Our nativity December 2014

Our nativity December 2014

This year for our nativity play we decided to extend our Reggio knowledge and put all of our faith into the children to write their own play! Each year at Christmas the pre-school perform a play that we have chosen; we have a staff meeting to decide best suited characters, songs and the plot. This year we thought why not let the children decide? In November, whilst eating our lunch I turned to the pre-school to say “what would you like to do for your Christmas play?” Toby H (4:2) said “I know let’s do it on Fizz”, “who is Fizz?” I asked. “He is a very cheeky little elf that never does as he was told” – that was Toby’s part sorted. With our main character in place group times, lunch times and play times were based around the discussion of our Christmas play and to our delight the pre-school just thrived from being able to give ideas and write their own story. “I want to be a cheeky snowman” said George (4:2). “I want to be Father Christmas” said Rylee (3:6) and “we want to be elves too” said Orla (3:6), Zara (3:3) and Olivia (4:2). Our play was official; Fizz, the three elves, a cheeky snowman and Father Christmas. The children each day would add to the story and chose the songs to perform. They really did so well and I must admit it was one of the best plays on record at Simba’s Den. A huge thank you to all children, staff and the local...

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Graduation 2014

Graduation 2014

August is always a sad time for us at Simba’s Den; it’s time to say good bye to our pre-school children as they leave for big school! Each year on the last weekend in August we hold a graduation to say good bye; the full nursery is invited to the village centre for the ceremony (lots of tears from the staff & parents!). We begin the graduation with an opening ceremony which is a dance choreographed by our pre-school ballet children. The children choose the theme and song; this year it was frozen and the song choice was ‘let it go’. The younger children learnt the song and sang during the performance. August was filled with making magic wands, painting final pictures of the steam, creating decorations and practicing for the races. After the opening ceremony the races begin and is always filled with lots of laughter and smiles especially the baby/ toddler race! Then the Mum’s and Dads have a go…. To end we present each preschool child with their folders, achievements and art work! They always beam with pride and it’s such a lovely moment for all. We then celebrate with a traditional village picnic; every parent brings a dish to enjoy and we set up soft play for the children! Well done to our pre-school and farewell to you all! Thank you for making Simba’s so special. Huge thank you to Mat (Ben’s Daddy) for the fantastic...

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The cat sat on the mat – Letters and Sounds Achievement

The cat sat on the mat – Letters and Sounds Achievement

When children reach pre-school age they begin our fun letters and sounds lessons. The children love letters and sounds; staff plan fun lessons with fun games and activities based on early literacy. Children are in two groups, pre-school 1 and pre-school 2. Children are taught by the same practitioner 3 times a week with the aim of introducing literacy in a fun way. We do not follow a structured programme but instead plan on children’s current interests and capabilities; adding new letters, sounds and words into our lesson as the children are ready. It is important that this process is not rushed and introduced gradually. Repetition is the Key to success along with keeping the lessons physical and very fun. Our school leavers all won an achievement award throughout August for ‘the cat sat in the mat’ project which introduced tricky words and sentence formation to our children. It was amazing that our children were ready to learn tricky words and the writing and reading produced was phenomenal. Below is a summary of the topic plan and pictures of the children’s achievements. 1. We began this term with moving onto digraphs (two letter sounds) after the children had learnt all the single letter sounds. Children were observed during the lessons and it was noted that the children were interested in blending sounds and creating words. Children became more interested in ‘printed words’. 2. After several blending and reading activities it was noted that children were getting frustrated with ‘tricky words’. We planned how we could teach tricky words in a simple manner; without it becoming confusing. 3. We spoke about the difference between tricky and phonic words. We referred to tricky words as red words. After a few sessions Toby said “they are red because they are tricky and we must remember them in our heads” 4. We decided to concentrate on a few tricky words – deciding which tricky words to use was going to be hard. On our notes from when children started to blend sounds we had noted that ‘cat’ was the first word children felt comfortable with, from cat then came pat, mat, bat etc. Children had also met these words during rhyming activities so were very comfortable with them. We decided to aim towards the sentence “the cat sat on the mat” knowing that the children would be able to achieve within these activities (self-esteem is very important when learning a new concept). 5. We started by showing flash cards of two words (the & cat). We spoke about the different letters and the sounding out of cat compared to the. We then went on some fun letter hunts; children had to find 1...

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