All of our news is now published weekly, in the ‘Ripe Nursery School Chronicle’. Please click on the links below to read about what we have been doing and our plans for the future.
July 2015 We celebrated Father’s Day by holding a Father’s Day breakfast. It was lovely to have so many Dads coming into the school, looking at the displays and having the opportunity to play with their children before being served by them with a bacon sandwich and croissant! Despite requests to the contrary, at the moment this will remain only an annual event! At this time of year, we also have our whole school trip and this time decided to go to the Towner Art Gallery in Eastbourne. The children had a fantastic introduction to art galleries by staff who were skilled in engaging the under 5s. Mini ‘Explorer Jackets’ were provided for the gallery visits and we had the use of a room full of open ended materials – a wonderful way of inspiring creativity. Thank you to all of our parents who came along and joined in with their child’s creations. We finished off the trip with a sunny picnic on the beach. We also enjoyed an extreme wet play day in the last week of term – now known as ‘Wet Wednesday’. The children (and staff!) washed Miss Kate’s car, had a water flight, used the paddling pool and generally enjoyed chasing each other with the hose. A great time was had by all! The end of term saw our annual Sports Day and Presentation to leavers. The racers were all suitably enthusiastic and even our youngest racers coped well with the tricky sack race! The Dads were put through their paces again by Miss Lucy, who has continued to run our PE sessions for the children. This year, we held our first family picnic in the field after our presentation to leavers and it was a lovely way to end the term. Huge thanks to our ‘Leavers’ families, who, having found out we were planning to purchase some tablet computers, made a very generous gift to the school so that we can buy two! We are looking forward to using these to enhance our home-school link further; more details next term! Finally, I would like to take this opportunity at the end of the school year to thank all of our families and everyone from the community who have been involved with the school, from the Church, shop and visitors in to the school. You have added greatly to the experiences of the children and we are very grateful. The staff at Ripe Nursery School wish you all a happy and relaxed summer. June 2015 We came back after half term and launched straight into exciting stimuli for learning. The Little Class had a fantastic trip from Berwick to Lewes on the train! We were delighted that many parents and grandparents could join us for this morning out, which included a picnic lunch and games in the Grange Gardens. We were lucky enough to even see a ticket inspector on our way back, who allowed the children to punch holes in their tickets! The trip built on the children’s interests and understanding and has inspired work back at school, including the creation of a giant train outside which has taken children on all sorts of adventures! The Big Class have focussed on how they have changed since they were babies. We are really enjoying guessing who the babies are in the photos which have been sent in from home! We had a visit from a 10 week old baby, who endured being bathed with an audience, redressed and then fed! The children asked questions about him and his care; we were really impressed with the thought that went into the questions and discovered that at this age, baby Edward cannot yet eat sweets or turn on the television! We have developed our use of ‘Mind Mapping’ to help make children’s learning visible. Do take a look at these on display. As I write, we are beginning our visits out to ‘Big School’ with our older children; an exciting time but also one which can sometimes be a little unsettling for the children. We have many activities in mind to ease this; please see our ‘Moving On’ section of the website for more details. May 2015 We kicked off our Summer Term with a focus on ‘Super heroes’ – a theme firmly based on the children’s recent interests. We read stories about superheroes and created our own which are now displayed at school. It provided a good stimulus for writing as the children created their own super hero names. Our role play area became a ‘Superhero den’ complete with phone numbers in case you need to call a superhero! We are always looking at ways to encourage the children to write in fun and purposeful ways; our children certainly see themselves as writers and are always keen to ‘have a go’. We moved from Superheros to ‘Growing’ as the Spring weather really kicked in. The Little Class took ‘The very hunry caterpillar’ as their inspiration for their work, culminating in a new display in their classroom. The Big Class planted seed and created labels for their plants, as well as changing their role play area into ‘Ripe Garden Centre.’ March 2015 We have had a busy couple of months of musical enjoyment! There have been several visitors to the Nursery School sharing their love of music with the children. Parents have led singing and dancing sessions and we had the teacher who is Head of Strings at Roedean visit with her tiny violins for the children to try out. We certainly have some budding muscians! We also welcomed senior students from Bede’s who sang for the children and delighted them with an impromptu rendition of ‘Let it go’; surely everyone’s favourite song of the moment! Mrs West (Head Teacher at Laughton Primary School) brought 4 talented strings players from the school who played the cellos and violins and talked to the children about their instruments. It was also lovely to have visitors from the local community – Peter came and played his double bass and Claude sang for us. All of our visitors allowed the children to try out their instruments and ask question. The experience has enriched our children’s learning, not only inspiring an interest in music and music making but also by meeting and talking to older children, teenagers and those who live in the local community our children have broadened their social skills. We extend a huge ‘Thank you’ to all who helped to make our musical enrichment work such a success! Making music… and listening to it…. Our term ended on a high with our Easter Café. The children were busy making food to serve during the days leading up to the café, providing an opportunity to learn about weighing, measuring, developing fine motor skills, kitchen safety…the list goes on! On the day, the children wore their fantastic Easter bonnets which they had created at home and greeted their parents at the door before showing them to their seats. The children took their ‘orders’ and served their families. A great time was had by all and it was a lovely way to round off the term. Thank you to everyone for your support over the term and a big thank you to Nicky for the cooking! A happy waiter… …and a bustling cafe! 13th February 2015 Over the last half term we have had a focus on ‘Dark’ and have been finding out about nocturnal animals. Our ‘Nocturnal Day’ was a great success! We spent the morning in pyjamas, dressing gowns and slippers, using our torches to read ‘bed time’ stories and having a midnight feast of hot chocolate! We created nocturnal animals using salt dough and clay. We have been getting very creative and have explored colour, using Kandinsky and Pollock paintings as our inspiration! Take a look at our new display to see the work we have done on colour mixing and different painting techniques. All of the wonderful models and ‘creations’ that are being taken home have helped children to develop their fine motor skills when they are cutting, sticking and painting, as well as developing problem solving and mathematical skills. We have an exciting second half of term planned, kicking off with finding out about Chinese New Year celebrations. We are all looking forward to some food tasting! We will be celebrating World Book Day by dressing up as our favourite book characters and talking about our favourite books. Our big event in the next half of term is our ‘Musical Enrichment’. We have lots of visitors planned who will be sharing their love of music and demonstrating a variety of instruments and we will also be making our own! If you or anyone you know would like to come in and play or talk to the children about an instrument, please do get in touch – you would be most welcome! We have been invited to take part in the Mothering Sunday service on Sunday 15th March at Chalvington Church. We do hope that many families will be able to join us for this! 8th January 2015 Happy new year! We had a busy end to the term, with trips out to Laughton School to see their pantomime and fantastic Nativity. Maybe you saw the display in the village shop window? The children worked in groups to produce large scale Christmas pictures of a snowman, tree and Nativity scene which they were delighted to see in the shop. Our Christmas jumper day raised £31 for Save the Children. The children became chefs and made sausage meat and cranberry ‘parcels and crackers’ and great fun was had by all at our Christmas party! The term culminated in our Nativity on the last day. We were so proud of the children, who performed with enjoyment and confidence in their re-telling of ‘The Little Owls and the Star’, based on a book by Mary Murphy where a pair of owls discover why everyone seems to be following a star. It was wonderful to see a completely full Church, lots of extended families and many friends of the Nursery School from the community. Many thanks to Father Christmas who took a break from preparing for Christmas to visit during the refreshments afterwards! We have had a great start to 2015 and we have enjoyed welcoming new children to the Nursery School this week. The children have been busily writing ‘Thank you’ letters which were then taken to the village shop to buy stamps before posting them. The children have been making predictions about how long the letters will take to arrive at their destinations – estimates have ranged from 10 minutes to 20 days! Next week the Little Class will be investigating shapes and patterns and the Big Class are moving on to exploring ‘Winter’. We will be looking at what winter is like in England, as well as finding out about other countries with cold climates and the types of animals which live there. If you have any stories or books which might support our work, we would love to share them! 10th November 2014 We have been exploring the theme of ‘Celebration’ recently. Before the half term break we found out more about Diwali and contrasted it with celebrations that the children are more familiar with. We moved this on to an exploration of ‘Bonfire Night’ as there has been great interest in building fires (pretend ones!) with the new logs. Everyone enjoyed exploring paint effects outside to create firework pictures! We used this opportunity to talk about keeping safe and what we should do if we find a firework. As a staff, we have had a focus on one of the characteristics of effective learning: Creating and Thinking Critically. This has meant we have looked at the environment in detail, making sure we are providing a range of opportunties for solving problems and trying different ways of doing things. We are asking open ended questions, encouraging the children to hypothesise, test their ideas and evaluate what they have achieved. This week is World Nursery Rhyme Week! We are celebrating this in both classes, revisiting favourite rhymes and learning some new ones, as well as performing them for our friends. Our Harvest festival was a success and I am delighted to report that your kind donations totalled 41 meals being provided for families by the Hailsham Food Bank. Our thoughts are turning now to Christmas; preparations are under way for the Nativity and we are planning some festive treats! 6th October 2014 We’ve had a busy few weeks at Nursery, involving lots of cooking activities! The blackberry and apple crumble was a popular choice. Since then we have made ginger bread people and mini pizzas, helping the children to widen their vocabulary when commenting on changes and feeling textures, as well as developing their understanding of weighing, measuring and kitchen safety. Our recipes can be found on the ‘Resources’ page. This week the Big Class explored their ‘Senses’. We went on listening walks, played ‘feely bag’ games and created some glasses which changed the colour of what we could see. We used the book ‘Handa’s Surprise’ for our taste testing and were most impressed with the number of children who tried some more exotic fruits such as papaya and passion fruit! The Little Class ‘camping’ theme is spreading to our outside play and next week we will be pitching tents in the field! If you have any old pots and pans you no longer need we would be very grateful for them to use in our role play – using ‘real’ objects always adds to the experience! Our Baby Group has had a successful start and it has been lovely to see familiar faces as well as new ones coming along on a Tuesday. The children have been noticing the changes in the weather and we have been finding out about the seasons, as well as talking about Harvest and where our food comes from. We hope to see many of you at our Harvest Festival on Thursday, 16th October at 12.10. 12th September 2014 We have had a great start to the new school year and it has been lovely to welcome new children into both classes. We have seen some amazing ‘Treasure Boxes’ lovingly crafted at home over the holiday and have enjoyed sharing photographs of families and special occasions over the summer; thank you for all of your contributions! All of these are helping us to create very personalised learning experiences for the children, based on interests and fascinations. We have talked a great deal about ‘Ourselves’ this week as children have got to know new friends. Some lovely self portraits are already taking shape in the Big Class! The little class had great fun exploring natural materials and objects and have been out and about on walks in the countryside. Our ‘Early Start’ option is underway so that you can drop your child off from 8.15am if you need to. We hope that this is proving useful. Please speak to Miss Kate if you would like to book any of these sessions. Another exciting development for us is the commencement of a ‘Baby Group’ for children from birth to two years old (bumps welcome too!). This will be held on Tuesday mornings in the small room from 10.00 to 11.00 with the first session on 23rd September. Do come along if you would like to meet others on an informal basis, in a safe environment which promotes friendship and support and gives children an opportunity to play alongside or with others. Activities will include free play as well as singing, sharing stories, messy play and outside play. Whilst Baby Group is happening, our Nursery children will continue to use the big room and the outside areas for their activities as usual. Next week the children in the Little Class will be ‘bringing the outside, in’ with a camping theme in their classroom. The Big Class will be using their Treasure boxes to talk about what makes each of them special, and talking about their bodies. ‘Bake off’ fever has reached us and we have plans to make blackberry crumble…watch this space!