The Little Seedling's teaching team includes Miss Brookfield (Teacher), Mrs Davis (Teaching Assistant) and Mrs Hatton (Teaching Assistant).
Twinkle Twinkle Little star Overview
Making New Friends
In our nursery we support children in making friendships and relationships and ensure we give the opportunity for a positive early school experience in order for children to succeed. If recent times have taught us anything, it is the importance of human connections when things are uncertain in life.
Learning to make friends with other children is an important part of developing social skills. Nursery is one of the best places for children to learn and practice these skills with each other. While parents and carers can help their children develop good manners, respect for others, and good communication skills, children often learn the most about relationships like friendship from other children. Early friendships are the building blocks for later adult relationships among neighbours and colleagues. Friends help us solve problems and let us know through their similar experiences that we are not alone.
In the nursery we are making friends through many activities such as music, sharing books and stories, turn taking, working in pairs, playing games, helping each other, role play and sharing the same interests.
Exploring Colours, Marks and Shapes
In our art area, children began to explore many ways of expressing their thoughts, ideas and feelings through marks, colours and shapes. With the use of paint, coloured paper, collage pieces, mark making equipment and tools such as glue sticks and scissors, children are experimenting with wide range of media and materials. as well as having opportunities to share their compositions with peers and adults. At this age, creative processes and physical skill are the key factors to develop - technique and style come later on. Please take look at our virtual gallery.
In the nursery we have many opportunities that offer children the chance for free exploration and investigation. From our "Loose Parts" corner, through to art, nature and garden we enjoy time finding out, taking apart, cutting through, observing closely and commenting on our findings.
Children learn best through their own curiosity and discovery. By observing their environment and peers, interacting with their surroundings, and obeying their instincts and impulses in a safe, educational space, children are able to craft their own education. Exploration is an essential part of development in academic spaces as well as in everyday life.
Every aspect of learning sparks children's curiosity: from exploring bubbles and water through to finding out how sand can flow through a funnel to noticing some aspects of our close environment such as wind that turns the small paper windmill, shadows on the wall, small bugs and insects and plants. This is an important cycle of learning.
When it comes to teaching maths in the early years, it is important that children begin to develop a sense of the underlying concepts and structures of maths.
We provide time and opportunities for children to make connections in their mathematical understanding, which helps them to develop understanding of number, space, shape, time and measure.
The aim of all our activities in the nursery is to equip all children with a deep, secure and adaptable understanding of mathematical concepts.
Mathematical concepts are developed through the indoor and outdoor environments, everyday play and through discrete teaching sessions lead by an adult such as posing problems, modelling language and helping children to focus on some mathematical ideas.
There are plenty of opportunities to explore and learn such as counting objects, sharing, playing with numerals, arranging a visual time table, waiting in the queue, completing puzzles and shape sorters, comparing the sizes of the constructions, sorting toys or arranging plates for picnic play.
These activities help children to develop deep understanding of the composition of numbers, finding patterns and shapes and categorising objects according to some aspects such as colour, shape or size.
One of the most fascinating aspects in observing children is seeing them experimenting with mark making.
These are the marks that will gradually develop into writing and drawing, and those that allow children to express themselves and their ideas. Even before they are able to talk fluently, we gain an insight into our children's thinking through the marks that they make.
Drawing and writing in all its forms is a powerful tool for communication. But how does it begin? And what role does early mark-making have?
A key area for development in the early years is the physical aspect of mark making, which is building the strength and coordination needed to make those marks. The core strength is needed before children can even begin to make the fine motor movements required to manipulate a writing tool.
In our nursery we provide many activities allowing children to develop gross motor skills such as drawing on a large interactive board, making marks on a large paper on the floor or wall, making marks with chalk or large pens and large brushes. There is also plenty of opportunities for children to build up the muscles in their arms and hands to develop those fine motor skills such as threading beads, using tweezers and playing with play dough.
Exploring the many ways in which children make marks encourages them to pick a pen to express own needs, interests and fascinations. Making marks for a purpose has a great power for children to draw and write. This includes drawing important people in their lives, favourite characters from TV or stories, sharing with the family celebrations, making shopping list, writing a letter or drawing what has been observed.
The mud kitchen is an exciting, messy and creative area to play in. The learning potential from mud kitchens is immense due to their creative nature. Children experience sensory, emotional and imaginative play as well as developing maths, science and language skills. They also benefit from playing outside and interacting with others.
Mud kitchen play promotes role play amongst children and it's not uncommon to see children taking on the role of a chef in the kitchen or mum or dad cooking at home. By taking on these roles, children are developing their social skills and heightening emotional understanding.
Mud kitchen play encourages children to talk about what they are doing and often the excitement of being outside and involvement in messy play gets them feeling even more confident about talking and sharing their thoughts and ideas.
Physically, children need to able to grip hold of utensils such as spoons and spatulas, as well as lift heavy bowls. This helps to develop the muscles in the hands supporting development of fine motor skills. Mixing and stirring also boosts hand-eye coordination.
Children are able to explore the outdoor environment as they dig in the mud and encounter plants and maybe even creepy crawlies. Mud kitchen play also involves some science based learning as children can get their hands dirty and experience the different textures and consistency of mud, seeing how this changes as they add more water.
Mud kitchen play is an amazing place for sparking children's imagination. It takes a good deal of creative thinking to transform muddy creations into culinary delights. With a bit of creativity, sloppy mud can become a smooth cake batter, chocolate muffin, tomato soup or ice cream of many flavours.
Physical play includes activities that use physical movements to allow children to use their energy, gives them the chance to develop gross and fine motor skills and learn new things and socialize.
In our nursery we spend a lot of time outdoors to stay active but we also investigate lots of physical play indoors that helps us to develop the whole body and muscles.
Developing gross motor skills through play is an important role in developing the upper body and shoulders which enables children in the future to master more precise functions such as writing, manipulating small objects and using one handed tools and equipment.
Physical activities help also to build confidence, social skills, elevate the mood, encourage children to try new activities. enhance concentration and resilience and maintain mental and emotional wellbeing.
Music ignites all areas of child development and skill for school readiness, including intellectual, social and emotional, motor, language, and overall literacy. It helps the body and mind to work together. Exposing children to music during early development helps them learn the sounds and meanings of words. Dancing to music helps children build motor skills while allowing them to practice self-expressions. Music helps also strengthen memory skills.
In addition to the developmental benefits, music brings us joy. Just think about listening to a good song in the car, on the long journey, on a beautiful day.
In our nursery we provide regular opportunities for rich and varied music experiences in big and small groups using live music and the use of simple instruments. We sing, dance and explore different sounds indoors and also outside. We created together our special musical wall that encourages us to sing, play and make new music.
Music sessions provide a great tool for encouraging self-expression and as an inclusive uplifting activity that can be accessed by all children, at whatever stage of development.
Music makes us move! and of course, our music and movement activities have a direct impact on physical development. Some songs get everyone on their feet and help to explore the movement, rhythm and dynamics of the music.
Role Play and Make Believe!
Children are experts in play and their imagination is enviable due to its creative powers. Without play the children lose the ability to think and experiment with their ideas.
Children learn about life by imitating the people around them. Role play provides the perfect opportunity for children to imagine what it's like to be a parent, a doctor, driver, shopkeeper, police officer, chef or a builder.
Children use objects to represent something else or assign themselves and others, roles and then act them out. It may seem very simple, but in pushing back the barriers of reality these children are learning and developing many different and important life skills. This pretend play, which ideas and emotions are moulded and rearranged, is a major feature of a child's social and cognitive development.
"Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star"
In Autumn 1 we have enjoyed listening to and joining in with a range of nursery rhymes and songs. We explored nursery rhymes in many ways, making learning them fun and enjoyable by using props, actions, music and musical instruments.
Singing nursery rhymes helps to build up children's social skills as it is a great opportunity for them to get to know their peers. Sitting next to one another and holding hands during songs such as: "Row, row, row your boat" is ideal for helping to develop those social skills. As children develop at different rates, using nursery rhymes will support children's communication and language development at whatever stage of development.
Introducing children to a variety of nursery rhymes can help them understand and learn about different sounds. This is an important part of developing early literacy skills such as listening to different sounds in the environment as well as in nursery rhymes. Naming different sounds and using them in songs and play provides children with the opportunities to develop the foundations in reading and writing. Nursery rhymes are fun and full of sounds, children will tune into these sounds, then will experiment in combining sounds and blend them together to form a word.
Nursery rhymes and songs have a huge impact on children's language and communication development. Children relish in listening to songs full of rhyming, rhythm and repetition. By singing songs containing these core elements, we are helping boost children's language, communication and literacy skills.
Many songs we have listened to and learnt are songs that involve counting and reciting some numbers in sequence such as "5 Little Ducks" or "One, two, three, five, once I caught a fish alive". The patterns and repetitive structure help children to learn simple mathematical skills such as counting, comparing quantities or get to know that numerals represent particular amount of objects.
Please take a look at our fun with nursery rhymes where each of us is like a "Twinkling Star" shining in the sky!
Autumn is a wonderful time of year to use nature to promote and enrich many learning opportunities. It offers so many incredible benefits from maths, literacy, sensory experiences and understanding of the world.
The children in our nursery noticed that leaves in our garden began to change colour and fall on the ground. We used this opportunity to compare colours, shapes and sizes of different leaves collected outside.
We explored conkers, their shiny, smooth and brown skin and spikey shell they are hiding in. Sometimes a spiky shell hid inside more than one conker. There were two or three conkers inside and they were all different sizes. We spent a lot of time counting, sorting and comparing sizes of conkers we found hiding in the shells.
Autumn is also when the pumpkin harvest comes in. It is a one of the symbolic vegetables of that time of the year. With the great interest we explored the hard skin and its weight. We tried to nail golf tees in in order to find out what is hiding inside.
We spent some time after each exploration with observational drawings of conkers, leaves, pumpkins and pinecones. On the large sheet of paper, we recorded our observations and findings. We drew many pictures that allowed us to share with others about what we know about Autumn - rain, sun, trees, rainbows, leaves, and variety of colours.
This type of activity helps the children to slow down and learn how to record what they see, rather than merely what we think something looks like.
Tell me a story.
Have a look at our lovely photos and you will see how
Have a look at our lovely photos and you will see how
Reading, along with writing, makes up literacy, one of the four specific areas of the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS).
To be ready to start reading, children need to have a variety of skills in place. These early reading skills include matching, rhyming, awareness of phonics and the skills associated with language development such as listening, attention, alliteration and sound discrimination.
During our activities we concentrate on developing children’s listening skills and speaking. These abilities are critical to the success of learning a complex skill such as reading and writing in future years.
During the time spent in the nursery we encourage listening and talking through many games and activities where we are modelling good listening and support speaking and developing vocabulary, sentence structure, dialogue and confidence in in using language to express their own thoughts, ideas and findings.
The hour was late, and Mr Bear was tired. But he could not sleep – no matter where or how he tried. SNORE, SNORE went Mrs Bear. TICK-TOCK, TICK-TOCK went the clock. Would he never get to sleep? The familiar noises, repetition and beautiful illustrations make this delightful picture book an excellent story for talking about noises and sounds we can hear inside and outside.
Equipped with clip boards and sound charts we took part in the listening walk to tune in to the outside environment.
Listening walk is one of the first activities where we learn to listen, attend, hear and name the sounds that surround us. In the garden we can hear many environmental sounds such as birds, children talking and shouting, whistle blowing, sound of the rain and wind. Sometimes we can hear aeroplanes and helicopters flying over our garden. We often stop and observe and share with each other what we can hear and see.
We like making music using simple percussion instruments such as tambourines, shakers, claves, bells, triangles. We learn that we can make sounds and copy a rhythm to the nursery rhymes by shaking, hitting, slapping, tapping or scratching. Making music is like making own visual artwork – we use blobs, swirls of paint and squiggles of coloured pencil. The same attention and value should be given to children’s own music. It is also made up of sounding blobs, swirls and squiggles that arise from body movement, shape of instrument or rhythm patterns.
Play serves an important process for promoting children’s learning and development besides enhancing emotional, intellectual, and social skills of a child in ways that cannot be taught through formal classroom instruction.
During play the children learn how to control themselves and their environment besides learning how to control their sense of competition and enjoyment.
We like to talk about our celebrations especially when we are getting close to our birthdays. We like to share how we celebrate this special day with family and friends. Carter made his birthday cake with Duplo blocks. He announced that his is four and he would like to have a party. We all joined in with dancing and singing in the garden. We had music and showed off our dance moves. We were also singing along to some of the pop songs we were familiar with.
After our party we read the story “Kipper’s Birthday” to extend our learning about birthdays.