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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paint, babies, sensory, messy play, fun, active learning, stimulkating, exciting, fun, creativity,

Kingswood Day Nursery in May

Baby Room

The Babies had great fun this month exploring paint with their body parts and the different ways to make marks with different objects. They gained great sensory experiences from the way the paint felt on their skin and how they could make varied marks as the objects they were using touched the paper. I think the pictures prove what great fun they had, and how happily involved and engaged they are in these simple, but very effective, activities!

painting, creative, making marks, fun, engaged, activity, planned, thought provoking,

Painting and mark-making with slinky’s.

Toddler Room

planting, vegetables, soil, investiagtion, science, nature, the world we live in, investigate, explore,
planting, learning,= about the world and living things, soil, mud, textures, growing, plants, vegetables, healthy eating
Planting, life cycle of plants, learning, stimulating, exciting, vegetables, growing living things, watering, sunlight

Toddlers have enjoyed the planting activities this month; they have had so much fun learning about what plants need in order to grow. They have particularly enjoyed watering them daily, and watching them develop and grow. Soon we are hoping to eat the carrots that we’re growing at snack time! The children showed high levels of engagement and were so thoroughly interested in the planting activities that we went on to plant some herbs and some cucumbers too!


The Pre-School children took part in a workshop where we asked parents, or other special grown ups to the children, to join us for a crafty morning. We made buzzy bee pictures and we were very creative, using bubble wrap to print with to make a honeycomb background for our bees! Another of the activities in the workshop was to create our very own dream catchers to hang up in our bedrooms. We used natural resources and coloured tissue paper to create our masterpieces. The playdough activity was really popular, using our imaginations to come up with our own inventions, we even added different textures to our playdough such as rice, herbs and glitter.

paint, pre-school, sensory, messy play, fun, active learning, stimulating, exciting, fun, creativity, honeycomb, bee pictures, printing, arts and crafts
Workshop, pre-school, natural resources creative activity, dream, fun, exciting, teamwork, parent involvement
Dream cater making, arts and crafts, gluing and ticking, natural resources, workshop, creative, fun, parental involvement, partnership with parents,
Dream Catchers in the making

All Rooms

Finally, during the month of May, we have been making obstacle courses to improve our gross motor skills and to continue to develop our balance and coordination. We have enjoyed exploring and adding to our new natural/heuristic areas within the play rooms, the wooden and more ‘real life’ objects allow the children to develop their imagination to the next level. We have also been colour matching and sorting too! What a busy month May has been at Kingswood! We look forward to many more activities and opportunities to think critically and be creative.

Colour matching, maths, sorting, counting, numbers, environment, small groups, adult led activity, engagement, learning, new skills
Balancing, obstacle course, new skills, crates, taking risks, challenging  own ability, outdoor play, natural environment, awe and wonder
Natural resources, awe and wonder, curiosity, wooden, nature, experiment, imagination, shells, pine cones, self motivation

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! The Toddler Room went for a big walk in the woods and pretended they were on a bear hunt.

Digital Camera

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.

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!

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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.

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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!

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!!


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.

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.