Nov 23, 2021

Canterbury November News: Music, Fireworks and Friendship

Nursery children planting flowers

Wow, I cannot believe that November is done and Christmas is already upon us! We have had a busy, fun packed month, celebrating a vast number of events. As we approach Christmas, the children will have plenty of festive fun, learning about this special time, meeting Father Christmas, joining in with a variety of crafts and of course having a ball at our Christmas party.

November news

What a month we’ve had! We began with Children In Need, where the children and staff have had a wonderful time dressing in all things spots and their pyjamas! They engaged in a variety of crafts activities and even met Pudsey Bear; thank you so much  to all that donated. We then had Road Safety Week, where the children have been listening to social stories surrounding the importance of staying safe around our roads. To support their understanding, the children joined in with role play activities in our garden. Bonfire Night meant a fun day exploring colours, creating firework pictures with forks, creating patterns in coloured sand and listening to fireworks stories.

For Friendship Day, all children focused on their Personal, Social, and Emotional skills, learning of the importance of friendship and discussing why friends are important to us. To commemorate Remembrance Day, the children created poppies and participated in a two minute silence at 11am. To celebrate Diwali, the Festival of Light, the children joined in with a variety of colourful activities including colour mixing and creating paper lamps! Finally, the nursery celebrated Anti-Bullying Week, where the children talked about their feelings and emotions and why it is important to treat everyone with kindness and respect.
Throughout November, Babychoos have been participating in a variety of sensory experiences, developing their fine motor skills and hand eye coordination by making sheep, stars and frogs for their music board. Using the new homemade props, Babychoos sang along and moved to the music, mimicking the animals sounds and using Makaton to represent ‘star’. Babychoos have also been showing an interest in how objects work, by exploring a pulse globe with their hands, watching coloured lines appear and then disappear. This has supported their social and turn taking skills. The Babychoos Makaton sign has been Reindeer, and their book was “The Snowman”.
The Caterpillar children have been exploring their facial features, looking at similarities and differences and then creating their own self-portraits. This has supported their Understanding of the World, extended language and enhanced their understanding of how they are unique yet similar to one another. The children have also shown an interest in sea creatures. Using fish nets to pick out the creatures from ‘the sea’ and then learn their similarities and differences and learn about their habitat and way of life. Caterpillars have been learning the Angel Makaton sign, and reading Santa’s “12 Days of Christmas”.

The Butterfly children have been learning about plants and herbs this month! They used their senses to smell different herbs such as mint, coriander, parsley and then planted their own seeds. Each day, the children watered their seeds and watched the process of growth, measuring the amount they grew and comparing with peers. This activity has enhanced their understanding of growth and decay, extended language and enhanced their mathematical skills. Throughout November, the Butterfly children have also been using their hand eye coordination to hammer golf pins into potatoes. This activity has allowed development of their health and safety skills and understand what tools are used for. Christmas has been November’s Makaton sign, and the Butterfly children have loved reading “Jingle Bells”.

What’s coming up next month

Throughout December all children will be learning about the meaning of Christmas and experience opportunities to create festive crafts and decorations to take home and share with their families.

We invite children to wear their Christmas jumpers throughout December! Wednesday 1st is Christmas Decoration Day, where the children will help to decorate the nursery to get into the spirit of Christmas. Wednesday 1st – Friday 17th is Christmas Craft Week, where the children will be taking part in craft activities, making decorations to take home and learning about the meaning of Christmas. Monday 13th will kick off our party week! There will be games of pass the parcel, dancing, Christmas party foods and the chance to meet Santa. Food donations will be gratefully received (shop bought items only please). Tuesday 7th and Wednesday 8th is the Butterfly Christmas performance, where the Butterfly children will visit the local church to decorate the tree with crafts they have made and to sing and sign to Christmas songs. This will be recorded and uploaded to Eylog.

Other important information

Our Practitioners have really benefited from Schema training this month, which has enabled us to identify the children’s patterns of play and incorporate into our planning, supporting development and learning. Coming up, all staff will be receiving Safeguarding and Child Protection training to refresh all existing staff’s knowledge and to support all new staff in their roles.

I would like to welcome Sonita to our team. Sonita is an aspiring children’s book author and eager to share her love of books with our children. Sonita will be a Butterfly team member, and is looking forward to meeting parents and carers over the next coming weeks. Congratulations to Dani who has taken on the role of events coordinator. She is very excited to plan some exciting activities and working with our community such as dentists to enable us to further support our children’s development. Sophie is now our Makaton and EAL advocate. Sophie looks forward to supporting both staff and children with Makaton communication and developing the staff’s knowledge.
Can we ask that children are suitably dressed for the colder weather and supplied with labelled hats, scarves, and gloves. Also, if possible, we ask that children are provided with a pair of wellies to keep in the Nursery for outdoor.

Primary School Places: This is a very exciting time for children leaving us to go to school in September 2022. Choochoos has a very robust transition process, which includes discussions with your children, role play and seeking advice from schools on what they would like us to be doing to help with the transition process. To help your child(ren) to prepare for school we will be planning school transition activities, e.g. including in our role play, social and school stories, songs, school photos books and more. Please do come and see your child’s key person if you would like some ideas for activities you could be doing at home. Please see attached some useful starting school tips leaflets.

Kent County Council have released the application process and dates, which I have previously shared and can be accessed on their website here. If you could like to discuss the application process or have any questions about it, please do get in touch with me and I’ll be happy to help.

Parent/Carer Meetings: Thank you to all of the parents/carers that attended our parent/carer meetings. It was such a wonderful success. We hope you found this time useful with your child’s key person. Thank you.

Christmas Closure Dates: As a small reminder, please find our Christmas closure dates below.

Last day open before Christmas: Friday 17 December 2021.

Christmas closure: From Monday 20 December 2021.

First day open after Christmas/New Year: Tuesday 4 January 2022.

This month, we have received a lot of new reviews on Daynurseries, Google and Facebook. Thank you so much for taking the time to write such lovely reviews. They are hugely appreciated by our team! If you haven’t had the chance to write a review yet, you can write one on Daynurseries by clicking here, on Google or on Facebook. Thank you for your continued support!

Here’s to a fantastic and very festive month ahead!

Home activity

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.

Create your own stained glass window

Please follow the activity idea below:

Activity:

  • Use card to make a window, draw and cut out panes for the window.
  • Use tissue paper or sweet wrappers to create your stained glass effect, stick with glue or sellotape.
  • Alternatively you could do this with newspaper and old magazines.
  • Display for all to see.

What will your child be learning?

  • Independence, creativity and choice.
  • Mark making.
  • Colours.
  • Shapes and size.
  • Developing fine motor skills.
  • New vocabulary, e.g. big, small, cut, square, circle, window, red, blue, green, etc.
  • Sense of pride, achievement and self esteem.
  • Use of tools for a purpose.
  • Give meaning to marks they make.

Please share photos of your child’s activity on the parent app. We look forward to seeing your child’s updates.

Please continue to share what your child has been doing within their home life on the parent app, their interests and their development, so their key person can see this and use towards helping them monitor their development and learning.

Meg Knight, Deputy Nursery Manager

The Old Station Nursery Group - Creating Brighter Futures Together
Nursery children planting flowers
Nursery children playing outdoors

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