What we have been up to

May 22, 2015

We hope you’ve had a lovely week and are looking forward to half term. We’ve been pleased to have Hayley back this week :)  So what have we been up to…

In language group the children have been using the Jolly Phonics computer game, this has many different games on it that encourage the children to recognise sounds, link sounds to words and sound out simple words. Using the computer is also great for hand eye coordination, fine motor skills and turn taking. The more confident children really enjoy helping their peers and are great at encouraging each other. Many of the children are now confident in selecting what game they would like to play and use the mouse well to complete it.

In number group the children enjoyed making playdough, they had to measure out the ingredients and time how long to cook it for. They have been using it to make different models and have used the scales with it to see what weighs more. Some of the children have been making ice creams and cakes, others have made animals. Even the under 2’s have had fun squishing the playdough and manipulating it with the tools. Playdough is simple to make and if kept in a container lasts a long time. Why not give it a go, there are lots of recipes online.

We’ve been looking at different opposites this week, we have played a matching game with opposites, searched for opposites and enjoyed reading stories about opposites. Two children brought a book in for us to read all about opposites called “faster, Faster, Nice and slow”. It’s a fantastic book which gives examples of several opposites in a fun and clear way.

We had fun today making paper aeroplanes to fly in the hall. We climbed on the apparatus and flew our planes, some went quite far while others crash landed! Next time we may try making parachutes and see how they go. So if you have any yoghurt pots then please bring them in for us :)

We hope you all enjoy your week off and don’t forget to take lots of pictures of your adventures so your child can share them with their friends.  Lauren

What we have been up to

May 15, 2015

We hope you’ve enjoyed your week, we have!  Here’s your insight in to our week at nursery..

Some of you may have noticed that Hayley hasn’t been in this week, she has been off ill, we’ve all missed her and hope she is back next week ready for lots of fun. This means that Sandra has been in and even Lindsay paid a visit on Wednesday along with James her son.

As usual we’ve been up to lots of different things; exploring, getting messy, learning, imagining and always having lots of fun!

Some of you may have seen the pictures on Facebook of our garden collage, we decided to do this as the children all enjoy picking daisies and exploring the digging area to look for treasure. The end result looks great and can be seen on top of our bike shed, unfortunately it got quite wet in the rain but it looks like it is drying out. The children love to be set a challenge, how about going on a walk in the woods and having objects that they need to fin?, some could be easy such a stone, others could take a bit more tricky finding such as a twig that is longer than your arm. This is a great way to get the children exploring and encourages them to notice differences and similarities.

Junk modelling still continues to be a favourite activity, some of you have taken home some very colourful creations this week, we hope the glitter didn’t spread too far! The children’s imaginations and ideas are developing more and more and discussion going on between the children can get quite technical at times, it’s also lovely to hear them suggesting ideas to others and offering help and encouragement. It’s a good job we have a big supply of sellotape as most creations need endless amounts of it!

Some of the children have been playing picture lotto, as well as playing it traditionally we have also been encouraging descriptive words by asking the children to tell us about the cards they have picked, we also do this a lot at story time. The children like to point out there favourite bits but rather than them pointing to it I ask them to tell me about it. This really makes them think and they come out with some very good words. Why not ask your child to describe something to you in a clue game… “I’m thinking of something that grows, is green up the top and has bark….”

In language group we have been looking at our names. The children have practised writing them using different resources such as pens, pencils, paint and the computer. We also played a game where the children had to select the correct letters in their name and then stick them in the correct order. They then drew lovely pictures of themselves and their family. 

In number group we’ve been counting and recognising numbers, as well as looking at what numbers make up bigger numbers such as 15. Most of the older children can now count confidently to the mid twenties and the younger children like to clap along and have a good go themselves.

Yesterday we got all of our dolls out, along with lots of nappies, bottles and baby clothes. The children enjoyed playing “Mummy and Daddy” and changing nappies and dressing the dolls. Although they weren’t so keen to help us with the real babies nappies! With a couple of the children due to be big brothers and sisters and the young babies we have here at the moment, there is a lot of interest in babies and the older children continue to be brilliant at caring for and entertaining the younger members of our Orchard family. The babies here are very lucky to have so many caring and attentive older children to look out for them and they really adore the older children and learn a lot from them.

The children have enjoyed doing Demi’s hair and have made her look lovely using brushes, clips, hairbands and rollers, she now has no need to visit the hairdresser :)

In the hall today we enjoyed balancing and climbing, I was impressed by some children’s balance as I wobbled the beam they were standing on, i’d have fallen off far quicker!

This week the babies have enjoyed bouncing, hiding and throwing balls in the ballpond, hiding and racing through the tunnel and crawling across the noisy mats as well as making lots of noise with the instruments.

We hope you’ve enjoyed reading this and that you have a lovely weekend, we look forward to hearing all about it.


Funding Available!

May 14, 2015

All 3 to 4-year-olds in England can get 570 hours of free early education or childcare per year. This is usually taken as 15 hours each week for 38 weeks of the year. Some 2-year-olds are also eligible.

You can start claiming free childcare after your child turns 3. The date you can claim will depend on when their birthday is.

Child’s birthday When you can claim
1 January to 31 March the beginning of term on or after 1 April
1 April to 31 August the beginning of term on or after 1 September
1 September to 31 December the beginning of term on or after 1 January

Some 2-year-olds in England can get free early education and childcare.  To get the free hours for a two year old you must be getting one of the following:

  • Income Support
  • income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
  • income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • support through part 6 of the Immigration and Asylum Act
  • Child Tax Credit and/or Working Tax Credit and have an annual income under £16,190
  • the guaranteed element of State Pension Credit
  • the Working Tax Credit 4-week run on (the payment you get when you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit)
  • Universal Credit

Children are also entitled to the free hours if:

  • they’re looked after by a local council
  • they have a current statement of special educational need (SEN) or an education health and care plan
  • they get disability living allowance
  • they’ve left care under a special guardianship order, child arrangements order or adoption order

If your child is eligible please talk to us and we will sort out the relevant paperwork.

For more information on free childcare please click on the following links: