Monday 18th September
Out in the forest area today children were involved in role play as they acted out the book of the week “We’re going on a Bear Hunt”. They made their own props, homes for the bears, maps of the woods and then set out on their own adventures. There is a lovely companion book to Bear Hunt “We’re Going on a Bear Hunt Adventure Field Guide” which is packed full of ideas for carrying out your own “bear hunt” at home. It’s well worth a look.
New children were busy exploring the water trays and learning how to access resources and clear them away. After school Music Club started and it was nice to hear busy children singing and drumming again. We still have spaces for after school clubs and Breakfast Club so do see your child’s key worker if you would like a space for your child.
New children are settling in well and the school is filling up nicely. New parents are warmly invited to drop in on the top floor for tea and a chat to get to know the parent support partner and other parents.
Have a good week.
Friday 15th September
Friday started with a parent/carer coffee morning, this time parents got together for an informal workshop to finish off their “All About Me” books.
These books really help the children to settle and are full of valuable information for staff so we really support and encourage all parents and children to make one.
In the playground new children were busy exploring the environment and many discovered and enjoyed playing in the large sand pit. Indoors Parvin taught children how to make playdough from scratch. We teach all children how to operate independently in the nursery and eventually children are able to select their own resources, mix paint, make a simple salt dough, tidy away resources and take care of the environment.
The children got off to an excellent start today, following instructions, making dough and recalling the process.
Well done to all our children and families for helping to make the first full week of nursery such a positive experience.
Next week we start African Drumming and after school clubs.
Spaces for Breakfast Club are available, please see Sabiya if you are interested.
Have a good weekend.
Thursday 14th September
Thursday started with a well-attended Coffee Morning which was a chance for the new parents and the returning parents to meet each other and also an opportunity to hear about the exciting things we have planned for the year.
Ruheda our parent support partner asked everyone how things were going so far, and what kinds of things they would like to see offered during the year. She explained all the opportunities Children’s House has for parental engagement.
It was a very enjoyable get together and thank you to everyone attended.Working parents who were unable to attend look out for the family learning opportunities we have on weekends.
In nursery today children were learning how to make cup-cakes with Parvin and out in the garden there were some wonderful games involving dinosaurs.
We also welcomed four more new children and their parents.
Wednesday 13th September
Swimming lessons have started early this term. Today a group of children set off with Samantha and Salma for the newly refurbished Poplar Baths. This is the first time we have used Poplar baths. Previously the children went to York Hall, however the journey to Poplar is much easier as it is only a couple of stops on the DLR.
The children had a really enjoyable time and considering that for some it was their first time in a swimming pool they did really well.
Thank you to all the parents who volunteered to help, we couldn’t run these lessons without your support.
Meanwhile back in school new children were settling in and exploring the indoor construction room. Children made beds for the toy bears and others made an elaborate labyrinth involving blocks and bamboo guttering.
The settling in period is going very well so far and again we thank parents for their patience and support.
Tuesday 12th September
Today we welcomed four new children to school, there were many exciting things on offer and the children quickly found something that made them feel at home.
We plan carefully each evening to give each child the best possible start to nursery, for example if you have told us that your child likes dinosaurs we will make sure that a basket of dinosaurs are within easy reach in the classroom. We try to reflect the interests of each child and use these important first days to build a picture of what the children know, understand and can do.
We do these simple on-entry assessments with you the parents/carers as you know your child the best and then together we plan for each child’s next steps.
Out in the garden children were fascinated by a large spider who was conveniently spinning a web, children were collecting and comparing fallen leaves and many children were introduced to a bicycle for the first time.
Indoors children were making biscuits, dressing up, making models and constructing with lego.
At story time children practised listening skills and body percussion as part of our Phase One phonics programme.
Look out for the parent workshop later this term where we will explain our approach to developing early reading and writing skills.
Monday 11th September
We hope that you all had a good weekend and were able to get out and about despite the rain. Our thoughts go out to people around the world who have been affected by the recent floods in Nepal, India and Bangladesh and the hurricanes in the Caribbean and the USA.
It was raining on and off for most of the day, however this didn’t the children from enjoying the outdoor area. Sam was working with the large blocks, introducing the children to some new ideas from our recent training.
Some of the children who had a new sibling over the summer, set up a baby clinic in the home corner and this led to some wonderful sustained play.
We also welcomed four new children who started today. Remember all new children need a parent/carer to stay on the first day and after that your key-person will discuss with you when the time is right to leave. We understand that for many working parents this settling in period is hard and we do our best to support your child to settle in quickly.
It's important during this time not to compare children. All children are unique, some settle on the first day, whilst others need a little longer to build their confidence and form new attachments. This is all normal and we have seen it all before.
We would never leave a child to cry and will always phone parents if a child is unsettled in nursery.
Friday 8th September
Today we reminded children how to care for the different areas of nursery, the classrooms and outdoor area (third classroom) are designed to allow children maximum independence. We teach children how to care for the environment, to look after it and to tidy up when we they have finished playing.
We involve children in daily risk assessments with the result that it is often a child who will point out a broken toy or something spilt on the floor.
The majority of children were outdoors today, they were fascinated by the changes in the garden, the tomatoes were all ripe, ready for picking and there were some late strawberries. The rainy holiday meant that the weeds had grown like triffids but our eager gardeners soon restored the beds to their former glory.
This half –term the topic is “ourselves” as we find out about the new children. Older children will be learning about healthy eating, exercise, taking care of themselves, their family tree and the local community.
Thursday 7th September
Today we welcomed all the returning children back to school, it was lovely to see everyone so cheerful, glad to be back and ready for the busy term ahead, we introduced the children to our LETTA student Janifar Manoranjalingam.
Janifar will be completing her teacher training course here at Children’s House and we are very pleased that she chose to join our school. She will be working in the ground floor classroom.
We reminded children that some staff have changed classrooms, Sam and Karla have moved to the first floor class and Shazna is now working in the ground floor class, however as the children are able to move freely around the building they will still see all the staff.
We were happy to welcome Parvin back from Maternity leave, Parvin will be a key person in the first floor classroom.
We have many exciting things planned for this half-term, so keep an eye on the noticeboard.
Swimming starts next week, if you would like your child to have swimming lessons. Please see Ruheda Begum our parent support partner.
Wednesday 6th September
Before home visiting today all staff had training from a specialist nurse on how to support children with diabetes. Our school welcomes all children from the community and we are always ready to learn how we can best support any child with a medical or special need.
After training staff were back out on the road home visiting.
A big thank you to the new parents for their wonderful hospitality, we really enjoy this first contact as it is the start of our working in partnership to best support your child at the start of their education journey.
We are all looking forward to tomorrow when the children return to nursery after the long summer break.
Tuesday 5th September
Today was home visiting day, staff set off in pairs to visit the children in their key group.
We offer all children a home visit as we feel it is really beneficial to meet children in their own environment where they are likely to be at their most comfortable.
It is also the start of building that link between home and school and developing the relationship between parents/carers and the nursery staff. The visit gives parents time to ask questions in a relaxed atmosphere and explain any worries they might have
Useful Home visit tips:
• See this as some precious one-on-one time to get to know your key person and vice versa.
• Use the visit to raise any concerns you have, e.g. worries about toileting, child development etc. It’s much easier to do this on a one to one basis in your own home
• Explain to your child in advance that their new teacher is coming round to say hello and encourage them to get a favourite toy out to show them.
• Turn the TV off. Your child is unlikely to bond with the teacher if they’re distracted by goings on on CBeebies.
• Worry about making the house super-spotless. We are here to meet you and your child not inspect your home.
Monday 4th September
Hello, we hope everyone had a good holiday and are ready for an exciting term ahead at Children’s House. Staff returned to school today and we got the new term off to a wonderful start with an INSET Day on the value and importance of Block Play. Our tutor Daniel shared many new ideas and we had a busy, practical day underpinned by sound principles of how building with blocks helps children’s development across all areas of the curriculum.
We can’t wait to introduce the children to some of these new ways of working. It was a really interesting and productive day. It was also fun to catch up with each other and share news of how we spent the summer break.
Carpenters and painters have been in school over the holiday making repairs to the top floor windows and the school is having a deep clean so it is fresh for the year ahead.
We have home visits for the next two days and are really looking forward to welcoming our returning children back to nursery on Thursday and our new children from Monday 11th.
Remember if your child now has a full time place please bring them in between 9 and 9.15 a.m. even if they were an afternoon child.
We are looking forward to welcoming you back to school
Friday 21st July
The end of term saw us say goodbye to the wonderful class of 2017. The children went out in style with a graduation ceremony that was attended by parents, siblings, and other family members and friends.
The children rose to the occasion with an amazing performance of Mr Gumpy’s Outing, a display of African drumming, and a showcase of song and dance.
Each child received their certificate and the ceremony finished with a film featuring snapshots of each child’s learning journey.
There wasn’t a dry eye in the house.
All that is left to say is we have loved every minute of this year, thank you for entrusting your child to Children’s House and we wish you all the very best for the future.
A reminder for the children who are returning in September;school starts on Thursday 7th September 2017.
Have a safe and happy holiday.
Thursday 20th July
The last full day of term saw children and parents heading off for afternoon tea with the senior citizens who had participated in the inter-generational project. Both the young and not so young had a wonderful time and it was agreed that this was something we will continue and strengthen in the future.
The children loved talking to the older generation who in turn found the children “delightful”.
The project was a huge success; so a huge thank you to our Governor Alya for arranging this.
Wednesday 19th July
There is great excitement everywhere at the moment as children prepare for the end of a wonderful school year. Today children were finishing their leaver’s cards, washing toys and equipment and sorting out anything broken or damaged.
In the midst of this bustle you could still find quiet groups of children focused and engaged in really deep meaningful play. In the photos below you can observe children lost in concentration as they focus on designing and building individual homes for the toy animals.
Other children today were curious about the thunder and lightning last night and with adult help investigated what causes thunder and lightning to occur.
Tuesday 18th July
Today the children harvested the last of our summer strawberries. What could be nicer than growing, picking and then eating your own produce?
Everyone enjoyed finding the last few strawberries then washing them and preparing them for a snack to eat together.
There was so much learning taking place during this activity for example:
Can you find the biggest strawberry?
Who picked the most?
Can you estimate how many are in the basket?
How many strawberries are there altogether?
Can you sort them by size?
As the Wimbledon tennis tournament has just finished, staff were telling the children about the tradition of eating strawberries and cream before a match. This sparked an interest in tennis so out came the racquets and balls and hey presto an impromptu lesson on the finer arts of a tennis match. A skilled early years educator is always able to build on the children’s interests and develop what they know, understand and can do.
We also continued with our transition visits and welcomed reception class teachers from the local primary schools.
Look out for the thunder and lightning tonight as storms are predicted.
Monday 17th July
The start of the final week of the school year saw our leavers, parents and staff heading off for a trip to Paradise Wildlife Park a family-run animal park located in Broxbourne Hertfordshire.
The coaches arrived on time and with no hiccups everyone got away on time for a wonderful day out in the country.
The weather was perfect, behaviour exemplary and everyone had a thoroughly enjoyable time.
The children returned full of tales of lions, tigers, gorillas and giraffes and they loved the animal show where they were introduced to some impressive rats who are specially trained to seek out landmines in Mozambique.
There was a picnic lunch and then time for fun in the water park followed by ice-creams and finally the trip back to Bow.
I hope you all had fun and agree that this was a great way to say goodbye to the class of 2017.
Friday 14th June
Today was a very hectic but fun day, we had a session of our joint project with Trinity Laban in the morning and in the afternoon we had our annual summer fete. Thank you so much to everyone for making our Fete such a fun afternoon. We hope that you all really enjoyed it. There was a bouncy castle, Mr Boo Boo the magician, face painting, mehndi, delicious food and stalls of all kinds.
We would like to say a big thank you to Kingsley Hall for the loan of the tables, to Tesco for donating the ice-cream and to Silver Service for the wonderful food.
Have a lovely weekend and remember that children who are leaving should please arrive at school by 8.30 for their trip to Paradise Wild Life Park.
Thursday 13th July
Today we welcomed Pauline Hoare the Tower Hamlets Lead for Early Years to the Nursery. We had a very productive meeting to look at ways the nursery schools can further support other settings in the borough.
We also had a visit from the great nephew of Eve Garnett; the author and artist who painted the mural in the Ground Floor Classroom. Eve Garnett was the author of the lovely children’s book, The Family from One End Street and the illustrator of The London Child.
Out in the playground children were discovering new things about capacity; they enjoyed estimating the answers to questions such as how many jugs would fill a bucket? And then checking if their estimate was close to the answer.
Water play is part of our continuous provision. Water is one of the basic raw materials for purposeful play. Just like sand, clay, and blocks, children can use water without being constrained by the one, right way to use it. Unlike many of the commercially produced, flashy playthings water is a plaything that fosters curiosity, imagination, and experimentation – and it is free.
At Children’s House both indoors and outdoors, the water centre is the catalyst for building concepts, developing language, and promoting social skills.
We also had fun decorating the school ready for our Summer Fete tomorrow.
Wednesday 12th July
Today we had a joyful celebration to mark the end of the 7th cohort of the National Literacy Trust's Early Words Together programme. Parents and volunteers gathered on the top floor with their children to share food and celebrate success. All participating children received new books and volunteers and parents received certificates and our thanks and gratitude for making this programme so amazing. The impact it has on children’s language development and early literacy skills is really measurable and we invest in this programme because it does have such a positive impact.
We will be running the programme again in the Autumn Term so if you would like to join our dedicated group of volunteers or would like to participate in the programme, please see Ruheda.
After school we had parents evening for our leavers, families were presented with their child's final report and had an opportunity to discuss their child’s progress and attainment.
We are so proud of all our children and progress across the board has been outstanding this year. We are also grateful that we work with such a supportive group of families, so well done everyone.
After parents evening all the staff set off for Saffron for a well-earned end of term meal.
Tuesday 11th July
After the recent heat wave it was fun to see some rain today, the children enjoyed splashing in puddles and watching all the snails and worms come out into the garden.
In between the heavy showers, children spontaneously moved their block play into the large sandpit where they built castles and moats and buildings of all kinds.
Indoors children were preparing for the end of term, each child gets to make their own leaving card which is signed by their friends and teachers, each card is beautifully unique and the designs involve the use of sequins, feathers, ribbons, fabric and even pieces of cork. They really are a lasting memento of their time at Children’s House.
Children are also preparing for an end of term graduation concert and we hope once again you will all be amazed at how confident and talented our children are.
Have a lovely evening and stay dry!
Monday 10th July
Another hot day today as we enter the last two weeks of term. Children are very interested in journeys and travel as our thoughts turn to holidays. Out in the front garden children were spontaneously building different forms of transport and Ruheda supported and extended this play by asking the children to think about where they were travelling to and what they might need for their journey.
A group of children also visited Marner school as part of transition and one child set off for a day at Solebay school.
In the morning Chris attended a meeting to discuss our fire safety procedures. We take fire safety very seriously. All staff have had fire marshal and fire awareness training and we have robust evacuation procedures which we regularly practice with the children.
In our last fire practice the children safely evacuated the building calmly and sensibly in 1 minute and 45 seconds which is excellent.
We finished the day with the last session of music club this term.
Friday 7th July
We hope you are all recovered from Sports Day, the children were certainly on good form however one or two of the staff were certainly feeling a little stiffer than usual!
Today the dentist was in school to give the children a second coat of fluoride varnish to help protect teeth against decay. Alongside a healthy diet with not too much sugar this gives children’s teeth extra protection.
We also welcomed Amy from the Trinity Laban Dance Conservatoire, she is working with us on a joint dance project and despite the hot weather the children really enjoyed themselves and joined in enthusiastically.
A group of children had lunch at their new primary school which they found tremendously exciting.
Rina was on a course to further develop her skills as an early years practitioner and Guthsna attended a visioning day with our East London Schools and Early Years Alliance partners.
It was a busy and productive day.
Have a lovely weekend
Thursday 6th July
Well what a morning!
I hope you all had a wonderful time at Sports Day and enjoyed all the different games and activities. A big thank you to you all for making this day such a huge success we couldn’t have done it without your help. It was fantastic to see everyone joining in and who would have known that our parents were so competitive! The children’s flower groups were impressive and there were some highly creative team chants which were probably heard all the way in the City.
We had a great range of sporting events on offer including hurdles, hockey, goal scoring, a relay race, a sack race, an egg and spoon race, galloping hobby horses, , an over and under race, a walking on stilts race and of course our grand finale of a dads race, a mums race and the annual staff race which as usual was won by Ruheda who must be the fastest teacher in Tower Hamlets!
We must say a huge thank you to St. Paul’s Way Trust School and in particular to their head of games Mr Chapman. They are wonderful hosts and always give us a warm welcome and a lovely safe space where children can run freely and really enjoy themselves. We must also say a big thank you to the dads who kindly ran some of the games and helped with the clearing away. It really was a perfect example of team work.
Even the weather was perfect although by the end we were all just a little bit too hot, however the expected rain held off and we had a perfect day.
As a school we love these community days and feel privileged to work with such amazing families.
Wednesday 5th July
The district line was full of Children’s House families today as a group set off for London Zoo. This trip was part of our Early words Together Programme and followed on from work around Rod Campbell’s classic book “Dear Zoo”.
Everyone had a perfect day out, the weather was glorious and there was so much to see and do that some of our families stayed at the Zoo when it was time to return to school. The children visited the Butterfly House, the Aquarium, the Reptile House, the penguin enclosure which was a firm favourite and many other areas where they enjoyed seeing animals of all kinds.
Whenever we visit a Zoo we always explain to children that it is not natural for animals to live in a Zoo but London Zoo is doing very important work to protect the survival and conservation of the animals and takes the best care of them.
It certainly gave the children moments of awe and wonder when they were able to get close to so many magnificent animals.
Have a good evening, get plenty of rest and we will see you all for our annual Family Sports Day tomorrow.
Tuesday 4th July
There was plenty going on at Children’s House today, Chris and Guthsna met with the architects who are redesigning the children’s toilets. We are having them reconfigured so that they open off the classrooms. This will make it more comfortable for the children and make supervision easier for staff. The plans look wonderful so hopefully if English Heritage and the borough approve; work will take place in the summer of 2018.
We also had our final Governors meeting of the year w Chris gave a termly report of all the exciting things that have happened in nursery.
In class children were busy preparing for sports day, designing group banners, headdresses and practising their chants.
Let’s hope that the weather hold out for us.
Monday 3rd July
As we get nearer to the end of term; school is a very busy place so please check your diary letter every day so you know exactly what is happening. Today we had transition visits to two of our primary schools and it really is a delight to see how excited the children are about moving on to their new schools. Although we will miss them all we consider it a job well done when we see them so happy and confident and prepared for the next stage of their education.
Out in the front playground Ruheda was putting children through their paces as they practiced for sports day. Today they were learning to pass a ball over and under and listen for the whistle.
This week we also welcomed Shahana from Phoenix School; Afia and Shahana have swapped roles for the week. Afia is working in Phoenix school and learning new skills to help support children with autism and Shahana is learning about nursery education. These swaps are a wonderful way to develop staff and learn from each other.
After school there was a lively session of music club.
We also welcomed the new parents of the children starting in September to their first parents evening. We had a great turnout and are so pleased that so many families are choosing Children’s House for their child’s first educational experience. We hope they will all be very happy here.
Friday 30th June
Today we were delighted to welcome some of our local senior citizens who came into nursery for the inter-generational project which is being facilitated by a local artist. The children worked together with the senior citizens to create multi-media portraits. This is an exciting new project for us and we hope it will lead to further links with the retired members of our community.
Harry the school photographer was also in nursery today taking the graduation photos.
The highlight of the day however was the release into the wild of our beautiful home grown butterflies.
Over the past three weeks the children have observed with fascination how our caterpillars have metamorphosed into beautiful Monarch butterflies and today they watched them fly off into the sunshine to start the lifecycle all over again.
It was a magical moment for everyone.
Have a lovely weekend.
Thursday 29th June
We had a busy day today as groups of children went to visit their new primary schools. We take transition very seriously at Children’s House and do everything we can to support the move to “big school” we want the transition to go smoothly and do our best to ensure that our children are confident and very well-prepared when they move on to the next stage in their learning.
Back in school children were learning about sports day and practicing some of the games and other children spontaneously decided to draw each other, this was interesting to observe as they put into practice all the things they have previously learned such as using an ipad to take a photograph first.
At the end of every Thursday all the staff assembled together for the weekly planning meeting, this is an important meeting where we discuss the children’s learning, their current interests and then plan think together for the next steps.
Wednesday 28th June
There was great excitement in Children’s House today as we had a visit from Ranger Lillian from “Zoolab”. We have worked with Zoolab for a number of years and are always impressed by their professionalism and ability to pitch their workshops at just the right level for young children. Zoolab are the UK’s number one company for animal handling experiences, their motto is “amaze, educate and inspire” and they never fail to do all three.
Today Ranger Lillian brought some really interesting creatures to meet the children including, a tarantula spider, a gecko, a Komodo dragon, a stick insect and a turtle. The children learnt some fascinating facts about the different animals and insects and those who wanted to could hold the snake or pet the gecko.
Even the more timid children enjoyed themselves and everyone got to touch or hold one of the creatures.
We also had Early Words Together and finished the day with yoga.
Tuesday 27th June
Welcome back to school, I hope that you enjoyed the day off yesterday and for those families and staff who celebrate Eid I hope you had a lovely day.
I think everyone will agree that when we have a party at Children’s House it is always a very special occasion and our Eid party was certainly no exception, it was a joyous day when we all came together to celebrate the end of Ramadan, enjoy the children’s performances and share delicious food. We would like to say a huge thank you to all you generous and clever parents for the wonderful banquet of rice, curries, biryani, beautiful cupcakes and handmade Eid biscuits, it was so impressive and everyone had fun sharing food and trying new things including a delicious and hot chilli chutney.
The celebration kicked off with a beautiful recitation of verses from the Quran by Layla and Yusef, this was followed by the children singing Eid songs and performing a special Eid dance. We then appreciated songs and Nasheeds by our guest singer Alaur Rahman and then everyone got to enjoy the food outdoors in the garden.
It was a truly special afternoon and we wish everyone Eid Mubarak.
Chris also went up to Westminster today for an All Part Parliamentary Group meeting in the Houses of Parliament on the future of our nursery schools. It was a productive afternoon and we will keep you posted on further developments.
Friday 23rd June
There was a lovely example out in the garden today of well supported child initiated play. All week during the hot weather the children have been pretending to make and sell ice-creams. Samantha noticed that the children had sustained this play over a number of days and today she supported them to set up an ice-cream kiosk.
The children worked collaboratively to set up their kiosk deciding what flavours to sell and how much they would charge, they then decorated the kiosk so children could see what to order, next they established a bank where children could get money and a till where they could pay for their orders and finally came a picnic area where they set up a sprinkle stall and benches to relax on. There were so many skills involved in this activity and it covered all areas of the EYFS curriculum, we saw discussion, team work, higher level thinking skills, use of imagination, role play, counting, size, comparison, writing and some quite advanced problem solving designed to extend the most able. For example there are three flavours of ice cream and three different pots of sprinkles, how many different cones can you make? What happens if you have two scoops of different ice-cream; how many combinations can you make then?
This kept children engrossed for much of the day. In addition to this a number of children who had enjoyed tent making earlier in the week decided to construct their own tent without any adult help and they really did a good job.
A big thank you to everyone who donated generously for the people of Grenfell Tower, we also donated craft materials to the Grenfell Nursery which was based in the Tower and of course lost everything. The six nursery schools sent supplies to help the school to get re-established.
We would like to wish everyone Eid Mubarak and for our families who are celebrating have a wonderful day and if you find time to take pictures why not add one to your child’s special book?
See you all back in school on Tuesday 27th June when we will all share food and celebrate together.
Thursday 22nd June
Today children were making Eid cards to give to their family and friends and were learning all about Eid al-Fitr (The festival of breaking the fast) which marks the end of the month of Ramadan. Many of the children were able to tell their non-Muslim friends all about Eid and what they do to celebrate. The end of Ramadan is based on the Islamic Lunar calendar so it can be difficult to predict exactly when it will take place, it is expected to fall on Sunday 25th June and school will be closed for the Eid Celebrations on Monday 26th June. Don’t forget we will have our annual Eid party in school at 1p.m. on Tuesday 27th June and we invite part-time morning children and their families to join us in the afternoon.
Children also enjoyed learning some new Eid songs and practiced a special Eid dance. At Children’s House we learn about and celebrate all our community festivals. We teach the children to understand and respect each other’s culture and religion and to celebrate what we all have in common and to appreciate our diverse and cohesive community.
We will be having a collection in school for the victims of the tragic Grenfell fire on Friday and we are donating resources to the Grenfell Nursery which was based in the Tower block. The nursery is in temporary accommodation and is having to start from scratch. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims, their families and the wider Grenfell community.
Wednesday 21st June
Today was probably the hottest day of the year it is also the longest as today marks the summer solstice, the children stayed safely indoors during the warmest part of the day, where they enjoyed self-directed play, water play, continued exploration of fruit and the opportunity to contribute their drawings and writings to a class book on mini beasts.
There was also great excitement as our caterpillars have now all changed to the pupa/chrysalis stage ready to emerge in a few days as beautiful monarch butterflies.
Out in the garden naturally there was lots of water play, a huge paddling pool and an endless amount of watering for our thirsty plants. Many children also enjoyed making a tent from scratch which involved real team work from hanging the material, hammering in tent pegs and designing where the flaps should go. They then set up a camp and were able to sit in the nice shady tent protected from the sun.
We also interviewed a potential teacher trainee from Best Practice Network who read the children a lovely rhyming story called “Oi Frog”.
The children ended the day with a calm session of yoga.
Tuesday 20th June
Another baking hot day, however the children seem to have adapted quite well and after lunch they were happy to do quieter activities indoors until it cooled down a little.
There was some really nice child initiated play out in the garden; Arifa made a puppet using wool, cardboard and art straws and soon her friends wanted to join in and create their own puppets. With a little help from Shakila they made an impromptu puppet theatre and added seats for an audience and then off they went making up and performing their own plays, one of which seemed to involve a very hungry crocodile eating lots of the other puppets.
The audience were very appreciative and many children were engaged in this area for most of the morning.
Indoors Sam had purchased many different summer fruits, the children really enjoyed tasting them, learning the names, describing them and then making delicious fruit kebabs for snack time.
This activity was a good example of everyday maths as children involved in this activity estimated how many pieces of fruit they needed, what size the fruit should be and whether to sequence the fruit into a pattern. It was a popular activity and many of the children must have been well on their way to achieving most of their five a day.
We finished the day with a quiet and relaxing dance club.
Monday 16th June
What do you do on the hottest day of the year? Well if you are at Children’s House you fill the paddling pool, fill all the water trays and put out the hose pipe and the result is happy children and soaking wet staff.
Everyone was so hot today but we managed the weather by staying indoors during the hottest hours, ensuring that children drank plenty of nice cold water and providing ice lollies as a treat before story time.
We are due a heat wave for the rest of this week, so please remember to apply sunscreen to your child, provide a hat and remind them to drink plenty of water.
Friday 16th June
We invited our dads back to school today and were amazed at the turnout, in every area of the nursery dads and granddads were busy with the children. Out in the playground we had ball games, obstacle courses and races and indoors we had baking, dough making, biscuit decorating, sand and water play and many other exciting activities. Our dads loved being back at school and the children loved it too, especially when the dads read stories and joined in their play.
Today we started a very exciting inter-generational project, a joint venture between the children, local senior citizens and a community artist.
The children are looking at “then and now”; as they hear stories about the past they recreate local scenes led by the artist. The children really enjoyed the opportunity to chat to our visitors and the senior citizens said our children were amazingly bright, friendly, intelligent and polite and a real credit to the school and their parents.
Hopefully this project will pave the way for more inter-generational links.
Enjoy the hot weather this weekend and a happy Father’s Day to our dads.
Thursday 15th June
We had a brilliant turn out today for our dads, granddads and children baking together workshop. Guthsna and Ruheda were very impressed with the way our dads tackled the task ahead.
We think some of our dads have exceptional skills in the kitchen judging by the enthusiasm with which the children ate their biscuits. It has been wonderful to see so many fathers engaging with nursery. Of course we know that many of our parents work and that is why we also offer family outings on weekends.
A date for your diary is our family sports day on July 6th at St Paul’s Way Trust school, we do hope everyone can manage to attend as this is such a fun family day with something for everyone to enjoy, from our youngest babies to our senior grandparents.
Children also enjoyed working with clay out in the garden, many chose to make their own mini beasts and there was a high level of engagement with this activity.
Another group of keen gardeners helped Sam and Chris to water the flowers beds and hanging baskets, pull up weeds and generally care for the environment. We are lucky to have a garden and many of the children are keen gardeners and love to observe things growing and changing.
Remember in this hot weather to send in a sun hat and apply sun screen in the morning which we are happy to top up in school if you returned the permission slip.
Wednesday 14th June
A group of lucky children and parents had an amazing experience today when they set of with Karla and Sam in glorious sunshine to visit the Sensational Butterflies Exhibition at the Natural History Museum in Kensington.
This exhibition includes a kaleidoscope of colourful species ethically sourced from Central and South America, Africa and Asia. Butterflies are one of our most loved insects and it was a wonderful opportunity for children to experience so many butterflies at such close proximity
The children followed a trail through a tropical habitat of flowers, vines and foliage as butterflies flew overhead. They passed chomping caterpillars, glistening chrysalises and busy feeding stations.
They learnt some fascinating butterfly facts and used magnifiers to admire the intricate details and diversity of these beautiful creatures.
Some of the highlights of the trip included watching a butterfly emerge from its chrysalis; searching for caterpillars hidden in foliage and seeing the butterflies interact with each other. Everyone agreed that it was a fantastic day out.
Meanwhile in school we had an excellent turn out of dads, uncles and granddads who all enjoyed a bag printing workshop with the children as part of our Father’s week celebrations.
The day finished with a calming session of yoga.
Tuesday 13th June
Today we experienced one of those “awe and wonder” moments when children used their ipads to watch a film of a spider spinning a web. They were fascinated by this and it led to a wonderful session on weaving. The children observed real spider webs, video footage and photographs and then set about with balls of string to create their own webs.
They also used the magnifying jars and the laptop magnifier to closely observe real spiders. Who would have thought that one little spider could keep children absorbed for much of the day.
Indoors children were making pizzas from scratch, the majority of the group now know how to make dough unaided and there was the added bonus of being able to add stringy cheese to make a web and cutting up olives into halves and quarters to make spiders and flies.
Another group were busy writing about spiders and doing observational drawings, so all in all it was a very spidery sort of day.
Monday 12th June
As part of our topic on mini-beasts, the children have been learning about spiders. They are fascinated by these eight-legged predatory arachnids and have been busy observing them in the garden and finding their webs. When we teach children about living things we teach them how to respect them and observe them carefully.
Today the younger children practised their cutting skills by cutting out legs for their model spiders.
In the garden children enjoyed an obstacle course little knowing that they were also reinforcing prepositions as they went in, out, on, over and under.
Our teaching alliance LETTA had an Ofsted inspection today and Chris went to a meeting with the inspectors who wanted to meet members of the board and partner schools.
The day finished with music club.
Friday 9th June
At Children’s House we teach maths through play as play is the natural way that children learn, the process through which they explore, investigate, recreate and come to understand their world. Play is an activity in which everything that a child knows and can do is practised or used to make sense of what is new.
The quality of play in nursery is greatly influenced by the adults. As adults we provide materials and encouragement and open the door to new activities and learning. Play can’t be directed by adults, we can support, enhance or extend play, but the moment we interfere or dictate its progress it ceases to be play.
To many people it might seem strange that children can learn maths through play but children are learning maths all the time through every day experiences, play is a wonderful vehicle for fostering mathematical concepts and developing positive attitudes to maths. Maths is everywhere.
Today a group of children spontaneously chose to play with the unifix cubes, they experimented with length, height, comparison and adding one more, Maryam and Ehsaan meanwhile decide to work together with a basket of small ladybirds. They selected plastic numbers and boards and without adult prompting they practiced what they knew about number by selecting a number from the basket and then counting out the correct number of ladybirds.
In these two situations you can see children experimenting and children practising what they already know.
Thursday 8th June
This afternoon we welcomed some of the new children who will join us in September as they attended a Stay, Play and Learn session. Over the next few weeks this new intake of children will have regular visits so that by September they feel comfortable in the school, recognise some familiar faces and can find their way around the building. Current pupils welcomed the new children and as usual were polite, friendly and quick to invite them to join in their play.
You should all be very proud of your children; they know how to look after each other, include others and make visitors feel welcome.
In the garden children were exploring frogspawn and learning about the life-cycle of frogs and indoors children were representing life cycles adopting a mixed media approach.
Wednesday 7th June
This week the children have been learning about life cycles, and there was particular interest in ladybirds. The children discovered where ladybirds live and how they eat the tiny aphids that live on plants. They discovered that ladybirds are insects and that they have a hard, bright red skin which protects them from birds as the spots on the skin warn the birds that they taste nasty.
Children learnt that in spring the female ladybirds lay eggs on leaves where there are lots of aphids and they looked at pictures of the eggs which resemble tiny grains of rice. They then looked at the minute larva which hatch from the eggs and saw how these hungry larva feed on the aphids. They were fascinated to learn that as the larva grow they moult three time shedding their tight skin to reveal the new skin underneath and then once they larva are nice and plump they fixe their tails to a stem with sticky glue where the skin splits for the last time to reveal the pupa inside.
This pupa hangs completely still and inside its hard case the pupa changes into an adult ladybird which pushes itself head first out of the case and all summer we can then enjoy the ladybirds flying in the gardens and parks eating aphids and sipping nectar from flowers until finally in the winter they all crowd together and sleep until spring when they wake up to start the cycle all over again.
Children enjoyed acting out this life cycle starting as small eggs and through dance finally emerging as busy ladybirds.
Children also enjoyed a mini beast lotto game and a new obstacle course in the front garden.
There was also great excitement as our cook Jan celebrated a special birthday and the children made her cards and helped to decorate the kitchen.
The day finished with a relaxing session of yoga.
Tomorrow is polling day, the nursery will remain open as usual as we are not a polling station.
Tuesday 6th June
A windy wet day today, feeling more like November than June. However the children enjoyed feeling the wind in their faces and stomping in the puddles.
Sadly however we did have to stay indoors for a short while during a particularly blustery period as all kinds of things were blowing into the playground!
Indoors the children were learning how to story map, by this time of the year the majority of the leavers are able to retell familiar stories and are getting quite accomplished at making up their own.
There is also a child initiated craze for making bags; this is a good opportunity for the staff to really engage with the children to develop their higher level thinking skills. Children are asked to think about the purpose of their bag, how strong it needs to be, what it will carry, what kind of strap or handle will be best, should it be waterproof etc. The result of this careful work is that each child is producing a unique bag that they have thought about and really designed with a purpose in mind.
This is so much better than a conveyor belt activity where every child produces the teacher’s idea of a bag, this type of activity serves little purpose other than occupying children.
We also welcomed new children who are starting in September to a "stay, play and learn" session.
The day finished with an energetic dance club.