November fun at Oak Valley

The children have had a very busy month at Oak Valley Day Nursery.

Children in Need

November has seen us raising awareness for Children in Need. The children and staff came to nursery wearing spots or pyjamas and hosted a bake sale to raise money for this great cause. We managed to raise an impressive £75.23 – thank you to everyone who helped us!

Dressing up
Baking

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Road Safety Week

During November we elected a new Pre-School council. Their first job was to discuss Road Safety Week and think about why it is so important. The children came up with great ideas of how to stay safe and how we could include the younger children in the fun. The Babies & Toddlers enjoyed the ideas Pre-School came up with and had fun making different marks with the toy cars and paint.

  Council
Road safety
Painting

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Other Activities

At Oak Valley we try to encourage independence in all aspects of our day. The children are already used to preparing their own snack and using self-service at mealtimes, but this month they have also been getting used to setting the tables by themselves and washing/drying their own pots. Well done everyone!

Independence

 

 

The rainy weather hasn’t stopped us being active in November. As well as playing outside, we have also been using lots of energy playing parachute games, which has helped us with our numeracy skills and colours. Mini Movez have been to see us again this term and taught us some new dance moves for us to practice daily!

Parachute

 

With the festive season approaching, the children have been practicing their literacy skills and writing

Carols

by preparing their letters to Father Christmas. We posted these letters on the way to the residential home, where we finished off the month by singing Christmas carols to the residents.

 

 

 

 

Coming Soon

 

Look out for our other festive activities including our Christmas party,  workshops, carol concert, visit from Zoolab and a special visit from our Pre-School elf!

 

October’s Activities at Kingswood

October has been a busy month for us here at Kingswood Day Nursery and Pre-School. We would like to share all of our fun, exciting, engaging and thought provoking activities with you.

First of all, please join us in sending massive congratulations to Laura Standering and her husband Mark on the birth of their baby boy! Rowan Christopher Daniel Standering was born on Sunday 21st October 2018 at 1.25am, weighing 7lb 13oz. We all wish them all well and can’t wait to meet baby Rowan!

Baby Room have been exploring different textures during our sensory play sessions, they particularly enjoyed the cooked spaghetti and custard!

Sensory play activitiesImage may contain: 1 person, food

The Pre-School children have had lots of fun outside exploring the tyres, making obstacle courses, balancing and concentrating on stepping from tyre to tyre. They also worked well as a team and showed fantastic imagination by creating our train and deciding that they were off to the seaside!

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The Toddlers have spent lots of time and effort growing their own tomatoes. They have taken good care of the plants by making sure that they provided them with plenty of water to help them to grow. They looked after them so well that the tomatoes grew well and turned a lovely ripe red. The group were so pleased when they could actually taste the tomatoes that they had worked so hard to grow together.

Knife control chopping activity.Image may contain: 1 person, food

 

Wear It Pink was a fun-filled day with lots of activities. Favourites were definitely the baking and the painting. The Pre-School children did a great job of weighing out all the ingredients using the scales and getting the measurements just right for some tasty buns. The staff helped the children to develop their technology skills and take some risks by using the electric whisk to mix all the ingredients together. The children were all very proud of their achievements. The Babies really enjoyed the painting; exploring the texture of the cold paint on their hands. Thank you to all the children, staff and parents for baking and bringing there produce to our bake sale. Thanks to everyone’s hard work and contributions on the day, I am pleased to inform you that we raised a brilliant £60.00 – well done everyone!  If you missed our fundraiser you can still donate by going to the Wear It Pink website.

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Pre-school children baking for charity eventBabies being creative with painting activity.

Halloween at Kingswood was a hocus pocus time! We had some super spooky activities throughout the week which included making potions, baking monster buns, creepy crawly play dough, pumpkin exploration, wriggling rice pictures and loads more.  Here are a few photographs of our Halloween themed week. I think the children enjoyed the Halloween party and the dressing up the most!

Halloween potion making

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The Babies had an exploratory afternoon over on the local field to discover different Autumn materials. We found some lovely conkers, leaves and twigs which we are going to be using for our Autumn Day Workshop.  The children especially enjoyed the crinkle and rustling of the leaves.

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Autumn days leaf picking activity.

Finally for this month, we wanted to share our Babies’ incredible artwork. They are getting prepared for bonfire night by creating this master piece together as a group. The babies loved the bright colours and showed particular interest in the patterns that their cardboard fireworks made on the black paper. I am sure they will enjoy watching the real fireworks on Monday 5th November.

Printing activity Fireworks painting activities

 

Excited about bubble time!

September at The Little School House

It has been an exciting start to Autumn. September at The Little School House started with a visit from the ever popular Mini Movez; they come into the setting to engage our Toddler and Pre-School children in fun physical activities. These sessions consist of some themed activities; this time it was ‘Safari’ which saw the children involved in creating their own unique variations of different animal sounds and movements, followed by some excellent cheer-leading involving pom poms and lots of energy and enthusiasm!

 

Our loose theme of ‘Space’ has seen all our age groups participating in numerous activities surrounding the planets; Pre-School learned about the different names and their climates, as well as learning about different methods of space travel and constructing the planets for a display. The children thought it was out of this world!! While our budding astronauts were busy upstairs, the Babies and Toddlers also had fun creating their own unique space designs such as stars, galaxies and their own interpretation of the planets. These messy activities were another great way for our early learners to explore different sensory experiences and learn through play.

 

We also took the time to host a Princess and Pirates day charity event in aid of  Cracker Jack Children’s trust which was a great success. The children came in their fancy dress and really got into their characters. They enjoyed making props for their costumes and demonstrated some fantastic role play.

 

So what’s next for The Little School House? The children and staff are all looking forward to our Pre-School Autumn workshop & activities for Road Safety Week, as well as lots of upcoming festive activities including our Christmas Concert, Christmas Party, Christmas Jumper Day for Save the Children, and Baby Room Christmas workshop.

August at Highgate

Here at Highgate we’ve had a busy August!  We celebrated Yorkshire Day by creating Yorkshire Rose flags, decorating pictures of a Yorkshire Rose & the children hosted their own mini tea party, enjoying scones with jam & cream.

 

We have revelled in lots of different sensory activities, exploring different textures, smells & tastes.  The babies loved getting messy in the beans & Pre-School relished tasting & exploring different hot & cold foods.

We held our first introductory session of ‘Rhythm Time’ with our Babies & Toddlers.  The children explored sound with a range of instruments & sang into a microphone, which helped with confidence building & self-esteem.

We made the most of the beautiful summer weather with the children partaking in many trips out to the park & surrounding areas.  They enjoyed playing on the swings & slides, & played group games on the grass. We also made frozen yogurt pops to enjoy.

 

We are now looking forward to the start of a new term & lots more exciting experiences during the Autumn & Winter!

’17-’18 End of year review

However unlikely it may seem to be, we’re suddenly in August drawing the year to a close! Although I usually leave the blogging to others, I’ve decided to proffer this in addition.

Firstly, I’d like to start by congratulating our four fantastic settings and their Managers on what has been an amazing first year to our new and improved Company. We’ve seen an abundance of visitors into nursery, trips out for the children, workshops which lots of our current families will have participated in and enriching extra-curricular events such as Zoolab, Mini Movez and pottery painting. We’ve introduced our Facebook pages which have had a brilliant reception across the board, particularly in terms of keeping parents informed of upcoming occasions and being able to see photos in a timelier fashion. We’ve also, obviously, released our new website with this blog feature!

A year ago, the owner made the decision to employ me as an Area Manager – I am the person who monitors progress in all our branches and provides support to the Managers in all areas of administration, staffing and the general running of the settings. Together, we then decided to employ an overarching Special Educational Needs Coordinator to support the many children we cater for with additional needs – we found Clare Hough who slotted in so perfectly and is now considered invaluable. Next on the agenda in our bid to boost our quality was to find a Quality Practice Manager to spend time in each of the branches evaluating the environments we have on offer and the practice of our staff – Anna Cam came onboard and superseded our hopes and expectations. She does all of what we wanted as well as supporting staff with feedback, targets and tailored training, making her priceless.

We’ve presented a multitude of enriching aspects to how we run our settings over the year – the majority of parents now take advantage of being able to pay their monthly fees by BACS transfer; a termly newsletter is now sent out keeping the information streamlined, more relevant and up to date; ‘Fresh Fruit Friday’ is on offer in each branch on the last Friday of each month providing a tasty, free snack and a great opportunity to model healthy eating choices; a lending library is in operation in each of our settings encouraging children and parents to share literary opportunities together at home; the nursery menus had a huge overhaul which gave the children the chance to experiment with lots of new and exciting dishes that all take into account the recommended nutritional values and portion sizes; we’ve extended our opening hours to 7am-7pm Mon-Fri assisting greatly with many of our working families’ needs; last but by no means least, we’ve undertaken an enormous amount of maintenance and improvements across all four of our branches to ensure the environment is kept to a high standard for each and every one of the children we care for.

There’s been a definite move towards striving for quality and, in that vein, we’ve been making conscious efforts to let our staff know just how valued they are. We’ve introduced Room Coordinators to enable people who’d like to progress in their career with us; several staff incentives to boost morale and keep motivation high have been introduced; and an amazing Christmas celebration which ended 2017 beautifully. Perhaps best of all, July saw the EYCE staff team embark on a ‘seaside jolly’ to Scarborough for the day! The trip was a treat from the owner to thank us all for an extremely successful year and to celebrate a year of the newly branded Company. It was a really lovely day with gorgeous sunshine, beautiful scenery and a relaxing boat trip, all perfectly topped off with an amazing fish and chip lunch!

As I look forward to the new academic year, and more success for Early Years Care and Education Ltd, I’d like to say a huge thank you to all our wonderful employees and to all our existing families for their continued support.

Lisa Mapley – Area Manager

July at Oak Valley- Outdoor play

This month we’ve had a lovely time exploring in our new discovery garden. We found loads of bugs and minibeasts which we took back into the classroom to talk about. The children decided they wanted to feed their new friends, so gave them carrots and cucumber! After enjoying getting dirty, digging and playing in the mud kitchen, they transferred their learning experience indoors and took full advantage of our baking supplies and made mud pies!

 

baking litter picking

Toddler Room have been making the most of the gorgeous weather we had with a trip to Graves Park! The children enjoyed a tram ride to feed the animals, played on the equipment and finished with a tasty picnic. Our school leavers had their annual trip to Western Park Museum. The children loved all the interactive displays and dressing up in the fabulous costumes

 

Our Pre-School council have been helping the environment this month! With the help of our hi-visibility vests and litter pickers we have been making our surrounding areas cleaner and tidier. Well done everyone!

 

We have been supporting the England football team this month by making flags and learning songs! Even though we didn’t end up winning the World Cup, we had a fantastic time enjoying all our football activities! #teamEngland

Oak Valley are supporting England in the World Cup! #itscominghome 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿⚽️🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿⚽️🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿⚽️🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿⚽️🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿

Posted by Oak Valley Day Nursery on Tuesday, 10 July 2018

Sunday 15th July saw the EYCE staff team embark on a ‘seaside jolly’ to Scarborough for the day! The trip was a treat from the owner to thank them for an extremely successful year and to celebrate a year of the newly branded Company. It was a really lovely day with gorgeous sunshine, beautiful scenery and a relaxing boat trip, all perfectly topped off with an amazing fish and chip lunch!! 🚌🏖👙🐟🍿

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In addition to our regular ‘Mini Moverz’ session, this month we also welcomed in ‘Rhythm and Rhyme’. The children learnt lots of new songs and dance routines to help keep them active.

 

We finished a lovely month off with our school leavers Graduation Ceremony and workshop. Good luck to our class of 2018, you will be missed! We’re certain you’ll all have a great time at school – don’t forget us too soon!!

 

June adventures at Kingswood

Well to start with this month we are delighted to have welcomed back to the team some long standing staff members ……Emma Wilks has returned from her maternity leave, she will be back at nursery Tuesday’s – Fridays’s and will return to her post as Deputy Manager. We would like to thank Laura Standering for doing a great job in her role as Acting Deputy Manager. Leanne Cully has returned to Kingswood after her third child and a small break in childcare, we are really happy that they are both back on board!

The Pre-School children have embarked on our yearly train, tram and bus trip this month, this linked in brilliantly with both topics we have been following – transport and child safety week. The Pre-School children had an excellent and educational journey from nursery to Sheffield city centre and back again. The children went in small groups and travelled on a bus to Dore train station, then they caught the train into Sheffield, jumped on a tram from the station to a nearby bus stop and then caught a bus back to Kingswood. The children had a great time paying the transport drivers, collecting their tickets and learning about the different ways vehicles move across the city.

        

Pre-School has also held a workshop to celebrate Father’s Day. The children really engaged well and embraced the activities which were kebab making, vehicle junk modelling and den building. All feedback received was really positive and some lovely comments were made about our dedicated team and all the effort they went to in order to encourage parental involvement  in their children’s nursery day.

            

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our Baby Room really enjoyed promoting healthy eating week by tasting lots of different fruits – watermelon, raspberries, strawberries, mango and many more. The Toddlers really got involved with healthy eating week too by growing, picking, chopping and eating their own radishes! They were very proud of their achievement, as you can see from the pictures.

 

  

The toddlers have recently had 3 new members join their group; we would like to introduce Guppy, Steve and Pedro, our goldfish. The toddlers are finding the experience of looking after them both rewarding and exciting. We gave the children the opportunity to ‘have their say’ when it came to naming the 3 newcomers . We displayed a ballot box outside toddler room and the children put their suggestions in, we then picked 3 names at random to confirm their new identities.

Parent’s Evening and School leavers Transition Evening were both a great success. They provided a lovely opportunity for all our parents to talk in a little more detail to the staff about their child’s development and next steps. We had a great turn out as usual and all our parents were happy with their child’s progress.

All in all, June has been an exciting, fun-filled month with plenty of learning, laughter and life experiences. We look forward to updating you next term with many more fun and educational adventure!

May at The Little School House

During May the children of The Little School House Nursery have had a fun packed month celebrating lots of different occasions. The children have also engaged in lots of fun activities and trips.

To kick start the month, the Baby Room went on an exciting trip to the local farm.  First of all they enjoyed a stimulating trip on the bus. The staff promoted Fundamental British Values by allowing the children to use greetings and manners. Once on the bus, the staff encouraged the children to spot lots of different things in the environment from trees and flowers, to shops etc. Once at the farm the children were able to see lots of different farm animals ranging from chickens to deer! The children had the opportunity to pet and feed the animals. The staff engaged with the children on their visit taking the time to discuss animal sounds, colours and textures. There was also a quick stop for a play in the park and some well-deserved snack!  The babies on their return from their trip, then had the opportunity to draw their favourite animal they had seen at the farm.

Toddler Room had an enjoyable month with the staff promoting culture and diversity by celebrating the festival of Ramadan. The children engaged in a fun activity to celebrate by designing their own henna hands. The staff supported the children to draw around their own hand and encouraged them to express themselves to create their own unique henna pattern on their hand. The children really enjoyed using their creativity to create their own pattern as well as looking at some real henna patterns for inspiration. The staff during the activity discussed colours and shapes used in the children’s designs.

 

In our Pre School, the children have been learning all about the lifecycle of a frog. The children were really excited when the staff brought in the frog spawn. They looked at it and described what it looked like, with one child saying “it looks like jelly”. The children kept caring for the frog spawn until they turned into tadpoles. They replenished the water in the tank and fed them cucumber. The staff extended the children’s learning on this by encouraging them to draw their own lifecycle of a frog. We used our close partnership with one of our parents who also brought in some other resources such as books and life cycles of other animals such as butterflies and chickens. The children really enjoyed engaging and learning about different life cycles. Once the tadpoles started to turn into frogs, some of the Pre- School children went for a nature walk to the local park to find some suitable pebbles to create a healthy habitat for the newly formed frogs to thrive in. The children really enjoyed watching the little frogs jumping onto the stones.

 

Also in our Pre School Room we hosted our very first School Transition Evening, which was a huge success. We invited parents into our setting to complete the transition documents ready for when their child makes the transition into big school! The parents had the opportunity to network with other parents of children going to the same school as well being able to discuss with the Pre School staff the ‘steps to school readiness’ for their child and what they would like to achieve for their child’s development before they start school in September.

 

Throughout the nursery the children all celebrated the royal wedding- the children in Baby and Toddler Rooms all baked different foods to have as a treat during snack time. In our Pre School Room the children had the opportunity to dress up as princes and princess’s, the children really enjoyed this and engaged in role play whole heartedly!

 

The Little School House has had lots of fun and learning throughout May and there is still lots to look forward to including in the upcoming months our visit from Zoo Lab and our Pre- School graduation to name a few.

 

 

 

April at Highgate

During the month of April Highgate has been blessed with a multitude of visitors! We started with Donald and his community engagement ambulance. He talked to the toddlers and Pre-School children about his role and what it entails. They learnt about what an ambulance is for, what it does and how it helps people. The children got to actually sit inside the ambulance and even try out the siren! Possibly their favourite part of the visit was the opportunity to try on the uniform that Donald brought. We ended the session by colouring in some pictures that he’d also supplied.

Zoolab came to bring their exotic wildlife for the children to see. The children were able to handle creatures such as a snake, a giant snail, rats, mice and even a gecko. The Zoolab representative explained to the children where the animals come from, where they live and what they eat. We found the session really encouraged the children to ‘have a go’, even when they weren’t very keen at the beginning!

Last but not least we had our monthly enrichment of ‘Mini Movez’. One of the lovely ladies came to Highgate to lead a fun and expressive session themed around what the children were learning. The sessions are always lively and energetic and the Toddler and Pre-School groups take full advantage of this opportunity for active learning which really gets their hearts pumping!

Aside from visitors, there’s been plenty more exciting things happening within nursery. Our Pre-School children have been learning about life cycles this month and have focussed on frogs. We introduced a tank of real tadpoles & the children explored them using magnifying glasses to examine them. At each stage of development, they’ve made efforts to draw observational portraits.  They are very excited that the tadpoles are now developing legs and are eager to see when they will turn into a frog.

Monday 23rd April saw us celebrating St George’s Day. This date marks the anniversary of the English patron saint’s death. According to legend, he was a soldier in the Roman army who killed a dragon and saved a princess. Rather than re-enacting the legend (!) we decided to mark the day by holding an afternoon tea party. The children made flags using a variety of different art and craft methods such as colouring, sticking and painting. We then used the flags to decorate the table where they ate scones with clotted cream and jam – yummy!

Throughout April our babies have been experimenting with different sensory experiences. We took advantage of the warm weather, stripped the babies down to their nappies and let them explore ‘gloop’, shaving foam, water, cereals, sand and even ice! We focussed on several of the ‘characteristics of effective learning’ with each of these – ‘playing and exploring’, ‘active learning’ and ‘creating and thinking critically’. It was great to observe the different ways they investigated the different mediums and their textures.

March activities at Oak Valley

 

We have had a busy month at Oak Valley Day Nursery. March has seen us raise money for charity on World Book Day – the children came to nursery dressed up in fancy dress and we had a picnic lunch whilst listening to our favourite stories! Our Baby Room also marked the occasion by visiting the local library for a story telling event.

The children have picked the theme of fire engines as one of their topics this month; their interest in a passing emergency vehicle led us into making our own fire engine and the children dressing up and using hoses to put the fire out! We are going to visit some fire engines in the upcoming weeks so the children can sit in and pretend to drive them!

Even the ‘Beast from the East’ failed to stop our fun as we enjoyed building snowmen and making snow angels. Parenta magazine even featured the Company in an article they ran on snow days as we manged to brave the weather conditions and open nursery every day.

Baby Room hosted a sensory ‘Stay and Play’ session for parents and carers to attend and get messy with them. They explored shaving foam, water, coloured pasta and feet painting. A fun time was had by all!

Toddler Room had their Easter workshop where we joined in with baking, crafts and even made bird feeders for the garden. Meanwhile Pre-school had a sports day to raise awareness for Sport Relief by taking part in the egg and spoon race along with an assault course and playing various other garden games.

Bertie our Pre-School Bear has also had a busy month – he has been having adventures at the children’s houses and has been on many day trips. He has recently returned from his holidays in France! We have loved reading about what he has been up to.

For Mother’s Day, the children have been pot painting, decorating mugs and coasters for their Mums. This is something the children enjoy doing throughout the year and often decorate keepsakes to bring home

The children showed an interested in the distance of things and how far objects could travel, so we spent one sunny morning making aeroplanes. The children then took them outside into the garden and flew them. We used markers in the grass to see how far our aeroplanes could travel and had races to see which could go the furthest.

 

To top off our busy month we had our routine environmental health inspection which saw us keep our 5* hygiene rating.