What We Are Learning – Nursery

 Beech Grove Primary School
Spring Term 2020

Head Teacher’s Message
Welcome back to our new Autumn term. On behalf of the staff we would like to welcome you to a new school year and hope that 2019/20 is a good one for our whole school community.
I hope that you have all had the chance to read our really positive Ofsted report from June of last summer. One thing that stood out is how well our children achieve, conduct themselves and really try their very best in all lessons. Something which I’m sure you are just as proud of them as I was and indeed am!!!
Our teachers have lots of interesting activities planned for this term and hope that you will enjoy hearing what children have been working on at consultation meetings, and will support them with their homework and reading outside of school.

John Dixon

Our work for this term

(The EYFS Curriculum is made up of 7 areas of development)

1. English

In Nursery we focus on developing Speaking and Listening Skills and Early Reading and Writing Skills.
SPEAKING AND LISTENING – We have daily carpet time sessions where we develop good listening skills with a variety of listening games. This also encourages the children to focus for short periods of time to develop their concentration span. During our free-play session adults play alongside the children to develop their conversation skills and build up their vocabulary. Children who need a little extra help with communication skills will take part in daily BLAST sessions in a small group – BLAST is a special programmes designed to boost speaking and listening skills
READING – Our story corner is very popular. Many children enjoy listening to stories and regularly choose a book for an adult to read to them. We always try to have one member of staff based in the story corner to read to the children throughout the session. We also share a BIG BOOK every day during whole class carpet time. We are pleased to see that many children can now recognise their own name (or initial). Some of the children are beginning to recognise other children’s names too. This is an excellent sign that early reading skills are developing well.
EARLY PHONICS – This term we will begin to introduce some of the pictures from Read, Write. Inc (RWI) which is the programme used throughout school for the teaching of phonics. The pictures will help the children to become familiar with the different letter shapes in the alphabet. We will also play games with Fred Frog, the RWI toy who breaks words into sounds e.g. c-a-t cat. This will help the children to develop the important skill of blending which they will need for learning to read.
WRITING – Early writing begins with MARK MAKING. The children need to learn how to hold a pencil properly and to make a variety of pre-writing marks – lines and circles, zig-zags and curves. Lots of our activities are designed to build up strength in little hand and finger muscles – digging in sand, pouring water from jugs, pegs in peg boards, threading beads, cutting with scissors, scribbling with a variety of writing materials, chalks, crayons, felt pens, paint brushes etc. When we think that a child is ready we start helping them to write their name. This is their first introduction to writing letter shapes. You can follow your child’s progress on our LOOK AT ME display just outside nursery. This display records the children’s skills in MARK-MAKING and WRITING and is updated every half term.

2. Maths
In the Nursery we practise counting as part of our everyday routines. We count out loud how many children are in nursery each day at circle time. We count how many children have turned 4 every time we have a birthday. We have GIANT NUMBERS 1-10 on the wall and count along them every day. We have a MATHS area with daily activities to encourage counting and number recognition. You can check your child’s progress on our NUMBER WALL Display where we assess the children every few weeks to see how well they can count. The children love to see their own progress when they can count a little further than last time. Our display assesses 1:1 counting rather than rote counting. Sometimes children can chant numbers to twenty or higher (rote counting) but when asked to count a group of objects by touching them (1:1 counting) they may only be able to count a small group accurately. You can help your child to practise touch counting at home.
This term we will also be learning to use the vocabulary of SIZE. We will sort and compare a variety of big, little and middle-sized objects and reinforce this concept with the story of Goldilocks and the 3 Bears. We will also be measuring the heights of children and discussing who is taller or shorter.

3. Topic
Our topic for Spring 1 is ‘How high can I jump?’ – We will be focusing on the children’s many developing skills – running, jumping, skipping, climbing, kicking and catching a ball etc. and celebrating their achievements. We will talk about the importance of an active lifestyle to stay healthy. We will aim to build the children’s confidence in themselves and encourage a growing independence and ‘I can do it!’ attitude.  We will look at the children’s baby pictures and talk about how they have grown. We will take this opportunity to measure ourselves and compare heights within the nursery. We will compare how much the children can do now they are 3 or 4 with what they could do when they were a baby. We will continue helping the children to accept how special and unique they are and how much they are loved at home and at school. We will continue learning to respect and value other people.
Our topic for Spring 2 is ‘Can I have a dog?’ – We will be looking at the different kinds of pets that people have in their homes. We will talk about the children’s pets if they have one and discuss how we look after and care for animals. We will have a VETS surgery in our Role Play Area where children can use their imagination during pretend play. We will build up the children’s vocabulary of animal names, noises, homes, food, etc. We will look at different patterns found on animals – spots, stripes, patches etc.
Following on from this we will have a look at animals that do not make good pets and talk about why. We will look at farm animals and wild animals and find out lots of interesting facts using our non-fiction books. We will have a special look at TIGERS to accompany our exciting Nursery trip to the theatre to see The Tiger Who Came to Tea.

4. Safeguarding
The children will continue learning about rules and routines in the classroom and the playground. We will continue to focus on our FIVE GOLDEN RULES and ensure children understand what each rule means. We will talk about why we have rules to keep everybody safe and happy. We will also show any new children the correct way to use our climbing equipment in the outdoor area.

Dates for your Diary
Spring Term:  Monday 6th January 2020 – Friday 3rd April 2020
Half Term:      Monday 17th February 2020 – Friday 21st February 2020
Wednesday 12th February – Nursery Stay and Play Session
Wednesday 18th March – Nursery Trip to
Billingham Forum Theatre to see The Tiger Who Came to Tea
Wednesday 1st April – Nursery Stay and Play Session