Hello to you all. We have had a lovely February! The children have enjoyed the snow days, celebrated Chinese New Year, Valentine’s Day and Pancake Day. We have been very busy at Small Friends!
This month, we have been exploring the topic of ‘Express Yourself’. This linked in so well with recognising the importance of children’s mental health and how we, as practitioners, support and nurture the children at Small Friends.
The Caterpillar children have access to their feelings board all the time in their base room. So, they are learning about feelings and relating how to express the many feelings they have. The children have also expressed themselves to different genres of music this month and moved in many different, creative ways!
The Caterpillar children have a real love for animals! We have been introducing new expressive vocabulary to the children, so throughout the month, they have also been developing their communication and language skills while investigating animal themed sensory bags; describing what they can feel and hear.
A favourite book ‘What the Ladybird Heard’ has been a great way to encourage some children to copy and practise language sounds through the text of the story. Another skill the children have been practising is their counting skills, as well as using and understanding ‘more’ or ‘taking away’; this is quite an advanced skill for the children, but through activities such as adding more spots, or taking some away from the spotty Dalmatian, makes it relative for them.
The Butterfly children have been developing their Personal, Social and Emotional skills through activities expressing feelings. We have used circle time and games to talk about what makes us happy or sad, and how we can help our friends if they are feeling sad or scared.
The children have learnt some basic sign language this month that they can use with their speech to express themselves. The children have also been using their ICT skills to use the tablet and camera to take photographs of their friends; asking them to show an emotion such as happy, excited and surprised! The Butterfly children have also really enjoyed expressing themselves through a variety of music. Their favourite seemed to be the upbeat Zumba dancing which they thoroughly immersed themselves in!
Together as a whole nursery this month, the children have enjoyed a Chinese New Year lunch from our wonderful cook, Jackie. She cooked us Teriyaki honey chicken and vegetables with rice, noodles and prawn crackers. This was a fantastic opportunity for the children to explore and taste new foods, that they may not have at home.
What’s coming up in March
In March, our focus will be ‘Exploring Stories’ and we will be celebrating World Book Day on Thursday 4th March. We would encourage the children to dress up for nursery as their favourite book character on that day! If your child doesn’t attend on this day, they can dress up on a different day this week.
Other important information
The next term’s funding forms will be coming out to you shortly. If you are eligible very soon, they will be sent by email. However, if you do need a paper copy, please do ask. These forms need to be completed every term and if you are entitled to the 30 hours funding, please do remember to refresh your code on the website to be eligible for this. Can I ask that these are returned as soon as possible as I need them all back, checked and correct ready for the estimate headcount that I need to submit in March. I am more than happy to help you complete these as I know they are a bit tricky.
The staff are really enjoying using the new iConnect to log children’s observations and post this along with reports and photographs to you. One thing we have noticed is that we don’t get many parent comments. It would be great and much appreciated if you please just add a quick comment or word when you log into Parent Zone so we know that you have seen it. I appreciate this is different from Tapestry that you were used to, but we would really benefit from a one-word comment – or even more if you have time!
Finally, just a quick reminder that we are using a new bank account. Most of you are using this but there are a few that are still using the old account. Can you please update your records with the following:
Barclays Bank Plc, Small Friends Limited, Account: 30309133, Sort Code: 20 05 26
Thank you for your continued support.
Kirsty Leech, Nursery Manager