Pebbles Pre-school, Bulmer
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Parent Mail

WEEK 10 - EXPLORING NATURE (20.11.2020)

*****STAR OF THE WEEK*****

Teddy - You have been absolutely brilliant at tidying-up this week as soon as you hear the tidy-up song.

Amelia - You are such a helpful girl and always looking to help the younger children.  This week you helped Teddy unhook the pushchair from the fence.

Rex - For sitting so well at lunch-time on two different occasions.

Willow - For helping so much at tidy-up time and for drawing amazing pictures.

Dear Parents,

We have loved our theme of exploring nature.  The pine cone and leaf monsters were so simple but effective and all the monsters looked friendly.  We spent lots of time at the Forest School site, collecting leaves, looking at insects under the tree stumps and describing how they move - wiggly, wriggly, fast, scurrying, curling... we were very impressed with the range of words the children told us.  


On one trip to the Forest school the children were told that they were to find one special leaf looking at it's colours, how many they could see and it's shape and size.  Rebecca then collected the leaves in so the children could play and find insects, fungi, spider sacks, etc.  When we returned to Pebbles all of the children wanted to take their leaf home.  We were very impressed with how many of the children recognised the leaf that they had collected - this activities demonstrated their ability to follow instructions, use their observation skills and to see the uniqueness in nature.

We encourage the children to develop their drawing skills again this week, recording some of the items we collected and describing them.  In so doing incresing the children vocabulary of action and describing words and producing a lovely display of their drawings.

Next week the children have chosen the story of 'The Smartest Giant in Town' to act out with props; they will be playing with the small world building site toys moving different types of cereals around; choosing animals out of a feely bag, talking about them; listening to each other and then singing 'Old MacDonald had a farm' and making an NHS related Christmas decoration to go on the school's 10 ft Christmas tree (kindly donationed by a parent).

Have a lovely weekend,

The Pebbles team


WEEK 9 - ACTION ARTWORK (13.11.2020)

*****STAR OF THE WEEK*****

Zara – You were such a kind girl.  Ivy-Blossom needed her muzzie, so you unzipped her suit a little took it from around her neck, put it in her hand and then did her suit back up.  Great looking after of another Pebbles child, well done Zara.

Charlie – The teachers were so proud of how well you worked with Jane on Thursday afternoon, really.  Sitting nicely and trying your hardest to give her the items she asked for.

Grace – We are very glad that you are now confident at Pebbles to try new foods, like the lemon and poppy seed muffins, which you really enjoyed!

Ivy-Blossom – Rebecca is very impressed that you are becoming more independent when using the potty, pulling down your knickers and leggings and trying your hardest to pull them back up again. What a clever girl!

Dear parents,

The children were brilliant at mark-making and providing explanations of what they had drawn, with their sentence including an action word, which we described to the children as a doing word.  Some of the pictures were very creative – Harrison’s picture was of ‘a spider knitting a jumper!’

We had a lovely time making lemon and poppy seed muffins and were please to discover that a lot of the children liked the muffins, some children even eat the lemon on its own! 

The children had an opportunity to make a poppy for Remembrance Day and they took part in a one-minute silence.  We talked about how we were thinking about people who gave their lives so that we could be safe and make our own choices.

However, the highlight of the week for the children was having the indoor climbing frame and slide.  We were so impressed by how quickly the children learnt to negotiate climbing up the frame and getting both of their feet at the top of the slide before sitting down.  The older children were really confident and added forward rolls or some other gymnastic move on the mat at the bottom of the slide. 

Next week, we will be encouraging the children to be observant and describe plants, animals, natural and found objects, talking about how they move or change. To link in with developing the children’s observation skills they will be looking for shapes and patterns in material and clothing during our small group activities.  There will be some jazzed up playdough and the children will be creating marble art as well as a fir cone or leaf monster/puppet.  What a creative week we have ahead of us.

Have a good weekend,

The Pebbles team 


WEEK 8 - INCY-WINCY SPIDER (6.11.2020)

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

Henry - What a fabulous week you have had - You helped in every way possible to clear up the leaves; showed what amazing number matching skills you have and copied rhythms Stevie played on the musical instruments straight away!!   

Asher - You have been amazing too - tidying-up straight away; putting on your all-in-one and your shoes independently and being so kind to Rex, passing him lots of square tiles so he could make a cube!

Freddie S - You have been wonderful at using the potty after being potty trained during the half-term.  You even chose to sit on the toilet and you are so independent.  The teachers are very impressed.

Dear Parents,

We have enjoyed our first week back after half-term.  All our existing children have settled back in well and we welcome two new children - Kit and Poppy, who have also setted in incredibly well.

We are continuing to work hard at covering the children's next steps.  By making the Incy-Wincy Spiders we reinforced the 3D shape cylinder with the older children and did lots of singing of Nursery Rhymes with all the children.  

We encouraged the use of mathematical language such as: tallest, shortest, smallest, biggest, middle-sized, cube, building and tower.  We compared which cubes were the best at making the towers. The tower made with the smallest blocks had us counting the highest.

We are also encouraging the older children to hear rhyming words, so we picked out the words that rhymed in Nursery Rhymes and have started to use our rhyming pots.

The children made some fantasic cheese straws/snakes with Jane on Thursday and they were very proud of them.  They were pointed out to me straight away when I came in at lunch-time.   

Next week we will be encouraging the children to mark-make.  Firstly, identifying action words such as running, eating, smiling then developing simple sentences kicking a ball, sleeping in a bed.  The children will look at imagines of these action words and then have a go at drawing their own.

As it is Remembrance Day on Wednesday we will be making poppies for craft this week and having a minutes silence at 11. We explain a little of why we do this to the children. To lighten the mood, we will be cooking lemon and poppy seed muffins.

We hope you enjoy your weekend,

The Pebbls team.


WEEK 7 - SHAPE AND SPACE (23.10.2020)

Chloe and Pheonix - We are very proud of you, as the newest members of the Pebbles family. You have settled in so quickly, well done.
Edward and Freddie - You have both had a brilliant week, will no tears.  It is lovely that you are now happy at Pebbles, all the time.

Poppy and Apryl - Both girls have already received star of the week, but the staff felt they needed a special mention as they are the most polite children we have.  They always remember their pleases and thank yous, which we love at Pebbles!

 

Dear Parents,

Once again we have had a busy week.  On Monday we spontaneously made paper aeroplanes and the children took them outside to see if they could get them to fly.  Sebby and Harper found a recipe for Meteor cakes and this led us to look up meteor showers on the tablet and talk about what meteors are and then the children made meteor cakes with Jane.  

We have been working hard on introducing shapes to the children.  The younger children are getting good at naming 2d shapes - square, rectangle, triangle, circle, diamond, star and talking about their properties, e.g., rectangles have two long sides and two short sides, circles are round, triangles have three sides.  The older children are starting to learn 3d shapes, which we describe to the children as shapes that stand up on their own e.g., cylinder, cones, cube, cuboid and sphere.  We are using these shapes to introduce new words to the children - cube, cylinder, sliding (down a slope), faces (a cube has 6 flat faces) and curved (a cylinder has one curved face).  All of this language can be encouraged at home if your child will be attending school in September 2021.

The children have had really enjoyed walks and time at the Forest School this week.  They investigated berries and trees, looking at them closely and comparing them.  The children loved having their snack on the logs in the Forest school site and finding a new bridle way with lots of pubbles!!

Our malleable activity was squeezing different colour paints into a plastic sealable bag that the children then moved the paint around with their hands on the outside of the bags and described how it felt encouraging lots of descriptive language - squiggy, squelchy, cold, smooth, etc.

A theme is developing for after half-term.  The craft activity will be Incy-Wincy spider and snakes out of cheese straws (both activities include cylinders).  We will be finding cubes all around Pebbles, indoors and out and using them to make towers - counting how many cubes we use and how tall we can build them.  As well as matching the towers to the correct numeral.  We will continue reading the children stories with repeated refrains (a repeating phrase) - 'I'll huff and I'll puff' (Three Little Pigs), 'run. run as fast as you can' (The Gingerbread Man), 'we're going on a bear hunt', etc.  If you have books with repeating phrases at home please encourage your child to join in with you when you read them.

Have a lovely half-term,

The Pebbles team.


WEEK 6 - FROM SEA TO SKY (16.10.2020)

Willow – We were so impressed by your use of the magnetic shapes to make pictures.  You made a rocket and then the most amazing garden picture.  What a clever girl you are!

Sebby – We are so proud of you starting to join in.  You have very much stayed by the grown-up’s side until this week but now you are joining in and it is so lovely to see your beaming smile.

Freddie L-B – I think this is your second star of this term, Freddie.  To be honest you could have one every week.  You have made some really lovely friendship and today you comforted a younger child by saying ‘It’s alright, calm down, it will be ok’ and then you helped him to put his shoes on.  What a wonderfully kind boy you are!

 Dear parents,

It feels as if we have achieved loads this week.  It is good to get the next steps in place to give us learning outcomes to work on with the children.

So, we made rockets out of rectangles, triangles and circles which the children loved and were very keen to bring home.  We used the theme of rockets to encourage the children to act out ‘Whatever Next?’, a lovely story in which a teddy bear goes to the moon in a cardboard box for a rocket.

Linking in with things that fly, we made bird feeders and hung them in our outside area so we can feed the birds as it gets colder and encourages wildlife into our area.

We used the magnetic shapes to make pictures and name the 2D shapes.  Harper and Freddie made a diamond and hexagon out of triangles, which helped them to learn that hexagons have 6 sides.  We also introduced the idea of tessellation.  I showed the children how to use hexagons to make a beehive structure and then some of the older children put the shapes together to make grass, Christmas trees and used trapezium (I had to look that up), interlinking them to make a straight line.  I was very impressed.

Jane introduced the children to a lovely listening game that helped them to learn the names of some shapes – square, diamond, hexagon, triangle and circle.  The children had to listen to Jane’s instruction that they were to stand next to the shape she said.  Initially the children found this very hard as they wanted to pick it up, but they got there in the end and they got really good at going to the right shape.

Next week we will continue with the themes of shape and space.  The children are going to be making 3D rockets that will go on to mobiles at Pebbles.  Learning about ice melting with the added extra of little toy astronauts, space crafts, satellites in the ice for water play. We will be looking a 3D shapes with the children and investigating which ones roll and which slide down a slope, learning that spheres, cones and cylinders roll because they have curved sides and cubes and cuboids slide because their sides are flat.  We will not be expecting the children to use these names at yet simply introducing them in a fun way.

Another next step we will be covering is counting actions instead of objects, e.g., claps, jumps, steps, etc. and the younger children will be doing floor puzzles. 

Have a good weekend,

The Pebbles team 


WEEK 5 - UNDER THE SEA (9.10.2020)

*****STAR OF THE WEEK******

Zara - You have well and truely mastered using the toilet Zara, not one accident and you are very quickly developing a good level of independence, we are very proud of you Zara! 

Connie - We were amazed my your preservence this week at the park, Connie.  You mastered climbing up the netting and getting over the bar at the top.  This is not easy for little legs, but you did it again and again and again, you clever girl! 
 

Poppy - We have noticed how much you have grown-up recently - eating your lunch beautifully, without making lots of mess (like you use to) and you speak so clearly, holding lovely conversations with the teachers and showing that you are listening to what we are saying and can follow instructions.  Absolutely brilliant Poppy!

Dear Parents,

We have continues to embrace the weather by focusing on yet more water.  Using our focus book 'Secret seahorse' the children made some lovely jellyfish which we turned into under the water mobiles with a secret seahorse on each.  
The children also learnt about jellyfish via the internet, watching how they move and learning that we have to be careful of them.  

In the water tray the children had different numbers of sea items e.g. shells, boats, octopus, crabs and fish to match to the corresponding numbers 1 to 5.

Stevie's balloon art was very popular - the children loved filling the balloons with water and then putting them in paint.  Rather messy but an unusual effect created and all of the children were desperate to have a go.  We are so glad the weather was nice enough at times throughout this week to do this activity outside.  

Next week we will move from sea to sky.  Stevie will be making bird feeders for the winged creatures of the sky and Rebecca will be making rockets during the craft activity - introducing or reinforcing the names of 2-D shapes that the rockets will be made out of.  The children will listen to and then act out the story of 'Whatever Next?' in which the teddy bear travels to the moon in a cardboard box. 

Enjoy your weekend

The Pebbles Team


WEEK 4 - PLAYING IN THE RAIN (2.10.2020)

*****STAR OF THE WEEK******

Amelia - All the teachers have noticed how kind you have been to the younger children, giving them comfort if they are upset and giving them toys you are playing with, what a lovely girl you are!!

Arlan - You have worked so hard at following instructions the first time an adult says them this.  You are getting your star for being the only child to stop at the right place when we were out on a walk and for not moving until one of the teachers got there. Very well done!
 

Charlie - We were so impressed that you eat the skin on the apples we collected from the Forest school site, as you hadn't eaten it for your snack.

Sebby - You are such a good boy at doing as the teachers ask, especially when it comes to tidy-up time. Often tidying away things that you didn't even play with.  What a helpful boy you are!

 

Dear parents,

Well the weather has not been as kind to us but as our photos show we have still been out and about lots.  We have found the many joys of the school's forest school site and are feeling very lucky to be able to use it whenever we like!

We discovered logs around an old bonfire, which are good for standing and sitting on, as well as looking under for all sorts of mini-beast life.  We love the blackberry bushes in there and have found a mini orchard with five different types of apples.  These were sampled by nearly all of the children, who got really good at describing the apples as juicy or sharp or sweet and where able to identify which one they liked the best.

We used items from nature again this week in our craft activity.  A lovely messy activity rolling items from nature in paint and then over a piece of paper to create brilliant contemporary art work.

We are so glad we have all-in-one suits this week so the children could still enjoy the great outdoors.  I nearly put Jane in her water proofs on here, but I don't think she would talk to me again.  

Our activities for next week will include, playdough which the children have missed enormously.  The children will santize or wash their hands before and after using it, just as a precaution.  The children will be creating an underwater scene with Jane from a book the children love called 'The Secret Seahorse'.  The children will be filling balloons with water and then rolling it in paint and printing with them.  Another messy activity safe in Stevie's hands, I'm sure. As well as singing lots of water related counting/rhyming songs - Five little ducks; 1,2,3,4,5, once I caught a fish alive; Five little speackled frogs; 5 Elephants in the bathtub.  Finally, we will be matching sea life animals to the corresponding numbers up to 5. 





WEEK 3 - AT ONE WITH NATURE (25.9.2020)

*****STAR OF THE WEEK******

Freddie L-B - All the teachers think you have grown up so much.  You are listening brilliantly, tidying up whenever asked and follow instructions the first time you are told, what a wonderful boy you are!!

Finley B - Well Finley, this week has been your first week at Pebbles and it is like you have always be with us, you have settled in so well, it is lovley to have you!

Apryl - What a difference we have seen in you this week Apryl. You may have a very quick cry for mum's benefit but then you are brilliant and it is so lovely to see you enjoying all aspects of Pebbles.

Dear Parents,

We started this week with a trip to the park.  We had a lovely morning collecting items for the children's nature pictures and for making paint.  We had snack at the park and then the children had an amazing time playing.  We were very impressed with how well the children climbed up the netting and how quickly some of them learnt to get over the bar at the top.  Not easy when you only have little legs.  On the way home we got a little tidy but made it back eventually.

We spent lots of time creating with nature. The children made some wonderful picture with leaves, acorns, berries and conkers.  We also used the berries to make paint, adding water and squishing berries to see which ones made the best paint.  We discovered it was the blackberries that made a very nice purple paint.

Mandy provided the children with an fun activity that involved the children in pulling plastic numbers out of jelly with our larger tweezers and then named them and matched them to the corresponding numbers on a sheet.   The children loved this and did it lots of times throughout the week.

We discovered that the lentils and noddles from last week where a lot more fun to play with when they were wet so that they could be made into mounds and pack them into jugs and containers.

We are encouraging nature into our Pebbles garden so we have put up a bee house and Stevie and the children made a bug hotel.  Let's hope they find it this weekend so they can stay nice and warm.

Next week we will continue with our nature theme by putting numbers on conkers and putting them in the water tray so the children can name the numbers and match them to our lilly pad number sheet. 

We are hoping to be able get the children painting on the easle outside and to add texture to the paint we will add a little sand.  The younger children will be encouraged to mark make on a roll of wallpaper on the floor.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend,

The Pebbles team.


WEEK 2 - LOVELY AUTUMN (18.9.2020)

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

Harrison - Jane was so impressed with your concentration when making your fields of gold and it was so lovely to see how proud you were of what you had created.  Well done, Harrison.

Harper - You have been amazing since your first day at Pebbles. You come in at lunch-time but it doesn't phase you; the detail you put into your drawings is brilliant as is how thoroughly you painted your leaves when doing leaf printing, clever girl.

Asher - We are all so proud of you this week, nearly every morning you have come in with a smile rather than tears, which is sooooo lovely to see!

Dear parents,

Well what an amazing week of weather we have had, who would have thought that the children would have been paddling in the water tray at the end of August.  We have enjoyed elements of Autumn in beautiful weather.  We went on walks to collect blackberries and Stevie bought us some apples from her tree so we could make crumble.  The children on Wednesday had a little taster of it hot but it seems that most of the children on Thursday preferred it cold!

The children have loved having the sand pit in the tyre and we love that they don't bring sand indoors on their shoes!  They have also enjoyed making and playing with the dinosaur swap as the photo shows. 

As part of our Autumn theme the children and Mandy did leaf printing, which looks very nice displayed on our foyer area.  During the second half of the week Jane and the children created fields of gold with lentils and pulses which look amazing.  These will also be diplayed, lets just hope the items are well stuck onto the card!

Next week the children will be making Autumn collages with Stevie after we have been out and collected the Autumn items to use in the creations.  The lentils and pulses will be put in the builders tray for the children to scoop and pour from item to item.  The children will see what happens when they add water or/and sand to other items from nature.  Can they predict what might happen and are they able to create something with the product? 

Have a lovely weekend,

The Pebbles team.



WEEK 1 - OUR FIRST WEEK (11.9.2020)

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

ALL OUR OLDIES - We have to mention how fantastic the children who have moved form Foxearth to Bulmer with us.  They have taken it all in their stride.  They have been so relaxed in the new setting with lots of new children, quite a few tears. But they are the same amazing children and you would think that nothing has changed!!

OUR NEW CHILDREN - There were quite a lot of tears at the beginning of the week but it is amazing how quickly the new children have settled.  We went for a lovely walk on Thursday afternoon which I couldn't have imagined us doing on Monday or Tuesday.

**We are so proud of you all** 

A special mentioned goes to Rupert (one of our new children), who hasn't cried once and has settled in so quickly it is like he has always been with us.  Well done Rupert!
 

Dear Parents

A massive welcome to you all. We feel very fortunate to have found such a lovely setting to run Pebbles out off and blessed to still be able to work as a team, with wonderful children and parents; at what is an uncertain time for Early Years Childcare, locally and nationally.  So thank you for choosing us or sticking with us.

As mentioned above despite a rocky start for some, the children have been amazing this week.  I didn't think we would do anything other than settle in, but we have managed to plant out some herbs and bedding plants to make our garden look and smell nice.  The children are thinking of ways to develop the outside space already and would like sand in one of the big tyres.  We have spent so much time outside, where we can do all the things we do indoors but with the added benefit of fresh air.

We have been looking at signs of Autumn by investigating items from nature that we see in the Autumn.  The children loved opening the conker shells to reveal lovely shiny conkers, We talked about why plants and shells have thorns and spikes for protection.  We looked at rose hips, sloes, elderberries, conkers, acrons and redberries.  The children know that they mustn't eat things they find when out and about without asking an adult first.  However, they were very please to find blackberry bushes when we were out on our walk on Thursday as they know they are allowed to eat those. On Friday, Freddie's desire to find a longer walk was fulfilled when the children walked to the play park.  It took 25 mins one way - that should wear them all out!

Finding the blackbberries has provided us with an activity for next week.  Arlan has decided we should make blackberry crumple and as Stevie has an apple tree, we will make apple and blackberry crumble.  Jane would like to make fields of gold with the children (not actual gold, unfortunately) and Rebecca would like to explore the school's forest school site, seeing if we can find any animal footprints and then printing some of our own.

Have a lovely weekend,

The Pebbles team