Pebbles Pre-school, Bulmer
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Parent Mail

WEEK 8 - THE GREAT OUTDOORS (11.6.2021)

***STAR OF THE WEEK*** 

Harrison – What an amazing week you have had, you have looked after Thaddeus brilliantly, holding his hand on walks and looking after him at the park. You have listened to the teachers, sat beautifully on the bug rug and put your hand up to answer questions, well done Harrison!

Freddie L-B – I know you get star of the week quite often Freddie, but I have to give it to you this week, your drawing and colouring is amazing, you help the little children without being asked, you listen and follow instructions and you think about the safety of other before you do things.  You are so ready for school!

Albert – Stevie was so pleased with you Albert, she encouraged you to eat your crusts and you did it, we love children that eat their crusts (not everyone does!), good job Albert.

 

Dear parents,

We have spent so much time outside this week, it has been lovely.  Monday morning was a walk to the park, were we had snack, Mandy slapped on suntan lotion and away the children went to have a wonderful time playing.  It is a long walk there and back and the children were amazing at walking and following instructions.

We have had to be very careful at the Forest school as there are lots of nettles, brambles and prickles, so the children have been learning to identify cross and friendly looking weeds.  We spotted our first very tiny apple, made a bonfire (not a real one), made a nature collection and build a house out of sticks!

We have had afternoon snack in the garden, at Forest school and morning snack at the park.  We do like to change it up!

The children and staff were amazed at how many red strawberries we had after the half-term holiday. We were able to all have one each on Monday and Friday.  We have now planted out all the vegetable plants Phoenix’s mum kindly gave us.

Next week, we will be making a surprise for our lovely daddies.  Today Phoenix said ‘My dad is a superhero’ completely unprompted, which we thought was very sweet.  We will be planting out our lovely flowers when the planters arrive and hope to be paddling in the water tray if it is hot enough.

Have a lovely weekend,

The Pebbles team 


WEEK 7 - WHAT A WILD WEEK (28.5.2021)

***STAR OF THE WEEK***

I HAVE BEEN HELPFUL ….

Rex – For putting the puzzles in the box and putting the box away, fantastic tidying-up!

Willow – For offering to do the drying-up for doing a brilliant job, it was better than                 Mandy’s drying-up.

Zara – For helping to prepare snack, wash and dry-up, for handing the cups out and bringing in donkey fur, what an amazing week you have had.

Dear parents,

This week has been WILD.  Thank you so much to the children who brought something in for our nature table.  We have had a wonderful collection, including donkey fur, fossils, sheep’s wool, different coloured leaves, shells, interesting stones and feathers.  The children have been able to put the items in the right categories and describe what they look like and how they feel.

As promised Stevie and the children made a papier- mâché cocoon to go with our caterpillar and butterfly.  The children painted one side of a butterfly and then folded it over to print the same image on the other side, learning that butterfly wings are symmetrical.  We used stamps to introduce the life cycle showing the children that eggs change into a caterpillar which turn into a cocoon or chrysalis and then a butterfly, which lays eggs and the whole process starts all over again.

To continue our senses theme, we now have a mouth to represent taste and the children were involved in taste testing.  We were surprised how many were willing to taste unidentifiable foods.  Although, saying that all of them were able to identify chocolate spread at chocolate before tasing it, surprise, surprise.  The other foods they tasted and described were golden syrup (many thought this was honey) and marmite (many wanted a drink of water after tasting this, but a few liked it).  They also compared flour, icing sugar and salt.  The children found describing the taste quite difficult so this is something you could model at home over the half-term.

After half-term we will learn about our last sense – smell. I feel a smell test coming on (nothing too nasty). We are hoping to be able to spend some mornings at the park after half-term, when we will be guaranteed a morning without rain, fingers crossed, and we now have push chairs for the children or staff who may struggle to walk all the way there and back.

Have a lovely weekend,

The Pebbles team 


WEEK 6 - PLANTS AND CATERPILLARS (21.5.2021)

***STAR OF THE WEEK***

I AM HELPFUL ….

Amelia – For helping Jane to do ALL the washing up after snack.  Great job Amelia!

Rosella – For helping to pull out the weeds from the pot so we could plant a new plant.

Kara – Steve says you are fantastic at tidying-up, you were so helpful and had such lovely days this week with no tears and no dummy.

Dear parents,

This week has brought some exciting changes at Pebbles – our caterpillars are now hiding inside their cocoons and are hanging in our butterfly enclosure where they will hopefully turn into butterflies after half-term, not during, fingers crossed!!

The children made some lovely caterpillars as our craft activity. Some can even turn into butterflies!

A massive thank you to Phoenix’s mummy for kindly gave us lots of plants. The children helped to plant them and then were watching them grow on Friday.  We are hoping for sweet peas, cucumber, strawberries, sweetcorn and sunflowers, fingers crossed again.

We also have a new tractor and trailer, which the children love and are learning a lot about having to wait their turn when there is something we really want a go on.

 The children like to challenge us at least once a week with their snack choices so this week they had toast and spaghetti hoops, not the healthiness of snacks but warming on a windy day as Friday was.

A busy last week for us before half-term.  We will be making a large papier-mâché cocoon and a butterfly as well as the children doing butterfly printing to bring home. We will continue our theme on our senses and make a month to represent taste.  The children will be involved in taste testing – if they are brave enough!!

Have a lovely weekend,

The Pebbles team 

WEEK 5 - EXPLORING BY TOUCH (14.5.2021)

***STAR OF THE WEEK***

I AM WILLING TO HAVE A GO ….

Phoenix – For persevering until you were able to put your shoes on all my yourself. You now do it without even bringing them to a teacher, well done!

Kit – For using the dream catching materials to make your own creation all on your own, fantastic job Kit!

Charlie – You have had an amazing week, choosing different activities to complete and following all the teacher’s instructions straight away, well done!

Dear parents,

We continued with our theme of senses through ‘touch’ this week.  When at the forest school site, we found different items from nature and felt them.  The children were really good at describing how they felt.  We actually felt a died stick that had thorns on, which were not too prickly, but we talked about how sharp they would be on a living plant and that we shouldn’t touch them.  The children also described how a leaf and a daisy felt.  The children loved finding lots of insects and getting them in our magnifying pots.  There were lots due to the rain - we found beetles, centipedes, millipedes, worms, a spider, earwig and some sort of flying insect.  The children were very carefully with them and we put them all back where they came from at the end.

In small groups the children have been using the feeling spoons to tell others what makes them feel happy, sad, angry or calm.  We have also used a feely bag to encourage the children to use their sense of touch to work out what the item inside is and describe it.  We will continue with this next week.

The best thing about working at Pebbles is the impromptu moments when the children completely lead what we do.  This week was races in the cars and then on the scooters.  The children were brilliant at taking turns and they were all really fast!

We were very lucky this week as we received some eggs from Freddie and Arlan’s chickens, so we had scrambled eggs and toast.  It was great to have fresh eggs and look at the differences in colour and size.  The children cracked and whisked the eggs ready for snack and Rebecca fished out the eggshell!!

Next week we will continue to focus on the sense of touch by using the feely bag and unusual items for the children to identify.  As our caterpillars are growing fast, we will be doing a craft activity to represent the life cycle of a butterfly. In the sand we will find the different length plastic snakes (that we will pretend are caterpillars) and compare the length as a maths activity.

Have a lovely weekend,

The Pebbles team 



       WEEK 4 - HELPING HANDS (7.5.2021)

***STAR OF THE WEEK***

I ENJOY ACHEIVING WHAT I SET OUT TO DO....

 

Chloe – For making a dream catcher with Jane and being very pleased with it and yourself.

Henry – The teachers loved watching you play in the kitchen Henry – cooking meals for others and using all the equipment in the right way, as well as tidying-up (you made Rebecca very happy).

Edward – For making your way across the plank and down the ramp, several times – showing great problem-solving skills and determination (Jane was so please with you).

Dear parents,

We have made our hand for the sense ‘touch’ but haven’t had much chance to use it this week so we will encourage the children to think and talk about how they use they hands to explore the world around them next week.  We will be providing the children with worms (well spaghetti for malleable play) as they found lots of worms this week and where fascinated by them. Our caterpillars are growing well too, unlike our sunflower seeds, but then I am an impatience gardener!

The children have used their hands to help others and ensuring they had all the necessary PPE items on, they were nurses, doctors and patients.

Well, the children are very happy to have the kitchen reinstated at Pebbles.  We felt this was important as it encourages play, based on their own experiences, which is very important for all the children.  However, I would hate to see your kitchens if they look anything like our play one after 5 mins of the children being in there, with everything all over the floor.  Although, the teachers have had a few lovely meals and moments in the kitchen, as it really brings the children out of themselves, asking us what we would like to eat and making us a cup of tea.

The older children have adapted the kitchen into a café, writing a menu and recording the customer’s order - being a waitress, cook and customers.  The customers had lovely manners and the children’s emergent writing is really coming on. We are so proud of you all.

Some planks have been introduced in the garden area which have provided the children with a chance to negotiate going in the same direction as the other children and doing the tricky transition from plank to tyre back to plank again.  It is lovely to see how quickly the children grow in confidence in this type of activity and become independent.

The children have enjoyed making dream catchers with Jane and this activity has reinforced the children decision making skills – deciding which junk modelling item will be the main part of their catcher and then what colour wool and feathers to attached and how.  This activity will continue next week.

Next week we will continue to focus on our senses using our big ear, glasses and hand.  However, in small groups we will not let the children use sight, sound or smell just touch.  As we put different items in a feely bag and ask them to predict what they think it is….

Have a lovely weekend,

The Pebbles team 


WEEK 3 - SEEING AND EXPLORING (30.4.2021)

***STAR OF THE WEEK***

I AM WILLING TO HAVE A GO….

Arlan – Our little explorer.  We love that you thought about what would happen to the balls in the water and adapted the box so that it made a smooth surface for the cars.  

Grace – You concentrated so hard on a tricky puzzle and where so pleased we yourself for finishing it.  You then ate all your cereal for snack and tried noodles on Friday.  We are so proud of you trying different foods!

GOOD MANNERS

Asher – We are so proud of you Asher! Your manners have been impeccable this week.  The teacher’s love her so many please’s and thank you’s.

Dear parents,

We have had a lively week, with lots of time outside.  The children have been very please to have new balls that have had lots of use in the garden, although not so pleased when Stevie and Jane kicked them over the fence!  They have played with the rugby ball and played parachute games with them.

We also like our new water tray and we were very impressed with the children’s ability to predict whether different types of balls would float or sink. The box was a good play item too.  It became a house, a slide and then a surface for the cars.  We discovered that the cars travelled much faster on the cardboard because it was smooth.

For malleable this week, Mandy provided the children with cornflour and water, to which she added some red paint.  Initially, this was a very wet running liquid that made rather a lot of mess but then it dried out completely in the sun and returned to powder.  Again, the children predicted that it would turn back into a liquid if we added water.  

At different points in the day, we vote for what we want to do e.g., go to forest school, go out in the garden or outdoor play area.  This gives the children an opportunity to identify which option the most children chosen and then we count the children in each group to develop one-to-one correspondence (that is pointing and saying a number for each child/item) and to compare the quantities in each group.

The Forest school site is becoming a real outdoor classroom for us.  We now have boxes that the children take to the site with magnifying glasses, bug catching pots, clipboards and pencils for drawing what they see and potato peelers for whittling sticks, (although we do need some willow branches for this).  At the beginning of each visit the children sit around the fire circle (no fire, just a circle of stumps) and we talk about the rules at Forest School so that we are all safe.  The boxes have green or red handprints on them.  The children know that a green handprint means they can help themselves but a red one means they must ask a teacher.  We have the same system in place with the indoor craft resources and the tools in the garden.

We have continued developing the children’s understanding of their senses by making the most amazing pair of big glasses to go with our big ear, that we take out on walks and to Forest school.  Next week we will make a big hand to show that we can learn about our environment by touch but also learning that we must be gentle with insects and plants, etc., and we need to work out whether all things are safe to touch.

We have started to plant sunflower seeds which we are hoping will start to grow and then when we have talked about the initial changes to the plants, they can bring them home and witness what happens as the plant grows to it’s full size and then dies.  You can get an amazing number of seeds from a sunflower head!

We have also had an incredibly special delivery of live caterpillars.  At the moment they are tiny, but we hope they will grow quickly and then we can observe the miracle of them turning into a chrysalis and then a butterfly.

The Pebbles team 


WEEK 2 - A LOVELY LISTENING WEEK (23.4.2021)

***STAR OF THE WEEK***

I DO AS I AM ASKED THE FIRST TIME….

Harrison – You listened to all the teachers brilliantly on Monday and Wednesday and did as you were asked the first time, as well as sitting beautifully on the bug rug.

Charlie – You have been a star since returning from half-term, listening to the teachers, doing as you are  the first time and choosing to take part in craft activities.

Amelia – You always do as you are told straight away and look after the younger children without even being asked by a teacher, thank you so much 

Dear parents,

The focus for this half- term will be using our sense to explore the world around us, so this week we made a big ear to take out on walks and to the forest school site.  We all sat on a log at the forest school and passed the ear around the circle saying what we could hear.  We heard lots of birds, cracking sticks, rustling leaves, cars, aeroplanes and lawn-mowers in the distance. We also used our imagination and heard a rocket and a wolf. We have been on our first walk of the year, taking our ear with us seeing what different sounds we could hear.

Next week we will be making a big pair of glasses so that we can look carefully when we are out and about.  We now have boxes to take up to Forest school with different items in them to help us explore our environment.

We have some new balls which have inspired us to development our ball skills.  We play football at forest school and built triangles to kick the balls through in the garden.

As it was the queen’s birthday on Wednesday, we made crowns to celebrate.  The children looked beautiful in them.  We love getting the children to guess the age of the queen.  They thought she was 8!

Finally, our new water tray arrived on Thursday afternoon (it was supposed to be here on Monday).  the children helped Rebecca and Stevie build it on Friday morning and then we put all the boats in it that the children had helped to clean earlier in the week. Next week we will explore floating and sinking based on size and then the same objects made of different materials:  wood, plastic, metal, etc.

Next week we will be using our eyes to find items from nature at forest school and on walks to push through some string and hang from the trees. We will be making funny faces on the bark with flour, water and bird seed and hopefully the birds will come and eat them.  

The Pebbles team 


WEEK 1 - ENJOYING SPRING (16.4.2021)

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

I CHOOSE WAYS TO DO THINGS....

Sophia – You were so clever working out how to use the baords to make a slide and making it safe to slide down, well done you.

Stevie – I hate to say it but Stevie reconstucted the house I had built which only had half a roof to a modernistic house with a complete roof and lobby!!

Freddie L-B - At nanny's house you asked if you could paint a rainbow. With no adult help you painted the most beautiful rainbow.  Very impressive Freddie

Dear Parents,

We have had a lovely first week back, although the mornings have been cold we have had some beauiful spring days which have enabled us to spend lots of time outside.

So the polydrons have been well used, mainly by the grown-ups but the children have loved playing or eating snack inside the houses constructed. We will let the children build with them next week. However, it shows we are all life-long learners at Pebbles!

We were very impressed with the children's still-life artwork.  Mandy bought some flowers for the children to represent in paint.  We loved the fact that the children copied Mandy's example but made decisions about which colours they wanted to use.

This week we have introduced our feelings spoons.  We have started off with happy and sad.  The children are using them briliiantly, fetching a spoon to show to a teacher to share how they are feeling.  Some of the younger children are also expressing how others are feeling show a spoon to a grown-up if another child is upset or just giving them a cuddle, which is so lovely to see.  As teachers we have found using the phrases 'that is making me sad' or 'to make me happy could you...' really effective in getting the children to behaviour as we would like.  Definitely, something worth trying at home.   We  will develop our use of feeling spoons - linking them to the colours as in the 'Colour Monster' book.  We will gradually introduce more spoons and feeling that we can express.

We have been making the garden look more summery with ribbons and bunting and the children's favourite addition is the musical creation on the back fence.  The children helped Stevie attached pots, pans and teapot and items to hit them with that are made of different materials - metal, plastic and wood so the children can see what different sounds they make.  We are not sure the teacher's in the school love them when they are out on the field, but we do.  I think the musical creation will continue to grow as Stevie plans to add bottle tops on ribbons.

Next week, we are hoping the weather will be warm enough for the children to investigate floating and sinking in the water tray outside, they will be also be making playdough, as well as a large ear to encourage the children to listen carefully to the sounds around us when we are out and about. As a change to our normal snack choices there will be garlic bread. 

Have a lovely weekend,

The Pebbles team.

 

 


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