Apr 27, 2021

April News: Caterpillars, Gardening and Writing Skills

The Old Station Nursery Group - Creating Brighter Futures Together

Dear Parents and Carers, I hope you are all well. I can’t believe we are almost through April, where has the year gone? At Small Friends, we are really looking forward to the warmer weather, using the outdoor areas more and getting out and about in the community! We are now in our busiest term and the children have all been making friends with the many new children who have started. We are seeing all of the children develop in so many areas, but especially their confidence, which is wonderful to see. 

April news

This month, the whole nursery has been investigating the topic of Spring. Both groups have been watching our caterpillars grow and develop. As I type, they are at the stage where they have formed a chrysalis; the children have really enjoyed learning about the life cycle and observing the changes, using magnifying glasses to take a closer look! They can’t wait to see the transformation into beautiful butterflies and to watch them fly up into the sky as they release them. 

Throughout April, the Caterpillar group have welcomed some new friends and these children have settled in so well, it is wonderful to see. This month, the children have really enjoyed getting involved in activities that involved a lot of rolling! We have a lot of children who love to roll objects up and down, back and forth so they have been exploring this using different objects to roll and different equipment to make slopes.

Working together as a group, the team have supported the children to really develop their problem solving and critical thinking skills. We have been engaging the children in developing their fine motor skills; working all the muscles in the fingers, hands and arms (all pre-writing skills) ensuring these muscles are strong and agile ready for writing at a later date.

The children have also been using tongs and tweezers to pick up felt pieces to make Elmer the Elephant. In addition, they have been using tweezers to pick up tiny objects and transporting them. The children have also been self-serving their snacks and tea, using the tongs to select their sandwiches and crumpets! Helping to develop both fine motor skills and independence.

In April, the Butterfly children have also welcomed some new friends who are also settling in so well.

The school leavers have all been excited to find out which primary school they will be going to in September. Many parents have asked what we are doing to get them ‘ready’ for school. Everything we do each day is preparing them for their journey in life and we have been doing this since they started with us at nursery. So, we aren’t necessarily doing anything new or different in the coming months, apart from perhaps practicing some more practical elements such as using a knife and fork or putting on their shoes. If you haven’t already, read our blog last month which helps give you a little more insight into how we prepare children for life long learning.

The Butterfly children have enjoyed being the ‘helper’ using maths skills to lay the tables with plates, cutlery and cups. The children LOVE to help Jackie, our Nursery Cook. They are confidently self-serving their meals and making their own independent choices. 

During the month, the children have also been involved with so many activities around their topic of Spring. The ‘Hungry Caterpillar’ book has been very popular; supporting the growth of the caterpillars as well as learning about life cycles and growth – the children have looked at these in humans too.

The children have loved planting this month, and thanks for your support with the magic beans – my goodness these have grown so well in your care! Thank you for sharing the photos, we have displayed these at nursery and the children have been talking about how they have cared for their plants and what a plant needs to grow – hopefully they can help you with some gardening over the summertime! 

The children have also been involved in self registration every day and they take pride in placing their name on the board, so that we know they are here. The children are encouraged to use their name labels throughout the day and we are seeing so many children engaging in attempting to recognise and write letters from their names. At Small Friends, we encourage pre-writing skills in many ways; with playdough, to develop the muscles in the fingers and wrists; by writing letters in sand with sticks; and by offering the children whiteboards, chalkboards, clipboards and different implements to write with, in order to try and encourage all the children to attempt writing. 

What’s coming up next month

Next month, we are really looking forward to some more nice weather! To enjoy being out of nursery even more and to enjoy taking the indoors, outdoors! The children will be doing more planting and growing as they really enjoy getting involved in this. We are going to grow some herbs for Jackie and she will use these in her tasty meals that she prepares for the children. 

Both the Caterpillar and Butterfly groups are going to be learning all about Fantasy and Mythical creatures. The team have seen the Caterpillar children engage in a lot of role play around the fantasy theme so the team will support this further next month. Some of the Butterfly children found a fairy garden when they were out on their walk and they were so excited by this so we are going to support this further with more focus on developing this at nursery. 

Other important information

Kirsty has updated her Designated Safeguarding Lead training this month so she is all up to date with current and changing legislation.

All staff that need to will be updating their safeguarding training online this month.

I have started to talk to some teachers from the schools that your children will be moving to. I still don’t know what transition will look like due to COVID but we will use the outdoor area that we have as much as possible to invite teachers to us. But please do not worry, we will make contact and there will be information discussed between us and the teacher to help support your child to reception.

Thank you all for your continued support.

Kirsty Leech, Nursery Manager

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