortillas with a filling of cheese, pepper, spring onion and corriander. You spead the filling onto the top of a tortilla and then cover with another tortilla. Fry for a minute or so each side and eat! A bit like a mexican toasted cheese sandwich! The children loved them.
The finished results below! Delicious.
We have been working hard with our phonics, listening for sounds and beginning to write our names. This activity below was to encourage the children to listen for the first sounds of objects names. "C for cat" etc. Try doing this at home too its an important skill to develop!
Developing our pencil grip and the tricky art of drawing around a stencil takes considerable skill. The children ejoyed drawing and colouring their pictures.
We talked about how people travel across water and the transport they use. We made some boats out of junk modelling and discovered which types of materials were best to use. We tried paper boats, cardboard containers and plastic containers.
We watched some amazing footage of hot air balloons flying at a festival. We talked about them and watched a video to find out how they worked. The children were inspired to make their own.
For the last week of our World topic we explored the amazing variety of animals around the world. We looked at tropical birds and made our own. We also went bird watching and listened to their songs. We saw quite a variety of birds in our nature area and field.
Alongside our focussed activities we have lots of fun and chances to learn using our continuous provision. Mud is always a popular activity.
AHOY ME HEARTIES! Its pirate time! Our new topic is all about setting sail and being pirates. Each week will have a focus. The first week of our topic is all about "Preparing to set sail." The second is "All Aboard". The third week is "Pirates Ahoy" followed by "Treasure Isalnd."
Pirates need maps for travelling and we made our own aged paper and drew our treasure maps. We talked about positional language as we looked at the routes of maps. "Around" "In front of" "Over" etc. 
Some of the children also labelled and wrote on their maps. We listened for sounds in words as we wrote.
We have been busy looking at the parts of a pirate ship and have talked about their names and purpose. When we looked at the crows nest we made telescopes to hunt for ships on the horizon or treasure islands.
We have talked about how pirates navigate with maps but asked the children what do they do at night time when it is dark? So we looked at the moon and constellations of stars. We made our own star maps which were really good at developing fine motor skills!
We have been learning about pirate food; hardtack biscuits! We have talked about being at sea for weeks with no shops or fresh fruit. Did they have a healthy diet? We made our own rations of pirate biscuits but before I could take photos they were eaten!
Starting the topic of Ourselves we have been looking at our features. We have shared several stories and talked about our similarities and differences.
We have also been talking about jobs we like (and dressing up for them!), our favourite colours to make hand prints and our favourite toys.
Counting accurately, having an idea of the total when you count and being able to say numbers in the correct order helped us to make a simple representation of how many people live in our homes.
As part of our Understanding The Wold area of learning we have enjoyed exploring and observing the nature area as we look for signs of Autumn. We have looked deeply into the pond! Looked at the trees for changing colours and begun to find our way around the site. It is a perfect place for going on adventures, being imaginative, making freinds and communicating. It is very hard to get the children to leave. We will continue to visit each Friday and thank those parents who have provided Wellington Boots!
Using our sense of hearing we went on a listening walk carrying our clip boards aand ticking off the sounds we could hear. We heard birds, cars and people but no dogs!
To explore using our sense of touch we made sensory ballons and filled them up with pompoms, hair gel, coucous, sand, salt, pasta and water.
We enjoyed using our sense of smell to explore cutting herbs and cutting them improved our fine motor skills!
We went on a listening walk and ticked the sounds we could hear.
We talked about our feelings and emotions and made a pictogram of how everyone was feeling that day.
We borrowed the chicks that Reception have hatched to spend some time looking closely at how they behave and how they have grown since we last saw as day old chicks.
Look below and see the photos from our visit to Cambridge Coral Tech.
On Monday we visited the learning bus and made magnetic fish. We decorated the tinfoil covered fish with jewels and feathers. We talked about the colours we were choosing as we worked together.
After our week of exploring ocean colours the work we did has made a suoer display. Well done Nursery children, you work so hard!
As part of our "Colours of the Jungle" we made masks, cutting carefully around each shape and talking about the colours and features of animals. We role played our animals and enjoyed scaring our friends. So many load roars in the nursery that day!
As part of our Colour Topic we were learning to name and describe colours but also mixed them. Using shaving foam and paint the children worked hard to push and mix the two colours together to see what happened.
The most exciting animals of the jungle have great patterns and colours. How could we resist some face painting! What a lovely chance to talk about and role play animals. Lots of opportunity to discuss their colours, features and behaviours.
We used our lions and face painting pictures to make a fantsatic display to celebrate our week of Jungle Colours.
We had lots of fun and did lots of learning with our colour topic. Each week following a different theme.
Look at our amazing new water wall! Great for understanding and exploring.
The children had fun making their Christmas Cards. We hope you liked them!
We learnt about Knights and listened to story of George and the Dragon. We made helmets and a dragon for our castle.
We went on a dragon hunt in the nature area. We looked for "large" and "small" dragons and looked for their colours. When we had matched the size and colour we ticked them off.
The grand finale for our topic was a Medieval Banquet. Of course we had to cook our own food and made soup, bread and flapjacks.
A new half term and we start a new topic; People Who Help Us. This half term we are finding out about different occupations and meeting local people working in our community.
We will be learning about the school Caretaker, Vets, The Police, The Postman and the School Cooks.
The first peson to visit nursery for our new topic was Mr Crook our school caretaker. He brought along some tools to let us try out.
To find out about jobs and the people who help us we have been listening to stories and watching videos of people at work.
WORLD BOOK DAY gave us all chance to dress up and be our favourite book or story character. The school theme was Alice In Wonderland and we had white rabbits, Alice and the queen of hearts.
This week our focus for People Who Help Us is the police and we have PCSO Gary coming to visit later in the week. Today we looked at how the police keep us safe and the types of jobs they do. We talked about road safety and made our own road map.
The next person who came to visit the nursery and talked about his job was postman Nigel. He was fantastic! He brought a van, real artfacts we could role play with and a post trolley to try out. Not an easy thing to steer! The children had a wonderful time and we were able to make a role play post office to develop lots of writing and number skills.
We enjoyed trying on the clothes and using the post office equipment we had to role play.
Postman Nigel told us about how mail is sorted and we used a real sorting tray to sort some letter. Each letter had a number to match to the tray. Good numeracy work! Who can recognise their numbers?
After such a wonderful visit from Postman Nigel we made him a thank you card and went to the letter box to post it.
For our last week at school before the Easter holidays we visited the school dinner hall and kitchen to see where all the children have their lunches. We talked about having our lunches in school next autumn. We met Lisa and heard about how many dinners the cooks have to make. We looked at the menu and Lisa showed us the dinner trays that children use when they first have school dinner.
Our next topic is Around the World in 80 Days! We will be learning about different food, clothes, homes, transport, animals, climates and languages around the world. For our first week back we are going to be looking at the world as a planet. We will also be learning about and writing passports. We have our trip to the Post Office Sorting Office to see how mail can travel the world!
We looked at some of the different environments found on earth and learnt about the types of weather they have. We loved playing with the ice in the arctic and the tigers in the jungle!
To take a flight you need a passport and so we made our own passports for role play. We looked carefully at our name cards to write our names and then counted along a numberline to find the number that represents our age.
We saw a sorting machine that works at the speed of light! It was amazingly fast.
We decided to take a letter to post to the sorting office. We addressed it to ourselves and found the mail slot for Shirley School. It arrived back to us very quickly!
Thank you everyone at the sorting office for arranging such an intersting trip. And thank you to all our mum's and dad's who made it possible to go.
The second week of our topic has been all about "Homes Around the World" We have been looking at some really interesting video clips from Cbeebies called LITTLE HUMAN PLANET. We have seen children who live in tree houses and watched homes being built in Mongolia. We saw how to make an igloo and were facinated by the stilt houses that are surrounded by water.
We made some simple igloos from polystyrene cups and cotton wool. The most exciting part was making snow for messy play!
Playing with sand, socks and funnels. An ideal opportunity to talk about weight and capacity while having fun!
Developing our undertsanding of how clothes are different around the world we watched a cbeebies video about the Sing Sing Festival in Papua New Guinea. We saw the dancers paint their faces and make elaborate feather headresses. So we make colourfulo face masks and feather headresses too!
Have a look at the photos below and see our amazing creations!
Tasting our breads and writing down if we liked them.
To make the Quesadillas the children had to understand ho reading a recipe helps us. We looked at the text and pictures to understand what to do. They all helped to chop and grate the filling.
Counting is an important skill that we use every day in nursery. With our snail cards the children had to also use their fine motor skills to lay out the beads before thay counted.
This week our theme is transport around the world. We have looked at pictures of different transport and the places they are used. We looked at gondolas in Venice, Tuk Tuks in Thailand, boats and sea planes in the Maldives, Dog Sleighs and Skidoos in Alaska and trams in San Francisco.
We talked about why different countries use their different transports and related them to the climates and landscape.
The children took their time to paint with cotton buds and follow these writing patterns. Look at the careful work they have done.
Learning about the types of transport for different purposes was very interesting. The children were really good at sorting the transport into categories such as land, air and water.
We attached pens to vehicles to see what sort of lines they drew. We explored mark making in a different way!
As part of our school Science Day we decided to test out what sort of food our local birds like best. We made bird feeder our of cereal and pipe cleaners and also provided the bird with seeded bread that we tore into small pieces. The results: inconclusive! They didn't seem to like our food at all!
We learnt how to make a bindle and played a memory game with the objects we had packed. We talked about what a pirate needs to travel and packed a telescope, food, map, gold coins, a hat and eye patch. We talked about the initial sounds of the objects we had packed.
We have a fantastic Pirate Ship in nursery for our role play. To make it even better we decided to paint some background waves to go around it! We looked at some prints by Hokusai and then painted our own waves. We followed the wave pattern using gross motor movements and used a varied palette of blues. Great fun!
If you are caught by pirates then you may walk the plank! We made an obstacle course around the nursery with sharks swimming on the floor (our sea!.) We challenged the children to complete the whole course without falling in. Luckily they only lost a few toes to the sharks!
We have been doing some pirate writing after reading the story "That's Not My Pirate." We chose a material to put on his hat and then described it. We listened for the sounds in the words and wrote the letters down.