Instow Pre-School Blog

Early Years 'Royal Jubilee Song'

Please click on the link below to watch the recording of our Royal Jubilee Song.  The children were all amazing and did some beautiful singing.  We are so proud of them all.  Well done everyone!

Week commencing 23rd May 2022

This week we completed our ‘junk model’ street party.  The children helped to make bunting which we draped across the street and made food for our extremely long party table.  The children talked about parties they had been to in the past and their favourite party food.

We have been learning a Jubilee song, which we have put our own actions to.  (Please see above for the link to our song).  We can all now bow/curtsey like a prince/princess!  Each child has had a go at making a crown – great for practising those scissor skills.  The children enjoyed decorating their crowns and it was lovely to watch such concentration whilst they took their time to finish them.  We have also made Union Jack flags.

The children had fun taking part in a Jubilee Scavenger Hunt where they looked around for pictures matching those on their scavenger sheets.  From this activity we were able to introduce new words such as carriage, throne and medal.

We visited the woods again for our welly walk and this time asked the question ‘Why are tree trunks covered in bark?  We did lots of bark rubbings and noticed the different patterns the bark made.

Let’s hope the sun shines for our half term holiday.  Have a lovely time.  We return to school on the 7th June. 

 

 

Week commencing 9th May 2022

We have started to talk about the Queen’s Jubilee and have looked at pictures of previous celebrations where people have had street parties with their neighbours.   We have collected an assortment of boxes and the children have enjoyed modelling with these to create their own house.  We intend to make our very own ‘junk model’ of a street party – it’s still in the making so hopefully more pictures will follow shortly!

The children have enjoyed looking at pictures of famous London landmarks and have had a go at recreating these landmarks using the building bricks.  We all played a game where we built the Big Ben tower.  Each child had a turn at throwing the dice, counting the dots and taking the same number of bricks from the brick box to add to our tower.  The tower got very tall and a little wobbly, but we managed to put the clock face on it before it collapsed to the ground.

When we returned from the Easter holidays, we were surprised how much our bean plants had grown, so we planted them into their new home - our lovely new planters which one of our Pre-school families made for us.  As we took them out of their individual pots, we were able to name and talk about the different parts of the plant.

We have had some lovely welly walks over the past couple of weeks.  We visited the woods and noticed how the area looked different to our visit before Easter.  There were lots of green leaves on the trees instead of bare branches and we noticed how the plants had grown making the pathway seem much narrower.   We also climbed the stile and did a circular walk.  We walked through the field where we met some sheep, crossed another stile, where we met some cows, then came out into the lane and walked back up the hill to school – we were all very tired and ready for a snack!  It’s great to see how the children are now climbing the stiles with more confidence, knowing where to place their hands/feet.  Their confidence has grown so much since our first attempt at the beginning of the school year. 

Week commencing 4th April 2022

We hope you enjoy looking through our photos of our learning during the last couple of weeks.  We have continued to look for signs of spring whilst exploring our local environment.  We have been planting seeds and finding out how to care for them.  Jack and the Beanstalk has been our story of the week and the children have enjoyed joining in with the phrase ‘Fee Fi Fo Fum’.  We found some giant footprints which we measured using our counting cubes.  This led to the children measuring their own footprints and also measuring/counting how many cubes tall they are.

We have been learning some Spring songs and have attached the videos below.  We hope you enjoy listening to them.  Happy Easter everyone!

Five Little Ducks

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The Easter Bunny

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I've got Spring in my Toes

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It must be Spring

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Week commencing 21st March 2022

A strange object arrived in the playground one morning.  It was yellow and egg shaped with green spots.  We wondered what is could be? Where it could have come from? How it got there? and What could be inside? One child suggested it could be an alien egg and we talked about spaceships and space.  The children drew pictures to show the egg and what they thought could be inside.

It took a few days for the egg to hatch.  The children were very patient and helped to keep the egg safe whilst we waited to discover what was inside.

We watched a programme all about rockets and then made our own balloon rocket.  The children practised counting backwards from 5 to blast off before letting go of the balloon and watching it race along the string – it was great fun!  We discovered the more air we put in the balloon, the further and faster it travelled.

In other areas of our learning the children have been practising their fine motor skills and hand eye co-ordination by using bottle tops, a hole punch and string to thread and make necklaces and snakes.

Last week on our welly walk we visited the church grounds to look for signs of spring.  The children were given magnifying glasses to look closely at spring flowers and insects.  It was a lovely sunny morning and the birds were singing in the trees.

 

Week commencing 7th March 2022

Just before half term, we started to learn all about our teeth and how to look after them.  We looked at different foods and sorted them into two groups by deciding whether the foods would make our teeth happy or sad.  We watched a CBeebies programme where we learnt about the job of a dentist – a little girl called Ava visited the dentist for the first time.

We had great fun on our welly walk this week because we visited the woods for the first time.  It was quite a long walk to the woods.  We were so proud of everyone for walking so sensibly and listening carefully to instructions, so that everyone was safe whilst walking close to the road.  We had a picnic in the woods of pancakes and warm milk to celebrate pancake day.

In the afternoon, when we were back at Pre-school, the children made pancakes by drawing and cutting out shapes from cardboard.  We then had some pancake races with some great attempts to flip the pancakes as they crossed the finishing line!

It has also been World Book Day this week.  The children dressed up as their favourite book character and we shared many stories throughout the morning. 

Week commencing 7th February 2022

Here is a snap shot of just a few things we have been up to over the last couple of weeks.

Following on from our learning about animals who live in the Arctic and Antarctic, the children created some lovely polar bear pictures.  They used sponges to apply the paint to the paper to make the polar bear’s face and then added features.

We have found out a little about the Chinese New Year celebrations by watching a CBeebies video about a young girl called Abbie.  She showed us how she celebrates this special occasion with her family.  From watching this video, the children had a go at making Chinese lanterns and blossom trees – lots of fine motor skill practise. 

We also found out that according to the Chinese calendar, this year is the year of the tiger.  A few of the children made some fantastic tiger pictures, by listening to and following an adult’s instructions.  We have been enjoying the story of The Tiger Who Came to Tea by Judith Kerr and have read this quite a few times over the past week.  We had good fun acting out the story in the home corner.

For our welly walk we climbed the stile again to explore the field.  It took a while for everyone to climb over the stile, so those waiting enjoyed a story whilst sitting in the field watching the sheep and their lambs. 

For some sensory play, we introduced the children to noodles and they enjoyed using tongs to pick them up and fill containers – perfect for pretend cooking.  It didn’t take long for someone to add water to the tray which turned the noodles into noodle soup – really messy, but great fun!

 

Week commencing 24th January 2022

Following on from our visit from Mr Polar Bear, we have been finding out about Arctic and Antarctic animals.  We made a map to show where these places are in our world and talked about how the weather in wintertime is very, very cold and the ground is covered in snow and ice.  We wondered why arctic animals have white winter coats to match their surroundings and talked about the meaning of the word ‘camouflage’.

We then played a game where the children found objects in the room which could be camouflaged against red, yellow and blue pieces of card.  Some children continued to camouflage objects by putting a red object on a red chair and matching a yellow object to the yellow in our rug.

We have been on two welly walks so far this term.  For our first we climbed the stile into the field opposite the school and walked down to the small stream.  There were sheep on the far side of the field with their lambs, so we were very quiet and careful not to scare them.  They were very curious of us and came closer to say ‘hello’.

For our second welly walk we took our colour cards out with us and looked for natural things from our surroundings to match the colours on the cards.

We have also been reading the story ‘One Snowy Night’ by Nick Butterworth.  In the story Percy the Park Keeper shares his bed with all of his woodland friends, so from this we decided to sing and act out ‘There were 10 in the Bed’.  The children really enjoyed taking part in this song and it was great for their counting skills.  Everyone helped to count those in the bed and work out how many children were left each time someone fell out.

Week commencing 10th January 2022

It has been great to see everyone again after our Christmas break and also lovely to welcome a few new children who have joined us this term.

The children have settled back into school very quickly and it has been lovely to see them sharing and exploring the resources together, whilst rekindling their friendships with each other.

We have been investigating how water freezes and turns into a solid block of ice and then when it warms up it melts back to water.  To help us understand this we watched a programme where Kit and Pup explained the freezing and melting process.

The children were given a challenge to help rescue some frozen objects that were trapped in blocks of ice.  We encouraged them to think about how we could free them.  After lots of attempts of trying to bash and crack the ice with spoons, we decided we could move the objects closer to the heater to try and melt the ice. 

On Thursday we received a large white package in the post.  The children felt the package to try and guess what was inside.  One child said it felt hard and another described it as feeling cold.  When we opened the parcel, we found a polar bear.  The polar bear had come to visit us but was all icy and frozen solid and had a note with him saying that he needed looking after.

We thought about the things that make us feel warm and cosy and the children decided that he needed a bed, pillow and blanket.  One child made him a hot chocolate to drink.  They put him by the heater and kept checking on him during the morning.

In the afternoon we found that Mr Polar Bear was very wet and discovered that the ice had melted, so we put him in the sun to dry.  It was lovely to watch the children taking care of the bear. 

We have been using ice paints to create some lovely artwork.  When the ice sticks started to melt, the children enjoyed mixing the watery paint together to create new colours.

 

 

Week commencing 13th December 2021

It has been a week full of Christmas treats and surprises.  We have played party games and enjoyed party food.  Mrs Knight joined us and read a Christmas story.   Santa flew past the school in his helicopter so we all gave him a big wave!  We even had time for our last welly walk of the term where we discovered lots of mussel shells in the field, which sparked lots of questions as to how they got there and why?

We wish you all a lovely Christmas.  See you in the New Year. 

Week commencing 6th December 2021

It has been a busy time here at Pre-school and the children have been involved in lots of art and craft activities.  We have been making paperchains, snowmen, Christmas tree decorations, kites, paper aeroplanes the list is long and varied.  We give the children some ideas of things they could make and then follow their own suggestions.  It’s not the finished product that is important, it’s allowing the children to choose the materials they want to use and encouraging them to talk about how they will put their ideas into practice and then helping them to achieve this.

Our room is now looking Christmassy and we had some great helpers when we decorated our Christmas tree.

The children have been learning about the Christmas nativity story.  They have also been learning some Christmas nativity songs and have been dressing up, singing and dancing along to the music.  This week on our welly walk, we visited a local stable to show them the type of place where the baby Jesus was born.  We all decided that it wouldn’t be very comfortable to sleep in a stable – it was so cold and gloomy.

We did get to meet Paddy and Stuart, two horses, who live in the stable at night.  We were amazed when we were shown how much they would eat and drink overnight.  Paddy was quite friendly and allowed the children to stroke his nose. 

Thank you to everyone for coming to the school’s mini Christmas market and for making it such a success.

Weeks commencing 15th and 22nd November

It’s lovely to see the reception children and pre-school children playing and exploring together.  There are some wonderful little friendships emerging. 

You may have heard your child talking about ‘Windmills and Sandcastles’ – just to explain, the reception children are called ’Windmills' and the Pre-school children are called ‘Sandcastles'.  This helps when we need to split the children at times throughout the day for more focused learning activities.  

Sandcastles have been continuing with their listening activities, one of which has been a sound lotto game.  Working in small groups, they listened carefully to a variety of everyday sounds, identified the sound and matched it to a picture on their lotto board.  We have also been playing small group games too to encourage turn taking, listening to others and learning how to follow the rules of a game.

Last week was National Road Safety Week and we talked about how to stay safe when walking outside.  We listened to ‘Supercat’s Road Safety’ story and learnt how we must Stop, Look, Listen and Think before crossing the road.   The children practised their road safety skills in the playground.  Using the bikes and trikes we made a pretend road and then used our new traffic signs so that the ‘pedestrians’ could cross the road safely.  The children were also introduced to new words such as ‘zebra crossing, belisha beacon, pelican crossing etc.   

 

 

Week commencing 8th November 2021

This week we have been looking for signs of autumn.  On our welly walk to the Church we noticed the changing colours of the leaves on the trees.  We could see that lots had already fallen from the trees and were scattered on the ground.  In the churchyard we all sat by the war memorial and enjoyed the story of ‘We’re going on a Bear Hunt’, but we changed the words to ‘We’re going on a Leaf Hunt’.  As the children know the Bear Hunt story so well, they helped to retell it by joining in with lots of the words – Great storytelling everyone!  We then went on a leaf hunt to see how many we could find. 

Back in the classroom we learnt a song all about autumn leaves falling down, twisting, turning all around.  The children enjoyed singing and dancing and using the leaves to copy the actions in the song. 

We’ve also had lots of fun playing with the large parachute.  Everyone had a turn at running under the parachute and popping their head through the hole in the centre to say ‘Hello’ to their friends.

Thursday was Remembrance Day, so we marked the day making poppies using a variety of craft materials.  The activities encouraged the development of the children’s fine motor skills by ripping paper into strips and having a go at finger painting.  We talked about why grown-ups wear poppies at this time of year.