The sun rose brightly on the day of our Platinum Jubilee Celebrations making for a fun and sun filled afternoon for our families. This was our first meet up with parents/carers since Covid began. What a wonderful afternoon was had by all – the children made Jubilee Crowns and there was a sensory activity with British coloured rice. They enjoyed British cupcakes, refreshments and strawberry marshmallow kebabs. The children and families participated in a singalong and then it was time for the certificates to be handed out: I Celebrated the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.
Our morning and afternoon nursery children at Howes Road have been very busy since starting Nursery this term. Many have been showing an interest in vehicles and we have been listening to stories and songs about cars, buses and other things that help us to move around. A favourite song is ‘The Wheels on the Bus’ and great fun has been had playing the desk bells which sound like the bell on the bus. Some children have been using vehicles in the paint and looking at their tyre tracks. Others have been exploring the paint with their fingers. The garage and toy cars have proven very popular as the cars go up and down ramps whilst some children have been exploring cause and effect steering wheel toys or completing puzzles.
We also made lots of playdough as part of a group and have been using transport cutters to make shapes of planes, cars, trains and motorbikes. Some have been rolling the playdough in their hands and squeezing it as it is lovely and soft.
We have had fun in the nursery garden, watering the flowers when it has been sunny and jumping in the puddles when it has been raining.
All the returning children from Orchard Brae at Ashgrove have settled well since starting back in August. We have been able to welcome new children to our Nursery and it has been great to see how quickly they have adapted to their new setting. They all appear to be enjoying and becoming familiar within the Nursery environment.
We have been doing lots of sensory activities with painting, gloop and shaving foam. We have also been making vegetable and fruit printing pictures. We have been planting our spring bulbs and enjoying what remains of the “summer weather.”
As the trees are now beginning to change colour we have been exploring this concept as we go for walks in the local community. Some of the children have shown great interest in our apple and plum trees which grow in our outdoor play area and have been collecting them. We have used some of the plums for our snack. Next week we are planning to use the apples to make apple pie.
The staff team at Ashgrove are all looking forward to working with the children and supporting them throughout their time with us.
The pupils in Room 3 love story time! Our stories are always brought to life with props, smells and sound effects which help bring the words and ideas to life. You never know what might happen during story time in Room 3… monsters might come to chase us, Katie Morag could take us on a journey to deliver the mail, a pirate ship to jump aboard for an adventure or even up into the night sky in a rocket to visit the moon with Baby Bear. Items go flying, the room descends into darkness and there can be very loud or quiet noises – our senses are well and truly awoken and the engagement is fantastic.
During stories we have the chance to practise some of what we learn through our targets or other curricular areas – a really good chance to generalise our skills. We always leave gaps so that the pupils can join in with signs and vocalisations. It is really helpful to repeat the same stories so that we become familiar with them and can begin to anticipate what is coming next. Sometimes we find that things which can be tricky in other contexts i.e. particular textures we aren’t sure of or having to pass on something to a friend which we would rather keep ourselves is much easier to cope with or work on during all the fun of story time.
The children’s active participation in story time has developed so much, we are really proud of them. They are joining in not only during their own turns but also paying so much more attention to their peers, lots of careful watching and listening.
We are looking forward to sharing some favourite stories from home with each other and getting to know some new ones while working through our context of ‘All About Me’ and answering the question ‘Who am I and who am I within my class?’.
Our fruit/vegetable of the past fortnight was apple and for the next two weeks is CARROT. All our classes are encouraged to serve this vegetable at least five times during snack to expose our children to fruit/vegetables and encourage them to have a taste. Our Howes Hoose group certainly enjoyed their apple and carrot and at the other end of the school our little ones in nursery are being exposed to and encouraged to taste the fruits/vegetables.
The morning children at Ashgrove Nursery participated in several Christmas activities over the festive period. Such as a trip to BA stores where they got to meet Santa and have a ride on the Christmas train. Some of the children particularly showed interest in decorating the tree within the play room.
All have returned after the break and have settled well. They have been making Ashgrove tartan in preparation for the Scottish celebrations next week.
One of our new initiatives for Healthy Eating in 2020 is ‘Fruit/Vegetable of the Fortnight’. A fruit or vegetable will be introduced at snack time and served regularly over a two week period. In this way we aim to expose the children to fresh fruit and vegetables and encourage them to try new fruit and vegetables, develop a taste for healthy foods as well as offering children the experience of preparing and tasting a selection of fresh fruit and vegetables. We will also be sharing our Healthy Eating successes … WATCH THIS SPACE!!
Our ‘Fruit of the Fortnight’ is APPLE.
Three weeks ago, Room 3 started exploring the question ‘What is Christmas?’ as part of our Winter Festivals theme and as you will see from the photographs…we have certainly tried our hardest to answer it! We have been building on our prior learning and have used means of learning which are motivating to help us discover more about Christmas.
We have participated in many music sessions where we have used Christmas props and have been practising our Makaton signing – we look forward to performing some of the Christmas songs to an audience at the show tomorrow.
Exploration of a wide range of objects has happened through Sensology sessions as well as focussed turn taking games as we continue to develop our awareness of each other – Christmas pass the parcel was a lot of fun and we did so well at sharing what we found inside with our friends. We have explored exchanging money as part of a Christmas counting song where we bought mince pies at the bakers shop.
During free play we have explored a wide range of Christmas items and found some of them very interesting. One boy found it great fun to knock bells off his standing frame, meanwhile another young lady was delighted to find a chocolate coin hiding in the Christmas exploration bowl as you will see from her selfie! There have been many Christmas activities set up including festive playdough which we made together and our favourite exploration tubes which we have been motivated to request through vocalising or move towards by crawling or in our equipment.
There are so many lovely Christmas stories and poems and we particularly enjoyed learning about the ‘Old Lady Who Swallowed A Bell’ – there was much hilarity as she swallowed bows, parcels, a sack and even a sleigh which we made fly across the classroom! We learnt about the Christmas story and joined up with friends in Rm 2 and 8 for this – we took on different roles, dressed up and acted the story out.
We have loved exploring Ian Bean’s online Advent Calendar with a daily activity we could do using the switch or eye gaze machines. The Christmas tree lights have been a real motivator to press the switch for too.
A real highlight was the sensory 12 days of Christmas…unfortunately there was so much fun and hilarity that it was tricky to get still photos but the classroom was very animated as we anticipated each item coming back – one boy was beyond excited about the 5 gold rings which he shook with gusto each time! There were lights flying, crackers cracking, tooters tooting, Christmas puddings and a beautiful dancing snowflake which sparkled on the tree.
We have been busy doing lots of crafts including using the salad spinners to make pictures for each season – this is definitely one of our favourite art techniques! We posed to take a picture for our Christmas cards and have done lots of crafts in art with Diane too. The room smelt amazing when we made jam to take home as a little Christmas gift.
We all looked fantastic today for our Christmas party before going to visit Santa and having a wee sing song with him.
Is it any wonder everyone is tired?! Yet another busy term in Room 3 with so much hard work. Enjoy your well deserved holiday and we look forward to what 2020 has to bring.
The children in Room 3 are all working very hard on their targets in using technology. We use switches throughout our daily routines and are practising hard to develop our skills while using the computer, switch toys and even fun appliances such as the hair dryer! We all like iPads and use these to make pictures, create sounds and read stories. Some pupils are using eye gaze technology via the Grid Pad and concentrate hard while working on this particularly tricky skill. Each child has their own motivators and using particular games and stimuli encourage them to really concentrate, even when the work is a little bit tricky. Some recent happy stories include a young man who realised when he pressed the switch his favourite ‘twinkly’ song played and very quickly understood that he needed to wait for the song to finish before pressing again, children joining up together to share operating favourite songs on the screen and a young lady generalising her eye gaze skills to make cheeky sound effects in front of all her friends during a story session!