Instow Pre-School

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.

 

Week commencing   1st November 2021

Welcome back to the second half of the autumn term.  We hope you had a lovely half term holiday with your family.

This week the children have been learning about Diwali, the Festival of Lights.  We watched a CBeebies programme and met Jessica and her family, who told us how they celebrate this festival.  We learnt about Rangoli patterns, Diva pots and hand painting.  It was great fun having a go at some of these activities.  To mark the end of Diwali they have a firework display, so we have been creating our own firework pictures using shaving foam and food colouring and straws to blow paint along a piece of paper. 

Using scarves, the children did some great firework dancing with lots of arm movements to help develop their upper body strength.

More welly walk pictures - a wet and windy day

Week commencing 18th October 2021

We have been on two welly walks recently which the children have thoroughly enjoyed.  The excitement begins as they start to get changed into their waterproof trousers and wellies.  We are encouraging the children, step by step, to help with this to increase their confidence and independence.

On our first walk we went through the gate next to school into the field with the old windmill.  We climbed to the top of the hill to explore inside the ruin.  Here we were sheltered from the wind, but if we looked through the small holes in the stone, we could feel the wind on our faces.

The view from here is amazing and the children sat for a while looking all around and spotting things in the distance.  Great fun was then had as we all ran down the steep hill and then we helped each other climb back to the top. 

For our second welly walk we went back into the field again, but today the weather was wet and windy, the clouds were low in the sky and we couldn’t see all the things we could see the previous week.  So, we looked for things in the grass instead and spotted purple thistles, dandelions, sheep wool and lots of mushrooms of all different colours and sizes.  The children listened carefully as we explained how important it is just to look at them and not touch/pick them.  We then spotted a mole hill, and then another and another.  The children went on a ‘mole hill hunt’ finding lots of them dotted around the field - we decided they must be very busy animals!

On the top of the hill the wind was blowing so hard it was difficult to stand upright.  We could feel the rain on our faces and even tried to catch some raindrops on our tongue.  It was great knowing that our waterproofs were keeping us warm and dry.

More pictures of our wet and windy walk to follow.

Week commencing 4th October 2021

There has been a lot of interest in making paper kites recently and our craft table has been very busy.  We have been showing the children how to fold in the corners of a piece of paper to make a diamond shape and some have then tried to do this independently.  The weather has been perfect for kite flying and the children have had great fun running around outside with their kites twisting and turning behind them.

We noticed that some windfall apples had fallen from our apple tree so we put these to good use and did some printing activities.  When the apples were cut in half horizontally the children were able to see the star shape of the core and seeds.

We have seen some lovely imaginative play – a pile of tyres became a pirate ship with poles used for oars.  The dressing up clothes have been very popular with everyone busily trying on an assortment of outfits - there were lots of costume changes!  A dragonfly was interested in our dressing up clothes too and flew around us for a while to say 'hello', which was lovely for the children to see.

We have started to learn a song to celebrate Harvest which is called ‘Mr Scarecrow’ – we hope to share this with you very soon.

Week commencing 20th September 2021

Over the past couple of weeks, we have been outside exploring more areas of the school.  The children were introduced to the ‘Trim Trail’ which is an area on the large playground with lots of balancing and climbing equipment.  There are great views of the river from here.  We noticed lots of sailing boats on the water and spotted Lundy Island on the horizon.

On the top playground there is a wooden climbing frame and slide, where the children had great fun and burnt off lots of energy.   We also explored a little further and went for our first walk to the Church.  It was a warm, sunny afternoon and we stopped for a while, lay down quietly on the grass and listened to the sounds around us. 

The children have enjoyed using the musical instruments to explore the different sounds they make.  We played a listening game, where an instrument was played behind a screen and they had to name/match the instrument being played. 

We have introduced some class rules so that we can all stay happy and safe.  We have also shown the children what to do if the fire bell rings.  They all did so well when we practiced this - well done everyone!

Week commencing 7th September 2021

There has been much excitement in the air this week as the children returned to Pre-school to start a new school year.  It was lovely to see everyone again and to also welcome some new families to our school.   Everyone has been excited and eager to explore our new home and we have been amazed at how quickly the children have settled into their new surroundings.  They have been little stars in saying their goodbyes to you at the gate – we are so proud of them.  Thank you for your help with this.

The children have enjoyed being able to play both inside and out – even in the rain!  The water play and sand play areas have been very popular.   We have also enjoyed sitting outside on picnic benches to have our snack.  We ventured out of our play area and explored the large playground on the other side of the school where the children were able to play on the bikes and trikes.  

Here are a few photos of our week.