Nursery 2021-22 - The Orchard
Mrs Theo Gaines (Early Years Leader)
Our Teaching Assistants
Mrs Jayne Ogborne (Early Years Higher Level Teaching Assistant)
Miss Alice Read (Early Years Teaching Assistant)
“Our partnership with our parents is very important to us and is something that the children benefit greatly from. With this in mind, we plan events throughout the year for families to get involved with. Some of these include: ‘Stay and Play’ sessions for family members to come and spend time in the nursery, a star gazing evening, sibling sessions and parent workshops. Last year we had parents volunteer to come in and teach French games and sign language. We also had parents who worked for the Emergency Services and arranged a Fire Engine and Ambulance visit for us. If there is anything you would like to be involved in or offer, please speak to a member of the team.” Mrs Gaines Early Years Lead
What we’re learning
The children have access to the wider playground all year and share this space with the Reception children. They play and interact together every day. The space is amazing and allows the children more opportunities to climb, balance and build. This is where the children ride bikes, trikes and scooters and learn to build friendships with lots of other children.
This term our children enjoy getting to know each other and making friendships. We read the books ‘Hug’ and ‘You Choose’ to help with this. Lots of time is spent outdoors, building and creating using the large crates and planks. We practise fine motor skills in lots of different ways, including using tweezers and threading with pasta. The children go for welly walks to observe the changes that start to happen in the environment around nursery. We look at the colours of the leaves, conkers and pumpkins and explored these in the mud kitchen.
In Term 2, a lot of time is spent outside in our orchard, harvesting the fruit from the trees. The children get the opportunity to cook using the fruit and they really enjoy this hands on experience. They weigh the ingredients and develop their mathematical language through discussions. The children design their own obstacle courses using wooden planks, crates and tyres in the garden. We focus on how to move our bodies in different ways to overcome obstacles. We practise our gross motor skills on the balance bikes and trikes in the garden and look at start stop instructions using traffic lights. We encourage hand to eye coordination by playing aiming and throwing bean bag games in small groups. The core texts we focus on are ‘Brown Bear, Brown Bear’, ‘Hairy Mc Clary’ and ‘Each Peach Pear Plum’.
This term starts with the exciting arrival of a mystery box from the zoo. What is inside the box? The children use their knowledge of animals to guess and the learning is linked to the story ‘Dear Zoo’. We focus on exploring shapes, both 2d and 3d shapes. The children hunt in the environment for different shapes and discuss what properties different shapes have. This is the term the children start to engage in daily phonics sessions, learning to recognise initial sounds and hearing sounds in words. We follow the RWI (Read, Write, Inc) nursery programme for this. The learning also focuses on ‘We’re going on a Bear Hunt’, a text which really lends itself to learning to retell a story with actions. The children go on great outdoor adventures in the grounds, exploring ‘thick oozy mud’ and ‘swishy, swashy grass’.
Growing is the theme of Term 4. By using the core text ‘Jasper’s Beanstalk’ and ‘The Hungry Caterpillar’ the children engage in learning about life cycles and growth. They compare growing plants to people growing and changing. Lots of growing takes place in the nursery garden which is then looked after by the children. The children measure the plants and learn to use the language of comparison. The children continue learning a different sound every day and begin to recognise these sounds in the words they say and hear. Art work is continually being created all year by the children but this term sees displays of beautiful symmetrical butterflies.
Transport and journeys are the focus this term. Many journeys will be taken by the children whether it is outside on foot, building obstacle courses or large modes of transport using the crates or in the role play area heading to the seaside on a train with a ticket conductor! The story ‘The Train Ride’ supports the thinking about trains and journeys. Science experiments with a transport theme are carried out with the children answering questions about ‘how far can the car travel using a ramp?’ and ‘does it make a difference if the ramp is at a different angle?’ Towards the end of the term, the focus will be around keeping safe and listening to adults using the story ‘Come on Daisy’ to support this.
The final term of the school year is when the children in their pre-school year will be having their transition visits to school. The staff support the children with these visits to ensure they are happy and settled when they start school. The children enjoy the grounds with lots of water exploration, outdoor art and forest school activities. They enjoy a variety of their favourite books and poems.
The Mead Trust Nursery Information
Please view or download our information pack for Nursery places across The Mead sites and other Mead Trust schools.
Moving into Reception
Whether your child is joining our Reception classes, or going to another school, here is some useful information from Wiltshire Council about how you can help your child move up from Nursery into their Reception year.