Group and circle activities.

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We have been continuously risk assessing the activities we can provide safely and this week were pleased to re-introduce circle time activities. We began with some simple and favourite circle games before excitedly moving on to small parachute games followed by large parachute games.

The children listened, followed instructions, worked together and responded positively and enthusiastically to all of the activities offered.

Eid Mubarak

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We were excited this week to learn more about Ramadan and Eid. We learnt that people have different faiths, religions and beliefs. We also learnt about fasting for Ramadan between Sunrise and Sunset, and thinking about others during this time.

We thought about how lucky we are, what makes us happy and what we are grateful for, as well as how we can help others to feel happy too, including through kindness.

We worked together on making our own display moon, before discussing what kindness means, how we can be kind, and adding ‘kindness stars’ to our moon. We also enjoyed decorating and eating moon and stars biscuits, thank you to Zachy and his family for helping us to learn more, and for the yummy biscuits.

Owls Club

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Each Summer Term as well as continuing to nurture and welcome younger children we pro-actively extend and challenge our older children moving on to school in September. We introduce additional adult guided learning opportunities in the morning, as well as our fun and exciting OWLS CLUB – an additional afternoon club focusing on key skills, the specific areas of learning and we even have our first opportunity to independently change for Physical Education Sessions.

Ready for the Summer Term

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What a lovely first week of our Summer Term. Welcoming back old friends and making new friends, introducing additional adult guided learning in the routine for our older children which they engaged in fully, and enjoying the sunshine with lots of outdoor play and in particular lots of bug hunting.

Celebrating Easter 2021

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Keeping the children safe is our number 1 priority, so our annual Easter Egg hunt with families was this year replaced with fun and exciting Easter themed activities throughout the week , including finding the eggs hidden around the setting.

We also enjoyed preparing for and taking part in our own Carnival, as celebrated in many cultures, usually before Lent, involving public celebrations, parades and street parties. We made homemade masks and provided the children chance to dress up before we had a parade around pre-school to ‘chase away the winter and welcome spring’. We finished off our busy morning with a yummy doughnut.

Responsibility for our setting and our play.

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We have been encouraging the children to engage in risk-taking whilst considering their own and others safety. We have also been positiviely reinforcing their wishes and choices to look after each other and their pre-school this week.

World Book Day.

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The children were invited to dress as their favourite characters for a morning filled with familiar stories, active story telling, story creating and opportunities for reading and enjoying books throughout the setting.

Friendship week.

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For our first week of the half term, with increasing numbers of children joining us we wanted to focus on friendship and kindness.

We have thought about and named our own emotions, as well as thinking about the feelings of others and what it means to be kind.

Celebrations, festivals and special events.

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During difficult times we have based our planning on the children’s happiness and wellbeing. We have therefore been focusing on what is important to them, what they like, want and need, and we have particularly enjoyed learning about and celebrating festivals and special events.

Growth and change

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As we think about moving on we worked together on activities that made us think about growth and change. We started with plants including lifecycles and growing cress, beans and flowers, before exploring fruit and vegetables as we began to think about our own health and our own growth.

Sensory play

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Exploring sensory play both inside and out.

Another science experiment as requested by the children.

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The children were still talking about our ‘fun science lesson’ so we thought we should try the ‘skittles’ experiment with them in support of our colour theme this week. We were very impressed with their interest, focus and their patience as they waited for the exciting results, initially watching how to create a skittle rainbow, before having a turn to try independantly. The highlight for the children turned out to be mixing the colours at the end, and finding out what happened to the bottom of the skittles.

Discovery play in the form of a Science experiment

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We provided the children with individual bowls of cornflour, along with water and food colouring for them to combine, explore and play with freely. The children decided to find out what would happen if they also added soap.

Return to pre-school

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We were very pleased to welcome some of our children back to pre-school this week. The children as always made us very proud as they tried hard to follow unfamiliar guidelines and routines. Our focus this week was the children’s wellbeing as we settled back in, and they were clearly pleased to be back enjoying interaction with each other and the staff team. We are looking forward to continuing our journey next week.

Curiosity leading to creativity.

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We finished this half term by removing pre-made and plastic toys, providing instead boxes, materials, natural and heuristic resources and the time and space needed for the children to explore the resources freely, creating, constructing and developing imaginative play.

Just some of the creativity we saw this week:

“I made a see-saw” – Amber sitting on a cardboard tube.

“I’m collecting the eggs” – Annie with a basket of stones.

“This is going to be a bed” – Larissa with a box and blanket.

“We’re opening a treasure chest” – Max making holes in a box with scissors.

“I am a robot” – Annie, Jack, Patrick, Larissa, Lacey and Lydia taking turns to move around in a large cardboard box.

“This is a birthday present for the mayor” – Sam and Annie sellotaping play dough inside a box.

Our screens became a spaceship, boxes in the garden became a train, smaller boxes became a book, a pumpkin, a tractor, a dinosaur, a caterpillar and a combine harvester.

We can’t wait to see where the children’s imagination will take us during our final half term.

Easter Party and Egg Hunt.

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We finished our busy Spring term with an Easter party. The highlight was our Easter Egg Hunt at Therfield Recreation Ground with the help and support of our families.


– Tina Downing

Our First Pancake Party.

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Thank you to everyone who helped to plan, organise and supported our very successful Pancake Party in celebration of Shrove Tuesday. Not only children from pre-school but also from Therfield First School and the wider community joined us to decorate their own Chef’s hat as well as make, decorate and enjoy their pancakes, whilst the grown ups had opportunity for a catch up, a cup of tea/coffee and a slice of cake. It may have been the sugar but the children certainly enjoyed the whole event.


– Tina Downing.

Cricket care

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The children were disappointed to find a limited number of bugs in the garden, so we decided to get our own.

Our first task was to give our new pets a more comfortable home. We then thought about what they might like to eat, and how to give them water without risking their safety.

The children throughout the week have been keen to watch and study them, count them, feed them, give them fresh water, and learn all about them. The children have decided they are a family, giving them roles and names.


– Tina Downing

Harvest time

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Harvest time was a great time for us to get hands on in our learning.  The children enjoyed exploring real and play food, growing and tasting, buying, selling and cooking.  A particular highlight of the week was a visit from a real tractor.

We of course used the opportunity to include ‘Supertato’ in our learning, as well as digging, collecting and ‘harvesting’ potatoes from the soil and carrots we had made.

Thanks to our generous families we finished off the week with a ‘harvest collection’ which was donated to the local food bank.

Tina Downing

All About Me

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Our first priority in a new school year is getting to know the children, and supporting them as they get to know each other.  We used our circle time to encourage the children to share details about life outside of pre-school.

The children enjoyed using our whiteboards to create a representation of their homes, which led to the use of lots of mathematical language linked to shape and number – although the best bit was of course wiping out the pictures and starting again!

We then used our small sorting toys to add members of our family, pets, vehicles at home, favourite food etc.

Bella    “My daddy and mummy and my baby”

Constance   “This is my daddy, this is me, this is my mummy”

Raf   “I got a cat and a baby and a mummy and a daddy and Reggie and I got a grandma”

Annie   “Daddy, mumma, granny, grandpa, we’ve been on 2 boats”

Max   “My daddy flies an aeroplane, mummy, daddy, nanny, Izzy, me”

Sam   “I’ve got a doggy, I live at my new house now”

Orson   “My daddy drives a car, it’s outside my house, this is my mummy, that’s my daddy, I want to pretend this is my dog Jarvis”

– Tina

Friendship Friday

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In order to promote an inclusive and caring community, we held a Friendship Friday. We also learned values such as mutual respect. We created a Friendship Tree with kind words. The children identified, sorted, and categorised actions of a good friend and not a good friend. We went on a kindness scavenger hunt within Pre-School and the children also took home kindness scavenger hunt sheets. We worked in pairs to play collaboratively. The children created a friendship wreath with handprints. We investigated mixing colours with friendly high-fives.  The children were spotted demonstrating and naming friendly behaviour independently throughout the rest of the session. Parents were invited in on collection to share in what the children have learned.

– Natasha

Babies

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In response to the arrival and imminent arrival of baby siblings, we had a babies week. We greatly appreciated visits and met some real-life babies. We also had great fun with various activities including:

  • Buggy Races
  • A face painting station with dolls
  • Beat the timer baby wipes race

The activity that stayed most with the children was tasting baby food.

Thank you to our families for enabling older siblings to proudly share their news.

– Natasha

Easter Celebrations

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Easter celebrations this year included a visit from Reverend Richard Morgan to speak to the children about the meaning of Easter, followed by our Easter party with Easter related games and activities.  These included Easter sensory rice and play dough, making our own Easter bonnets, and an Easter Egg roll game.  We finished the morning with our Easter Egg Hunt to Therfield Recreation Ground.  The children covered the whole Recreation ground in their search for the laminated and plastic eggs which they brought safely back to the nest.  They then received and quickly enjoyed some well earned tasty Easter treats – kindly donated by Tesco’s, Royston.  We would like to say thank you to all of the parents and families who supported our Easter celebrations and egg hunt, and wish them all a very happy Easter.

http://www.royston-crow.co.uk/news/royston-easter-trail-and-other-cracking-activities-1-5461327 

– Tina

Whatever The Weather

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It is a statutory requirement for Early Years settings to provide access to outdoor play whatever the weather (as long as it is safe to do so). The children experienced heavy rainfall and were curious to investigate. The rain created natural waterplay in the small world farm. We explored coloured rainwater and watched it drip vertically. Some of the children then independently observed the rain dripping from their guttering. Most of all we had fun!

– Natasha

Mothers Day Afternoon Tea

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Therfield Village Pre-School’s Mother’s Day Afternoon Tea fundraising event was a huge success and we are delighted to say we raised a fantastic £1,015 for pre-school!
This was down to the support from parents that attended, the hard work from our committee of volunteers and their supportive parents and siblings, a strong attendance from our local community and an extremely generous personal donation. We cannot stress enough how vital fundraising is to our existence.
Every penny we make goes straight back into pre-school and as a not-for-profit organisation, the proceeds directly benefit every child that attends, so all our lovely children. 
For those that weren’t able to attend, for whatever reason, please don’t worry and if you wanted to make a contribution to this fundraiser then feel free to donate via PayPal through our PayPal account which is [email protected]

– Melissa

Powerful and Energetic

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The mention of ‘Super’ always inspires and motivates the children, and in response to their current interests we changed our half term theme to We Are Super – Special, Unique, Powerful, Energetic and Ready to Learn.
This weeks ‘powerful and energetic’ topic led to lots of thinking and learning about looking after ourselves and making healthy choices.  Activities have included Keep Fit Sessions, Golden mile walks, recording our physical achievements with tally charts, making our own vegetable soup and the children even changed our home corner into a hairdressers. We have had an active and all-round healthy week.

– Tina

Snowflakes

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This week’s outdoor provision reflected our theme of being unique and also mirrored the children’s understanding of the world with the arrival of snow. We discussed being as unique as a snowflake. The children used their fine motor skills to decorate snowflakes using cotton buds in paint. They caught real snowflakes on their tongues. The children explored capacity when pouring coloured liquids into frozen glasses. They extended this activity later on in the week by initiating mixing sand and ice.

“Good work ____ I’m impressed with that”

“How will we melt it?”

“We are pouring”

“It’s so cold”

“I can tip this into yours if you want”

“Can I have a bottle? That one please”

“We are making potions”

– Natasha

Acting out stories

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Our Music, Drama, and Stories theme for Spring Term One ended with visiting familiar stories. We listened to stories in a variety of forms including by CD, with props, acting out roles, and even with visiting characters. As well as literacy the children explored positional language and used their senses to investigate the Gruffalo cafe. The week’s finale was a pyjama party with bedtime stories and breakfast. We were delighted to welcome parents and carers who shared stories in our cosy corner.

– Natasha

Superheroes

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We linked the children’s current interest in superheroes to coincide with our teaching of emotions. Staff were inspired to create a wide range of activities across the curriculum reflecting the theme. These included a Numicon skyline and a superhero phone book to develop maths skills. Parents and grandparents kindly made and donated superhero capes and masks which produced some creative roleplay. We worked in partnership with our families to create a superhero board reflecting the children’s achievements and successes at home. To promote personal, social, and emotional growth superhero reward figures were also created by staff and sent home noting positive behaviour within Pre-School. The children were captivated by the theme which resulted in some inspirational child-initiated play and learning opportunities and outcomes.

– Natasha

Outdoor Provision

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We aim to provide quality learning and deliver the curriculum in our outdoor provision. Some children prefer to learn outdoors and under EYFS guidelines we ensure continuous provision in all weathers when it is safe to do so.
Some of the resources we provide are linked to our themed planning and some are in the moment and weather dependent. In some of our outdoor play experiences, we use elements of indoor resourcing. These act as a familiar
‘bridge’ that allow children to initially access familiar equipment that will lead them to explore other skills. We develop their understanding of the world, for example, by adding small world resources to natural elements e.g princesses in the snow or dinosaurs in a muddy swamp. Exploring the natural world also includes planting and caring for our tyre and wellies miniature gardens.
Outdoor learning also enables the children to have different opportunities than inside. Vestibular and proprioceptive sensory activities require gross motor skills. These activities, such as sweeping the floor or painting the fence develop and strengthen the muscles needed for writing later on. We recognise each child’s individual needs as being unique and an increased or decreased diet of sensory experiences can support all of our children’s learning and development.
Please keep an eye on the blog for further examples of our outdoor play experiences and provision over the forthcoming year.

– Natasha

Sandwiches

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Many of the children have been telling us all about their exciting trips to see Paddington 2 at the cinema in the Christmas holidays. In response to their current interest, we made honey and marmalade sandwiches. The children worked out what they needed and then working in sequence to create their very own sandwich. It was very sticky!!! We ate them all up at snack time and there were lots of “yummys”.

– Natasha

Christmas Party

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The children were spellbound by a visiting Christmas fairy. She spread Christmas cheer and magical wishes with singing, dancing, and enlisting Natasha into performing as a sad snowman. The children enjoyed party food and were then joined by their families for a sing-a-long. We were then joined by another special visitor… Father Christmas on an early visit from the North Pole.

– Natasha

Hot Chocolate Station

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The children were surprised to find a Hot Chocolate Station in the garden on a cold winters morning. They developed their maths skills by paying with toy coins into the till.

Hugo: “I’m glad there’s Hot chocolate in there!”

Robert: “William likes Hot chocolate, but I have milk. Is it squirty water?”

James: “Can we have Hot chocolate every day? I love Hot chocolate!”

Joshua and Jack: “Cheers!”

All: “Thank you!”

Due to popular demand, the shop had to reopen the next day!

– Natasha

Diwali

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We thrilled our senses celebrating Diwali. The children developed their IT skills by operating a blender and making mango lassi. We had a variety of Indian snacks at our cafe during the week. We finished our activities with a celebratory snack together.  Activities included making salt dough diva lamps, mark making rangoli patterns, exploring light and sound and having mendhi patterns on our hands.

– Natasha

Exercise Class

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“Children under five should not be inactive for long periods, except when they’re asleep. Watching TV, travelling by car, bus or train, or being strapped into a buggy for long periods are not good for a child’s health and development.” – NHS Choices

We incorporate lots of creative opportunities for energising and physical development throughout our sessions.

– Natasha

Chocolate Fridge Cake

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In support of our ‘All About Me’ theme, we asked the children for ‘cooking ideas’.  The overwhelming favourite – chocolate cake!!  We decided on chocolate fridge cake.  The children measured the chocolate, butter and golden syrup which involved lots of comparisons and the use of mathematical language including more, full and enough.  We particularly enjoyed ‘bashing’ the biscuits whilst an adult melted the chocolate mixture before we combined all of our ingredients.  The children then selected from marshmallows and raisins to complete their cake.  Although there was a little nibbling during preparation there was enough cake left to be enjoyed together at our teddy bears picnic.

– Tina

Autumn Parachute Play

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We enjoyed the autumn sunshine and open space with some parachute play. This was also a lovely opportunity to meet and make new friends.

 

Autumn Time

(Sung to the tune of London Bridge Is Falling Down)

Leaves turn orange, brown, and red,

Brown and red,

Brown and red,

Leaves turn orange, brown, and red,

In the Autumn,

 

They twirl and flutter to the ground,

To the ground,

To the ground,

They twirl and flutter to the ground,

In the Autumn

– Natasha

Cutting Jelly Cubes

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Even as experienced practitioners, we were all amazed at the rich language vocalised during this fine motor skills activity.

“Please can I cut the cube?”

“I got a cube off”

“It’s sticky”

“I’ve got 2 to do left”

“We be careful because they will cut your fingers”

“I got 2 cubes off”

“I cut 3 off”

“1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10”

“It’s a cutting machine”

“Oh well that’s good I cutted a green jelly up”

“We’re cutting our cubes in half”

“The green ones are good choices, the red ones are bad”

“Jelly on a plate, jelly on a plate, wibble wobble, wibble wobble, jelly on a plate”

“Teeny tiny, it’s very small”

“It’s a little pyramid”

“Please can I cut the cube?”

“What happens if I cut it in half again?”

“I built a house, it needs a roof”

“Look, I did it”

“I don’t believe it. I made a ruined pyramid!”

This activity resulted in covering all 7 areas of learning: Communication and Language, Physical Development, Personal, Social, Emotional, Literacy, Understanding the World, Maths, and Expressive Arts and Design. Can you spot them all?

– Natasha

Kind Words

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Wrinkled Heart:

As a group exercise, we discussed and shared kind words and unkind words in a safe environment. I screwed up a large heart as we said unkind words. The children were sad to see that I couldn’t smooth all of the wrinkles out and I explained that once we have said unkind words it is very difficult to take them back. The children contributed their experiences and ideas of how it feels inside when someone has used unkind words. They were very keen to “help heal the broken heart” with plasters. The heart was displayed as a visual aid to prompt the use of kind words in the setting.

Bruised apples:

We passed a shiny red apple around the circle. The children were gently supported to say an unkind word to the apple. Another apple was then circulated and the children were encouraged to take turns in saying a kind word. I cut the apples open and revealed that the apple they had said kind words to was intact and healthy. The apple they had said unkind words to was bruised and discoloured. We discussed how punching hitting and kicking can hurt on the outside where you can see, but unkind words can hurt on the inside.

“Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.” Mother Teresa

– Natasha

Pencil Cases

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This week we are focusing on going to big school, so we thought the children would enjoy making their very own personalised pencil cases.
We started by taking turns going around the circle, choosing which prepared material template with coloured button we would like. We had several coloured buttons to choose from, some were matt coloured, shiny or even sparkly and decorative.
Once we had our template we decorated our pencil case using felt tips and sparkly foam letters.
Each child used a stapler with an adult to turn the material into a pocket, pushing down hard to join the material together. Then they turned the pencil case inside out. The tricky bit was to find where to cut a button hole with scissors.
Each child finished their pencil cases, some had their names across the front, some drawings of their family and some were covered in a beautiful pattern of rainbow colours.
The children were so excited to fill their pencil cases so we found some spare pencils to put inside.
We were very happy to see some of the pencil cases come back into pre-school the following day as the children were so proud of their final product!

– Aline

PE

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For PE our owls chose a colour path to follow to see where they would end up.
One path led to a step ladder where they would safely climb up to view our preschool from a height, then back down.
One path led to a tunnel where they chose a way to crawl through it.
One path led to balancing beams where they chose to use either 2 planks to walk across it or one plank.
One path led to skittles where they chose to either kick the ball to knock them down or roll it.
Lots of fun with their own decision making.
“I love PE”
“This is awesome”

– Sara

Sports Day

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A big well done to everyone who participated in Sports Day 2017. Thank you to the Year 4s and to Therfield First School for supporting us with this event. Many thanks to all of the families for joining us. The event was followed by a picnic in the local park in the sunshine.

– The Pre-School Team

Dental Health Experiment

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As a whole group, we began our experiment by preparing it at yesterday’s register. As a large group, the children took turns in selecting a liquid to place an egg. We talked about the egg representing a tooth and wondered what would happen the next day. The children made predictions and hypothesised the effects of the liquids:

Orange Juice:

“It will turn a bit crispy” – Finn

“It will turn to blue” – Thomas B.

“It will pop” – Thomas N.

“It will crack” – Ophelia

“It will make the tooth dirty” – Monty

“It will go crinkly” – Jonathan

“It will go orange” – William

Tea:

“The teeth will go black” – Finn

“Turn salty” – Thomas B.

“It will pop” – Thomas N.

“It will turn into water” – Jonathan

“It will turn green” – William

Squash:

“It’s going to turn green” – Finn

“Turn orange” – Thomas B.

“Bang!” – Thomas N.

“It will stay as an egg” – Jonathan

“The tooth will crack” – Barnaby

“It will crack and then it will melt” – William

Vinegar:

“It will change to something” – Finn

“It will go pop” – Thomas N.

“It will turn white” – Jonathan

“It will turn white” – William

We began our Owl’s Guided session with a body reflex game, supported by the book ‘Why I Sneeze, Shiver, Hiccup, and Yawn’. The children explored a range of reflexes using their whole bodies. They played close attention when mirroring the actions, naming the body parts that moved and identifying the body reflex.

The owls observed and explored the eggs using their senses. We discussed the eggs representing teeth and the effects the liquids had had on them. The children’s observations included:

Milk:

“It was soft” – Finn

“It was cold” – Alfred

“It’s OK” – Thomas N.

“Crack” – Ophelia

“Nothing” – Monty

“A little bit cracked” – Jonathan

“It feels warm” – Harry

“I think it might get a bit fizzy” – William

Vinegar:

“It was smelly” – Finn

“It broke” – Alfred

“It looks not healthy” – Thomas B.

“Cracked” – Thomas N.

“All skin” – Ophelia

“Cracked it” – Monty

“Made it not healthy” – Jonathan

“It was breaking” – Harry

Orange Juice:

“It gone a bit browny” – Finn

“It broke” – Alfred

“It feels squashy inside” – Thomas B.

“Cracked and popped” – Thomas N.

“It’s fell off” – Ophelia

“You can peel the skin it off” – Jonathan

“It was cold” – Harry

We carefully used toothbrushes and toothpaste to clean the teeth and observe the effects further. We estimated why things had happened to the eggs and what would happen if we brushed them:

“Because it was a bit dirty” – Finn

“Because it cracked” – Alfred

“I brushed it to make it clean” – Monty

“Because it’s healthy” – Jonathan

“Because if you use water and toothpaste it can get cleaner than just rubbing” – William

– Natasha

Sandwich Making

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During ‘healthy eating’ week the Owls were set the task of making a healthy sandwich.
Before the task the owls filled out graphs recording what their favourite sandwiches are.
This task gave us the opportunity to discuss hygienic routines such as: washing hands before cooking and putting aprons on.
The owls were then ready to select and start preparing the vegetables for their sandwiches.
Using knives the owls chopped and sliced their vegetables. We talked about knife safety and the correct way to behave when using them and why.
‘Knives are very sharp and will cut you. ‘
Once the vegetables had been prepared and washed the Owls used a sequencing sheet to make their sandwiches.
We discussed shapes and fractions.
The Owls shared their sandwiches with the Fledgelings at snack time.

– Sue

Kind Words

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As a group exercise at register, the children were introduced to a visual prop, a tube of toothpaste. We discussed using unkind words and how they could hurt somebody else on the inside the same as punching and kicking can hurt someone on the outside. In a safe and controlled environment, the children contributed unkind words as we squeezed out the toothpaste. They then discovered that it was impossible to put the toothpaste back into the tube. We talked about how when unkind words are said aloud, it is difficult to take them back.

– Natasha

STEM Bins

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STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths.
Kinesthetic learners, spatial learners, and logical learners will love exploring the different possibilities for the building materials as they try to construct more challenging structures.
Our STEM Bins contain resources such as lego, blocks, nuts and bolts, geoboards etc. Most of the Bins have challenge cards in them.
We have started to introduce the Bins with our Early Finishers.
They are proving very popular, especially the construction Bins allowing the children some quiet time to focus on the challenges.

– Sue

Young Scientists

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This morning our Owls entered into the world of science. Before we started our experiment the owls all chose to wear protective gloves. There were some very helpful lab technicians handing out the different equipment and materials to their peers.

Our owls very carefully measured out the following materials:

  • white vinegar,
  • powder paint,
  • sparkles,
  • washing up liquid
  • bicarbonate of soda

After each material was added the owls observed the chemical reaction, the smells and the colour.

“It smells funny.”

There was a lot of excitement as the mixture started to froth and bubble over the cups.

“It’s shaking like an earthquake!” Was one observation.

Another was; “It looks like Coke.”

The Owls kept stirring and adding materials to extend the experiment.

“I’ve made a volcano.”

After the children had finished their experiments they then recorded their results in a drawing.

– Sue

Young Chefs

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The Owls helped tell the story of the Gingerbread Man using a puppet and sequencing cards. We talked about the role of a chef before having a go at being one. The children found their named chef hats and were then absorbed in decorating and personalising them. We then made gingerbread playdough working together in pairs. The Owls helped measure the ingredients and investigated them using their senses, including smelling the spices. They selected themed cutters and created gingerbread families’ homes and hearts. The children carefully decorated their pretend biscuits with detailed features. The Owls were engaged and focused on their chefs experience for well over an hour!

– Natasha

Father’s Day

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We were delighted that our Father’s Day event was attended by Dads and Grandads. The children had great fun with our visitors, making pizzas.  Our Very Important Men also enjoyed playing and experience various activities in the sunshine in the garden. We joined together for register and all shared our thoughts on why our Dads are awesome. The final activity for the morning was a celebratory snack time. We sat together and sampled the delicious pizza. Our Very Important Men also had a cheerful cheers with ginger beer. Huge thanks to all who joined us.

– Natasha

Green Fingered Fledglings

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One of the favourite pastimes in the garden, across all the ages, is watering our plants. We created a ‘Wall of wellies’ last year and planted them up with beautiful flowers. The time came where these needed replanting this week. Our fledglings took this task on with a lot of enthusiasm! What could be better than playing with mud & water while the sun was shining! They carefully removed some of the old compost and gently placed the new plants in the wellies. They then settled the plants in securely by adding handfuls of new compost and pressing this down. Then for the fun bit, watering!! They were then carefully rehung on the wall and we are excitedly waiting to see what colour flowers appear!

– Gemma

Space

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The children have chosen to discover Earth and Space this week. We have experienced walking and jumping on the moon and explored the effects of gravity. Some of our activities have included role-playing in our space centre. The children have loved pressing all the buttons on the control panel. They have also been busy mark making on our pre-flight checklist. Some amazing aliens have been created with sparkly green play dough and googly eyes. They were named Victoria and Super-toria! Our little astronauts had the opportunity to explore moon rocks in an anti-contamination unit as we discussed the international space station scientific research.

– Natasha

Hoopla!

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The owls made their own hoopla hoops by using the outside of a paper plate which they individually decorated with stickers, colouring and drawings.
“I’m making this for my mummy!”
“Look I’ve put squares on mine”
There was lots of discussion about who the children were making their hoops for and what colour their mummy/daddy would like, whilst selecting heart shapes and making patterns.
Once complete each child had a number (5,10,15,20) to copy on a circular disc so we could use the numbers as scores for our hoopla game.
We were then ready to play hoopla together, taking it in turns to try and score our points. It was quite challenging at first when learning to spin our hoops, although, with a few attempts and trying again, many of the children successfully scored points for the team!

– Aline

Extra special thanks to Aline and family for hand-crafting the wooden apparatus for our hoopla game.

Owls Challenge – Old Toys

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We would like to ask all of the owls to design or make their own toy. We will send through separately a ‘this is my toy design ‘ sheet if they would like to draw a toy, or can they make a kite (sticks and paper/material), or a spinning top (cardboard disc and stick), a peg doll (wooden peg and material), a puppet (wooden spoon with a drawn face or large lollipop stick with paper cut out person). We can’t wait to see what you draw/design/make.

Thank you to all of our families for supporting our inventors with such creative designs.

– Natasha

Dinosaurs in the supermarket by Timothy Knapman and Sara Warburton

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The children chose to learn about dinosaurs this week. The grand finale to an exciting week was Sue’s multi-sensory story.

There are dinosaurs in the supermarket!

Look, they’re everywhere!

If only grown-ups noticed them, they’d get a frightful scare.

There’s T.rex gobbling sausages…

Stegosaurus spilling beans…

Apatosaurs chucking frozen peas

Are filling the isles with greens!

There are dinosaurs in the supermarket!

But when I tell my Mum, they hide until she looks away…

 

And then…

Right back they come!

Ankylosaurus and his trolley crash into all those cans.

The pterosaurs go flying and end up in the flans!

 

Triceratops squirt chocolate sauce.

Hadrosaurs scoff cake.

Iguanadons chuck toilet rolls.

What a MONSTER MESS they make!

“Our supermarket’s ruined!”

The check-out staff despair.

“The car park’s full of ice cream,

and there’s ketchup everywhere!”

“There are dinosaurs in the supermarket!”

I shout out straight away.

“Look, their custard footprints must be clear as day!”

Must be clear as day!”

“Dinosaurs in the supermarket? Please don’t have us on!”

I point to where I see them…

…But the dinosaurs have gone.

If this goes on much longer, they’ll think that I’m to blame.

So I find those sneaky dinosaurs and say, “Let’s play a game…

…called Supermarket Clean-up.”

I give each one a mop.

They plunge them in the suds and – SPLAT!

They splash and swoosh and slop!

In no time, things are shining bright.

The grown-ups say, “Well done!

This boy here cleaned the supermarket.”

My mum says, “That’s my son!”

But I DIDN’T. It was DINOSAURS!

They don’t believe it’s true.

…Till hordes of soapy dinosaurs

jump out shouting… “BOO!”

Owls Challenge – Mystery Boxes

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We would like to ask all of the Owls to make a Mystery box (small cardboard box/tissue box/baby wipe plastic container), decorated and labelled if you wish. Owls can select 1 item of interest to go inside their box. Using 1 or 2 clues (written down and stuck inside/underneath so that we can help them to remember) they can see if their peers can guess their item. Can we please ask that you avoid children’s ‘toys’ as the item as these can lead to upset when it is time to put our ‘sharing’ away. We can’t wait to find out ‘what’s inside the mystery box’.

Clues included:

“A building with a big light at the top.”

“You find them by the sea. They help boats.”

“Shiny and copper coloured and a circle.”

“We love to pop bubbles made of plastic.”

“Inside is a story about an animal which has a bushy tail. There are three farmers who try to capture this animal.”

Can you guess?

– Natasha

The Snail and the Whale by Julia Donaldson and Alex Scheffler

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The children chose to learn about large animals this week. We explored The Snail and the Whale story using our senses. After experiencing the story with an ocean sensory bottle and beach scene, we sequenced events by creating story wheels. The children recalled the fire engine, volcano, and classroom in particular. The Owls shared their story wheels, retelling The Snail and the Whale at the end of the session during story time.

– Natasha

Owls Challenge – Sensory Bottles

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This week’s Owls Challenge has been to bring in Sensory Bottles from home to share with each other. Here are a selection from our talented Owls.

Georgia – “It’s from the woods. Leaves, sticks, and pinecones, and stones, and a shell. We went to the woods.”

Finn – “The rocks are the same colours as my clothes. They are blue and grey, and this one’s green. They’re special ones. If the rocks are buried deep down, they turn into skeletons. Look it’s got a skeleton in there.”

Sienna – “It’s got oil in it. Look what happens if you shake it. It’s got sparkles and look a bead at the bottom. It’s two colours.”

Thomas – “It’s got grass and soil from Daddy’s garden.”

 

Other sharing included an antler from Sienna (as we are learning about large animals). We even had chocolate with Mondrian art on it (our artist of the week).

Ophelia – “It’s from Mummy’s hotel.”

– Natasha

Owls Club

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One of the exciting things about the Summer Term is our Owls Club.  A weekly afternoon club just for our Summer Leavers.  Owls Club helps the children to adjust to the longer days of primary school whilst focusing on our next steps and development in the specific areas of learning.
Our first Owls Club was exciting and good fun with the children engaging at all 3 stations on offer, working on Literacy, Mathematics and fine motor skills in turn.  The children particularly enjoyed sharing their ideas and work with Miss Haxton, visiting us from Therfield First school.
After so much ‘thinking’ it was time for ‘movement’ and developing our gross motor skills, and what better way than washing tables and chairs, and sweeping the floors.  ERIC time (Everybody Reads In Class) was a favourite part of the session with the children exploring books and stories freely.  We are looking forward to our next Owls Club, and to providing some fun Owls challenges to complete at home.

– Tina

Calm Down Corner

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Welcome to our new Calm Down Corner. This is a cosy section of Pre-School to reflect and manage our feelings and emotions. We have been mapping and labelling our feelings using a feelings barometer. This is using a 5 point scale to introduce self-regulation. We have also