Wow, what a fabulous first half term!
Links to the world around us: We've had allotment visits, outdoor whole nursery campfires, a harevest festival, our family Autumn walk and berry mixing. We've worked really hard at being independent by attempting to put on our own coats, waterproof clothing and wellington boots.
In the Theatre: We've loved playing with muscial instrments and finding out what sounds they make. and the stage is proving very popular alongside them. Following Rose's interest, movement and dance has become based around the story or the Wizard of Oz which is really gripping a core group of children. We've also been lucky enough to have some dads join us for a dad's dancing session.
In the Studio:We are getting to grips with the huge range of mediums on offer to use; paint, play, charcoal, chalks, pens, and light to investiage. This half term has very much been based around the process of mixing powder paint, and the exploration of clay using our whole bodies.
In the Garage: The water tray has became a great focus, using sensory exploration as a basis for learning. This has included bubbles left behind by the Pirates speeding ship, porridge made for us from the Three Bears, as well as a range of Autmn treasures. Children have became engineers as they have began to construct buildings thinking about size and shape whilst working together with a friend.
-Nursery (3-4 Provision)
-The Den (2-3 Provision)
In the garden: Following our alien based core books of 'Aliens in Underpants Save the World' and 'You Can't Eat a Princess', alien based play has took over the garden! We've created rocket ships out of large loose parts, we've been on alien hunts (there have been a close few calls with meteorites-yikes!), and we've began creating our own alien smurfume (that's purfrume for those that don't speak alien!) out of petals, water and other natural finds in the garden.
In the theatre: Our Spring eggs have arrived... but what could be inside? We are still waiting to see what may hatch out of them. Ideas and theories are flowing. We've created and written our very own numeral countdown to the expected date of the first arrival. We're all very excited!
Whilst we are patiently waiting we've been focusing upon the producting of Beauty and the Beast following children's interest in the up and coming movie. We've been acting out the story line on the stage, alongside music and costumes.
In the studio: The studio has been a hive of alien encounters. We have at present a strong alien theme running through all workshops within the studio. Children have been letter writing, using loose parts to create aliens worlds, sculpting with the clay to make alien families and who knows what will come next?
In the theatre: The past half term, the theatre has been took over by minibeasts! It started off with our core book 'The Lambton Worm'. We were fascinated by the story, and by the fact it was local and how we recognised some of the local landmarks. When some catterpillars arrived at nursery, we were rather worried that they may be babies of the Lambton worm itself! Luckily for us, they morphed into butterflies right in front of our very eyes- an fascinating process to observe. We had a giant African snail to care for, where we carried out food and slime experiments. Such a busy half term of facts, experiements and imagintive play.
In the garden: Following visiting the woods the children had a keep interest in wildflowers. We spent a few sessions looking for and identifying wildflowers in our garden. This then sparked off other interests with potion making, transient art and recipes in the texture kitchen.
Following key worker groups visiting the allotment, we spent some time getting to know our garden and what grows within it. This led us to explore using our senses, especially around the herb patch. Lots of time was spent smelling the herbs, sparking discussion around them and what it reminded them of. The herbs became a popular hit in the texture kitchen. We had many ‘lasagnes’ made using the basil.
In the studio: We began the half term by weaving, weaving with intelligent materials. As the children's skill developed the weaving sculpture also grew. With the added element of light and shadow lots of concepts were explored through this provocation. From here children became civil engineers as they explored, designed and constructed with a variety of materials. This stemmed from one child's fascination with a local landmark, penshaw viaduct bridge. After researching together and discovering a whole range of bridge designs children tested out their own theories. Scientific and mathematical concepts emerged alongside high ordered thinking skills.
We have now taken two groups to the woods at Penshaw. The children have shown great teamwork and really grown in confidence during the course of their four weeks visiting.
This tied in really well with the Nursery’s core book of ‘The Lambton Worm.’ being able to relate to the story as they climbed up Penshaw Hill. The staff have been very impressed with the determination and perseverance that all of the children have shown. They have all finished their experience with a love of climbing and a thirst for adventure.
In the theatre: Thanks to the kind donations our families on a weekly basis, all different kinds of flowers have took over the theatre! We've spent a long time studying the different kinds of flowers, discussing what we have experienced using our senses ie the smell, feel and the details that we notice in each flower. We have conducted our own experiments by disecting flowers, and much of the time this has led to children expressing their creativity by using the flower parts to represent as well as create abstract art. Our core book 'The Very Greedy Bee' led us to learn about the links between flowers and bees, we now have an in depth understanding of the realtionship beween nectar, pollen, flowers, honey and bees. We've looked at various types of honey and of course tasted them to enable us to compare and contrast the texture and taste that each of them bring. It didnt take long for the honey to be used as a creative resource on paper.
In the studio: This half term the children have shown a real interest in 'under the sea' in particular mermaids. Our new small world area enhanced this interest allowing children to act out roles using small world characters and become mermaids, crabs, fish and octopuss. The studio has also been took over by flowers; paricularly observational painting of flowers. Children have paid close attention to the finer details, and really focused in upon the colours, shades, depths and tones and used resources available to mimic these.
In the garden: Wow, what a brilliant half term in the garden! The sunshine has brought many of our children outside wanting to enjoy the warm rays of the sun as they play with their friends. Friendship have really blossomed and the garden has become a social gathering space for children to socilaise with friends and enjoy their time together. Our camp fire has been used as a bbq for cooking our allotment grown vegetables- delicious! Our celebrations of International mud day and sports day, whcih were celebrated outdoors, were a great success. Our Mud day raised a total funds of over £2,000 as children were challeneged to get as muddy as possible in our mud pool, making mud balls and splats, mud painting, and our mud foot spa to name a few. What an amazing day we all had!
In the garage: Throughout this half term the children’s growing fascination with sand has continued. A small group of children have shown a keen interest in using the sand to explore mathematical concepts, in particular measuring capacity and volume. They have also enjoyed group discussions which have encouraged them to make predictions, test out their theories and share their findings with other children and adults. Recently in the garage some of the children had expressed an interest in the subject of recycling so in the sculpture space we have been paying particular attention to the types of materials we use to create our sculptures. The children have begun sourcing recyclable materials and sorting them into groups with the plastic bottles proving to be the firm favourite so far.