Welcome to the month of September! For many of our families, it will be your first time receiving a newsletter from ourselves. I hope that you find it a little bit enlightening about your children’s experiences here at Sandhills. We look forward to getting to know all of our new families even more over the coming months!
Though we’ve had a few children a little bit reluctant to come away from the safe arms of mummies/daddies, parents and carers, please be rest assured that the little ones are doing amazingly well. Once inside with the distraction of our wonderful team, we really are making good progress. I know it can be a little overwhelming but with each week comes familiarity, and with that comes happy settled children. It really is just those first few moments, please don’t forget to call us for reassurance, it’s no problem at all.
I hope you are all finding accessing the new learning journeys on ParentZone not too tricky. I know I’ve been re-sending a few registration emails so again, if you do have any problems, please just let me know as we can get it sorted together.
You will see a noticeable difference in the detail of the content you are receiving. Hopefully you all received the information sent out explaining that the change in the time spent writing up activities, is put back into the actual delivering of exciting activities and opportunities for the children; as we know that it’s the actual taking part that is important, not the recording. Just because something isn’t written up as before, doesn’t mean that the learning didn’t take place or isn’t valuable. With the new curriculum rolled out this September comes the new smaller expectation of paper work, meaning more quality time for practitioners and children to be together. I hope you can agree that is the best outcome but if you have any questions, please do let me know.
The whole nursery took part in Talk Like a Pirate Day on Monday 20th September. The children found Gemma’s fancy dress hilarious and joined in with stories, singing and dancing. The children all played games which required really good attention and listening skills; looking for cues to join in with a whole hearted “ahoy”! The children also had a soft toy friend called “Dave the Seagull” who took the place of a shoulder parrot, we are in Lincolnshire after all.
This month, the Hedgehogs children have been celebrating milestones as 2 of their children have accomplished walking this month! What an achievement. The Hedgehog children are becoming such chatterboxes and are beginning to say each other’s names.
Both Jordan and Emily both received a special mention in the staff meeting this month for their amazing support in developing children’s language. During observations, it’s really noticeable how their communication, body language and general environment really supports communication and language for the age group.
Emily was also awarded employee of the month for her fantastic enrichments; which are thought through additions to the environment for children to explore, based on current interests and learning styles. Enrichments are something every staff member delivers in all of the age groups, but Emily sets a really good example of what a high quality enrichment is.
The Hedgehogs small garden has had a brilliant little revamp this month. Removing the old shed to reveal a new planting area with vegetables growing. The children love exploring the mud and water.
Hedgehogs recently welcomed a new (very little) baby friend into their room, and have taken a keen interest in role modelling how the team give him his bottle using their dollies. Very cute indeed!
In September, the Robins children have been part of a very exciting transformation! Their long awaited caterpillars have finally emerged from their cocoons into beautiful butterflies. The children are so excited by this and are so intrigued by the flying insects. They have been counting, all 5 of them, feeding them lots of lovely fruit, and plan to let them fly free very soon, which we will make sure to catch on camera for you.
You may have noticed in our photographs that we shared online that Beccie took the children on (another) trip to the forest, at our local Witham Way Country Park. This time, however, the forest was full of pre-positioned characters from the children’s favourite story the Gruffalo!
Over in Squirrels this month, the children have been focusing their attention fantastically to draw treasure maps. They have demonstrated the ability to put meaning to marks and have used a simple adult drawn map to follow in the garden in search for treasure!!! What good understanding.
They have also been busy making pizza; exploring healthy choices when making decisions about which toppings to use. The children also enjoyed categorising the food into groups such as fruit, vegetables, salad etc. The Squirrels children have enriched their gardens this month with some lovely herbs. These will be used to make sensory playdough next week. The children will very much be part of this process and hopefully understand how they have created a new smell.
Throughout September in Fox’s, we have welcomed lots of children into our pre-school group. They are all settling in aso well and Mrs Scott has already begun her first group of forest school sessions (each child will be part of a 6 week program over the year).
This month, the children in Foxes had an amazing new digi table delivered. This resource has many interactive programs and effects to really engage the children. The children have enjoyed listening to stories and then completed games based on these stories; encouraging them to recall parts, which is key to early reading once the children are at big school. They have also been learning lots of rhymes and joining in with singing their very own songs; for example “I’m a clever fox” which you may have heard if you are a parent of a pre-school child like myself! This song will be sang loud and proud at their graduation next year, but we won’t think about that just yet!
Something you could help us with at home over the coming weeks is to practise safe crossing of the road. As you may have noticed, in order for the pre-school children to reach the big garden, they have to cross over the road in the car park. By the end of the pre-school year, the children have this mastered, but it’s a work in progress at the moment. You could definitely make a big difference if you practiced “Stop, Look, Listen” and holding hands when crossing the roads at home.
What’s coming up next month
Next month, the children will continue to engage in a variety of activities across the nursery. One of the highlights of October is, of course, Halloween, which we will be celebrating! We will send out more information about this closer to the time.
Also in October, your child’s key worker will be in touch about parents evening. We very much look forward to giving you some more detailed information about your child’s progress and development.
Other important information
I’d like to take this opportunity to say a huge well done to Alex Boyle who has completed her Level 3 qualification in early years this month. She has worked incredibly hard over the years and now it’s all paid off! Well done, Alex!
Also a big thanks to Sarah and Sian for helping myself to give the car park a good tidy up on World Clean Up Day over last weekend. It’s nice to be able to see the parking spaces again!!
Thank you all for a great start to the term!
If you are looking for something to do at home this weekend or over the coming months, why not give our activity at home a go! Be aware that some activities or ideas may need to be adapted to suit your child’s age and development.
- What you will need: card, hole punch, string/shoelaces.
- Find an image of a popular character, from either the internet or an old book that can be recycled, perhaps pictures from wrapping paper.
- Cut around it with your child and glue it on to card.
- When the image has dried, cut it out from the card leaving a 1cm border around the image and then make holes using the hole punch leaving a half cm gap between holes.
- Then tie one end of the string/shoelace to a hole and then thread the string across the image until it is covered up.
- Your child will then use their fine motor skills to unpick the string from each hole, describing what they see and guessing which character they will be unwrapping.
- When finished the child can then try and re thread the image themselves counting each hole in sequence as they thread it.
What will your child be learning?
- Independence, creativity and choice
- Mark making
- Shapes and size
- Developing fine motor skills
- New vocabulary, e.g. big, small, character name, thread, lace, scissors, numbers, etc
- Sense of pride, achievement and self esteem
- Use of tools for a purpose
- How to use scissors safely
- Recognise familiar characters and recalling what they can remember about the character
- Counting numbers in sequence
- Hand to eye coordination
- Building attention skills and patience
Gemma Lambley, Nursery Manager