Pebbles Pre-school, Bulmer
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WEEK 11 - SIGNS OF SPRING (26.3.2021)

****STARS OF THE WEEK****

I DO AS I AM ASKED THE FIRST TIME….

Sophia – You have had a great week and impressed all the teachers by doing as you are asked the first time, lots of times.

Kit – You were mentioned for lots of reasons as ‘Star of the Week’. Jane loves your manners, saying ‘no thank you’ when you didn’t want to do something and Mandy was so impressed that you took your coat off, hung it up and put your shoes under your peg the first time you were asked.

Kara – You are very fond of Jane, but you let the other teachers change your nappy and help you with your coat and shoes, etc., the first time they offered without saying no.  That made us all happy!

 

Dear parents,

The focus for this week has been signs of Spring.  Our special visitors on Monday were lambs.  Lots of the children were keen to engage with the lambs.  But the loveliest aspect of working with children is watching those who initially are not sure about a new experience becoming confident and smiling with joy as they have overcome their reservations.

We have had a lovely week thinking about Easter and the new life that Spring brings.  We have seen and identified some wildflowers; seen new leaves; buds and the very early signs of blossom at the Forest School site. 

The children learnt about liquids turning into solids by looking at a raw egg and then a boiled egg as well as the reverse by melting chocolate to make our cornflake Easter cakes.  The children loved the Easter egg hunt in the garden and splodging the hard-boiled eggs with our sparkly paint.

The children had requested tomato pasta for snack, although most enjoyed the cutting up the basil with scissor and the blending on the tomatoes, that slatted everywhere more than the eating of the pasta.  The plain pasta went down well though and will definitely be added as a snack time regular.

Have a wonderful Easter holiday in the sunshine, hopefully?

The Pebbles team 


WEEK 10 - OUR EGGS (19.3.2021)

****STARS OF THE WEEK****

I AM WILLING TO HAVE A GO….

Charlie – You happily came and splodged paint on your Easter egg, well done.

Zara – After Becca showing you how to open a bag of crisps, you tried really hard to open them and managed it, Rebecca was very impressed.

Teddy – For holding Zara’s hands, instead of a grown-up’s to jump off the circle outside.

 Dear parents,

The focus for this week has been making Easter eggs using the splodging technique, a special technique developed and named by Jane, which means attaching cotton wool to a peg and then holding the peg to dunk it in the paint and splodging it on the egg. Another simple but effective technique.

This week have been encouraging the children to predict what will happen next in familiar and unfamiliar stories, using words such as predict, guess and imagine.  When Jackie read ‘Missing’ the children guess the places the girl and dog thought the other one could be.  Lots of great guesses!

We now have pictures the rhyming items and pictures that start with the same initial sound – alliteration.  The children have rearranged them to match on the wall as well as playing games with them.

The children are really getting into their drawing and colouring.  Stevie is usually the allotted drawer and then the children colour or stick other materials onto the picture.  There have been some lovely elephants, dinosaurs and giraffes.

Next week, we are very excited to have a special visitor at Pebbles on Monday afternoon thanks to Zara’s mummy.  The clue you can give to your child is ‘it is an animal that would see in the Spring….’ and see if they can guess what it might be.

We have started to see signs of spring but will be looking more carefully for buds, blossom and spring flowers.  The children will be bringing home Easter cakes made with Stevie and they will be investigating and decorating eggs in different ways with Jane, which they will also bring home.

The children have requested tomato pasta for snack next week, so the children will be helping to cook fresh pasta and blending cooked tomatoes and basil to make the sauce.

Have a lovely weekend in the sunshine,

The Pebbles team 

WEEK 9 - HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY (12.3.2021)

****STARS OF THE WEEK****

GOOD WEEK AND GOOD MANNERS

Edward – You are talking so much more now at Pebbles and following instructions.  The teacher’s think you have had the best week AND you say please and thank you beautifully.

Willow – It is so lovely to have you back and we love that you haven’t forgotten your manners whilst you have been at home, we didn’t think you would.  Good girl!

Amelia and Ivy-Blossom – You are always polite to the grown-ups and the other children.  The teachers love how you thank us for really random things! It is lovely to be appreciated, thank you girls! 

Dear parents,

The Mother’s Day production line has been in force this week and we really hope all you mums love your special item and get spoilt on Mother’s Day.

The children have been showing us what they know about counting and matching quantities to the figures this week.  The next step was to match numbers to 8 but your children are so clever they went up to 10.  It was so lovely to do this outside in the sunshine.

There has been a big focus on children’s well-being during the pandemic and so we are encouraging the children to think about their feelings, what makes them feel happy, sad or angry, etc. Relating these feelings to colours seems to be a concept the children understand and we are helping them to link their feeling to a colour and then provide them with strategies to deal them e.g. when they feel anger they can take deep breathes but we also encourage them to share and celebrate when and what makes them feel happy, excited, etc.

The children have demonstrated their problem-solving skills and scientific understanding this week (it is national Science week).  They made rice crispy cakes working out how to change the butter and marshmallows so that it became sticky enough to stick the rice crispies together.  They worked out they needed to make it hot which involved lots of stopping and starting of the microwave and stirring. When out in the garden, they also worked out how to use the different sized metal stands to make a ball roll faster down the guttering they had balanced on top.  Very impressive!  Next week we move onto quantum physics.

As the photos show this week the children have been engaged in a wealth of activities, indoors and out.  We love that they can chill with a book on the bug rug, use their imaginations to make a big red bus out of the chairs after being read the book and play the keyboard together, sharing it brilliant.  The music wasn’t quite so brilliant, but you never know with a bit more practice we may produce something that sounds like a tune!

Next week, we will turn our attentions to Easter and Spring.  Easter is definitely fast approaching and we hope more Spring-like weather will be too, which means we can spend even more time outside looking for signs of Spring.  Please talk to your children about the signs of Spring you and they notice at home in the garden and out and about.

Have a good weekend and enjoy Mother’s Day,

 

The Pebbles team 


WEEK 8 - ANIMAL FACES (5.3.2021)

****STARS OF THE WEEK****

GOOD MANNERS 

 

 Apryl, Rosella and Kara – For all having wonderful manners; saying please may I have … and thank you.  Not only at snack time and lunch time put all the time and they don’t need reminding! 

Dear parents,

Well, your child sure know how to challenge us…. When being told that they are making animals faces that begin with the same letter as their name, they were determined that they would have the animal they wanted.  The challenge was laid down, the tablets came out and we found an Arab horse for Arlan, An Angora rabbit for Apryl AND a harlequin rabbit for Harper.  Although my favourite was Asher who didn’t want an antelope because they were too noisy, didn’t want an alligator because they were too creepy and settled on an argentine tegu (a lizard to the rest of us)!! Henry’s was the easiest as he wanted a dinosaur so we just made-up Henry Hennerisarus – why didn’t we think of that with all of them?? We used this activity to introduce new words to the children such as construct and naming the different materials – velvet, netting, silk and describing them – soft, shiny and silver.

We have all loved our visits to the Forest school site.  As the trees are bare the children can wonder a little further, but we can still see them.  They are learning about safety when handling sticks and watching out for low branches and brambles.  They have really developed in working together for a common goal e.g. making a mud house or a wall of leaves as well as in their imagination of the different activities they can take part in.  We still like looking under the tree trucks for mini-beast and we had an awe and wonder moment when we found our first ladybird of the year.

Dear Zoo, is a favourite book of ours and the children loved making a zoo using the animals for the book, putting them in the correct enclosure.  The bubbles are a big hit - large or small the children love watching them blow away and popping them before they hit the ground.

Next week, the older children will be focussing on their number recognition again, reinforcing matching numbers 1 to 8 to their quantities. The craft activity will be a surprise for Mother’s Day and for the malleable activity we will make rice crispy cakes, another recipe the children found in one of our recipe books.

Have a good weekend,

The Pebbles team 


WEEK 7 - IT'S ALL ABOUT THE DINOSAURS (26.2.2021)

****STARS OF THE WEEK****

I ENJOY ACHIEVING WHAT I SET OUT TO DO 

Arlan & Freddie L-B – For achieving we they set out to do at home.  Freddie for colouring in the lines and Arlan for creating an igloo. (we loved the photos sent in from home)

Amelia – For pouring her own cereal and milk, you were so pleased with yourself, which was lovely to see, well done.

Rex – For achieving sitting brilliantly at lunch for a really long time, well done Rex 

Dear parents,

We have had completely child led week.  The theme has been dinosaurs, simply because Arlan brought in a little dinosaur for showing, which he then decided he wanted Stevie to draw.  Stevie draw one for Arlan and Freddie on Tuesday and then the craze began on Wednesday when I had to draw as least 10 dinosaurs.  We were so impressed by how long the children young and old sat and coloured in their dinosaurs – Freddie coloured an entire A3 piece of paper.  On Thursday Mandy created dinosaurs coming out of their egg for the children to colour and bring home and then the children continued the theme outside by digging up dinosaur bones (photo). Arlan even used a paint brush to gently dust he dirty away from the bones - brilliant. 

The children also decided it was time for a spring clean.   Jackie started to fill the water tray with the intention of talking the children about which animals live in water but by the time she had come back with another bowl of water the children had already chosen to clean the vehicles in there!!

We have loved being outside this week, it has been so lovely to see the children using the balancing boards, the water tray, and all the equipment in the playground but we have also accessed the garden side. We are still in suits, but it is definitely drying out, giving the children the opportunity to dig for dinosaur bones or just get muddy, play bat and ball, go on the slide or simple sit and have a story outside.  This is so good for the children mental well-being and we are very aware that as long as they are not cold, they are at their happiest outside.

The children’s love of dinosaurs has encouraged us to adapt the planned activity for next week.  We are now introducing hearing initial sounds to the older children and were planning on doing this by the children thinking of an animal that begins with the same letter as their name and making the animal’s face out of a plate for displaying at Pebbles.  We have added giving the children the option to make a dinosaur face instead and to find or make up the name of a dinosaur that starts with the same letter as their name.  

We are vey much reinforcing the next steps and effective characteristics of learning that we are focusing on this term.  As well as encouraging the children to identify behaviours we expect to see at Pebbles.  So far, the children have suggested ‘being kind’ and ‘good listening’. We will be photographing examples of these behaviours to create a display board that ensures the children know  what we expect from them and the stars of the week will continue to be linked to children who demonstrate these behaviours as well as those who demonstrate the effective characteristics of learning – ‘Enjoy achieving what I set out to do’, ‘I am willing to have a go’ and ‘choosing ways to do things’  - all of these characteristics can be achieved through our planned craft activity next week.

Have a good weekend,

The Pebbles team 

 

WEEK 6 - LOVING THE SNOW (12.2.2021)

 

****STARS OF THE WEEK****

GOOD LISTENING

Phoenix – For listening brilliantly to ‘The Gruffalo’ in a big group.  You listened as well as the older children.  Rebecca was very impressed.

Harrison – For listening to Harper share her something special during circle time.

Teddy – For listening brilliantly to instructions when you needed your nappy changing; putting on his coat and shoes.

Zara – A SPECIAL MENTION – For learning to ride your bike without stabilisers in the snow.  At the age of three that is an amazing achievement, you clever girl! 

Dear parents,

A shorter week for us this week, but we still managed to enjoy the snow and loved being able to go onto the school playing field to make snow angels; have snowball fights and roll in the snow.  It was worth the length of time it took to get everyone dressed up warm, no mean feat!

The shaving foam used in the craft activity reminded the children of snow and made a very interesting effect.

The children love our Peppa Pig toys which were donated a long time ago and were getting rather worn so Mandy managed to pay some from ebay.  We love how much small world play these toys encourage, so were very pleased to be able to provide the children with more.

The children also loved their teddy bears picnic on Friday and their teddy bear games.

After half-term, we will do some of the activities we missed out on this week so in the sand and water we will be deciding which animals live in or on the water and sand and as the younger children have a next step of operating mechanical toys, they will be playing with wind up torches and wind-up robots.  We will also be introducing alliteration through the children picking animals that begin with the same initial letter sound as their name and then making and labelling the animal faces on a paper plate.

Have a good half-term,

 

The Pebbles team 

WEEK 5 - JUNK MODELLING ANIMALS (6.2.2021)

****STARS OF THE WEEK****

I enjoy achieving what I set out to achieve.

Freddie L-B – For working so hard at completing the animal puzzle by referring back to the picture until you completed it, well done Freddie

Asher – It was so lovely to see how proud you were of yourself for putting on the Pebbles all-in-one suit and for using the toilet.  We are so proud of you too Asher.

Charlie – Jane loved how engaged you were in making your monkey with her and we loved seeing how pleased you were with your monkey. 

Dear parents,

We have had an amazing time this week finding our favourite animals in a book or on the tablet.  We then used the picture to help us make our animal out of junk.  We were so impressed with how the children looked at the detail in the picture and with a little support they found pieces of junk for ears, moving arms, tusks etc.  A simple mention goes to Amelia for her elephant, Harper for you cat and Freddie for his king penguin.  We loved how this activity really demonstrated that the children do enjoy achieving what they set out to achieve which is so lovely to be a part of.

 Whilst we were engrossed in the animal junk modelling the children decided to trap Father Christmas with the wool in a laser beam type of way.  The children unfortunately didn’t trap Father Christmas they use frustrated Rebecca and Stevie who spent about 15 minutes untangling it.  The children did have a great time and worked as a team to cover Pebbles in wool in very ingenious ways!

The Hairy Maclary books were a real hit with the children and we were impressed by their ability to predict the rhyming words or which dog rhymed with the word at the end of the sentence. 

We had a fantastic time outside this week, well about from the walk on Monday morning but they loved playing outside in the building site – where they made swimming pools and shops, making up a circle game and playing with the enormous bubbles. At the Forest School site, the children had the freedom to move around the site and choose what they wanted to do.  They had a wonderful time pulling the catkins of the trees; jumping in puddles; prodding the mud with sticks, looking under the stumps, etc.

Next week, we will continue making animals out of junk modelling and reading the Hairy Maclary books, as well as creating pictures with shaving foam and paint; for sand and water play the children are going to decide which one the different animals live in or on the water and sand and as the younger children have a next step of operating mechanical toys they will be playing with wind up torches and wind-up robots.

Have a good weekend,

The Pebbles team 


WEEK 4 - LIFE PREPARATION (29.1.20210

****STARS OF THE WEEK****

BEING KIND

Ivy-Blossom – What a sweetie you are.  When Connie cried you went over and gave her a lovely cuddle.  She stopped crying, so it must have worked.

Arlan – Not only were you kind but you explained your thinking ‘I am going to pick the cars up so nobody stands on them and hurts themselves’. What a grown-up thing to think!

Amelia – You are such a lovely girl Amelia, you said to Harper ‘shall I help you put on your shoes?’ You are good at knowing when others are struggling and offering to help! 

Dear parents,

We have been very much thinking about life skills this week at Pebbles – cooking biscuits and helping lots with preparing snack, we are working on the technique of spreading butter on crackers and jam on toast.  But we have also been considering our emotions; as identifying what makes us feel different emotions is a very important.  So, the children created pasta or painted pictures of happy, sad or angry faces.  One child said ‘Father Christmas makes me happy!’

For malleable the children made animal biscuits.  We tried two different recipes as we didn’t like the one from the Farmyard cookery book, so then we went for a good old shortbread mixture which was much nicer.  We did discover that the children struggled to roll out the dough.  Either because they held onto the rolling pin rather than rolling it through their hands or because they didn’t apply enough pressure.  Rolling dough is a great way to strengthen children’s hand and arm muscle ready for writing, so cooking and playing with play dough are great activities to do at home as well as at Pebbles.  The children will be making play dough next week with Mandy and then doing lots of rolling and using cutters.

The children have been very physical this week.  As the photos shows Pebbles has almost turned into a play centre with the mats, tunnels and slide. I am not sure who had more fun the kids or Jackie!  The children also took part in multi-sports type sessions with Stevie, using the spots to stand on and then they moved around like different animals – this develops language skills, imagination and physical strength.  They also stood on one leg like a flamingo.

Rebecca brought in a wildlife book from home which included amazing pictures of animals in their own environment.  The children learnt about their favourite animal from books and from the internet.  Learning that these are two places we can gain information.

Next week there will be play dough with animal cutters, we will continue working on rhyming words with the older children using the Hairy Maclary books and the younger children will read Dear Zoo and recall which animals the zoo sent and why they had to go back.  The builder’s tray will be a construction site and the children will be making their favourite animal out of junk modelling materials seeing if they can manipulate materials to achieve a planned effect, use various construction materials and use simple tools to effect changes to materials (all of which are this term’s Next Steps and Characteristics of Learning)

Have a good weekend,

The Pebbles team 


WEEK 3 - HEDGEHOG WEEK (22.1.2021)

****STARS OF THE WEEK****

Connie – Stevie and Rebecca were amazed by how good your counting and number recognition was for one so young, you clever girl!

Grace – We are so proud of you. You are getting better and better at trying new food, including soup this week and you have really found your voice. It is so lovely that the teachers can hear what you are saying clearly now.

Apryl – We love that you just get stuck in at Pebbles and you are confident enough to share your ideas when playing. 

Dear parents,

We have loved our hedgehog themed week, inspired by Arlan.  We were able to combine into one Forest school visit: looking for items to stick on to our hedgehogs (finding brown leaves, twigs and spiky objects) and understanding positional language e.g., can you stand: under the trees; next to a stump; on top of a stump; jump over the big branch. The children were brilliant at both.  They also loved the massive puddles and playing football at the Forest School site.

Once the items from nature were back at Pebbles the children decided what they wanted to use and how they would attach their items to their hedgehogs – plenty of glue was needed.  But as the photo shows they looked fantastic! 

The children made hedgehogs out of a different media – bread.  Jane kindly made the children soup at home, for snack and the children made hedgehog rolls to go with them.  They had to think about the tools they would use to give the hedgehog the spiky effect.

To develop the children’s understanding and use of positional language back at Pebbles we played hid the dog.  Initial a teacher hid the dog and then used a positional word/phrase to describe where it was ‘the dog is on top of something’.  The children demonstrated their understanding of the positional phrase by looking on top of things.  We then developed the game into one child hiding the dog and saying it position whilst the others faced the wall (some were very tempted to look).  The children are really starting to develop their use of positional language and loved the game.  It is well worth doing at home.

Next week we are continuing our animal theme.  During circle time, the children will say what their favourite animal is and then we will find out about them in books and on the internet.  For our malleable activity, the children will be making animal biscuits, which they will either eat during afternoon snack or bring home.  For craft, the children will be painting pictures of things that make them happy or sad, etc. and they will also be painting with sand.  The next steps we will be introducing are standing on one leg and moving in different ways, e.g., like different animals.

Have a good weekend,

The Pebbles team 

WEEK 2 - MAKING ZOO ANIMALS (15.1.21)

****STARS OF THE WEEK****

 

Sebby – For helping Stevie to clear the display board, she says you were amazing, and Rebecca thinks you are the best at tidying-up at Pebbles at the moment. Mandy was astonished by your ability to hear rhyming words. What a good week you have had!!

Kit – You have been trying so hard to be more independent when hanging up your coat and going to the toilet.  You are developing a ‘can do attitude’, well done!

Harper - You were so kind sharing all your colouring books and pens.  You were also brilliant as painting the special animal for the zoo display. 

Dear parents,

There has been lots of lovely craft activities going on this week.  The 2D animals have been using to make a fantastic zoo.  With one special animal (a unicorn) who will move in with a different animal group each night and then the children will have to find the number that matches how many animals are in the group with the unicorn each morning.

The 3D animals look fantastic.  The children had to choose from 6 different animals and then they chose the materials and tools they wanted to use to make their animal.  These animals were then used to encourage the children to think of rhyming names – Claire the Bear, Ryan the lion, Smellephant the elephant. The children found this quite hard, but they are getting very good as knowing a silly rhyming word that matches their own or a friend’s name, which is brilliant.

The children continued to make zoos with blocks and the plastic animals but added in counting the animals and putting the right written number in the enclosure with the giraffes or zebra, etc.

As the photos show the children had an amazing time up at the forest school site this week: hugging trees (we don’t have to social distance from them), making a bonfire (not a real one) and a camp.  The children are so good at working as a team when involved in this type of activity and their imaginations start to work overtime!

The children helped with snack again this week, developing strength for better fine motor skills and awareness of how to safely handle a knife.  Great job kids.  They have also helped with the washing and drying up.

Next week we will be finding rhyming pairs in the sand, making hedgehogs – choosing the materials and tools the children want to use to get their desired effect. We will also be working on positional language – describing objects and people in terms of their position, making buildings with the duplo and then putting things in the correct place to match the spoken positional language – on top of, inside, next to, etc.  There will be soup for snack and the children will make the bread rolls to go with it, sounds delicious!!

Have a good weekend,

The Pebbles team 



WEEK 1 - SETTLING INTO JAN 2021(8.1.21)

****STARS OF THE WEEK****

Ivy-Blossom – You had a lovely first full day at Pebbles, no tears, no accidents, you sat brilliantly and eat your lunch and then woke up refreshed after a little sleep.

Phoenix – You were brilliant at helping to tidy-up, saying ‘me help, me help’ then you spent ages helping the grown-up put all the bits in the box.  You also sat brilliantly and eat your lunch for the first time at Pebbles.

Alfie – You had a brilliant first day back after our Christmas break and we are very proud of you doing so well with your potty training.

Arlan – You were absolutely amazing at using the new Pebbles manual hoover, even the grown-ups don’t hoover as well as you!! Thank you so much for doing such a good job.

Dear parents,

Well, we are back in the swing of things already…. The children have been helping to make snack in the form of sandwiches, choosing between white and brown bread and cheese or ham for the filling.  If they were really adventurous, they went for both ham and cheese!

We are loving our new Bug Rug and cushions which has created us a cosy quiet corner in which we have shared lots of stories and found out what everyone got from Father Christmas. 

We are very impressed that the children who have very quickly learnt that they have to take their shoes off to go on the bug rug and that the cushions are for sitting on not jumping on.

We have been recycling our Christmas cards, with which the children have created some artwork by sticking them to paper, along with small pieces of material, shiny paper, netting etc.

We have started to introduce the idea of enclosing an area and counting the items within it, which is one of our next steps.

We have had our first walk of 2021, which was just as wet and sticky as our last week of 2020!!

Next week, we will start introducing more of our next steps using our zoo theme.  The children will be making zoo animal to put on our display, which will help the children to learn that we can group items and move them around into different enclosures put still have the same amount.

The children will choose how they want to make their animal - using stencils (2D) or toilet rolls (3D) and then deciding how to decorate them and how to attach legs etc. By giving the children the opportunity to choose we are enabling them to fulfil the ‘Effective Characteristic of Learning’ – ‘I can choose ways to do things’. 

We will be thinking of rhyming names for our animals e.g., Deborah the zebra, the funky monkey, etc. We will also be working on positional language – the monkey is on top of the elephant, the rhino is next to the elephant, etc.

Have a good weekend,

The Pebbles team