November started with a bang, quite literally, with the second lockdown beginning right around Bonfire Night!
With all local bonfire and firework displays cancelled, we made our very own ‘Bonfire Day’ here at the nursery. Mrs Scott very kindly created a bonfire experience for all of the children in the setting! This was differentiated right down from the babies, who were completely mesmerised by the flickering flames and enjoyed listening to the wonderful crackling sounds of the fire; right up to the pre-school children who practiced their fire safety risk assessments and discussed the events of Bonfire Night, which was a learning theme taking place in their indoor environment.
During November, the children in Hedgehogs have been having so much fun enjoying some Covid safe sensory experiences, even walking through gooey beans as a little fund raising activity for Children in Need. It’s great to see the babies enjoying the outdoor environment, even in this chilly weather. The children love nothing more than getting all snuggled up and being outside in the fresh air. Jordan has been busy creating a new cosy area for the babies and has transformed their books/reading area into a cosy space, which the children are loving. We have also welcomed two new little Hedgehogs children into the Sandhills family this month.
This month, the children in Robins have been as lively as ever, taking part in a bouncing challenge for Children in Need! At several intervals during their day, Beccie initiated different ways to move their bodies and use up all of that energy. They too have been loving the outdoors and have even enjoyed a nice warming hot chocolate in the garden. The children have also taken part in Diwali celebrations, making little tea light holders. The children’s favourite story this month continues to be The Bear Hunt; they never tire of this wonderful story and enjoy listening to it over and over again! Robins have also welcomed a little boy into the family this month.
Over in Squirrels, Sian has been busy changing the children’s environment in November to try and engage the children in mathematics and mark making. And wow, this has been effective! The children spend so much time creating pictures and using scissors to snip away the edges of the paper, you can really see their scissor skills developing as they move on to snipping lines and cutting around objects rather than just making indents in the paper. The children are also practicing safe handling of scissors when walking. This month, the children also enjoyed making Pudsey collages and having a colour hunt in the forest for Children in Need. They also took part in a danceathon where the children danced for pretty much a whole afternoon with the encouragement of our very enthusiastic team! Well done.
The children in Foxes have being super prepared this year and have made a start on their writing letters to Santa. The children have also taken a real interest in the story behind Bonfire Night this year and enjoyed lots of activities based around Guy Fawks. They also celebrated Diwali by making their own little diva lamps. The team noticed that the children’s favourite thing to do over this month was playing ‘café’ so the children now have a little role play area to reflect this interest.
What’s coming up in December
We have a lot to look forward to throughout December. It is going to be another busy month!
On Wednesday 2nd December we will be enjoying a Festive Brunch. On Monday 7th December the children will be participating in a Merry Musical. The children will be participating in Christmas themed musical activities, including pass the parcel, traditional carol singing, musical statues etc. Of course, Friday 11th December is Christmas Jumper Day. On Tuesday 15th December, each room will tell the story of the nativity and enjoy a day where play and resources are themed around this traditional story. Children and staff are all encouraged to come dressed as a character of your choice from the nativity story. This could be an angel, a shepherd, Mary, Joseph, a donkey, King, Star etc. Finally, on Thursday 17th December we will be having our Christmas dinner.
We will also be taking part in The Old Station Nursery Group Christmas Advent Challenge. Each day in the lead up to Christmas, one nursery within the group will take part in a Christmas challenge and post a photo or video to our social media channels. We welcome parents to join in; tag us and use the hashtag #OSNAdventChallenge. For more information, take a look at our social media channels!
Other important information
We have some changes to our nursery team as we welcome some brilliant new team members and say a sad good bye to others. Both Jessica Downes and Keeley Clifton will be moving on to new adventures and we are so very proud of them. Jessica left us at the very end of October as she had some remaining holiday to take and Keeley will be having her last day with us on Friday 20th November. I’m sure you will all join me in thanking them for everything they have done for us here at Sandhills, they have touched so many families along the way.
We are also seeing a little move around in the staff teams as Danielle, otherwise known as Danni, is moving over to Foxes and Nikki is moving into Squirrels. This took effect at the start of this week, the week beginning Monday 23rd November.
A big welcome to Imogen Lamb-Wright who is joining us as an apprentice. She will be working alongside Sian in Squirrels and is training to do her NVQ Level 3. I’m sure you will all love her as much as we already do. She started this week, on Monday 23rd November.
I do hope everybody has sorted their parents evenings phone calls. If you haven’t made an appointment yet but would like to, please do speak with your child’s key person.
Sending well wishes to all in this strange old time!
Gemma Lambley, Nursery Manager