August Fun At The Little School House

We have had a very, exciting busy term here at the Little School House.  The Babies had a lovely visit to Heeley City Farm. We walked all the way to the farm, taking in all the sights and sounds en route before having a picnic for our lunch. The children saw lots of animals including pigs, sheep, horses, cows, goats, and a range of birds.  We loved playing in the park before enjoying a yummy ice cream. There were lots of sleepy children on the way home when we caught the bus back to nursery.  What a lovely day!

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Our Toddler Room enjoyed helping hatch some beautiful butterflies. The children observed the
changes of a caterpillar as it becomes a butterfly. They drew pictures of the before and after and
loved making collage pictures of the beautiful colours on the butterfly. We read The Hungry
Caterpillar and the children decided they wanted to try some of the foods from the book, so we had fun pretending to be emerging butterflies and tasting the same foods as the Caterpillar.
Lots of learning whilst having so much fun.

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In August, all the staff across our four branches had a chance to relax and enjoy a great Seaside trip to Bridlington for the day. The trip was a treat
from the owner to thank staff for an extremely busy, progressive year and  to celebrate 2 years of the newly
branded company.  It was a lovely day with good weather, exciting rides, a yummy fish & chip lunch,
which was all perfectly topped off with an amazing new gin bar!  ( well it would have been rude not to !)

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The summer terms brilliant staff training session topic was ‘Meeting safeguarding requirements –
recognising, understanding and responding effectively, to possible risks’.  We are constantly updating our knowledge and all staff felt more informed.  It was one of the many areas we have had organised training in this year

Pre-School enjoyed learning about ‘Healthy Food’ this summer. They talked about what foods are
healthy, what foods are not and why we should eat them. Children brought in food from home that
they thought was healthy, we then discussed the food at group times. We also went on a walk to
Asda to by some healthy foods for our snack. We continue to do Fresh Fruit Friday in which we encourage parents to take a piece of fruit and eat with their children.
It is lovely to see children developing their understanding of thee foods they eat.

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Finally, we  held a very successful open day last month for our 20 year anniversary. We welcomed current
families & new ones to view the setting. We have lots of fun activities including a bouncy castle, tons
of treats were sold on the cake stall & treasures were won on the tombola. We raised almost £300
for Sheffield’s Children’s Hospital. Thank you to everyone who came.
Twenty years later and still going strong. 

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April fun at The Little School House

At The Little School House we started the month of April by welcoming in the Rhythm Time team, who brought poms-poms, jingle sticks, bubbles, and musical instruments for our Babies & Toddlers to enjoy. The children explored making sounds and movement.

The Toddlers held a parent workshop based around Easter where they hunted for eggs in the hay, made sticky pictures & bunny masks. 

Now the weather is getting warmer, all our children have enjoyed numerous trips to our local park and woods. They’ve particularly enjoyed the physicality of the climbing frames, the slides and the swings. Our Babies visited Graves Park farm where they saw all the different animals & mimicked the noises they make! https://m.facebook.com/gravesparkanimalfarm/ The Toddler Room went for a big walk in the woods and pretended they were on a bear hunt.

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Our Pre-School was lucky enough to have some frogspawn gifted to them. They made the most of it by taking a trip to the park to get some water from the stream for the tank, and learning about the frog life cycle. The children were very excited when they found that their then tadpoles had developed into actual frogs!

We ended the month with Parent’s Evening. It was lovely to hear all the positive comments that so many of you conveyed.

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.

’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

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.

 

 

 

January at Little School House

During January The Little School House have been up to lots of fun and exciting activities. We kick started the New Year with our loose theme topic ‘All About Me’. The Pre-School children started by talking about themselves, what they look like and how they are different from each other. They continued their learning by looking at their reflections in a mirror and drawing themselves, highlighting key features such as eye and hair colour, and then drew each other. The Baby and Toddler rooms used families as a theme and created displays of children’s family photographs, looking and talking about who the children live with and what they do as a family outside of the nursery setting. Parents enjoyed getting involved and provided us with lots of happy family memories that the children could share with each other at nursery.

Since our conception as Early Years Care and Education we have been striving to raise awareness of healthy lifestyles, diet of course being a big part of this area. As well as overhauling our menus, considering ingredients and portion sizes, we have also now introduced a new strategy – ‘Free Fruit Friday’ which runs the last Friday of each month. We are doing this as an opportunity to invite children, parents and carers to have a piece of fresh fruit on us! Although the children attending nursery receive lots of fresh fruit on a daily basis, we thought it would be another fantastic role modelling opportunity. Our first attempt at the end of January was a great success and I know that lots of parents and children alike are looking forward to having it again in February and beyond.

At our setting we like to promote diversity and culture and, with this in mind, the Pre-School children have been learning about Chinese New Year. They talked in group time about the different animals each year represents and how this year is the year of the dog. The children then made their own red ‘lucky envelopes’ and put chocolate coins inside which they took home to parents. The children discussed while doing this, how the colour red in Chinese culture is a lucky colour.

Our next exciting project will be our lending library where we will further promote literacy. Children and parents/carers will be able to select and borrow books from the nursery library to read together at home.

Children in Need

On Friday the 17th November help us raise money for ‘Children in Need’. Come dressed in your most SPOTACULAR outfit. Nothing ‘spotty’? Then chose your best dressing up outfit and surprise us. 
A donation is very welcome but a minimum of £2.00 would be very much appreciated.

Let’s have some fun while helping this worthy charity.

Amazing New Garden Area

Recently we had the soft flooring re laid on our outdoor area. It went from a tired old dark blue to a now vibrant, bright blue that catches the eye and sparks the imagination.

This week the grass area has been replaced. As you can see from the photographs it looks amazing. We have a brilliant, new, messy play area where the children can be creative and inventive.

The children are very eager to go out and see their new and improved play space.