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Friday 14th June 2019

Today was focus Friday, this is dedicated time set aside for children to work on their Learning Journals (Special books) with their key person. This is when we look at and discuss the child’s work and the children choose the photographs and work samples they want in their book. It is also a time to revisit old work and photos and see if the children want to add any new comments. Children love their special books; do remember you and your child have ownership of them. You can take them home at t weekends and add photos whenever you would like to.

We also said goodbye to Ruheda today. She is off on maternity leave for a year. Ruheda will be much missed; we wish her all the best and look forward to meeting new baby and eventually enrolling him or her at Children’s House.
Have a lovely weekend.

Focus Friday

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Thursday 13th June 2019

Today we had an open morning for parents of children who will be joining our resource base for deaf children in September. We love having this provision at Children’s House and it has been wonderful to see the rapid progress all our children are making. We are looking forward to our new resource base next to the school. This is on track to open in September.

Children were also busy at the woodwork bench with self-initiated projects and out in the garden there was a fishing game, which the children had designed and made themselves.

Upstairs Rina made fishcakes with the children for snack, which everyone who eats fish really enjoyed.

We finished the day with a whole school-planning meeting. Next week we will be studying mini beasts. After the recent heavy rain, the garden is full of slugs and snails, which have been an endless source of fascination.

Child Initiated Projects

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Making Fish Cakes

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Wednesday 12th June 2019

“Rain, rain go away

come again, another day”

During this unseasonably cold and rainy spell, could we ask that children come to school with a waterproof jacket and waterproof shoes? We can’t keep small children indoors all day as they are desperate to go outside in all weathers and rain is perfectly ok if they are wearing a warm, waterproof jacket. We will of course do our best to ensure that all children stay dry but occasionally the urge to jump in a puddle does become overwhelming and children end up with damp shoes. We will do our very best but you can help us by sending in wellington boots, especially as some children don’t like to wear the nursery ones especially if they don’t fit well.

Today children were cooking fish with Kamran.

It was interesting to see children make the connection between the fish we eat and the fish they had dissected earlier in the week. Many children did not realise that the fish they ate had once been a living creature.

By this time of the school year the children are competent cooks, they know to wash their hands, put on an apron, follow a recipe and use the correct tools. They were able to peel and chop vegetables, and assist with cooking the pasta and fish.

They really enjoyed the result and want tuna pasta to stay on the cooking menu.

In the afternoon children had a fun time painting with mud at Forest school and at the end of the day children relaxed with a yoga session led by Kamran.

 

Tuna Pasta

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Tuesday 11th June 2019

Another interesting day at Children’s House. The dentist was in school to talk to children about tooth care and how to keep their teeth clean and healthy.

Chris and Guthsna were out at Lansbury Lawrence Primary School for the final day of Peer Review. Once again, this has been a valuable process, which has led directly to better outcomes for children as staff looked at ways to improve writing across the curriculum. We have signed up for Peer Review next academic year and look forward to hearing which schools we will be working with.

Children’s interest in sea life continues and today many children chose to paint and draw fish either from real life observations or from reference books.

Drawing and painting fish

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Monday 11th June 2019

Today was an exciting start to the week. We were proud to host visitors from PWC Forensics. This visit was part of their company training day and the focus was innovation and resilience.

The visitors arrived promptly and were greeted by the children. They were given  a guided tour of the nursery and had the opportunity to spend time in the classrooms and out in the garden. They were not at all daunted by the rainy weather and enjoyed the mud kitchen, observing snails, and colouring puddles with marbling paint. They enjoyed listened to the children sing a selection of their favourite songs and talking to them about the nursery.

They explained their work to the children who were interested to hear about their exciting jobs.

At the end of the morning, the visitors listened to a talk from Chris and Guthsna on facing challenge, narrowing the gap and building resilient communities, they were joined by Haseena a parent volunteer who gave an inspirational talk on her work on the Early Words Together Programme. The morning finished with a question and answer session.

The visitors were unanimous in their praise of the nursery and rated the morning an outstanding experience. We really enjoyed meeting them too and hope we will have further opportunities to work together.

In class today, children were exploring fish, they had the opportunity to observe real fish, look at their bones and scales and record what they observed.

We also had a visit from the architect and project manager who came to discuss arrangements for the exciting building works over the summer.

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Friday 7th June 2019

An unseasonably cold and wet day today. We were all wondering what has happened to our summer weather. In between the heavy showers, children were able to get outdoors to continue with the parachute games they were enjoying before the rain. The school parachute is one of our best-loved items and there are so many games that the can children play. Here are just a few:

 Popping Popcorn
Children hold the parachute so that it is stretched out and they place a collection of small balls, beanbags or other small toys onto the parachute. They have fun shaking the parachute to make the popcorn pop right off the chute. You can also split into two teams – one each side of the parachute – and have fun trying to make the balls bounce off the opposition’s side of the parachute.

Jack in the Box
This is a great game for groups of younger children (with older children as helpers). The children all sit under the parachute with the adults each holding a handle down at ground level. Sing together;

Jack is quiet down in his box,
Until somebody opens the lid!

As you finish singing the second line, all of the adults lift the parachute up high and the children shout ‘Boo!’

 Changing Directions

 Each child holds a parachute handle with one hand so that they are all facing in a clockwise direction and the parachute is stretched out. The children jump, skip, hop or run in a clockwise direction and then use a music cue for them to change direction to counter clockwise. Each time they hear the music the direction is changed.

 Parachute Switch

 Children spread around the parachute and hold it stretched out. They raise the parachute quickly so that it billows up into a mushroom shape (keep holding the edge). As it fills, the adult calls the names of two children. These two let go of the parachute and run under it to swap places before it comes down again.

Parachutes are great for parties. If you want to try one at home, Amazon sell small ones or why not make your own from an old sheet adding some strips of ribbon at regular intervals for handles

Have a lovely weekend and let’s hope we get some summer sun.

Parachute games are always fun ...!

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Thursday 6th June 2019

At Children’s House, we provide daily opportunities for children to extend their interests and engage in self-initiated activity. A self-initiated activity is one that is wholly decided by the child and is the result of an intrinsic motivation to explore a project or express an idea. When they do this, children develop their creativity, make connections and extend their thinking. With the right environment and resources, children can engage in independent learning. Independent learning is about children having opportunities and time to plan, develop and extend their play, interests and learning.

As teachers, we encourage the children to explore, take risks, make decisions, solve problems and share their achievements with others. We want children to step out of their comfort zone and realise that the best way to learn is through making mistakes and having another go to see what will work.

When we provide children with purposeful opportunities to transfer and apply the knowledge and skills they gain from other areas of learning in a context that is meaningful to them, this leads to a consolidation of skills and a deeper understanding.

This week the children have been learning about fish and one of the children discovered that some people keep fish in their home, after looking online and in reference books, she decided that she would make an aquarium and asked her friend to help

This led to discussions about what resources were needed and how they would make it together. They chose their materials carefully and working as a team they made an aquarium that they were very proud of. It was lovely to see the finished product, however; what was more important was the process of making the aquarium and children discussing, experimenting and problem solving together.

Have a look in the classroom for more examples of child-initiated projects, there is always work on display in the creative areas and around the building.

 

 

 

Child initiated project

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Wednesday 5th June 2019

What a lovely afternoon we had today. We really enjoyed sharing Eid celebrations with our families and friends and hope that you all enjoyed the fun.

Thank you to everyone for all the delicious food you made, everyone enjoyed all the lovely things on offer and went home well fed and happy.

We started the celebrations with songs and Eid Prayers from the children, then children told how they celebrated Eid and followed this with a programme of drumming, dancing and singing. I think you will agree that the children did an amazing job. It was nice to meet all the younger siblings (future Children’s House children) too.

Before the party, some of the children went swimming at Poplar Baths and other children decorated the playground ready for our celebrations. Children also shared stories of their own celebrations at home.

Thank you all for coming today and making it such a happy occasion, we feel privileged to work in such a wonderful community.

 

Eid Party 2019

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Monday 3rd June 2019

Welcome back to nursery, we hope that you all had a lovely half term and enjoyed the nice weather.

The children all returned happily and were busy talking about what they had done in the holidays. They were also busy practicing for their performance at the Eid party and some children were acting out celebrations in their role-play. The day finished with an energetic after school dance club.

Tonight we will post on the website which day we will be closed for Eid; we will do this just as soon as it is announced. The Eid party will be the day after the closure.

Eid Mubarak to everyone celebrating and we wish you a lovely day.

We have a busy half-term ahead so do refer to your letter with the upcoming dates; there are many exciting things planned for the weeks ahead.

 

 

Making Eid cards and rehearsing our lines

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Friday 24th May 2019

As you look back through the blog, you will see what an exciting few weeks we have just had. We welcomed visitors from the Commonwealth, visited museums and farms, started a new after school sports club, learnt all about dinosaurs and fossils, planted flowers and vegetables and learnt which primary school the older children will be moving on to and had fun at forest school.

Today we welcomed speech and language therapists from UCL, we are taking part in valuable research into young children’s understanding of and use of metaphor.

Have a lovely half term holiday. We look forward to seeing you all back on Monday 3rd June.

Outdoor Learning - Forest School

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Thursday 23rd May 2019

The sun finally came out today and nearly everyone headed outdoors to the garden to enjoy the lovely weather. There is a great deal of interest in our growing plants and flowers and of course, the bugs who like to eat them.

Shazna was busy with groups of children throughout the day, practicing drumming for our Eid Celebrations and teaching children Eid songs and rhymes. Chris and Guthsna completed our annual travel survey.

We are a walk to school setting and encourage everyone to walk, scoot or cycle to nursery. A nice walk is the perfect start to the day and of course a special time to talk together.

We finished the day with a planning meeting. There has been a lot of recent interest in fish, therefore after half-term we are going to be having a focus on sea life.

Rehearsing for the Eid Party

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Wednesday 22nd May 2019

There is always plenty going on at Children’s House and today was no exception. Children continued to write their dinosaur stories whilst others created their own interesting three D models.

Another group of children went to forest school with Karla and enjoyed tent building and a picnic. There was a new type of “sand” to explore indoors made with sand and soap and on the top floor; the two year olds enjoyed hand painting on a large scale.

Chris and Guthsna were busy in the morning delivering training on outdoor play to 20 trainee teachers, the students enjoyed outdoor experiences including a session on block play and constructing with natural materials.

After school, Kamran led an energetic sports club and Shazna and Lauren went to Rachel Keeling Nursery School for a twilight training session on Persona Dolls.

Persona dolls are life-sized dolls that can be used as a focus for developing fairness, equality and inclusion amongst children and as an aid to develop communication and listening skills.

They also encourage empathy, critical thinking and problem amongst the children. We are looking forward to introducing our new “friends” to nursery.

Two year olds paint on a large scale

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Teachers Learn Outdoors

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Developing fine motor skills

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Tuesday 21st May 2019

This week children have been learning about Ramadan and the Festival of Eid. When we return from the half-term break the fasting will be almost over and families will be preparing to celebrate.

We explain to the children that during the month of Ramadan, Muslims won’t eat anything between dawn and sunset and this is called fasting. Fasting is important during Ramadan because it allows Muslims to devote themselves to their faith and become closer to Allah. Fasting is one of the five pillars of Islam, which form the basis of how Muslims live their lives. The other pillars are faith, prayer, charity and pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca.

Ramadan is also a time for spiritual reflection, prayer, doing good deeds and spending time with family and friends. People will make a special effort to connect with their communities and reach out to people who need help.

It is common to have a meal (known as suhoor) just before dawn and another (known as iftar) directly after sunset. At the end of the fast, when the sun has gone down, families and friends will get together for iftar to break their fast. Many Muslims also go to the Mosque to pray.

Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic Calendar, but the date changes each year. This is because Islam uses the lunar calendar, so it isn’t a fixed date.

Not everybody fasts in Ramadan, children, the elderly and those who are sick or travelling do not have to fast.

At the end of Ramadan, there is a special three-day festival to mark the end of fasting. This is called Eid al Fitr. It begins when the first sight of the new moon is seen in the sky.

Nursery will be closed on Eid day to allow children to celebrate with their families.

At Children’s House, learning about each other’s cultures and religions is a part of our curriculum. Children learn to understand and respect what we all have in common and what makes us unique or different from each other.

Children really enjoy learning about different festivals and sharing celebrations with their friends.

Designing new clothes for Eid

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Monday 20th May 2019

This week began with a visit from the dentist. She came to run a Healthy Smiles Workshop for parents. The session was well attended and the dentist gave plenty of good advice about tooth care and offered toothbrushes and other samples to attendees.

There was some lovely work going on in nursery, by this stage of the school year many children are beginning to write simple sentences using their knowledge of phonics. As soon as children start to form recognisable letters staff intervene quickly to teach the correct letter formation so that children get into good habits from the start. These dinosaur pictures are very jolly and you can see the children are working hard on their writing.

Outdoors children were measuring using non-standard units and caring for our newly planted seedlings. We finished the day with Dance Club followed by a staff Meeting where we looked at the curriculum.

Writing about Dinosaurs

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Healthy Smiles - Parent/Carer Workshop

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Friday 17th May 2019

A quieter day today after the excitement of the Commonwealth Visitors earlier in the week. However, the children were still busy learning and having fun. In class they continued to explore fossils, making their own mud and dough and making imprints of dinosaurs. Ibrahim suggested that Fossils should “go in a museum” and then children designed and built their own museum, with shelves for artefacts, spaces for dinosaurs, a visitors entrance, a ticket office and finally at Zakariya’s suggestion security cameras.

There was some lovely rich play taking place that was well supported by the adults in the room.

Other children were busy making their own dinosaurs out of clay, giving them different features and making up their own names, I particularly liked “Boostersaurus” so named because” he has boosters in his spikes”.

The two year olds have had a very busy week, on Wednesday they went for a picnic in Bob’s Park, on Thursday they made biscuits and today they made their own salt dough.

 A letter was sent out today with the dates of all the trips and activities for the next half term. Please keep it safely as you will need to refer to it over the next few weeks.

 The announcement for Eid Closure will be made on the Website as soon as it is confirmed. It is anticipated to be Tuesday June 4th .

Have a lovely weekend.

 

Orange class make salt dough

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Orange class make biscuits

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Excavating for fossils and building a museum

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Clay dinosaurs

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Thursday 16th May 2019

Today children were exploring Fossils. Fossils are the remains or traces of plants and animals that lived a long time ago. Fossils give scientists clues about the past and therefore they are important to palaeontology, the study of prehistoric life.

Most fossils are found in earth that once lay underwater. They are formed from the hard parts of shells or bones of living things. After a living thing died, it sank to the bottom of the sea. Layers of earth and the remains of other living things built up on top of it. Over time, these layers turned into rock. Eventually, part or all of the living thing’s hard parts also turned into rock, the fossil is the shape of these hard parts in rock. Other fossils are imprints on soft material that later hardened into rock. Scientists have found dinosaur footprints in rock that formed from mud.

Children made their own fossils using salt dough and then played detective with their friends as they guessed which dinosaur had made which fossil.

We also interviewed for a new teacher today and are pleased to say that we have appointed. We are looking forward to welcoming our new staff in September.

Staff in the office were busy with the Summer Census and the day finished with the weekly planning meeting.

 

Exploring Fossils

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Wednesday 15th May

Today was a very special day for the children and staff of Children’s House Nursery School. We were chosen to host fifteen visitors from the Commonwealth who were participating in the Global Leaders Programme.

CSC is a global leadership programme for exceptional senior leaders selected each year from Government, business and NGOs across the 5 countries of the Commonwealth. The programme is for leaders who are at a senior or strategic level in their organisation and/or society, hold significant power or influence in their current role, are close to the pinnacle of their career, with ambitions to achieve more and are excited about the opportunities that CSCLeaders provides.

Our visitors came from all over the World including Zambia, Ghana, Egypt, Australia, Singapore, South Africa, Kenya, Pakistan and Trinidad and Tobago. They spent time in nursery and enjoyed a talk on the narrowing the gap and building resilience. The children were amazing, performing songs for the visitors, serving food and drink and acting as tour guides. We were immensely proud of them. We also thank Hasina who represented our wonderful parent volunteers and talked eloquently about our work with parents.

It was an amazing day and the visitors left full of praise for the work we do.

CSC Visitors from the Commonwealth

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Tuesday 14th May 2019

When children arrived at Nursery School today, there was a small baby dinosaur on the path.

Where did he come from? How did he get here? Where is his family?

These were just some of the many questions children asked about the dinosaur and it stimulated some wonderful language and storytelling.

Children also made a backdrop for their story telling out in the playground.

We finished the day with our sign language class. All staff are becoming proficient at British Sign Language and we all look forward to our Tuesday lessons with Iqbal and Michael.

Hello Dinosaur

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Monday 13th May 2019

This week following on from the children’s interests, we are having a focus on dinosaurs. Today children researched when and where dinosaurs lived and then set about making their own swamp.

Indoors the youngest children had a go at painting dinosaur pictures with rather impressive results.

Children are often fascinated by dinosaurs, as are adults so we are looking forward to exploring this topic.

After school the children enjoyed dance club and Chris and Guthsna were busy shortlisting the applications for the post of class teacher. It was nice to see the sun again after a dreary weekend.

 

Dinosaur Swamp

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Friday10th May 2019

The children had a treat today when Zakariya’s mum and Abdur Rahman’s mum came into nursery to show everyone how to make Eid Lanterns. The children really enjoyed making lanterns and learning about Eid traditions. We welcome parents in nursery so if you would like to support the children’s learning do let us know.

Chris and Guthsna were busy all day interviewing for the position of Nursery Nurse. There were five candidates shortlisted and it was a tough choice; however, we are very pleased with the person we appointed. She has a degree in Early Years Education and a wealth of experience in Children’s Centres and Nurseries. She will take up her post in September and we look forward to welcoming her to Children’s House.

Out in the playground it was nice to see boys dancing to music and making up their own steps and routines. Lauren joined in and showed them the Haka.

Have a lovely weekend.

Making Eid Lanterns with parents

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Dancing Together

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Thursday 9th May

Today we welcomed staff from Old Palace to discuss transitions for the children who will be starting there in September.

We support and prepare our children for this big change and there is always great excitement at the thought of moving on to big school.

There were plenty of delicious smells in nursery when our visitors arrived, both indoors and in the garden as children prepared healthy snacks for their friends. Outdoors children tackled Lithuanian Pancakes while in the class they made a vegetable bhaji with Sam. By this stage of the school year, many of the children can follow a simple recipe, measure out ingredients and use tools such as small kitchen knives and vegetable peelers. As you know cooking and preparing healthy, food is a big part of our nursery curriculum. Children learn so much from such a simple activity and of course, they are always willing to try the food they have prepared themselves.

Staff finished off the day with a planning meeting to discuss the activities for next week.

We prepare our own snacks

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Lithuanian Pancakes

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Wednesday 8th May 2019

There is great excitement in the air at Children’s House. We are chosen to host leaders from the Commonwealth who are visiting Britain as part of the CSC Leaders Programme. CSC Leaders is a global leadership programme for exceptional senior leaders selected each year from Government, business and NGOs from across the 53 countries of the Commonwealth.

The programme is for individuals who operate at a senior strategic level in their organisation and/or society and who hold significant influence in their current role.

Leaders are visiting Children’s House next week to look at how we build resilience in our children and ensure they leave nursery with the skills they need to thrive in education.

Participants on the CSC Programme develop cultural intelligence and create long lasting relationships across the Globe.

To prepare the children for the visit we have been making connections between the countries represented by the children and staff in nursery and the countries of the Commonwealth. Children have been looking at maps, photographs, video footage and flags and are looking forward to welcoming our important visitors next week.

Learning about the Commonwealth

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Tuesday 7th May 2019

We hope everyone had a good Bank Holiday weekend despite the chilly weather and to everyone fasting we wish you all Ramadan Mubarak.

Children were very busy today in the garden. One group made a tasty snack of Bruschetta using garlic, chopped tomatoes and basil. This was shared across the nursery and the verdict was delicious.

In the front play ground children were going on imaginary journeys on the planes they constructed. I think everyone must feel the need for some sun as the planes were all off to hot places.

Daniel the educational psychologist was in school and we had a visit from the architect and engineers who were planning how to get water and power into our new building.

This was very exciting as we are looking forward to our new facilities.

Bruschetta

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Flying Away

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Friday 3rd May 2019

This week our two year olds have been very busy on the top floor, they have planted seeds for the rooftop garden, learnt how to mix their own paint and enjoyed plenty of exploratory and sensory play. All of our youngest children enjoy their time at nursery and we love to see the progress they are making.

We are looking forward to the new provision for the children that will be built over the summer holiday. This will allow us to offer more two-year-old places as demand is high.

It was focus Friday for the rest of the nursery and children were busy working on their special books, adding in their pictures and comments.

Have a lovely Bank Holiday and Ramadan Mubarak to everyone who will fasting next week. Nursery opens again on Tuesday 7th May.

Busy, happy two year olds

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Thursday 2nd May

A busy day at Children’s House today as we welcomed teachers from Tower Hamlets and Newham to our training on supporting block play in the early years.

At Children’s House block play is freely available every day, we believe that when children are free to experiment with simple open ended materials such as blocks they find ways to express and develop their thoughts. Block play offers open-ended, creative and valuable learning experiences, children are free to explore take apart and put back together any creation they can think of. They take the blocks, which can have multiple uses and infinite possibilities and manipulate them in their own manner; the blocks become the educator as children experiment and discover what they can do.

The teachers were also highly creative and enjoyed experimenting and building. They all agreed it was a valuable session. At Children’s House we regularly share our good practice with others and we also learn from other settings ourselves.

In Nursery, children have been reading Jack and the Beanstalk; many children have been acting out the story in their role-play. Today they wanted to make a giant beanstalk and giant, so working together in small groups they thought how they could achieve this and then set to work to produce their beanstalks. These are displayed out in the garden.

Training the Teachers - Block Play

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Jack and the Bean stalk

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Wednesday 1st May

Happy May Day

Today a group of children, parents and staff headed off to the Science Museum in Kensington.

They had an interesting day exploring the museum and trying out the “hands on activities” in the interactive galleries.

Children enjoyed the Destination Space Show where they discovered how to get people to the international space station and keep them safe and visiting the pattern pod which contains a range of hands-on exhibits which allow children to explore pattern in different ways, developing skills such as recognising different types of pattern, including simple symmetry. They were also able to spend time in the science garden

The Science Museum has many interesting activities for families.

You can find out more by clicking on the link below.

https://www.sciencemuseum.org.uk/visit-us

In Nursery we had the last session of Early Words Together which finished with a celebration for parents and children and a big thank you to our parent Literacy Champions. Who give their time so generously.

 

A Trip to the Science Museum

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Tuesday 30th April

For the past week, children have been very busy planting seeds and bulbs for our flower and vegetable gardens. We now have plenty of seedlings and so the children decided that they would make a Greenhouse in the garden. Working with Karla as it is still not quite warm enough to plant everything out into the soil.

First, they researched the purpose of a greenhouse, then they carefully drew their designs, then they discussed the materials they would use and finally they built it.

If you get time, do visit the garden and look. I think you will agree that they all did an excellent job. We look forward to the tomatoes, strawberries and beans later in the year.

Reminder: a letter was sent home today explaining the arrangements during the period of building works that are taking place. Please do make sure you receive one and come and take a look at the plans they are really exciting.

Building a Greenhouse

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Monday 29th April 2019

At Children’s House, we encourage children to try a wide variety of healthy foods and often introduce new things during snack. One of the best ways that we have found to encourage healthy eating is to get children involved in making their own food. Today Lauren showed the children how to bake crackers using herbs from the garden for flavour, they then made a chickpea and vegetable dip and every child who tried it thought it was delicious!

Dips are a great way to get your child to eat vegetables, blitz up some veg and add to humus and serve with crackers, carrot sticks, strips of peppers etc. and before you know it children are well on their way to their five a day.

The staff all agreed that Lauren’s dip was delicious too.

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Friday 26th April

Today was a chilly day compared to the recent glorious weather, to keep warm Kamran led a session of team games in the front garden. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed being energetic and active and were soon warm and happy to be outdoors.

Indoors children were observing the growth cycle of plants and there was also plenty of interest in Creative Modelling. This is where children have free access to tools and modelling materials and can construct whatever is in their mind. In the beginning, children just enjoy sticking materials together but by this stage of term many children are constructing with a purpose in mind and are thinking carefully about what they want to build, how they will build it and what materials they will need.

This Sunday is the London Marathon, why not go out and cheer on the runners. The children will enjoy it and I am sure the athletes will welcome your support.

Have a good weekend.

Creative Modelling

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Keeping Fit

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Thursday 25th April 2019

Our exploration of plants and growing continued today. Children were thinking about where our plants came from and how they grow. They were fascinated to cut open fruit and vegetables and discover seeds inside which they could then plant.