Early Years

The baby birds have grown and it time for them to fly…

A few weeks ago, the children were asked to quietly line up and tiptoe outside into the quad. They carefully sat themselves down under the tree and waited. They were waiting for a parent blue tit to return to the nesting box with food for the newly-hatched chicks. It was not long before their patience was rewarded. The children’s eyes opened wide in amazement and whispers quickly spread as the chicks loudly chirped with the arrival of food. As the parent bird flew away the chicks fell silent and the children asked to wait and see and hear it again. So we did, more than once, and the amazed looks were just as special each time. These moments are a reminder of how special it is to be working with young children who are seeing and experiencing things for the first time. A week later we were treated to a quad full of tiny, fluffy baby birds, clumsily bumping into things and trying to learn to fly. We watched from inside, giving the baby birds the space they needed to find their wings and learn the skills needed to move on. They looked a little too small to be leaving, but they were definitely ready to go. And now the time has also come for some of our children to spread their wings and leave the department. Some have been with us for over two-and-a-half years, joining us in Nursery at two years old. I feel privileged to have watched these children develop, grow and become ready for the next part of their school journey. At times, some of them also look a little too small to be leaving, but they too are also ready to move on. With them they will be taking some lovely memories. Recently the Nursery and Pre-School children have been watching tadpoles turn into frogs and tiny caterpillars transform into beautiful butterflies. They have flown paper planes from the fort and used tools to make wooden boats. They have watched beans grow and splashed in sprinklers to keep cool. They have enjoyed picnics in the woods and have made mud pies. They have used twigs to make bird nests and have enjoyed playing with foam, jelly and sand. They have embraced the Read Write Inc. scheme, joined in with music, yoga and PE. They have borrowed books from the library and have helped care for our Copthill animals. When asked what they have enjoyed, the children’s answers ranged from drinking hot chocolates to playing with their friends. They commented on their favourite toys and how they helped to look after Mo the tortoise. It is wonderful to know their special memories are simply our everyday adventures. Looking back over the year, some of our events such as Mother’s Day, the Teddy Bears’ Picnic and our Nativity in the Woods had to be shared with you via videos online, creating memories for you to keep forever. Next year we hope to be able to welcome families back into the setting to enjoy these events as we were reminded of how much the children love an audience when we safely welcomed spectators to our sports morning. It was lovely to see the children proudly showing off their sporting skills on the obstacle course and in their races. I would like to thank all of the Early Years’ team whose continued support and enthusiasm ensures such events can take place. We have made good use of the new Early Years’ garden this year with the children helping to plant, water and weed during weekly gardening sessions. Our self-grown teepee of runner bean plants has been a lovely addition in which the children have taken great interest. The children have proudly taken home tomato plants and sunflowers grown from seed and recently the children helped to plant pumpkins and squash, which we look forward to harvesting later in the year. At Forest School, the children have collected blackberries, made apple juice, searched for burrowing animals, lit fires and cooked pancakes. They have used tools, toasted marshmallows, learnt about bees and discovered the importance of recycling. More recently, the children have been making journey sticks by collecting natural materials whilst exploring. From September we are hoping to extend the length of our Forest School sessions with all Nursery and Pre-School children staying out for lunch on their Forest School mornings. A hot lunch will be delivered to the woods, teepee or wherever the Forest School group is exploring, and sometimes the children will enhance their lunch with food cooked over the campfire! For those of you that are moving on from Early Years, I wish you all well. For those that are continuing with us we can look forward to another exciting year in the department. The academic year may be drawing to an end, but it marks the start of exciting new beginnings for many of our children. I hope you all have a fun-filled, sun-filled, safe summer break.

Mrs Fleming


Sprinkler Fun

The Nursery and Pre School children had a lovely time playing in the sprinkler this afternoon to help them keep cool. The children enjoyed jumping over the sprinkler as well as finding different containers to try and catch the water. Some of the adults also enjoyed the cool spray of the water!


Paper Planes

As part of our topic looking at transport we have been making, decorating and flying paper planes. The children thought this was lots of fun and they loved chasing after their planes. We counted our steps to see how far our planes had flown and adults modelled positional language as the children were encouraged to fly their plane over the trees and through the hoops.