Week commencing 12th March 2018
During the week we enjoyed a walk to the Chapel garden and on our walk we looked for signs to show us that Spring is here. The children noticed some daffodils growing along the side of the road and we also found some beautiful pussy willow branches lying on the ground. There were lots of sticks around so the children decided to build a ‘home for a squirrel’. It was a great team effort!
Back at Pre-School the children have been finishing their models from last week. We encouraged the children to describe their model and then helped them to write a label where we were focusing on holding the pencil correctly. We have also been practising our throwing skills by using the big number target.
Week commencing 26th February 2018
On Tuesday morning we went on a ‘Wellie Walk’ to the Chapel garden. It had snowed a little on Monday evening and there was still a slight covering on the pavements and on the grass. We made welly prints in the snow and used sticks that we found in the garden, to make patterns. We found just enough snow to make some very small snowmen. Indoors we have been busy creating models using boxes, tubes and plenty of glue. We encouraged the children to tell us about their models which included cars, butterflies, a house and a toybox.
Week commencing 5th February 2018
We were all very excited on Tuesday when it started to snow. The children were eager to put on their coats and hats and go outside. It was a shame that the snow didn’t settle, but we all had fun playing in it for a while, watching the snowflakes settle on our clothes and seeing how quickly they melted when we caught them in our hands. When we went back inside we decided to make some snowmen using fluffy white cotton wool. Look at the children's amazing creations. On Friday we said our goodbyes to Anna, who is leaving us to work at a Pre-School nearer to her home. We wish Anna all the very best for the future and good luck in her new job.
Week commencing 22nd January 2018
This morning we had some messy fun with shaving foam and even those, who at first were a little apprehensive to touch it, were soon happy to join in. We tried to think of words to describe the look, feel and smell of the foam. The children thought of words such as sticky and soft. Then someone said “it smells like aftershave”. We wanted to show the children how two colours can be mixed together to form a new colour, so we all performed some magic. We started by adding yellow paint to the white foam and then mixed in some blue paint, which turned our hands green. Wow!
Week commencing 15th January 2018
We started the week listening to a story about the job of a firefighter and talked about what we would do if there was a fire at Pre-School. We then had a ‘pretend’ fire drill with everyone lining up quietly outside and listening for their name to be called from the register.
The children have enjoyed playing some board games – one group played a shopping game where they had to find all the items on their list, another group played a Numberjacks domino game. By taking part in these small group games the children were learning how to wait, take turns and focus on an activity to lengthen their attention span. It was lovely to hear them interacting with each other and helping each other out.
Week commencing 8th January 2018
This week has been all about settling back into our Pre-School routine and making friends with our new children to help them to feel happy and secure. There was great excitement when we introduced a very large cardboard box for the children to play with. Using crayons they decorated the outside then decided to use it as a tunnel and took turns to crawl through. At times they all tried to get in the box together and we thought we might break a World Record! We’ve been talking about things that we are good at doing and talking about our achievements. We have seen some lovely paintings, some very good scissor skills and some very clever copying of plans to make models and pictures.
Week commencing 11th December 2017
We have had a very Christmassy week here at Pre-School. We’ve made hanging Christmas trees and baubles, made some delicious Christmas biscuits and completed our reindeer Christmas cards. Heather and Rose (our Governor friends) joined us on Wednesday for the morning and helped with the festive activities. On Friday we had our Christmas party where the children made party hats, enjoyed lots of party food and then wore off lots of excess energy playing Musical Statues, Musical Bumps and playing with bubbles from the bubble machine. The children then had a very special visit from Father Christmas who called in to wish everyone a very Happy Christmas and give out some small treats.
It’s hard to believe that we are at the end of the first term already. We wish you all a very enjoyable Christmas and we will see you in the New Year.
Week commencing 4th December 2017
We had a lovely morning on Wednesday when the children performed their nativity play called ‘Away in a Manger’ to parents, grandparents and friends. We are so proud of all the children for taking part and showing how well they had learnt the words and actions to the songs. Thank you everyone for coming along and joining us, we really do appreciate your support.
Week commencing 27th November 2017
This week we have put up the stage for our Christmas nativity which is on Wednesday 6th December at 11am – Please come along, bring family and friends and join us. The children were eager to climb onto the stage and enjoyed the experience of being up high and being taller than the adults. Our nativity is called ‘Away in a Manger’ and the children have been learning some songs and actions to go with the story.
Last week we did some cooking and made small cakes – this week it was great to see the boys working together using the Polydron to make their own cakes. They then used the play knives to cut up portions of cake and gave to their friends – Good imagination boys!
Week commencing 20th November 2017
When we went for a walk to the Chapel garden last week we collected lots of autumn leaves and this week we have used these leaves to learn how to make leaf prints. The children have also enjoyed painting their hands to make hand prints and we have used both the hand and leaf prints to create our hibernation picture. Now, when the room gets too noisy, we can remind the children that the hedgehog is sleeping. Shh!
Week commencing 6th November 2017
We’ve been talking about how exercise is very important for us and helps to make our bodies strong and healthy. As you can see from the photos below, the children have enjoyed lots of physical play. We set up a racing track and using the trikes the children pedalled as fast as they could - working their legs up and down very quickly to give them more speed. They were very clever at manoeuvring the bikes around the track to avoid each other.
When all the toys were tidied away we used the large space to play with the hoops. The children had fun rolling the hoops along the floor and running to try and catch each hoop before it fell over. They tried spinning the hoop around their body and jumping in and out of it.
We also read a story about the Gingerbread Man and learnt how to do star jumps just like the crafty fox in the story.
Week commencing 30th October 2017
We had a visit this week from Berni and she brought in some poppies that she had knitted, to show the children. It’s hard for very young children to understand why poppies are important at this time of year, but we explained how, a very long time ago lots of special people did a very important job to keep our country safe and we remember all their hard work by wearing a poppy.
We talked about how Berni had made the poppies from wool and wool comes from sheep, but this led to the children wondering how we get red wool when we don’t see red sheep in the fields!
The following day we showed the children some pictures of the ‘wool process’ and we found out that the sheep has a haircut and all the wool (its fleece) is taken to the factory where it is washed and changed into many different coloured balls of wool.
Week commencing 16th October 2017
We’ve noticed that every time the children go outside to play they are fascinated by the many spiders that have chosen to make their webs along the fence, in between the plants and inside the playhouse. Following their interest and using one of our plastic spiders we decided to do some observational paintings. We talked about the shape of the spider’s body and counted its legs. The children then had a go at painting their own spider and produced some great pictures.
On Wednesday morning we invited parents and grandparents to stay for a while to listen to a few Harvest songs that the children have been learning. Thank you everyone for joining us, we hope you enjoyed it.
Congratulations to Anna as she has completed her Level 3 Childcare and Development qualification.
Week commencing 9th October 2017
On Tuesday we all put on our raincoats and wellies and went for a walk to the Chapel Garden looking for clues to show that Autumn has arrived. We noticed that lots of leaves had fallen off of the trees and they were no longer green, but brown, orange and red, and our favourite mulberry tree, which was full of green leaves in the summer, had hardly any leaves left at all. In the picture below the children are singing ‘Here We Go Round the Mulberry Tree on a Wet Autumn Morning’.
Week commencing 2nd October 2017
Our Harvest picture is almost finished and will soon be ready for you all to see. Each child chose a fruit or vegetable that they wanted to see in the picture and then had a go at colouring it, cutting it out and deciding where it should go. This involved lots of fine motor skills practise. As you can see carrots were a popular choice!
We’ve also been cooking this week and have made some delicious apple crumbles.
Week commencing 23rd September
This week we have made a start on our large ‘Harvest' themed picture. The children have been sharing paints and learning how to work together on a task. One child described this as ‘Teamwork, like Bob the Builder does’.
We made carrots and potatoes and worked out that they grow in the ground. We went outside to collect fallen leaves to add to our picture and we then made a list of other fruits and vegetables that we want to add – so we still have lots of work to do!
One child brought in some grapes from her garden to share with her friends at snack time. The children really enjoyed them, they were very juicy.
There has been lots happening at Pre-School this week and it is good to report that all of the children are now settled and getting to know their new friends.
Earlier in the week we made the most of the good weather and enjoyed some outside water play. The children were using the soapy water to wash the cars, make cups of tea and ‘silly soup’, where anything and everything goes into the cooking pot. Whilst playing, they were encouraged to count and think about ‘how many’ as they were scooping and tipping the water from one container to another.
We’ve also been talking about Christmas. Yes, I know it’s very early, but the children had some very important artwork to do for the PTFA – All will be revealed in a couple of weeks time!
17th July 2017
On Wednesday we met parents and grandparents at the Chapel Garden for our mini sports day. Before the races started, Mrs Knight joined us and we gave all of our older children, who are moving on to ‘big’ school, a little something to remind them of their time at Pre-School.
The children were then eager to take part in the races. The egg and spoon seemed to be a favourite and you could see everyone concentrating really hard as they tried not to drop their egg. It was great that so many families came along to join the fun; it was a lovely morning.
A very big thank you for all the lovely gifts you have given us this week. We have been very spoilt. Have a wonderful Summer!
3rd July 2017
Our ‘Busy Bees’ picture is almost finished and looks really bright and cheerful. Well done to everyone for working together to produce a great piece of artwork.
26th June 2017
On Tuesday we spent a lovely morning at the Chapel Garden where we had a Teddy Bears’ Picnic. Berni met us there and had brought with her a big bag of teddy bears. She had knitted a special outfit for each bear, along with a knitted picnic blanket. The bears were hidden around the garden and after going on a ‘bear hunt obstacle course’ the children looked around to find the bears. We then sat under the mulberry tree and enjoyed a picnic of milk and cakes.
A big thank you to Berni for all her hard work in knitting the picnic blanket and the bears’ outfits and for giving these to Pre-School for the children to look after.
19th June 2017
This week we have all been enjoying the lovely warm weather and the children have coped really well with the heat, which at times has been very hot and sticky. Luckily our outside area is in the shade for a good part of the morning, so the children have been able to play outside without having the full heat of the sun on them. We have started to work on a group project all about bees and how they make honey. We looked at a picture of a bee and talked about how it had yellow and black stripes over its body. The children then had a go at making a striped bee by decorating a cardboard tube. One child noticed that he was wearing a striped top, so we then had a look around the room to see if we could make a striped pattern using any of the toys.
9th June 2017
We have made a start on tidying up our outside planting area and have transferred lots of soil from old containers into new ones - we had lots of willing helpers. Whilst working hard we were estimating how many scoopfuls of earth would be needed to fill one small container. As the children dug deeper into the earth they started to find some worms and woodlice ‘chuggy pigs’ and then wanted to count how many creepy crawlies they could find.
26th May 2017
We have continued exploring our five senses and have been on a listening walk to the Chapel Garden where it was lovely to sit quietly and listen to the sounds around us. Even though the children only managed approximately 30 seconds of ‘stillness’ it was surprising the different sounds they identified!
On Friday, a parent, who is a doctor, came in to talk to the children about how we can help to keep our bodies healthy by eating foods that are good for us. She brought in a variety of foods for the children to sort into those that are healthy to eat and those that should be eaten occasionally as a treat. She also brought along her medical bag and showed the children the different equipment she uses to check that our bodies are working properly.
15th May 2017
At Pre-School this week we have been investigating our sense of touch by exploring a variety of materials – soft, smooth, bumpy, rough and sticky. The children drew around their hands and stuck a different textured material to each finger whilst describing in their own words how each felt. The children have also had the opportunity to use their senses to explore shaving foam. We had some great descriptive words to explain how the foam felt to the touch, such as soft, gooey, slippery like ice, slimy and fluffy. The children then used their sense of smell to suggest that it smelt, flowery and minty. They then sprinkled blue and yellow powder paint on to the foam and saw how the two colours mixed together to make a new colour – It was messy, but fun!!
2nd May 2017
Thank you, Pre-School parents, for your donations of coloured and shiny materials which helped the children to create Nemo and Friends (Pre-School’s entry in the Scarecrow Trail held on Bank Holiday weekend). The children worked really well together on this project. Well done to everyone for all their hard work!
18th April 2017
Everyone has settled back into Pre-School very quickly this week and due to the good weather the children have been able to enjoy plenty of outside play.
We have started to think of ways in which we look after ourselves to stay healthy – Today the role play area was a hospital where there were lots of sick and injured teddies, dolls and adults too. As you can see from the photos, the children took turns at being a doctor and looked after their patients by bandaging broken wrists, using the stethoscope to listen to the heart beating and giving everyone ‘spider medicine’ to make them feel better!
27th March 2017
It has been a fun filled week with lots of making and creating as the children have made Easter cards, Easter crowns and some very yummy chocolate Easter nests. By doing these activities the children have been practising their scissor skills, their fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination and have also used lots of imagination by expressing their own ideas.
The children wore their Easter crowns and sang some lovely songs that they have learnt this term. Just mention to your child ‘The Easter Bunny’s Running’ or ‘Somebody’s Waking Up Sniff Snuff’ and they will probably sing the songs to you!
20th March 2017
This week the children have been busy making cards for Mother’s Day and whilst busy being creative we have thought about all the special things our Mums do for us every day. As you can see from the photo, the children produced some lovely cards, each card being the child’s own piece of artwork and they then practised writing their name inside.
We have also made a start on our Easter Garden. We asked the children what they would like to see in the garden and then made a list of their ideas, which turned out to be quite a long list of requests. I hope we get it finished in time!
13th March 2017
We have had a science theme to our week with the children taking part in some scientific activities and experiments. The activities were set up to spark the children’s curiosity and encourage them to ask questions about the world around them.
The children have seen what happens to water when it is frozen and then observed what happens when things start to melt. They have predicted which objects will float in water and which will sink. The children also did some lovely bubble pictures by blowing through straws into soapy paint to make lots of bubbles and then putting paper onto the bubbles to make a print. They observed how the more they blew into the paint the more bubbles appeared. It was great fun for everyone, adults included!
6th March 2017
On Wednesday Heather and Rose, our Governor Friends, came to Pre-School and spent the morning with us. We were hoping to go for a walk to the Chapel Garden, but the weather wasn’t kind to us, so we stayed inside and Heather and Rose joined the children in their play.
The children in Red Group have started to identify and learn some initial sounds in everyday words. We are using some of the Jolly Phonics songs and have started with ‘s’ and ‘a’. Two parents have already reported their children reciting these songs at home and noticing words beginning with these sounds. Well done! Yellow Group children have been identifying and ordering numbers 1-5, 5-10. Blue Group children have enjoyed some circle time games where the focus has been on turn taking and listening to others within their group.
Here are some of the children in Blue Group practising their mark making skills whilst enjoying some quiet ‘chill out’ time.
24th February 2017
Spring has arrived at Pre-School this week! The children have been doing some observational paintings of daffodils, and what amazing paintings they have achieved. Firstly we looked closely at the flowers to see what we could see, and used our other senses of smell and touch to investigate them further. We then learnt that each part of the flower has a different name. The children were eager to start their paintings, so after listening carefully to some instructions they then started to create their masterpieces.
6th February 2017
We had a visitor at Pre-School this week, a lady called Berni, who, very kindly, has knitted and crocheted lots of lovely clothes and blankets for our dolls. She showed the children how she uses the long needles to knit the wool together, which was fascinating to watch. We now have some very beautifully dressed babies.
We’ve been able to make the most of the dry weather over the last couple of days and the children have enjoyed playing and exploring outside. A group of the older children organised a ‘What’s the Time Mr Wolf?’ game. There was lots of loud laughter when the wolf called out ‘It’s Dinner Time!’
30th January 2017
The children have been busy this week learning about the Chinese New Year. We looked at a map of the World to find China and thought about ways of travelling there. The children came up with lots of ideas on different ways to travel. Someone suggested walking, and when we explained that China was too far away to walk, another child suggested we could all fly there in a rocket. What a fun day out that would be!
The children have been very creative and made the flag of China, cut out and decorated Chinese lanterns and learnt how to fold paper to make fans. They have also tasted Chinese noodles, with quite a few children asking for seconds!
16th January 2017
On Monday we set up the water play area, which proved very popular with the children. They spent a lot of time tipping and pouring the water from container to container (developing their hand-eye coordination) and learning to describe whether a container was empty/full. The older children were estimating how many small cups it would take to fill a larger cup and then checking to see if they had guessed correctly.
We also enjoyed some outside play this week because the weather was dry. We got out the brushes and swept up all the fallen leaves. Everyone was very helpful. We ended up with a big pile of leaves and someone suggested that ‘a hedgehog might use the leaves for a home’
9th January 2017
Welcome back to the New Year! The children have settled very quickly and have been eager to play with their friends again after the Christmas break.
This week, the children in Red Group have been developing skills relating to sequencing and colour patterns, using beads to copy a variety of colour sequence cards. Some children then went on to make up a colour sequence of their own.
Yellow Group and Blue Group have been using mirrors to look at their reflection and then talked about what they could see i.e. hair/eye colour, number of eyes/ears. They made pictures of their own face using card, tissue paper and best of all, glue!
12th December 2016
What a busy week it’s been! We performed our Christmas nativity play on Wednesday, which was a great success. We are so proud of all the children for their lovely singing and storytelling. Thank you to everyone who came to support this event, we hope you enjoyed it and were able to take some memorable photos! On Thursday we had our Christmas party where the children played a variety of party games and enjoyed some delicious party food. We hope you all have a lovely holiday and we will see you in the New Year.
5th December 2016
On Monday, Rose Day and Heather Williams (two of the School’s Governors) came into Pre-School and spent the morning with us. The children enjoyed involving Rose and Heather in their play and talking to them about all sorts of things! At the end of the morning the children sang a few of our Christmas nativity songs and weren’t at all fazed by having a small audience. They remembered the words and actions really well.
The older children have been finishing their hedgehog leaf nest in readiness for their pine cone hedgehogs to go to sleep for the winter. We are going to write a notice for the front of the nest saying, ‘Shh! We are sleeping. Please wake us up in the Spring!’
28th November 2016
It’s been a very busy week at Pre-School and we have achieved lots. The children have been modelling with clay, finger painting and using glitter. We can’t give too much away; you will have to wait until Christmas! We have also started to learn our Christmas nativity story and each child has been given a part to play. We have been practising the songs that go with the story for quite a few weeks now and everyone is joining in with the signing and actions. You have probably heard your child singing at home, ‘Cock-a-doodle-doo wake up, wake up!’ We do encourage some quiet time and the picture below shows a lovely quiet moment during lunch club, where the children did some drawing and colouring together. They were chatting to each other about their creations and ended up with a very colourful picture.
14th November 2016
This week some of the older children have been finding out about magnets. They were fascinated to see how objects made of metal moved towards and stuck to the magnets. They were each given a magnet and encouraged to predict whether or not objects such as paperclips, pipe cleaners, shells, buttons and nails would be attracted to their magnet. The children then went on a hunt around the hall to see if they could find any objects made from metal.
7th November 2016
The children listened to one of their favourite story books called ‘Don’t Wake the Bear Hare’, all about a bear who is woken up after his winter hibernation. This led us on to talk about the meaning of hibernation and we then looked at pictures of other animals that go to sleep over the cold winter months. We then made some hedgehogs and tortoises from paper plates, where the children practised their scissor skills. With hibernation in mind a couple of children went to the book corner, curled up under the floor blanket and pretended to go to sleep.
31st October 2016
The weather has been amazing this week, crisp, dry and sunny and the children have enjoyed playing in our outside area. However, earlier in the week, when we opened the door, all we could see on the ground was a carpet of leaves which had fallen from the trees over the half term holiday. After the children had had fun playing in the leaves it was then a team effort to sweep and tidy up. Everyone worked very hard and did some good sharing of the brushes. Who needs toys when there are leaves to play with!!
20th October 2016
This week we invited parents and grandparents to come along and listen to the children sing some harvest and autumn songs. A big thank you to everyone who joined us; the children sang beautifully and remembered lots of actions to go with the songs. ‘Big Red Combine Harvester’ is by far their favourite, closely followed by ‘Mr Scarecrow’, where everyone pretends to be a scarecrow and wave their arms up and down to scare the birds. The songs have been fun to learn and educational too.
We have had some messy, sensory, fun this week with shaving foam. The children used their sense of sight, touch and smell to explore the foam. We encouraged them to use descriptive words to describe what they could see, feel and smell. Everyone liked how the foam felt in their hands and words such as sticky, cold, smooth and gooey were used. The children then drew shapes, lines and pictures in the foam. Even the adults had fun!
On Wednesday morning, with the sun shining, we walked to the Chapel Gardens to find autumn leaves. Earlier in the week the children worked together to make some leaf bags, which they decorated using autumn colours. So, armed with these we set off on our leaf hunt. The bags were soon brimming full with a variety of different leaves, sticks and acorns, which we plan to use for sorting and creative activities. We then had fun playing many, many games of Hide and Seek! After lots of energetic, excited, play we decided to sit very quietly by the Mulberry tree and listen to the sounds around us.
This week the children have brought in a variety of vegetables and fruits from home and we have talked about where they grow, how they feel to the touch and described their shape and colour. Everyone enjoyed peeling back the outer layer on the sweetcorn to see what was hiding inside.
Using the vegetables and fruits the children did some observational paintings and the results were amazing. Everyone put a lot of effort into their painting and thought about the colours they were using and the shape they wanted to paint. We now have some lovely paintings to display to brighten up the walls.
Instow Community Primary School is thrilled to announce that we are now running the local pre-school from September 2016.
Following the retirement of Mrs Speed, who ran the outstanding pre-school for over thirty years, Mrs Sharon Goodwin and her team will be working closely with our Early Years Leader, Mrs Elizabeth Martin, to offer a continuation of outstanding learning and creative play opportunities for children in the local and wider community.
Pre-school is open from 9.00 to 12.00, Monday to Friday, with the offer of children staying at pre-school for Lunch Club between 12.00 to 1.00, at the Parish Hall on Quay Lane, Instow.
Mrs Knight, Headteacher, will be regularly reporting to School Governors on the joint working opportunities for our Early Years provision in the community.
Please call in or telephone school on 01271 860545 to find out about a place for your child.
We currently take children from 2 years to 5 years of age.
Please also visit the pre-school website for further information: