Tuesday 11th December
It was the last session of the Phonics Play Bags Course today, parents and children received their certificates and props, activities and ideas to try out at home. If you missed the course this time, do look out for it again in the summer term.
In Orange class, the two year olds were exploring jelly and you can imagine the fun they had with it. Remember if you are letting children play with jelly, they must be supervised and never give them jelly cubes, as these are a choking hazard. Always make up the jelly first.Children finished off their party hats indoors and out in the garden, they practiced dancing and many children were busy at the woodwork bench. Teachers from primary schools visited the nursery as part of our transition programme. Our children are always such good ambassadors and were happy to show our visitors around the school
Monday 10th December
Today our Christmas tree arrived, there was great interest and tomorrow the children will hang their decorations on it.
In the nursery, children were busy making calendars and party hats and out in the garden Karla was helping the children to hang decorations, which then turned into some rich and imaginative role-play.
Children were also busy practicing the Nativity Play and learning Christmas songs whilst others had transition visits to their new schools.
The children involved in the graduation performance and Nativity were given letters yesterday detailing the arrangements for the day so please do please put this in a safe place.
Fridy 7th December
Children’s House welcomes many visitors and today was no exception; representatives from the National Literacy Trust and two philanthropists who help to fund programmes like “Early Words Together” came to nursery to observe a session in action.
They were not disappointed; our volunteers led parents and children in a wonderful poetry session. First, the volunteers talked about the importance of songs, rhymes and poetry in early years. Poetry is a form of expression that young children seem to love. The rhythms in poetry are exciting to small children who love to move to rhythms and sing rhymes.
Today they listened to the poem “Bear”.
Big bear, big bear,
Hunting near the trees.
Feasting on the honeycomb,
Made by busy bees.
(bzzz, bzzz, bzzz).
Big bear, big bear,
Wading in the lake.
Fish is your favourite dish
Which one will you take?
(swish, swish, swish).
Big bear, big bear,
Resting in your den.
Sleeping through the winter
Before you’re out again.
(zzz, zzz, zzz)
After they had heard the poem, the children painted pictures and had the chance to act it out.
The visitors were full of praise for the commitment shown by the volunteers and by the enthusiasm of the children and parents participating.
A big thank you to everyone.
Have a lovely weekend.
Thursday 6th December
Today we had a camera crew in school filming children reading in the home environment as part of the training materials for Early Words Together. A big thank you to the parents involved for being so accommodating.
Downstairs children followed a recipe card to make biscuits independently. As we focus on the process not the product, the children used the biscuit dough to design their own biscuits and as aliens are very popular now, they produced some weird and wonderful creatures.
Out in the garden Shakila taught the children traditional playground games such as “What’s the time Mr Wolf”? and “Duck, Duck, Goose”.
Sabiya bought Christmas Trees for the classrooms and we welcomed new children to a “stay, play and learn session”.
Children transferring to Old Palace Primary school had a transition visit in the afternoon and enjoyed listening to Mr Gumpy’s Outing and seeing old friends who left in July.
Wednesday 5th December
Today we ran training on Early Words Together for teachers from schools and Children’s Centres across the Borough; we had a productive day with excellent evaluations. We also welcomed Alison from the National Literacy Trust who came to see the training in action.
In the afternoon, we welcomed new children who are starting in January and their parents for a Stay, Play and Learn Session. It was lovely to see many of our old parents returning.
We also welcomed Will a new student from Best Practice. Will is training as an early years Teacher and will be with us for the rest of the year.
Out in the garden children invented their own alien game, which involved throwing a dice and adding the corresponding number of legs. Indoors Shazna led a session on helicopter stories where children saw the stories they had written acted out by a group.
Tuesday 4th December
Our ice-skaters set off bright and early for Canary Wharf today and spent a busy hour on the ice. Fortunately, the rain held off and the sun even came out for a short while. It is amazing to watch how confident young children are and see how much progress they can make in just two lessons. A huge thank you to all the parents who accompanied the trip, as you can imagine every child needs one to one support as they master a new skill.
On the top floor, parents and children enjoyed the second week of the “Phonics Play Bags” course and in nursery rehearsals started for the end of term Nativity Play.
We keep the practice short and fun; at this age, it is all about working together to tell a story rather than having to be word perfect.
We finished the day with dance club.
Monday 3rd December
Do read your letters home as we have a very busy three weeks ahead of us.
Back to Nursery and an industrious day. The heavy showers caught everyone by surprise and disrupted outdoor play for a short while, however play could continue under the shelter, whilst indoors children made their own aliens out of salt dough, which they also made themselves.
At Children’s House, we want children to be independent and learn practical skills so we teach them how to make their own dough, mix their own paints, and so on. This enables them to problem solve in real situations, for example if the dough is too sticky, what should they do? If they want purple paint and there is only red or blue how can they make it etc. We set up our environment as though it is another teacher, we want it to enable children and we want to help them to build resilience. In nursery, it is the process that matters not the product, our children learn from failing the first time and know that this doesn’t matter. If children have not mastered a skill, they don’t say I can’t do it. They say, “I can’t do it yet”.
At the end of the day, staff continued their lessons in British Sign Language; everyone is picking this up quickly and can already put signs together. By the end of the year, everyone should achieve their Level One Certificate.
Michael and Iqbal are fantastic instructors and make learning fun.
Friday 30th November
Chris, Guthsna and Ruheda attended the Mayor’s Early Years Summit today along with three of our parent literacy champions. The Early Years team invited our parents to give a talk on their work as volunteers on the Early Words Together Programme. They really did an excellent job and the Mayor and councillors were impressed with their passion and enthusiasm.
We really appreciate our volunteers so much and thank them for everything they do for the nursery.
Attending the summit was a chance to be part of a conversation on how early childhood, education, health and care services can ensure that children have the best outcomes for life and how best the council can support parents across a range of issues including supporting them into training and employment. It was a chance for our parents to engage with the council and its partners to help develop future services.
We all agreed that it was an interesting day.
Back in nursery Kamran was teaching the children different ball skills and indoors children had finished their lunar landscapes and were busy using puppets they had made earlier in the week to act out the stories they had written.
Have a good weekend and do check the letter we sent home with important dates. We have a very busy three weeks ahead of us
Thursday 29th November
There was great excitement out in the garden today as children enjoyed an alien hunt; this was a fun way to get them counting, sorting, matching and talking about similarities and differences.
Indoors children told each other space stories and enjoyed role-play in the space station. This topic, which came from the children’s interests, has really captured their imaginations. Children have turned into researchers, physicists and scientists as they discover interesting facts about astronauts, rockets, gravity and the solar system.
We also had a weekly tour of the nursery for new parents interested in sending their child here in September and we finished the day with our weekly planning meeting.
Wednesday 28th November
There was some amazing work taking place in the garden today, children are able to use the woodwork tools independently and were busy designing and making their own wooden rockets. Do have a look at their work.
We also welcomed teachers from the hearing-impaired team who came to plan for the new children starting in January. We are very excited to be setting up an additionally resourced provision for young deaf children. Staff have all had deaf awareness training and are busy practicing British Sign Language. We hope that the new children and parents will be happy at Children’s House and the teachers of the deaf enjoying working here with us.
On the top floor it was the last session of Early Words Together, it finished with an award ceremony and a celebration. We really do thank our parent literacy champions, as without their tireless support we could not run this course.
Karla also took a hardy group of children off for outdoor adventures at Forest School. This was a new group so they spent the afternoon learning the rules and exploring.
The day finished with our weekly “talking about children” meeting. This is protected time where staff sit down together to discuss children’s progress and next steps.
Tuesday 27th November
Today Parvin was out of nursery on a course to update her paediatric first aid certificate.
All staff have first aid training and we take our responsibilities seriously in this area, making sure that everyone has an up to date knowledge.
On the top floor, we had an exciting event for our parents and carers led by the parental engagement team. Parents learnt how to help their children with phonics. Everyone received a phonics play bag to take home.
In class, Shakila and the children were busy designing and building a space station, an activity that came directly from the children’s interests.
We finished the day with dance club.
Monday 26th November
Today children arrived at nursery and discovered that a spaceship had landed in our front garden over the weekend. Not only had it crash-landed there was a note from the Aliens asking the children to help them to return to their planet. During circle time, the children thought together how they could help the aliens and finally decided that they would design and make a new much better spaceship that would get them safely back home.
Indoors children enjoyed making lunar landscapes out of papier-mâché and playing with the astronauts and rockets.
During story time everyone enjoyed the book Aliens love underpants.
The day finished with all staff having their first lesson in British Sign Language, a huge thank you to our instructors Michael and Iqbal for making it so interesting.
Friday 23rd November
It was our Sponsored Cycle ride today, well done to all our children, everyone tried their hardest and whether they did one lap or twenty laps I can confidently say every child tried their very best and all enjoyed encouraging each other to do as many as they could.
Thank you for your support with this, the children thoroughly enjoyed their day.
Indoors work and play continued with Shakila exploring the work of the painter Mark Rothko an abstract expressionist painter whose wonderful colour block paintings really captured the children’s imaginations. They experimented with mixing their own colours, making light and dark shades and producing their own works of abstract art.
We were also delighted to welcome Michael a deaf instructor who will be teaching us all British Sign Language, starting on Monday.
Have a lovely weekend.
Thursday 22nd November
Children were learning about translucent and opaque materials with Karla today. They looked at stained glass windows and talked about how windows allowed light to come into a building. They then tested different materials by shining torches through them and then sorted the materials according to whether they let light pass through or whether they blocked the light.
The children really enjoyed this and became confident at predicting which materials would allow light to shine through.
Later they made their own stained “glass” and looked at the light passing through from the light box.
Please don’t forget that tomorrow we finish the week with our sponsored cycle ride. If your child owns a bike or scooter do bring it to school. It will be a fun event for everyone.
Wednesday 21st November
This week children are learning how to keep themselves safe on the roads. It is also National Road Safety week.
Today we invited children and parents to come to nursery on their bikes or scooters and join us for a family biker’s breakfast. We had an amazing turnout and children, mums, dads, aunties, grandparents and staff sat down together for a healthy breakfast. There was fruit, cereal, yoghurt, pancakes, crumpets, bagels and toast. Everyone enjoyed and this is now one of our favourite family events.
We also had a film crew in school today filming an Early Words Together session, as usual children, parents, volunteers and staff rose to the occasion and the National Literacy Trust were able to get all the footage they wanted.
They even had the opportunity to observe an amazing performance by our volunteers of The Three Billy Goats Gruff.
In the afternoon, Chris set off for Westminster for the All Part Parliamentary Group on the future of Nursery Schools and a group set off for Forest School.
The day finished with staff having their weekly “talking about children” meeting.
Don’t forget that on Friday we are having our sponsored bike ride. Do ask friends and family to sponsor your child for their efforts.
Tuesday 20th November
Today the two year olds enjoyed putting up the tent inside their classroom; they had fun playing with torches, reading books and hiding inside.
They also practiced animal sounds as they learnt how to play a sound lotto game. In other classes the children were experimenting with the light box, looking to see which materials let light pass through and which didn't.
Outdoors children were extremely interested in the very cold weather we experienced and were fascinated by the hailstones, which were falling in the playground. It is amazing to see balls of ice just falling from the sky and as we always follow children’s interests, it was time for an impromptu lesson on weather.
Staff observations continue this week, as part of our performance management cycle. At Children’s House, we try to ensure that teaching and learning is always outstanding for the children, and regular observations are part of this process.
The day finished with an energetic dance club.
Monday 19th November
This week began with our hardy young skaters setting off for the ice-rink at Canary Wharf, where despite some unexpected rain everyone had a marvellous time learning how to ice-skate. As usual, the children’s behaviour was exemplary and the staff at the ice-rink were delighted with them.
In nursery children helped to add up the money from the cake sale and we are very pleased to announce that your efforts raised over £200 for Children in Need.
Children were also learning about nocturnal animals with Shazna and Karla, they identified the animals who like to sleep in the day and then designed their night time habitats.
A huge thank you to everyone who took the time to make or buy a cake.
Friday 16th November
Today we took part in BBC Children in Need. Children and staff dressed as their favourite superhero and the nursery was full of Bat people, Spider People and Captain Americas to name just a few.
We also had the Booster Cushion Theatre Company in school. There was an exciting, interactive performance of Old MacDonald and the Superhero, which the children really enjoyed participating in.
There was also our annual Great British Bake Off and Cake Sale and there were some amazing entries.
The hard task of judging fell to the Director of Education Christine Mcinnes. She came suitably prepared dressed in her best Pudsey Pyjamas
The winning parent was Fareed’s mum with an incredible Spiderman cake, closely followed by Abdur-Rahman’s mum who baked a Captain America Cake.
Guthsna achieved first prize in the staff category for her Incredible Hulk Cake with Shakila and Ruheda a close second and third.
There were also children’s prizes for the best-decorated cupcake with Jannat and Sadia worthy winners.
A huge thank you to everyone for all the effort. We will total the money and let you know on Monday how much we raised.
Thursday 15th November
Today we were delighted to welcome representatives from the Department of Education. They were in school to talk to parents about how they use technology to support their children’s learning. There is currently a research project looking at the best educational apps on the market.
A huge thank you to the wonderful parents who came to talk to the DfE. They were so impressed with the support they received and the ideas generated by parents. Thank you so much for giving up your time.
In class, children were extremely busy baking and icing cupcakes ready for our Great British Superhero Bake Off tomorrow.
Don’t forget to dress as a Superhero and bake a cake for our competition!
Wednesday 14th November
An exciting day today, Lauren and an eager group of children built an amazing tent in the forest area from scratch. All the children had great fun telling stories by torch light inside the finished tent.
Indoors Salma helped children to make shadow puppets and then children made up and acted out their own stories. The puppets captured the children’s imaginations and the stories were exciting and inventive.
We also had Early Words Together, children and parents enjoyed the story “Ten Little Dinosaurs” and made some really amazing props to take home. Teachers from a Newham Primary School who came to observe the session were really impressed by the high standard of the session. They are starting Early Words Together in their own school.
Tuesday 13th November
This week children are designing their own tents. At Children’s House building dens is always on the curriculum. Den building is a great way for children to develop their personal, social and emotional development. It tests their turn taking skills, builds their confidence and gives them opportunities to compromise and problem solve. There are many other areas of learning which are developed through den building including communication skills, physical development, maths development and expressive art and design; it’s a brilliant outdoor activity which covers many learning outcomes and has a huge appeal to both girls and boys.
Den building can be as elaborate or as simple as needs be, younger children will enjoy using large pegs to hold tarpaulin or camouflage nets up, whereas older children will use a variety of materials. We often see one den built, using a couple of pegs and tarpaulin, turn into a hotel or hospital over the course of a week as areas are partitioned and crates used as furniture.
When the children come up against a problem we try to get them to problem solve and test their own ideas to solve it. Yesterday children explored pop up tents and today Gaby showed them pictures and onscreen footage of a variety of different tents and then children started to design their own. Meanwhile another group was busy exploring materials with Shakila who then took them off to the market to purchase fabric for the tents we will build this week.
This topic grasps the imagination of everyone and covers so many areas of learning.Watch this space for a daily update.
Monday 12th November
As you can imagine we started the week talking about the weather, after the heavy storms of the weekend we were relieved to see that our beautiful poppy installation had withstood the wind and rain and was still intact.
Heavy rain for much of the day meant that some outdoor plans were quickly changed however; children enjoyed the excitement of thunder and lightning and spent a cosy time indoors building a dark tent. They took turns to sit inside and enjoyed story telling and experimenting with torches.
This week we are focusing on tent and den building as well as light and dark, so do come and enjoy the children’s hard work.
Upstairs the two year olds were introduced to foam and had a wonderful morning of sensory play.
Friday 9th November
Children, parents and staff have been working with Artist Educator Sara Heywood from Bow Arts all week to produce an installation of poppies as a tribute to commemorate the centenary of the end of the First World War.
The installation is now complete and you can view it on the front playground fence. I am sure that you will agree that this is a fitting tribute and something the whole community can appreciate as they walk past the school.
We also had a book sale today where parents and children could pick up some brand new books at greatly reduced prices.
Have a lovely weekend and please don’t forget that next Friday we will be taking part in BBC Children in Need. Children can come to school dressed as Super Heroes and we ask you to bake a Super Hero Cake with your child for our annual Great British Bake Off.
There will be an opportunity to purchase delicious cakes at the end of the day.
We do request that no nuts are used in the baking.
Have a lovely weekend.
Thursday 8th November
Children learnt about Diwali today, many children had heard more fireworks yesterday as Hindus across London celebrated The Festival of Light. In nursery, children listened to the story of Rama and Sita, made clay diva lamps and had a go at making rangoli patterns with coloured sand and glitter.
Diwali is the five-day festival of lights, celebrated by millions of Hindus, Sikhs and Jains across the world. The festival, which coincides with the Hindu New Year, celebrates new beginnings and the triumph of good over evil and light over darkness.
The word Diwali comes from the Sanskrit word deepavali, meaning "rows of lighted lamps". Houses, shops and public places are decorated with small oil lamps called diyas. People also enjoy fireworks and sweets too, so it's really popular with children.
In the ground floor class children also cooked traditional thali food, while on the top floor our busy two year olds baked biscuits and had great fun mixing the dough.
Ruheda also took a group of interested parents to the open day at Marner Primary School.
Wednesday 7th November
As usual there was plenty going on today in our busy nursery school, at 9.00 our artist Sarah arrived to continue work on our Armistice Day installation, she was soon joined by enthusiastic parents and children and we are now ready to start to start to assemble the work. A big thank you to everyone who got involved in helping to acknowledge this historic milestone.
At 9.30 another group of children and parents set off for the Natural History Museum in South Kensington, this is an easy journey from school as it is one train (district line) all the way there. Children had a wonderful time learning about dinosaurs and looking at the mammals. They also enjoyed a packed lunch in the museum, which all children find a highlight of any trip.
Chris and Guthsna attended a course in the morning and the day finished with parents evening. We were delighted to share the wonderful progress all children are making.
Tuesday 6th November
On Sunday 11th November on Armistice Day, we will be commemorating 100 years since the end of the First World War 1914-1918.
To mark this occasion children and parents are working with Sarah an artist from Bow Arts to produce a temporary installation of poppies, which will be on display on the front gate.
Children and parents enjoyed working on this today. If you would like to get involved, we will be having an open drop in on the top floor tomorrow between 9 and 12, so do please come along and add a poppy to our display.
Don’t forget tomorrow is also New Parent’s Evening all appointment times will be on display in the classrooms.