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Nursery

  • April – Month of the Military Child

    April is the Month of the Military Child and each year we love taking the time to celebrate our military children here at Merry Hill. Service children can face challenges with parents in the armed forces. Yet these children are also an amazing asset to families, schools and the local community. The Month of the Military Child helps us remember this and helps us celebrate their achievements.

     

    Did you know the official flower of the military child is the dandelion because its seeds are blown far and wide by the wind but it will always plant roots and blossom wherever it lands?

     

    The children celebrate ‘Purple Up Day’ every April; purple is a colour used to represent all military services and shows unity with each other. This day is to celebrate the wonderful contributions our military children make to our community, bringing experiences from around the world. We celebrate our military children and thank them for their service.

    Purple Up Day at Merry Hill this year is on Friday 26th April –  Please can all children come to school wearing a purple accessory on this day such as a hair ribbon, socks, cardigan or t-shirt.

  • Welcome back!

    It was lovely seeing all the children return to school on Monday and they all came back very mature and enthusiastic for the new term.  I am sure they have grown at least 2 inches during the break!

    With the seasons changing and the weather warming up, we are now looking at spending more time outside in our garden.  We started this term by looking at the story The Tiny Seed by Eric Carle and the children were fascinated by the story’s explanation of how plants grow.  This led them to look at the  life cycle of a sunflower 🌻.  They watched time lapsed videos of seeds germinating and sprouting into seedlings.  They have looked at the different parts of a plant and after planting their own seeds, they researched what we need to give the seeds in order for them to grow.

    In maths the children learned about “more” and “less”.  They learned the concept of adding and taking away 1 from a given number and then had to  record their learning.  They really impressed me with their number work and I am proud of the determination they have shown to complete such a tricky task.

    As part of our growing topic, the children loved the idea of our sunflowers and we have extended it to include learning about Vincent Van Gogh and his beautiful sunflower paintings.  This week the children have used a range of mediums to draw their own interpretations of the famous painting! The children have created some incredible pictures that we will be displaying in class soon.

    How you can help at home:

    During everyday activities where numbers or counting automatically occur, ask your child to tell you what number will be 1 more or 1 less than the number they identified e.g How many chairs are around the table. How many would there be if we added 1 more? What number is 1 less than… ?  Practicing this and making it an automatic response will benefit children when they start looking at addition and subtraction later in the term.

    As always, have a lovely weekend!
    The Nursery team xx

     

  • The final week

    This week has been short and sweet, but we had lots of fun and learning happening none the less.  The children were super excited to find the Easter bunny’s footprints in the class.  They worked together to decorate more Easter eggs, our Easter tree as well as our cards.

    The children enjoyed all the activities based on Easter and looking for signs of spring.  In class the children had to match numerals to numbers, write the numeral and form the number with counters.

    In English we have been reading non-fiction books about the differences we will notice now that the seasons are changing.  The children loved finding blossoms and daffodils in the forest that we used in our water play during our sunny days.

    The children had a great time doing the Easter egg hunt in the playground, finding numbered cards and matching it to their bingo cards.  Thank you to the Friends of Merry Hill for arranging this lovely activity for our children.

    How you can help at home:

    Enjoy the sunshine (hopefully) and keep a look our for even more signs of spring- you might even want to plant you own flowers that will be ready to bloom in summer.

    Have a fantastic Easter break.  We look forward to seeing you all back on 15th April 2024

    Best wishes,

    The Nursery Team xxx

  • Rosie’s Walk

    This week in Nursery we have been very busy being creative, focusing on using our class book to create our own story.

    Rosie's Walk: Amazon.co.uk: Hutchins, Pat: 9780099456735: Books

    To start our little journey, the children listened to the story of Rosie’s Walk by Pat Hutchins and learned to retell the story using actions, drama and the story map.  Later when they were confident in retelling the story,  they acted it out  during our PE sessions.  They used the equipment in the hall to decide where the different areas of Rosie’s farmyard would be and used the language from the book to retell the story.

    Our learning continued outside where the children acted out the story in the big playground and then also in the forest before we did a “big write” in class where the children worked together to adapt our story to make it our own.  Nursery are now the proud authors of “Maisy’s walk in Nursery”

    In maths the children have been looking at how to separate a group of objects in different ways, recognising that the total is still the same. We have been very impressed with how well they understood this and used counting bears to show their work.

    How you can help at home:

    Can you help your child to divide small groups of their toys in different ways without changing the number of objects.

    Early Years — Spot On With Numbers

  • 🧫💡Science Week 🧲🧪

    We had a fantastic week in Nursery and enjoyed being scientists!

    We had the chance to try different experiments every day and we were very excited to see the end results of all the experiments.  It was very interesting to see how all our learning can be used during our investigation. We were able to count, predict and record the results in different ways.

     

    For maths we did an experiment where we had to predict how many pom-poms would fit in a hand.  We had different children fill their hand with pom-poms and then counted to see if everyone got the same number.  It was interesting to see that we all got different amounts of pom-poms and we discussed why that might be.  The children decided that the number of pom-poms were different for everyone because the size of our hands are different and we used different sized pom-poms.  This was a good way to introduce fair testing in an experiment.

    We recorded our learning in different ways too.  When we tested which materials stick to magnets, we had a sheet to record our predictions.  The children had to decide which objects would stick and which ones wouldn’t and put them in the corresponding box.  They then tested their predictions to see if they were correct.

    The teachers across the school were so impressed with our scientific work that they came to visit our young scientists and see their learning in progress. We even managed to coerce Mr Reid into one of our  experiments.  He was very brave allowing us to poke pencils through a bag of water above his head.  Mr Reid was extremely relieved to find that the pencils worked as a plug to the holes in the bag and he didn’t get a drop of water on him!

    For the rest of the term, our English topic is based on Rosie’s walk by Pat Hutchins.  The children listened to the story of Rosie the hen who went for a walk at the farm.  What Rosie didn’t know was that she was being followed by a sly fox.  This story creates lots of opportunities to learn new vocabulary, especially positional language.  This week we have talked about what it means to go around and across during our Concept Cat lessons.

    The children even used our creation station to do scientific experiments and they were fascinated to see the colours run across the paper towels to create a rainbow.  We also ventured outside and had a great time exploring and experimenting with bubbles!

     

    How you can help at home:

    Can you complete a simple experiment at home and record your results? Could you make your own tissue paper rainbow?

     

    We hope you have a fun filled weekend.

    The Nursery team xxx

  • 📚World book day 📚

    Another week has flown by! The children have had a great time looking after the chicks and we were convinced that they doubled in size every day! Our tiny little chicks from last weeks have now turned into well loved big chicks.

    In preparation for World Book Day, we have looked at a range of books.  The children were very interested to read fiction and non-fiction books related to our topic.  After reading a non fiction book about chickens, we decided to work as a class to write our own fact book about our chicks.  The children were so proud of their work and of the fact that they are indeed all authors! Some even took their learning a step further and tried to write their own fact book.

    World book day was a huge success and the children loved listening to a variety of stories read by surprise readers though out the day.  They were an amazing audience  and really listened attentively to the stories read by Mr Reid and Ms Adams.

    There was just about enough time during the day to sit, relax  and enjoy their books in class with their friends.  We are all super proud of our children showing such a love for reading and books and as Mr Reid said during our assembly, reading a book can really take you on wonderful adventures!

     

    At our creation station, the children followed a multi step process to make their special cards for their mummies.  They really focussed hard and concentrated to be able to write their names independently and they carefully thought of the colours their mummies would like best.

    How to help at home:

    At bedtime, get your child to talk about their favourite parts of their bedtime story.  What was their favourite thing that happened in the story? Could they predict the end of the story?  Did they like the ending and why? Would they like the story to end another way? It would be very helpful if children are really thinking about their answers and explaining why they think that way.

    We hope you all ( and especially the mummies)  have an extra special weekend!
    Lots of love,

    The Nursery Team xxx

  • They have arrived!

    It was wonderful to see everyone back on Monday, ready and excited for another term choc and block full of learning and fun!

    On Monday we also received a very special delivery.  An incubator, brooding box, wood shavings and a clutch of eggs arrived in the afternoon. The children were very excited to see the eggs, but first we had to find out what animal has laid the eggs… That meant we launched a full scale investigation to find out what animals lay eggs. The children knew that birds lay eggs, but they were very interested to learn that other animals also lay eggs.

    The children used torches to check inside our (paper) eggs to find what animal is hiding inside and this led to whole class discussions to identify the type of eggs. What will hatch? A crocodile, dinosaur, spider or an owl? We now now that animals that have fur or hair do not lay eggs and animals that have no fur will mostly lay eggs.

    Our excitement about the eggs took over all our learning and we even used our eggs to count and match numbers to their numerals. We also used rolled a dice to count the dots and make our own groups representing the numbers shown.

    For our creation station, the children enjoyed using “mud rock” and balloons to make their own eggs and continue the discussions about what they would like to be in their magic eggs.

    Wednesday morning we were all holding our fingers and toes crossed as we noticed a crack in one of the eggs and just before hometime our first baby chick finally made her appearance! Watching the eggs hatch during this week and meeting all the new little chicks has been an amazing experience. The children have all joined in making sure we all know how to look after the babies, deciding that we should whisper around them, feed them lots of food and water and giving them a comfy house.

    How you can help at home:

    Have discussions with your little one about different animals hatching from frogs and butterflies to sharks and ostriches! What size do they think the eggs will be? What colour might the eggs be?

    We hope you all have a fabulous weekend while the chicks have a weekend of fun at Mrs Currie’s house. 🐥🐣🐥🐣🐥🐣

  • The last week.

    In Nursery we had another very busy and successful week.  With all the parent consultations completed it was lovely to reflect on all the progress the children have made this half term.  As a team, we are immensely proud of the children’s hard work throughout the past 6 weeks and we look forward to another successful half term after a well deserved break!

    In class the children had the opportunity to focus on their maths skills, making the most of the variety of different activities to practice their counting, number recognition and ordering of numbers. They have worked incredibly hard to work mathematically and to be accurate when counting.

     

    During our phonics sessions the children have been hard at work attempting to discriminate between sounds, especially initial sounds of words. This is an integral skill needed for when children start decoding words in order to read by themselves.  Children enjoyed playing games where they had to find the “odd sound out” This entailed children looking at a set of pictures or objects and having to say with what sound each object starts, they could then decide which object had a different initial sound.

    The children had their last PSHE session for this half term. Hearing them talk about the challenges they have set themselves, from swimming without arm bands, learning to write letters from their names or riding a bike and how much progress they have made towards their goal has been inspiring. They might not have fully reached their goals YET, but we know they will not stop trying and practising!

    How you can help at home:

    Here are a few links to online games that will help support your child’s maths and phonics learning.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/games/embed/education-ivor-starting-school?exitGameUrl=https%3A%2F%2Fbbc.co.uk%2Fbitesize%2Farticles%2Fzd4b382

    https://www.phonicsbloom.com/uk/game/odd-sound-out?phase=2

    We hope you all have a restful break and we are looking forward to another eggs-trodinary half term, choc and block full of learning.
    xxx The Nursery team

  • Digging Deeper

    This week has been another incredibly busy and successful week. The children have had a great time practicing their new skills and taking part in a variety of activities.

    This week we started a new class story that supports our learning about digging deeper! We have been listening to the adventures of Sam and Dave who decided to go on a mission to dig a hole.  During all of their efforts, they attempt to find something that will be “spectacular”.  Taking this all in, Nursery decided that we too want to find something spectacular, so we took the opportunity to dig a hole in the forest. There we found lots of treasures in our hole- rocks, tree roots, a plastic fish and lots and lots of worms 🪱.

    Continuing with our story based learning, the children realised that Sam and Dave were digging in different directions to increase their chances of finding something spectacular and this made us think of an underground maze.  The children worked really hard to find the solutions to our online maze games and it gave  us a chance to talk about safe internet use.

    While singing our Nursery rhymes, the children were able to use the positional language we used during the week to explain where Humpty Dumpty was standing!

    How you can help at home: 

    Ask your child to tidy up their toys by following the instructions you give them containing our positional language we have learned this week (see above).

    We hope you all have a wonderful weekend.

    Best wishes,

    The Nursery team xxx

  • Another spectacular week…

    The children looked splendiferous as they entered school today! We really enjoyed becoming word detectives to find out the meaning of new words as well as celebrating the range of words we knew.  We had words ranging from stylish to lightning.

    The children had a lovely time showing off their costumes to their friends and Nursery especially enjoyed joining in with the costume parade with the rest of the school.  There was a real buzz of excitement when the children were explaining their word to their friend!

    We want our children and learning community to be excited about words, to celebrate new words learnt and be curious to find out the meaning of unknown words. Learning words is really important; the more words your child knows, the more it will help them at school. By working in partnership, the children here at Merry Hill will become skilled word learners.

    How you can help at home:

    • Cooking – Cooking together involves co-operation, planning, reading, listening and lots of vocabulary – all skills you need to succeed in school, as well as being great skills for life. https://www.cookuk.co.uk/children-index
    • Get crafty – Crafting and/or constructing with your child provides lots of time for talking. Try and listen more than talk, and comment more than question. This website will give you further ideas, but you can do great things with bricks or by cutting up old cereal packets.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/cbeebies/grownups

    • Reading and talking – Reading books to your child is a great way to develop your child’s language. Books expose children to more complex language. For children who are learning to read, hearing stories can make them more enjoyable. For confident readers talk about what you have read together to further develop their understanding.
    • Get your child involved in planning parties or trips – this involves lots of talking, thinking and planning. ‘Who will be coming? What will you need to do? What food will you need? What can you do before? Who needs to do what?’ and maybe even ‘ How can we keep costs down?’
    • Play word games – see the attachment within Merry Hill Matters this week
  • This Week in Nursery

     

    Another busy week in Nursery! We have enjoyed the weather being milder and the children have played outside for much longer! The children enjoyed stretching their legs and pushing their boundaries on the big playground! They took on board our PSHE topic of setting goals and challenges for themselves and tried their best on the climbing apparatus- balancing, reaching and gripping onto the equipment.

    In maths this week the children have continued to work on accuracy and making sure that they count all the objects in the group to make sure they get the correct answer. There was lots of fun, laughter and mess when they had to follow  the recipe to make mud pies in class.

    As we are learning more and more about our topic of “Dig a Little Deeper”, the children have looked at different animals that live underground and how they have adapted to a life in the dark.  We have learned some interesting facts about moles and their favourite food- earthworms! The children also had the opportunity to experiment in the messy play tray covered in slimy earthworms (cooked spaghetti) . The children made a variety of food for the moles, from worm cakes to soup for dinner. I think it is safe to say they had a blast!

    In our phonic sessions we have continued to find words that start with the same sounds and have enjoyed making alliterative sentences.

    How can you help at home:

    When you are out and about this weekend, collect some sticks, stones and leaves and see if you can make your own Andy Goldsworthy land art.

  • Brrrr a cold week!

    The week in Nursery has been cold, but very productive!

    The children have had a great time exploring the different learning inside and out and completed their challenges to a very high standard!

    During our PSHE sessions, we have been focusing on the new challenges for this year and we had a whole class discussion about what they find tricky and what they would like to achieve during 2024.  Challenges ranged from being able to do the zips on their coats, riding a bike without stabilisers to being able to write their names by themselves.  The children all agreed that in order to be able to complete their challenges, they will need to try, try and try again! We assured them that with a lot of practice, patience and determination they will definitely achieve what they set out to do.  Please support your child/children at home to become more independent- it will require lots of patience from everyone involved! As adults we are busy and often help our children to speed up the process, however, enabling the children to learn and develop these independent skills will support them in all areas of life as well as give them a sense of pride once they master a new skill.

    For our Dig a Little Deeper topic, we have thought about what we might find at the bottom of a hole.  This has led to some very interesting discussions and in the coming weeks we will be looking at a range of things we will find while digging deeper… Watch this space! This week though we have worked very hard to create a mud picture to display our learning on and everyone had a great time experimenting with the natural paintbrushes and mud paint.

     

    Our artist this term is Andy Goldsworthy and the children loved looking at his landscape art, exploring the materials and colours  he has used.  The children thoroughly enjoyed making their own pictures that we will be displaying in class soon. As it has been incredibly cold we even made frozen landscape art by simply leaving our work outside!

    How you can help at home:

    Now that we are confident in recognising rhyming words, we are focusing on identifying the first sound in a word and trying to find as many other words as we can with the same initial sound.  Making up silly sentences are always a good way to get this game going e.g Logan likes licking lavender lollies.