Hello and welcome to our new blog. The aim of our blog is to provide half termly updates on your child’s learning and development here at Freshfield Nursery School. We are a safe, happy nursery where every child is celebrated for their unique personalities, talents and attributes and we cannot wait to give you further understanding of these and an insight to all of the fun activities they have been up to. We hope you find our blog exciting, fun and interesting to read.
Please note that we will still be posting regular observations of your children on Tapestry for you to view and you are additionally still very welcome to post your own observations from outside of nursery onto Tapestry. If you need any support with Tapestry or have forgotten your password please do not hesitate to speak to Mrs Harney. We hope you enjoy reading our blog!
“For a small child there is no division between playing and learning; between the things he or she does ‘just for fun’ and things that are ‘educational.’ The child learns while living and any part of living that is enjoyable is also play.” ~ Penelope Leach
3-4 Year Old’s
Since starting Freshfield in September we have all been so busy! We have been focussing lots on learning our new daily nursery routine, exploring our new learning environment and forming new friendships. Some of us returned to Freshfield from last year and have enjoyed settling back into our nursery routine and reconnecting with our friends and teachers who we haven’t seen since before our summer break. We have had lots of fun learning both indoors and outdoors and have tried very hard to put on our own coats, wellies and waterproofs ourselves ready for outdoor play. There are lots of exciting resources to play with at nursery and lots of new activities to have a go at so we have been focussing on using words to ask for things we would like to help us to share with our new friends.
This half term we have enjoyed reading stories about children starting school just like us such as ‘Meekoo and the Little Nursery’, ‘Topsy and Tim Start School’ and ‘The Colour Monster goes to School’. We have also been joining in with songs and rhymes linked to counting such as ‘5 current buns’, ‘5 cheeky monkeys and 10 green bottles’. Our core book this half term is ‘Dear Zoo’ and we have used the story to develop our use of descriptive language.
We have also began going on our first ever Nature School visits with Mrs McDonald and Mrs Thompson. We have been going on minibeast hunts, searching for signs of autumn and making magic wands.
We celebrated World Space Week by using 2d shapes to make rockets and creating our own artwork and collaborative art inspired by galaxies. We even found signs of alien life at Nature School!
2 Year Old’s
What a fantastic half term we’ve had, I’m so proud everybody; all of our new children are continuing to settle in brilliantly and our eldest children have been so lovely and helpful to our new friends. This half term we have been using autumn to inspire our learning. We have created some beautiful ‘Autumn Collages’ for our display and had lots of fun ‘Conker Rolling’ using bright autumn coloured paint. We read We’re Going on a Leaf Hunt then went on our own leaf hunt; stomping up the mountain, tip-toeing through the dark forest and rowing across the lake. We then made leaf crowns with the leaves we found. We have also engaged in lots of autumn sensory play such as ‘autumn spice rice’ to spark curiosity, promote questioning and develop language. The children have been spending lots of time outside and have been having a fantastic time exploring the big back garden.
3-4 Year Old’s
This half term has been full of celebrations! We celebrated Halloween, Diwali, Bonfire Night and Christmas. We have also been learning about Autumn and have noticed lots of changes in our outdoor area.
We used Room on the Broom to inspire us to make magic wands, developing our fine motor skills by wrapping magic ribbon around the wands and threading beads onto it. We then used our new magic powers to cast spells. We used magic to turn two colours into one new colour using our hands. We discovered that blue and red turned purple, red and yellow turned orange, and blue and yellow turned green. We explored a pumpkin by cutting off the lid and scooping out the inside. We learnt new language such as skin, pulp, flesh and seeds and discovered that the pumpkin was hard and smooth on the outside and soft, slimy and full of seeds on the inside. We used Halloween objects to help to develop our counting skills by rolling a dice, counting the spots and then putting the same amount of spooky creatures onto a 10’s frame. Some of us really challenged ourselves by rolling the dice twice and counting the total number of creatures. Inspired by What’s in the Witches Kitchen, we had a visitor from Tigerblossom’s bakes come into nursery to bake some yummy Halloween treats with us. They were so yummy!
We learnt all about Diwali, the festival of light! We made Diwali decorations, Diya lamps and Rangoli patterns and tasted some foods often eaten whilst celebrating Diwali. To celebrate Diwali, people often watch firework displays. As Diwali fell on the same week as bonfire night, we learnt how to keep safe around fireworks and whilst holding sparklers.
We were so excited to perform our Christmas show to all of our grown-ups. We learnt lots of new songs and actions and helped to make our costumes. We had lots of fun dressing up and performing our Christmas show for our grown-ups. We were so proud of ourselves.
Our core book this half term was We’re Going on a Bear Hunt. We joined in with the story using actions and lots of us have been choosing to read it independently. We went on a bear hunt sensory walk and used language to describe how each element felt. Lots of us especially liked travelling through the ‘swirling, whirling snowstorm’ and said that it felt ‘slimy’, ‘cold’ and ‘icy’. We retold the story using words, some of us created story maps and some of us even made up our own ‘We’re Going on a Bear Hunt’ inspired stories.
At Nature School we have been learning how to safely cook food around a fire. First we learnt how to keep safe around a fire. Then we watched Mrs McDonald prepare hot chocolate for us using the fire. Next, we helped to prepare the fire. Finally, we had a go at toasting marshmallows on the fire ourselves, making sure that we were sat in our special rest position to keep us safe. Delicious!
As well as our baker, we have had lots of special visitors in nursery this half term. Sophie who came to teach us some music. She played her violin for us and then we had a go at playing the violin too. We learnt the names for different chords and had a go at playing different musical instruments. We even got to perform a duet with her. It was lots of fun. We also had a visit from Zoo Lab. We got to hold and stroke a rat, a snake, a giant African snail, a giant African millipede, a scorpion and a tree frog. We also learnt some facts about them such as where they live in the wild and what they like to eat. It was wonderful to see so many parents take part in our autumn stay and play. A big thank you to all of the grown ups who came.
We ended our half term by helping to make and bake lots of goodies to sell at our Christmas make and bake sale. We also had a Christmas party and could not believe it when Elsa showed up to join in with all of the fun!
2 Year Old’s
Spooky season was truly upon us as we returned to nursery after the half term holidays. We had fun exploring a spooky sensory tray and developed our fine motor skills by using tongs to catch the spiders in their webs. We had lots of fun engaging in learning opportunities inspired by Bonfire Night. We created lots of collaborative firework art and engaged in firework sensory play.
We had a visit from Chris from Zoo Lab. He brought lots of different animals for us to stroke and hold. We learnt some facts about the animals such as what animal they are, where they live and what they like to eat. He brought a rat, a snake, a scorpion, a frog, a giant African snail and a giant African millipede.
We have been preparing for Christmas. We worked as a team to help to put up and decorate our Christmas tree. We have read Christmas inspired stories such as Dear Santa and The Smelly Sprout and developed our motor skills by peeling real sprouts. We helped to prepare for our Make and Bake sale by making snowy crispy cakes and beautiful Christmas cards to sell. We ended our half term with our Christmas party.
3 & 4 Year Olds
This half term we have welcomed lots of new children to our Freshfield family. We have spent lots of time forming new friendships and showing our new friends all of the things we can do at nursery. In phonics, we have been spending lots of time learning about rhyme and have begun learning about alliteration. We are becoming really good at hearing the initial sounds in words – some of us have even had a go at using them in our mark making! Lots of us have started engaging in Funky Fingers activities. These activities help the muscles in our fingers grow strong. Strong muscles in our fingers will help us to write letters and words when we start primary school. So far, we have developed our fine motor skills through lots of cutting.
We have been focussing on developing our emotional literacy skills. We have read the story The Colour Monster and used it to help us to use words to express how we are feeling and learn about how others might be feeling. In the story, the monster turns yellow when he feels happy, blue when he feels sad, red when he feels angry, black when he feels scared, green when he feels calm and pink when he feels loved. We have been focussing on different scenarios, thinking about what makes us feel like each colour monster and have began applying this to our experiences in our play.
We celebrated Chinese New Year! We found out that this year is the year of the rabbit. We read The Great Race and learnt about why Chinese New Year is celebrated. We made Chinese New Year decorations, a big colourful dragon to dance with and Chinese New Year Money envelopes.
We experienced snow this half term and enjoyed making snow angels and sledging down our hill outside.
Our core book this half term has been Walking through the Jungle. We have used Walking through the Jungle to inspire our learning by listening to and retelling the story, acting out the story and orally telling our own stories inspired by the story. During National Storytelling week, we used story bags to retell traditional tales and create our own traditional tales inspired stories. We will be continuing to do this after our half term.
2 Year Olds
This half term we have welcomed more lovely new children into our Freshfield family. We have begun to form new friendships and have had lots more fun learning and exploring in our learning environment. We have continued to develop our fine motor skills in our ‘Busy Station’ and have engaged in lots of role play such as creating a hair salon, a cafe and a tea party. We have loved developing our gross motor skills through ribbon dancing and have engaged in process art by experimenting with colour and mixed media. We used Chinese New Year to inspire our learning by engaging in lots of New Year inspired sensory trays.
3-4 Year Old’s
What a busy few weeks! We have been noticing seasonal change in our learning environment and have been hunting for signs of spring. We found daffodils, birds, buds and lots of flowers. As the weather has been getting warmer, more of us have been choosing to spend more time outside. We have especially liked creating pipes, ramps and tunnels using the guttering for water and balls to roll down.
We have gone Supertato mad! We have loved reading the story ‘Supertato’ and hearing all about his adventures in the supermarket with the veggies and his arch nemesis The Evil Pea. We have engaged in lots of activities inspired by Supertato to help us learn new skills such as planting potatoes and pea seeds, melting a frozen Supertato and using playdough to make Evil Peas.
We have had lots of visitors into nursery! We had a Robotics learning experience where we got to program robots to make them move in different directions. We also had some musicians come in to play the trombone and violin for us in addition to teaching us how to play some instruments. It was wonderful to see so many parents come to our maths themed Stay and Play. Thank you so much for supporting your child’s learning and for such positive feedback about the learning environment.
3-4 Year Olds
This half term we have had special visitors – teeny, tiny caterpillars! Over this half term we have carefully observed our caterpillars as they grew bigger and longer before going into their chrysalis and finally becoming butterflies. We read The Very Hungry Caterpillar and non fiction texts to develop our knowledge of caterpillars and help us to predict what will happen next and documented our caterpillars progress in our caterpillar diary. We were thrilled to set our butterflies free on the last day of term and to help them find new homes in our Nursery garden .
Our caterpillars sparked an interest in mini beasts. We have used our mini beasts interest to support and inspire our learning by engaging in mini beast hunts and lots of other mini beast inspired activities. We made snail art, caterpillar repeating patterns and developed our fine motor skills by making caterpillars using pipe cleaners and beads and by drawing and cutting spiral snail shapes. We also looked at lots of fiction and non fiction texts linked to mini beasts including What the Ladybird Heard, Superworm and Norman the Slug with the Silly Shell.
Our core book this half term has been Jack and the Beanstalk. We have planted lots of magic beans in addition to potatoes, carrots and pea seeds and are eagerly waiting for them to grow!
We have been learning how to be kind friends. We have been reading stories such as ‘Kind’, ‘Superworm’ and ‘Duck and Penguin are not Friends’ and using the stories to discuss what makes us feel happy and what we can do to help our friends feel happy. We have also begun to document lots of the kind things we see each other doing at nursery to help us to celebrate our achievements. We have been learning how to share and have become really good at remembering to say “please can I have that when you’re finished” if we want something our friend is using. We are superstars!
3-4 Year Olds
Lots of us arrived back at nursery full of stories to share about the holidays they had been on during the half term break. This sparked an interest in holidays and the seaside. We celebrated saying goodbye to spring and hello to summer as the weather turned very hot and we learnt how to look after our bodies both on holiday in hot countries and in the UK in summer. We learnt that we need to apply sun cream to protect our skin, a sun hat to protect our heads and sunglasses to protect our eyes from the hot sun. We also learnt that we must drink lots of water when it is hot outside to keep our bodies hydrated. Our vegetable plants have continued to grow and our potatoes, peas, carrots and beans are almost ready to be picked, washed, chopped, cooked and eaten. We cannot wait to taste them! Lots of us have been preparing to start primary school in September and have been on visits to our new school. We have been reading ‘The Colour Monster goes to School’ to help us to get ready for our next big learning adventure in Reception. At Nature School, we have been busy doing lots of exciting things such as making a dinosaur fossil, flower pressing and preparing and cooking soup on the fire! Here are some photographs of us in action…