The collections have now officially finished and our voucher totals are as follows:
TESCO - 1,804 vouchers collected - this will buy a Giant Mobile trough which can be filled with the outdoor equipment, from which the children can help themselves.
SAINBURYS - 2,154 vouchers collected - this will buy preschool a new outdoor Winther Scooter.
Please see the parent board indoors for pictures of the items on order, which will arrive for the start of the next term.
Many thanks to all parents, family members, friends and staff who have contributed.
As usual, we've had a busy week. We've also had an unexpected visitor today (Wednesday) from Ofsted. We will let you know what the feedback is as soon as we're allowed.
This week we've been talking about friendships with the children, to help them develop their social and emotional awareness. Generally, we're trying to encourage skills such as listening and turn taking in conversations, all skills which help children form good relationships with their peers and with adults.
Another fun listening activity we've done is 'Noisy Neighbour' - one child plays an instrument without the others seeing what it is. The rest of the children have to guess what kind of instrument makes that sound.
We've been doing a lot of 'Bertha the Bus' this week, which is an alliteration activity, designed to help the children get ready for reading. The rhyme goes like this: 'Bertha the Bus is going to the Zoo, What will she see as she passes through?' When Bertha stops, we pick out one item from the tin, and the children have to say what it is, and what sound it starts with. Today (Wednesday) the sound was 'f'. Then the children sorted all the things that Bertha saw - these were all types of animals and insects, but one item was left over - a sandal. Learning to sort and categorise is an important skill for early mathematical development.
The children have also been looking at snails and other mini beasts with their new bug viewers. Outside in the rain we have been having fun with powder paints and enjoying splashing. If anyone has some more children's umbrellas, we would really welcome some extras - the British summer is proving very unreliable and it's a good thing we have our marquee!
We've also done some mat work this work - forward rolls, jumping, and so on. The children love participating in physical activities such as this.
Finally, next week is 'pet week' so please let us have any pictures or photos of pets.
This week we have done several different sorting activities, including a sorting game which is about putting foods into different food groups. We've also developed our sequencing skills, through looking at the story of "Come on Daisy". We drew a story map to show the order of the events in the story. Then, in our big 'Talking Story Book', we have recorded the story, and the children then have to put the pictures in the correct order. If the children can search at home for pictures of dragonflies, fish and frogs to bring in, that would be very helpful.
The children have also done a multi sensory touch/smell activitiy where they searched for animals hidden in the leaves. The leaves included lambs' ears (very soft and furry) and various herbs including mint and rosemary. These kind of activities help them develop all their senses, learn more about different smells and textures and develop their knowledge about different plants and materials. This is why we often use scented playdough as well.
We've enjoyed eating strawberries and peas at snack time this week, brought in by various kind parents. Thanks to everyone who has contributed a snack over the year. (We understand that quails' eggs take a LONG time to peel.)
We are currently looking to recruit new members to our main Committee, preferably to join us in the Autumn term or earlier. The Committee basically runs the setting and consists of officers (chair, treasurer, secretary) and non officer posts. If you take up a non officer post, all you need to do is come to meetings (usually once a term) to help us vote on important decisions to do with how our setting is run. If you'd like to find out more, please ask staff to pass a note to the chair of the committee.
This week we did some experimenting with water - seeing what warm and hot water feel like, and using guttering to pour. This all helps the children develop their scientific understanding. We also did some marbled paintings with ink on water - part of a special project, dads will find out more very shortly!
The children have been fascinated by using squirters - those bottles you use to spray your plants. They've been washing the ride on cars and seeing what patterns they can make with water. At home, summer is a great time to get your children involved in water 'play', including washing your car and watering your garden.
On the theme of water, we've had the pond open, and used our pond viewer. We've also studied bugs in our bug viewer, including a slug (yuk!) and a pregnant spider. In the garden we've been picking strawberries and radishes, and wondering what has been nibbling our peas.
You might like to know about all the learning that happens at snack times. A small group of volunteers joins an adult in the kitchen. The children have individual chopping boards and use a (non sharp) knife to cut up foods such as cheese. Most of our snacks come from the weekly delivery from Chew Valley Fruit Farm, a local organic grower. While preparing the snacks, the children count out the portions, talk about what the different foods are and how they grow, and measure the drinks. Snack time is also great for social skills such as chatting, turn taking and sharing. The children practise pouring their own drinks of milk or water, supported by the staff.
Finally, we've had yoga this Thursday morning, which the children love. We're going to book up yoga for the next academic year, as we feel that this really enriches the children's experience at preschool.