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Nursery - Meerkat

Welcome to the Nursery - Meerkat Class


In Meerkat Class, we love learning through a combination of child initiated play and adult led activities. We have a lovely big new classroom and a fantastic outside learning environment. Some of the activities we plan are cooking and forest skills, (where we explore our big school field). Our morning sessions are from 9.00 a.m. to 12.00 p.m. and our afternoon sessions are from 1.00 p.m. until 4.00 p.m. You can also stay the whole day and have lunch, either a cooked lunch from school or a packed lunch from home. The children are taught by a team of dedicated and experienced Early Years' staff. 


Please contact the school  if you would like to know more about the Nursery education we offer for 3 and 4 year old children. You are able to use the Nursery education grant, which means you are entitled to 15 hours of Nursery education for free!


The Nursery Team

Mrs S Sheppard (Nursery Teacher)

Mrs S Gleed (Nursery Teacher)

Mrs S Green (Nursery Manager)

Miss K Buckley (Nursery Manager)

Mrs L Dunn (Playworker) 

Mrs N Tooker (Playworker)



A note from Mrs Gleed


I have been teaching at Barley Close School since 2009 and have completed my Masters in Education. I love teaching the Early Years, they are my favourite age group!   When I'm not working, I enjoy gardening, baking, reading and working as a volunteer at a rabbit sanctuary. I've completed a floristry course  and  I really enjoy making floral presents for friends.  I am currently on a course learning how to make stained glass and have just been learning how to solder!



Sports Week


This week we held our annual Sports' Morning event, the bean bag race proved to be very popular! and we are glad those who took part had fun. smiley 


Our stories have all been about Sports' Day including a story about Peppa Pig, Topsy and Tim and one by Nick Butterworth and Mick Inkpen.   Our small group activities have also taken a sports' theme - we have been building obstacle courses and playing tag and skittles. We have also taken part in Foundation 'Wake and shake' sessions in the outside area, moving to music as we keep ourselves fit and healthy.

Dear Zoo and Mr Gumpy's Outing


This week we combined the children's interest in animals with a book about an outing as we went our on class trip this week.  Following on from the book 'Dear Zoo' the children have been learning how to describe the animals in  the story, including using alliteration; and we have played a memory game - 'I went to the zoo and I took........' Linking with our story 'Mr Gumpy's Outing' we have been doing floating and sinking experiments and have been sorting animals according to how many legs they have and have also been attempting to calculate how many were in the boat and how many legs there were!


Well done Meerkat Class as you behaved very well on our class trip to Hengrove Park, the weather was very kind to us and we had lots of fun, particularly with the sand and water.  Thank you to our volunteers who made the trip possible. smiley


With INSET meaning we are closed on Friday, we hope you enjoy the long weekend and we will see you next week. 

School trip - Thursday 25th June


Nursery will be closed on Thursday morning due to our school trip. We would welcome further volunteers due to the high number of adult to child ratio required in order for us to be able to go. 

INSET Day - Friday 26th June


Nursery is closed on Friday 26th June as we have got an INSET day where the staff will be training.

Monkey Do and The Animal Boogie


We continued our focus on animals and movement this week with two animal themed stories. The children have enjoyed moving in different ways to represent the animals in The Animals Boogie and have been creating their own ways of moving and have begun to move more rhythmically.


The children have also been amused with the antics of 'Monkey Do,' ask your child if they can tell you about his adventures.


The children have been using finger printing to create cards. We hope all our families enjoy family time this weekend.   

Giraffes can't Dance and Handa's Surprise


Our stories this week are based in Africa, we have been learning where this country is on the map and about some of the  animals which live there and the different types of fruit which can be grown in Africa.


Our main story has been Giraffe's can't Dance and linking to this story's main message about how everyone can dance if they find music that they love, we have been thinking about what music we like to dance to and have been dancing to country, disco, rock n' roll and pirate.


We presented this story in our sharing service on Friday afternoon, well done to everyone who took part, the school and your families really enjoyed our presentation. Your behaviour was fantastic and there were some lovey dance moves. smiley    


We have enjoyed meeting some of the children  who will be coming to Meerkat Class in September, whilst some of our older Meerkats have been having fun visiting their new Reception Classes. 


We have been finding out about changes that occur in dissolving and setting through our exploration of jelly, and some of the children have also enjoyed seeing a presentation about Birds of Prey, so we've had a very busy week!


Enjoy  your weekend and we'll see you next week. 

Oliver's Fruit Salad and Grow Your Own


We hope you have all enjoyed the break, the weather was lovely and the flowers in our planters are blooming. We have a family of foxes in the school grounds including two cubs and they have been enjoying playing in the lovely sunshine. smiley


We have continued to look at healthy eating through the two books 'Oliver's Fruit Salad' and 'Grow Your Own', both of which encourage the reader to try a range of fruit and vegetables. We have been tasting a range of fruit and making pictograms to record our favourite. We have also been using fruit and fruit juice to make tasty ice lollies which Meerkat Class will be selling at the DT fair on Friday 5th June.


Outside, we have been having fun playing 'Vegetable Games' where we have to come up with an action to represent different vegetables, one of our favourites is the jumping and running bean!


It is our Class sharing service on Friday 12th June, you are welcome to join us in the hall at 2.30 p.m.  Tea and coffee will be served afterwards.


Please send in a sunhat and put suncream on your child before coming to Nursery on the sunny days.  


Do enjoy the lovely sunshine that is forecast for the weekend.

Oliver's Vegetables and I don't eat toothpaste anymore


Our main story this week was Oliver's Vegetables, the story of a boy who only wants to eat chips until discovers how tasty vegetables can be! We conducted our own vegetable tasting activity and recorded the results on a simple pictogram (graph with pictures.)  The most popular was carrots. closely followed by cucumber.


We have been listening to the rhythm in simple words and clapping them and beating them using percussion instruments.  You can support your child's learning by helping them to listen to the number of beats in words for examples names of family members and objects around the house for example Mummy, Daddy, (two beats) telephone (three beats). See if your child can guess how many beats are in each word and if they can clap them.


We have continued to look at the baby photos and have been thinking about changes from being babies to young children using the book 'I don't eat toothpaste anymore.'


The planters are looking colourful already and we look forward to watching the rest of the flowers grow over the next term.


Class photos are being sent out for those who were in when the photographer came.


Don't forget to return your induction acceptance slips if you are coming to Reception @ Barley Close. 


The Nursery team wish you all a lovely break, enjoy the Bank holiday and we will see you again the week commencing 1st June. smiley

Pushchair Polly and One Child One Seed


This week we have been thinking about how we have grown and changed since babies using the book 'Pushchair Polly' as a starting point. Thank you to everyone who has sent in a baby photo so far. Please do send one in as it would be wonderful if we could have a photo of all of the children. The children have really enjoyed looking at them and trying to  work at who's who!


In 'One Child, One Seed' we have been learning about life in South Africa and how one little girl called Northando plants pumpkin seeds. Some of the children have begun to draw out the differences between life in Africa and life in England.


Following on from this book, the children made Pumpkin soup, please return the reply slips as we would love to know what the children could remember about the process and what they thought of the flavour!       

The Enormous Turnip


We had a short week this week due to the Bank Holiday and INSET day but we have focused on The Enormous Turnip as our main story, supplemented with The Tiny Seed by Eric Carle, who also wrote The Very Hungry Caterpillar.  


We have acted out the story using masks and props; thank you to Panda Class who let us borrow their Enormous turnip to help with our story telling! Ask your child to re-tell you the story or maybe they could act it out using some toys at home!


We have been planting Summer bedding plants in our outside planters and look forward to a colourful display over the coming weeks. 


We have also been doing some more work about opposites and the children have found this quite tricky to understand. You can support your child's learning by talking to them about this, using everyday first hand experiences and objects such as heavy/light, rough/smooth, day/night, wet/dry.


We are going to be thinking about how we have changed since being babies. Please could you send in a photo of your child as a baby, with their name on the back, to support this new focus. Thank you. 



Nursery Closures - Monday 4th May & Thursday 7th May


We are closed on Monday 4th May as it is Bank holiday and we are also closed on Thursday 7th May for INSET (staff training).


We hope you have a lovely long weekend. smiley

Jasper's Beanstalk and Titch 


We are continuing our focus on growing and the children have been very excited to see the changes that are happening to the runner beans we planted last week.


Through Jasper's beanstalk we have been learning the days of the week and have been t talking about the similarities with the story from last week - Jack and the beanstalk. Through the story Titch, we have been thinking about siblings and what skills and abilities the children have at this stage.  


Outside, we have been playing the game 'Stuck in the mud' to help the children develop spatial awareness when travelling at speed and to encourage cooperation.



Fee Fie Fo Fum!


This week we have been learning about the life cycle of the plant, we have been planting seeds (runner beans) and our story of the week was Jack and the Beanstalk. I wonder whether we will be able to grow beans as tall as the beanstalk in the story?! Over the next couple of weeks, we will be watching the changes in class and then they will go home for you to carry on looking after them.


We have been using construction equipment to build a castle for the giant to live in and have been using musical instruments to make sounds for the different characters and events.


Ask your child if they can re-tell the story of the week.   

Welcome back!


We hope you are all feeling refreshed after our two week break. Hasn't the weather been glorious! If the sunshine continues, please send in a sunhat and apply sun-cream to your child before the session. 


We are continuing to learn about life cycles and we started off this term learning about the life cycle of the butterfly. We have had a selection of stories including the early years classic 'The Very Hungry Caterpillar' and also 'The Caterpillar Butterfly,' about a girl who finds caterpillar pillar eggs underneath nettle leaves and watches as they grow. 


We have been making musical shakers, the children can be supported in their development by encouraging them to listen to a variety of sounds and asking them if they can describe that they hear for example  'what does it sound like? 'Is it quiet or loud?


The outside learning environment has been updated over the holidays, a big thank you to Mrs Lines from Panda Class.  The children have had great fun exploring all the new resources. smiley


Final week of Term - Easter


This week we have been finding out about how some people (Christians) celebrate a Spring festival called Easter. We have also made some yummy Easter nest cakes and we were very good as we didn't eat any of the chocolate whilst baking!  


We have played another listening game  and we have also been learning about opposites. You can support your child by talking about opposites in everyday life as they occur such as night/day, heavy/light.  


We have met our three new Meerkats who will be joining us after the holidays and we hope you really enjoy your time with us.


The whole team would like to wish you all an enjoyable break and we will see you again om 13th April. smiley



Old Mac Donald and A Squash and a Squeeze


Our activities this week have had an animal theme. We have compared the traditional Old MacDonald story with Old Mikamba, a farmer who lives in Africa and has very different animals in his farm.


Following on from the story 'A Squash and A Squeeze,' we  have been talking about what pets we have at home.


e have been practising our ability to recognise and name different sound by playing a sound lotto game. Some of the animal sounds were really tricky. To help support your child's listening skills, maybe you could go on a listening walk and see if your child can name the different sounds they hear. 





Traditional Tales - The Three Billy Goats Gruff and Little Red Riding Hood 


This week we have been acting out the story of The Three Billy Goats Gruff using puppets and also playing a board game to help us develop our counting skills. We enjoyed a very child friendly version of Little Red Riding Hood, which kept its classic phrases like 'What big eyes you have Grandma!'


We have practised our writing by creating letters to send to the librarian, thanking her and Kipper for coming to visit us last week and for the Treasure Chest story sacks she gave to all our rising fours.


We have used hand printing to create Mother's Day cards and we  hope you all have a lovely day on Sunday. smiley 



World Book Week


Our whole week has been focused on Kipper Stories as we were very honoured to have a very special guest visit our Nursery - Kipper the dog. He came with a very friendly librarian from Downend library who read us a Kipper story.  Thank you so much! smiley Mrs Gleed was just as excited as all the children!


Thank you to all our parents/carers who came and joined us for story time.


We have also been learning about sequencing and describing events using a puzzle game  and have continued with our Early Phonics programme, where we had to listen very carefully to the sounds made by different percussion instruments and see if we could identify them.

Welcome back


We hope you have enjoyed the half term break. This week we have been finding out how the Chinese community celebrate their New Year. We have been looking at Chinese artefacts and  have tried to do some Chinese style dancing with red ribbons.  We tried picking up noddles using chopsticks and it was quite tricky!

2015 is the year of the sheep so we had two sheep stories - Russell and the lost treasure and The Sleep Sheep. We also played a listening game where we had to identify the different sounds made by animals. 


Term 4 learning


We have now completed our focus on the sea and when we return after the break, we will begin by learning about how the Chinese community have celebrated their new year over the holiday. Our role play has been turned into a Chinese restaurant and we will be planning on having oodles of fun with noodles and chopsticks the first week back!


Some of our Meerkats have been poorly so we wish you all better very soon and look forward to seeing you all again after the half term break. If you are doing anything, we always are interested in seeing photos or objects related to the experiences the children have at home so please do send them in.  


See you again, the week beginning 22nd February.


The Meerkat Team smiley     

Farewell Mrs Troy


The staff and children in Meerkat Class would like to say "goodbye and thank you" to Mrs Troy who left Barley Close on Friday 6th February. We have really enjoyed having you as a member of our team and we will miss the fantastic way in which you interacted with all the children.


We wish you every happiness for the future.


Love from everyone in Meerkat Class xx

Look out for Pirates!


The children continue to enjoy the pirate theme; this week are stories were 'Barry and the hairy scary monster' and 'Captain Pike looks after the baby.'  The children have been drawing pirate maps and been learning the actions and lyrics for some sea related songs.


Outside the children have continued to be interested in exploring the ice and frost and have been on a pirate treasure hunt, forest skills style as well as  beginning to draw maps of the outside area.


Some fantastic hairstyles have been created in our hair salon, so if you are wanting a new look, maybe your child could come up with some suggestions! frown    





The Rainbow Fish and the Lighthouse Keeper's Lunch


This week we have been exploring how we can be a friend and what makes us happy using The Rainbow Fish as a starting point. We have also been playing a maths based Rainbow Fish game where we had to collect scales and place them on the board, involving counting and selecting the correct quantity. Help your child to practice counting in everyday situations  for example counting out the cups and plates needed for lunch or when you are doing shopping, ask your child for example to get five apples and see if they can select the correct  amount.


Linking with our second story, The Lighthouse's Keeper's Lunch, we finished off the week with an indoor picnic.


Outside, the children have been making mud pies and have been investigating the frozen water and discovering what happens when they bring the ice inside.    

The Lighthouse Keeper's Lunch and The Fish who could wish 


The children have enjoyed the stories this week, see if they can tell you about them. Our reading area is being transformed into a seaside, and the children's work has been combined to create a beautiful underwater display, do come and have a look when you drop off your child at Nursery.


The children have enjoyed making sandwiches linked with one of the story's - 'The Lighthouse Keeper's Lunch. It would be great if the children could practise their skills with using a knife and help make a sandwich for lunch.


The children who attended Nursery on Friday were fantastic leading 'Funky Fitness Friday.' Well done Meerkats! smiley  



Happy New Year


Wishing all our pupils and their families a very Happy New Year. We hope you all have enjoyed the two week break. The children are settling back into the routines and this term we are going to have an underwater/sea theme focus to our stories. 


We began the term with 'Ti'ddler' and 'The Lighthouse Keeper's Cat.'  Ask you child if they can tell you anything about either of these stories as it will help to develop their listening and attention and recall skills.


We have introduced the children to Forest Skills with a mirror walk, seeing what the children could observe in their mirrors as we walked around the grounds.


We took part in the school's Funky Fitness Friday and next week, we will be leading the whole school in dance, so that will be lots of fun! 

Thank you Mrs Troy


The Meerkat Class would like to say thank you to Mrs Troy who has been working with our Class this term. She has provided excellent support and has been a great member of the team. She is going to be working in Lemur Class.



Final weeks of term


We have been reading  a selection of Winter/Christmas themed  books alongside our preparations for Christmas. We have been learning the songs and actions  for our Nativity performance and you all did really well, what lovely angels! With have been making cards and practising our writing using a variety of media and materials.  Our role play area has been turned into a toy shop.


We have been focusing on learning about shape and have been learning the names to describe 2-D shapes such as triangle and rectangle. Please talk to your child about the shapes of everyday objects that are at home as well as in the environment  for example the shapes of signs, doors and windows to encourage your children to learn and develop their understanding.


We are finishing the term with our class party on the last day of term and all the staff  in Meerkat class would like to thank you for our gifts and cards. We hope you all have a lovely time over the next two weeks, whatever you may be doing with your families. If you are celebrating Christmas, we would like to wish you a very Happy Christmas. We wish everyone a Happy and Healthy New Year. We look forward to seeing you all in January 2015, first day back is the 5th.   

Numbers, numbers everywhere 


Thank you to the parents and carers who attended our numeracy week, the children have enjoyed participating in number themed activities for example fishing for numerals, playing dominoes, number splat and the caterpillar game where they had to sequence numerals from 1 - 10. They also really enjoyed acting out the number songs. You should have all received a leaflet about how your can support the mathematical development of your child. Please speak to a member of staff if you haven't got one.   

Story of the week - The Gruffalo


The children have really enjoyed the story this week, which they have explored through stroy telling, puzzles, games and also through watching an animated version of the story on DVD. Ask your child if they could describe the Gruffalo and some of his features like his terrrible tusks and the purple prickles all over his back! 





Story of the week - Whatever next!


The children have enjoyed the story about the bear travelling in his rocket to the moon. We have continued our space theme with a rocket game in Numeracy and singing Five Little Men in a Flying Saucer at song time.


We are in the process of building a shop in our role play area and would like to add resources to it over the next few weeks. If you have any clean food packets or bottles, we would be grateful for them.


We would like to thank our parents and carers for attending the meetings this week. It was lovely to meet with you and great to hear your positive comments about how your children are progressing and feedback about our new learning  diaries.


If you weren't able to attend but would like to discuss how your child is settling, please speak to a member of the team and we will make a convenient time.     

Welcome back!


We hope you have had an enjoyable half term holiday. Our story this week was 'Room on the Broom.' We have been sharing holiday news and some children have telling us about how they dressed up and went trick or treating.


We have created a friendship tree and the children have been talking about their friends and thinking about what it means to be a friend.


We still have places available at our parent/carer meetings next week, so please log on or call into the school office to make an appointment.



Story of the week - The Smartest Giant in Town


Our story this week was The Smartest Giant in Town, the children have been thinking about the kindness of George the giant as he gave away his own possessions to help others in need. They have also been doing Smart Moves activities - including playing  Hoola Hoop Hopscotch and Snow Angels (without the snow!)


We have also been making snowman themed Christmas cards using a finger painting technique. The children will be bringing them home for you to view and if you want to order a pack of cards, please return the form and bring it back to school, along with payment.


We hope you all have a restful half term and we look forward to seeing you after the break.         

Story of the week - The Three Little Pigs


The children have been re-telling the story using puppets and masks. They have been enjoying exploring sticks and straw and have been painting pig pictures. Outside we have been playing 'What's the time Mr Wolf' and when the heavy rain stopped, the children have had fun investigating the mud and have been collecting leaves.      

Welcome Mrs Troy 


The staff and children in Meerkat Class welcome Mrs Troy, who has joined us from Lemur Class to help support the children in their learning. She will be with us every morning and we are delighted to have her as part of our team. smiley

Story of the week - Goldilocks and the three bears


Our story this week was 'Goldilocks and the three bears,' as you may have guessed from all the porridge oats that the children managed to cover themselves and the floor in! The children have been re-telling the story and we have displayed some of their work as story boards in our classroom and lobby so please come and have a look at them.


As well as Goldilocks, the children have been learning how to throw using bean bags which they tried to aim at a target. They have also been exploring bubbles and seeing if different shaped objects made better bubbles.


The children have been fascinated watching all the vehicles dig a hug pathway behind our Nursery building, some of the children were hoping the diggers were going to find buried treasure!    


Story of the week - 'We're going on a Bear Hunt.'


The children are responding well to our small group activity time and are settling into the new routine. This week we introduced our story of the week and we started with

 'We're going on a bear hunt.' We have explored the story in various ways including acting it our and creating a story board. Do ask your child if they can re-tell the story to you or maybe  you could visit the library to read together.



Please check your email inbox to read the email we have sent you regarding the electronic learning diaries. You will need to respond to the email in order to activate the link so we can start sending you your child's learning diary. If you have not received an email, please let a member of staff know as we will need to check the email account details you have supplied.

Inset Day - 26.9.14.


This Friday 26th September we will be having an INSET day at Barley Close, where staff receive training. This means Nursery will be closed all day, along with the rest of the school, so please do not attend Nursery this Friday.


We hope you enjoy the long weekend and we will see you on Monday 29th September. 

New electronic updates and learning diaries


The Meerkat staff have been getting used to our new system of collecting and assessing your child's development using the secure electronic system called '2Simple.' You should receive a letter this week, explaining more about it and also giving you the option to receive termly reports about your child's learning and progress at Nursery via a secure email link. If you have any questions about this, please speak to a member of staff. 

Summer holidays


Thank you to everyone who has completed their ice-cream sheet and sent in information about an activity or holiday you enjoyed over the Summer break. It has been lovely hearing about all the exciting things our Meerkats have been doing and the children have enjoyed sharing their experiences with adults and looking at the photos. It is not too late to send in your completed form, so if you would still like to send it in, please do so.


You are very welcome to come and have a look at the display we have created when you are dropping your child off at the start of a session.   


First weeks at Nursery


The children in Meerkat Class are settling well and have been having fun exploring the learning environments. They have been busy painting, exploring playdough and shaving foam, discovering what happens when ice melts as well as singing, creating models using recycled materials, listening to stories and riding on the trikes to name but a few! We have introduced some elements of our daily routine such as story time and singing and the children are gaining familiarity with group snack time. We are now introducing small group time, where children will engage in adult led learning, exploring a variety activities across each of the learning areas.


If you have any questions about how your child is settling, please do come and speak to any member of staff.   

The Summer Holidays


We hope you have all had a great Summer, we are looking forward to seeing you when the new term starts on Wednesday 3rd September. (Monday and Tuesday 1st & 2nd are INSET days, where the staff will be having meetings and training so our pupils do not attend Nursery on those dates.)


Things  to remember

  • Put names on all items of clothes, including coats.
  • Bring in a spare pair of wellies as we go outside all year round.
  • Bring a a small bag with a change of clothes as play can get very messy in Nursery! 

Farewell Miss Burton


We would like to say goodbye to Miss Burton, our afternoon playworker. We would like to thank her for all her work and wish her all the very best for her future. Make sure you come back and visit us very soon! smiley


With love from everyone in Meerkat Class

  • Barley Close Community Primary School
  • Barley Close, Mangotsfield, Bristol
  • United Kingdom, BS16 9DL
  • Tel: 01454 867090
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