Winter Term News 2021!

We have had a whistle stop Winter!


During the Summer we renovated our Hawthorn Avenue site! We transformed the 2-5 department by swapping the 2-3 room and 3-5 room over and putting in a brand new floor, wall and storage units! We were delighted with the outcome, it looks amazing and we were ready for the new term on 1st September!

On the 9th September Coach Ian from Maxim Sports returned to our settings after a Summer and COVID enforced break. The children were delighted to be taking part in a range of sports sessions again. Ian is great at supporting the children's gross motor skills but also encourages them to use both their listening ears and cognitive skills! Alongside physical movement games the children are able to test their knowledge of numbers and colours too!

On the 10th September the children engaged in a variety of activities for Literacy Day! The children read a variety of different stories and engaged in activities surrounding the alphabet and letters. The younger children decorated the initial of their name using glue and tissue paper and our older children practiced their fine motor skills by writing their own names following the dotted lines. Our eldest pre-school children enjoyed discussing which stories were their favourite and they practiced their letter recognition matching the letters to their own names!

The vegetable seeds we planted at our Cowper Crescent site finally grew this month! The children had been helping to look after them and they were able to finally pick a radish! We are looking forward to the pea season!

Shelly the snail pet in our pre-school room at Turner Road had babies in September! The children loved finding her eggs, watching them hatch and see how they grew into tiny baby snails! Shelly is a firm favourite amongst the children, they love to feed her cucumber, tomatoes and lettuce whilst holding her in their hands! Caring for a pet also helps them to learn about the importance of caring for living things and the things they need to do in order to help them live and thrive. 

When Autumn arrived, the pre-school children went on an Autumn walk to the local green area to see what they could find! The children used magnifying glasses to look closely at the environment around them before using the camera to take their own pictures which were fantastic! Lots of autumn craft was also created using leaves and twigs!

During the week of the 27th September the children enjoyed learning about Harvest Festival. They created their own corn on the cob by painting with their fingers and a range of different sized paintbrushes and learnt about how corn on the cob grows and how it is harvested by the farmers. They also enjoyed creating their own harvest festival baskets, the children chose which vegetables they would like to add to their basket before sticking them on. The children discussed with their friends which vegetables they liked and enjoyed eating at home. They also spoke about the different colours and shapes of the vegetables and healthy eating.



In October the 2-3 year olds at our Hawthorn Avenue site went to infinity and beyond to celebrate Space Week! They took turns pretending to fly to the moon in a rocket they had decorated. On the way they found a mysterious planet where they found aliens living! Luckily the aliens were friendly and let the children play with their alien slime! The children loved feeling the slime and letting it run through their fingers.

On the 8th October the Women's Cycle Tour passed through Colchester for the first time and the children were able to go out and watch them speeding past. "The Women’s Tour is the biggest all-female cycle race in the world. It attracts the best riders, including Olympic and world champions, as well as the most elite British riders and stars of the future. They made motivational signs to encourage the race goers to 'keep going' and created their own flags which they waved whilst cheering the ladies on! and posters to hold up as the ladies whizzed past and we all had lots of fun waving and cheering to show our support!

On the 14th October the pre-school room celebrated Emergency Nurse Day with a range of exciting activities! They enjoyed pretending to be nurses, treating their patients, including a high temperature, a poorly ear and a sore knee! They also enjoyed creating x-rays for their poorly teddies before patching them up with plasters to make them better.

During the month, the children at our Cowper Crescent site went on a litter pick! They were sad to see so much rubbish around their local community so donned their bags, gloves and litter pickers to help clean up! We are very proud of our children for wanting to look after their community! 

October also bought a hornet to our Cowper Crescent site. The children couldn't believe how big it was and took great interest in looking at it through a magnified pot. We discussed what the insect does, the colours and the sting. The children passed the pot around the group allowing everyone to get a closer look before separating in smaller groups to colour in pictures of the hornet. They were fascinated to see such a creature up close!

Halloween arrived in full force at the end of the month with children creating some wonderful Halloween craft and delicious treats! The annual competition took place on Monday 29th October and the children had a fantastic fun filled day of activities and messy play!i The younger children experimented using apples to print pumpkin pictures, although very quickly decided they would rather try and eat the apples and use their hands to create their pictures instead! They also used sponges to print with paint, exploring the different textures of the sponge while doing so. They made yummy Halloween biscuits with bowls of icing sugar, edible eyes and raisins to make ghoulish ghosts! This helped them to develop their fine motor and creative cooking skills. The children enjoyed eating them as much as they did creating them! 



The children celebrated bonfire night at the beginning of November by creating bonfire pictures using their hands and mega blocks in paint, practicing their printing skills! The Incredible Inventors made bonfire cupcakes, mixing the ingredients and waiting eagerly for them to cool before they could decorate them with icing and chocolate sticks! They also made their own 'bonfire' in the room to sit around and sing songs and read stories. We talked about the importance of staying safe around bonfires and fireworks and discussed the fireworks displays that they had visited.

We also celebrated the festival of Diwali by making our own salt dough candles! The children rolled out the salt dough and used their fingers to create a space for the candle. They really enjoyed decorating the candle holder with paint and lots of glitter! We learnt all about the festival and how people in India prepare for Diwali by drawing colourful patterns on the floor of their homes. Children made their own floor creations using chalk.We also discovered that Diwali occurs on the night centering the new moon which is the darkest night, this is why homes are decorated with lots of candles and lanterns.

On 11th November the children paused to commemorate Remembrance Day and learnt about why we remember the fallen soldiers on this special day, in an age appropriate way. Our pre-school room watched a Cbeebies video and did really well sitting for the two minute silence at 11am. Our younger children created poppy pictures and poppy paintings using a variety of materials as well as exploring the poppy making playdough. They also took part in a cooking activity decorating and icing poppy themed biscuits. The children at our Cowper Crescent site joined their neighbouring school Queen Boudica to watch one of their parents play the last post before the 11am silence began. 

During the week of the 15th November the children learnt about Road Safety for rost safety week which is coordinated by the road safety charity Brake and The THINK! Campaign and is run by the Department of Transport. Road Safety Week aims to inspire thousands of schools, organisations and communities to take action on road safety and promote life-saving messages. Even with young children it is important to begin teaching the dangers associated with roads and how we keep safe. The pre-school children at our Hawthorn site went on a safety walk around the local area. The children spoke about the roads and traffic around them and where it was safe to cross. The children listened with intent as the staff taught them how to Stop! Look! Listen! On return to the nursery the children continued to discuss the safety skills that they had learnt. By taking part in Road Safety Week, we can help children, young people and parents learn about road safety heroes and why road safety matters, and enable them to speak up for safe and healthy journeys.

On 19th November the children across all three sites supported this years Children in Need fundraiser by wearing Pudsey themed clothing or their best yellow/bright coloured outfits! They also enjoyed taking part in Pudsey themed activities throughout the day! The Pre-School children were excited to go home that evening and snuggle up on the sofa with their families ready to watch the big event on the television! We raised £95 on the day through generous parent donations.

242796156 262316962563079 1444985787948679378 n 241678727 3306647076127115 322147753513747772 n 242920375 262438692550906 9184957755555076604 n 242881905 262317242563051 1345412804771703427 n 252824334 292179589576816 6242571204844807280 n-2 251832921 292179836243458 880849677139852477 n-2 244511657 269960301798745 1113523685992200631 n 241731499 3310630409062115 1549256914633450175 n 244416435 269960348465407 6442990266700732068 n-2 244680085 272238381570937 6304240945027594692 n-2 250776110 290023156459126 2514110081090971744 n 245364609 276056594522449 925824560446305049 n-2