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What a busy few weeks: 19/01/18

We’ve had a busy few weeks since we started back after the Christmas break.



We’ve welcomed 17 new children to South Normanton Nursery School, who have already started to settle in nicely, playing and learning with our older children who have been fantastic role models to their younger peers and making lots of new friends.

Rules and Routines

We have been supporting the new children to learn the rules and routines of our nursery, with the help of our older children who have been great at remembering the 5 Finger Rights Respecting Rules and reminding our new children about the expectations at nursery. We have done lots of talking about the reason for our rules and why they are important, linking to the children's right to be safe (UNCRC Article 19) and how the staff at nursery help them to enjoy this right.  We have also been discussing the importance of showing respect for our nursery and each other. These concepts are vital and link intrinsically with our learning about British values and Rights Respecting Schools with underpins all of our learning at nursery.

Matching number and quantity and counting reliably

Our teaching and learning, which is not only taught in our Daily Maths Dollop, but also weaves though the other areas of nursery during child initiated learning too, had focused on supporting the children to match numerals with the correct quantity of objects and also counting with 1 to 1 correspondence i.e. Saying one number for each object that they count. We have been doing this in lots of different context for example counting sticks in the garden, cups at snack or claps and jumps when we are being active. Also matching numbers to objects in the sand, bugs on the log or fruit in the basket. We have been working with lots of different numbers and amounts, from 1 to 5, 10 or even 20 and beyond depending on the children’s individual next steps. This is also something that you can practise at home as repeating these skills in lots of different and purposeful contexts is key to children consolidating their learning.

Yoga and relaxation

At the end of our session we all have a short relaxation time to unwind our bodies and minds after the busy session at nursery. We recognise that relaxation is absolutely vital to children’s  physical and mental health and well-being and that they have a right to learn about how to support this (UNCRC A17) We have been using lots of different techniques to help us to relax from listening to music, lying down and listening to relaxing instructions, breathing exercises and even some simple yoga. The children have taken to these new practices brilliantly. They are really starting to show and understanding of how and why it is important to relax and have started to talk about how this relaxation makes them feel, which we think is fantastic.

Martin Luther King Day

Last Tuesday was Martin Luther King Day and linking with some of our most recent learning on understanding our rights, a group of our Big Thinkers watched Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream” speech and had a really interesting discussion about who he was and what he stood for. We thought about how he felt as he gave the speech to so many thousands of people.

Daniel said “he looks really cross, but in a good way”

Jasmine, Abbie and Lois also recognised that “all the people in the audience are clapping, they agree with him” and the children even used their signing to reinforce the point that they were making.

Harrison said that (Martin Luther King) was a dude!

We learnt about how Martin Luther King was a very famous African American man who is remembered today for standing up for the civil rights of black people in the 1950s and 60s. We also talked about how our International Schools friends in America had a special holiday for Martin Luther King Day. This was linked to the learning about the children's rights as we discussed how grown up have rights as well and that grown ups help children all over the world to exercise their rights.

The children had so much to say and seemed really inspired by the video of his speech, which of course was very old in in black and white film, so much so that they asked to watch it a second time after our discussion. How wonderful to think that their thoughts and comments about the past can also help to shape the future.

Our garden restructuring is almost finished

We were very excited this week as the restructuring of our garden came to an end. It has been a while since the work on our new climbing frame and dry riverbed began before Christmas but on Friday the final safety surface and cement was laid. To mark the moment Stephanie even signed her name in the dry river bed!

It is still rather muddy at the moment but we are looking forward to exploring all the new parts of our outdoor area very soon. The new and challenging climbing frame will be fantastic to extend the children’s physical and problem solving skills and the dry river bed will help our children to explore and learn through trial and error. Watch for later blogs to see our children enjoying the new additions to the garden.