Blog

Montessori evenings

In reponse to requests from parents, Miss Paula will be introducting ‘Montessori Evenings’ in the Autumn Term. These will be specifically targeted at the parents of rising 4 ‘s who will be starting school in September 2020. The sessions will explain how we are preparing the children for starting school, following the Montessori method of learning and educating children.

While the children learn in their own way and own pace with Montessori teaching, our classrooms have very specific activities which meet EYFS requirements in a positive and all-inclusive way.

We will show parents how to work with these activities and also how to replicate them at home to support their children through this important transitional stage of their learning to be ‘school ready’. One of the most important skills they will learn in this last year of nursery is independence, which will also give them greater confidence about starting school.

Advertisements

Best wishes from Miss Paula…

A huge thank you and sad goodbye to all the children who have attended the nursery over the past year and are now about to start a new adventure of learning at ‘ big school’,

It is always such a pleaure to watch the children develop and learn through the Montessori way and inspire them to be curious and interested in the world they live in, watching them grow in confidence and knowledge.

They are now ready for their next steps and we wish them all well. We also hope that you will keep in touch with their progress, and please feel free to pop in to say hello if you are passing, especially if you’d like to show the nursery children your new school uniform or read a story to them!

Our numbers have increased over the past year, and our popularity continues to grow. We are proud to offer such a unique environment and high quality multi-cultural education at Secret Garden where the children can thrive.

We have limited places available for next year, so please get in touch soon if you are interested as we also have lots of new families coming to visit us.

A play in the park…

Last week our ‘Bambini’ session included a trip to the local park, armed with chocolate playdough!

They had great fun and much laughter creating shapes with the ‘mud’ playdough and adding sticks and other natural resources they had found.

The children then played in the woodland area – watched squirrels and other wildlife and also learned about plants which were safe, and those unsafe to touch.  They enjoyed exploring the park and some games of hide and seek and den making.

Autumn Term

We are already looking forward to our new term starting on Monday 2nd of September and welcoming our new children and families into our Nursery. During the first few weeks of term we will re-introduce all of the materials and activities on the shelves, so that both new and older children alike have a comprehensive understanding of all activities. Also, we will go over the ground rules of the nursery so that the children understand the importance of safety and respect and also that they feel secure and safe within the nursery.

One of the other areas we will focus on during this term is families, so we would welcome any pictures of your family to put up on our family board.

Biomes and Geography will be one of our topics of interest this term, following on from children’s holidays and new or familiar places that they may have explored or visited.

We will take a look at the world and the continents, followed by countries, national flags, people and animals. This helps the children to gain an understanding of the whole picture – from the largest element, to the smallest particle within geography.

The first continent will be Europe and the continents map that we have in the science room shows the separate countries, also within Europe. See Nienhuis puzzle maps.

Outside the classroom, one of our highlights of the week is our Forest School trips where all the older children will have the opportunity for a block of five sessions. We are hoping to extend the number of sessions as it is such a wonderful opportunity for outdoor learning, adventure, exercise and fun.

On the outdoor theme, we are also planning to introduce a ‘Beach School’ with trips over to Clevedon where we can explore the beach and all its treasures. Also, on the back of a great trip last term to Stockway Nature Reserve, we are planning more of these trips which were interesting, informative and greatly enjoyed by the children. They are fascinated by the natural environment and Stockway provides a special opportunity for them to learn more about it and also how to protect it.

Our new term will also see a new menu as we are reviewing our current one with the intention of introducing more organic and vegetarian meals. If you have any great meal suggestions or personal favourites of your child, please let us know and we will incorporate where we can in our menu plan.

Last, but not least, we would also love to hear from any parents who would like to come in to the Nursery and chat about their occupation to the children at group time. Previously we have enjoyed hearing about the life of a Doctor, Vet, Teacher, Librarian, Accountant, Musician, Artist and an Oceanographer. It’s a great way to inspire and educate… but be prepared for questions, especially unusual ones! Please get in touch if you would be interested in doing this.

End of term picnic

A huge thank you to everyone who came along to our End of Term Picnic in the park! It was lovely to see so many parents, children and siblings and have time to meet and say hello.

Family is such an important part of every child’s life, so it is great to have opportunies like this to meet you all.

Forest School leavers picnic

We headed into the woods for our Forest School Leavers picnic to enjoy some end of term fun and adventure. The children helped to gather firewood and map out the forest parameter with our red flags, whilst others helped to tie the balancing ropes and hammock.

After some exploring and games, we gathered the children around the fire circle to prepare lunch and build a fire, lighting it with ou ‘dragon’s sneeze spark thrower’, much to the delight of the children.

While lunch was cooking, we made paper crowns and decorated them with treasures from the forest i.e. leaves, flowers and other things that they found on the ground. We are always impressed at the creativity of the children in finding a great array of natural and colourful materials for this type of activity.

After our delicious lunch, we ventured back into the forest again where some of the children balanced and climbed on the ropes, others made clay animals with twigs and foraged materials… while others took some time to relax in the hammock!

They made badgers, hedgehogs, a bird and even a volcano! Then decided to make a village on the forest floor to house them all.

The village was a beautiful creation, with so much detail and thought behind every twig and leaf placed. We had such a lovely time and were sad when it was time to leave and say goodbye to the forest… until our next adventures!

Learning through play in our Bambini group

Fine motor skills are an essential part of a child’s development, and we are always looking at new ways for the children to practice them.  Recently we have been using an old fashioned phone and exploring different textured objects with a brush which the children have enjoyed and had lots of time honing their fine motor skills.

Practising our fine motor skills

Through play, the children have also been learning about taking turns and sharing, sharing ideas, problem-solving and looking at sea creatures and exploring science by watching ice turn to water and seeing what happens when washing up liquid is added to water. 

Understandably, the ‘foam’ experiment was very popular, and the children were greatly entertained and fascinated by the bubbles – blowing, moving and handling them. 

The experiment is designed to create curiosity and practical skills while encouraging group working and socialising.  

Stretch and grow!

Our weekly Stretch and Grow session in the baby room with the older children.

In the run-up to the end of the summer term, we are enjoying some games and favourite activities from throughout the year in our sessions.

We like to start with a great new ‘hip hop’ warm-up song, which helps us to remember the importance of a warm-up before exercise. When we’re all warmed up with a focus on various games which encourage teamwork and eye/hand coordination. We are also planning to celebrate the end of term with a co-ordinated ‘hokey cokey’ dance which the children have also been practising. During our cool down we’ve been talking about the muscles we’ve learnt about throughout the year and good ways to stretch them – something useful and fun for the children and staff! down will be recollecting various muscles learnt throughout the year and how we can stretch them,

Our focus of the month continues with safety- links with Health & Self care in Physical development

In terms of Physical development, we are dancing, kicking, throwing, jumping, balancing, naming muscles and developing eye/hand coordination.

All of the exercises performed are linked to the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS).

Summer outings

We greatly enjoyed our recent trip to the Stockway Nature Reserve where we met up with Valerie and Amanda who introduced us to the nature reserve, the pond and its life and the environment around it.  The children who went on this particular trip were able to do some pond dipping, with Miss Alex’s help to keep them safe.

Almost every time the net came up there was some life in it. We caught lots of newts, snails and dragon fly larvae which we put into a container. This allowed the children to observe them in closer details and they were also able to handle the newts if they wanted to.

We then released everything back into the pond to continue its life until the next time they might get caught by the next pond dipping session.

We were also taught a lot about the different bird boxes by Valerie, there are many that can be found in the reserve and we managed to see most of them, the children were brilliant at finding them and also matching them to the picture cards that Valerie had supplied for the children.

Did you know that Robin’s like to have square openings and blue tits like small round openings? The blue tit boxes had to have the openings re-enforced with a metal plate to stop the woodpeckers getting to the eggs/young. We also learnt that butterflies like boxes that have vertical slots and ladybirds’ horizontal slots.

This term, we have also managed a ‘wet weather’ trip to help the children burn off some energy at the soft play area at Scotch Horn Leisure Centre which was greatly enjoyed by all.

Dens, dinosaurs and caves in the garden…

Playing with dinosaurs and learning their names (and pronouncing them!) always prove to be popular, and in the warmer summer days, there’s nowhere better than out in the garden to do this!

Den making went to a new realm when the sun came out and we used the see-through plastic to create a den with flowers on the top. The children greatly enjoyed lying down on the grass to admire their work!

The garden is the greatest place for the children to allow their imaginations to run wild. They are always able to create and imagine different scenarios. The Den is a den one moment then a cave, followed by another child uses the car as an ice cream van, a car, and then turns it on its side and it becomes a shop. There are no bounds to the children’s imagination when it’s allowed to run free!

The children also love to help water the plants in the garden to maintain their health and growth, we currently have strawberries and raspberries growing over in the corner, alongside our herbs lemon balm, mint and fennel. We also have some tomatoes in pots that will hopefully bear fruit in the near future.