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2016

Friday 16th December

Today is the last day of term and we ended in spectacular fashion with the performance of the annual Nativity Play. This was followed by our Graduation Ceremony. Here we got to say goodbye to the 21 children who are leaving to take up places in reception classes. We also said farewell to our Assistant head teacher Kelly who is off to start an exciting new job at Stebon Primary School. We will all miss Kelly and thank her for her huge contribution to Children's House but this is a wonderful new opportunity for her. We really look forward to our two schools working together in the New Year. We are part of the LETTA teaching Alliance which is led by Stebon, so this definitely not a goodbye.

We had a wonderful time today watching our confident children, sing, act and dance and although it is always sad to say goodbye, we know that each and every family will always be a part of Children’s House and we hope that you will keep in touch. We believe in all our children, they have got off to a great start with their educational journeys and we know they have bright futures ahead.

On behalf of all the staff I would like to wish you a safe and peaceful holiday and we look forward to seeing the children who are returning on Wednesday 4th January.

 

The First Christmas (A Nativity Play)

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Thursday 15th December

Off to Stratford Circus Theatre today for the Leaver's Trip to see a performance of the wonderful story “Room on the Broom” by Julia Donaldson (Author of the Gruffalo).

The children were absolutely enthralled and it helped put their own acting in the Nativity play into context.

The show had everything a child could wish for, a familiar story, great plot, plenty of jokes and a wonderful dragon. For many children this was their first trip to the theatre and it didn’t disappoint.

"The witch had a cat 

and a very tall hat,

and long ginger hair which she wore in a plait.

How the cat purred 

and how the witch grinned,

As they sat on their broomstick

and flew through the wind.

Back at school the set designers were busy building the stable for tomorrow’s play and the part timers played games and helped to wash and tidy away the toys ready for the new term.

 

A trip to see "Room on the Broom"

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Wednesday 14th December

Dress Rehearsal time for the Nativity play; the children rose to the occasion and were just fantastic, we certainly have some budding Thespians. Do make sure you book your seat for Friday’s performance as you really are in for a theatrical treat.

Later the children finished decorating their pots and planting a spring bulb each. This is for a surprise present for parents which you will have now received. Make sure you keep the soil watered and in spring put the pot in a sunny place and you will be rewarded with a beautiful daffodil.

We are asking if you can observe the bulb growing with your child, maybe measuring it each week and taking a photo. We will display all the pictures once the plants have flowered.

Children love to grow things, so look in the children’s section of the website for some great “growing” projects to do indoors with your child.

Lights, Cameras, Action

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Tuesday 13th December

All of the children should sleep well tonight after a very busy day of Christmas parties, there was everything you would expect to see at the best party, lively music, plenty of dancing, old fashioned party games such as pass the parcel, musical statues and musical bumps, delicious party food, crackers, hats and of course a visit from our favourite yuletide friend; Father Christmas himself.

Everyone including the staff had a really good time sharing a special day together and we look forward to welcoming parents/carers and siblings to share more Christmas tradition when we perform our annual Nativity Play on Friday.

Christmas Party Time

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Monday 12th December 2016

Today Ruheda took a group of our parent volunteers and their children to a party at the Radisson Blu hotel. This annual event is organised by the Docklands Light Railway as a treat for local children. The group who went were treated to a delicious lunch and a visit from Father Christmas. As usual everyone commented on the excellent behaviour of our children.

If you are interested in training as a parent volunteer please see Ruheda. Many of our trained volunteers have gone on to careers working in local schools.

Back at school the children enjoyed learning Christmas songs with Emma and making secret gifts to take home at the end of term.

Remember tomorrow is party day and children can wear their party clothes to school.

Back at school the children were enjoying a transient art session; here they explored natural resources, they were provided with frames and trays and a collection of natural materials. Transient art by definition, is non permanent and allows the children to manipulate, explore, and experiment with patterns and shapes in a completely process orientated way.

By giving the children a defined space in which to work there is just enough subtle structure to provide focus. Having unconventional art materials, such as natural loose parts compels children to use their imagination to create unique and original masterpieces and we certainly did see some masterpieces. 

 

Christmas Fun at the Radisson Blu Hotel Canary Wharf

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Transient Art

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Friday 9th December

Today the children continued with the garden café as it was such a huge success yesterday. Every child has now had the opportunity to visit and enjoy ordering and eating their snack there. Setting up a small business covered all of the curriculum areas including literacy, maths, recognising and naming coins, recognising numerals, counting up to a certain amount, reading and writing, mark making, acting in role, taking on a character, storytelling, understanding  how cafes work, talking about the job of a waitress and chef and it was amazing to see how quickly the children realised that they all had to work as a team to make the café work.

Indoors children were busy making cards for the leavers and preparing for the Nativity Play. All the leavers have a part and it is definitely a date for your diary.

Come to the Children's House Cafe

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Thursday 8th December

Following their visit to the café yesterday the children set about creating their own version at Children’s House.

There was great enthusiasm as signs were made, menus written, ingredients gathered and children interviewed and assigned to the various jobs. We had  cooks, waitresses and waiters, cashiers, cleaners and of course someone to wash the dishes.

At one point there was a queue of children (and staff) eager to try what was on offer, the menu included toast, bagels, crumpets, fruit and hot chocolate, milk or water.

The children really did learn a great deal about how to set up and run a small business and even began to understand the need for a business model and the meaning of “profit”.

In the afternoon the new children starting in January came for a final “stay, play and learn” session which finished with a Christmas Party.

Children's House Cafe

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Wednesday 7th December

Wednesday was a busy and exciting day. In the morning a group of children went to the local café where they placed their own orders, worked out how much they had to pay and handed over the correct money. They all enjoyed toast and hot chocolate and made careful notes of what they would need to do to set up their own café at school. They decided they would need a menu, a cook, waiters, plates and cutlery, ingredients, seating, aprons, napkins and paper and pens to take orders. We always try to base activities around the children’s own real experiences and making a garden café serving hot drinks and toast came from a child’s suggestion. So a good starting point was to visit a real local café and from there work out exactly what they needed to do.

A big thank you to the staff at the Bromley-by-Bow Centre Café for their help and the ideas they gave to the children.

At 12 all the full time children and staff gathered together for a delicious Christmas Lunch complete with hats, crackers and all the trimmings.

The staff really needed a lie down in the afternoon but work had to continue to work as all the afternoon children were eager to make party hats for next Tuesday’s Christmas Party and visit from Santa.

Christmas Lunch and a trip to the Cafe

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Tuesday 6th December

After school today a group of intrepid staff braved the cold and dark and headed off to South London for a stimulating and thought provoking training session on Technology in the Early Years. The course was held at the Early Excellence Centre at Canada Water an established national leader of pedagogy, provision and practice, specialising in young children’s education. The organisation champions the development of inspirational learning and teaching, offering expert advice, support and training to schools and settings across the UK, helping schools and early years settings to understand and respond to the ever changing landscape of education policy whilst keeping a sharp focus on the leadership of quality provision.

We came away with many new ideas on how to incorporate technology into the curriculum both indoors and outdoors and how to use it as a real learning tool, rather than something which just occupies the children’s time without much educational value.

It was good to have the opportunity to meet staff from other settings and reflect together on what good use of technology looks like.

“No other period in human history can match the present one in sheer scale, speed and global complexity of the changes and challenges we face. Sir Ken Robinson (The Element).

“The top ten jobs in 2010 did not exist in 2004, we are preparing for children for jobs that don’t exist, using technologies that haven’t been invented, in order to solve problems, we don’t even know are problems yet”. Early Education

 But even though the world is changing so rapidly it is important that  we know that the children we work with are developing at the same rate that they always have. They still need what they have always needed, good opportunities to learn through supported play.

At Children’s House we try to ensure that ICT has an educational purpose, that it is used to encourage collaboration that it integrates with other aspects of the curriculum and ensures that the child is in control. We teach internet safety from a young age and ensure that the Apps and programmes we use are in line with best practice.

Early Excellence

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Monday 5th December

We started off the week welcoming visitors from Sandringham School in Newham. Two early years teachers came to see the school and share good practice. Children’s House staff will have an opportunity for a reciprocal visit in the New Year. As usual the children’s behaviour was exemplary; members of the school council welcomed the visitors; gave them a tour of the school and answered their questions.

In the first floor classroom Kelly was busy teaching the children how to make traditional mince pies. Mince pies have been eaten at Christmas time since the 13th Century. Mince Pies were originally filled with meat (as were Christmas Puddings), such as lamb, rather than a dried fruit mix as they are today. They were also first made in an oval shape to represent the manger that Jesus slept in as a baby, with the top representing his swaddling clothes. During the Stuart and Georgian times, in the UK, mince pies were a status symbol at Christmas. Very rich people liked to show off at their Christmas parties by having pies made in different shapes (like stars, crescents, hearts, tears, & flowers); these fancy shaped pies could often fit together a bit like a jigsaw. They also looked like the 'knot gardens' that were popular during those periods. Having pies like this meant you were rich and could afford to employ the best, and most expensive, pastry cooks!

Now they are normally made in a round shape and are eaten hot or cold. Why not make some and try one hot with a scoop of ice-cream.

On the top floor it was the last Early Words Together session of the course. (A new course will start at the end of January so please see Ruheda if you are interested in joining). Parents and children came together with the volunteers to share healthy food and celebrate all the fun things they had done together. Everyone received a thank you and a certificate and promised to meet up again to share how they are continuing to support literacy development in the home.

Down stairs in the ground floor classroom Karla continued with boat making and exploring floating and sinking and in the garden a group of excited children were absorbed in role play in the Forest Area, where they were looking for reindeer and making food for them.

The day finished with the Welcome Evening for the families of the new children who are joining us in January.

As you will be aware we currently have a winter vomiting bug in Nursery so please encourage your child to wash their hands and stay home for 48 hours if they have vomited or had an upset stomach. This will help us to prevent the spread of infection. Thank you for cooperation with this.

Feeding the Reindeer

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Making Mince Pies

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Friday 2nd December

Today there was a great deal of interest in remote controlled cars. Not only discovering how they worked but learning new language such as left, right, forwards and backwards. The children discovered so much as they tried to navigate the cars around the roadways they had made.

At Children’s House we recognise that children are living in a digital world and need to feel confident and comfortable with new technology. However we do not want the children using technology such as a smart phone, ipad or computer in a solitary way for long periods of time. We want to use technology in exciting ways to teach new skills and to reinforce learning across all the curriculum areas.  Therefore we endeavour to ensure that children can access a range of technology indoors and out.  We think carefully about how we can provide for children’s spontaneous play as well as using technology in planned experiences through sensitive interactions. By sharing in children’s play with technology we can support their interest in and understanding of the equipment itself as well as using technology to support children's learning and development.  We always try to stimulate the children’s interests and encourage higher levels of engagement, e.g. “You have a microwave at home, how is it used do you think? What happens if we press this button? What do you like cooked in it?” We also support children in their chosen explorations and investigations of technology, for example teaching them how to use a camera or programmable toy.

We often model how and when to use technology e.g. "I think I’m going to need a label on this box. Do you want to help me make one on the computer or “I’m going to need to fix this, it’s a bit dark under here, shall we find the torch?” We also scaffold children’s learning as we play with them e.g.” the Bee-Bot does go up that slope, can you turn it around”.

There will be a training day for parents soon on how we can make technology a learning tool so do look out for the date.

 

Have a good weekend.

 

Technology in Action

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Thursday 1st December

If you visited Children’s House today you may have thought you were at Euston Station as the garden was taken over by children driving trains, collecting passengers, issuing tickets and oyster cards, planning routes and generally having a good time as they learnt all about the railway, the different types of train and how trains travel on tracks.  This was a good opportunity to reinforce to children all the safety rules associated with travelling on trains and to remind them never to play near the train tracks.

If your child is interested in trains there are some lovely books that you can borrow from the class library. A particular favourite of the children is the book “And the Train Goes….” by William Bee. This is a cumulative picture book, full of delicious read-aloud sounds! Join the eclectic and eccentric passengers on the train: ladies off to the races, chattering children on a school trip, business men going to the city, chickens off to market ...and all the while the train goes Clickerty Click Clickerty Clack ...Chuff Chuff Chufferty Chuff ...Woo Woooooo!

Other activities for the day included the children baking their own cookies from scratch with Rina. Once they had made their dough there was an assortment of transport shaped cutters to shape the biscuits and the added bonus was they all got to take home a bus, car or train to eat later.

 

Children's House Railway..........Always on Time

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Wednesday 30th November

There was a visit to the Natural History Museum today. This is a very popular trip as there is always so much to see and do and of course there is the added bonus of dinosaurs. The journey from school is easy as it’s a straight train ride on the District Line to South Kensington and then a 5 minute walk through the tunnel to the museum on Cromwell Road SW7.

The museum offers many exciting activities for children and families on weekends and during the school holidays, so why not plan a visit?

 Check out the link below to see what is on offer.

www.nhm.ac.uk

Highlights of the visit included the creepy crawly exhibition, the mammals from around the world, a gigantic mushroom and of course the star of the show T.Rex.

Back at school the part-timers had a very exciting story session where they got to role play the story of Mr Gumpy's Outing.

 

 

The Natural History Museum

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Mr Gumpy's Outing

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Tuesday 29th November

Work continued today on the Children’s House railway, the track is being placed and destinations planned. This activity is absorbing many of the children and has led to all sorts of new learning as the children cooperate together measuring the track, deciding the route, naming the stations and making the signs. Indoors; children were making individual boats. This activity led to much experimentation. What makes a good boat? A cardboard box gets soggy so the children tested a variety of materials to see if they were waterproof. They then tested them to see if they would float and found that flat shapes and margarine tubs float well. They used technology to look at boats online making a note of the features. They cut out their own sails and worked out how to fit them and experimented to see how many lego people could sit in the boat before it sank. They were also asked to think about how they could make their boat move across the water and this will led to experimenting with simple wind up mechanisms. They also used tools such as staplers, hole punches, and the glue gun and described to their friends how they made their boat.

This activity covers so many aspects of learning so why not have a go at making a boat at home?  We would love to see it.

 

Designing Boats

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Designing and Making a Train

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Monday 28th November

The weather has turned rather cold over the weekend, so please make sure that your child is wrapped up warmly for nursery. The children love to play outside whatever the weather so please do provide a warm hat; and mittens if your child is unable to manage gloves yet and remember please write your child’s name clearly on all items of clothing.

We had a fun, busy day the children are really involved with the theme of transport so we decided to continue it for another week.

Out in the garden children designed and built their own railway complete with names for the different stations, whilst indoors one child’s request to make a boat turned into a group project with lots of discussion about size, how many would fit in and what materials to use.

Children also continued to make their own traffic signs.

After lunch Emma the music teacher arrived and we had a lively rehearsal for the Nativity play and then some lovely group singing.

There is something so appealing about singing together in a group and all the children enjoyed it.

Groups of leavers are visiting their new schools this week, we do lots of work around transition so that when the time comes to move to their new school the children are excited and well prepared.

 

Making a Boat Together

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Friday 25th November

The end of National Road Safety Week saw all the children bring their bike or scooter to school. There was a fantastic start to the day when parents and children sat down together on the top floor to share a healthy “Biker’s Breakfast. This was such a nice occasion that we are thinking of having a parent and child breakfast session more often.

Out in the playground the children rode their bikes and scooters and were taught how to ride safely, we discussed why it’s good to wear a protective helmet, how to ride carefully and stop at the edge of kerbs etc. I think it’s fair to say we have some very responsible future cyclists.

Indoors children finished off their vehicles and continued to make traffic signs.

Why not ask your child what they know about how to keep themselves safe on the road?

We also had a casting rehearsal for the leaver’s end of term Nativity Play. We will let you know next week, which part your child will be playing.

Have a good weekend and stay warm.

A healthy Biker's Breakfast

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Bring your bike or scooter to school day

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Painting Vehicles

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Thursday 24th November

Today staff took groups of children out of school to learn about road safety. The children looked at traffic signs and practiced crossing the road carefully and safely.

As a school we are signed up members of Transport for London’s Children’s Traffic Club and are committed to teaching our children about road safety, research shows that the pre-school years are the ideal time to introduce road safety education.

 The Children's Traffic Club London (CTC London) makes use of current research and the latest technological innovations to deliver vital road safety messages to the capital's future road users. Twice a year it sends out road safety information to schools and an invitation to join the traffic club.

If your child is not already a member you can sign them up by clicking on the link below.

https://www.trafficclub.london/

Children’s Traffic Club London has been specifically developed by TfL to educate pre-school children, their parents and carers in basic road safety skills, making them safer road users of the future. It uses the latest digital technology to deliver the programme on pcs and hand held devices, whilst retaining an element of the more traditional printed books often used with this age group.

By introducing the concept of road safety at this early age we ensure that London's future road users understand the importance of road safety and how to keep safer when travelling around the capital.

The club also promotes the use of more sustainable modes of transport and the benefits of walking, scooting and cycling.

The Key messages we teach the children in nursery are as follows:

  • Understanding what traffic is
  • Understanding the features that make up a street i.e. pavement, kerb and road
  • Always hold hands with a grown-up when out and about
  • Stop, look, listen and think before crossing the road
  • Use safer crossing places like Zebra and Pelican crossings or traffic islands
  • Always wear your seatbelt in the car
  • Wear bright colours so you can be seen when it is dark or dull outside
  • Play in safer places away from traffic, like the park or a garden
  • Understanding the different ways of travelling in London for example walking, cycling, scooting or public transport

Why we need to address road safety from a young age

Children learn by following the examples set by those around them, especially from their parents/carers, grandparents and older siblings. By the age of five a child's attitudes and behaviours are formed, so the three to four year age range is the ideal time to learn vital road safety messages and set what will become lifelong road users skills.

 

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Wednesday 23rd November

As part of our Road Safety Week, children and parents set off for a trip to Victoria Park where they enjoyed cycling lessons with Bikeworks. If you live, work or study in Tower Hamlets, you are eligible for free cycle skills sessions, provided by Bikeworks on behalf of the council. There are four types of session available to suit your needs; basic, urban, advanced and family sessions.

 To book a session visit www.bikeworks.org.uk/tower-hamlets-cycling-programmes and for further information call 020 8980 7998

Everyone really enjoyed the day and we plan to continue our partnership with Bikeworks. Next week there will be a session just for parents, so if you want to learn how to ride a bike, or just improve your skills and knowledge of road safety please come and join us next Wednesday.

Back at school children were busy sorting vehicles into sets and making their own roads and train tracks. Out in the garden they  played a transport game which involved lots of running around to keep warm and problem solving as they learnt the names of the DLR stations and how to get them.

Two of our leavers went to visit Marner school where they met their new teachers and stayed for lunch. When asked how they liked their new their new school the answer was "it's perfect".

All of the leavers had a graduation picture taken and a group photo.

As we get towards the end of term please check the website, letters home and the noticeboards for important dates.

Family Cycling and Scooting at Victoria Park

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Tuesday 22nd November

Today some of the children who are leaving us in December to start reception class in January went to visit their new schools. Some of the children had lunch at Old Palace School. During the next few weeks we will be supporting our 21 leavers to make a successful transition into their new schools. Our children will be going to many different primary schools including Old Palace, Marner, Globe and St Paul’s Way but they will always be part of the Children’s House Family and we look forward to them coming back to visit and telling us all about their new adventures.

Tomorrow the school photographer will take Graduation Photos of the leavers which will be available to purchase after the Leaver’s Ceremony on the 16th December.

Work on road safety and transport continued today, the children were experimenting with ramps of different gradients and surfaces to see which one enabled the cars to go the fastest. This involved discussion around a “fair trial” and needing to use the same type of vehicle to do a fair test.

Some children got to test out the vehicles they had made themselves on the ramps.

We also had after school dance club which the children always enjoy.

Testing Ramps

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Monday 21st November

Today we had the fun of adding up all the money we raised for BBC Children in Need; including the cake sale we made £437 which is a wonderful result for a small school so really well done everyone, what a huge team effort!

Today also sees the start of our Road Safety Week, we will be doing lots of work with the children not only about how to cross roads safely, but how to behave on the tube, bus and DLR to keep themselves safe. There will be opportunities for parents to be involved to, so keep your eye on the noticeboard.

In the garden the children enjoyed constructing vehicles on a large scale. There were helicopters, fire-engines, buses, police cars and racing cars, so as you can imagine the garden was a very busy place.

Indoors the children worked with Ruheda, drawing out their route to school and thinking of the roads they have to cross. They also made vehicles on smaller scale thinking carefully about the materials they needed. Aayan made an amazing helicopter that was so accurate in detail it could be a replica.

If you haven’t written your walk to school poem yet, please do. We publish all of them in our annual Walk to School Poetry Book.

Here is today’s quote from the Persian Poet Rumi:

“Beauty surrounds us, but usually we need to be out walking to know it”

 

Our Walk to School

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Building on a Large Scale

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BBC Children in Need Charity Fun Day 

 

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Friday 18th November        

Well done and a huge thank you to everyone who helped to make BBC Children in Need such a successful day. We haven’t counted all the money yet; however, it is looking as if we have made a record amount for the annual BBC Charity Fund Raising Day. All of the money raised will go to support children who need additional support.

We really did show our spots and help to raise lots. Everyone made a tremendous effort and there were some wonderful spotty clothes on display.

In the afternoon all the children enjoyed a special performance of Little Red Riding Hood by the Booster Cushion Theatre Company. We have never seen the children laugh so much and it was great to see how much they enjoyed this modern twist on a traditional tale.

The triumph of the day however had to be our Great British Bake Off Cake Sale, everyone was a winner and there were some amazing efforts, see the pictures below. We must say a big thank you to our Judges Diane and Paul from G4S who had a very difficult task on their hands and to everyone who took time to bake or contribute a cake to sell.

 

The winners of the cake competition are as follows:

Children's cupcakes  

 Adyan, Ishaq, Manha and   Eshaan            

 Parent’s homemade cakes

Parent of Tabiba and  parent of Maryam 

Staff homemade cakes

Guthsna,Ruheda, Rina

BBC Children in Need

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Thursday 17th November

The children are starting to get really excited about the BBC Children in Need fun day tomorrow. We explained to the children that we are making special cakes and dressing up in our spotty clothes to raise money to help other children who might need some extra support and we talked about how it’s important to remember other children who might not have all the things they have.

In addition to icing cakes ready for the Cake Sale, the children enjoyed making maps in the garden so that Red Riding Hood wouldn’t get lost on her way to her grandmother’s cottage.

For parents the Triple P course started on the top floor, there is still time to join if you are interested.The Triple P – Positive Parenting Program is one of the most effective evidence-based parenting programs in the world, backed up by more than 30 years of ongoing research. Triple P gives parents simple and practical strategies to help them build strong, healthy relationships to confidently manage their children’s behavior and prevent problems developing. Triple P is currently used in 25 countries and has been shown to work across cultures, socio-economic groups and in many different kinds of family structures.

We have had excellent feedback from parents when we have run the course. So if you are having any sort of difficulty no matter how small why not come along and get some useful tips for bed time routines, meal-times, tantrums etc.

We also welcomed many of the new children who are starting in January to our stay, play and learn session.

Have a great evening and don’t forget to get baking and “show your spots”

See you all tomorrow for the “Great British Children’s House Bake Off”

 

How do we get to Grandma's House?

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Wednesday 16th November

A very productive day, we welcomed visitors from the National Literacy Trust and The Education Endowment Foundation (EEF). They came to look at our "Early Words Together" programme in action. All the visitors were impressed with the school and with all they saw happening in the Early Words Together session. We want to say a huge thank you to our parent volunteers as without their time, dedication and creativity we couldn’t run the programme and we say a big thank you to all the parents and children who took part in the programme and who were so welcoming to our guests today.

If you are interested in learning more about ways to support your child’s communication, language and literacy at home please see either Ruheda or Guthsna and we will be happy to offer you a place on the next course which starts in January. This is a very successful programme and we have firm evidence to show that if a family participates on the course then it really boosts their child’s attainment.

Each family who participates with the programme will receive a memory book that their child can use to keep examples of the things they create on the course, notes of books they have shared and places they visited, they will also receive free books to take home and an activity booklet full of ideas to develop children's language and literacy at home.

In the classrooms the children were busy baking cupcakes to decorate tomorrow and then sell on Friday for the BBC Children in Need Bake Off. They also enjoyed performing a puppet show with the puppets they made yesterday.

Don’t forget to get baking at home for the cake competition and sale and on Friday let’s all:

“dress in spots and raise lots”

Cooking and a Puppet Show

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Early Words Together

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The Museum of London Docklands

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Tuesday 15th November

A lovely mild day today, perfect weather for our trip to the Museum of London Docklands, this is a museum on the Isle of Dogs, East London that tells the history of London's River Thames and the growth of Docklands.

The children enjoyed a tour of the museum and looked at the growth of the Docklands through the ages and then had an interactive a story telling session where they learnt about the journey of tea, sugar and rice from China. Yusuf was excellent playing the part of the rich merchant who had to give everyone orders and tell them exactly what to do.

The docklands are a big part of our local heritage and we feel it is important for the children to know all about the rich history of their local area. It was certainly an inspiring visit which led to some really interesting questions from the children.

Back at school the rest of the children were busy. Out in the garden with Ruheda, they made their own bowling alley and kept a tally chart of the score every time someone had a strike. Indoors Kelly made a puppet theatre with the children and then helped them to design and make their own puppets based on the characters in Little Red Riding Hood. Tomorrow when everything is ready, they will perform for their friends.

After school the children enjoyed dance club with Salma. It was a very busy and productive day with everyone busy and engaged in something exciting.

Bowling Alley

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Monday 14th November

We hope that you all had a good weekend. This week the traditional tale is Little Red Riding Hood. The children have been very interested to learn all about wolves. They are also enjoying making lists of all the things you might put in a basket to take to Grandma’s house.

There was lots of role play going on today in both classrooms and the forest area as the children acted out the story. In the afternoon our specialist teacher Emma from Thames Music came to teach African drumming and after school we had a lively session in music club.

The new children are all settled and it’s lovely to see how they are all forming friendships with each other.

We have a busy week ahead so make sure you read the notice board each day.

Little Red Riding Hood

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Friday 11th November

Today we welcomed the Iroko theatre company. The company is a traditional African Theatre company who use music, story and theatre to engage the children.

The company is named after the Iroko tree; the roots of the Iroko tree go deep into the soil of Africa. The tree stands tall and strong against the African sky. The companies sculpture, architecture, masks and drums come from this tree and as the website says:

“Through the Iroko tree, our culture is rooted in the soil of our land and from these roots it derives its strength. The IROKO Theatre Company was formed primarily to nurture and uphold this culture

All the children had the opportunity to attend a 45 minute workshop and everyone thoroughly enjoyed the experience. We will certainly be welcoming this company back to school.

Don’t forget next week we will have activities to support BBC Children in Need culminating in the cake sale and Spotty Dress Day on Friday 18th November.

 

 

Iroko Theatre Company

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Thursday 10th November

Today we continued with the theme of Goldilocks and the Three Bears; the children made real porridge in the garden, which turned out to be just the thing for a cold day. At first many of the children didn’t want to try the porridge but they soon realised it was actually very nice and they enjoyed selecting and chopping different fruit toppings.

Indoors the children continued writing their own Goldilocks stories. We see all our children as writers and encourage and provide opportunities for them to make up their own stories whenever possible. As Beatrix Potter once said:

“There is something delicious about writing the first words of a story. You never quite know where it will take you”

Please do have a look at our Goldilocks Stories , they really are impressive.

Writing Stories

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Making Porridge in the Garden

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Wednesday 9th November

We had a very exciting time today; we hosted 16 early years teachers from schools and nurseries across Tower Hamlets, Newham and Hackney. We do this as part of our partnership with the East London Early Years and Schools Partnership.

The teachers visited our school to look at how we teach literacy (reading and writing) and to look at examples of outstanding practice. After a talk upstairs they observed teaching and learning in action in the classrooms and garden and were genuinely impressed with what they saw. Parents you should all be very proud of your children, their behaviour was exemplary and we received so many compliments about how happy, busy and engaged the children were and how well they were being taught. We are always happy to share our good practice with other settings and we are equally keen to learn from others. This is why being part of a teaching alliance is so important, it means we can support our colleagues in other settings and learn from them in return.

During their visit the teachers observed how we integrate literacy teaching into all the activities on offer, upstairs a group of children were busy telling stories through block play with Kelly, there is a really strong link between block play and literacy, when you observe children playing with blocks you can see that their play is often inspired by stories that they have heard. At Children’s House we see writing as much more than the physical act of making marks on paper, writing is a symbolic act, each squiggle on paper represents a sound or idea, block play is also symbolic and when children construct with blocks they are representing their ideas and telling their stories.

In the ground floor classroom children were baking biscuits with Karla. At Children’s House the children make their own biscuits independently from scratch, they follow a recipe card, measure their own ingredients and mix everything themselves. The process of baking is just as important as the end product, which on this occasion actually turned out very well.

The visitors were impressed to see 3 year olds confidently weighing flour and mixing the ingredients with wooden spoons.

Another exciting  literacy session was taking place in the garden, Guthsna and a team of eager helpers were making porridge for any hungry bears that might be out in the woods. Children were also mark-making on a large scale using mops and paint rollers.

In addition to such a busy time in school a group of parents and children went off with Ruheda to the London Aquarium where they had an amazing time, looking at everything from huge sharks to tiny angel fish.

A trip to the London Aquarium

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Mark Making in the Garden

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Tuesday 8th November

The children are really enjoying the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears; if you would like to borrow a copy of the book from school please do ask. There are so many interesting activities that can be based around this traditional tale, for example the children have been learning about size and size vocabulary, such as large, and small, big and little and medium sized, they have learnt how to make porridge, they have matched bears to the right sized beds and built beds for the bears.

They have made puppets so they can retell the story and there are many more fun activities planned throughout the week, including baking bear biscuits and making their own books.

We have also talked about how to keep safe and if it was the right thing for Goldilocks to go into an empty house alone.

After school the children had an energetic time with Salma in dance club.

If you are interested in your child joining an after school club or breakfast club please see Sabiya in the school office.

 

Monday 7th November

We hope you all had a good weekend and enjoyed the fireworks. Today we welcomed Gill Bowmaker (Early Years Advisor) and Noore Rahman (the newly appointed Healthy Early Years Co-ordinator) to the school. Gill wanted to show Noore good practice in a “healthy” school and Noore was very impressed with what she observed. She saw children helping to prepare a healthy snack for their friends, writing the snack menu and enjoying eating and sharing food together.

Out in the garden she observed children keeping fit with a Jabadao session led by Ruheda. Jabadao was established in 1985 to create more opportunities for people of all ages and energies across the UK to be exuberantly and physically playful because it has the potential to make life so much better. Physical play is a vital part of child development. It's what children need and expect. Active movement and play supports social and emotional development, reading, writing, problem solving, healthy activity and physical development and best of all the children have fun as they do it.

We are about to renew our status as a healthy school and we ask you to support us by allowing your child to walk to school and not bringing crisps, sweets and chocolate at the end of nursery.

For the next two weeks the children are learning about Traditional Tales, finishing with our special day for BBC Children in Need on Friday 18th November. On this day we invite part-time morning children to attend the afternoon session so that they don’t miss out on the fun. Please see your letter for further details.

The book of the week is Goldilocks and the Three Bears. Today children made beds in different sizes to fit the bears.

 

Jabadao

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Writing about Godilocks

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Friday 4th November

Today there was a great deal of interest in Bonfire Night  with lots of discussion about the different types of fireworks, and how we keep ourselves safe around fire and fireworks. The children enjoyed seeing sparklers in the garden. Generally sparklers are not recommended for under-fives to use alone however we always risk assess every activity and each child had an adult closely supervising them at all times and the safety rules were clearly explained. If you are attending a firework party this weekend please take time to read the safety leaflet which can be found by clicking on the link below. Remember it is always better to be safe than sorry.

http://www.fireworks.co.uk/safety/BonfireNightSafety.pdf

Other activities today included baking Bonfire Bananas with Kelly; the children really enjoyed trying this new way of eating a banana and the activity involved much counting, chopping, arranging and writing of name labels.

Indoors children were making firework paintings using a splatter technique in the style of Jackson Pollock.

Guthsna attended a conference today for specialist leaders in education at the Holiday Inn in Newbury Park. Guthsna is a specialist leader and as a school we are developing a reputation as a training school and are always happy to share our good practice with other settings.

After school drop off Ruheda (parent support partner) led a group of mums on a weekly active walk. Why not join the group and start your weekend with a healthy walk? Today everyone collected apples with permission from a local park.

Have a safe and enjoyable weekend. We look forward to next week when we welcome the Iroko theatre company, have a trip booked to the London Aquarium and are delivering training to teachers from Newham, Hackney and Tower Hamlets on Literacy in the Early Years.

 

A Firework Themed Day

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Healthy Mums

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Thursday 3rd November

What a busy day. Many of you will have noticed that we replaced the old monitor in the foyer. Please check the new one every day for reminders of what is happening in school.

Delicious smells emanated from the ground floor classroom this morning as the children enjoyed making aloo puri with Rina. These roti breads filled with spicy potato are often eaten at Diwali time. The children and staff certainly enjoyed them.

Cooking is a wonderful activity for children, it involves all areas of the curriculum; and develops language, literacy, maths, knowledge and understanding and physical skills. The children each had their own recipe card and did everything themselves from measuring out cups of flour to chopping vegetables.

In the garden the children enjoyed a science lesson with Kelly; they made intricate patterns by observing what happens when food colouring and liquid soap are added to milk, they then came up with their own thoughts as to why the change they observed occurred. The children really like to experiment and wanted to know would the same thing happen if they used water or juice, which of course paves the way for further experiments.

Many children also got to paint their clay diva lamps using the paint they had mixed themselves.

In the sandpit the children were making labels for their sand castles and later they found a real live Incey Wincey spider climbing up the drain pipe.

Cooking and Experimenting

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Wednesday 2nd November

Today was the first really cold day of the season. We ensured that the children wrapped up warmly for the garden in their hats, coats and gloves. Please don’t worry about your child playing outside in cold weather it will not make him/her ill, in fact it is an extremely healthy thing to do.

Here is the NHS advice on physical activity for children under five

“Children under five who can walk unaided should be physically active every day for at least 180 minutes (three hours), spread throughout the day, indoors or out.

If your child is under five, you should encourage them to do:

·light activity

·more energetic physical activity

We offer a wide range of physical activities for children including riding bikes and scooters, dancing, yoga, climbing apparatus and wall climbing, ball games, ring games and a space where they can run freely. We encourage all our children to walk to school, so if you are still using a buggy try leaving it behind and let your child enjoy walking and talking with you.

 Some children went to Forest School today with Kelly, they had a wonderful time spotting the birds and trying to identify them and making "masterpieces" out of natural materials.

Back at school Karla was teaching children how to add one more to a set. We try to introduce some mathematical learning into every activity so that children can see that it is a natural everyday life skill.

Guthsna continued to build on the children’s interest in rangoli patterns, she showed them how to make and then mix their own powder paint and how to make their own coloured sand, this was a very popular activity and some of the results were spectacular.  Children discovered what happens when you mix two colours together and to quote Juhan;

“Look I made a new green, I put some blue and yellow in it “

On the top floor a group of parents, children and volunteers had a busy time learning about fish as part of the "Early Words Together" programme. We are so grateful to our volunteers as without their continued support we would not be able to offer so many family learning opportunities.

 

A busy day at Children's House

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Tuesday 1st November

Today the children were very interested in the foggy weather and were asking lots of interesting questions and thinking about what could have caused it. One of the joys of a free flow environment is that children are in daily touch with nature and can observe weather changes and changes in their physical environment such as observing the falling leaves. As Albert Einstein once said;

"Look deep into nature and then you will understand everything"

We continued with the theme of Diwali and the children enjoyed making and painting their own Diva lamps.

In the garden dancing continued and the children were interested to try on saris.

Indoors we were teaching the children how to use real tools before they start woodwork, today the children were learning how to use hammers, and they had lots of fun hammering nails into pumpkins and then learning how to take them out again.

This was an opportunity for real life problem solving.

After school we had the weekly Dance Club.

If your child is interested in joining an after school club, please speak to your key-person.

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Monday 31st October 2016

Welcome back to school, we hope that you all had a good half-term break. From talking to the children it would seem that there were many weddings celebrated this half-term.

It was lovely to see all the children return to school so happily ready for the weeks ahead.

This term we will be learning about light and dark and have many exciting things planned for the children to do.

On November 18th  we will be supporting BBC Children in Need; your child can pay £1 to dress in spots to raise money for charity both here and abroad. We will also be having our annual Great British Bake Off competition and invite you to make a cake based on a traditional tale. We are interested to hear traditional tales from different cultures so do let us know if you would like to share a story with the children.

Today we celebrated Diwali the Hindu Festival of Light, which was yesterday 30th October. It was also the occasion for celebrations by Jains and Sikhs as well as Hindus. We told the children the story of Rama and Sita and talked about some of the important Diwali traditions.

The children had a go at making their own rangoli patterns using coloured sand and learnt a special traditional Hindu stick dance.

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Ideas for Half-Term Outings

Ideas for Half-Term Outings 1 Victoria Park
Ideas for Half-Term Outings 2 Bethnal Green Museum of Childhood
Ideas for Half-Term Outings 3 Greenwich Park
Ideas for Half-Term Outings 4 Ragged School Museum
Ideas for Half-Term Outings 5 Cutty Sark Greenwich
Ideas for Half-Term Outings 6 Docklands Museum
Ideas for Half-Term Outings 7 Mudchute Farm
Ideas for Half-Term Outings 8 Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

 

Friday 21st October 2016

Another busy and exciting day; it started with a group of children and parents setting off for a visit to the Bethnal Green Museum of Childhood. Everyone was fascinated by the toys from different eras with many of the adults recognising things they played with as children.

After a good look around the children hunted for teddy bears and drew pictures and wrote about their favourite toy.

Back in nursery bulb planting continued and our handy man Bill installed a new outdoor chalk board for the children.

This has been a very positive half-term we welcomed over fifty new children and families and are delighted with how well children have settled. They have got off to a very positive start to their school lives.

  In the words of William Butler Yeats a quote to end the half-term:

"Education is not the filling up of a pail, but the lighting of a fire"

Here at Children's House we want all our children to "light up" with a love for learning.

We want to wish you all a happy, safe and enjoyable half-term and look forward to welcoming you all back on Monday 31st October.

 

See above for some fun activities to try over the holiday.

The Bethnal Green Museum of Childhood

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Thursday 20th October 2016

Today the children went for the last swimming lesson of the term. They all did really well and it was lovely to see them grow in confidence in the water, especially as for some children this was the first time they had been to a swimming pool.

It was also the last session of Healthy Families and everyone who attended the course brought a healthy dish to share.

Indoors the children were making animals out of clay; working with clay needs more strength than working with dough and therefore it helps to develop the children’s fine and gross motor skills. The animals they made were so nice the staff want to put them on display.

Out in the garden children built a puppet theatre and acted out the story of the three little pigs for an audience of their friends. Children were also busy planting hundreds of bulbs for a colourful spring display of tulips, daffodils, crocus and bluebells. We encourage all the children to take responsibility for the environment and they all really enjoy caring for the garden.

Tomorrow we break up for the half-term holiday. We are off school for a week and return on Monday 31st October.

See tomorrow’s blog for some ideas for half-term activities.

We wish you all a safe and happy holiday.

Working with clay

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The Puppet Show

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Wednesday 19th October 2016

Today groups of children went on a learning walk to look for numbers in the environment; they visited each other’s front doors and then looked for numbers in the streets around the school.

Many of our children are already recognising numerals up to 10 and understanding what the number represents.

A good activity to try at home is to hang up a piece of string, then give your child some clothes pegs and let them peg number cards in the right order. Start with numbers to 5 and see what your child can do. As you do jobs around the house get your child to help you; for example counting out the cups for the table, matching socks in pairs, counting the steps up to the front door etc. Why not borrow a maths pack from school and try some of the everyday maths activities together.

Children also went to Forest school today where they enjoyed making their own mud paint and looking at the autumn leaves.

In the garden children continued acting out stories following the visit to the Discover Centre. There were trips to the Moon and to new planets.

Work on building continued with children exploring bricks, straw and twigs to determine which material would be the best to build with.

Remember you can see your child's Learning Journey book any time and we would love you to contribute photos of the things you do together at home.

 

Exploring Construction

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Number Walk and Forest School

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Tuesday 18th October 2016

Today a group of children had a trip to the Discover Children’s Story Centre in Stratford, this newly redeveloped Story World with immersive exhibitions provides a wide range of interactive activities that use creative play to engage children and support the development of their communication, creativity and literacy skills.

All of the sessions complement the EYFS curriculum and are led by skilled Story Builders, who are trained to support core language, literacy and key skills.

During the visit the children got to plan a journey to space, make puppets, play in the adventure garden, listen to a story and share packed lunches.

http://www.discover.org.uk/visit-discover/

Back at nursery a group of children had the opportunity to build outdoors with real bricks, they mixed their own mortar and spread it with trowels. Tomorrow they will be looking at brick patterns and experimenting to see who can build the strongest wall.

Indoors the children were exploring instruments and the different sounds they make as part of our Phase One Phonics programme.

Why not make your own instruments at home, fill empty containers with lentils, small stones, pasta shapes etc. and compare the different sounds they make.

Discover Centre and Building in the Garden

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Monday 17th October 2016

Welcome to the first Children’s House blog, each day we will update you on all the exciting things that have happened in nursery and how you can continue to support your child’s learning at home.

Today is the first day of Family Learning Week and we started the week off well. There was a child and adult bag printing workshop on the top floor and the children really loved the opportunity to work together with a parent on a joint project.

We are continuing to celebrate Black History Month and the children have been acting out Handa’s Surprise. This lovely story set in Kenya introduces children to the theme of friendship, and enables them to learn the names of animals and fruits. Many children got to taste avocado and passion fruit for the first time.

We are also continuing our work on homes and the children are enjoying the story of the Three Little Pigs, this leads nicely into building and construction. Why not come and check out the new community play blocks we introduced this term.

But remember children enjoy constructing with anything, why not save all your empty packaging? a cereal or tissue box can make a great home for a little pig.

Our quote of the day:

In the words of Benjamin Franklin

“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn”

At Children’s House we know our children learn best when they are actively discovering things for themselves, working alongside skilful adults who are building on what they already know understand and can do.

Handa's Surprise

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