Welcome to Meerkat Class
In Meerkat Class, we love to learn through play using adult led and child initiated experiences throughout each session. We have a large outside learning environment, which we use all through the year. We have a team of dedicated and experienced Nursery practitioners and our Nursery Class is led by two fully qualified teachers. Children aged three and four can use the Nursery Education Grant to access 15 hours of free Nursery education. From September 2017, there is also 30 hours of free childcare provision available for eligible parents/carers (not foster carers). For more details about the criteria please visit https://childcare-support.tax.service.gov.uk. We are open during the school term and are also open during lunch time, where your child can stay for lunch and either have a packed lunch from home or a meal cooked in the school's kitchen.
Mrs S Sheppard (Teacher)
Mrs S Gleed (Teacher)
Mrs S Green (Nursery Practitioner)
Miss K Buckley (Nursery Practitioner )
Mrs D James (Nursery Practitioner & Early Years' Family Suport Worker)
Mrs L Dunn (
Mrs K Lockwood ()
Mrs N Tooker ()
What does my child need to bring to Nursery each day?
Your child will have a coat peg assigned to them each session where they can hang their named, waterproof coat. Please also supply a named, small bag containing a spare change of clothes, including underwear, just in case of any toileting accidents or if your child gets messy during exploratory play. We would also like you to send in some nappy bags in case we have to change your children's wet clothes. If your child wears nappies or pull-ups, please ensure you supply a small stock of nappies/pull ups and nappy sacks and wipes. We use the outside area all year round so please also provide a named pair of wellingtons, which can be stored in our outside boot store.
From September 2017, we will no longer be accepting applications for chidren to start from two years of age. If you wish your child to come and join us from three years of age, please speak to the office and your child's name can be put on the waiting list so they can be ready to join us from three. If your child is already three or four, please contact the school office so we can arrange a starting date at one of our three intake points during the year which are September, January or Spring (around Easter). In addition, we offer an early morning extended provision, so your child can start their day in Nursery from 8.00 a.m and after school provision via the Barley Close Out of school club.
Breakfast 8.00 - 8.45 a.m. (extended service provided)
Morning session - 8.45 - 11.45 a.m.
Lunch time 11.45 - 12.30 a.m. (extended service provided)
Afternoon session 12.30 - 3.30 p.m.
After school provision - Nursery children can attend our Barley Close Out of School Club (O.S.C) for those parents/carers requiring childcare up until 6.00 p.m.
Please contact the school to find out about availability for any of the sessions listed above.
A note from Mrs Gleed
I have been a Nursery teacher at Barley Close since 2009 and although I have previously taught in KS.1 and 2; the Early Years are my favourite age group. I have gained specific qualifications in Early Years and hold a Masters in Education in addition to Early Years Professional Status (EYPS). I enjoy spending my spare time developing my creative skills and am currently attending art classes. I'm also a volunteer at a local rabbit sanctuary, where I just love having a cuddle with all the gorgeous bunnies!
End of another school year
Another school year has drawn to a close and in Meerkat Class we have been enjoying our end of term parties, particularly our swimming porty and teddy bear's picnic on Thursday.
We have also been playing games with our new key groups so the staff and children can get to know each other.
Thank you so much for our cards and gifts; it was very kind of you. We would like to wish all our leavers the very best for the future. We hope you will be very happy in your new classes here at Barley Close or your new schools. For those of you who are returning or joining us in September, we look forward to seeing you after the summer.
We would like to wish all our children adn families a safe and enjoyable holiday period.
With our very best wishes from all the Meerkat staff
All sorts of feelings
This week we have been using a selection of stories to help explore the theme of feelings. We focused on the feeling of happiness for our Meerkat class assembly on Friday.Welll done to everyone who took part, I am really proud of you!
We have been using movement to describe feelings of happiness and have been thinking about which muscial instruments we could use to accompany the actions in the story 'If you're happy and you know it.'
We are loooking forward to our end of year party on Thursday, there is still time to return your slip, if you have not already done so.
Meerkat Mail, The Postman Bear and The Crayons who quit
We continued with our focus on the postal service with three stories about sending letters. The children have been playing a variety of board games to help develop their counting skills as well as continuing with some of the planned activities from last week.
Reports were sent home today and if your child does not attend on a Friday, they will receive theirs when they are next in school. If your child is leaving our nursery class to start Reception either with us or with another school, they will also have/be receiving their learning diary to keep as a memento of their time with us and all their learning. The older children's learning diaries were only sent electronically up to the end of May as they have received their June and July observations within their paper learning diary.
Please remember to return your slip about our end of year party a.s.a.p.
Next Friday will be our Meerkat class assembly. The children who attend Nursery on a Friday afternoon will take part and their parents/carers are most welcome to come to the hall and watch.
The Jolly Postman and Digby Dog Delivers
This week, we have been looking at the job of postal delivery workers. The children have enjoyed identifying the characters from traditional tales which are featured in 'The Jolly Postman.' They have had to look very carefully at the illustrations in Digby Dog delivers to see if they can locate various objects and characters. We have been developing on awareness of rhyme with an activity called 'Silly Soup' and have been learning to sort envelopes according to their colour in a post box game. The children on Thursday afternoon have taken part in activity where they created a drawing home to be sent home so that they can receive a letter. Do let us know what your child says when it arrives from the post.
Makaton Friendly Status award for Barley Close Nursery
The team of staff in Meerkat class are delighted to have been awarded the Makaton friendly status award by the Makaton charity. The staff have received training in using signed communication to help support the understanding and communication of the children within the nursery. Makaton is 400 words taken from British sign language. Staff use Makaton throughout the session but particularly during stories and singing. Using Makaton also enables children who are learning to communicate to express their needs and wants. Receiving this award is a real achievement for the team and means that people looking for places to go where communication is supported, will be able to see Barley Close listed the charity's website. If anyone is interested in learning more about the benefits of Makaton, come and speak to one of the team.
This week our stories have taken the theme of sports' day. Meerkat class took part in a sports' morning on Tuesday to which parents/carers attended. On Thursday afternoon, we did a mini 'Olympiad' with long jump, tug of war and relay races. We have also been developing our listening skills, playing a game where the children had to identify objects by listening to the sound they make.
Next week we will be returning to our focus on people who help us with a look at postal delivery workers with the story 'The Jolly postman' and a story called Digby Dog delivers.'
This is the way we brush our teeth
This week at nursery we have been learning about how to take care of our teeth through healthy eating, tooth brushing and regular visits to the dentist. Your child has been given a tooth brushing diary to encourage effective teeth cleaning and your child can colour in a tooth, each time they spend 2 minutes brushing their teeth.
We have also been developing our listening skills and awareness of rhythm with a variety of body percussion songs. The children particularly enjoyed the rain song!
Please remember to put sun cream on your child before coming to nursery and supply a sunhat. It is also advisable to keep as much skin covered with loose, light clothing as possible. It is more practical and safe for the children to wear footwear that covers their toes rather than open toed footwear such as sandals. There is a range of climbing equipment in the outside area and the children will not be allowed to use it unless they have suitable footwear. Thank you for your cooperation.
Welcome back to the start of Term 6
We hope you enjoyed the half term holiday. We have begun this term with a focus on people who help us, carrying on from our visit from the fire brigade at the end of last term. This week we have been following children's interests in doctors; with a selection of books about visiting the doctors and also have been learning about how to prevent ailments such as headlice as well as discussing the effects of smoking; with our oldest pupils.
Next week we will be looking at the work done by dentists and will be learning about how to keep our teeth strong and healthy.
This week we moved our learning forward with a focus on the fire brigade. We have been learning about all the services and support offered by the fire brigade with a range of non=fiction books. We were very fortunate to be visited by a watch from our local fire station who gave a short talk before allowing the children to climb about their fire engine and have lots of fun using the hose!
We completed our look at transport with the rhyming book 'The bus is for us!' We have also been learning about sizes and have been ordering objects using vocabulary such as small, medium and big as well as comparatives for example smallest, biggest, longest, shortest. Please talk to your children about the sizes of objects they are using or come across in their day to day activities.
We would ask that you send in a sun hat and apply long lasting sun cream to your child before they come to Nursery if this fine weather continues.
We would like to thank the parents and carers who attended our open week and would like to wish all of our families an enjoyable break. We return to school on Tuesday 6th June as Monday 5th is an INSET day.
Mr Gumpy's Outing and Super Submarines and Meerkat Open Week
This week we have been focusing on boats and seacraft with the books Mr Gumpy's Outing and Super Submarines. We have been scientists carrying out investigations to see which objects float and sink and we have also been finding out about capacity through investigating which containers hold the most amount of water.
Next week we are going to be focusing on fire engines and are hoping to be visited by the local fire brigade on Friday (subject to any emergencies that may occur.) Our final week of term is also our open week when we invite parents and carers to come and join us for half an hour at the beginning of a session for a story and to share their child's learning diary with their child. There are only five slots for each session and there are no appointments on Wednesday afternoon or Friday morning. Please speak to a member of staff if you would like to make an appointment.
Amazing Aerolanes, A Day at the Airport and Going on Holiday
This week we have been thinking about different forms of transport which travel in the sky including aeroplanes, helicopters and hot air balloons. Following the children's interest, we have been making kites. To develop our skills in technology, we have been learning how to control remote controlled cars. We have also been learning how to copy rhythms using percussion instruments and have also been learning some new trasport themed songs. Ask your child if they can remember any of the new lyrics.
Next week we will be moving on to boats.
Jump in and All Aboard
We have used this week's stories as a starting point to talk about how the children have travelled to school. We have also welcomed more new pupils this week and they have been enjoying exploring the new learning environments. The children have shown an interest in puppets and were delighted to receive a new puppet theatre and puppets.
Next week we will be moving our focus on to aeroplanes with the books 'Amazing Aeroplanes' and 'A Day at the Airport.'
Start of Term 5 - The Magic Train Ride
Welcome back to all our Meerkats including a big hello to all our new starters. We hope you have all had an enjoyable break. We have started our focus on transport with a train theme. We have the used the story 'The Magic Train Ride' to use our imaginations and think about where we would like to travel to if our train ticket could take us anywhere. We have been developing our counting skills and have been practising selecting the correct quantities; adding two groups of objects together and also comparing groups of objects to see which has more or less. Some children have also begun to learn about telling the time, concentrating on o'clock.
Our stories next week will be 'All Aboard' and 'Jump In.'
More pet stories
We completed our focus on animals with a selection of pet stories, including a prequel to one of last week's stories. We have had some Easter themed activities learning about the first Easter story and taking part in some egg themed maths activities and cookery; making delicious chocolate Easter nests.
The Nursery team would like to wish you all an enjoyable two week break. We will return to start term 5 on 24th April. We will welcome some new Meerkats and will be starting our focus on Transport with a topic on trains, using the story 'The Magic Train Ride.'
This week we have had a selection of stories and non fiction books about pets. The children have been discussing and describing their pets. We have used the animal theme as a basis for developing our numeracy skills with practising counting; selelcting the correct quantities for a specific number and also been developing our written skills recording numbers and simple addtion sums. We have also been playing a game where the chidlren had to match animals to their infants, encouraging the children to use the correct names for example foal, calf, lamb.
You should have received your text explaining that we will not be holding our open week next week as we have had two weeks of parent/carer meetings this term. Our next open week will be in Term 5. More detail will be given nearer the time.
We will complete our focus on pets next week before moving on to Transport when we return in Term 5.
What the Ladybird Heard and Say what you see on the farm
We finished off our focus on farm animals with a trip to Windmill Hill City Farm. We were so lucky with the weather and our thanks goes to the staff at the farm who made it such an informative and enjoyable visit. I would also like to thank the staff from the Nursery and our parent volunteers without whom the trip would not have been possible. The children enjoyed dressing up for Red Nose Day on Friday. Next week we will be moving on to a focus on pets and we would love to see a photo of your pets. We will be using a selection of books about pets including fiction and non-fiction. We hope all the Mummies and Grandmothers enjoy their special day on Sunday.
Duck in the Truck and A Day at the Farm
This week the children have been thinking about rhyming words with the story 'Duck in the Truck.' They have been learning facts about farm animals through the use of non fiction books. Outside the children have enjoyed playing action games based on representing different farm animals and objects. They have also been developing their listening skills by guessing which farm animal was being described after listening to clues and then having to locate the animals by listening to directions. Thank you to our parents and carers who attended meetings this week. We are looking forward to our trip to Windmill City Farm on Wednesday.
Monkey Puzzle and Old Mikamba
This week we have been looking at similarities and differences as we compared Old Macdonald and Old Mikamba (which is set in Africa.) The children have also begun learning about changes over time and we will be watching carefullly to see how our tank of frogspawn develops over the coming week.
It has been great to meet our parents and carers during our meetings this week and we look forward to seeing more of you next week.
Friday 10th March is an INSET day so school is closed. We hope you enjoy the long weekend and we will see you the week commencing 13th March when our story will be 'Duck in the Truck" and our non-fiction book is 'A Day at the farm.'
This week the children have been enjoying the story 'Dear Zoo.' They have been encouraged to develop their writing skills by creating a letter to the zoo, asking for a particular pet. Children on Wednesday afternoon also took part in a 'Write Dance' session, which develops early writing skills through the use of special mark making called 'scrimbling' along with a story and music. We have also been learning facts about wild animals using a non-fiction book. On Thursday we celebrated World Book Day 2017, it was lovely to see so many children in costumes based on well loved characters from books.
Our stories next week will be 'Monkey Puzzle' and 'Old Mikamba.'
There seems to have been some misunderstanding regarding parents' evening as it has come to light that some parents have made appointments using the electronic system for the evening meetings on the 8th and 9th March. As stated in the letter, Nursery teachers are not holding meetings during these evening events. Instead you have been invited to make an appointment with your child's keyworker for a time within your child's session over the next two weeks, commencing on Monday 6th February. If you have made an evening appointment, please speak to one of the Nursery teachers or practitioners in order for a new appointment for be made.
Thank you for your cooperation and understanding.
Welcome back - Start of Term 4
We hope you enjoyed your break; the children have been settling back into Nursery and have enjoyed the start of our focus on Animals. For the first few week we will be looking at wild animals, before moving onto farm animals and finishing off with a look at pets.
Remember on Thursday next week (2nd March) to come dressed as a character from your favourite Nursery rhyme or fairy tale.
Please sign up for our parent/carer meetings, we have appointments available across two weeks; both morning and afternoon slots are available.
Next week we will be reading Dear Zoo and learning information about wild animals using a non fiction book.
A selection of dinosaur stories, non fiction and poetry
Our last week of term 3 saw Meerkat Class complete their focus on Dinosaurs. The children have been learning some complex names and have begun to describe some of the dinosaurs' individual features.
We have enjoyed having our parents/carers during our open week and we hope you enjoyed joining in with the painting activity and singing.
There is information on the website about our school trip which we are hoping will take place on Wednesday 22nd March 2017. There is a very short turnaround for this trip as the farm is only able to hold the reservation for a limited amount of time. We will need the reply slips to be returned by Friday 24th February.
We hope you all have an enjoyable break and we look forward to seeing you the week commencing Monday 20th February, when we will begin our focus on animals.
Bumpus, Jumpus Dinosaurumpus and Stomp, Chomp, Big Roars, Here come the dinosaurs!
This week we have been continuing with developing our counting skills and numeral recognition using dinosaurs. We have been learning new dinosaur themed songs with the help of two very friendly and cuddly dinosaurs and the children have also been developing their own songs using traditional tunes.
We complete our focus on dinosaurs next week with a selection of dinosaur books including non-fiction and poetry. We also look forward to welcoming our parents and carers during our open week.
Meerkat Class Open Week - w.c. 6.2.17.
You will have/will be receiving your letters about Meerkat Class open week which runs the whole week starting from Monday 6th February. You can make an appointment using the online system or call into the school office if you need any assistance. This is an opportunity for you to come and share your child's learning diary with them, take part in a creative activity with your child and join in some singing. Staff are also available for an informal chat about how your child is getting on in Nursery.
'Dinosaur Baby', 'Are dinosaurs dead Dad?' 'Gnash, Gnaw, Dinosaur!' - a poetry anthology
This week Meerkat Class have been Paeleontologists and have been digging for dinosaur bones! We have been continuing to develop our counting skills and number recognition, using a light box, squishy shape and dinosaurs. We have been moving like different dinosaurs and the children created some fantastic movements.
We will continue our theme of dinosaurs next week with the stories 'Dinosaur Rumpus' and 'Stomp, Chomp, Big Roar!'
Dinosaur Eggs and Dinosaur Roar
We have continued our focus on dinosaurs and were delighted to receive a visit from Geri at Debutots who provided two excellent sessions of interactive strorytelling and drama on a dinosaur theme. The children were so engaged and really enjoyed the sessions.
We have been developing our counting skills and numeral recognition with a dinosaur themed maths activity. We also discovered our mystery object from last week - a dinosaur egg, started hatching to reveal a baby dinosaur!
Please send in a bag so we can start your child's book sharing experiece, a plastic carrier bag from a supermarket will suit just fine!
Next week we will have three dinosaur books - 'Dino Baby', 'Are dinosaurs dead Dad?' and a poetry anthology.
Harry and his bucketful of dinosaurs
Following the children's interests we are having a focus on dinosaurs. We started off this week with the book 'Harry and his bucketful of dinosaurs.' The children have begun to learn the names of different dinosaurs. We have been doing some large scale painting of the children's dinosaurs and have also been using junk modelling resources to add features to our small world dinosaur area. We have been developing our listening skills and have been identifying a range of environmental sounds. There was much excitement on Friday when the children woke to their first snow, it was very cold and slippery!
We are looking forward to a visit from Debutots on Tuesday next week who will be leading an interactive storytelling and dramatic play based on dinosaurs.
Happy New Year!
Welcome back to our returning Meerkats and a big welcome to our new Meerkats who have joined us after the Christmas holidays. This week we have been settling the children and helping everyone get back into the Nursery routines.
Next week we will be starting our focus on dinosaurs with the story 'Harry and his bucketful of dinosaurs.' The following week we will be starting our book sharing, we have started to send letters about this activity. Each child will choose a book with their key-worker to share at home. We have provided you with an information sheet with some top tips about getting the most out of story sharing and there is also a sheet so you can record your child's comments or drawings about the book they have chosen.
Christmas and Winter Stories
We have reached the end of Term 2 and what a busy week it has been! Well done Meerkat Class for taking part in the Foundation production - The Angel Express. You were fantastic angels and you did so well with your singing and joining in with the actions.
We were delighted to be able to explore our fantastic new outside learning area which will enable the children to develop skills in problem solving, risk taking and imaginative development. Our thanks to school and Lottery Funding plus the team of builders who worked brilliantly to complete our outside transformation. Plus our gratitude to the families who helped to support our fund-raising for the enclosed sand pit.
We concluded our term with a fun filled party, with a visit from Father Christmas!
The Nursery team would like to thank all our families for the many good wishes and gifts you have given us.
However you will be spending the two week's holiday, we hope you will have a lovely time and we would like to wish all our families all the best for 2017. There is an INSET on Tuesday 3rd January, so we will see you again on Wednesday 4th January.
Our story this week was Stick Man by Julia Donaldson. The children enjoyed a variety of crafts and have also been enjoying playing some seasonal maths games to help develop their skills in Shape, Space and Measure.
The rehearsals for our Christmas performance have been going well and Mrs Perry our Phase leader has been very impressed with Meerkat Class' singing. The children enjoyed their Christmas lunch on Wednesday.
It was lovely to have our parents/carers in for our Open Week and we also enjoyed meeting our new Meerkats who will be joining our class in January.
Next week we shall have a collection of Christmas and Winter themed stories. Don't forget it is our Class Christmas party on Friday 16th December at 1.45 p.m. If your child does not usually attend, you are most welcome to come and join in the fun but an adult will need to remain with them at all times. Thank you.
'I'm the happiest and I'm the best'
This week we have been thinking about the qualities each of us have and we have been celebrating what is special about each of us. We have continued with learning about 2D shapes with a variety of games and have also learnt a fun shape song which has helped us to identify shapes in the environment. On Wednesday we had our class trip to the library, the children demonstrated excellent behaviour and listening skills. We had a lovely time and enjoyed the stories and time spent browsing the library books. Our thanks to the staff at Downend library for making us so welcome and for our lovely Bookstart treasure packs and gifts envelopes.
There are slots available for our open week next week on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday so please use the online system or speak to one of the team to book your appointment. You can join in our story time and spend time with your child looking at the learning diaries. There will also be an opportunity to speak to your child's keyworker.
Our story next week will be Stick Man.
The Smartest Giant in Town
We have continued our focus on friendship with the book 'The Smartest Giant in Town' who helped his friends by giving away his belongings. We have continued our work on shape with a game of shape splat and we have been learning about matching with a game of pairing up socks.
Next week we will be reading the books 'I am the happiest' and 'I am the best.'
I want a friend
We have continued our focus on friendship with the story 'I want a friend.' We have been exploring our feelings and how these change at different times; using puppets to help us explore how we and others feel. We have also been learning how to say 'Hello' in different languages and can now say it in Farsi/Arabic, French and Spanish in addition to English. We have been thinking about what things are important in our class in order to help us learn and look after each other. We will be using these ideas to create our class agreement. We have been doing sensory exploration with our light box and have combined this with learning about 2D shapes and colours. On Friday, we went spotty for Children in Need and Mrs Gleed played her trumpet!
It has been lovely to see our parents/carers at our meetings and there are still appointments available next week if you would like to see your child's keyworker.
Please complete and return your child's trip letter as soon as possible.
Our story next week will be 'The Smartest Giant in Town.'
As explained in a previous letter, our parent/carer meetings will take place during the Nursery sessions with your child's key worker. Please see your child's key worker to make a convenient appointment over the next two weeks.
We have been exploring the theme of friendships and have been thinking about how friends can sometimes have disagreements and fall out but they can say sorry and be friends again.
We have made a friendship tree and have been talking about what friendship means, who our friends are and why.
We have used the children's experiences of seeing fireworks to create some dazzling firework paintings which have enabled the children to develop their shoulder and upper arm muscles which is very important in order to develop the finer motor skills for writing.
Our story next week will be 'I want a friend' and we shall also be using the books 'All Kinds of feelings' and 'If you're happy and you know it.'
The Rainbow Fish
We hope you had an enjoyable break and that the children are ready to start new learning adventures this term.
We have started our focus on friendship using the book 'The Rainbow Fish' and have been talking about sharing. We have also been thinking about how we and others feel as a result of the actions we and others make. This fits in with the children's development in Personal, Social and Emotional Development and also covers aspects of British Values in the EYFS.
We have been developing our counting and number skills with two fish themed number games and have been developing the children's language skills through a variety of adult led activities.
We hope you have an enjoyable weekend and if you are going to watch fireworks over the weekend, please take care and stay safe.
Our story next week is 'Lucy's Quarrel.'
Run, run as fast as you can!
This week our story has been 'The Gingerbread Man' we have been acting out the story, making gingerbread men and developing our counting skills and number recognition with an ICT game. We have been making our own shakers using recycled materials and dried pulses.
It was good to see the parents who attended our open week and we hope to see more of you at our next one in December.
The children are all ready for a break after a busy first term at school. We hope you all enjoy the half term holidays and we look forward to seeing you again on Monday 31st October.
Our story will be 'The Rainbow Fish' and we will be having a focus on friendship and sharing.
The tortoise and the hare
This week we have had a focus on fast and slow with our story 'The tortoise and the hare.' The children have enjoy acting out the story. In our music development, the children have been learning about how to play rhythms on the percussion instruments with a focus on fast and slow. We have also been continuing to learn about the number three and have been building towers asking children to use a specific number of blocks. Some children have begun to add groups of objects together to find the total.
There are still plenty of slots available for our open week next week.
Next week our story will be another traditional tale - 'The Gingerbread Man.'
Who's that trip trapping over my bridge?
The children have really enjoyed re-telling this week's story, they are developing a good knowledge of traditional stories. Do have a look at our class stories which are on display on our learning wall.
They have also been developing their understanding of positional language playing a game -'Where'my goat? and have been practising their balancing skills having constructed a variety of bridges to cross the 'river.'
The sign up sheet for our open week is on display so please add your name and book a slot so you can see your child's learning diary and have an informal chat with you child's key worker. There'll also be an opportunity to join in with some singing at rhyme time.
Our story next week is - The tortoise and the hare.
Goldilocks and the three bears
The children have really enjoyed this week's story and have been able to remember lots of the main phrases from the story. Why not enjoy the story together and have a go at re-telling the story in your own words?
We have been developing our counting skills with a focus on the number three and have been exploring this in a number of ways including learning to form the number three and being number three detectives looking for objects and numerals. The children have developed a good understanding of the sizes small, medium and large and have enjoyed matching the different objects to the bears from our story.
Our story next week is Three Billy Goat's Gruff.
The Three Little Pigs
The children have really enjoyed re-enacting the story of the week and joining in with the repeated refrains for example 'I'll huff and I'll puff and 'I'll blow your house down.' Please talk to your child about this story and enjoy some story-telling together.
The children have been exploring percussion instruments and have been learning how to make sounds quieter and louder. Some of them have begun to copy a repeated rhythm.
We have also been using small world animals to develop counting skills and have also been making comparisons in terms of size.
In Meerkat Class, we want to celebrate the importance of families. Families are the children's first educators and we want to work in partnership with you to help your children make as much progress as possible during their time with us. Thank you if you have already sent in a family photo, please do send one in, they look fantastic on our 'shelves' in our quiet area.
Next week our story of the week will be Goldilocks and the three bears and we will be focusing on the number 3 and continuing to learn about size with a focus on small, medium and large.
End of the second week
The children have been continuing to familiarize themselves with our routines and are learning to recognize the pictures on our visual timetable. We have introduced adult led activities through creative activities and the children have been painting their first paintings and drawing self-portraits.
Please remember to bring in a change of clothes for your child every session and if you have any spare clothes (suitable for Nursery aged children) which you no longer need, we would appreciate them as our spare Nursery stock has got very low.
As part of the school's focus on encouraging talking at home and in school in order to create better writers, each class will have a weekly theme as their topic of conversation. In Meerkat Class, our weekly theme will be talking about our story of the week. Please look at the sign which will be displaced in the lobby to find our what our story is called.
We have been really pleased with the number of certificates we have been able to award for the children who have displayed behaviour which links with our focus on Respect. Do have a look at our display board.
First Week at Nursery
The children have made a fantastic start to their learning during their first week at Nursery. They have been exploring the environment and have been learning some of the routines at Nursery. The children have been getting to know each other and the staff.
Nest week we will be introducing adult led activities with the children which will enable the staff to learn more about the children and their current stages of development in various areas.
The whole team are available for any questions or queries you may have, so please do not hesitate to speak to any of the practitioners or the Nursery teachers if you have any questions.
Open parent/carer weeks
We would like to develop our partnership between school and home and provide more regular opportunities for parents/carers to have opportunities to meet with the staff in our Nursery Class. In addition to our parent/carer meetings which we hold three times a year, we are also going to be re-introducing our open parent/carer weeks. These will provide an opportunity for parents/carers to sign up to attend part of the Nursery session either one morning or afternoon during a set week each term, Parents/carers will be able to share their child's learning diary with their child, have informal chats with the Nursery staff and join in our music/singing session before going home.
Term 1 Open week commencing 17th October 2016
Term 2 Open week commencing 5th December 2016
Term 3 Open week commencing 6th February 2017
Term 4 Open week commencing 3rd April 2017
Term 5 Open week commencing 22nd May 2017
Term 6 Open week commencing 26th June 2017
We will place the sign up sheets nearer the time.
At Barley Close School, we are becoming 'purple learners.' This means we are learning to become great learners and are willing to learn in our 'challenge zone' where tasks will be more difficult but with persistence and application of skills will be achievable. In Meerkat Class, we are celebrating when our children show they are willing to have a try at something they find challenging. They will have their name written on a leaf along with a brief comment about what they have achieved. The leaf will be placed on our purple 'trying' tree. For more information about becoming a purple learner, please see Di Pardoe's traning and Vygotsky's Zone of Proximal Development. (1978)
Barley Close Values
As a school we have agreed on five values and over the new academic year 2016 - 2017 , Meerkat Class will look at what each value means and we will be celebrating each child's achievements as they demonstrate those attributes through their play. These values work well alongside the E.Y.F.S. characteristics of learning. We will focus on one value each term and complete the year with a review of all of the values. During the year to come please look at our new celebration board. The order in which we will examine them will be as follows:-
Term 1 Respect - looking after each other by being aware that what we say and do affects other people's feelings, speaking kindly and politely to each other and members of staff, looking after our resources by tidying away equipment, telling the truth and listening to each other whilst accepting that others may have a different point of view.
Term 2 Explore - showing curiosity about the learning environment and being willing to engage in a wide variety of activities, developing independence appropriate to the age and development of the child.
Term 3 Be Resilient - having a positive attitude towards learning and being willing to keep on trying and try new approaches when the children face a challenge and not being disheartened when they find things more difficult.
Term 4 Have Pride- wanting to try their best and being proud of how they have achieved something and wanting to accomplish things for self satisfaction rather than external rewards such as stickers.
Term 5 Aspire - wanting to succeed and gain new skills and to believe that they are capable learners who are able to achieve as they learn through play.
Term 6 - Reflection on all the five values.
We will be continuing with our WOW slips as we love to hear about all your child's achievements at home and would also appreciate it if you could praise your child when they show any of these values at home.
Please can you bring in a pair of named wellingtons for your child, we will be using the school grounds for activities and supplying a pair of boots will mean your child can fully access outdoor learning experiences.
End of year celebrations and Thank you
It has come to the end of the school year and we had a wonderful end of year celebration. Many thanks to Vicki from Vicki's Puppets who provided a brilliant day of entertainment with a fantastic bubble machine, magic show, puppet show, balloon modelling and a dance competition. It was lovely to see everyone having fun and enjoying themselves. The Meerkat team would like to thank all the children and their families for our gifts and cards and we hope you all have a lovely Summer. For those of you who are moving to Reception either at Barley Close or other local Primary schools, we wish you all the very best and hope you continue to enjoy learning in the years to come. For those who are staying with us and for all our new Meerkats who will be joining us in September, we look forward to seeing you at our Stay and Play session on Friday 2nd September, which starts at 1.00 p.m. until 2.30 p.m. You are welcome to drop in at any time between these times and you can stay for as little or as long as you would like.