Week commencing 16th March 2020
It was such a lovely morning that we went for a walk to the Chapel Garden. We enjoyed exploring the play equipment, looking for signs of Spring, playing hide and seek and making shadows on the grass using our bodies.
Thursday 5th March 2020
Here are some pictures from World Book Day. Thank you for bringing in your favourite stories to share with your friends.
Week commencing 2nd March 2020
We have been exploring, investigating and asking lots of ‘Why do you think…..?’ questions this week. We started by having fun with gloop, exploring the way in which the texture changed every time we touched it. A great way to introduce descriptive words such as soft, gooey, slimy, runny and hard.
We then had fun with magnets and tested objects to see if they would be attracted to the magnet and stick to it. We have also been exploring how and why different objects float or sink when placed in water. The children loved this activity and then enjoyed having a go at making boats and predicting what would happen to their boat when they put it in the water.
Week commencing 10th February 2020
Over the last couple of weeks the children have each made a book called ‘All About Me’. We have been talking about the things that make us similar to our friends and the ways in which we are unique. It was fun to take turns looking in the mirror to compare our eye and hair colour and to make some very silly faces! The children drew some amazing pictures of their family and had a go at writing or tracing over the letters in their name.
For Valentine’s Day we made ‘Happy Hearts’. This was a great activity to help develop their fine motor skills by using scissors, holding a pencil to colour in the shape then adding the eyes, nose and mouth and learning how to fold the paper to make the springy arms and legs. The children were pleased with their creations as you can see in the pictures below.
Week commencing 20th January 2020
During the past two weeks some of our activities have been themed around the Chinese New Year. We started by looking at the world map to work out where we live in relation to China and then thought of different ways in which we could travel there. We have all worked together to make a big, bright dragon collage. The children then had fun making their own mini dragons using a cardboard tube. By blowing down the tube they could make their dragons breathe fire! One morning we had noodles for snack-time which were tasty but a bit tricky to pick up – we didn’t use chopsticks as we decided that using a spoon and fingers would be much easier.
Week commencing 16th December 2019
We all enjoyed our Christmas party today with lots of dancing, party games and delicious party food. Happy Christmas everyone!
Week commencing 9th December 2019
Thank you to everyone for joining us on Wednesday to support our Christmas Nativity ‘The Sleepy Shepherd’.
Every child showed amazing confidence as they happily sat on the stage and joined in with the nativity songs and actions. They had a go at saying their speaking parts too. Well done to you all, we are very proud of you.
Week commencing 25th November 2019
The children have noticed that it is beginning to get much colder outside, so we thought this would be an ideal time to find out what animals do during the winter. We introduced the word ‘hibernation’ to learn how some animals go to sleep throughout the cold winter months.
We made a hedgehog from our handprints and collected lots of leaves to make a lovely cosy bed for the hedgehog to curl up in. We asked the children what they would take with them if they were sleeping through the winter. A favourite teddy was the most popular item to have, along with pillows and blankets. The children then had fun making their own cosy places to hibernate – although they didn’t stay asleep for long!
Children in Need 15th November 2019
We have had a fun morning at pre-school today as our activities have been focused on Children in Need. We iced some biscuits and decorated them with happy faces, coloured in some Pudsey pictures and made Pudsey's face using our link cubes. The children helped to raise some money by wearing their pyjamas and clothes with spots/stripes.
Week commencing 4th November 2019
We have been very busy over the past two weeks with lots of art and craft activities. We started by making paper lanterns and shared with the children some pictures of people celebrating Diwali, the Festival of Light.
On Halloween some children wore fancy dress. We read the story of Meg and Mog’s Halloween Party and made witches' hats decorating them with moons and stars.
The children spent quite a lot of time creating their firework pictures. This activity encouraged them to talk about the different sounds fireworks make and the colours that light up the night sky.
Some of the older children have shown an interest in the alphabet, so along with activities to encourage and develop their listening skills, we have been learning the letter sounds ‘s’ and ‘a’ by singing songs from Jolly Phonics.
Week commencing 14th October 2019
A character from Toy Story 4 called 'Forky' seems to be very popular with lots of the children, so you can imagine how excited we were when Forky joined us at Pre-School for the morning. One child had made a ‘Forky’ at home and brought it in to show his friends. Following on from the children’s interests we decided to have a go at making this lovable character. The children were really involved in the activity and whilst ‘making’ they were telling us about their favourite parts of the film.
This week we have also had a go at making soda bread. The children were very helpful when it came to juicing the lemon and gently kneading the dough. They also helped to weigh and measure the ingredients, along with working out how many balls of dough were needed for each child to have one ball each. Things got a little messy but we had fun!
Week commencing 7th October 2019
Thank you for coming along to listen to our Harvest songs on Friday morning. We hope you enjoyed them. We were so proud of all the children for their lovely singing and for remembering the actions to the songs – Well done!
Continuing the Harvest theme, the children helped to make some vegetable soup by peeling and cutting up the vegetables. We could smell the soup cooking and it was ready in time for our mid-morning break.
Week commencing 23rd September 2019
The children have been bringing in pictures from home of fruits and vegetables for our Harvest collage (well done for remembering!). We sorted the pictures into two groups deciding which of them were fruits, and which were vegetables. The children had a go at painting/drawing their favourite fruit/vegetable which they then cut out and added to our collage.
We have also been learning some Harvest songs which we would love to share with you next Friday (4th October) at 9.30am.
Week commencing 9th September 2019
The children have settled back into the new school year very quickly and it is lovely to see some new friendships forming. On Friday, after a very wet week, the summer weather decided to return so we went on a ‘Listening Walk’ to the Chapel garden. Our listening ears heard lots of different sounds and we helped the children describe the noises we heard – ‘chirping birds, squeaky gate’.
We have started to talk about Harvest-time and have asked the children to bring in a picture of a fruit or vegetable for our Harvest collage – it will be interesting to hear if they have remembered to tell you about this!
Week commencing 15th July 2019
When we arrived at Pre-School on Monday morning we had a lovely surprise – the children’s art work for the Instow Community on Show had received a red rosette for 1st in show. Well done everyone!
On Wednesday we had our sports morning at the Chapel Garden and it was great to see so many parents and grandparents there. Thank you for coming along and joining us. At the end of the morning, the children leaving us for ‘big school’ in September were given a little keepsake to remember us by. We will miss them all and wish them well at their new school, where they will continue to have lots of fun and adventures.
Week commencing 8th July 2019
It has been lovely to spend so much time outside enjoying the warm, dry weather. We have been able to wash lots of our toys and leave them outside to dry in the sun. The children have been a great help and enjoyed giving the babies a good drenching in the water – poor things!
On Friday, after enjoying a play on the beach we came back to Pre-school and decided that it would be a good time to say goodbye to our butterflies and set them free. One decided to stay around for a while which was great because the children were able to get close to it and hold it.
Week commencing 1st July 2019
We have some great little helpers here at Pre-school, especially when it comes to getting ready for snack-time. We often have help to clean the tables and lay out the numbered floor tiles for each child to line up on before we all wash our hands. However, the most popular job by far is the helper who pours out the milk and water for their friends. We have a rota so that everyone has a turn. This is an opportunity to encourage and develop the children’s speaking and listening skills.
It will soon be the Instow Community on Show and the Pre-school children have been asked to do some artwork to create Instow Beach on a paper plate. We talked about the things we would find at the beach, made a list and did some beach combing. With our found items the children started to get creative.
Weeks commencing 10th/17th June 2019
During the past two weeks we have been out and about exploring nearby with visits to the beach and the Chapel Garden. At the beach the children enjoyed lots of sandcastle building and then went in search of shells and sticks. Some larger sticks had been washed up on the beach, which were ideal for making pictures and trails in the sand.
Our visit to the Chapel Garden ended in all of us getting a little wet because the rain found us! We started to practise our sports day events, but eventually had to take shelter under the large mulberry tree. We tried to sing the rain away but this didn’t work so we returned to Pre-School for some indoor fun instead.
Week commencing 20th May 2019
Here are some of the activities that have kept everyone busy this week:
- Making and flying paper aeroplanes
- Taking part in pony races to find out which pony finished in 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th place
- Building some amazing creations
- Playing musical instruments in a variety of ways - quiet, loud, fast, slow
Have a lovely half term break. Pre-school returns on Tuesday 4th June.
Week commencing 13th May 2019
We have been investigating our five senses and have started with our sense of taste. The children tasted a selection of foods and decided whether the taste was sweet, salty or sour, (the photos below show the children tasting the sour lemon). Looking in a mirror we could see all the tiny taste buds covering our tongue, or ‘taste bugs’ as one child called them when we recapped on our learning later in the day!
We walked to the Chapel Garden earlier in the week and enjoyed some time in the lovely warm sunshine. The children played their favourite game of Hide and Seek, had fun climbing on the play equipment and took part in a treasure hunt to find things around the garden for our nature collage.
Week commencing 29th March 2019
We have a new eight-legged friend at Pre-school called Incy Wincy Spider. We started making Incy last week for the Instow Scarecrow Trail. The children helped to weave the web and scrunch paper to fill Incy’s legs and body. We were disappointed to learn that the Scarecrow Trail had been cancelled but we are happy to say that Incy now has a home in our outside area.
A small secret door appeared in the wall at Pre-school this morning and we asked the children to draw a picture of who/what they imagined could be behind the door. Their ideas were: Effie the Elf, an Underwater Fairy, Fairy Rosie, Grace the Fairy, My Pretend Sister and Bunny Elf – great imaginations and lovely drawings. Well done!
Week commencing 4th April 2019
We would like to say thank you to the PTFA for donating funds to Pre-school which has enabled us to purchase a Toddler Marble Run for the children. It has super-sized marbles so even our youngest children can enjoy the fun of a marble track.
Week commencing 25th March 2019
It has been a great week for enjoying the outdoors. We have been able to leave the side door open and the children have been able to choose indoor/outdoor play. Outdoors the children did lots of mark making on the patio slabs - we had rainbows, flowers, cars and monsters – all very colourful.
On Thursday we walked to the beach and had fun making castles and mark making in the sand. On our walk there and back we practised crossing the road safely by looking, listening and waiting until it was safe to cross.
A big thank you to Instow School who have given us some learning pads for the children to use. They are already very popular with the children and have some fun interactive games for them to explore.
Week commencing 11th March 2019
This week the children have become budding artists – look at their amazing observational drawings of some daffodils. We started by naming the different parts of the plant and then thought about the colours we should use when drawing our pictures.
It was Red Nose Day on Friday and the children wore red/pink to mark the day. We raised £14 for Comic Relief from your kind donations – thank you. We decorated some biscuits with all things red and pink and enjoyed a delicious treat at snack time.
Week commencing 4th March 2019
It was Shrove Tuesday this week and we thought it would be fun to have a pancake race. We made the pancakes by cutting out circles of cardboard and decorating them whilst talking about our favourite toppings.
We had a lovely morning on Thursday celebrating World Book Day. The children dressed as their favourite character and brought in a story to share with their friends.
Week commencing 25th February 2019
With the weather warm and dry we have enjoyed lots of outside play this week. The children did some great mark making with chalks on the patio slabs – our outside area looked very colourful.
Some of the older children have been using sequence cards to explain what happens next and have used these to make up some stories. The stories the children made up were really good – Well done!
‘The owner has a dog bone. The dog pounces and the dog gets the bone.’
‘She builds a sandcastle, then a wave comes and crashes it down and the castle falls over.’
Week commencing 11th February 2019
Continuing with our Chinese New Year celebrations, the children have made Chinese lanterns. This activity gave them the opportunity to practise their scissor skills by trying to carefully cut along a straight line to make the slits of the lantern. We then pretended that it was night time and went on a lantern parade around the hall. At snack time we gave the children some noodles to taste. These went down a treat with lots of children asking for seconds. A few days later, for a sensory activity with lots of fine motor play, we put some cooked noodles in a tray with some tongs and pots for the children to explore. This time we called them slimy worms rather than noodles hoping the children wouldn’t be tempted to eat them – it worked!
Week commencing 4th February 2019
Over the next couple of weeks we are going to look at the Chinese New Year celebrations and find out how children around the world celebrate this time of year with their families. We started by looking at the world map and finding the country of China. The children were interested to see exactly where Pre-School was on the map. We then thought of different ways in which we could travel to China and how long our journey would take. The children made a Chinese flag and had a go at saying a traditional Chinese greeting used at this time of year ‘Gong Hei Fat Choi’.
Week commencing 28th January 2019
We have been making things from cardboard boxes this week. We started by making a petrol pump for the children to use when playing on the trikes. We have been encouraging the children to ask for an amount of petrol and move the dial to the corresponding number to help with their number recognition and communication skills. They have been paying for their petrol by tapping the adult’s hand the same number of times as the amount of petrol they asked for. Some children are very cheeky however and ride off without paying! We have also started to make a washing machine for the home corner, which we will hopefully finish next week.
We were entertained on Friday by the children making up their own music using pots and pans from the home corner and then parading around the hall making a lovely sound!
Week commencing 14th January 2019
We are already a week and a half into the new Spring Term – How time flies when you are having fun! This week, with the weather mild and dry the children have enjoyed playing outside amongst the fallen leaves in our outside space. They listened to the noises the crispy leaves made under foot and then grabbed handfuls and threw them into the air, watching as they floated back down to the ground. We noticed some signs of Spring as our daffodils have started to grow. We also went for a walk to the Chapel Garden and took some bird seed to feed the birds.
We have been learning how to use kitchen scales to weigh ingredients and we baked some yummy fairy cakes. We also made a fruit smoothie and the children helped to cut the fruit by learning how to be very careful when using knives.
Week commencing 17th December 2018
It has been a busy week with lots of Christmas activities. We have made snowmen, baked some star shaped biscuits and enjoyed our end of term Christmas party. The party was great fun and our thanks go to Jo for organising the activities. The children loved playing with the large snowball balloons and shaking the glittery pom-poms to the Christmas music. They then enjoyed a delicious selection of party food.
We hope you all have a lovely Christmas with your loved ones and we will see you in the New Year. Pre-School re-opens on Tuesday 8th January 2019.
Week commencing 10th December 2018
Thank you to everyone who joined us on Wednesday morning for our Christmas Nativity. It was lovely to see so many of you supporting us. We thought the children did an amazing job and we are so proud of them all. They worked so hard to learn the songs and remember the actions. We hope you were entertained and enjoyed their singing and acting!
Week commencing 19th November 2018
We had a visitor at Pre-School this week, Sarah from Bideford Library. She entertained the children with some lovely stories and rhymes. We are all eagerly learning the songs and actions for our Christmas Nativity play. The children are doing well remembering the words and I am sure you will soon hear ‘Welcome, Welcome….’ over breakfast one morning, as this seems to be everyone’s favourite. As a reminder, our Nativity performance is on Wednesday 12th December at 11.00am – we look forward to seeing you there.
Week commencing 12th November 2018
We started the week by making a poppy wreath to mark Rememberance Day. Whilst making the poppies we loosely talked about why we see lots of people wearing poppies at this time of year. We have started a 'milk pouring' rota for snack time and each child will have an opportunity to help with the pouring of the drinks. It seems to be a very popular job and everyone wants to have a go! At the end of the week the children dressed up in spots/stripes and pyjamas for Children in Need and we collected some money for this very important charity. Thank you for your donations.
Week commencing 5th November 2018
Do you like our firework pictures? We tapped the paint brush on our hand to splash the paint on the paper. Using lots of different colours gave the effect of fireworks lighting up the sky.
Some of the older children have been talking about Halloween this week, so we decided to make some pumpkins and introduced the art of bubble painting. Firstly we helped the children to cut out a pumpkin shape and then showed them how to make the bubble mixture. They found it very funny when, using a straw, an adult blew into the paint and the bubbles started to appear, along with some strange ‘blob, blob’ noises. The children had a go at making bubbles for themselves, (with varying degrees of success!) and we then made prints of the bubbles on to the pumpkins. To develop some number skills we have been matching number and quantity by choosing objects from the room to match the number on the card. We have started a milk pouring rota at snack time and, as you can see from the photos below, we have had some great little helpers.
Week commencing 15th October 2018
We have continued with our Harvest theme and the children have been bringing in vegetables and fruits grown in their own gardens. We have been finding out how the items grow – above or below the ground and thinking of words to describe how they look and taste. Using the vegetables, we firstly cut them in half looking for seeds and then made some delicious vegetable soup which the children enjoyed at snack time. It was great to see that most wanted to try the soup with some children asking for seconds!
INSTOW COMMUNITY PRIMARY SCHOOL
Dear Pre-school and Nursery colleagues,
We are offering parents our friendly school tours for next year’s Reception Year applications – Parents are invited to telephone 01271 860545 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org to book a place.
Monday 15th October
1.30 – 2.30
Thursday 18th October
9.30 – 10.30
Tuesday 30th October
9.30 – 10.30
Friday 2nd November
1.30 – 2.30
Friday 9th November
9.30 – 10.30
Monday 12th November
1.30 – 2.30
Thursday 15th November
1.30 – 2.30
Heidi Knight, Headteacher and team x
Week commencing 1st October 2018This week we set up an indoor obstacle course to get the children moving and help to use up some of their boundless stores of energy. There was a river to cross using stepping stones, a balancing beam bridge, hoops to jump into and a tunnel to crawl through before making it to the finishing line. We have also made a start on our Harvest themed collage where the children have helped to make a selection of their favourite fruits and vegetables
Week commencing 17th September 2018
Since returning to Pre-school from the summer holidays the last two weeks have flown past! The children have settled back into our Pre-school routine very quickly and those children who have only just started with us are already beginning to settle too. We are very proud of the older children because they have really helped to make their younger friends feel welcome.
We went out for a walk on Tuesday and visited the Chapel garden where the children burnt off lots of energy. It was good to be back in the garden again and we hope to visit on a regular basis over the coming weeks. Also this week, some of the children helped to make jam tarts and were eager to put their hands in the bowl to mix the ingredients together.
Week commencing 23rd July 2018
On Tuesday we enjoyed a fun and energetic hour of ‘sports day races’ at the Chapel garden. It was great to have so many parents and grandparents join us – thank you for coming along! We have said a fond farewell to twelve of our children this week as they will be moving on to primary school to start their next big adventure. It is always sad to say goodbye, but we wish them well and hope they will stay in touch. We hope you all have a lovely summer holiday and we will see you back at Pre-school on Wednesday 5th September.
Week commencing 16th July 2018
As you can see from the photograph, the children have been very busy this week creating fantasy islands. Some islands have treasure waiting to be found, some have sharks swimming in the water and on one of the islands you will notice the fish have jumped onto the land. When we asked 'why?' we were told ‘The water is too cold’. As the children were painting and decorating their creations it was great to hear the stories they were telling to explain what was happening on their island. The fantasy islands will be on display in the Parish Hall on Sunday 29th June at the Instow Community on Show Festival.
Week commencing 9th July 2018
Wow!! On Monday morning our butterflies were waiting for us as they had emerged over the weekend. We gave them some sugar-water and fruit to feed on and left them in the butterfly home for a couple of days whilst their wings hardened. On Wednesday, whilst enjoying snack time outside, we decided it was time to release the butterflies. At first they were reluctant to leave the safety of their home, so we sat quietly and waited patiently. One butterfly was very friendly and crawled onto an adult’s finger before flying away. This was a great moment and the children were able to get very close to it and see its amazing colours and patterns.
Week commencing 2nd July 2018
We have been learning about the life cycle of the butterfly and the children have enjoyed The Very Hungry Caterpillar story by Eric Carle. Last week a very important parcel arrived in the post – some baby caterpillars. We have looked after them carefully and have been amazed at how quickly they have grown in such a short space of time. They are now in the chrysalis stage and the children are eagerly awaiting the arrival of some beautiful butterflies. Whilst waiting for this to happen the whole group has been working on a collage to show this amazing life cycle.
Week commencing 19th June 2018
This week we have been measuring and weighing. We started by measuring the children and cutting out a strip of card to match each of their heights. Using these strips the children worked out who was the tallest/shortest. We made some delicious pizzas and using the kitchen scales the children had a go at weighing the ingredients. We then looked for things around the room which were heavy/light. We enjoyed a walk to the Chapel Garden where we collected daisies, leaves, feathers and grasses to make a nature collage. In our own little garden at pre-school we are patiently waiting for our strawberries to ripen.
Week commencing 6th June 2018
On our return to Pre-School, after the half term break, we were amazed by how tall our runner bean plants had grown in just a few weeks. Some plants were almost as tall as a four year old child! The children could see how important water and sunlight are in helping seeds to grow because, the seed which had no water didn’t grow at all and the seed which we kept in the dark had grown into a plant, but the plant looked very pale and unhealthy. We used the link cubes to measure the plants and we worked out which one was the tallest/shortest.
Week commencing 21st May 2018
We tried something new this week and one morning we had our snack-time outside. We sat quietly for a moment and listened to the birds singing away. We then listened to the other noises around us and tried to guess what they could be. Later in the week we walked to the Chapel Garden and the children went on a number hunt and had lots of exercise running around whilst playing a number recognition game. On Friday the children came in their own dressing up costumes and we iced and decorated some biscuits which were enjoyed at snack-time.
Week commencing 14th May 2018
We have achieved many things this week – We started by giving some of the toys a good wash and scrub and thought about why we need to keep the toys clean. There were lots of volunteers eager to help with the washing, but everyone seemed to disappear when it came to the drying! We have planted some runner bean seeds and talked about the things we need to do to look after them and help them grow. The children have also been taking part in activities to help with their number recognition. Lastly, to celebrate the Royal Wedding the children made some Union Jack flags. What a busy week!
Week commencing 8th May 2018
Following on from our colour mixing activities of last week, we talked about how lots of different colours are made by using just the three primary colours, red, yellow and blue. We worked out the colours we would need to mix together to get the colours of the rainbow and then the children painted some beautiful rainbow pictures. The highlight of the week came on Friday when Mrs Martin and two children from Reception visited Pre-School with 10 fluffy chicks, which they had watched hatch and then had been looking after in their classroom. The chicks were only a week old and absolutely adorable. Thank you Reception class for bringing your chicks to meet us.
Week commencing 30th April 2018
This week has been all about rainbows and colour mixing. We started by asking the children a few questions to get them thinking – Have you ever seen a rainbow in the sky? What did it look like? Can you name the colours? We then had a go at mixing two different coloured paints together to make some of the rainbow colours. We also had fun adding coloured paints to shaving foam and watching the colours change. We then made patterns in the foam which we printed onto card. We’ve also been busy putting the finishing touches to our scarecrow for the Scarecrow Trail which takes place this weekend. If you visit Pre-School over the weekend you will see a friendly character sitting on the wall.
Week commencing 23rd April 2018
There was more fun to be had at the Chapel garden this week. We searched for mini-beasts (the children were mainly looking for spiders), we played hide and seek, a musical listening game and had fun with bubbles. Back at Pre-School we made a start on our scarecrow for the Instow Scarecrow Trail. Can you guess who it is going to be?
Week commencing 17th April 2018
Welcome back to the Summer term. It has been great to see all the children settle back into pre-school so quickly. We started the week by sitting together as a group and telling each other what we did over the Easter holiday. Giving children the opportunity to speak out in front of their peers helps to develop their self-confidence and listening to others is a very important skill to develop. Some of the children had been to see Peter Rabbit at the cinema and were able to recall things from the film, others had been away on holiday, and all of the children remembered eating Easter eggs – one child reported eating ‘hundreds of them!’ We’ve made the most of the dry weather and had lots of outside play. When the sun shines there is nothing better than a picnic and barbeque as the pictures below show.
Week commencing 19th March 2018
We’ve been playing lots of number games this week to help the children with their number recognition and ordering. We made a number post box and the children enjoyed helping to sort the post. The Easter Bunny had hidden some numbered paper eggs around the room and we went on an egg hunt. To check that all the eggs had been found we put them in numerical order which helped us to work out which numbers were missing.
Today (Friday) has been Sports Relief morning and everyone has been taking part in lots of physical activities. We’ve been using balls to practise our throwing, catching and kicking skills, and using the hoops, which we placed in a long line, to jump into and out off. We were all very active and ready for snack time!
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: